Will Human Medications Hurt My Cat?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, answers the question of whether people medication hurts cats.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: May 20, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: Are human medications dangerous for cats?

A: Yes, absolutely! According to the American Association of Poison Control, the most common cause of animal poisoning is the ingestion of human medications. I remember a late-night frantic call from one of my clients. She spilled over-the-counter pain killers on the floor and before she could scoop them up, her cat swallowed a pill! Fortunately we have a 24-hour emergency medical hospital for animals here in New York City and I told her to call them immediately. They advised her on how to induce vomiting in her cat and thanks goodness her cat was OK. Note: Please know the location and the phone number of the nearest 24/7 animal medical facility near you in case there is any kind of cat emergency. I have mine taped next to my kitchen phone.

Our wonderful cats are curious about everything, whether it is good for them or not. A pill left out on a counter may look like a fun toy to play with — and play might lead to swallowing it. As you would do with an infant in the house, store all medications safely out of reach of your cats. Try an upper cabinet that cannot be opened by inquiring paws. If you accidentally drop a pill — any pill, vitamin, medicine, whatever — search for it right away and dispose of it.

Cats vomiting, cats with severe lethargy, cat depression or cat seizures, repeatedly, indicate they have ingested something toxic. If your cat has any of these symptoms or you suspect poisoning, call your vet or poison control center right away please. Lastly, never give your cats human medications and please don’t give your cats any dog medications either. Your vet can safely provide any medication for your cat’s needs. As always I welcome your stories and comments.

See more articles by Jeanne Adlon>>


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Will Human Medications Hurt My Cat?

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Reader Comments

Shirley    Tucson, AZ

5/29/2011 10:25:44 AM

Thank you.

debby    oxford, MN

5/29/2011 5:55:49 AM

good infomation thanks.

Anon    City, CA

5/28/2011 8:24:15 PM

Really good article.

Jo Ann    Lodgepole, NE

5/28/2011 7:04:47 PM

It is also a good idea to put both Animal & People Poison Control numbers into your cell phone.

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