When your cat becomes ill, it may need antibiotic treatment prescribed by your vet especially if their sickness was the result of bacterial or viral infections. But if you’re looking for a quick fix that you can give your cat in the comfort of your home, then you can look for over-the-counter solutions that are both quick and easy to use. In this article, we explore the best antibiotics for cats and answer some of the most common questions that pet owners may have about using such medications.
Is it Safe to Use Antibiotics on Cats?
In general, it’s safe to give cat antibiotics to your feline friends as long as they’re administered correctly so be sure to ask your vet how to do this. There are also different kinds of antibiotics that can be given to your cat, each with a specific bacteria to eliminate while treating infections. But you should always remember that it’s crucial to provide antibiotics with the right dosage which must be prescribed by your vet.
To determine the correct dosage for your cat, a veterinarian will need to examine and weigh it, which will help them give the best treatment. Other factors that can help to check on the right dosage include the following:
- Overall condition
- Any medication that it might be taking
Why Does Your Cat Need Antibiotics?
If your cat is suffering from bacterial inflammatory conditions or is suffering from an illness that can spread to others, your vet will prescribe an antibiotic. If your cat isn’t given proper treatment, then it may lead to more serious complications further along in your cat’s life. Some conditions that will need to be treated with antibiotics include the following:
- Skin infections such as surface pyodermas, deep pyoderma, and superficial pyoderma
- Bacterial ear infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Hot spots
- Eye infections such as mycoplasma conjunctivitis, eosinophilic keratitis, and pink eye
- Upper respiratory infections
- Periodontal disease
- Corneal ulcers
- Feline calicivirus
- Respiratory tract infections
- Gastrointestinal infections
- Feline herpes virus infection
- Wounds from catfights
- Diarrhea as a result of certain bacteria
Types of Antibiotics for Cats
Getting the right kind of antibiotics to ensure your cat’s recovery is essential but to do this, you’ll need to know the cause of your cat’s symptom, and make sure to observe your cat’s body. Once you’re able to determine the cause of your cat’s infection or illness, then you’ll be able to decide on the right treatment for your feline friend. Your vet may need to perform diagnostic tests such as a sensitivity test or a bacterial culture to find the right antibiotics for your cat.
This broad-spectrum antibiotic is commonly prescribed to treat all kinds of conditions from skin issues to feline upper respiratory tract disease. It’s also useful for ear infections and infections of the urinary tract. If your pet is dealing with infectious diseases, this is one of the first things your vet will suggest as your cat’s antibiotic medication.
These chewable tablets for cats and dogs by Clavamox are great antibiotics for treating infections found in the urinary tract. They can also be used to treat abscesses and infected wounds in cats, where the effectiveness of this treatment has been well established. Because they’re chewable, you can easily include them in your cat’s fresh food for reliable administration.
When it comes to the treatment of Chlamydophila felis infections, Doxycycline is the best antibiotic on the market. Be sure to observe your cat’s symptoms for eye irritation and conjunctivitis, which are the most commonly seen with this infection. Some cats may also produce nasal discharge.
These oral antibiotics work against a wide range of infections, which include rocky mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, bacterial infections, and chlamydia. It may also help your cat fight off infections from wounds, as well as urinary tract and respiratory tract infections. Presented in an uncoated tablet form, this drug may also be called Vibramycin or Doxirobe.
This veterinary medicine will often be used when the focus of treatment is dental or oral cat infections. It’s also a good choice of antibiotic if your cat is suffering from wounds, skin infections, abscesses, dental disease, and respiratory infections.
This antibiotic comes in a liquid form that’s been formulated for the treatment of diseases caused by dental infections and skin infections in cats. These Aquadrops work by traveling throughout the immune system to quickly reach the site of infection and address the underlying cause. It can be administered once per day to cats and won’t need refrigeration, making it a convenient choice for cat owners.
When there are clinical signs of GI tract issues and anaerobic bacteria, this antimicrobial treatment will often be prescribed by veterinarians. It can also be used for dental infections, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, and protozoal parasites such as Giardia. Ironically though, even if this solution is used for antibiotic therapy one of its most common side effects is diarrhea.
