How Feline Antibiotics Work

Feline antibiotics function in a similar manner to human antibiotics. While they are ineffective in treating injuries and certain chronic medical conditions, your cat's antibiotic resistance to infectious diseases increases dramatically when you give him the proper natural antibiotics or antimicrobial therapy. Antibiotics can help to protect your cat against harmful bacteria, which in turn may lead to infectious disease. Before you give your cat antibiotics, it is helpful to understand how they work and what the most common forms of feline antibiotics are.

How Antibiotics Combat Disease

Antibiotics help to combat diseases spread by bacteria. When disease-causing bacteria enter your cat's body, his immune system activates and attempts to fight off the spread of bacteria with white blood cells. Unfortunately, sometimes the natural immune system is insufficient, and the bacteria multiply, spread and cause disease. Antibiotics function to either kill the bacteria or prevent them from multiplying in the first place, thus eliminating the negative effects of the bacteria from your cat's system.

When to Treat Your Cat with Antibiotics

Antibiotics should only be used in certain circumstances. Antibiotics are ineffective against diseases related to fungi, to viruses, or to chronic or acute injuries. Some types of antibiotics are more potent against particular conditions or bacteria than others.

Furthermore, improper antibiotic use may result in stronger, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Just as an immune system builds up a resistance to the diseases that it fights, bacteria becomes resistant to the antibiotics that we use to destroy it. This leaves your pet and other animals susceptible to a disease for which the antibiotic treatment is ineffective. It's important to consult with a veterinarian before providing your cat with an antibiotic treatment.

Side Effects of Antibiotics

Antibiotic treatment programs are not without risks, although those risks are typically minimal in comparison to the effects of the bacterial diseases against which they defend. Some of the most common side effects of feline antibiotics include:

  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Fungal infections around the injection point

Some cats are allergic to antibiotics. In these cases, immediate veterinary attention is necessary. Be on the lookout for any developing rashes, swelling or irritation, as these are common symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Common Feline Antibiotics

Some of the most commonly prescribed feline antibiotics include the following:

  • Tetracycline, used to prevent protein bacteria synthesis
  • Amoxicillin, a general antibiotic used to combat a variety of bacteria
  • Cephalexin, typically prescribed against skin infections
  • Chloramphenicol, used to treat particularly bad infections
  • Orbifloxacin, prescribed against a variety of infections

There are many different antibiotics, and they serve different functions. One antibiotic may be ineffective against a particular type of infection, while another will eradicate that same infection easily. Speak with a veterinarian for information regarding your cat and his specific needs.