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The Best Antibiotics for Cats

When thinking about becoming a pet owner, most people don’t consider pet medicine or a pet becoming sick. Growing up, my family’s cat would throw up fairly regularly but there was never an instance in which I felt he was actually ill, until one fateful day.

I was in the tenth grade and my mother told me my cat was “acting sick.” Again, he threw up quite frequently, so this was a new thing. He kept groaning and when she would touch his stomach there was more groaning and some swatting from him.

What came out of his stomach was a thick, thick circle of pine needles that had to be removed by surgery. I couldn’t believe it, staring at the thick edges of the clump pulled out of his body by the veterinarians. He needed some antibiotics to make sure the surgery wounds didn’t get infected. This was the first time antibiotics for pets was brought to my attention.

The idea of keeping your cat healthy besides food, water, and litter is something to keep on top. For instance, keep your house clean of fleas so your pets don’t develop a disease like Murine Typhus that they’ll need antibiotics for. But should something ever go wrong and you ever find yourself looking into cat antibiotics and need some information, we have the lowdown for you on some of the best and most common ones. Buckle up Starsky, we’re going for a ride!

Antibiotics for Cats Image


Primarily used for general bacterial infections, gentamicin is an injectable and commonly used for cats and dogs. It’s available by prescription and FDA approved. It is one of the most often used antibiotics for house pets.

However, while gentamicin is effective against a wide range of bacteria, don’t use it if your cat has a fever or is dehydrated. Additionally, hyper sensitive animals or those who use their sense of hearing for service reasons should not be given the drug. This applies more to dogs than cats, but could be specifically important in certain cases for therapy cats.


Convenia was the first and, at its time, only single-dose antibiotic for dogs and cats. It is a long term antibiotic, meaning one dose is supposed to work for 14 days.

Now, convenia is particularly used for skin infections that can also lead to scratching and biting. It’s still commonly used, though with all antibiotics ten years older or more, we have discovered that some pretty scary and fatal side effects may emerge if owners are not cautious. Ultimately, before you proceed with it, know that it technically stays in the cat’s body for two months or more and that once in their system, there’s no way to get it out besides time. So this could affect using it with other medications.

cat with doctor


You may know enrofloxacin by a different name, baytril. It treats most internal bacterial infections, but it’s also commonly known for its treatment of urinary tract infections.

The good news about enrofloxacin is that it’s a very safe medication to use overall! However, as with all medications in all living beings, it may interact with other medications so stay aware of that! However, baytril is one of your typical go-tos for urinary tract infections, so keep it on your radar just in case!


While amoxicillin is an antibiotic commonly used on people too, using it with your cat may be a little bit different. There are actually several drugs we use on humans that apply to animals, but with different biologies and internal systems, body sizes, drug packaging, and dosage information, drugs need to be used completely differently for pets.

First of all, similar to enrofloxacin, amoxicillin is a drug commonly used to treat urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal infections in animals. If you start giving your feline friend amoxicillin, and they start developing bad symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, contact your local veterinarian immediately as this is a very bad sign! Since this drug is for digestive issues, it should be making things better, so signs of things getting worse could be an indicator of an underlying condition. Otherwise, amoxicillin is a good drug and a common go-to in these sorts of instances.

black cat


Clindamycin is a drug that’s used to treat skin and other bacterial infections as well as dental and bone infections, which isn’t so specifically advertised with other cat antibiotics. So if your cat ends up with gingivitis, which cats do get sometimes, your veterinarian may recommend this drug.

It also treats soft tissue infections, such as bruises, strains, sprains, and tears, as well as any other muscle related issue (this does not include arthritis). Specifically, muscle and bone infections are the specialties of clindamycin.

Natural Antibiotics

There are quite a few herbal antibiotics to use with cats as well. Some of them, such as mint and licorice, are things we’re fairly familiar with and that we (humans) use for herbal treatments. In cats, at least, things like yarrow are useful for wounds and herbal medicines like chamomile are great for digestive pain (mmm, I love chamomile myself!).

Keep in mind, while some people prefer to use natural treatments before ever stepping into a doctor’s office, you should be more cautious with cats. Natural remedies for pets is still something new and being researched more and more as time goes on. But we don’t have as much information on it as we do for humans, so the veterinarian should really be your first move if you feel that something bad or urgent is happening with your feline friend. Who knows though! As more and more animals are developing superbugs resistant to antibiotics due to overuse, natural remedies could easily be the future of pet medicine.

About the Author:

Noah Rue measures out his afternoons with coffee spoons and his evenings are spent with his cat, Midge, purring on his lap. He does his writing in the morning and his work appears in small town newspapers and various publications throughout the web!