Human drugs dangerous for cats: the list of the most common meds

There are some human drugs that are particularly dangerous for the cat: in some cases, even toxic and lethal. So be careful to know what to keep out of the reach of your cat. 

According to some statistics, at least half of the calls to the veterinary emergency room for poisoning of pets are related to the accidental ingestion of human drugs by dogs and cats: the problem is mainly related to domestic cats, which jump, climb and they creep everywhere and risk finding the medicine cabinet within reach.

In some cases, then, it is precisely the people who unwittingly, convinced that they are doing well, try to treat the cat with drugs intended for human consumption: it must always be borne in mind that cats do not have some fundamental enzymes to assimilate the substances contained in the medicines created for the people.

While there are actually some human medications that are also suitable for feline administration, you should always follow your veterinarian’s directions and never try DIY. In this article, we list the most common human medications that are dangerous for cats.

Human drugs dangerous for cats: list and toxic effects


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs, are mainly used for pain or fever. There is also the veterinary formulation of NSAIDs, which must be administered to the cat only under the prescription of the veterinarian and strictly following dosages and indications. In particular, some of the most common NSAIDs formulated for humans can be very dangerous for domestic cats: just think of the risks of aspirin for cats, or ibuprofen, which can cause damage to the stomach and intestines or kidney failure.

2. Paracetamol

Commonly used for pain or fever by people, it is actually one of the human medications that are dangerous for cats – veterinarians don’t use it and even a small dose is potentially toxic to a cat. Risks of accidental ingestion include damage to red blood cells and the dangers of feline kidney failure.

3. Pseudoephedrine

It is a decongestant drug, found in the formulations of various over-the-counter cold and flu symptoms intended for human consumption. this substance is very dangerous for cats: among the risks deriving from the intake we have in fact increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and agitation, hyperthermia or fever in cats.

4. Medicines for diabetes

Cats can also get diabetes, but human blood sugar control drugs pose a danger to our four-legged friends: if the cat ingests even a small amount, the level of sugar in its blood drops dangerously. Potential risks include instability, confusion, convulsions and death of the animal.

5. Antidepressants and anxiolytics

A single tablet of these drugs can be potentially lethal for the cat: among the risks associated with accidental poisoning, we find an increase in heart rate, but also convulsions or lethargy, as well as suddenly aggressive behaviors in the cat.

6. Blood pressure medications

ACE inhibitors can lower the blood pressure of the cat causing a state of weakness in the animal. Beta-blockers, on the other hand, seriously and dangerously lower blood pressure and heart rate.

7. Birth control pill

Together with hormone replacement therapy drugs, these pills can be toxic to cats if taken in high doses: in particular, the estrogens contained in these human drugs are dangerous for the animal’s bone marrow.

How to prevent drug poisoning in cats

There are a few simple precautions that help prevent dangerous drug accidents. Here are some tips to ensure your cat’s safety:

– Store medicines in a safe place out of reach of the cat,
– Be careful not to drop pills, capsules or tablets on the floor,
– Keep veterinary medicines separate from those intended for human consumption,
– Never give a medicine for human use to the cat without first asking the veterinarian for advice.

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