Can Cats Get Giardia?

can cats get giardia

Greeting cat lovers! As a responsible cat owner, we always want to ensure the health and well-being of our feline friends. One common concern is whether cats can get giardia, a parasite that can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. In this article, we will discuss the possibility of cats getting giardia and how to prevent and treat it.

What is Giardia?

Giardia is a single-celled parasite that lives in the intestines of animals and humans. It is transmitted through the ingestion of infected feces or contaminated water and food. Symptoms of giardia infection include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and poor appetite. It can be a serious health concern, especially for young, elderly, or immunocompromised individuals.

Can Cats Get Giardia?

Yes, cats can get giardia. Although it is more common in dogs, cats can also be infected with giardia if they ingest contaminated feces or water. Outdoor cats and those that live in multi-cat households are at a higher risk of contracting giardia. The symptoms in cats are similar to humans and dogs, including diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.

Preventing Giardia in Cats

  1. Keep your cat's litter box clean and sanitized to prevent the spread of infection.

  2. Provide clean and fresh water for your cat at all times.

  3. Avoid feeding your cat raw or undercooked meat, which can be a source of giardia contamination.

  4. Limit your cat's exposure to contaminated water sources, such as ponds or puddles.

  5. Regularly wash your hands after handling your cat or cleaning the litter box to prevent the spread of infection.

  6. If you have multiple cats, isolate any infected cats and disinfect the living areas to prevent the spread of infection.

By following these preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of your cat getting giardia.

Treating Giardia in Cats

If your cat is diagnosed with giardia, your veterinarian will prescribe medication to treat the infection. It is important to follow the medication instructions carefully and complete the full course of treatment, even if your cat's symptoms improve. Your veterinarian may also recommend supportive care, such as fluid therapy and a special diet, to help your cat recover.


  • Q: Can giardia be transmitted from cats to humans?
  • A: Yes, giardia can be transmitted from cats to humans through fecal-oral transmission. It is important to practice good hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Q: How is giardia diagnosed in cats?
  • A: Giardia can be diagnosed in cats through a fecal examination or a blood test.
  • Q: Can giardia be prevented with vaccines?
  • A: No, there is no vaccine available for giardia in cats or humans.
  • Q: Can indoor cats get giardia?
  • A: Yes, indoor cats can get giardia if they are exposed to contaminated water or food sources.
  • Q: How long does it take for giardia to clear up in cats?
  • A: The treatment duration for giardia in cats can vary, but it typically takes several weeks for the infection to clear up.
  • Q: Can giardia be deadly for cats?
  • A: Although rare, giardia can be deadly for cats if left untreated, especially for young or immunocompromised cats.
  • Q: Can giardia cause long-term health problems in cats?
  • A: In some cases, giardia can lead to chronic diarrhea and malabsorption syndrome in cats, which can cause long-term health problems.

Tips for Cat Owners

Keep your cat healthy and happy by providing a clean and safe living environment, regular veterinary check-ups, and a balanced diet. By practicing good hygiene and sanitation, you can prevent the spread of giardia and other infectious diseases.


While giardia can be a concern for cat owners, it can be prevented and treated with proper care and veterinary assistance. By staying informed and taking preventive measures, you can ensure the health and well-being of your feline friend.

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