Ivermectin For Cats - Dosage

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. Updated: May 14, 2019
Ivermectin For Cats - Dosage

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Ivermectin is an common antiparasitic drug for cats, dogs and other animals. Currently, however, the are other products which have been proven safer for cats. If you are wondering, is ivermectin safe for cats? You’ve come to the right place.

Here at AnimalWised we aim to discuss everything you need to know about Ivermectin for cats, including its recommended dosage, uses and side effects. Keep reading for more.

  1. Ivermectin for cats: what is it?
  2. Ivermectin for cats: uses
  3. Ivermectin for cats: dosage
  4. Ivermectin for cats: side effects
  5. Ivermectin for kittens

Ivermectin for cats: what is it?

Ivermectin is a macrocyclic lactone that has been used since the 1980s for cows, sheep, goats or horses. Its antiparasitic activity is the reason why this treatment was extended to pet care, treating animals like dogs and cats. Ivermectin functions by paralyzing and, consequently, killing the parasites. It is marketed in various formats such as ivermectin paste, pipettes and oral administration.

Ivermectin administration on the skin, however, can cause alopecia and peeling. Selamectin or moxidectin are other widely used lactones commonly used in pipettes. These are both recommended alternatives to ivermectin for cats.

For more, we recommend reading up about parasites in cats:

Ivermectin for cats: uses

The application of ivermectin is capable of eliminating nematodes and mites in cats. Ivermectin for cats can be used as an internal dewormer against round worms. This is in addition to functioning as treatment for diseases caused by mites, both inside the ears and on the skin. Ivermectin is often used, for example, to treat or deter mange caused by ear mites in cats. Its application for the treatment of infestations by external parasites (fleas and ticks) is controversial, therefore we recommend the use of other antiparasitics that eliminate and prevent these re-infestations.

In addition, we must highlight the common use of ivermectin in the prevention and treatment of heartworm in cats, a parasite capable of occupying the heart, lungs and veins directed to the liver. This worm accesses the organism in immature forms, transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Due to the importance of the organs that it affects, it is a parasitic of potentially fatal severity.

The use of ivermectin in animals suspected of suffering from filariasis, should be applied following strict veterinary control. A dose able to kill microfilariae rapidly can also trigger severe anaphylactic shock in an animal, thus this needs to be avoided.

For more, we recommend reading our article about mites on cats.

Ivermectin For Cats - Dosage - Ivermectin for cats: uses

Ivermectin for cats: dosage

Administration and frequency of an ivermectin dose for cats will vary predominantly on what is being treated. Therefore, it is important that before treating a cat with ivermectin,you should consult a veterinarian.

Ivermectin will affect different animals differently and this needs to be taken into consideration. Keep reading to find out more about the possible side effects of ivermectin for cats.

Ivermectin for cats: side effects

When administered professionally under the supervision of a professional, ivermectin is safe for cats. There is a possibility, however, that your cat may be allergic to ivermectin, but this is not very common. Bear in mind that the side effects of ivermectin in cats can be very serious. Thus, an inadequate dosage can result in intoxication which can cause:

  • Lack of coordination.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Depression.
  • Tremors and exaggerated wide movements.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Hypersalivation.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Decrease in body temperature.
  • Absence of reflexes.
  • Paralysis in the hind legs.

Ivermectin overdose in cats

If, after your cat has been administered ivermectin you notice any of the above symptoms, you should visit your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. There is no antidote against ivermectin, treatment is based on an establishment of fluid therapy and appropriate drugs. Recovery may take several weeks. Do not exseed the general 0.2 to 1.3 mg/kg of ivermectin for cats. If you believe that your cat is suffering from ivermectin toxicity, again, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

For more, we recommend taking a look at our article where we discuss poisoning in cats.

Ivermectin For Cats - Dosage - Ivermectin for cats: side effects

Ivermectin for kittens

Lastly, before administering ivermectin for kittens, you should consult a veterinarian. An overdose of ivermectin in kittens is incredibly dangerous, in the same way that you shouldn’t offer this antiparasitic drugs to cats who are allergic to it. Special precautions should also be taken when treating pregnant and/or lactating cats.

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 Ivermectin For Cats - Dosage, we recommend you visit our Medicine category.

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Old Rancher
We have two feral cats, one of which has decided she likes us and will let us pet her. In fact she insists upon it all the time. Recently she started losing her hair around her tail and down her back. I thought it may be the Toms all pawing at her but finally realized she was pulling it out in clumps herself. We've tried various sprays to sooth the skin, drops to kill off any bugs even though we've never seen fleas on her and some anti-bacterial spray as well all to no avail. We also changed to a different cat food for the two. The younger cat remains unaffected by this even though they're inseparable which makes me wonder if it may be the thyroid problem we've read about. There is a problem with inbreeding with the cats around here and this one I'm treating is and always has been a bit of a runt. I didn't think she could get pregnant but she may be at the moment. Anyway the only other thing I could throw at the problem was Ivermectin so I gave them both about an inch of a line from the "horse paste" syringe I've been taking doses from over the Winter (I'm on my 3rd since 2021 as that certain virus comes and goes) and, for those concerned about Ivermectin and cats, I've not seen any detrimental effects on the two after several days. My main concern was what would their bodies do with the dead parasites but this has not proven to be a problem. I still have to see if the hair will start coming back as this is a slow process but for my cats this has answered the question of how Ivermectin affects cats. My doctor says it's one of the safest medications in the World and its VERY difficult to OD on it so measurements are not that critical. I may give the cats another dose this weekend.
my cat was in a fight and caught an infection from a scratch that healed up but started not eating and just sleeping and hiding mostly. thought he may still have an infection or maybe parasites from reading the symptoms online. tried a tab of horse paste and he started having trouble walking the next day. think the paste is 35x stronger than cat IVN. used only half a dine size tab. still waiting to see if the shots the vet will gave him will work.
I have a feral cat that I have been feeding for awhile but I can’t catch him. I’ve noticed he appears to have ear mites in his left ear. How can I get ivermectin when I can’t take him to a vet. When I give him flea medicine or fish antibiotics I mix it in his food and he gets better. What can I do for the mites? Thank you wanda
I had the same problem with my female feral. I got revolution plus from my vet, and applied it on her neck for 3 consecutive months and it cleared it all up. (although terrified, she knew it was helping her ears..
I have to sneak up when shes sleeping to even do that... It works though.
I hope this works for you. Ear mites are horrible and cause so many problems down the road. Good luck with that!
You can go to places like Tractor Supply or you can get it online. Chewy has it as well but you have to the 1% injectable solution for bovine or horse and if you do that, you HAVE to make sure you give them the correct dosage and watch for side effects and contact a vet or animal hospital IMMEDIATELY if they're experiencing side affects because they can go into anaphalactic shock and it could kill them. I recommend Selamectin for cats because it's safer to use.
colleen bowes
I have a 15 yr old cat with mange can I give her ivarmectin
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Colleen,

You will need to speak to a veterinarian. You can call them before going to the clinic, in case they can advise over the phone.
My vet and I were wondering since Ivermectin is being used for covid if it might kill ringworm and/or herpes in cats. Just a thought. This baby was bought with herpes that has been very hard to control. She's a Lambkin.
Ivermectin is NOT used nor is it proper for covid!
Ivermectin is used for parasites because it "paralyzes" its nervous system. Covid19 is not a parasite and it does not have anything even closely resembling nervous system cells.
Herpes in cats cannot be cured. L-Lysine can help keep it dormant, but ivermectin definitely does not kill it. It didn't help my herpes kitty at all with symptoms. Just helped to manage a parasite load.
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Ivermectin For Cats - Dosage