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Cat Diarrhea Medicine

"Cat diarrhea medicine depends on the cause of the diarrhea. Medicine used to treat the condition ranges from prescription medications to dietary change."  

There are several causes of cat diarrhea. Each cause has different treatment methods.

Overall Approach to Cat Diarrhea Medicine

There are several components to diarrhea treatment:

  • Fluid and electrolyte balance to avoid dehydration
  • Change in Diet
  • Restoring balance in the digestive system
  • Antibiotics
  • Immunosuppressive Drugs for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IDB)

Selection of a cat diarrhea medicine starts with understanding the underlying cause. Common reasons for diarrhea include food allergy and food intolerance which means your cat is having trouble digesting a particular food.

If you cat rarely gets diarrhea you can try removing all food for 24 hours. Be sure to provide water. Provide small meals after that if your cat is recovering.

If diarrhea lasts for more than 24 hours it is important to have your cat seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Over the Counter Medicine for Cat Diarrhea

Pectin and Kaolin: Under the advice of a veterinarian you could try a product that contains pectin and kaolin such as Lambert Kay Pet-Pectillin Diarrhea Medication for Dogs & Cats. Be sure that the product you buy DOES NOT CONTAIN SALICYLATES. Use a dosage of 1 to 2 teaspoons per 10 pounds. Provide to your cat every 6 hours. Best approach is to follow the directions on the label as individual products may vary. If the diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours or gets worse call and see your veterinarian immediately.

What Not to Use for Feline Diarrhea unless under the supervision of a veterinarian:

Loperamide (Immodium, Immodium AD, Pepto Diarrhea
Control, Kaopectate II Caplets): While these products are used in dogs, they should NOT be used in cats. can cause severe side effects in cats. Only use under the advice of a veterinarian. They are not approved by the FDA for veterinary medicine.

Bismuth Subsalicylate (Bismukote, Corrective Suspension, Pepto-Bismol): These product can cause harm and even death to your cat if not used properly. While they are approved by the FDA for use in cats, use only under the supervision of a veterinarian. Bismuth Subsalicylate is approved for use in veterinary medicine by the FDA.

Cat Diarrhea Medicine for Organisms

Common causes such as an organism entering your cat's body can be treated with loperamide (Imodium; 0.1-0.2 mg/kg TID, PO). Only treat your cat under the advice of a veterinarian.

Cat Diarrhea Medicine for Bacterial Problems

If you cat's diarrhea is caused by bacteria, medications such as kaolin-pectin, bismuth subsalicylate, activated charcoal, and barium provide a protective coating on the lining of those surfaces in the digestive system that are suffering from inflammation. Bismuth subsalicylate is thought to work the best. Bismuth dosed at 0.5 to 1 ml/kg BID for 2 to 3 days is safe in cats although it may prolong the length of the diarrhea.

Antibiotics and Cat Diarrhea

Antibiotics are often avoided unless completely necessary to treat feline diarrhea. The reason is that antibiotics change the balance of flora in the digestive tract. They are used for certain bacteria such as Campylobacter, Clostridium and Giardia.

Immunosuppressive drugs and Feline Diarrhea

If your cat is suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) then these types of drugs are used. A typical immunosuppressive drug is an Oral glucocorticoids, Treatment usually lasts 2 to 3 months. Other prescription drugs include metronidazole14 and azathioprine.,

Antibiotics For Cat Bacterial Diarrhea





5 mg/kg BID, PO

Gram negative bacteria


10-20 mg/kg TID, PO

Clostridium perfringens


10-20 mg/kg TID, IV, SC

Sepsis (use with aminoglycosides)


2.2 mg/kg TID, IV, SC



22-44 mg/kg TID, IV, IM



10-20 mg/kg BID, PO

C. perfringens, C. difficile, IBD


20-40 mg/kg BID, PO

C. perfringens, IBD


10-15 mg/kg TID, PO

Campylobacter spp.


15 mg/kg BID, PO, IV, SC


Source: Stanley Marks, University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

Natural Medicine for Cat Diarrhea

Several natural remedies are associated with supporting a healthy digestive system. If diarrhea is persistent and you suspect that the digestive system is out of balance, it might be worth researching and discussing this option with your veterinarian. One product to research is RunnyPoo Relief. It is a natural remedy containing herbal and homeopathic ingredients which are carefully selected to maintain digestive balance, firm stools and healthy bowel functioning.


Feline Infectious Diarrhea Update
Kate F. Hurley, DVM, MPVM
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California, Davis, CA

Diarrhea in Kittens and Adult Cats
D.L. Zoran
College of Veterinary Medicine
Texas A&M University, TX

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approach to the Cat with Chronic Diarrhea
Stanley L. Marks, BVSc, PhD, Dip. ACVIM (Internal Medicine, Oncology), Dip. ACVN
University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
Davis, California, USA

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