Is Benadryl Safe for Your Feline Friend? Experts Weigh In. - Cats

Is Benadryl Safe for Your Feline Friend? Experts Weigh In.

For pet owners, it is important to keep their furry friends healthy and safe at all times. When it comes to our feline companions, we can’t always be sure which over-the-counter medications are safe to use.

One such medicine is Benadryl, which is used to treat allergies, anxiety, insomnia and other conditions in humans. But can it be given to cats safely? Experts have weighed in on this question, providing a thorough analysis of the drug’s efficacy and side effects.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that Benadryl is an antihistamine that works by blocking the action of histamine, which causes itching, inflammation, and other allergic reactions. It can be used for treating allergic reactions, insect bites, and other forms of irritation in humans. However, its use in cats is not as well established.

According to Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, a veterinarian at The Animal Medical Center, Benadryl can be used in cats in some circumstances. “It is generally safe but there are some things to consider when giving it to your cat,” she says.

Dr. Greenstein notes that the dosage recommended in humans is not appropriate for cats. “The standard human dose is roughly 1 milligram per pound of body weight,” she explains. “But for cats, the recommended dosage is much lower, at 0.5 milligrams per pound of body weight.”

Another important factor to consider is the underlying medical condition for which Benadryl is being prescribed. “Benadryl can help with itching and allergies, but it is not a treatment for underlying medical conditions,” says Dr. Todd Riggan, a veterinarian at the New York Cat Hospital.

Dr. Riggan also notes that cats with preexisting medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, should not be given Benadryl without first consulting a veterinarian. “Antihistamines like Benadryl are metabolized in the liver and can cause adverse effects in cats with liver or kidney problems,” he explains.

It is also important to note that not all cats will respond well to Benadryl. Some cats may be allergic to the active ingredient, diphenhydramine, and may have an adverse reaction. Common side effects in cats include drowsiness, dry mouth, and decreased appetite.

In conclusion, while Benadryl can be safe for cats under certain circumstances, it is only appropriate under the guidance of a veterinarian. Always consult with a veterinarian before giving any medication to your feline friend, and never give your cat medication intended for humans without consulting a veterinarian first.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your beloved feline companion.

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