The infection known as Campylobacteriosis is a gastrointestinal disease that is generally caused by bacteria of the Campylobacter genus. These infections often occur through ingestion and are known to affect cats, dogs, and other animals kept as pets. This bacteria is highly infectious and easily spread. Humans aren’t safe from it either. Similar to other intestinal diseases, Campylobacteriosis causes stomach pain and diarrhoea. It is commonly found in animals that have been rescued from shelters, and some cats are asymptomatic, meaning they carry the infection but display no symptoms. The campylobacteriosis infection is not always life-threatening and will generally be treated on an outpatient basis. The spread of this infection can be prevented by proper cleaning and disinfecting. 

Symptoms Of Campylobacteriosis In Cats

The symptoms of Campylobacteriosis cause a gastrointestinal infection that portrays symptoms such as pain, digestive issues and diarrhoea. These symptoms are often more severe in younger cats and kittens, as well as older cats that are already in poor health.

Campylobacteriosis Symptoms Include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Watery or bile-streaked stool
  • Bloody stool
  • Tenesmus or frequent stool
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  •  low appetite 
  • Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Inflammation of the lymph nodes

Types Of Campylobacteriosis.

Campylobacteriosis bacteria can be found in several types. All types are known to cause infection. Some of the bacteria are animal-specific, meaning they won’t be found in any other type of animal. C jejuni is considered the most common type of bacteria in cats. It causes intestinal disease and is considered the bacteria most likely to infect humans.

The types of Campylobacteriosis include:

  • C jejuni jejuni
  • C coli
  • C jejuni
  • C upsaliensis
  • C helveticus

The Causes Of Campylobacteriosis Infection In Cats

There are many known causes, but the most common cause in cats is coming into contact with the bacteria in kennels. This is due to cats being able to contact faeces directly. This bacteria can also be transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Because younger cats have an underdeveloped immune system and a tendency to explore their environment, they are more likely to contract the disease.

Diagnosing Campylobacteriosis

The most common way to obtain a diagnosis is through a faecal culture. Your vet will examine the culture after 48 hours to look for traces of leukocytes. Leukocytes are faecal white blood cells that can be found in the stool when there is an infection. It may be found in your cat’s gastrointestinal tract as well. This will confirm the presence of campylobacter in the body. Your vet may conduct a complete blood profile in addition to the faecal culture, as well as a chemical blood profile, complete blood count and urinalysis.

Treatment for Campylobacteriosis

Outpatient treatment is recommended for mild cases. If your cat presents with a severe case of Campylobacteriosis, it will require close monitoring in order to prevent further complications. Isolating your cat may be recommended by your vet to prevent them from infecting others. This will also aid in a full recovery. Oral fluid therapy might be administered to prevent dehydration and antibiotics from eradicating the infection. If your cat has a severe case, a plasma transfusion might be a necessary part of the treatment.

Treating Campylobacteriosis at Home

You should ensure your cat has plenty of water available. Be sure to monitor their consumption to ensure that no dehydration occurs. If they aren’t drinking enough water, you might need to administer water to them through a syringe, with guidance from your vet. Dehydration can weaken them even more and will slow down recovery tremendously.  

Recovery of Campylobacteriosis Infection In Cats.

It is possible for your cat to fully recover from a campylobacteriosis infection, although it may take several weeks up to a few months. The worst symptoms generally pass within three to seven days after the infection begins. While symptoms continue, keep monitoring your cat’s food and water intake. Keep the litter box clean to prevent reinfection and keep an eye out for worsening symptoms. If symptoms do worsen, take your cat to the vet immediately. Following these steps will aid in a speedy recovery. You must follow all orders provided by your vet. Your cat might need another visit to the doctor to ensure that there is no longer any bacteria present.

To manage and prevent reinfection, your cat’s living and eating areas will require proper cleaning. If you have other pets sharing a living space, it’s best to isolate them from areas in which they might pick up the infection. The disease can be easily transmitted to humans, so take precautions when handling infected material. Be sure to disinfect litter boxes, food bowls and water bowls. This disinfecting and deep cleaning will need to continue until your vet confirms there are no longer traces of infection. 


It’s best to take the necessary steps to prevent infection. This can be done by cleaning your cat’s eating and living areas and keeping water and food bowls disinfected. 

You can also:

  • Feed your pet commercially prepared or cooked foods.
  • Always cook meat, especially poultry, before giving it to your pet.
  • Keep raw meat, especially poultry, separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Do not give them raw or unpasteurized milk to drink. Milk is not recommended for pets.

All in a Meow

Campylobacteriosis is not only preventable but curable. Always take your cat to a vet if they display any symptoms of disease or infection. In addition, keeping your cat’s living area clean and their water and food bowl disinfected will help ensure that they aren’t infected or reinfected with this bacteria.