How Much Benadryl to Give Your Cat

Benadryl is one of the most popular and common products you can easily find in any pharmacy. It is because of its numerous applications that often come in handy when you are looking to treat your cat’s allergies, such as the runny nose, skin rash, common cold, insomnia, or motion sickness.

How Much Benadryl to Give Your Cat

Benadryl is usually very safe to give to cats, but we all know that excess of everything is dangerous, and it is especially true when it comes to medicine. So, if you are trying to find how much Benadryl can I give to my cat? Here is the answer, but to understand the right dosage for your furry little friend, first you must know what exactly Benadryl is, when your cat needs Benadryl, and how does it work. So, without further ado, let’s get right into the details.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl refers to the brand name for a medication called diphenhydramine hydrochloride. It is an over-the-counter antihistamine medication that does not call for a prescription. You can purchase this antihistamine in many forms, including tablets, liquid gels, capsules, and even liquid in multiple strengths or milligrams, all depending on your feline friend's situation and needs. 

However, you must be cautious when buying Benadryl as it is sometimes combined with other drugs that can be unsafe for your cat. Therefore, you must always ensure to read the label carefully when buying the medicine to make sure that diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Benadryl) is the only medication in the product you are getting for your feline friend.

How Does Benadryl Work?

Kitties are given Benadryl for three main reasons:
  • Skin issues like itching and rashes (caused by allergies, bugs, or anything else)
  • To combat nausea or motion sickness
  • As a mild sedative
As Benadryl is an antihistamine, it works to block acetylcholine and histamine from being released into the body. These substances are released in the body as a reaction to an allergic response both in people, cats, and other animals. Thus, the medication targets the symptoms of an allergic reaction or allergies by drying up runny noses, watery eyes and also decreases swelling, itching, sneezing, and more.

How Much Benadryl to Give Your Cat? 

Liquid Benadryl is most commonly suggested as it offers a stress-free measuring out. Benadryl tablets and capsules are available in 12 and a half milligrams and 25 milligrams, which is far too much for your little cat. So, keeping the size in mind is imperative when figuring out the Benadryl dosage for cats.

A milligram per pound is a tolerable dosage. Therefore, 1 mg of Benadryl is given to cats for each pound of body weight 2 to 3 times a day. It means half of a 25 mg Benadryl tablet is suitable for a 12.5-pound cat with up to three times a day frequency. However, it depends on your veterinarian's recommendation. 

Moreover, it is easy to dose cats under 12.5 pounds as you can use children's Benadryl liquid, which can be given more accurately. Here is an example

For a 10 pound cat,
  • In pill formula, roughly half a 25 mg tablet.
  • In the liquid formula, just give 4 ml if you have a 12.5 mg/5ml concentration
You must know that only one tablespoon equals to 30 milliliters; thus, a little bit goes a long way. You can give this dose to your cat every eight to twelve hours.

However, if you require a different dosage for your furry friend and are facing some trouble converting milliliters to milligrams, here is a handy table to solve your problem;
  • A 2-milligram dose for a cat = 0.8 milliliter
  • A 3-milligram dose for a cat = 1.2 milliliter
  • A 4 milligram dose for a cat = 1.6 milliliter
Benadryl Overdose

Benadryl for cats is generally very safe, but when given too much to a cat, it can cause excitement or lethargy. Sometimes, your cat may also experience dry mouth, go through respiratory depression, experience seizures, go into a coma, or even pass away in case an inappropriately bigger amount is administered.

We would advise consulting a qualified veterinarian before giving your furry friend any type of drug or supplement.

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