Antihistamines for Cats - Dosage, Brands and Side Effects

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Antihistamines are drugs widely used in human medicine for the treatment of allergy symptoms. But this does not mean that because it seems to us that our cat is allergic we can give them to him on our own and without consulting the veterinarian..

If we suspect this or any other disease in our feline, the first option is always to consult a professional. In this AnimalWised article, we review the antihistamines for cats, its use and possible side effects.

You may also be interested in: Antihistamines for Dogs - Brands, Dosage and Side Effects Index
  1. What are antihistamines for cats and what are they for?
  2. Antihistamine dosage for cats
  3. Antihistamine brands for cats
  4. Contraindications of antihistamines for cats
  5. Side effects of antihistamines for cats
  6. Natural antihistamines for cats, are there?

What are antihistamines for cats and what are they for?

Antihistamines are drugs that are associated with allergy treatment. Allergies are hypersensitivity reactions of the body to different harmless elements, which will be called allergens, which should not cause any problems. For example, pollen, dust, spores, fleas, or any food. This reaction causes different symptoms that can be controlled with antihistamines. That is to say, they are not drugs that will cure the allergy, they only serve to relieve symptoms what does this cause.

That is why antihistamines can be prescribed when a cat is diagnosed with allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis, etc. Symptoms of allergies often include itching, hair loss, or airway problems. These are related to histamine release, hence the use of drugs with antihistamine effect, in an attempt to end the itching.

In any case, currently there are other treatments to treat allergies in cats, which are leaving antihistamines in the background. And it is that these are not effective in all cats and in others improvement is only seen when they are combined with other drugs. Also, sometimes you have to try several until you get the one that works. Of course, its use allows reducing the dose of medications such as corticosteroids. In any case, allergies are a complex problem that will require multimodal treatment that includes drugs and control measures..

Antihistamine dosage for cats

We insist in this section that before giving antihistamines to our cat it is essential that the vet has prescribed them for us. Likewise, only this professional can prescribe the appropriate dose for each case and we will always have to respect the dosage that is prescribed for us, as well as the frequency and time of treatment. Of course, we cannot give you any antihistamine that our doctor has prescribed for us..

Many brands of antihistamines are marketed and in different formats. The dose, obviously, will depend on the specific antihistamine that the veterinarian prescribes. For example, chlorpheniramine is prescribed at the rate of 2-4 mg twice a day orally. Instead, hydroxyzine is recommended 1-2 mg per kg weight also twice a day.

Antihistamine brands for cats

There are different brands of antihistamines that will vary in their potency. More than the brand, the important thing, and what the vet will pay attention to, is the active principle. These are divided between the first and second generation. The most used for cats are the following:

  • Chlorpheniramine: it is first generation and has the advantage that it produces few side effects. It is considered more effective in relieving itching when combined with omega 3 fatty acids. An example is Histamil, an injectable product..
  • Cyproheptadine: it is related to adverse effects such as sedation, vomiting or alterations in behavior.
  • Hydroxyzine: it has a teratogenic capacity, that is, it can cause malformations in kittens in gestation if we give it to a pregnant cat. It is first generation.

Other antihistamines are diphenhydramine or cetiridine. It should be borne in mind that some of those frequently used in human medicine can be toxic to cats..

Contraindications of antihistamines for cats

As we have said, we cannot give our cat antihistamines if they have not been prescribed by the vet. Not only could we cause adverse effects, as we will see, but there are some situations in which the use of this type of drug is not indicated. For example:

  • Pregnant cats: we must be careful if we want to treat a pregnant cat, since these drugs can cause fetal malformations.
  • Glaucoma or epilepsy: they are not recommended for specimens suffering from glaucoma or epilepsy.
  • Take other medications: In addition, interactions with various drugs may occur. Hence the importance of communicating to the veterinarian any treatment that we are administering to our cat before giving antihistamines.

If you do not know if your cat may be pregnant or you do not know if the medicine she is currently taking could be harmful if she takes antihistamines, consult your veterinarian.

Side effects of antihistamines for cats

If the right antihistamine is correct and given in the correct dose, there are usually no adverse reactions. But you also have to be aware of side effects of antihistamines for cats such as the following:

  • Sedation.
  • Uncoordination.
  • Seizures.
  • Mydriasis, which is the dilation of the pupils.
  • When used for a long time, digestive problems such as loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea.

Poisoning from the use of the wrong drug can lead to vomiting, seizures, and bleeding. Of course, these cases require immediate veterinarian intervention.

Natural antihistamines for cats, are there?

Some products based on plant extracts they promise an antihistamine effect. They usually act as supplements, but they should not be administered without a veterinarian's prescription, as they are not suitable for all cats. In addition, it is necessary to verify that there is scientific evidence that supports its effectiveness. They base their operation on support histamine blockade. They can be used together with antihistamines for cats like the ones we have mentioned or alone.

On the other hand, it has been proven that the effect of antihistamines improves with fatty acid addition, so they are also a good option to include or add to the diet. Remember that any supplement offered must be supervised by the veterinarian.

This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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