Protecting cats from painkillers

By Connie Orcutt • Published: September 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

Veterinary professionals and pet parents alike are all about pain relief for our animal buddies. But painkillers have differing effects in various animals, and nowhere is this more obvious than in cats.

The inner workings of cats cause them to process drugs differently than other animals. For example, buffered aspirin, which is used by people and sometimes dogs, can cause digestive tract bleeding or damage to the liver or bone marrow in cats. Other drugs in the same category, like ibuprofen [ī-bū-PRŌ-fen], are also toxic to your purring pal. Likewise, acetaminophen [ah-sē-tah-MIN-ah-fen], the active ingredient in Tylenol, should never be given to cats because of the risk of severe anemia or liver failure. Narcotics such as morphine or codeine [CŌ-dēn] can also be life-threatening to cats.

So when your feline friend needs pain relief, let your veterinarian do the prescribing.