Baby Aspirin in Cats


The mantra is don’t give your cat aspirin without a vet’s advice even baby aspirin. This is the default position and I think, by now, most of us know it.

Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid. Buffered or enteric-coated aspirin is safe for home use with dogs but not for cats. Even small doses of aspirin given to cats can lead to loss of appetite, depression and vomiting.

Aspirin tablet
Aspirin tablet
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

We are told that if one aspirin tablet is given to a cat for 3 days it is sufficient to cause serious health problems such as salivation, dehydration, vomiting and a staggering walk.

It may get worse because severe disturbances in the “acid-based balance” may follow. Both the bone marrow liver may show signs of toxicity and bleeding of the intestinal is commonplace.

As you can see the consequences of administering aspirin to your cat can be frightening severe. It should only be done under veterinary supervision.

To further drive home the point we are told by veterinarians that one adult aspirin tablet (324 mg) is 8 times the recommended dosage for a standard sized cat of 8 pounds in weight which is 3.6 kgs.

However, I’m going to say what American vets recommend in the way of aspirin dosage for cats but I don’t recommend you do this. The reason why I’m stating what veterinarians recommend is simply to extend this article to a reasonable length so that Google can find it. Also this article completes a section on dangers to cats and substances which are toxic to cats.

“A baby aspirin given every 3 days is a typical safe cat dose.”1. The aspirin tablet must be given with food and not on an empty stomach. If there are any signs of toxicity the cat owner should immediately stop giving aspirin to their cat.

Veterinarian’s also tell us that the recommended dosage for cats is 5 mg per pound of cat body weight every 48 to 72 hours. That is it. There is nothing more to discuss really except this: how do you know your cat needs a pain killer?

It is not easy to assess that a cat is in pain so if you think your cat is in pain you may be wrong. That is sufficient in itself to seek a vet’s advice. Also just giving a cat painkillers is treating symptoms which is a not a long term method unless it is a last resort. I which case you’ll need a vet’s advice for that as well.

Don’t try paracetamol either, please.

Note: (1) That is a direct quote from the well-known book Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook.

8 thoughts on “Baby Aspirin in Cats”

  1. It’s all about caution. ANY drug is metabolized slowly in cats. That doesn’t prevent caretakers from dosing out probiotics, vitamins, etc. that cause undo stress on liver function. Unless there is a chronic, life-threatening condition, do not give any cat a supplement of any kind.
    There are no pain killers for cats that aren’t opiate derivatives. There is nothing for fevers.
    Rimadyl is marketed for dogs and is, sometimes, prescribed “off label” for cats. Caretakers need to be very prepared for the side effects from this. They will pound their heads against a wall.
    Bottom line is that ASA for pain or fever, in low dose and short term, is the best option.

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  2. Giving a cat aspirin when sick is only adding to the stress on it’s already struggling organism. Cats lack the enzymes needed to metabolize salicyclic acid and toxic levels soon build up. I understand that low levels seem to be tolerated for short periods but nevertheless it is a poison and a cat doesn’t need that at any time. It’s a matter of weighing the pros against the cons. Treatment of arthritis with aspirin seems to be out because long term treatment is necessary. http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxcat/toxcat.html

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  3. There really are no 100% safe NSAIDS for cats. But, some, like aspirin, can be used with caution, short-term, and with low dosages.
    Actually, aspirin is given, on occasion, to cats here. I have used it myself. ASA isn’t just a pain reliever; it is a fever reducer. For a febrile cat, already on antibiotics for an infection, aspirin use is appropriate.
    Human baby aspirin containing 81mg of acetaminophen isn’t formulated any differently than the human adult aspirin containing 325mg of acetominaphen, with the exception of flavoring added. Therefore, a baby aspirin is the same as 1/4 tablet of an adult aspirin (believe me when I say that Bayer is laughing all the way to the bank)
    The pain medications available for a cat are narcotic based, like Fentanyl. It’s pretty hard to assess your cat’s condition when they are f-cked up all the time.

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  4. There is no sense in giving a cat aspirin. It is too dangerous, doesn’t cure anything, and alternative safe pain-killers are available. Likewise Panadol or Acetaminophen should not be given to cats. If your vet prescribes aspirin you should walk out.

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    • That is the most ignorant thing to say. 1. A vet would never say give your cat aspirin for pain. They have perfectly, we’ll tested I might add, pain meds that would be better suited. Aspirin is best used when a cat has a heart murmur to thin the blood a bit and reduce the possibility of blood clots. Making a blank statement that people should walk out is just ignorant without valid material to back that resolution. As stated on this page the correct dosage for a cat is 5mg per pound of body weight every THREE DAYS. The risks of a cat with a severe heart murmur for more out weigh the risks of an Aspirin and it, just like when Doctors tell older people to take Aspirin, is a preventative step to avoid further and more detrimental possibilities as an end result!

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