Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
It can be scary when your little one gets injured, and our first reaction is to help them with any household products we have. I remember a while back when Beau got hurt in a fight with Walker I didn’t know what I could use to stop Beau from bleeding. Doing some quick research and calling some of my pet expert friends, I found a great way to stop & clot blood is to either use Kwik Stop or regular Corn Starch, which is not toxic to kitties.
My next question was: What can I use to make sure the cut doesn’t get infected? Polysporin? Neosporin? Which may be the exact reason you’re here!
So, is Neosporinokay for kitties?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t too simple for this. Neosporin can be used on cats, however, it can also be toxic to cats and in some places, it is actually illegal to use on your cat. (Odd random fact: in the US it is illegal to use over-the-counter perscriptions on your cat. It’s best to stay safe and use products that are labled for cats unless you’ve done your research and it has come out as 100% non-toxic.) I personally highly recommend against using Neosporin and would recommend trying something out like Dr. Maggies, or seeing if there’s something your vet can perscribe that is stronger than Dr. Maggies if the wound is severe.
When is Neosporin Unsafe?
Well, since Neosporin is toxic when digested, you have to make sure your kitty doesn’t lick it and since it’s built into your kitty to lick themselves when they are wounded, although it’s very hard to avoid this. In general, it’s good practice to have an extra cone or vet wrap around the house just in case your little one gets cut or hurt. The thing is, dependant on where the cut is, your little one may still be able to reach the cut, which means even with a cone, your kitty may be in danger when you use Neosporin. A common rule: You want to avoid ALL human products that say “pain relief” as they are usually toxic to cats.
Also note: Neosporin should never be administered on a deep or sever cut. This is true for both humans and cats. This can cause blood toxicity.
So, what exactly makes it unsafe?
Neosporin has three active ingredients which are bacitracin, neomycin and polymyxin B (and just some extra info: polysporin has polymyxin B and bacitracin).
Polymyxin in particular has been linked to anaphylaxis (the act of anaphylactic shock which we commonly relate to peanut allergies) which like in humans, can cause death if not dealt with immediately. Although there are some other dodgy ingredients polymyxin is the main concern when administrating Neoporin or Polysporin on your kitties.
Are there any other concerns when using Neosporin on cats?
Absolutely! Neosporin can also actually slow down the healing process, although this highly depends on your cat, the cut size, depth, placement, etc. This can also be true of some medications that vets perscribe. For example, when Beau had his lesion, we were perscribed a steroid that ended up hindering Beau’s healing process. Although it was recommended for lesions like him, it didn’t work on Beau (which sometimes happens). Unfortunately, medications can be a bit of a guessing game. Medications can’t solve every problem, and since each cat is different, it’s best to be working with someone who knows how to tell if the medication is working or not (which is why I again recommend getting your little one checked by a vet early, and use pet specific products very early on.)What do you mean by slowing down the process though?
Well, when using human grade medications you can sometimes trigger other infections, trigger an allergic reaction or sometimes even kill your little one. If you’re using neosporin for rashes, infections, skin irratations, etc it’s best to take your little one to the vet to make sure you’re getting to the root of the problem and not just putting a bandaid on the problem.
While yes, Neosporin can be used our on furry friends, it’s best to avoid it because it can come with a lot of negative side effects if not administered correctly. I highly recommend putting the tube down and getting your little one checked by a vet and trying out some pet safe products in the meantime. It’s better to make sure you’re safe and not sorry.