Giving your cat Benadryl

Giving your cat Benadryl

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When humans like us suffer an allergic reaction, we simply swallow a Benadryl and ease the symptoms. Such is the drug's popularity that dog owners give their puppies the medicine too. The big question is whether Benadryl is safe for kitties as well.The answer: yes, you can give your cat Benadryl. It is an antihistamine and safe for both cats and dogs. Do know that Benadryl is simply the drug's brand name. Diphenhydramine is the active ingredient. If you want, you can also purchase the medication's generic brand. The drug is the same with only the names different as you buy it from different sellers.


Benadryl is used to cure allergic or itchy skin reactions. The medicine is also given to negate bug bites or vaccine reactions. The drug also functions as a mild sedative which can be used as an anti-motion sickness medication or anti-nausea drug. Veterinarians, however, recommend that you should employ a different medication in case you want to treat motion sickness in your kitty.

Giving Benadryl to cats

The easiest way to give Benadryl to your feline is to syringe the liquid medicine. The problem is that many cats will refuse the compound as they do not prefer either the taste or its odor. If your cat fiercely resists the medicine, take the Benadryl bottle to a compounding pharmacy. The staff with flavor the medicine with fish or chicken or any other taste which the cat likes. This may increase the possibility of your kitty eating it. If you want, you can feed the cat Benadryl pills too. The compounder can also flavor the pills. Try to mix the pills with the food so that the kitty eats it with the meal.According to veterinarians, the recommended dosage is approximately one milligram for every pound. It comes to half 25-milligram tablet for an averagely sized kitty. A cat weighing 10 pounds will thus need approximately for milliliters of the medicine to attain the right dose.


Benadryl can result in a swathe of symptoms. The kitty could feel drowsy. In some cats, however, the drug could make them hyper. An overdose may result in coma and seizures. The kitty could suffer from breathing difficulties. You should discuss with your veterinarian the course of action to take before giving your cat any medicine. The dosage could interfere with other medications that the cat could be taking. The medication must not also cover a bigger issue. You should remember that Benadryl acts on a symptom and does not solve the underlying sickness. If your kitty suffers from an allergic reaction and has breathing problems, then it is best you contact the vet to talk about this issue and not give Benadryl for temporary relief.

Is Benadryl Safe For Your Cat?

If you have an allergic reaction, it is easy for you to down some Benadryl to make your symptoms go away. As a matter of fact, a number of dogs are given Benadryl to fend off any allergic reactions. But the question is “Is it safe to use on cats?” The answer is “yes, it is”. Benadryl is just the trade name for diphenhydramine, which is safe for use on both dogs and cats. You can buy it directly if you are looking for a generic form of the drug. Whether you but it at the vet's office, at the local grocery or online, it is the same drug, although you are more likely to find better deals online.

How to administer the drug to your cat?

The easiest and most effective way to dose kitty is to give him liquid Benadryl in a syringe. But a lot of cats refuse to take it as they are not too fond of the taste and odor. If that's the case with yours, then visit a compounding pharmacy and ask them whether they can flavor the drug with fish or chicken. Flavored pills are also an option. Alternatively, you can try mixing it with his food to see if he'll consume it that way. The recommended Benadryl dosage is 1 mg/pound. If you do not have a weighing scale and your cat is average sized, then a 25mg tablet should more than suffice.

What is the drug most commonly used for?

Benadryl is mostly used for allergic reactions or itchy skin, bug bites and vaccine reactions. Occasionally, it also works as a sedative. So, if you are planning to go with your hyperactive cat on a long road trip, it would be a good idea to give him a mild dose before you start the journey. Last, but not the least, it can also be used as a motion sickness or anti-nausea medication. However, if that is the only symptom you are trying to treat, then you are better off going the route of anti-emetics.


Just like in humans, Benadryl can have a number of side effects in cats. Drowsiness is the most commonly observed side effect. In rare cases, it can cause your cat to get all amped up. If your cat overdoses on Benadryl, it can cause seizures, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death. As is the case with any medication, it is better to talk it over with a vet and find out whether it is suitable for your cat. You don't want to prescribe medication for your cat's symptoms on your own and then find out during the vet visit that the symptoms were part of a larger underlying condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much Benadryl can I give my cat?

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is commonly used in cats as an antihistamine to relieve symptoms of allergies, such as itching and hives. The recommended dose of Benadryl for cats is 1mg/pound of body weight, given 2-3 times a day. It is important to note that you should always consult with your veterinarian before giving any medication to your cat, as the appropriate dose can vary depending on the individual cat's size, age, and health status. Additionally, giving your cat too much Benadryl can be toxic and cause serious side effects, so it is important to follow the recommended dosage carefully.

What happens if you give a cat Benadryl?

If you give a cat the appropriate dose of Benadryl (diphenhydramine), it can be a safe and effective way to relieve symptoms of allergies, such as itching, hives, and runny nose. The drug works by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical released in response to an allergen that causes allergic symptoms. However, giving your cat too much Benadryl can lead to toxicity and serious side effects, including sedation, dry mouth, urinary retention, decreased heart rate, decreased respiratory rate, vomiting, or diarrhea. In severe cases, Benadryl toxicity can lead to coma or even death.

Why does Benadryl make my cat foam at the mouth?

Foaming at the mouth is not a typical side effect of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) in cats, but it can occur if your cat has ingested too much of the medication. Overdose of Benadryl can cause toxic effects, including central nervous system depression, decreased heart rate, and respiratory distress, which can lead to foaming at the mouth. Foaming at the mouth can also occur as a result of other symptoms, such as seizures or vomiting, which may be related to Benadryl toxicity. If you observe your cat foaming at the mouth after taking Benadryl or if you suspect that your cat has ingested too much of the medication, it is important to seek veterinary treatment immediately. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your cat's condition and provide appropriate treatment, which may include medications to control seizures, activated charcoal to absorb the medication, and supportive care to manage symptoms.

How long before Benadryl takes effect in cats?

In cats, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) usually begins to take effect within 30 minutes to an hour after it is given orally. The duration of action of the medication varies, but it typically lasts for 4 to 8 hours.

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