Antihistamines can be used to treat allergies in cats, but there are some important factors to consider before administering them. Before deciding which antihistamine is best for your pet, you should consult your veterinarian and make sure that the medication you choose is safe for cats.
Certain over-the-counter antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine hydrochloride and chlorpheniramine maleate, are commonly prescribed by veterinarians for cats with allergies. However, prescription medications may also be recommended depending on the severity of the allergies or if any other underlying conditions exist. It is highly recommended that owners discuss all available options with their veterinarian before giving their cat any type of medication.
In addition to choosing the appropriate antihistamine for your cat’s allergies, it is important to ensure that they receive adequate supplements and nutrition while they are taking the medication in order to maintain healthy coat and skin condition.
What is an antihistamine?
Antihistamines are a medication used to treat allergies. They block the effects of histamine, a chemical produced by the body when it reacts to something it perceives as harmful. Histamines are responsible for a variety of allergy-like symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and itching. Antihistamines can be used in both humans and animals to help provide relief from these symptoms.
When it comes to cats, Ragweed Allergy Formula tablets should always be given with food; they are designed specifically for cats with allergies. Generic brands such as Claritin or Zyrtec may also be available, but only if specifically formulated for cats and approved by your veterinarian. The use of other over-the-counter antihistamines is not recommended without consulted with your veterinarian first.
If you are giving your cat an antihistamine, follow all directions on the label and check in with your vet periodically for follow up appointments so that they can monitor any changes in your cat’s health and adjust their dosage as needed.
Types of Antihistamines
If your cat is suffering from allergies, your vet may suggest giving them an antihistamine. There are several types of antihistamines available, and it’s important to understand the differences between them so you can make the best choice for your cat. This article will examine the various types of antihistamines and their potential side effects.
Over-the-counter antihistamines are the most commonly recommended form of treatment for allergies in cats (and humans). Antihistamines work to combat histamines released by allergens, helping reduce symptoms like sneezing and itching. However, over-the-counter antihistamines are not without risk – especially if used improperly. Many antihistamines can have adverse effects, including sedation or even cardiac arrhythmias.
Because cats metabolize drugs differently than humans, it is important to make sure you use medication specifically intended for cats or small animals. Here are a few of the most commonly prescribed types of over-the-counter antihistamines:
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl): This is the most widely available over-the-counter antihistamine and is a good choice for milder allergies. Typically given at 1mg/pound orally every 8 hours up to four times daily.
- Loratadine (Claritin): Loratadine is also an effective OTC option, as it has fewer side effects than other options while still providing effective relief from seasonal allergies. The recommended dosage is 0.25mg/pound orally every 12 hours up to twice daily.
- Chlorpheniramine maleate (Chlor Trimeton): This is an OTC option that may be more effective when measuring the concentration compared to Benadryl and Claritin. It works best when taken orally at 0.25mg/pound every 12 hours up to twice daily, or given intramuscularly at 1 -2 mg per cat once daily or twice weekly depending on your veterinarian’s advice.
It’s important to research any medications before giving them to your cat and always talk with your veterinarian about dosing instructions and side effects prior to starting any new medications for your feline friend!
Antihistamines are medications used to treat the symptoms of allergies such as itching, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. Prescription antihistamines are typically stronger than over-the-counter medications and can be prescribed for more severe allergy symptoms. It is important to check with your veterinarian before giving any prescription medication to your cat as some of them may be toxic when given at the wrong dose or to cats with certain illnesses.
Common types of prescription antihistamines include hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine, and chlorpheniramine.
- Hydroxyzine is one of the most commonly used antihistamines in cats and can be used intravenously or orally.
- Diphenhydramine is an orally administered second generation H1 receptor antagonist primarily used for short-term relief of mild itchiness caused by seasonal allergies in cats.
- Chlorpheniramine is a common antihistamine available in injectable form as well as tablet form and has been found to provide quick relief from itchiness related to environmental factors like dust, molds, trees and grasses.
