Can Your Give Your Cat Claritin?

Claritin is a brand name for the generic drug Loratadine. Loratadine is prescribed by veterinarians for treatment of both cats and dogs. Here is more information on precautions you should take and matters you should discuss with your vet concerning Loratadine:


Loratadine is an antihistamine drug. Histamines are chemicals produced in your cat's body which cause the itching, redness, swelling and other discomforts associated with allergic reactions and other similar irritations. Antihistamines are drugs that mediate, reduce, or block the action of histamines, thus eliminating the discomfort. Antihistamines of one kind or another are prescribed for skin allergies or infections, allergic disease of the sinuses, eyes, throat and inflammatory symptoms produced by histamines in a wide variety of clinical circumstances.


Loratadine is prescribed for cats by veterinarians to treat itchy skin, reactions to insect and other animal bites and allergic reactions to transfusions and vaccinations. It is usually dosed in tablet form. Follow your vet's instructions and never give Loratadine for humans to your cat unless you are directed to do so.

Claritin® syrup must not be given to your cat because it contains propylene glycol.

Many veterinarians believe antihistamines and omega 3 fatty acid supplements interact synergistically and these medications should be used together when possible.

Loratidine Side Effects

Human patients report drowsiness, headaches and faster heart rate.

Overdose can cause Hyperactivity or depression, depending upon how much of the medicine was taken.


Do not treat your pregnant or nursing cat with Loratadine. One available formulation of Loratadine called Claritin-D combines pseudoephedrine with loratadine. Claritin-D is not a substitute for Claritin® and must not be used without guidance from your vet.

Loratadine will interfere with testing for feline skin allergies. If your cat is scheduled for such tests you must stop treatment with Loratadine before they are performed. Speak to your vet about how long a time between stopping the medication and starting the skin tests should be arranged.

Loratadine can be used to prevent anticipated allergic reactions such as reactions to scheduled vaccinations. It is best to give Loratadine before the vaccination or introduction of the expected allergen.

You may see symptoms of drowsiness if you give your cat ketoconazole (an anti-fungal medication) or erythromycin (an antibiotic) along with loratadine.

If you notice symptoms of drowsiness in your cat and the cat is not taking any other medicines that might cause this; call your vet quickly and ask about testing your cat for kidney or liver disease. This symptom has been associated with the hidden presence of such a problem in a cat during treatment.