Coccidiosis in Cats Treatment Options

Coccidiosis is a condition that’s caused by one celled organisms known as Coccidia. Although there are different types of Coccidia that exist, I. felis and I. rivolta are the two most common types of Coccidia that affect cats. Since the immune system in older pets is strong, they aren’t likely to suffer from this infection because they eliminate these organisms through their feces.

Kittens and pets that are less than 6 weeks of age are at greater risk of suffering from Coccidiosis. Pets that have weak immune systems are also susceptible to this condition.

Transmission of Coccidiosis

Kittens generally contract this infection when they consume contaminated feces. If the mother cat passes stools that contain Coccidiosis cysts, the kittens will most likely come in contact with these cysts and ingest them. Once the kitten consumes the cyst, the protozoa multiply in the pet’s intestines. Infected kittens are also able to pass on the condition to other pets.

Most kittens will show signs of the illness almost 2 weeks after getting infected. Since the condition can severely affect your pet’s health it’s important to watch for the signs and symptoms of Coccidiosis and seek immediate vet help.

Some Symptoms of Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Presence of blood in the stool
  • Presence of mucus in the stool
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea 
  • Dehydration followed by electrolyte imbalance

Treatment of Coccidiosis in Cats

Since young pets succumb to this infection if they’re not treated promptly, it’s important to get the cat’s feces examined for the presence of Coccidia. The two most common medications that are prescribed to treat Coccidiosis are trimethoprim-sulfadiazine and sulfadimethoxine.

Trimethoprim-Sulfadiazine for Cats

This medication is an antibiotic that works on infectious microorganisms. It not only treats Coccidiosis in cats, but it also cures toxoplasmosis in pets. The medication is available in tablet and injection form. The general dosage is 7 to 15 mg of the medication per pound of body weight. You may have to administer this dose either twice or thrice a day, depending on the vet’s instructions.

You shouldn’t discontinue the medication even if your pet shows signs of full recovery. Since it causes certain side effects, you must make sure you administer the drug under the supervision of your vet.

Sulfadimethoxine for Cats

This medication belongs to a class of drugs termed as sulfonamides. The dosage is generally determined by the vet. You should make sure your cat consumes plenty of fresh water while he’s administered this drug. If you discontinue the medication without completing the course, your cat may suffer from a relapse.

These medications don’t kill the microorganisms that are present in your cat’s intestines but they give your kitten sufficient time to become immune to Coccidia.

Kittens infected with Coccidiosis can easily spread the infection to other pets. You should therefore confine your cat to a specific area in your home and dispose of the pet’s feces in the right manner.