Giving aspirin to cats

Cats are unique in how they metabolize medications

With the strains of an economic slowdown in our country, as well as the increasing cost of veterinary exams, many animal guardians are often looking to their own medicine cabinets to help ease discomfort in their dogs and cats. And while it is always important for an animal guardian to check with their local veterinarian before administering any over the counter medication at home, this is extremely critical for cat owners who often don’t realize that cats are unique in how they metabolize medications. This means that some medications, while normally well tolerated by humans or dogs, can cause health and life threatening consequences in our feline friends.

This is especially true when it comes to the pain relievers aspirin and Tylenol. Because of unique liver metabolism, cats do not handle aspirin very well if given at high doses, and even one adult Tylenol tablet (325 to 500 mg) could be lethal and deadly to cats. Even minimal levels of exposure to Tylenol can quickly cause depression, vomiting, difficulty breathing, brown discoloration of the gums, respiratory distress, and swelling of the paws and face.

Fulminant liver failure can occur with even minimal dosages. If you’ve made the mistake of giving your cat ANY Tylenol and/or your cat has been given aspirin that causes some of these symptoms, immediate and emergency medical attention is needed. In fact, to demonstrate how sensitive cats are to these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, when cardiologists prescribe aspirin to cats with certain types of heart disease, it’s at the reduced dose of one half baby aspirin every second to third day.

The take home point of this blog post is to never self medicate your cat at home, unless you FIRST check with your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary facility.   Interestingly, one of my favorite all time antioxidant supplements Proanthozone, has actually been shown to reduce Tylenol damage to cats who have been exposed. Proanthozone has a wide variety of usages in dogs and cats including as anti-inflammatory, as well as pain reducer. Many of our feline friends can be given dramatic pain relief with safe nutritional supplements such as Yucca Intensive and Cosequin for Cats. However, as in the case with any supplements, I always recommend feline guardians consult with their veterinarians before administering any over the counter supplements or medications.


Related Posts


  1. My cat as a urinary tract infection and has been to the vet twice – today being the second time. She’s been given another antibiotic injection and we have another round of antibiotics to take at home. First time was pills twice a day along with a gel I had to sort of smear on her mouth to lick off and special pet food. Unfortunately, she doesn’t care for the food very much so doesn’t eat much. I know this is a lot of background information for my question but I wanted you to have all the info. I noticed this evening she actually cried out when trying to urinate and she tries to go very often. She doesn’t cry out every time but I’m worried she is in pain & wanted to know if there is anything I can give her for pain. I live in a rural area and there are no emergency vet facilities or health food stores for the traumeel. Is there anything else you can recommend?

  2. I have a stray cat that comes around and I just realized that he seems to have a had it ok to give him antibiotic or is there anything u can suggest ibcan give him

  3. How can you say if you don’t have the money to cover pets you have loved? Not all of us are rich, or can just get money out of the blue, and vets charge an arm and a leg more then our own doctors do on certain things for a pet. So screw you. A lot of us live from paycheck to paycheck.

  4. Since you brought up education, you might learn something here yourself today. If you are so educated you should then know that some people were financially stable when they adopted their pets and due to circumstances beyond their control, they have fallen on hard times. Educate yourself on the financial problems caused by an illness, or a divorce and with all of the lay offs happening in our city right now, many people are losing everything they worked for and they don’t deserve being unfairly judged by someone who is so obviously mean, judgemental, bullying and unkind. I am so happy that I don’t have people like you in my life and I am so grateful to have such kind, positive, loving and supportive friends around me who bring me up, not down. Falling on hard times can happen to anyone in any industry and to attack them being in a situation you know nothing about is so judgemental and mean. Another case in point is; no one can “look uneducated” and assessing someone’s level of education based purely on how they “look” is impossible. You may say you look worried, or you look happy because it’s something we can actually see but stating someone “looks” uneducated for using capital letters is ridiculous and shows your level of impatience over something so petty. It also reflects their level of education when a person assigns an emotion, such as anger, or an action such as yelling, based on someone’s choice of the font they use. It is my choice to decide what size of letters I want to use to use, certainly not yours, and it doesn’t prove my feelings or education just because you say it does. If something so small puts you in attack mode to bully another person just because you don’t like the size of their font, I shudder to think what you will do if something really bad does happen in your life. What gives you the write to judge other people’s state of mind based on the size of the letters they write with? Who decided that rule? Someone who believes they have the power to dictate how we should all behave to make him happy. I will never be that weak minded and IF I WANT TO USE CAPS, IT IS MY CHOICE, NOT YOUR’S. MAYBE I JUST SEE BETTER WITH LARGER LETTERS LIKE MY GRANDMOTHER WHO WAS MOCKED SIMPLY BECAUSE IT’S MUCH EASIER FOR HER TO READ AND WRITE TO HER GRANDCHILDREN IN CAPS. PEOPLE NEED TO REALIZE THAT JUST BECAUSE SOME PERSON DECIDED TO ASSIGN A MEANING TO SOMETHING DOESN’T MAKE IT THEIR RIGHT TO BULLY OTHER PEOPLE. I AM STRONG AND CONFIDENT ENOUGH AND WILL NEVER BE THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO BLINDLY FOLLOWS SOMEONE ELSE’S DECISIONS ON HOW I SHOULD BEHAVE. AND I WOULD NEVER BULLYI SOMEONE OR JUST BE PLAIN MEAN FOR SOMETHING SO PETTY AND SMALL. I HOPE THIS IS BIG ENOUGH FOR YOU TO READ, SHAME ON YOU.

  5. My cat has cough for 5 days , can i give cough syrup to her?

  6. I would not use over the counter “cough syrups” for her, unless you clear it through your local vet who has examined her, as many of these ingredients can be toxic to cats. For now, you can try oral antihistamine such as chlorphenirimine at dose of 1 to 2 mg twice daily , which may help a bit until vet exam

  7. After reading the reply you wrote to the lady that couldn’t afford to take her cat to the vet while being genuinely concerned for its health, I will not continue to be advised from this page! After reading that, I just scrolled to the bottom to leave my comment! How rude, unprofessional and so untrue. She needed advise. NOT YOUR opinion on her right to own an animal! Shame on you. Your suppose to give advice, NOT take others inventory! Maybe you should take your own instead of other peoples!

Leave a Comment