Bactrim is used as an antibiotic that can be helpful in reliving things like traveler’s diarrhea, and can help with infections with the urinary tract and other parts of the body. But that’s true for humans. What about for cats?
Perhaps you have some Bactrim handy and remember how well it worked for you and whatever condition you had that warranted its use. You’re now wondering if this is approved for use on your cat, and if it can help them with similar symptoms. The overall problem with this idea is that you’re likely not authorized to accurately determine feline conditions, and the symptoms they are exhibiting do not necessarily translate to the same problems us humans have.
The other reason is that the makers of Bactrim did not formulate it for cats, and the research and development that went into it only accounted for human use. There are no studies that have been conducted on whether or not this is fit for a cat, so any advice you get that says its OK is purely hearsay and should not be given much value. The only real answer is that you should not give it to them, in any amount.
Can I Give My Cat Bactrim? Answer: No.
Bactrim is for humans, and if we lived on a different planet that didn’t contain antibiotics specifically developed for cats, you might consider giving it to them. But since better alternatives exist, you should take advantage of the fact that they do, and give your cat what it really needs, and only after getting a proper diagnosis from the vet. Only they will be able to determine with some certainty what is ailing your cat and whether an antibiotic will help.
The Problems with Antibiotics
The reason that you don’t want to play around with antibiotics, or take them too lightly is that if you give your cat the wrong kind, they could build up a resistance to them, and the bacteria they have will mutate, making the problem last longer than it otherwise would have. That’s why you want the vet to correctly identify the problem, and then give you the best medication to help it go away on the double.
The Path of Least Intervention
It can be hard to not take action for your cat, and just let them deal with problems on their own, but what’s even worse is making the problem worse and then feeling guilty that it was your fault. The way to avoid this is to simply monitor your cat, record the symptoms that aren’t too severe, and take them in if the problem worsens, or if it goes on for a longer period of time than what seems natural. This way you don’t overtreat your cat for things they don’t have, and you don’t rush them in for the littlest things.
The Vet’s Assistant
You don’t want to trouble your vet every time your cat has a small problem, so make friends with the veterinary assistant. They have plenty of schooling and experience and take these sort of phone calls all day long. If you run something by them and they think it’s serious, they’ll put you in touch with the vet or have them call you back. They’re like a screener so that the vet doesn’t have to deal with all of the easy phone calls that come in from worried pet owners. In many instances you’ll be able to get an accurate answer from them without bothering the vet.
Giving your cat something like Bactrim is only going to make the problem worse, because it is devised to stop the bacteria found in humans. Cats don’t share a lot with us, except for a living environment, and they house different bacteria than us. Many of the colds and viruses that go around can’t be transferred between the species, so it doesn’t make sense to give them something that is meant to kill the bacteria in a human.
Disregard the advice you find from owners out there saying that they gave their cat Bactrim with no negative repercussions. It’s negligence that borders animal abuse and should not be tolerated.