Just like people, cats sometimes need medications. From preventing parasites to managing chronic diseases, cat medications play a huge role in keeping our feline friends healthy and happy. At Owings Mills Veterinary Center, we understand that you need reliable information to make the right decisions for your cat. That’s why we decided to create this resource with answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cat medications. While the information below is accurate, it’s best to talk with your veterinarian about any medication questions you may have.
If your feline friend needs a veterinarian in or near Owings Mills, MD, we’d be thrilled to help. Give us a call at (410) 807-8193 today to schedule their first appointment.
What guidelines does the veterinary industry follow to determine if medications are safe and effective for treating cats?
As veterinarians, we follow many guidelines and base the medications we use on scientific research. Drugs go through several trials to determine their safety, effectiveness, and how well cats tolerate them. When prescribing medications, we look at side effects and other factors to decide whether or not they are suitable for a particular patient.
The medications we prescribe for our feline patients have been cleared and approved by the FDA. The same companies that manufacture human pharmaceuticals make medications for pets, and they are just as safe as the medications your doctor might prescribe for you.
What illnesses are cat medications used to treat?
We use cat medications to treat a wide range of health issues. There are many products on the market, and we can use them to treat everything from hairballs to potentially deadly diseases.
Some of the most common issues we treat with cat medications include:
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid disease
- Cat allergies
The medications we prescribe fall into many different categories, including:
- Pain medication for cats
- Flea medicine for cats
- Cat allergy medicine
Depending on what type of medicine your cat needs, we may provide it to you in liquid or pill form. Some products — like parasite preventative medications — come in topical form.
Do you have any tips on how to give our cats their medicines?
Giving your cat medication can be tricky. Every cat has their own personality, and you need to consider this when attempting to give them medicine. If your cat is highly food-motivated, giving them their medication in a treat is a good option. If not, you may need to use a pill shooter. With one of these devices, you place the pill in one end, carefully open your cat’s mouth, and shoot the pill into their throat. Having the medication compounded through a pharmacy may be an option, too. This is especially helpful for cats who refuse to take pills, as compounding allows the pharmacist to turn the medicine into a liquid or tasty chew.
Topical medications are applied directly to the skin. In some cases, transdermal formulations make giving your cat their medicine as easy as rubbing a little bit inside their ear. As your cat’s veterinarian, we will help you figure out the best way to give your feline friend their medication and work with you to make the process as easy as possible — especially if your cat needs to take medication long-term.
Why is it important to avoid self-diagnosing my cat’s need for pain medication?
As a cat owner, it can be difficult to figure out where your feline friend is hurting and what is causing their discomfort. Cats are very good at hiding signs of pain. By the time your cat shows symptoms, they could be suffering from serious health problems. If you have an older cat, they could be experiencing a metabolic issue, such as thyroid or kidney disease. Or they could have arthritis or cancer. The best way to know what’s going on is to bring your cat in for an exam.
Pain medications for cats are formulated specifically for them. Pain relief for cats cannot be accomplished by over-the-counter or prescription pain medicine made for humans. Even if you have pain medication prescribed to your dog, giving it to your cat is unsafe. Cats metabolize pain medications very differently than other animals, so giving them medicine that is not made for them could cause significant harm or even death. If you think your cat is in pain, give us a call at (410) 807-8193. Pain relief for cats is not the type of problem you should solve on your own.
Why should I purchase cat medications from my veterinarian instead of through an online pharmacy?
Purchasing your cat’s medication directly from your veterinarian instead of ordering from an online pharmacy means you’ll never have to worry about not getting the right medicine. You’ll know you are getting the exact medication your veterinarian wants you to have, and you won’t have to be concerned about unsafe or counterfeit medications.
Buying directly from us also helps support our animal hospital so that we can be here to provide the care your companion needs.
If you have additional questions about cat medications, we are here to help. As your cat’s veterinarian in Owings Mills, MD, we would be more than happy to discuss their medication needs and any other concerns you may have. Give us a call at (410) 807-8193.