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5 Common Cat Medications

Common Meds Your Cat May Need

By Lauren Leonardi . January 15, 2013 | See Comments

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    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

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5 Common Cat Medications

Cats get sick too, and when they do, they need medicine like the rest of us. Here is a list of the five most commonly prescribed medications for cats.

There’s a decent chance that at one point or another in your cat’s life, they’ll need some medicine. Certain medications are used more frequently than others in the treatment of common feline medical problems. The following is a list of the five most commonly prescribed and recommended medicines for house cats.

It's always important to know what a medication is, what it does, how it works, how to administer it, and what some common side effects are when your pet is taking it.

Frontline Plus for Cats

  • Frontline Plus is used for the control of fleas and ticks in cats, killing fleas within 24 hours of application and ticks within 48 hours.
  • The medication is applied topically to the cat’s back at the shoulder blades, which then spreads by means of your pet’s body oils.
  • Frontline Plus works by preventing fleas and ticks from maturing and reproducing. Because part of this process involves overstimulation of the insects, increased activity in the pest may be seen before they die.
  • Only for use with cats 8 weeks and older.

Drontal Feline

  • Drontal Feline is used to treat parasitic worms in the cat, including roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
  • The drug is administered orally and comes in a tablet that can be given to your cat whole or broken up and disguised in food.
  • The drug works by causing spasms and paralysis in the parasites. The worms are then destroyed completely within the cat’s body or are passed through the stool.
  • Rarely, some cats are allergic to Drontal Feline, which can cause salivation, diarrhea, vomiting, and coordination loss and which requires veterinary care. Kittens younger than 1 month should not be treated with Drontal Feline.

Clavamox

  • Clavamox is used to treat bacterial infections in cats.
  • It is given orally and comes in both a liquid suspension and tablet form.
  • Clavamox prevents bacteria from forming outer cell walls, leading to the bacteria's death. The drug also can make amoxicillin-resistant bacteria susceptible to that antibiotic.
  • Cats allergic to penicillin or beta-lactam antibiotics should not take Clavamox.
  • Cats that are dehydrated or have heart or kidney problems should also not be treated with the drug.

Onsior

  • Onsior is a non-steroidal (NSAID) drug administered to cats after orthopedic or soft tissue surgery to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • The medication comes in a yeast flavored tablet that many cats will readily eat. Onsior is effective for 24 hours.
  • This drug works by targeting the COX-2 enzyme that causes pain and inflammation in cats. At the same time, the drug spares the COX-1 enzyme to protect your cat’s intestinal tract.
  • Pregnant or lactating cats or cats suffering from ulcers should not receive Onsior.

Prednisone

  • Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory drug that is used to treat such conditions as irritable bowel disorder or allergies in cats. The medication is also used to treat autoimmune diseases like as cancer.
  • This drug comes in a variety of forms including tablet, syrup, and liquid formulations for oral use. Prednisone can also be administered by injection when conditions are serious enough to warrant it.
  • Prednisone works by blocking the production of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.
  • Cats should not receive Prednisone for more than a few months because of side effects. However, cats being treated for cancer might need to receive the drug for longer periods of time. Short-term side effects include increased thirst, leading to greater urination, increased appetite and weight gain, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Cats can also be more susceptible to infections while on the drug.
  • Cats treated long-term with Prednisone can experience hair loss, liver damage, and hormonal dysfunction.

Be sure to get instructions from your veterinarian on the use of these or other medications.

More on Cat Care
When to Take a Cat to the Vet
Getting Your Kitten the Right Vaccinations
Principles of Nutrition for Adult Cats


This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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