Benadryl for Cats, Side Effects | Allergies | Usage

Benadryl is the commercial name of the drug diphenhydramine. This medication is an antihistamine that treats allergies in pets and humans. Use veterinary dosing and monitoring when administering Benadryl for cats or any pet. Allergy symptoms such as itchy skin, watery eyes and runny nose are often relieved in cats with the use of Benadryl. Drooling

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Benadryl tastes sour to cats. Some cats start drooling immediately from the taste of oral Benadryl. Try to disguise the flavor in a small amount of canned food for cats with a seafood flavor. This can reduce the amount of drooling.

Side Effects of Benadryl

• Fatigue:

Another side effect of Benadryl in cats is fatigue. Cats tend to take more frequent and longer naps. Keep an eye on the cat to be certain that it is waking up at intervals. The cat may not be as playful as it was before the medication.

• Vomiting:

Keep an eye on the cat for vomiting from the use of Benadryl. Vomiting can cause dehydration due to fluid loss. Be certain that cats have access to clean, fresh water at all times when administering Benadryl. Notify your veterinarian if vomiting occurs.

Side Effects of Benadryl

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• Diarrhea:

Another important reason for a lot of water is the side effect of diarrhea. Dehydration is always a risk for any animal suffering from diarrhea. If the diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours, be sure to notify the veterinarian.

• Appetite Loss:

Do not expect cats to eat so much when the Benadryl. Control the amount of food the cat eats. Keep an eye on the cat’s weight. Tempting the cat to eat more food, giving it to their favorite foods and offering nutritious canned food. Limit treats if the cat is not eating regular amounts. Noteworthy weight loss should be reported to the veterinarian supervising the use of Benadryl.

Can you give a Benadryl Cat for Allergies?

Pet owners are usually cautious about administering medications to cats and human dogs– and with good reason. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), drugs for human use constitute the vast majority of accidental poisonings in pets. Fortunately, diphenhydramine hydrochloride (Benadryl brand name) is one of the few over-the-counter remedies for humans that can be used safely in veterinary medicine. However, since well-intentioned pet owners can easily overdose a small animal, it is best to use the drug in cats only if the compound is prescribed by a veterinarian.

Uses in Cats:

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is not often used for allergies in cats; Most veterinarians recommend corticosteroids and other medications as the first option for allergic cats. However, diphenhydramine does not successfully block excess production of histamine, which leads to almost instantaneous relief for cats suffering from severe allergies. Diphenhydramine is most commonly used in cats as a treatment for dizziness and vomiting, and is also a common remedy for itching caused by insect bites and other forms of skin irritation.


Pet owners may find it extremely difficult to give a cat an adequate dose of Benadryl, since human preparations are designed for much larger doses than cats can tolerate safely. Diphenhydramine pills are available mainly in 12.5 mg and 25 mg capsules, but most pet owners are easier (and safer) to use liquid preparations, which can be measured more accurately. Liquid “baby” Benadryl usually comes in a suspension of 12.5 mg / ml. Cats should have no more than 1 mg of diphenhydramine per pound of body weight, no more than once every 12 hours. Since Benadryl has a bitter taste overwhelmingly to cats, many of them drool profusely after taking the medication.

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Although most cats can tolerate small to moderate doses of Benadryl with few serious side effects, others may be extremely sensitive to the effects of the drug. Veterinarian Barbara Forney cautions that older cats are especially sensitive to the sedative properties associated with diphenhydramine, and may require a lower dose of the medication.

It also states that Benadryl should be used with caution in animals with “prostatic hypertrophy, bladder neck obstruction, severe heart failure, angle-closure glaucoma, pyelo-duodenal obstruction, hyperthyroidism, seizure disorders, hypertension, or allergic lung disease (COPD). “due to an increased risk of serious or life-threatening side effects.

Can you give a Benadryl Cat

Signs of Overdose:

Like humans, cats can experience fatigue and clumsiness when taking diphenhydramine. This side effect may be more noticeable if the cat has experienced a slight overdose, but should pass within a few hours. In the most severe cases of overdose, the cat will experience seizures and shortness of breath. Without treatment, severe overdose can lead to coma and death, so it is critical that owners seek immediate treatment for the state of the cat. The ASPCA also provides real-time consultations for pet owners through Animal Poison Control Center, which can be reached at (888) 426-4435. Immediate medical attention can stop an overdose from becoming lethal.

When to see a Veterinarian:

If a cat shows symptoms of allergies for more than seven days, it may require evaluation by a veterinarian. Symptoms similar to allergies may actually indicate a respiratory infection, which may require treatment with antibiotics or decongestants.

Cats with chronic allergies may also need specialized care to prevent allergy-related complications such as ear infections and asthma. Some pets may need a special diet or nutritional supplements to minimize their allergic symptoms. Pet owners of interest should consult a veterinarian before self-diagnosis or self-treatment of any condition in an animal.


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