When your cat is sick, you might be tempted to give them some medicines in the hopes of making them feel well. However, remember that sick animals must always be evaluated by a vet in order to get the most recommended care. Aside from that, you must always consult with your vet before you administer any kind of over the counter medication to your pet that may be pregnant or has some health concerns.
So, what kind of medicine can you give your cat?
Safe Medicines for Cats
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine) – This is an antihistamine usually used as part of allergy treatment plans to help reduce motion sickness and serve as mild sedative. This is said to be generally safe to use in cats.
- Claritin (loratadine) – This antihistamine is used as part of allergy control. While there is little information available about using it in pets, this is also generally safe to use in felines.
- Allegra (fexofenadine) – This is an antihistamine often used as part of treatment plan for allergy control. Caution indicated if there is an existing kidney damage. Some of its side effects are changes in central nervous system, sedation, and gastrointestinal upset.
- Glucosamine (various ingredients often combined with chondroitin) – This is an adjunct treatment for arthritis and joint pain. There are minimal side effects such as occasional disturbance of the gastrointestinal tract.
- L-lysine – This is a type of amino acid supplement which is being used together with the herpes viral control agents. There are minimal to no noted side effects but limited data support its use. While this is generally considered safe for cats, its efficacy is not yet known.
- Miralax (polyethylene glycol 3350) – This is typically used as a form of laxative. Some side effects include nausea, electrolyte imbalances, and cramping. In general, this is safe for cats but if there is a need for long term use, make sure you seek vet advice.
- Pedialyte (various ingredients) – This is often used as a form of electrolyte supplement. This is generally said to be safe for a short term use. However, it is a must to diagnose the cause of electrolyte deficiency, especially if diarrhea or vomiting is present for more than 24 hours.
- Zyrtec (cetirizine) – Antihistamine is being used as part of allergy control plan. There is little information regarding it use in pets, probably the same with Allegra.
Meanwhile, aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid, is being used as a medicine to reduce fever, blood thinner, and pain medication. There are a lot of side effects and these include nausea, reduced appetite, vomiting, drug interactions, higher acid levels in blood stream, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspiring can last around 30 hours in a cat. There are several indications for aspirin in pets but side effects usually outweigh the perks, and aspirin must be used only under the direction of a vet.
Finally, Tylenol or acetaminophen is a pain reliever that you should never administer. This is not usually used in vet medicine, and not really recommended due to the number of side effects and severity.