How Much Benadryl Should I Give My Cat
According to Eddy, the recommended dosage of Benadryl for cats is one to two milligrams per pound every eight hours. If youre trying to determine what dosage of the antihistamine is safe for your cat, for example, and she weighs around 12 pounds and you have a 25-milligram tablet, your cat can have the entire tablet or you can cut it in half.
How Does Cat Benadryl Dosage Calculator Work
Our cat Benadryl dosage calculator is straightforward to use. Here is how it works:
If you need to know how to calculate this by hand and what the correct formula is, see the next section.
When Bitten By A Venomous Reptile
A dose of Benadryl for cats could be given for those bitten by a snake. In this case, you should immediately administer the drugone milligram per pound of bodyweight would be the proper amount. After administering the appropriate dose, you should take your cat to the vet, where it would receive an anti-venom.
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Is Benadryl Safe For My Cat
Benadryl is totally safe to give to cats as long as you follow standard dosing instructions and know how to identify when your pet needs medication.
Benadryl contains diphenhydramine, which has been proven to be safe for animals. Some pet pharmacies, like Allivet, even sell diphenhydramine specifically geared towards pets.
You dont have to buy pet-specific products. Human Benadryl works perfectly for cats and has been used by pet owners for decades.
There are several ways to give your cat Benadryl and we will review them, as well as what to expect from your pet, in the sections below.
What About Bee Stings
Bee stings are also worrisome for pets. Cats that have been stung by a bee need to be monitored for an allergic reaction. If you can remove the stinger yourself, then do it. If not, contact your vet for advice. They may recommend that you bring your furry friend in for veterinary care. In cases of a reaction, they may want you to come in immediately for emergency treatment.
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Preventing Allergic Reactions In Pets
The best way to treat allergies is to avoid the reaction altogether. Management of pet allergies is done by preventing fleas and ticks, avoiding allergy triggers such as dust mites or mold if possible, and dietary restriction for food allergies, says Dr. Marsella. Pet owners taking care of an allergic dog or cat should be aware that it requires time and effort on both their part and their veterinary team to effectively manage their pets allergies, she adds.
Use Benadryl With Caution And Seek Professional Advice
There are no cat versions of Benadryl or diphenhydramine, so naturally, these products are off-license or off-label. They have not been extensively researched or tested for safety like other licensed products have. This is not a reason to avoid them, just to use them with caution and ideally with professional advice from a veterinarian.
Typical doses are usually around 24mg per kilo of bodyweight, 34 times a day as a maximum. This equates to half of a typical 25mg Benadryl tablet for a 36kg adult cat, given every 6 to 8 hours. If your cat is mildly sneezy or itchy and the problem is short-term, it is not unreasonable to use Benadryl.
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How To Give Your Cat Liquid Benadryl
Sometimes its easier to give your cat liquid Benadryl. To do this it is quite easy to do with a little practice. Its also very similar to giving them a tablet or pill.
Have the cat facing away from you. then hold the cats head with your left hand and have the syringe with your right. Lift their head up to the ceiling, Hold their whiskers back and lift up their top lips. Put the syringe in their mouth then hold their mouth closed for about 3 seconds and youre done.
If you have an aggressive cat veterinarians in hospitals and shelters will actually do things like administer it through the side of their mouth or they will wait for the cat to hiss at them and squirt it down their throat. It can be messy but it works.
How To Administer The Herbs To Calm Your Cat
Herbs come in many forms tinctures, dried flowers or leaves, essential oils, and teas are just a few. However, essential oils should never be used on cats due to their liver functioning, which makes it difficult to break down the compounds and can lead to serious illness even death.
Due to their delicate systems, the dried form of herbs is safest for kitty use. To prevent her from eating the leaves and flowers, put them inside of a tube collar or make a tiny toy pillow with the herbs inside. Kitty will still benefit from the relaxing qualities and be kept safe from over-ingesting them.
If you prefer a tincture, make sure to buy one professionally created by a reputable pet product company with holistic veterinarians on staff. Even with the best intentions, a home-mixed tincture can be extremely dangerous to your cat. Drops of your purchased tincture can be put in her water for extended calming or squeezed into her mouth for immediate relief.
Teas are best left to humans whose systems are more tolerant of steeped herbs.
