What Medications Can I Give My Cat for a Fever?

There are several medications for a cat with a fever.
There are several medications for a cat with a fever. (Image: cats 2 image by Dusan Radivojevic from Fotolia.com)

Cats run fevers when their bodies are trying to fight off an infection. Symptoms of a fever include lethargy, loss of appetite, dehydration, abnormal sensitivity to touch and rapid breathing. There are several medications available to treat a cat with a fever. Never give your cat human medication such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, all of which are toxic for cats.


Metacam (also known by the generic name Meloxicam) offers immediate relief from pain and inflammation. While this is a prescription drug and should be administered under veterinary care, it is remarkably safe for cats that are not suffering from dehydration. Possible side effects include temporary nausea, pale gums, fast breathing and loss of appetite. While dogs can consume this medication orally, cats require a onetime subcutaneous injection. The effect is usually observable within five minutes. This drug is also used to manage post-surgical pain and inflammation.


If your cat’s fever appears to be caused by dehydration or infection, veterinarians will often prescribe amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that will kill bacteria that cause fever in cats, dogs and humans. It is available by prescription only and should be administered under the care of a veterinarian. Amoxicillin comes in oral form for both dogs and cats and should be administered with food in order to avoid stomach problems. Possible side effects of amoxicillin are diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. More serious side effects can include unusual bleeding, blood in the stool and seizure. Do not mix amoxicillin with other medications without asking your veterinarian.


Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic the inhibits the manufacture of certain proteins within the body. It is particularly useful in treating fever caused by bacteria or parasitic microorganisms. It is often prescribed to treat problems that are not affected by amoxicillin. Doxycycline is not approved for use in pets by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but is prescribed legally by veterinarians. It should not be administered to animals younger than seven months. Side effects of doxycycline similar to those for amoxicillin. Doxycycline should be taken with food and should not be mixed with other medications without the permission of your veterinarian.

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