Can paracetamol be given to a cat?

Cat taking a pill

We know that the cat can suffer numerous pathologies throughout its life. Some of them are easy to diagnose, since the symptoms they present are similar to those we sometimes have. Because of this, there are people who decide to give the same medicine that was prescribed for their feline.

This is a dangerous habit that can endanger the life of the animal, since although it has the same disease that we had, the body is different. So, if you are wondering if you can give your cat paracetamol, the answer is no. Here we explain why.

What is paracetamol?

Paracetamol is an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic drug (lowers body temperature in case of fever) that is toxic if taken in higher doses than recommended. If this happens, the liver can be severely damaged. Therefore, you should never give paracetamol (or any other medicine without consulting a veterinarian) to a cat.

Their sensitivity to this drug is very great, more than that of dogs, to the point that will begin to show symptoms of intoxication between 3 and 12 hours afterés of ingestion. If you do not receive veterinary treatment, you can die within 24 to 72 hours after ingesting it.

Paracetamol poisoning in cats

Although it is true that we think of our cats as part of our family, They are not like us in terms of health. It is true that we share many things with them: our love, our home and sometimes what we eat. Sharing our life with cats is very rewarding, not everything we humans do can be shared with our feline friends.

This happens with paracetamol. This medicine is in any home because it is taken regularly by humans (adults) for headaches or muscle aches. But this drug is very toxic in cats and only one pill could kill it, it is as if you were giving it poison.

Cat staring

Symptoms of poisoning in cats and treatment

If your cat has ingested paracetamol, you will observe these symptoms: weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, purple or bluish discoloration of the mucous membranes, excessive drooling, trouble breathing and / or seizures.

Thus, if you know that he has taken, or you suspect that he has, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible. Once there, they will do a stomach lavage in order to remove any remaining medicine.

Can I give a small dose of paracetamol to my cat?

No. Any dose of paracetamol could kill your cat, since the degree of poisoning is with a very low dose. There is no safe dose of paracetamol to give to cats. In no way should you give this type of medicine to a cat and also, it is necessary that you keep it out of their reach to prevent them from taking it unintentionally.

Why is it so poisonous?

Cats do not have the enzyme that is needed to break down acetaminophen in their body, so it is not safe. Also, if they ingest it, they can form dangerous compounds inside their body. Your red blood cells would be affected and the oxygen in your body would not circulate properly. In addition, the paracetamol compounds would cause your liver to start to fail, leading to very severe and dangerous liver damage.

What should I do if my cat has accidentally ingested paracetamol?

If you have given your cat acetaminophen or think he has accidentally taken it, you will need to take him to the veterinary hospital immediately. The time that passes is essential to treat the poisoning caused by this medicine.

Do not wait until the next morning if it has happened at night, the time that passes can be deadly for your cat. Therefore, if the veterinary office is closed, you will have to go to a 24-hour or emergency veterinary hospital for immediate treatment.

Cat with pain and discomfort

What will the vet do if your cat has ingested paracetamol?

If you have taken your cat to the vet as quickly as possible because he has ingested paracetamol, your veterinarian will sedate your feline and give him a medication to prevent your cat from absorbing more paracetamol in his body. As we have mentioned above, the stomach lavage will be necessary.

They may also give you IVs and other supportive care like oxygen or blood transfusions. Give acetylcysteine ​​to help prevent further toxic breakdown. Unfortunately, If your cat already shows signs of paracetamol poisoning, it can still die even with veterinary care ... That is why it is so important to keep them away from this type of medication and be aware of its danger to avoid a fatal outcome.

What can I give my cat if it is in pain?

If you think your cat is in pain or in poor health, you will have to go to your vet as soon as possible. In this way, you will be able to examine your cat and know how to treat it.

Cat looking at pills that he should not take

Only your vet can prescribe pain relievers that are safe for cats. It will depend on the type of ailment and the characteristics of your pet. But never, under no circumstances give your cat human medication (neither adults nor children).

In any case, It will always be the veterinary professional who decides what type of medicine to administer to the cat, the amount and the time that you should administer it and how. Never, under any circumstances, give your pet medicine just because someone told you it's good, because you've read it somewhere, or because you remember someone telling you it was a good idea.

No. If your pet is not feeling well or you think he has some kind of pain, you will have to take him to the vet and let the professional decide what medication to give according to the type of ailment your pet has. Don't decide for him.

Never give a cat medicine without first consulting a veterinarian. Only he will know how to tell us which one we can give him and in what dose.


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