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Can I Give Benadryl To My Cat As A Tranquilizer
Like many other antihistamine medications, Benadryl has a mild sedative effect. However, Benadryl is not the first choice of medicine to tranquilize a cat. Your veterinarian will prescribe an appropriate therapy in response to your cats specific case. Sometimes even behavioral modification techniques or training will be the right solution to calm your cat without the need for medication. It is always wise to consult your veterinarian before trying to medicate your cat.
Why Give A Cat Benadryl
There are two main reasons you might resort to giving your cat a correct dosage of Benadryl for acute allergic symptoms and general allergic reactions.
- Acute allergic symptoms: Hives or facial swelling caused by a vaccine, spider bite, or bee sting.
- General allergic reactions: Diarrhea, vomiting, itchiness, sneezing other effects of exposure to things they may be allergic to, such as plastic materials, rubber, cleaning products, dust, or pollen.
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Can Cats Have Benadryl
Benadryl is not FDA approved for use in cats, but it is widely considered by the veterinary community to be safe. However, it is possible for cats to overdose from this medication, so you should make sure you follow the dosage guidelines very carefully. Pregnant cats, cats with certain underlying health conditions, or cats currently taking other medications should not be given Benadryl, as serious adverse reactions can occur. In these situations, make sure you contact your vet before trying to give Benadryl to your cat.
Can I Give Benadryl To My Cat
Technically yes, but you should only ever administer it on the advice of your veterinarian. As a general rule, you should not give your cat human medications, as some of our drugs can be toxic to them. However, Benadryl is one of the medications that is considered safe for other species.
It is best to get your cat checked over by a veterinarian before implementing any treatment yourself.
Your vet might diagnose your cat with something else or suggest a stronger medication than Benadryl.
This is especially important in cases of severe allergic reactions. If you suspect your cat is having a severe reaction then you must take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Anaphylactic shock could occur with facial swelling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, or collapse. It could even be fatal. Severe allergic reactions are often caused by snake bites or insect stings.
Benadryl works well in some animals but not all in all, so you shouldnt just automatically reach for it.
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Is Benadryl Safe For Cats
Benadryl is generally considered to be safe for cats. However, as with all medications, Benadryl should be used correctly.
Its best to call your veterinarian to ask about using Benadryl for your cat because some cats should not take Benadryl, including cats with certain medical conditions , those taking other medications, pregnant or nursing cats, and cats who are allergic to diphenhydramine.
If you are using Benadryl because your cat is having an allergic reaction or experiencing itchy skin, always follow up with your veterinarian. Benadryl will treat a cats symptoms , but it doesnt treat the underlying cause of the swelling or itching.
For instance, your cat might be suffering from an allergy to flea bites, but simply treating the cat for the itching without addressing the flea infestation will not cure your cat.
Additionally, cats that are scratching and chewing due to allergies or another skin condition need additional medical care to help address the primary reason for the itching, as well as to treat secondary conditions that might have developed, like skin infections.
Natural Alternatives To Benadryl For Cats
More and more cat owners are looking for natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs to help their cats with allergies, itchy skin, nausea, or to encourage them to relax. Most cat owners know they need the cat to be calm especially when they are cutting its nails.Here are some of the best natural alternatives to Benadryl for cats:
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Are There Any Potential Side Effects
The most common side effect is lethargy, dry mouth, and urinary retention. Vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite are also possible. Excitement rather than lethargy can occur occasionally, especially in cats. Diphenhydramine can alter the results of skin allergy testing discontinue this medication at least 2 weeks before testing.
This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.
Giving Your Cat Benadryl: Taking A Closer Look
The first thing to do is make sure the active ingredient is diphenhydramine.
This is an antihistamine which tames symptoms of allergies
This means that it deals specifically with histamines inside the body.
These are what your immune system makes to get rid of things in your body that bug you.
When you get allergy symptoms from pollen, pet dander, or dust like:
- Redness of the skin
Thats the histamines attacking it and trying to get it out of your body.
Like a bouncer at a club.
Thats where the anti-histamines come in to help relieve those allergy symptoms.
Taking Benadryl blocks them from doing so, preventing symptoms.
Note: If youre treating your cat using Benadryl and they have an allergic reaction or your cat gets worse or doesnt get better, go see a Veterinarian immediately.
If theres no improvement you could also discuss with your vet other antihistamines that work better than Benadryl.
Allergic reactions of cats taking Benadryl could be:
- swelling of the face
- difficulty breathing
Please take your cat to an emergency veterinary facility for immediate medical care for a potentially fatal allergic reaction.
