Can I Give My Cat His Antibiotic 2 Hours Early?

feed cat antibiotic 2 hrs earlier

If there was one thing I dread more than cleaning my cat’s litter box after a bout of explosive diarrhea, would be feeding him medication. He is able to summon such Herculean strength that opening his mouth feels like prying a vault open with my pinkies.

But the thing is, feeding our cats medicine is a necessary evil. Veterinary medicine like antibiotics needs to be given to a cat that is having a bacterial infection. Otherwise, the symptoms could get worse.

If your cat is prescribed an antibiotic course, would it be an issue if you gave your cat its antibiotics 2 hours early?

Let’s find out.

What Are Antibiotics Used For In Cats?

Not many people actually understand the usage of antibiotics besides something that is given when you are feeling pretty sick.

Antibiotics are largely used to fight against bacterial infection.

When your cat is having a bacterial infection of the skin, respiratory or gastrointestinal system, there’s a high chance that the vet will be prescribing some antibiotics

The more common antibiotics for cats are:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalexin
  • Clindamycin
  • Metronidazole

Different types of antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections in different parts of a cat’s body.

Can I Give My Cat His Antibiotics Earlier?

If you plan to give your cat his antibiotic tablets earlier by 2 hours. There are a few things that you should be aware of.

Regularly Scheduled Time

feeding antibiotics to cat

The vet would have instructed you to administer the antibiotics at certain time intervals. This gives time for the medication to work and more importantly to prevent overdosage.

The more common time frames are every 6 to 8 hours or just twice a day.

If your cat is on antibiotics that needs to be given every 6 hours, feeding your cat another dosage 2 hours earlier is cutting it too thin.

However, 2 hours earlier with a feeding time of 8 hours apart will be more manageable for your cat’s body.

In the event that you do need to feed your cat earlier than required, it would be best to check with the vet first before doing so.

So antibiotics can cause severe side effects if there’s an overdose.

What Happens If Your Cat Takes Antibiotics Too Close Together?

If your cat takes its next dosage of antibiotics too close together, it will be at risk of experiencing some side effects.

Assuming that you forgot to give your cat its usual penicillin dosage, do not feed your cat twice the dosage at the next feeding time.

Here are some of the common side effects of antibiotics overdose:

  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Liver or kidney failure

If your cat starts to show the above symptoms, you need to get it to the vet immediately. Antibiotics are pretty potent stuff and not to be taken lightly if there has been a potential overdose if you have given your cat more antibiotics than necessary.

Does My Cat Need to Finish The Course Of Antibiotics?

cat finishing his course of antibiotics

Yes, it is necessary for your cat to finish the prescribed cause of antibiotics even if it has recovered. Stopping your cat’s antibiotics prematurely can cause problems.

By not finishing the antibiotics, it can cause the symptoms to come back soon after your cat seems better. This is due to the bacteria responsible for your cat’s illness not being totally eliminated.

Another issue of stopping antibiotics too soon is that the bacteria can start to become resistant to the medication.

This is called antibiotic resistance and it can be a serious problem if many common bacterial infections start to become more resistant to medication.

Always make sure to finish the course of antibiotics unless your cat shows side effects.

How To Medicate A Difficult Cat?

feed difficult cat liquid medicine
Infusion of liquid medicine from a syringe into the mouth of a cat on the table in the veterinary clinic

During the first six years with my cat, we were going in and out of the veterinarian’s office pretty frequently due to him having FeLV.

I think I have picked up some useful ways to medicate a difficult cat.

I would define a difficult cat as one that won’t let you feed it liquid medicine or pill it.

This can be really frustrating especially when there are antibiotics involved. Truth be told, it is a lot easier to medicate my dog than my cat.

Mix The Medicine In Your Cats Food

This has saved me countless times. I will mix his medicine together with his meal to try and mask the smell. For tablets, make sure you crush them really fine before adding to the food.

On most occasions, he will show some resistance but eventually cave in when he’s hungry. It also helps when I add some homemade tuna broth to the mix further concealing the medicine smell.

Once my cat is used to having the medicine in his food, I will reduce the food portion to make sure that he consumes the full dosage of his medication.

Ask For A Tablet Alternative

Every time I get liquid medication from the vet, I will see if they have something that works similarly in tablet form.

I find that liquid medication has flavoring that cats don’t really like. Tablets are more bland tasting to the taste and easier to mask with food or treats.

Ask For An Injection Instead

If the vet doesn’t have something similar in tablet form, I will check if there is something that could be injected into my cat.

My cat had a bad UTI once and the vet gave him an injection instead and spared me the trouble of feeding him medication.

Don’t Make It Obvious

Do you have a medicine drawer where you keep all your cat’s medications? He can hear you open it and hide even before you know it.

Do you always feed your cat his medicine at a certain time of the day? Your cat doesn’t wear a watch but his body clock is keeping track of his medication time.

Do Antibiotics Have To Be Given Exactly 12 Hours Apart?

If you are to give your cat its medication twice a day, 12 hours apart would be ideal. A couple of hours before or after would be fine as well.

Does My Cat Hate Me For Giving It Medicine?

Yes it does. I ain’t kidding. I’ve never seen such seething hatred in my cat’s eyes when he sees me coming with his medication.

But cats forgive and forget pretty fast.

Regardless of how your cat feels about taking its medication, it is something that all cat owners have to enforce.