Cats’ medicine alert
Cats are not humans. The way their bodies work is very different, and the way in which their bodies process many types of chemicals is unique. They are also much smaller, so the relative dose – the amount of drug per kilogram bodyweight – is much greater.
Many human medicines are poisonous for cats – especially painkillers and antidepressants. Small quantities can kill. This also applies to some herbal products, including com-monly used items such as tea tree oil and citrus oils. There is also concern that long-term use of garlic may cause problems.
Always read the label before you give your pet any medicines. Never give your cat human medicine and put them away so they cannot be chewed. Painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are particularly dangerous. Vitamin and mineral supplements can also be dangerous, particularly iron tablets and products containing zinc. Only ever give your cat medicines that are designed and licensed for use in cats. Products meant for use in dogs can be extremely dangerous to cats.
Be particularly careful to dose accurately if your cat is on painkillers for conditions such as arthritis. Measure liquid medicines with the syringe or dropper provided. “One tablet twice a day” does not mean two tablets together in the morning. Be especially careful with “palatable” tablets designed to be tasty – cats can find them all too tempting! Remember to keep these medicines out of reach of children as well.