Amoxicillin for cats is a broad-spectrum antibiotic medication. This drug is effective against bacterial infections. Veterinarians prescribe Amoxicillin for a variety of infections, such as abscesses, respiratory infections, and UTIs.
It is important that your cat completes their course of treatment to reduce the incidence of antibiotic resistance. Generally, the drug has very few side effects, but it is a penicillin. So, it should not be taken by cats with allergies to penicillin.
Amoxicillin for Cats FAQs
Our readers often ask these questions about Amoxicillin for cats.
- Can Amoxicillin for cats be used to treat respiratory infection for cats?
- Do you need a prescription for Amoxicillin for cats?
- Can cats take human Amoxicillin?
- How do I mix powdered Amoxicillin for cats?
- What if I miss a dose of Amoxicillin for cats?
Simply click on the links above to jump straight to the answers, or keep reading for a full overview.
What is Amoxicillin for Cats?
There’s nothing worse than when our pets are sick. Unlike humans, they can’t tell us how they feel, and that in itself can be hard to handle.
If your cat has an infection, your vet will probably have prescribed you antibiotics.
Antibiotics are one of the greatest inventions in human history. They are the definitive drug of modern medicine.
Almost everyone reading this will have been on antibiotics at some point. And there’s a good chance your pets have too.
Amoxicillin is in the Penicillin family of bactericidal (meaning it kills bacteria) drugs.
Penicillin was our first foray into the world of antibiotics, famously discovered by Alexander Flemming in mold.
This chemical can kill bacteria inside of the organism that ingests it, and in most cases with very few side effects.
Amoxicillin is a Penicillin, and works in the same way as most other Penicillins. This exceptionally useful chemical damages the cell walls of bacteria.
These badly formed bacteria are at a significant disadvantage and die. At worst, they’re much more easily defended against by the immune system.
Amoxicillin gets into the bloodstream and can reach an infection anywhere in the body from here.
Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics for Cats
Amoxicillin can be more specifically described as an aminopenicillin. But it is also known as broad-spectrum Penicillin.
These antibiotics can help with even more types of bacteria than regular Penicillin. Amoxicillin can perform these actions in a number of different organisms, with many of our pets included.
It doesn’t work against every bacterium, but it has a lot of them covered. Amoxicillin can treat abscesses, upper respiratory infections, GI infections (tummy troubles) and more.
Unfortunately, the small group of bacteria unaffected by amoxicillin is growing, as part of a major concern over antibiotic-resistant microbes. This is a really scary idea once you get into it. And the future of many of our most treasured antibiotics is uncertain.
But, for now, amoxicillin works fine for a vast range of routine infections. It also works for stopping infections from becoming established in the first place.
So we know that amoxicillin is a useful antibiotic, but can cats take advantage of this medicine?
What Is Amoxicillin Used for in Cats?
Luckily, cats can take amoxicillin.
They are regularly prescribed it by veterinarians all across the world. The amoxicillin for cats is essentially the same as what a doctor would prescribe us, but obviously in very different doses.
Amoxicillin for cats can treat a variety of bacterial infections. This includes:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Upper respiratory infections (URIs)
Amoxicillin for Cats Abscesses
Abscesses often affect cats when wounds become infected. This is very common if a cat has been in a fight with another and received a bite.
They generally present as a lump that can be extremely painful to the touch. If left untreated abscesses may continue to fester and potentially go septic. This means that the infection spreads throughout the bloodstream. The cat can become very ill.
Amoxicillin for Cats Urinary Tract Infections
Amoxicillin is often prescribed to cats for this reason and helps the body to fight the infection.
Urinary ailments seem to be one of the more common conditions for cats to suffer from. These infections are unpleasant at best, causing pain and difficulty urinating.
But it can be even worse when a urinary tract infection spreads to the kidneys. It becomes a serious medical emergency.
Amoxicillin is actually an alternative first-line drug for upper respiratory infections in cats. This means that your vet’s first choice of drug to prescribe would either be Doxycycline or Amoxicillin.
Cats often get respiratory infections from other cats. Typically, upper respiratory infections involve the nose and throat. The following symptoms may be seen in cats:
- Nasal congestion
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes due to inflammation of the membranes lining the eyelids)
- Oral or nasal discharges which may be clear or contain pus
- Fever and enlarged lymph nodes
Amoxicillin kills the bacteria, which in turn reduces and finally completely removes the symptoms.
