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Micki, Expert in cat behavior and health
Category: Cat
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Experience:  Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
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I have two kittens that have a cold they got from their Mom.

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I have two kittens that have a cold they got from their Mom. I took them to the vet yesterday to get some clavamox and SQ. They are stil very sniffly & stopped eating after they got back from the vet. They are reacting just like their Mom who didn't eat for a few days. I had to force feed Mom. She got better & started eating on her own two days ago. But now the kittens are really sick & you can hear them breathing. I was very upest this morning when they still wouldn't eat & lost a little weight. I read that it's safe to give cats benadryl. So out of desperation I gave them 0.1 mL of regular liquid benadryl to try to dry up their sinuses so that they can eat. I already had one kitten die of dehydration, so I wasn't going to stand by & do nothing. They are on nebulizing treatment & amoxicillin, so now I'm worried that they are not going to be ok. Is it safe to give kittens benadryl? I hope I didn't cause them harm. I'm at work and worrying.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Micki replied 7 years ago.



How old are the kittens?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
They are 4 weeks old and 8 ounces each. I calculated that since liquid benadryl is 12.5 mg per 5 mL, that's 2.5 per mL. I gave 0.1 mL so that's 0.25 mg. I read somewhere that it's 1 mg per pound of body weight, so it should be 0.5 mg per 0.5 pounds of body weight. I gave half that amount.
Expert:  Micki replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for the extra information.


You are absolutely right about the 1 mg per pound of body weight. However, you never want to give a kitten under 6 months old any OTC medications. When it comes to Benadryl, you shouldn't give any cat at any age Benadryl. Cats have been know to have adverse reactions to benadryl.


Benadryl is best saved for dogs. Dogs do better with such medications.


For cats you want to use Chlor-trimeton, if you are going to give an antihistamine. But again, not under 6 months old.


I am sure given the tiny amount and you've only done it once there will no problem from the benadryl, but don't give them any more.


Keep up the prescriptions from your vet. Use steam from a shower to help break up congestion and a vaporizer where they sleep.


You can use Afrin nasal spray to help the congestion in the nostrils too. Even squirting plain saline up the nose will help.


If they are not eating, just get some KMR kitten milk replacer and feed them with a medicine dropper. There is a feeding chart on the back of the KMR packaging. You can find it at Pet Smart and like pet stores.


Sincerely, Micki

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