Cats and Flu and Cold Meds 


by Nomi Berger


According to the ASPCA, flu and cold medications for people could prove fatal to our kitty companions. And according to the Pet Poison Hotline web site, almost 50% of the calls they receive involve a pet’s accidental ingestion of a human’s medication.

Both physicians’ prescriptions and over-the-counter products used to reduce our symptoms and lessen our discomfort contain ingredients that, when swallowed by our cats may require urgent medical attention.

Aspirin, acetaminophen (found in Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and vitamin D derivatives are a few of the active ingredients to pay attention to. Cats ingesting any of these toxic substances can display a variety of symptoms, including discolored gums, a swollen face or swollen paws, ulcers of the stomach and intestines, and kidney failure. Some telltale signs are immediate, while others can take more than 24 hours to appear.

But the above-mentioned medications aren’t the only culprits.

Many cold medicines contain pseudoephedrine, a decongestant compound with stimulant qualities. It can cause a dramatic rise in a cat’s body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, causing her to become hyper or nervous and, in some cases, suffer seizures. Only 30 mg of pseudoephedrine can be a deadly dose.

To err on the side of caution, ensure that your kitty remains “paws off” and far removed from any of your anti-sniffling, sneezing, coughing and aching, cold and flu medications.




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