Can I Give my Cat Antibiotics?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: September 27, 2017
Can I Give my Cat Antibiotics?

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Cats are susceptible to many diseases and many bacterial ones, perhaps they are in a risk group because among their main features they are independent, which means that they have a life outside the home, where the owner has no control, which increases their risk of bacterial infection.

Like humans, cats should receive treatment if they have a disease of this nature, and treatment in the case of a bacterial infection must be antibiotic drugs.

But does that mean that I can give antibiotics to my cat? This is the question we answer in this AnimalWised article.

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How do antibiotics work on cats?

Administering an antibiotic drug to a cat is no trivial matter, since these drugs have a very definite mechanism of action that can damage the body of the animal. Below we talk about how antibiotics can have two mechanisms of action to treat our cat's condition:

  • Bacteriostatic action: The antibiotic works by stopping bacteria from multiplying.
  • Bactericidal action: The antibiotic works by destroying the bacteria causing the infection.

Depending on the nature of the antibiotic drug, it may end up destroying part of the cat's intestinal flora formed by good bacteria, as the antibiotic is not able to distinguish those that are causing the disease.

Can I Give my Cat Antibiotics? - How do antibiotics work on cats?

Which antibiotics can be given to a cat?

Generally cats (as well as dogs) receive antibiotics approved for human use, the best-known being amoxicillin, but we can also use other active ingredients such as doxycycline or cephalexin.

However, the first reason why you cannot administer any antibiotics to your cat, lies in the differences between human physiology and feline physiology. That is to say, our body metabolizes each antibiotic in a certain way, but the cat metabolizes them differently, which means the dose has to be adapted.

The second reason why you cannot give antibiotics to your cat is that not all these medications act in the same way or target the same bacteria, and although many human antibiotics are used on pets, some may be potentially toxic for them.

Can I Give my Cat Antibiotics? - Which antibiotics can be given to a cat?

Can I give my cat amoxicillin?

We have seen that several antibiotics for humans that are commonly used in cats and dogs, one of the most commonly used is amoxicillin. Therefore it is a common mistake to search for information on the dose of amoxicillin required for a cat and then administer it to them straightaway, because:

Amoxicillin is a broad spectrum antibiotic, meaning that it acts against a large number of bacteria. If your cat has an infection caused by bacterium resistant to amoxicillin, it will have very serious consequences: it will destroy the bacteria that are part of your cat's immune system and the infection-causing bacteria will multiply without any bacterial competition, aggravating the condition in a very dangerous way.

Amoxicillin and any antibiotic drug, must be prescribed by a vet because in the event that the infection does not go away by using a broad-spectrum antibiotic, the veterinary clinic shall carry out an antibiotic sensitivity test, a test that determines which antibiotics could attack the infectious bacteria.

Can I Give my Cat Antibiotics? - Can I give my cat amoxicillin?

You cannot give your cat any medication

Whether it be veterinary drugs or drugs suitable for human consumption, it is a common mistake for you to medicate your cat yourself, as the only person qualified to prescribe a drug treatment for our pets is the vet.

If you give your cat unsuitable medications you are putting their life in danger, and give them severe poisoning. Moreover, it may mask a serious illness that requires urgent veterinary attention.

Can I Give my Cat Antibiotics? - You cannot give your cat any medication

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Can I Give my Cat Antibiotics?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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