Antibiotics are an important part of medicine for both us and our feline friends. They are used to treat bacterial infections. Unfortunately antibiotics are becoming less effective – something called antibiotic resistance. Your vet will always be very careful in prescribing your cat antibiotics.
There are lots of different types of antibiotics and your vet will prescribe the best type depending on your cat’s needs. They work by killing off bacteria causing an infection to make sure it can’t spread or get worse.
If your cat is prescribed antibiotics, they might come in several different forms, such as:
Your vet will prescribe antibiotics if they think your cat needs them for treatment of a bacterial infection that is unlikely to get better by itself. There could be lots of causes for this, such as:
Antibiotics aren’t always needed to help your cat get better. Sometimes, they need a different medication or their immune system will help them to get better by themselves. Your vet will look carefully at your cat’s condition and assess whether they need antibiotics, only prescribing them if they’re absolutely necessary.
Over the years antibiotics have become less effective at treating both humans and pets alike. Antibiotic resistance is where bacteria change over time and no longer respond to antibiotics. This is due to inappropriate use of antibiotics and will only get worse if we continue to overuse them, making bacterial infections much harder to treat.
Just like in humans, antibiotics in cats may cause some side effects depending on the type your cat is prescribed. Side effects are not very common, but you should look out for:
If you’re worried about your cat if they are showing side effects, call your vet. It’s important not to stop their course of antibiotics without speaking to your vet first, as it could mean the infection won’t get better.
Even if your cat seems better, make sure you give them the full course of antibiotics your vet prescribes.
How you give your cat their antibiotics will depend on the form they come in. We’ve put together some general guidance on how to give your cat their antibiotics:
You cannot get antibiotics for your cat without a prescription. Your vet will prescribe antibiotics if they think they are necessary to help your cat get better. They will also prescribe the correct amount your cat needs and give you advice on how much they should take and when. Giving unnecessary antibiotics will mean that more bacteria become resistant, making it much harder to treat bacterial infections.