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Side Effects Of Benadryl In Cats
It is possible for some cats to experience side effects when taking Benadryl.
Some common side effects of Benadryl that you might notice in your cat include:
Cats will usually show signs of unwanted side effects within one hour of taking Benadryl.
If you notice your cat exhibiting any of the above signs while taking Benadryl, stop giving the medication and contact your veterinarian for what you should do.
Although some cats become drowsy when taking Benadryl, others become amped up. For this reason, giving Benadryl to cats for anxiety or for sedation is not recommended.
Can I Give My Itchy Cat Benadryl
Before you give your cat anything to help with his itchiness, make sure youre treating the real cause.
If you suffer from allergies, youre probably familiar with the soothing effects of an antihistamine like Benadryl. But you may not know that its possible to share that portion of your medicine cabinet with your itchy, sneezing cat. Benadryl is generally considered to be safe for cats and is sometimes used to treat allergies and allergic reactions in cats. However, as with any medical problem and treatment, its important to reach out to your veterinarian for help before giving your cat anything out of their ordinary routine.
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Evaluation Based On Feline Pruritus
Clinical signs of pruritus in cats are obvious:
- Scratching of the face, head, and ears with the hind claws to the point of self-trauma
- Visible evidence of dermatitis or inflammation, such as papules, crusts, erosions, erythema, and scaling.
But what about cats whose only clinical evidence is alopecia, and whose owners never witness them grooming? For these cats, the best plan is to approach the case similarly to the way you would approach a case of feline pruritus, even if the pruritus itself is not the primary presenting complaint.
What Are The Risks Of Benadryl For Cats
Benadryl should never be given to cats who are pregnant or nursing. It is also not safe to give Benadryl in combination with cold or sinus medications that contain diphenhydramine, because this could result in a deadly overdose.
You should also use caution when giving Benadryl to cats who are taking sedatives, tranquilizers, barbiturates, or other CNS -depressant medications. This is because Benadryl has mild sedative effects, so combining Benadryl with other sedative medications could result in a deadly overdose.
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Pill Or Liquid Benadryl
There are two different options of over-the-counter Benadryl that you can give your cat. Were most familiar with Benadryl tablets or pills. Its important to note that most Benadryl tablets come in 25 mg doses. However, the tablets can be split in half or quartered . It can be helpful to place the pill in a treat or food to get your cat to swallow it.
Another option is liquid Benadryl. This may be the easier option to get your cat to take the full amount of medication. Liquid Benadryl can be given via syringehowever, its important to administer it gently and slowly to prevent your cat from choking.
Benadryl Overdose Treatment For Cats
The course of treatment for a Benadryl overdose that your vet chooses will depend on your cats symptoms, which will show up differently for every cat. But a lot of times, recovery is possible with hospitalization.
It depends on the side effects that are seen, Dr. Ochoa said.
Once you call your vet after noticing symptoms of a Benadryl overdose, they might advise you to induce vomiting to limit the absorption of the medicine, Dr. Simon said however if you get to the vet within a few hours they can usually do it themselves.
If your cat requires hospitalization, many times just IV fluids and supportive care will help them quickly recover, Dr Ochoa said.
When managing a recent overdose of antihistamines, vomiting is induced and the medication is neutralized with activated charcoal, Dr. Chocynski Johnson said. Symptomatic and support therapy is provided to adjust for depression, hyperactivity, fast breathing and elevated heart rate.
Activated charcoal can be used to try and bind with the Benadryl so less of it is absorbed in your cats system. Your cat might also be given IV fluids to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, and may be prescribed medication to treat symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, seizures and other reactions to toxicity, Dr. Conrad said.
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Benadryl For Cats: Final Thoughts
Here at Innovet, we want you to be as knowledgeable as you can when giving your pet anything. After all, cats, dogs, and other pets are a part of the family.
If your veterinarian has recommended Benadryl for your cat, then it is likely to be helpful. To avoid an overdose, follow the recommended dosage and instructions that your veterinarian gives you. Remember, Benadryl is safe for cats but only use to treat symptoms.
Make sure to consult your vet with any concerns or changes that your cat is experiencing. The bottom line is that giving your cat Benadryl is a decision you will have to make for yourself.
Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade
Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books, and making salted caramel cookies.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sincerely,The Innovet Team
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