Cats are one of the most beloved pets that a pet parent can have. Felines are often seen as sweet and mysterious in nature. People that have felines as pets often feel as though they have a good friend or family member in their lives. At Innovet Pet, we know better than most just how special pets are. Seeing our furry friends in poor health is a scary thing. No one wants to see their beloved pet in ill health, and it can be upsetting when it does happen.
Something that seems to come out of the blue is a feline experiencing an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction can happen suddenly due to a variety of reasons. For example, allergic reactions can occur with foods, medicines, and environmental allergens or toxins.
In this article, we will help pet parents learn more about Benadryl for cats. We will cover whether it is safe, what side effects to look out for, and more. This way, you will be a truly informed pet parent that has the best interests of your feline friend at heart and in the mind as well.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. What Exactly Is Benadryl For Cats?
2. How Does Benadryl Work As A Medication?
3. What Is Diphenhydramine in Benadryl?
4. Can You Give Cats Benadryl?
5. Why Do Felines Take Benadryl?
6. Can I Give A Cat Benadryl For Feline Colds?
7. Is Benadryl For Sedation Purposes?
8. What Are Allergy Symptoms In Cats?
9. Benadryl For Cats Side Effects
10. Can My Cat Take Benadryl If They Take Other Medications?
11. How Do I Administer Benadryl For Cats?
12. The Dosage Of Benadryl For Cats
13. Are There Natural Alternatives To Benadryl For Cats?
14. Benadryl For Cats: Final Thoughts
What Exactly Is Benadryl for Cats?
So, what exactly is Benadryl for cats? The answer is that Benadryl is a common medication that is given for allergic reactions. It can help with the symptoms and side effects of allergies and allergic reactions. The medication is available in tablet form and as an injection. It is usually given in tablet form. However, severe allergic reactions require the liquid injection of Benadryl for felines. Other indications for these medications are insomnia and motion sickness.
People may recognize Benadryl as a medication for human beings. It is true that people can take Benadryl and it is a popular medicine for allergies and allergic reactions. However, Benadryl for cats has differences that need to be mentioned and paid attention to. This is because felines have their own biology that is unique and completely different from humans and thus requires specialized veterinarian instructions and dosages.
How Does Benadryl Work As A Medication?
Benadryl is a class of drugs known as antihistamines. The antihistamine works against histamines. Histamines cause allergic reactions after they attach to cells in the body. The function of Benadryl as an antihistaminic agent is to block the attachment of histamines to the cells.
When histamines, also known as inflammatory substances, attach to the cells, they typically cause what is referred to as an allergic reaction. Benadryl is an antihistamine. As antihistamines, Benadryl works to prevent the histamines from attaching to the cells. Ideally, blocking the histamines allows it to prevent the allergic reaction from occurring in the first place. In other cases, it can lessen the reaction to allergies.
What is Diphenhydramine In Benadryl?
Diphenhydramine is precisely what you find in Benadryl as the active ingredient. Benadryl is merely the brand name. You can also find diphenhydramine in its generic form under its actual name or under another brand's name with diphenhydramine as the active ingredient.
Can You Give Cats Benadryl?
The question "can you give cats Benadryl?" is a common one for pet parents. And yes, you can give your cats Benadryl. However, there are some things that should be explored further before deciding whether or not to give your cat Benadryl. For example, researching side effects should be done before deciding whether or not to provide them with this medication. That will be explored later on in this article
Why Do Felines Take Benadryl?
Felines take Benadryl for many of the same reasons that humans do. It can benefit them as much as a human being when it comes to allergies and other common ailments.
Feline Skin Allergies
Felines can experience skin allergies at any time and at any age. Skin allergies often cause the cat to itch, have nervousness and anxiousness, and be generally uncomfortable. You will often see noticeable bumps with redness and inflammation on their skin if it is a severe allergic reaction. Benadryl for cats can help a feline that is dealing with skin allergies and help with the uncomfortable symptoms that accompany it.
