Safely Give Cats Benadryl with These Simple Steps

Posted by Crystal Long
Cat winds up to sneeze.

Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication used to relieve allergy symptoms in humans, but can you give cats Benadryl in the same way?

A common over-the-counter antihistamine, Benadryl, is the brand name for diphenhydramine hydrochloride, with the active ingredient being diphenhydramine. In humans, antihistamines like Benadryl are often used to treat various symptoms of allergies like itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Benadryl can also be used to treat symptoms of motion sickness, such as nausea and dizziness. But what about Benadryl for cats? Can you give Benadryl to a cat exhibiting symptoms of allergies?

Well, we are happy to report the answer is yes. When the correct Benadryl dosage is given, it is generally safe for cats to take and can be a good solution to treat allergy symptoms and allergic reactions in your feline friend.

How Much Benadryl Does My Cat Need?

RELATED: Cat Sneezing: When & Why a Vet Trip Might Be Necessary

Cat allergies can pop up at any time, and you might not be able to get to the vet right away. According to PetMD, Benadryl is an antihistamine commonly used to treat itchy skin due to allergic reactions, vaccine reactions, and bug bites in cats. Occasionally, Benadryl can be used as a mild sedative for long trips, as well as an anti-nausea or motion sickness medication.

Yes, you heard that right -- This medicine, in both Benadryl tablets and liquid form, can be given to cats to treat allergens that cause things like itchy skin and insect bites, like a bee sting, and of course, anytime you need a little drowsiness or sedation in your kitty. (Important: That does NOT mean you should go grab the Benadryl in your medicine cabinet anytime you need a little peace and quiet!)

However, if they do not like the car ride to the vet and get beyond stressed out, Benadryl can be used to relax them. However, it will definitely cause some sleepiness. Benadryl can also be used for food allergies. Cat food can cause a severe allergic reaction. Cat's can also have allergic reactions to their vaccines and can have hives, difficulty breathing, and other histamine reactions. In some cases, Benadryl is just a bandaid for things like fleas or ringworm, and your cat will need to see their DVM for actual treatment.

How Much Benadryl Does My Cat Need?

So, what is the recommended dosage of Benadryl for cats? In general, the correct dosage of Benadryl cats can take is 1 mg per pound of body weight. For example, a 10-pound cat will need roughly half of a 25 mg Benadryl tablet or 4 ml of liquid Benadryl; for an average-sized cat, the recommended dose is probably about half of a 25 mg tablet as well. The easiest way to administer Benadryl to your feline is by using liquid Benadryl in a syringe. However, if your cat refuses to take it because of the taste or smell, you can try mixing up Benadryl tablets in their food to see if they will take it.

The common side effects of Benadryl for cats may include dry mouth or other symptoms like an upset stomach or vomiting. If your cat has high blood pressure, glaucoma, or heart disease you will want to talk to your vet before giving your cat any new medications. As always, with any new medication, consult your vet for the appropriate dose of Benadryl for your kitty.

Have you given Benadryl to your cat before? Tell us the story on our Wide Open Pets Facebook Page!

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Safely Give Cats Benadryl with These Simple Steps