What Are the Effects of Ibuprofen on Cats?

Never give your pet any medication without prior veterinary permission.
Never give your pet any medication without prior veterinary permission. (Image: Robert Ranson/Hemera/Getty Images)

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that's toxic to cats. Humans frequently take ibuprofen to minimize fever, pain and inflammation linked to cramps, slight fevers, headache and arthritis. It's sold over-the-counter as Advil, Midol and Motrin. Ibuprofen is also poisonous to dogs.

The Dangers of Ibuprofen to Cats

Ibuprofen impedes blood flow traveling to your cat's kidneys, disrupting the manufacturing of compounds that defend his stomach's inner lining. This can bring on kidney damage and kidney failure. It also can bring on extreme stomach irritation, sometimes triggering stomach ulcers. Although ibuprofen is toxic to cats, it's typically safe for humans.

Hazardous Dosages

Even small amounts of ibuprofen are dangerous to cats. Just one ibuprofen tablet (200 milligrams) can lead to poisoning in a cat. Felines are often believed to be twice as vulnerable to ibuprofen toxicity as dogs.

Cats have poor tolerance to NSAIDs overall. Because of that, NSAIDs made for extended feline use don't exist. These drugs in general are very cautiously administered to cats by veterinarians.

Symptoms of Ibuprofen Poisoning

If your cat consumes ibuprofen, you might observe signs of the drug's toxicity such as frequent urination, heightened thirst, lack of coordination, neurological issues such as seizures, reduced urine output, weight loss, gum paleness, reduced appetite, loss of energy, nausea, feebleness, dehydration, stomachache, bloody vomit, bloody stools, dark stool matter, stomach perforations, bad breath, diarrhea and throwing up. Cats who experience ibuprofen toxicity sometimes fall into comas or die. If you caught your pet consuming ibuprofen or notice any of these symptoms, take him to the veterinarian immediately. Since ibuprofen toxicity can bring on acute kidney failure in cats, prompt treatment is vital. Ignored cases of ibuprofen poisoning in cats can often be fatal. After cats ingest ibuprofen, the drug is quickly taken in via the intestines and stomach. Signs of poisoning can show up in the span of an hour or up to several days later, depending on the amount consumed.

If you use ibuprofen, store it in a spot your curious cat can't reach.

Veterinary Care

Veterinarians diagnose ibuprofen poisoning in cats through performing physical exams and blood tests. A blood test could reveal that a cat's anemia was caused by a bleeding ulcer.

Common forms of ibuprofen toxicity treatment in cats include intravenous fluid therapy, blood transfusions and activated charcoal. Vets sometimes prescribe medications such as famotidine, cimetidine and sucralfate for cats who develop stomach ulcers from poisoning. They often prescribe anti-convulsant drugs to cats who get seizures from ibuprofen toxicity. If your cat ingested ibuprofen within a span of two hours, your vet might treat him with activated charcoal. If your cat has serious anemia from a bleeding ulcer, a blood transfusion might be necessary.

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