What If My Cat Licks Silver Sulfadiazine? (Unerstanding The Impact)

What If My Cat Licks Silver Sulfadiazine

If you’re here, I’m guessing that your cat has gotten in a few licks of silver sulfadiazine. It’s not an everyday occurrence but it does happen when it comes to our curious cats.

And when your cat’s safety is at stake, it is better to know sooner than later.

Should you be concerned if your cat has licked silver sulfadiazine cream?

Silver sulfadiazine is a commonly used topical cream in both human and veterinary medicine. While it has its benefits, ingesting this cream can lead to potential side effects in your cat.

In this article, I will be sharing more about silver sulfadiazine, its potential side effects and what you need to do if your cat has ingested some.

Origins And Uses Of Silver Sulfadiazine

“Silver sulfadiazine is a topical cream that is widely used on victims with 2nd and 3rd-degree burns.”

The majority of us know that anything that has silver in it has the risk of being toxic.

In fact, the ingestion of silver can turn an individual a bluish-hue.

The last thing I want to happen is for my cat to turn blue, even though it’s my favorite color.

However, some studies show that the usage of silver can have some benefits as a medical treatment.

Silver sulfadiazine is a topical cream that is widely used on victims with 2nd and 3rd-degree burns.

The number one cause of death in burn victims is skin infections.

Topical medications are vital in preventing burn wound infection and thus burn sepsis in these patients.

Silver has antimicrobial properties and has the ability to eliminate harmful bacteria.

Over time, sulfadiazine, an antibiotic, was combined with silver to create what we now know as silver sulfadiazine.

What Is Silver Sulfadiazine Cream Used For In Cats?

Silver Sulfadiazine

Silver sulfadiazine cream or SSD cream, is primarily used in cats for the treatment of burns.

The cream forms a protective barrier against bacterial infections as burn wounds are highly susceptible to infection.

The antibacterial properties of silver sulfadiazine cream make it effective against a wide range of bacteria.

The cream can help prevent the onset of sepsis that can occur if bacteria enter the bloodstream through the damaged skin.

Besides burn wounds, SSD cream may also be used to treat your cat’s wound or skin conditions where there is a risk of bacterial infection.

It can be beneficial in the management of ulcers, cuts, abrasions, and other skin lesions in cats.

This cream should only be used as per how the vet prescribed it to prevent improper usage.

Should I Worry If My Cat Has Licked Some Silver Sulfadiazine?

“A few licks of the cream from the affected area wouldn’t cause much trouble for your cat.”

Before hitting the panic button, you should be comforted to know that silver sulfadiazine is perfectly fine and safe for your cat.

If the medication can harm your cat, your vet wouldn’t even prescribe it for your cat in the first place.

Next, knowing how much silver sulfadiazine your cat has licked can also make a huge difference.

A few licks of the cream from the affected area wouldn’t cause much trouble for your cat. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be used as a topical cream at all.

Your cat might froth a little at the mouth as a way to get rid of the bitter medicine from its mouth.

But if your cat has eaten a large amount of silver sulfadiazine then I would highly suggest calling your veterinarian to be safe.

If the vet says to closely monitor your cat for the time being, make sure to look out for symptoms such as:

  • Sudden weakness
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing difficulties

Get your cat to the vet for medical treatment right away if your cat is showing adverse reactions.

Can My Cat Overdose On Silver Sulfadiazine Cream?

Yes, it is possible for your cat to overdose on silver sulfadiazine if it has eaten a large amount.

Applying the cream over large areas or for long periods of time can also lead to excessive absorption by your cat’s body.

However, an overdose of silver sulfadiazine is not expected to be dangerous for most cats as the dosage is low at only 1%.

But if your cat is highly allergic to silver or has ingested a huge amount of this ointment, there can be potential health risks to your cat.

This medication is meant to be used as a topical cream and not for internal use.

How Should I Apply Silver Sulfadiazine Cream To My Cat?

“Based on my experiences with different cats, using an E-collar is the best way.”

When it comes to applying ointment or cream on my cat, I am always mindful of where I’m rubbing it.

You see, our cats are chronic lickers.

They can spend a good five hours a day licking themselves to clean their fur and keep them cool.

If I am putting the ointment on a part of my cat’s body that is hard to reach such as on its back, that would be fine.

But if it is anywhere else that my cat’s tongue can access, I will have to make my cat use an Elizabethan collar or apply a bandage over the cream.

Using a bandage on your cat can be a double-edged sword.

On one hand, it can prevent your cat from licking the silver sulfadiazine cream.

On the flip side, your cat won’t be too happy about a bandage on and will be busy trying to undo it.

Based on my experiences with different cats, using an E-collar is the best way.

My cats hate wearing it but I rather put them through some temporary discomfort than have them lick the cream and wound which can hinder the recovery.

You can try experimenting with different materials for the cone but I find the plastic ones work best.

Are There Any Risks To Using Silver Sulfadiazine On My Cat?

tux piebald cat
Meet Tux, my former comm cat

There’s no denying that silver sulfadiazine has its benefits when it comes to treating burn wounds and skin infections for both humans and pets.

However, they are a few potential risks that you should be aware of.


This medication has a slight possibility of staining your cat’s fur a brownish gray due to the presence of silver.

This can be easily seen if your cat’s fur is light-colored or has some degree of sensitivity to silver.

May Slow Down The Recovery Process

This medication is known to slow the process of re-epithelization, which is the skin’s natural way of healing and closing a wound.

This means that the medication could slow down the healing process of your cat’s wound once there is visible evidence of healing.

The application of silver sulfadiazine is often discontinued once the wound starts healing significantly.

Also, if used repeatedly, it can create a fake scab or pseudoeschar over the healing area.

This can make it difficult for the vet to properly check the state of the wound.

This fake scab needs to be mechanically removed, which can be painful for your cat.

The impact on wound healing is usually considered a secondary concern compared to the primary aim of preventing infection.

Some Infections can be life-threatening and the potential benefits of silver sulfadiazine in preventing infections often outweigh its potential drawbacks.

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