Metronidazole works as an antiprotozoal and an antibiotic that’s used to protect cats against inflammatory bowel disease and digestive issues. It can also be administered to fight against protozoal and bacterial infections. While this treatment is available in various forms such as a tablet or liquid suspension, this solution has been compounded into a blue and white capsule for easy administration to your fur baby.
Another broad-spectrum antibiotic, Enrofloxacin will usually be effective against all kinds of bacteria. It’s often used for the treatment of bladder, skin, blood, and respiratory infections to stop the resurgence of the infection. Moreover, it can be used for infections around wounds and surgical sites.
This antibiotic is prescribed to help in the management of many diseases that have an underlying condition that’s associated with bacteria. Enrofloxacin works against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria which cause respiratory, urinary, and skin infections. Customers may also see this medication under another name, which is Baytril.
This antibacterial agent will sometimes be prescribed in your veterinary clinic to help your cat cope with skin infections and urinary tract infections. Orbifloxacin will work best when administered on an empty stomach but if your cat experiences nausea, you may give it with food. If you accidentally skip a dose, don’t provide your cat with twice as much on its next dose.
This fluoroquinolone antibiotic is often used to treat diseases in cats that are associated with bacteria that are vulnerable to orbifloxacin. This product comes in an easy-to-feed tablet and in an oral suspension form, so it’s a good idea to purchase one of each to see which your feline pal likes better.
This topical antibiotic ointment will often be used as human antibiotics to treat eye infections. However, it can also be used on your cat’s eyes where it can heal a wide range of eye conditions such as keratitis, pink eye, conjunctivitis, and more. It can also be used on secondary bacterial infections as well as other kinds of infectious diseases.
With Terramycin, you can help your cat fight off eye infections as a result of bacteria, such as eyelid inflammation, corneal ulcer, and inflamed corneas. When left untreated, these infections can cause irritation, pain, irregular tear production, and more in our feline pets. Luckily, this medication can be applied topically to your cat’s eye infection for quick and easy administration.
Do Antibiotics Have Side Effects?
Just like with humans, cats may also experience side effects when using antibiotics. Should you encounter any of the symptoms below, be sure to consult your vet.
- Loss of appetite
- Antibiotic resistance
Unfortunately, some cats may also develop an allergic reaction to some antibiotics — in a majority of cases, these reactions are mild and can be easily corrected. However, they can become serious on occasion. Be sure to look for the following symptoms and be sure to consult your vet if you have concerns:
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin rash
- Loss of coordination
- Lack of appetite
- Facial swelling
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions that cat owners have when giving their cats any kind of antibiotic.
Is it Safe to Use Human Medications on Cats?
While several human antibiotics can be used on cats, your vet should always provide an antibiotic that’s licensed to be used on cats whenever possible. If there are no veterinary-licensed antibiotics suitable for cats on hand, then they could prescribe human antibiotics according to the veterinary prescribing cascade.
Is it Safe to Give Cats Neosporin?
Much like many other human medications, this topical treatment will work well on human skin abrasions such as scrapes, cuts, and burns but they aren’t recommended for use on cats. Unfortunately, a lot of human medications are actually toxic and even dangerous to your pets.
This is even more true because of a cat’s compact size — this means that even the smallest amount can put your cat’s life at serious risk. According to anecdotal evidence, cats have had anaphylactic reactions that were life-threatening due to the antibiotic ingredients from Neosporin’s ophthalmic preparations.
Is it Safe to Give Cats Triple Antibiotic Ointment?
The term triple antibiotic ointment is simply another term for products like Neosporin. They’re not suitable for our pets because they contain the same active ingredients that cause death for our beloved felines. As such, it’s not safe to place them on your pet’s eyes — remember that even if it was sold under different brand names, it’s no different from this product.
How Quickly Do Treatments Work?
The speed of the treatment will depend on how good you are at following medications. It’s essential that you provide your pet with treatment according to your veterinarian’s instructions. Even after your fur baby’s symptoms have disappeared, don’t stop their treatment until you finish the entire prescription period.
If your primary concern is to quickly eliminate disease and illness from your cat, then be sure to speak with veterinary surgeons who may be able to help. But if you’re looking to prevent sickness and disease in the future then be sure to get immune boosters for your pet as well. Even if you only spot nasal discharge in your cat, don’t ignore it; early detection of any disease, including feline immunodeficiency virus is essential to ensure that your cat lives a happier and healthier life.