Nonetheless, it’s important to take your cat to a veterinarian if you think they have an upper respiratory infection. This will help to determine if your cat needs medication. Avoid self-diagnosis because your cat may be infectious and require isolation, antibiotics or other veterinary care.
Do not medicate your cat without a vet’s approval.
How to Give Amoxicillin to Cats
Your vet will give you advice on how to administer your cat’s amoxicillin if they send you home with a course.
Liquid amoxicillin for cats can be fed into the mouth through a syringe. You can hide the tablets in food they can’t resist. Remember, Amoxicillin is not something that you should be providing for your cat without professional advice.
If you think they need it, talk to your vet. Amoxicillin might not even be right for your cat’s infection.
Veterinary medicine is as vast and complex a subject as human medicine. We can’t wade into it with no training to diagnose cats on our own.
Non-prescription amoxicillin for cats causes a huge amount of issues that we’ll look into later. So, needless to say, you should not be buying amoxicillin for cats online.
Getting the liquid amoxicillin dosage for cats right is important. To mix the oral suspension for cats, dilute based on the bottle size. For the 15 mL bottle, add 12 mL of water, and add 23 mL to the 30 mL bottle. Remember, though, that any unused portion of the mixed suspension must be discarded after 14 days.
Human Amoxicillin For Cats
The amoxicillin we give our cats is the same as the amoxicillin our doctors give us. But this does not mean that it’s always safe to give our medication to cats.
There are two main problems with this, and one is the dosage.
You are much larger than a cat. So the doses you’ve been given will be comparatively huge to your furry friend.
Antibiotics can often cause gastrointestinal distress; vomiting, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, in the case of a huge dose, this can and will happen to a worse extent.
Severe vomiting and diarrhea could cause your cat to become very dehydrated and malnourished, putting him right in harm’s way.
Following the Course
The other main problem is the importance of following a full course of antibiotics.
You may have wondered why when you take antibiotics you tend to take a course that goes on for a few days after the infection has completely disappeared. There is a very good reason for this. It is relevant to your own safety and the safety of people and pets everywhere.
If we take antibiotics for too short a time, the infection might not be completely destroyed.
The remaining bacteria has the ability to come back. And these will be the bacteria that were most resistant to whatever antibiotic was used.
So by taking a poorly conceived and incorrectly dosed course of antibiotics, we can develop bacteria that are less affected by that same antibiotic. This results in an infection in your cat that’s more difficult to treat, and more bacteria in general that are resistant to our best tools against them.
Do You Need a Prescription for Amoxicillin for Cats?
Absolutely. Amoxicillin is a prescription medication.
Amoxicillin Dosage for Cats
So, Amoxicillin dosage for cats will vary based on the cat size and condition to be treated. So you’ll notice that recommendations are per kilogram or pound of your cat’s weight.
Amoxicillin is generally available as 100 mg/400 mg tablets and 250 mg/500 mg capsules. Then the Amoxicillin Drops suspension is also available in a 15 ml bottle.
The usual dose of amoxicillin in dogs and cats is 5-10 mg per lb or 11-15mg per kg every 12-24 hours. Some doctors may also prescribe for every 8 hours until at least two days after all signs of infection have gone.
For the liquid amoxicillin dosage for cats, you should dilute based on the bottle size. For the 15 mL bottle, add 12 mL of water, and add 23 mL to the 30 mL bottle. The liquid amoxicillin dosage for cats is typically the same for pets with abscesses or otherwise infected wounds. However, doses should not be decided on from articles online.
What If I Miss a Dose of Amoxicillin for Cats?
Like with other meds, it’s possible to forget to give your cat a dose of amoxicillin. This can happen with the liquid amoxicillin dosage for cats or the tablets.
Just give them the missed dose as soon as you remember and continue the course. If it is almost time for the next dose, though, skip the missed dose. Then continue with the regular schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once.
Amoxicillin for Cats Side Effects
Aside from rare cases of intolerance, amoxicillin for cats is generally fairly mild in terms of side effects. But if your cat has ever had any issues or allergies to any medication, especially Penicillin, this is something your vet needs to know.
