Kaopectate is a popular over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication used by humans, and often gets attention from cat owners as a potential fix for loose cat stools.
Diarrhea is a pretty common coinsurance with indoor/outdoor cats because they can get into so many different things that their digestive system can’t handle that it’s just a way for their body to get rid of the offending substance. If you’ve got an indoor cat they can also swallow things they shouldn’t, and you might notice that they’re loose as a goose so to speak.
But in these cases it’s typically not a life-threatening condition and it doesn’t escalate any further than a few isolated incidents. Adding a medication like Kaopectate to the mix is only going to mire their digestive system with another foreign substance that it has to deal with.
Can I Give My Cat Kaopectate? Answer: Likely Not Necessary
If your cat is having a bout of diarrhea the best thing to do is let it pass. If it happens more than once you might want to consider upgrading their cat food. If you can explain the problem either due to a change in their feeding cycle, something you fed them that they couldn’t handle, or something they may have eaten while outside, it’s best to just let them alone and let nature run its course.
Diarrhea is Natural
Diarrhea is the body’s response to something that didn’t sit well in the stomach. One episode isn’t enough to start medicating your cat, and in many instances is all that occurs. If you’ve noticed that the condition is worsening or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should make a note of it and call the vet. That’s really your main role as the owner, observe their behavior for anything strange and bring in professional help when the situation warrants it.
Cats don’t need to be anywhere. Humans take diarrhea medicine because we’ve got lives to live that involve going to work, running errands, and being away from a familiar toilet. We don’t want to get the runs at an inopportune time. But cats don’t have a care in the world, and their diarrhea isn’t causing them to miss anything important, and so they just take it in stride as another part of life. That’s why you don’t need to worry about it in most cases. The worst that will happen is they miss the litter box and you’ve got a bit of clean up work to do, but it’s not worth giving them a potentially harmful chemical to save you from a potentially messy situation.
It’s never a good idea to give your cat medication that is made for human consumption. While some veterinarians will suggest it to pet owners, those are one-off instances and not the norm. When they do suggest it they also give the dosing instructions that are specific to that cat. They are taking into account their breed, size, weight, age, and medical history and have read up on it in a veterinarian journal or review, or have seen it successfully used in previous cases.
When to See the Vet
If you’ve noticed that your cat is having excessive diarrhea, and you can’t determine the cause, and it’s not showing signs of slowing down, you should either call the vet or take them in directly. Calling the vet is usually a good option for non-emergency situations, because you’ll likely be speaking with the vet’s assistant and not the actual vet. By running the symptoms and other information past them first, they’ll be able to make the decision as to whether your cat needs to be seen. They can troubleshoot other possible fixes that you can try without bringing them in.
When your cat has diarrhea one of the things you want to watch out for is that they don’t get dehydrated. Make sure they’ve got a full water dish at all times and if they’re feeling sick and not moving around as much as they normally do, you might have to move the dish to where they are so they can drink if they feel the need.