Toxic doses of medicines can be ingested by cats either accidentally by curious individuals, or inadvertently by human owners giving their cat a human medicine without realising that it is toxic to their pet. Common examples of this are paracetamol and ibuprofen – effective painkillers in humans – however they can send our feline friends into liver or kidney failure respectively, and even cause death. Other medicines ingested by cat include heart medications and anti-depressants.
Never give medicine to your cat that hasn’t been prescribed or recommended by your vet.
Ensure that all your human and veterinary medicines are safely locked away from your curious feline friends. If you have a medication that you apply to your skin, do not let your cat lick your skin and wash your hands after applying the medication before cuddling your cat. Some human topical medicines can be highly toxic to cats.
If your cat accidentally ingests a medication that is not prescribed for them, it is important to seek veterinary advice immediately. If you are unsure if the medicine is toxic, we would still advise that you speak to one of our vets.
If the cat is seen by a vet within the first two hours after ingestion of the medication and it is safe to do so, our vets will give your cat an injection to induce them cat to vomit up the ingested substance. After this time supportive care such as fluid therapy can be given. In some cases there are specific antidotes or treatments such as gastroprotectants that are also indicated. The longer the time left between ingestion and treatment the worse the likely outcome.