Do Antibiotics Make Cats Sleepy? 4 Things to Do

Cats are prone to bacterial infections, and it’s common for vets to prescribe antibiotics. Although the drugs are quite effective at fighting infections, they may also have side effects such as fatigue. Consequently, the question “Do antibiotics make cats sleepy?” often crosses the minds of most pet parents, especially when their pets seem drowsier than usual.

Generally, antibiotics don’t make cats sleepy on their own. They contribute to sleepiness in cats due to other factors like hunger. Strong antibiotics like Metronidazole, Amoxicillin, and Doxycycline are highly associated with sleepiness in hungry cats.

Keep reading to find out whether it’s normal for cats to feel sleepy once they begin antibiotic therapy. We’ll also discuss how to keep your cat more comfortable throughout treatment.

4 Things to Do to Keep Your Cat Happy Throughout the Course of Antibiotic Therapy

Generally, cats are less active when ill. They may also sleep more once on antibiotics as their bodies work overtime to recover from an infection. Fortunately, antibiotics are fast-acting, and your furry friend should feel much better in just a few days.

If the meds work as they should, you should notice mild to moderate improvement in just a few days. Moreover, the drowsiness should subside a few days into the treatment or right after. 

Here are four things you can do to ensure your pet’s health and happiness during the course of antibiotic therapy:

1. Support a Healthy Appetite and Provide Nourishing Food

Do antibiotics make cats sleepy

Most antibiotics for cats have side effects, including nausea, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Although most pets also experience a loss of appetite because of an infection, you must encourage them to eat. 

Food helps combat the possible gastrointestinal side effects of antibiotics, such as abdominal pains and nausea. 

A nourishing meal will also give your furry friend’s body the energy to fight infection and repair damaged cells. Increased energy can also lower the odds of your pet getting sleepy during the treatment.

Here are a few tips to encourage your cat to eat during antibiotic treatment:

  • Consider serving more palatable meals like beef or chicken broth
  • Cook and puree the meat to make it easier to swallow
  • Make sure the served food is warm to bring out its aroma
  • Serve the food in small bits and first offer it by hand or dab some onto your pet’s lips

Also Read: Why Is My Kitten So Hungry All the Time? 5 Reasons and What to Do

2. Give Your Pet Probiotics Alongside Antibiotics

Let’s first ask, “Should you provide probiotics before or after antibiotics?”

Antibiotics upset the composition of gut microorganisms because they kill both good and bad bacteria. Providing probiotics during treatment can help alleviate adverse gastrointestinal side effects like nausea and vomiting.

Ideally, you should provide probiotics alongside antibiotics. Vets recommend leaving a four-hour gap between administering an antibiotic and providing the probiotic supplement. This allows the meds adequate time to take effect before you start replacing the good bacteria.

3. Provide Plenty of Drinking Water

Proper hydration is always essential. Arguably, it’s even more vital when your cat is fighting an infection. 

A well-hydrated pet will have balanced electrolytes, minerals, and fluids within the body. This ensures smooth organ functions, efficient nutrient transportation, and proper circulation and digestion. 

Moreover, good hydration accelerates the flushing out of toxins and reduces treatment side effects like fatigue, sleepiness, weakness, and nausea. 

Here are simple ways to encourage your ailing cat to stay hydrated:

  • Serve wet foods or broths.
  • Keep the water bowl separate from the food bowl and away from the litter box.
  • Set up several watering stations.
  • Invest in a cat water fountain to make drinking water more exciting and pleasurable.

Find Out: Dying Cat Sleeping With Eyes Open: 3 Main Causes and What to Do

4. Ensure Your Pet Completes the Entire Course of Treatment

If your cat seems inactive and sleepy once you start antibiotic treatments, you may feel tempted to stop the medication to see if your pet will become livelier. However, that’s the worst decision you can make for your cat. Finishing the treatment plan is crucial to reducing the risk of recurring infections. 

Moreover, misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibacterial resistance. The concern arises when bacteria evolve and become resistant to traditional antibiotic treatments. In any case, the perks of completing the course of treatment far outweigh the discomfort of side effects.

