The answer is that yogurt can be beneficial to cats with diarrhoea but the benefits are limited. Yogurt contains probiotics which is live bacteria and yeasts. The bacteria in yogurt is considered to be good bacteria. If the cat’s gut has bad bacteria in it which is part or all of the cause of the diarrhea than introducing good bacteria helps to restore a balance to the gut flora which in turn stabilises the situation. Some cat and dog owners might feed their companion animals yogurt as a preventative measure and to improve overall health.
However, the use of yogurt as a home treatment is not recommended by the vets who wrote the respected Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. They rightly focus on discovering the cause of the diarrhea and removing it (diarrhea is a symptom of an illness not an illness in itself). So if home treatment is the objective isolating the cause is the first step.
There is a weakness in yogurt as a home treatment for diarrhea. Firstly, You have to get your cat to eat it and secondly it has to be lactose free because cats are generally lactose intolerant and the intolerance causes diarrhea. This is obviously important as you could make things worse.
I seems that some vets would consider feeding yogurt as a helpful home treatment to deal with minor food intolerances in your cat.
Because diarrhea in a cat, even for a slightly extended period (more than 24 hours), is potentially serious due to dehydration which can cause shock and collapse, the veterinary advice is to consult your veterinarian without delay.
Chronic diarrhea is tricky to diagnose. Therefore treating cat diarrhea at home is not that simple. There are pitfalls and potentially serious health consequences which indicates that consulting with your vet is wise.
Home treatment of cat diarrhoea is only recommended if it lasts for a short time without much loss of fluid. These are the recommended steps:
- Stop feeding your cat for 24 hours
- Give small amounts of water
- Introduce food gradually – 3-4 small meals daily
- The diet should be high in protein e.g Hills Prescription Diet Feline i/d
- Avoid high carbohydrate foods such as dry cat food (carbohydrates might prolong the diarrhea)
- Gradually introduce the usual food provided it is decent food!
- Seek vet advice in using Imodium or any other diarrhea meds and avoid meds containing salicylates (this is aspirin which is toxic to cats).
Hope this helps 😉