How Safe Are Human Antibiotics for Cats?

Antibiotics for cats have typically the same basic composition as antibiotics for humans; however, the rest of the compounds may be different. Normally, vets don’t recommend the administration of antibiotics created for humans in cats, as some may be toxic. However, there are a few antibiotics that can be administered to cats, provided the dose is suitable for the pet’s weight and condition.

Types of Feline Antibiotics

There are 2 main types of antibiotics prescribed to felines: bacteriostatic or fungistatic antibiotics, that halt and kill bacteria or fungi, respectively

These antibiotics will be prescribed depending on the nature of the infection and the bacteria, viruses or fungi. Bactericidal antibiotics will be prescribed when pathogenic bacteria or fungi are the source of the infection.

The bacteria or fungi may also be non-pathogenic, meaning that they exist in the host’s body, but an overgrowth may lead to an infection. When this happens, bacteriostatic or fungistatic antibiotics will be prescribed.

Human Antibiotics that Can Be Used in Cats

Vets typically don’t recommend the use of human antibiotics in cats, as some of these may be toxic. On the other hand, even if the antibiotics are suitable for use in felines, human antibiotics contain a high amount of active ingredients and the cat should get a fourth or fifth of that certain amount, as the dosage is prescribed per body weight. A lot of pet owners fail to give the right dose, and this can lead to an overdose.

The human antibiotics that are suitable for use in felines include:

  • Amoxicillin, used to fight bacterial infections; the dosage should be 5 mg per pound of body weight per day
  • Ampicillin, employed for bacterial infections; the cat requires 10 mg per pound every 6 hours
  • Tetracycline, effective against bacterial infections; the dose is 10 mg per pound every 8 hours

Always consult your vet for dosage prior to administering antibiotics. The dosage may depend on the cat’s weight, medical condition, overall health and stamina and whether the pet is under another type of medication that can affect the antibiotics treatment. The vet needs to examine the cat and weigh him to prescribe the suitable dose and type of antibiotics.

If your cat has accidentally ingested human antibiotics, try to induce vomiting and consult a vet; the cat may be poisoned. Typical signs of poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, sudden collapse, diarrhea and even seizures and coma in advanced cases. Antibiotics poisoning may be fatal to cats, so make sure the medicine cabinet is always locked and there are no pills available for your cat.

When your cat needs antibiotic treatment, keep the drugs in a safe place and administer the right dosage when needed. You can mix it with the cat’s food or water. Never interrupt the treatment, even if you notice that the infection symptoms are gone.