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Over The Counter (OTC) Medicine and Medications For Cats

Updated on August 19, 2012

As a general rule, cats have weak livers and can only process a limited number of drugs. There are a wide variety of over the counter substances that are safe to give to dogs, but can be life-threatening to their feline counterparts. When I was doing a little research for this article, the very first thing I saw was a frantic forum post asking if a cat could recover from blindness after ingesting a Tylenol. Scary stuff. Hopefully reason enough to keep yourself educated on the subject. Personally, I’ve always thought to treat my cat’s livers like that of a recovering alcoholic; fragile and temperamental. To give you an idea on how sensitive your cat is, here is a list of drugs that are considered toxic to our feline friends:


· Adult Aspirin-cats can only tolerate very small quantities

· Tylenol (acetaminophen)

· Advil (Ibuprofen)

· Claritin

When you give an alternative, be sure that it doesn’t also contain one of these drugs. By law, it would be listed under “Active Ingredients”.

Here is a list of OTC drugs that are sometimes given to our feline friends.

(click column header to sort results)
Baby Aspirin (81 mg) 
1 for every 15 pounds 
1 every 48 hours 
10 mg/lb body weight.  
2x/day. Double for first 2-4 weeks. 
4 mg ½ tablet  
Twice daily  
1-3 ml
every 6-8 hours
Immodium AD
½ tab per 11 lbs
Every 12-24 hours
¼ tab per 12 lbs
Every 8-24 hours
Zantac (Ranitidine) 75mg
¼ tab per 10 lbs
Twice daily
Here is a list of OTC drugs that are sometimes given to our feline friends.
Peeking Kitty
Peeking Kitty | Source


When it comes to wound healing, my all time favorite antiseptic is a product called Vetracyn. It is indicated for dogs, cats and horses. You can watch their video and check out their website here.

I think some people discount it because it looks like water. I have used it for MRSA staph infections, and any time one of my animals has red eyes. If you buy the formula indicated for eyes, it is pH balanced and can be sprayed directly into the eye without burning.

Remember, when it comes to cats, drugs, frequencies and dosages always err on the side of caution. Keep your vet in the loop. Keep dosages to a minimum unless expressly prescribed, and persistent illness definatly merits a trip to the vet.


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    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Great info for all cat owners! I didn't even know that cats have weak livers. Thanks for sharing this useful info :-)

    • equine profile image

      Melissa Kanzelberger 6 years ago from Hillsboro, MO

      That's a good point. My kitty can open cabinets, so that can be a challenge. I am glad most things have child safety caps.

    • profile image

      RachieH 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for the information! I have two cats, and I try to be so careful that any meds are out of their reach and hidden away.