How Long Can a Cat Stay on Antibiotics?

A sleepy cat

Normally, a cat can stay on antibiotics between 7 and 14 days. However, antibiotics start working within 2 hours of consumption and show positive effects in two to three days. Generally, the length of treatment varies depending on the diagnosis and the prescribed meds.

The type of antibiotic your furry friend needs and the recommended duration of treatment will depend on the kind of bacteria their body is fighting. Therefore, it’s best to ensure your cat stays on antibiotics for as long as your vet recommends.

Generally, most treatment plans last for 7 to 14 days. It’s imperative not to stop administering medication even if your cat feels better. 

If your pet is not a great fan of taking meds, try hiding the pills or capsules in treats or food. You could also talk to your vet about switching to easier-to-administer alternatives such as oral suspensions or injections.

Do Antibiotics Make Cats Thirsty?

Cats respond differently to antibiotic therapy. While some only improve, others develop puzzling side effects, including higher thirst. Although increased thirst is considered a direct side effect of some antibiotics, your pet may also drink more water to get rid of the taste of the meds.

The domestic cats we know today evolved from desert dwellers. Therefore, it’s in a cat’s DNA not to be a great fan of drinking water. Therefore, it’s normal to raise an eyebrow if your ailing furry friend is suddenly super interested in its water bowl.

It’s normal for some cats to increase their water intake when on antibiotic therapy. The increased thirst is likely a direct side effect of the prescribed medication. You have no reason to worry, especially if your pet is recovering as expected.

Furthermore, some cats on antibiotic treatment may drink more water because the meds leave a nasty taste in their mouths. This often happens when administering tablet-form antibiotics. Fortunately, there is no cause for alarm, provided your pet has a constant supply of clean drinking water.

Does Clavamox Make Cats Tired?

Clavamox, whether in tablet or liquid form, can tire a cat. The medication is quite strong because it combines two types of antibiotics—amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. Some cats get overly tired and sleepy as their bodies work extra hard to fight infection.

Clavamox is a blend of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid and targets a broad spectrum of bacteria. A vet can prescribe it to clear a range of common feline infections, including skin, urinary tract, and respiratory infections. Depending on a cat’s state of health, the expert may prescribe Clavamox as a standalone course or after a Co-Amoxiclav injection.

Even as a standalone prescription, Clavamox is quite strong. While amoxicillin kills harmful bacteria, the clavulanic acid ensures specific enzymes don’t eliminate the amoxicillin before it does its job. That’s why the antibiotic must always be administered with food.

Cats, like people, have different responses to medication. Besides lethargy, Clavamox can cause other side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. These side effects should subside with each dosage.

Does Doxycycline Make a Cat Sleepy?

Doxycycline is a strong antibiotic that can make cats sleepy, especially when administered on an empty stomach. It’s also associated with gastrointestinal side effects like vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and lethargy. 

Doxycycline, like Clavamox, has a range of uses. It’s commonly used to treat respiratory tract, mouth, and urinary tract infections in cats. 

Whether in capsule, tablet, or suspension form, the potency of Doxycycline makes it best only to administer with food. Taking the medication on an empty stomach puts your cat at risk of esophagus irritation or ulceration. Moreover, food helps tone down the antibiotic’s side effects, like sleepiness and lethargy.

Usually, there is no reason to worry if your kitty seems overly sleepy when on antibiotics. It should start returning to its lively self and recover fully after finishing the prescribed course of Doxycycline.

So, Do Antibiotics Make Cats Sleepy?

The question “Do antibiotics make cats sleepy?” is one many pet parents ask once their furry friends begin antibiotic therapy. After all, you may question whether your cat’s health is improving, especially if it seems exhausted and sleepy after taking the meds.

Most antibiotics for cats don’t list drowsiness as a side effect. However, the symptom is expected during the first few days of treatment as your cat’s body fights an infection. 

However, you should consult your vet if you notice signs like labored breathing, extreme lethargy, or drowsiness that seems to worsen with each dosage.

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