Many pet parents take Tylenol to treat a variety of aches and pains. That means more cats are able to access this product. For instance, if someone drops a pill and can’t find it, a cat may find the pill and eat it! A curious cat may also come across pills left on the counter. A pet parent may have left the pills for a few seconds, and during that time, their cat finds the medication and eats it!
But what happens if a cat eats Tylenol?
Has your cat eaten Tylenol? Are you worried that Tylenol will make your cat sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when a cat eats something like this.
We’ve gathered information about Tylenol and whether it can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!
What is Tylenol?
Tylenol, also referred to by its generic name acetaminophen (paracetamol), is an OTC medication used to treat minor to moderate pain and fever. Tylenol comes in many forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquid.
While Tylenol is safe for humans (when used as directed), what happens if a cat eats Tylenol? Can Tylenol make a cat sick?
Tylenol & Cats
Unfortunately, Tylenol can be toxic to cats. This is a common medication found in many homes, and some pet parents mistakenly give their feline friends Tylenol to treat pain and fever. But it’s important to remember that this is a medication made for humans, not cats.
Symptoms of Tylenol Toxicity in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat eats Tylenol:
- Blue or purple tongue (indicates a condition called cyanosis)
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Gum discoloration
- Muscle weakness
- Rapid breathing
- Stomach pain
- Abnormally high heart rate
- Stomach pain
- Inflammation of the face and paws
- Changes in alertness
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment of Tylenol Toxicity in Cats
Treatment depends on the severity of the poisoning and how long it’s been since the cat ate the medication.
For cats that have eaten Tylenol within the past two hours, the vet may induce vomiting and use activated charcoal. These methods remove the medication from the cat’s system. In most cases, your fur baby may also require an IV for fluids and to administer medications.
In addition, the vet may use n-acetylcysteine to prevent liver damage and other issues caused by Tylenol. And in more severe cases, your feline companion may also need a blood transfusion. The vet will also treat respiratory difficulties and other symptoms as they arise.
The prognosis is best for cats who receive prompt medical treatment after ingesting Tylenol. It’s best to keep Tylenol and all medication out of your cat’s reach. If you happen to drop a pill, try to find it ASAP. That way, your fur baby won’t find and eat it. You’ll both be happier for it!