Can Cats Get Stomach Bugs? Uncover the Truth!

Can Cats Get Stomach Bugs? Uncover the Truth!

Cats are cute and cuddly pets that can quickly become bed partners with their owners. These furry cuties can, however, suffer from health problems just like any other pet. One of the common health issues that cats may experience is stomach bugs. While some cats may never suffer from stomach bugs, others may be more prone to this disorder, leading to frequent vomiting, diarrhea or even lethargy.

The Key Symptoms of Stomach Bugs in Cats

It can be difficult to differentiate between normal feline behavior and an illness. Being a cat parent, it is, therefore, crucial to recognize the symptoms of stomach bugs immediately. The most obvious symptoms to look out for include:


Cats occasionally throw up after eating, but frequent vomiting is a clear indicator of a gastrointestinal issue. Persistent vomiting in cats can cause dehydration, and hence, it becomes crucial for pet parents to check for the root cause of the vomiting.


Similar to vomiting, diarrhea can also be a symptom of stomach bugs. If you notice your cat is producing soft, runny, or liquid stools consistently, you should consider visiting the vet. This can be brought about by factors such as unfamiliar food, allergies, or parasites.

Lack of Appetite

Another symptom that may be present in cats with stomach bugs is reduced appetite. Cats are naturally curious eaters, and any change in their eating habits should be looked into. If your cat seems disinterested in eating, you should pay attention and ascertain the root cause of the problem.


Cats with stomach bugs may also show signs of lethargy or fatigue. If your cat has been sleeping more than usual or appears to be unresponsive to playtime, you should consult with your vet.

Causes of Stomach Bugs in Cats

One common cause of stomach bugs in cats is poor dieting. Cats may eat food that is contaminated or expired, leading to gastrointestinal problems. Consuming fatty foods or sudden changes in diet can also cause stomach bugs.


Parasites, such as intestinal worms or protozoa, can cause stomach bugs in cats. Parasites are non-visible to the naked eye but can be acquired through contaminated food, water or soil.

Bacteria and Viruses

Bacterial and viral infections can also result in stomach bugs in cats. Viruses like feline calicivirus or herpesvirus can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in cats, and bacterial infections such as E.coli, Salmonella or Clostridium can be responsible for these symptoms.

Treatment for Stomach Bugs in Cats

Cats with stomach bugs require a special diet to help their digestive systems. If you suspect that your cat is experiencing stomach bugs, you should restrain from providing them food for 24 hours. After 24 hours, ensure you have a vet-approved diet plan that contains soft, high-quality food, which comprises of minimal protein and fat.

Medical Treatment

In case of severe stomach bugs, consulting a vet is essential since they may prescribe antacids or antibiotics to treat the problem.


Cats can become dehydrated quickly while experiencing stomach bugs, so it’s vital to ensure they have access to water. Pedialyte is an excellent option to keep them hydrated when they’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.

Preventative Measures for Stomach Bugs in Cats

The following preventive measures can be taken to ensure your cat remains free of stomach bugs:

Quality Nutrition

Invest in premium quality cat food that provides balanced nutrition for your fur baby since what eats the cat’s appetite helps manage the spread and incidences of stomach bugs

Food Safety

Ensure to store and prepare your cat’s food correctly. Stay away from expired food, and avoid changing your cat’s diet drastically.


Frequently washing your hands and maintaining a clean litter box can prevent the spread of stomach bugs.


Isolating a sick cat from others to prevent spreading the stomach bug to other pets in the home.


Stomach bugs in cats can be prevented and treated when the right protocols are followed. Paying attention to your cat’s behavior and consulting a vet as soon as symptoms appear is crucial in keeping your feline friend healthy.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: Can cats get stomach bugs from humans?
  • A: Yes, a cat can contract stomach bugs from humans through transmission of germs and microbes.
  • Q: What is the best food for cats with stomach bugs?
  • A: A vet-approved high-quality, low protein and fat diet can be fed to a cat suffering from stomach bugs.
  • Q: How long does it take for a cat to recover from stomach bugs?
  • A: The duration of recovery depends on the severity of the illness, but on average, cats can recover in a matter of days.


Klara, M. (2010). Health considerations for the feline gastrointestinal tract. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 12(9), 707-716.

Gagné, J. M., & Weese, J. S. (2020). Gastrointestinal tract and exocrine pancreas. Jubb, Kennedy & Palmer’s Pathology of Domestic Animals, 1, 60-135.

Mattin, M. J. (2017). Feline tummy troubles: addressing feline gastroenteritis. Practice Nurse, 47(3), 24-32.

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