It’s important to note all allergic reactions are unique, so it may take some trial and error before finding the most effective treatment plan for your pet’s needs. Your veterinarian can help guide you on which type of prescription antihistamine might work best for your pet depending on their individual situation. It’s also important to remember that these drugs should only be given under proper veterinary supervision due potential side effects from improper dosing or combined usage with other drugs or substances.
What is the safest antihistamine for cats?
Cats can suffer from seasonal allergies, just like people, and the use of antihistamine medications can help to relieve symptoms such as itchy skin, sneezing and runny eyes. Antihistamines work by blocking the action of histamine in allergic reactions and they are available over-the-counter (OTC) in liquid or tablet form. However, when giving a cat an antihistamine it is important to use the correct OTC product for cats.
The safest antihistamine for cats is chlorpheniramine maleate (also known as Chlortrimeton). This medication is available in 4 mg tablets or 4 mg/ml syrup with a dosing range of 1 – 4 mg per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of bodyweight given every 24 hours, not to exceed 16 mg per day for cats. The tablet form needs to be crushed into a powder prior to dosing. Chlorpheniramine is generally considered safe to use but side effects may include sedation, increased thirst or behavior changes due to an allergic reaction.
Other common OTC antihistamines available include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin) and clemastine fumarate (Tavist). While these medications have been used successfully by some pet owners it should be noted that they are not considered safe for cats due to potential toxicity issues if accidental overdose occurs or if multiple products are combined together. Therefore these medications should only be administered under strict advice from your veterinarian and dosing instructions must be followed very carefully.
Common side effects of antihistamines in cats
Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic reactions in cats and are generally regarded as being safe for use. However, some antihistamines can have unwanted side effects in cats, so be sure to seek advice from your veterinarian if you’re considering giving your cat any type of antihistamine medication. Common side effects of antihistamines in cats may include:
- Drowsiness or sedation
- Changes in appetite or thirst
- Decreased activity level
- Urinary tract infection
- Anxiety and restlessness
It is important to remember that some of these side effects are common for over the counter antihistamines, but may be more heavily pronounced when prescribed medication is used. Although cats can develop allergies to things like flea bites, pollens, molds, and food ingredients, it is important to have an accurate diagnosis before treating your cat with any type of antihistamine.
Dosing and administration
Before you give your cat any antihistamine, it’s important to speak to your veterinarian. Different medication doses and administration methods may be needed depending on your pet’s particular needs.
The most common antihistamines used for cats are chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine and cetirizine. It is not recommended to use medications prescribed for humans, as cats can have different reactions to the same medication that is designed for humans.
- Chlorpheniramine is often given at a dose of 4-8mg every 12 hours, depending on the size of the cat; this dose can also be divided into two smaller doses over the course of 12 hours.
- Diphenhydramine is also typically given at a dose of 4-8mg every 12 hours and can be divided into two smaller amounts if needed.
- Cetirizine is typically given to cats at 1-2mg every 24 hours but this can vary depending on the cat’s weight and age; please speak with a veterinarian before administering any medication as correct dosing measures are always best practice.
The method used for getting antihistamines into a cat will depend on the product being administered as some oral or injectible medications may require special delivery methods such as syringes or other equipment tools that your vet may need to provide. Additionally, certain syrups or suspensions may be easier to get cats to take than tablets or pills which can often result in shorter durations between administration intervals and quicker response times if an allergic reaction happens quickly enough; consulting with a vet would give you guidance in what delivery system would work best for your pet’s needs as well as help in determining appropriate time intervals between administrations which should never comprise more than 24 hours apart.
It is best not to give any medication to your cat without consulting a professional. However, if an antihistamine is prescribed by your veterinarian, there are several types available. Most veterinarians recommend giving cats diphenhydramine (Benadryl) as the first line of treatment for allergies. This is typically given in pill or liquid form once or twice a day.
Other antihistamines that could be used in cats include:
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
- Clemastine (Tavist)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
All of these medications should only be given after consulting with your veterinarian.