You’re staring at the clock with your cat’s medicine bottle in hand. You have plans, an appointment, or maybe it’s just time for bed but it’s not quite time for your cat’s next dose of antibiotics.
Antibiotics need to be given correctly to ensure they’re effective and misuse can lead to complications such as antibiotic resistance and adverse symptoms.
Can you give your cat its antibiotics 1-2 hours earlier?
Let’s find out.
What Are Antibiotics Used For In Cats?
Not many pet owners actually understand the usage of antibiotics in veterinary medicine.
Antibiotic therapy is largely used for treating bacterial infections. It isn’t suitable for treating a viral or fungal infection due to the nature of these pathogens.
When your cat is having a bacterial infection of the skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, there’s a high chance that the vet will be prescribing some antibiotics.
The more common antibiotics for cats are:
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 Early?
If you plan to give your cat his antibiotic tablets earlier, there are a few things that you should be aware of.
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 key to their effectiveness lies in maintaining a certain level of the drug in your cat’s system, which is where the timing comes in.
Giving a dose too early might cause the levels in your cat’s system to peak and then drop too low before the next dose is due.
If your cat is on antibiotics that needs to be given every 6 hours, feeding your cat another dosage 2 hours earlier is rather too soon.
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 closely 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:
- Loss of appetite
- 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 are not to be taken lightly if there has been a potential overdose if you have given your cat more antibiotics than necessary.
What Is The Time Gap Between Antibiotics?
The timing of antibiotics for cats largely depends on the specific medication being used.
Some antibiotics are given once daily, while others might be prescribed to be given every 6-8 hours.
The antibiotic frequency that my cat has eaten usually ranges from 1-2 times daily.
This makes it easy for me to remember as it coincides with his meal timings.
Does My Cat Need to Finish Its Course Of Antibiotics?
Yes, it is necessary for your cat to finish the prescribed cause of antibiotics even if it has recovered.
Not finishing the antibiotics can cause the bacterial infection to come back soon after your cat seems better. It could also trigger secondary infections as not all bacteria in your cat’s body have been fully eradicated
Another issue with stopping antibiotics too soon is that the bacteria infection can start to become resistant to the medication.
This is known as antibiotic resistance and it can lead to potentially life-threatening symptoms in the cat if the bacteria can’t be eliminated.
Always make sure to finish the course of antibiotics unless your cat shows side effects.
What Is My Cat Missed A Day Of Antibiotics?
Missing an antibiotic dose isn’t ideal but I wouldn’t be too concerned about it.
If you forgot to give your cat its dose of antibiotics at the usual time, give the missed dose as soon as you remember.
But if it’s almost time for the next dose, just continue with the regular schedule.
Don’t make your cat take two doses to make up for the missed one. You can end up overdosing your cat and cause an adverse reaction to the medication.
If your cat misses multiple doses or isn’t receiving their medication consistently, it could affect the success of the treatment for the bacterial infection.
How To Medicate A Difficult Cat?
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 antibiotics for my cat, I will see if the vet has 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.
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.