Cat Medications - Precautions and Uses for Cat Medications


What guidelines does the veterinary industry follow to determine if medications are safe and effective for treating cats?

So we are just like the human medical field. The FDA and the EPA both regulate the medications that we prescribe for your animals. Some of them are made for animals, and others are used from the human world. We have the government's general guidelines as far as regulations. And then, we also have a lot of research that has been done over the years to ensure that the dosings for those medications are safe and effective.


Dr. Sarah Crank
Advanced Animal Care - Waco

Are prescriptions generally more effective than over-the-counter medications?

So, yeah, overall prescriptions are generally more effective than over-the-counter medications. We have come to find that there's been a lot of resistance with some of the over-the-counter flea and tick products. The prescription ones are much more effective at killing those fleas and ticks. And that goes for a lot of the other prescriptions that we use, as they're not only more effective, but they're also safer.

Can my cat get what they need from a diet alone?

It depends upon the diet. Does your cat need to have vitamins? Not necessarily as long as they're eating a well-balanced diet as far as dry and canned food goes. But they need to make sure that they're having a balanced diet and not just eating a bunch of treats, which I know some cats would prefer to do.

What are the different types of cat medications used to treat?

There are many different types of medications for cats, just as for humans and dogs. There are antibiotics, antifungals, different things for flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. There are steroids that we have to use sometimes and pain medications. There's a variety of medication that we can use.

Do you have any tips on how to give my cat their medicine?

That's a bit tricky. We know dogs are usually pretty food motivated. Cats can kind of care less. As you see, my prop has already left the table. She's over it. It's a little harder to keep cats' attention and their motivation.

There are a couple of things that we have found that help out to hopefully keep your fingers and not have a bunch of scratches all over the place. One is to use a pill popper. So the pill popper is something we can stick a pill down into pretty easily. It's soft. It's not going to injure anything when you put it in the back of their mouth. Basically, you stick the pill in and then pop it down the back of their throat. It's also nice to have a blanket for cats, either a blanket or a pillowcase, something that you can contain the cat in. As we know, cats love to use their claws and their teeth just to get away from you; even if they do not mean to hurt you, it still hurts. And so, being able to wrap them up and have just their head sticking out will help protect you and hopefully keep them a little calmer. As you can see, I have my squeeze cheese and canned food over here. These are something for those cats that are a bit more of food hounds, so you can potentially have the medication hidden in the food, and they won't mind a bit.

Why is it important to avoid self-diagnosing my cat's need for pain medicine?

Cats are very stoic creatures. That comes from their ancestry, that if they start showing signs of pain, they're probably very painful. They've probably been hiding this up until the point that they can't hide it anymore, so you need to bring them to your veterinarian to figure out what the source of the pain is and get it treated.

Also, pain medication for humans can be fatal to cats, especially Tylenol, a complete no-go for cats. You can kill your cat by doing that. Giving over-the-counter pain medications or pain medications that you don't really know will be effective for your cat can do more harm than good. So you always want to consult with your veterinarian at the least. Still, your veterinarian will need to do an exam and make sure what will be most effective and safest for your cat.

Why is early detection so crucial in getting a good result from cat medications?

As I said, cats are very stoic creatures. They are the ones who will hide any form of illness until they absolutely can't. So if your cat does stop eating or is showing any signs of loose stool or is laying around more than usual, take that as an early sign, potentially, that they may have something sinister lurking inside that needs to be checked out. If your cat is showing symptoms, they're probably already pretty sick. And so the earlier that we can get your cat in, do some overall wellness blood work, potentially, and perform a good exam, we can find things a lot sooner. And that means that if we're finding it sooner, they probably aren't severely ill, and so there's a much greater chance of us being able to help your cat and hopefully help it be on the road to recovery.

Why should I purchase cat medicines from a veterinarian instead of through an online pharmacy?

When it comes to clients purchasing medications through an online pharmacy, we're not huge fans, and that's not because of our lack of profit, but it's because of the safety of your cat. We have seen many counterfeit products, whether it be prevention or actual medications come from online pharmacies. And those are something that I would not want to put into my own animal's body. And I certainly don't recommend it for my patients. By getting it from your veterinarian or your veterinarian's associated online pharmacy, you have a guaranteed product that you know will be what your veterinarian is recommending at the dose they're recommending and will be overall reasonably safe. By doing that, you're not only helping out your veterinarian by having them know what the medication that you're getting is true, but you're also helping out your pet and making sure it's as safe as possible.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 369-5678, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Cat Medications - FAQs


Dr. Sarah Crank
Advanced Animal Care - Waco

Can I give aspirin or NSAIDS to my cat?

No, cats are very sensitive whenever it comes to NSAIDs, and if you give too many of them, or if you're not getting the correct dosing or the correct type, you can cause kidney failure in your cat. They have very delicate kidneys.

Are there any human medicines that are safe for a cat?

There are. There are some antihistamines that you can give to cats. And there are also things that we routinely use, such as antibiotics, antifungals, and things like that. But you certainly want to consult with your veterinarian before you give them because cats are such sensitive beings.

What are the medications my veterinarian can prescribe if my cat is in pain?

So as far as that goes, we can prescribe some types of medications that are hopefully going to be a liquid because I know it's a little easier, but we have some pills as well. We have NSAIDS that are specifically made and formulated for cats. Those are going to be a lot safer for them, especially whenever it comes to their kidneys. And we are also going to be able to provide some other pain medications like gabapentin, which you kind of run into the same situation with that as far as the cat being so small, that getting an accurate human dose is a little bit hard. Many times we will have those made into liquid medications.

What is the best way for me to give my cat medicine?

If your cat is a foodie, the best way to give medicine to a cat is to try and hide it in food. As you can see, Miss Thing here is not too keen about the food. She's not one to believe us that it's not going to have medication in it. And so you can try doing some cheese or even doing some canned food for those who are more of a fan of food. But if not, you can certainly use a pill popper, as they will not only prevent your cat from hopefully spitting out the pill, but they could also help you not to have your finger bitten or potentially scratched in the meantime. So you'll just place the pill down in the pill popper, and then you'll open your cat's mouth and pop it down their throat.

What if my cat is difficult to give medicines to, and how do I know they took it?

So cats are a little tricky because, as you can see, they're squirmy. So what can help is having a blanket here. And so you can help to contain their legs a little bit, make them a little less squirmy so that just their head's sticking out, not hurting the cat whatsoever. Still, it does allow you to get a little bit better of a grip on them and kind of help prevent them from squirming around with all those legs and slashing around with their claws.

You should slowly give cats liquid medication. A lot of the liquids are not formulated for cats to like the taste of them. Some of them can foam at the mouth and try to spit them out. So give it to them slowly, making sure they have a nice tasty food afterward or some water to wash it down with will help. And then also ensure that you are keeping your eye on the cat afterward if you're trying to do a pill so that your cat isn't spitting it out to the side of their mouth.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 369-5678, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

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