Saturday, December 9, 2023


RV pet care: 14 OTC medicines that are safe for cats

By Cheri Sicard
We recently did a similar post about 7 OTC medications safe for dogs and our readers rightly asked for equal time for our feline friends. Ask and ye shall receive!

In the video above you will find Dr. Andrew Jones, with his seven over-the-counter medicines that are safe for cats. But wait, there’s more! Dr. Jones did a follow-up video with seven more OTC medicines that are safe for cats, so we will post that below.

There is nothing so heartbreaking as watching a beloved cat suffer when ill. But sometimes, depending on where your travels take you, it might be difficult to get to a vet. In the video below, Dr. Andrew Jones from the Veterinary Secrets YouTube channel shares seven OTC medicines that are safe for cats.

Even if you are close to a vet, trying an OTC medicine first, if the condition isn’t serious, might even save you an expensive trip to the vet.

In the video, Dr. Jones stresses that our cats are not small dogs and they really have a different metabolism. Some drugs, such as aspirin, that are safe for dogs, you will NEVER want to give to a cat. Others, such as Benadryl and Pepcid, are safe for both dogs and cats.

You probably already have some or all of these over-the-counter human medicines in your medicine cabinet. But who knew they can help your fur babies too? Dr. Jones says cat owners should always keep these on hand.

The Top 7 OTC medicines that are safe for cats

#1 Pepcid: This over-the-counter antacid works great for people and for cats. Dr. Jones says this can be effective for cats who are vomiting. Renal failure is one of the more common serious conditions in cats and this can result in vomiting. Dr. Jones says Pepcid can help. The standard Pepcid dose for cats is 2.5 milligrams per 10 pounds of body weight, given 2 to 3 times per day (this is the same dose for dogs).

#2 Polysporin for eyes: This will work for most cat eye infections. If your cat has red or inflamed eyes, she likely has conjunctivitis, according to Dr. Jones. One drop, 4 times a day, for 5 to 7 days usually will clear up most bacterial eye infections.

#3 Chlor-Trimeton: An antihistamine, this is effective for cats with allergies. If your cat is constantly itching, Dr. Jones says to try this. The standard cat dose is 2 mgs given 2 to 3 times a day.

#4 Stanhexidine Antiseptic Flush 2%: This surgical scrub is the best topical antibacterial. If your cat has a puncture wound or an abscess, Dr. Jones says flushing it with this is the first step. Watch the video as Dr. Jones shows you how. Using this method can actually prevent a wound from turning into an abscess.

#5 Hydrocortisone: This is for cats with inflamed skin and red areas. In the video, he uses the Gold Bond 1% formula. This is good for all kinds of inflamed skin conditions. Put a small dab on your finger and lightly cover the area. Apply 2 to 4 times a day.

#6 Benadryl: Good for allergic reactions, as a mild sedative, or as an anti-anxiety drug. The standard dose of Benadryl for cats according to Dr. Jones is 1 milligram per pound of body weight administered 2 to 3 times a day (again, the same dose as for dogs).

#7 Robaxin: According to Dr. Jones, this is the one over-the-counter medicine you can safely give to cats in pain. You cannot give ANY of the OTC anti-inflammatories, such as Tylenol, aspirin, etc., to cats. They are extremely toxic to felines. While Robaxin or methocarbamol is safe, Dr. Jones cautions you to be sure that is ALL that is in the drug you are administering, as there are brands on the market that mix it with Tylenol or other drugs. The standard cat dose for Robaxin is 10 mgs per pound of body weight given twice a day.

BONUS! 7 More OTC medicines that are safe for cats

Dr. Jones did a follow-up video (below) with 7 more OTC medications that are safe for cats. Here’s what is on that list:

#8 Gravol: Is a safe anti-vomiting drug. A standard cat dose is 12.5 mgs or a quarter of a 50 mgs tablet given 2 to 3 times a day.

#9 Clear Eyes: These eye drops can be effective if your cat has red eyes from the cat flu or conjunctivitis. Put 1 to 2 drops in the affected eye twice a day, for 5 to 7 days.

#10 RestoraLAX aka MiraLax: This is a stool softener that can be effective for constipated cats. An osmotic diuretic, it works by drawing fluid into the colon to soften the stool. This product comes as an odorless, tasteless powder that you can simply sprinkle on your cat’s food. The standard cat dose is 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon given every 12 to 24 hours. Expect to see results within 24 hours.

#11 Hydrogen peroxide: This is used to induce vomiting in case of poisoning. If you ever see your cat consume something extremely toxic, this might save them, as it is difficult to get cats to vomit. The typical dose is one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. Give one dose. Wait 10 minutes. If the cat didn’t vomit, repeat. It needs to be 3% hydrogen peroxide and a plastic syringe can be an enormous help in administering this down the cat’s throat.

#12 Vaseline: Effective for hairballs and wounds. If your cat is vomiting and you suspect a hairball, Dr. Jones says to put a 1/4-inch dab on the end of your finger, give it twice a day, and the hairball will usually pass within 2 to 3 days. Also using Vaseline topically on wounds will speed up healing.

#13 Otrivin: This drug is effective for cats with nasal congestion, especially from the cat flu. Watch the video to see how it’s done, but you will be tilting the cat’s head back and administering one drop in each nostril, twice a day as needed until the congestion clears up.

#14 Reactine: This is a new antihistamine on the market that is also effective for cats. It comes in 10 mg tablets and a typical cat dose is half a tablet, or 5 mgs, given once every 24 hours.

Editor’s note: Please consult your trusted veterinarian before trying any of the above on your beloved furry family members. What works well on some pets may not work well on others. 



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Jim Johnson (@guest_243715)
5 months ago

Some of these we already knew. Yet these are one of the most concise and informative lists I’ve seen. I printed them with dogs on one side and cats on the other and put in a plastic protector. While we would still consult a vet, it isn’t always possible to get into a vet while actively traveling, but pharmacies are pretty easy to find.

Cheri Sicard (@guest_243773)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Johnson

Excellent idea. I should do the same.

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