If your cat is in some pain, reaching for a Vicodin might pop in your head as a logical fix. But this is a powerful drug made for human use, and not something that you want to give them under any circumstance.
The reason Vicodin is so popular is because it combines two effective drugs into one: acetaminophen and hydrocodone. This makes it very effective for us humans, but makes it doubly dangerous for your pet cat because they aren’t supposed to have acetaminophen or hydrocodone so when you put them both together in the same dose you’re really creating a volatile situation.
Humans have a relatively low tolerance for any sort of pain, and we tend to medicate at the first sign of discomfort so that we can make it through the day. We’ve got pain relievers for headaches, joint pain, flu and cold symptoms, and more. But medicating a cat when it’s in pain is potentially causing more problems, and often they don’t need our help in any way.
Can I Give My Cat Vicodin? Answer: No.
If your cat is in some real pain then they need to be seen by a vet. Giving them something like Vicodin could be lethal, and is not something you want to toy around with. The list of side effects that go along with Vicodin is rather extensive, and that’s when it’s used by humans in the proper dosages. When you start changing the recipient to a cat and start guessing at how much to give them, you are inviting catastrophe and will not be helping them get better at all.
Your Job is Easy
As the owner, most events in your cat’s life will fall under two categories: not serious enough to intervene in, or so serious they need the attention of a vet. In the case of pain, if your cat just seems to have a nagging pain and is getting on mostly unphased, you can leave them alone and let them deal with it naturally. If they are in so much pain that they can’t function, it’s time to take them into the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment. In either case, you shouldn’t be self-medicating them based on your own determination of what’s wrong with them.
By giving your cat medication you are dulling down their senses, and inhibiting their body to heal by masking the pain. It can actually do more harm to your cat than good, and you’re not doing them any favors, even though your intentions might be good. Cats are very in tune with nature, and are able to heal quickly if left alone and untouched, aside from loving strokes. It might be hard to watch as a concerned owner, but your instincts will let you know when they really need you, and when it’d be best to just let them be.
It’s important to realize that your cat is a very noble creature, and it doesn’t like to show weakness. It will try its best to hide the fact that it’s hurting, so if you’re noticing signs that they’re in pain, it’s probably to the point where they’re really hurting. If there’s no obvious cause of the pain, you’ll definitely want to have them seen by a vet to try to see what’s wrong. If it’s easy to see why they’re in pain, for example if they’ve suffered a visible injury, or are avoiding the use of a paw, you should still have them treated by a professional to make sure that it’s under control.
Giving your cats drugs that are made for human consumption is a bad idea in general. However, the more powerful the drug, the worse of an idea it is. There is no way to make the drug OK for a cat by giving it to them in smaller doses. This may account for the size difference, but it doesn’t account for the species difference. Cats have a different bodily make-up than humans do, and this is especially true for our central nervous system. This is the part of the body that Vicodin goes to work on, so it’s just not the right painkiller for your pet.
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