Many pet parents keep painkillers at home. These medications, including ibuprofen, work to deal with all sorts of pain, including toothaches, headaches, and more.
With so many people keeping ibuprofen at home, it also means more cats can gain access to this medication. Being curious, a cat may find a pill and eat it. She may even find a package of ibuprofen and think it looks like a yummy snack. But what happens if a cat eats ibuprofen?
Has your cat eaten ibuprofen? Are you worried that ibuprofen will make your cat sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your cat eats something like this.
We’ve gathered information about ibuprofen and whether it can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!
What is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is an OTC and prescription medication that’s a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. It’s used to treat mild to moderate pain and to treat symptoms of arthritis, inflammation, stiffness, and joint pain. It also works to relieve fevers, headaches, and more.
This medication is available in tablet, chewable, suspension, or capsule form. The dosage varies depending on a person’s age and weight.
While ibuprofen is safe for humans (when taken as directed), what about cats? Can ibuprofen make a cat sick?
Ibuprofen & Cats
Unfortunately, ibuprofen is toxic to cats. This medication can cause kidney and stomach problems in cats. For this reason, ibuprofen should never be given to cats. However, accidents can happen, and a cat may eat ibuprofen.
The toxic effects of ibuprofen may show up within an hour, though they may take up to a few days to appear.
Symptoms of Ibuprofen Toxicity in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat has eaten ibuprofen:
- Vomiting (may contain blood)
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark tarry stools
- Pale gums
- Bloody stools
- Increased/decreased urination and drinking
- Yellow discoloration of the skin & mucus membranes
If you notice these symptoms in your cat, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency. Do not induce vomiting at home unless advised to do so by the vet. It’s possible your cat could aspirate vomit into her lungs, which can cause a life-threatening infection and changes in sodium levels.
Treatment of Ibuprofen Toxicity in Cats
The vet will try to decontaminate your cat’s body by inducing vomiting or using activated charcoal. After this, the vet may administer medications to treat stomach and digestive issues. It’s also possible your fur baby may require an IV for fluids and to administer medications.
The vet will also treat any other symptoms or conditions as they arise. And in some cases, your cat may need to be hospitalized until she’s in stable condition.
The prognosis is best for cats who receive prompt medical treatment after eating ibuprofen. In the future, keeping ibuprofen and other medications out of your cat’s reach is recommended. You may want to consider storing all medicines in a cabinet that can be closed with a child lock to keep your cat out. Prevention is always the best medicine!