Antibacterial drugs help block the spread of microbial infections. These drugs are generally termed antibiotics. Broad-spectrum antibiotics can work against a fairly wide range of bacterial strands. However, the efficacy of these drugs against viral conditions – such as flu or other similar infections – is quite limited or almost nil. Not stopping with humans, pets such as cats may also witness bacterial infections. But, can you use antibiotic drugs such as – amoxicillin – to treat cats? It is important to know more about this prior to commencing your pet’s treatment plan.

There are a variety of antibacterial drugs available for the treatment of microbial infections. Amoxicillin is one of the widely used meds in this genre. This med is derived from penicillin – which is considered a foremost antibiotic substance. This antibiotic can be procured in multiple versions; popular versions include pills, capsules, and a liquid variant. This med can also be administered to pets such as cats, especially, when they are down with bacterial infections. Amoxicillin can be administered when your pet has developed infections in the respiratory channel, gastric tract, or urinary bladder. This drug can also treat a range of infections including skin-based infections, infectious injuries, wounds, etc.

In cats, amoxicillin (along with its key ingredients) binds itself to cells of fast-spreading, infectious bacterial strands. This binding action soon blocks further growth and spread of bacteria. Once growth is stopped, it leads to the rupture of microbial cells. However, in some cats – a few breathing difficulties (such as wheezing or gasping) may occur; these are often due to an onset of a viral attack. In such cases, it is better to follow the instructions of your vet.

Does amoxicillin cause side effects in cats?

Cats respond well to doses of amoxicillin; however, they may develop a few discomforts and side effects. Typical side effects your feline pet may encounter are stomach upset, abdominal discomforts such as diarrhea, vomiting, pain in the upper abdomen, etc. In some cats, you may notice a marked drop in appetite levels. Most of these side effects/discomforts are likely to be linked to the gastric system. This is mainly because of amoxicillin’s ability to alter the bacterial balance in your cat’s gut. It is hence recommended to administer this drug during meal time for your cat. Such practices may reduce the incidence of severe abdominal discomforts and acute side effects in the gastric tract. Owing to the sensitive nature of your cat’s abdomen, your vet may often recommend the intake of probiotic drugs. Probiotics are administered especially during the time of discontinuing doses of amoxicillin.

It is a good practice to consult with your vet prior to stopping the dosage plan of amoxicillin for your cat. In some cats, a few acute discomforts may show up; these include hives, rashes, and an increase in body temperature as well as alterations in white blood cells / red cells of your pet’s blood. Hives may show up as a bumpy and red-colored patch(es) on your cat’s skin. Such patches are often itchy; depending on prior episodes of hypersensitivity or allergies, itchiness may vary in your cat. Pet owners with cats that have a prior medical history of allergies to antibiotics (especially, penicillin-based drugs such as amoxicillin) are advised to contact the vet prior to treating their cats with amoxicillin.  If left unattended, hives can spread quite fast and may lead to acute/life-threatening allergies. However, most kitties do not develop these acute conditions; medical studies indicate that cats who have been administered excessive doses of amoxicillin are more vulnerable to one or more of these acute side effects.

Safe administration of amoxicillin to cats

As per instructions printed on the drug’s label, cats may need to be administered amoxicillin only once each day. But, such doses are seldom known to yield desired results and needful cures for bacterial infections. So, vets may prescribe administration of this antibiotic once every 10 hours. At times, the dosages are given within a time interval of 8 hours. This is mainly because – no two cats with bacterial infections may be down with the same level of infections. The condition varies from one cat to another. There are also instances wherein cats were fed with this med once every 12 hours – i.e., once every half of the day.

The dosage plan recommended for your cat depends on your pet’s body weight, age, gender, prior medical conditions, if any, as well as known allergies or hypersensitivity. Also, a choice between the liquid version and a tablet form of this drug is based solely on your vet’s discretion. Ease of administration fares high in the list of factors influencing the type of form; the liquid form is often easier to administer than the pill/tablet version. Oftentimes, the pill is left behind after your kitty has eaten its meal. The liquid version of amoxicillin however cannot be stored at room temperature; it is hence highly recommended to refrigerate the drug. The shelf life of the liquid form of amoxicillin is less than 15 days. In most cases, the bottles are discarded in less than 2 weeks’ time.

Always remember not to give your cat tablets that are meant for human consumption. For example, the dosage forms suiting humans are way too much for cats. Cats who are fed with large doses may witness, fits, convulsions, severe allergies such as inflammation, breathing problems, etc. In such cases, it is extremely important to get immediate medical help from a qualified vet without much delay. Larger doses are often unsafe; by adhering to the doses prescribed, it is likely to witness needful relief in less than 3 days’ time. You also need to know that you must never discontinue administering this drug once your kitty stops witnessing signs of infections. An abrupt stop may cause a relapse of the medical condition; hence, you are advised to complete the dosage plan in full.

In sum, it is safe to give amoxicillin to cats. Always adhere to the dosage levels your vet prescribes. Intake of an enhanced dosage can cause neuro disorders – leading to a loss of coordination, impairment of motor function, tachycardia (or faster heartbeats), and severe respiratory problems. It is hence a safe practice to consult with your vet and follow all the instructions throughout your cat’s treatment plan.

Leave a Reply