General Cat Allergies
Cat allergies can come on as suddenly as they do in people. An allergy can develop from a toxin in their environment. They can also develop allergic reactions to foods or medications that they have taken for an extended period of time. Naturally, that can seem shocking to pet parents. However, this happens to people too! Benadryl may be able to help. However, severe allergic reactions often come on quickly and require immediate emergency attention from a veterinarian.
Allergic Reactions To Medicines and Vaccinations
A feline can have an allergic reaction to medications and vaccinations. There is no way to know whether or not your cat will have an allergic reaction to a particular drug or vaccination if they have never been given it before. So if you're giving your pet a new medication or vaccination, it is essential to watch out for signs of an allergic reaction. As mentioned previously, there are times when an allergic reaction to a medicine that they have taken before can suddenly occur. This can also happen with vaccinations. Pet parents should monitor their cats for signs of allergic reactions every time they are given medication or vaccinations.
Feline Allergies Regarding Bug Bites
Pet parents that live in areas where mosquitos are prevalent know just how miserable they can be to have around. They love to bite and irritate everyone and everything. Unfortunately, they love to bite cats just as much as they love to bite humans. Bug bites, including flea bites, one of the most common bug bites in pets, can cause an allergic reaction in our feline friends just like they can in us. Many feline allergies to bug bites will result in itching excessively and big, red bumps on the skin. If they are scratching the bug bites, it is possible they will develop an infection. Keep a close eye on the areas that they are itching to look for signs of infection of the skin. An infected area will require treatment.
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, call the veterinarian for advice. They may recommend that you bring your furry friend in for veterinary care. In cases of an allergic reaction, they may want you to come in immediately for emergency treatment.
Are There Natural Alternatives To Benadryl For Cats?
The reason that the answer to giving a cat Benadryl for feline colds is both yes and no is that it can treat the common cat cold, but it cannot cure it. Benadryl for cats can help with the symptoms that are experienced due to a cold. But no, it cannot cure a feline cold. The common cold in cats is a lot like it is in human beings. Most times, it will go away on its own after a week or so of the annoying symptoms that accompany it. If the symptoms go on longer than a couple of weeks, it may be wise to take your cat to your trusted vet just to make sure that it really is just a cold. Many cat parents wonder if they can give their cat Benadryl for colds. The answer is both yes and no. This all sounds confusing, but the reasons can be explained in further detail.
Is Benadryl For Sedation Purposes?
The sedation used in Benadryl is sometimes recommended by veterinarians for anxiety. An example would be traveling by car or airplane. Some cats get quite anxious or upset when traveling and Benadryl can be given for mild sedation purposes so that they are able to travel more peacefully. That can make it easier on both the feline and the worried pet parent that is bringing them along.
What Are Allergy Symptoms In Cats?
Allergy symptoms and allergic reactions are completely different. Knowing the difference can be very helpful in identifying when, or if, to give your cat Benadryl.
Symptoms of allergies are:
- Runny nose
- Itching and scratching of the skin
- Itching of the nose and ears
Cats can begin to have allergies at any age. The usual symptoms that a pet parent will see in a cat with allergies is scratching of the head and neck. Diarrhea and vomiting are often symptoms of a food allergy. Food allergies can happen to felines just as they do to humans. A common food allergy in cats is to chicken protein or fat. Felines can also be allergic to allergens, toxins, and bug bites. It is important to get them checked out with a veterinarian if you suspect that they have an allergy.
Symptoms Of Allergic Reactions In Cats
Allergic reactions in cats can manifest in a variety of symptoms. Allergic reactions can be mild, or they can be serious and require an immediate trip to the veterinary hospital or office of your trusted vet.
A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis shock.
Anaphylaxis shock symptoms are:
- Spontaneous bowel movement
- Shortness of breath
If your feline displays symptoms of anaphylaxis shock, it is vital to get them to the veterinary hospital or emergency vet appointment as soon as possible. The treatment for severe allergic reactions will often include steroid treatment and/or epinephrine. An overnight hospital stay with oxygen is typically required after a severe allergic reaction.
Benadryl For Cats Side Effects
Benadryl for cats can be successful in treating allergies and symptoms of allergies. However, there are side effects in Benadryl for cats that need to be looked out for.
