ABC-Animal - Health Chronicle

Acetaminophen… Toxic for Your Cat

Acetaminophen is an analgesic (pain reliever) and an antipyretic (fever reducer) widely used in different medicinal preparations (Tylenol ©, Atasol©, Tempra©). But this molecule is very toxic for cats. If a well-meaning owner finds Kitty looking feverish and administers this medicine…ERROR! DANGER!

Toxic dose
A toxic dose depends on how much your cat weighs… a ¼ of a 325 mg acetaminophen tablet (80 mg) could be very dangerous. The enzyme system in cat’s livers cannot metabolize this molecule. The cat’s red blood cells would quickly be destroyed, resulting in severe anemia hours after administering the medication. The cat would become very weak, its mucous membranes would become cyanosed and its breathing labored. Death could occur within 18 to 36 hours. Consult a veterinarian as quickly as possible because the prognostic depends not only on the dose given, but also on the time lapse between when the medication was administered and when treatment begins.

Never give acetaminophen to your cat
Therefore, NEVER give acetaminophen to your cat; the resulting intoxication is serious and often fatal. It is best to apply this rule to all medications and other products you have at home. If you have questions, always ask your veterinarian. Cats are definitely not like people. What is good for you could be fatal for your pet.

Dominique Giroux
, D.V.M.
Sainte-Foy Feline Vet Clinic
Québec, Canada