Because it’s a penicillin, cats allergic to penicillins would also be allergic to Amoxicillin. An allergic reaction to Amoxicillin may manifest as trouble with breathing, rashes, hives, etc. Besides allergies which can be life-threatening, there are a few other rare side effects:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor appetite
In these rare cases, amoxicillin can be a serious risk to health.
Usually, though, this isn’t an issue. Although the usual side effects are mild, they are fairly common. Antibiotics of any kind most commonly cause gastrointestinal side effects.
Your cat may experience an upset stomach during the course of its treatment, and this is usually not much of a cause for concern.
However, if your cat’s stomach is so upset it can’t keep food or water down, this could become more of an issue.
A slightly longer-term issue can also arise from amoxicillin involving the gut.
Antibiotics can’t distinguish between the bad bacteria that cause infections and the good bacteria that help your cat to digest food. So, the amoxicillin effectively kills microorganisms, including these helpful bacteria.
Usually, the colony of bacteria in your cat’s stomach will recover. But sometimes your cat will need probiotic foods to help restore the culture.
Your vet will advise you on this if it’s an issue, but it’s really quite simple. It’s just like when your doctor tells you to eat active culture yogurt after a course of penicillin.
The fact is that there are side effects — like with any other medicine. But they are very mild in comparison to the potential harm your cat could suffer if you don’t give them antibiotics when they need it.
Let’s sum up what we’ve talked about, can you give a cat amoxicillin?
Is Amoxicillin Safe for Cats?
Amoxicillin is a very safe drug for cats. There are rarely ever any toxicities reported and generally, the medicine is prescribed as safe doses.
Amoxicillin for Cats Overdose
If your cat has ingested too much amoxicillin, it’s natural to be panicked. Take them to the vet immediately. Overdosing on antibiotics can lead to mild or severe effects. You could see gastrointestinal adverse effects such as vomiting or bloody diarrhea. Other overall signs include skin lesions, liver failure, tremors, and seizures.
So, act quickly to save your cat.
Amoxicillin for Cats
Can cats take amoxicillin? Cat’s can, and regularly do have amoxicillin. But whether this is the right treatment for your cat depends on a number of factors.
Your vet will be able to weigh these up and give your furry friend the best possible chance.
It’s important that we talk to our vets about these sorts of matters. Whenever we medicate our cats it should be on the advice of a vet.
Failure to consult the right people can have all sorts of nasty consequences. We could make the pets in our care sick, or we might fail to properly treat a dangerous infection.
With amoxicillin, since it is a penicillin, ensure that your cat has no allergies to this group of antibiotics. Once that’s clear, you’re good to go. Make sure that your dosing comes straight from your vet and not from random online articles. Each condition is different, as each is each cat.
Antibiotics save thousands of pets every year. So if your vet prescribes amoxicillin to your cat, then it’s okay to go ahead and give it to him. Also vital is the need to complete the antibiotic treatment to reduce the incidence of resistance.
Has your cat gotten Amoxicillin? We’d love to hear about your experiences with Amoxicillin for cats in the comments section below.
References and Further Reading
- DVM 360. Garcia, J. L. DVM, DACVIM. What are the best practices for antibiotic use in feline upper respiratory tract disease?
- Drugs.com. Amoxi-Drop.
- VCA Hospitals. Feline Upper Respiratory Infection. Yuill, C. DVM, MSc., CVH.
- PetMD. Amoxicillin.
- Pet Poison Helpline. Antibiotics.
- Antimicrobial Use Guidelines for Treatment of Urinary Tract Disease in Dogs and Cats: Antimicrobial Guidelines Working Group of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases J. S. Weese
- Comparison of the efficacy of amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, cefovecin, and doxycycline in the treatment of upper respiratory tract disease in cats housed in an animal shelter A. L. Litster
- NADA 055-101 Clavamox® Drops – supplemental approval (December 23, 1997)
- Amoxicillin F A Davis company
- Stable and Unstable Amoxicillin Resistance in Helicobacter pylori: Should Antibiotic Resistance Testing Be Performed Prior to Eradication Therapy? S. R. Han et al
Amoxicillin for Cats has been extensively revised for 2019.
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