Side effects of Benadryl for cats are:
- Appetite loss
- Dry mouth
- Urination changes
- Vomiting and diarrhea
If you notice your feline having Benadryl side effects, it will be essential to notify their veterinarian. They will need to take note of this in your pet's medical records. They may also ask that you come in for an appointment. It is vital that you listen to your veterinarian's advice and only give them Benadryl if they say it is okay.
Can My Cat Take Benadryl If They Take Other Medications?
The question of if your cat can take Benadryl while on other medications is a good one. This is because Benadryl may be incompatible with certain medicines and feline health conditions. It is important to discuss whether or not Benadryl is safe for your cat with your trusted vet that knows your pet's medical and medication history. This is a question that only they can answer safely. So, your cat can take Benadryl if the veterinarian determines that there are no medications or health problems that would interfere with their being able to take it safely.
How Do I Administer Benadryl For Cats?
Administering Benadryl for cats can be done by a pet parent with the right information and dosing instructions. Cats can be administered Benadryl only in the prescribed dosage or recommended dosage by the vet. It is given by tablet or liquid. Tablet is the most common form. The liquid form is sometimes more convenient, or it may be needed for a severe allergy.
The Dosage Of Benadryl For Cats
The Benadryl dosage for cats is typically 2 to 4 mg for normal, average-sized cats. Larger cats may need more, and that is a discussion to be had with a vet for the proper Benadryl dosage for felines before giving your cat Benadryl.
The dosage of Benadryl is typically 2-4 mg for an average-sized cat. The dosage is recommended to be given every eight or twelve hours, as needed. If their symptoms are coming back after eight hours, then you can provide them with another dose. If it comes back after twelve, then it is safe to give them a dose. However, do not give them another dose before eight hours. This is to ensure that you are not accidentally giving them too much as that could cause problems.
One of the biggest issues that pet parents have is giving their cat 2-4 mg in tablet form. These are usually sold in 12-24 mg tablets. So, cutting it in small pieces is possible to achieve the recommended dosage. However, it can be a bit confusing, and it is possible to give your feline too much if you don't cut it just right. So, liquid Benadryl may be most beneficial if there is any doubt. They sell syringes at pharmacies and some grocery stores to make it easier to give your cat Benadryl. Make sure to get the correct dosage in liquid form before administering it to your feline. As always, if you have any doubts, please contact your veterinarian for clarification and instructions.
Are There Natural Alternatives To Benadryl For Cats?
There are no side effects associated with CBD, it has been noted by consumers that its healing properties can really boost your feline's health and moods. It has proven to be helpful in a wide range of health issues from cancer to anxiety to epilepsy. Pet parents may not want to give their cat Benadryl, or they cannot give it to them. For example, some cats cannot take Benadryl if they are taking medications that are incompatible with it. In this case, finding a natural alternative to Benadryl for cats is ideal. One all-natural and the organic alternative is CBD. CBD Oil For Cats is a safe and natural alternative to help cats with allergies and the uncomfortable symptoms that go along with it.
CBD studies have been shown to improve pain and can help with nausea and vomiting. Cats that have nausea and vomiting associated with their allergies can really benefit from this natural product.
It is important to mention that it contains no THC and is perfectly safe to give your pet and there is no worry of any high with this alternative.
Benadryl For Cats: Final Thoughts
Here at Innovetpet, we want you to be as knowledgeable as you can when giving your pet anything. Our cats, dogs, and other pets are a part of the family and very loved. This article is meant to help you be an informed pet parent and decide for yourself whether or not Benadryl is right for your cat or not.
If your veterinarian has recommended Benadryl for your cat, then it is likely to be helpful for whatever allergies they are suffering from. Following the recommended dosage and instructions that your vet gives you is essential. Remember, Benadryl for cats is only to treat the symptoms. It does not cure allergies.
Make sure to keep the lines of communication with your trusted vet open and let them know of any concerns or changes that your feline is experiencing. The bottom line is that giving your cat Benadryl is a decision you will have to make for yourself. It can be very beneficial to some cats.
Natural alternatives are also an awesome option for pet parents that do not want to have to stress out about giving their cats more medications that have a list of painful and worrisome side effects.
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.
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Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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