Can You Give a Cat Aspirin?

Aspirin is a widely used medicine that is suitable for humans and dogs. You may ask if you can give a cat aspirin. Aspirin is also known as acetylsalicylic acid, or ACA, and it can be toxic for cats if administered in unsuitable doses. Cats don't have the ability to break down the acetylsalicylic acid as easy as humans or dogs. It is important to administer aspirin according to the vet's indications to avoid toxicity. Even an extra small pill of aspirin can cause toxicity. Aspirin is only recommended for short term treatment for cats, and alternative pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs should instead be given to the pet.

Aspirin for Cats

Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is mainly used in humans but may also be applied in pets. The acetylsalicylic acid can be effective in different feline health conditions:

  • Joint swelling or pain
  • Tendinitis or the swelling of tendons
  • Muscular pain
  • To reduce fever in infections

Acetylsalicylic Acid Dosage for Felines

Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid should be administered in reduced doses in cats. You should always consult your vet prior to administering aspirin to your pet. If the cat is small and the dosage of aspirin is not suitable, the cat can be poisoned. Aspirin should always be given to cats after a meal, to protect the cat's stomach lining from ulcers.


Aspirin is an NSAID and shouldn't be administered together with other steroids. If the cat has arthritis and this is managed with corticosteroids, the cat shouldn't get aspirin for pain. If the cat has stomach ulcers, aspirin should be avoided.

Aspirin Side Effects

Aspirin is not a medication that is typically administered to cats. If administered, it may cause a few side effects such as:

If aspirin is administered for a longer period of time, this may cause kidney and liver problems, as the acetylsalicylic acid can be toxic.

Aspirin for Felines

Ideally, you should give baby aspirin to cats in the doses recommended by the vet. You may also get buffered aspirin that will protect the stomach of the pet. Avoid pills with enteric coating, as these can be toxic for the cat's liver.

Aspirin Poisoning

An unsuitable dosage of aspirin can lead to aspirin poisoning. If the cat has aspirin poisoning, he will display a few symptoms:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Bleeding
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Pale gums
  • Breathing problems
  • Jaundice (yellow eye whites)

These symptoms point to an overdose of aspirin and the aspirin should be eliminated from the cat's system. You should encourage the pet to vomit or take him to the vet immediately. The vet will administer activated charcoal that will absorb the toxic materials.