Vet Care for Dogs, Cats and Many Other Animals

If Your Cat Has Been Prescribed Antibiotics, Here's What You Can Expect

by Calvin Newman

Antibiotics are a powerful tool that veterinarians can prescribe to help your cat's immune system beat an illness or infection. If your cat has never taken antibiotics before or you've never done it yourself, there are a few things that you should expect during the duration of your cat's treatment and following it. Here's what you need to know.


One of the most common side effects of taking antibiotics is a temporary loss of appetite. This doesn't mean that your cat will stop eating entirely, but they may show slightly less interest in their food than usual.

Antibiotics can have this effect on humans, too, as you might know yourself. It's a good time to encourage your cat to eat by giving them their favorite meals and treats. If your cat won't eat at all, contact your veterinarian, as it could indicate that their illness has gotten worse.

Symptom Improvement

Most cats start to show noticeable signs of improvement after being on antibiotics for a short amount of time.

Healthy cats have strong immune systems that are very good at combating illnesses and infections all on their own. Of course, they're not perfect, or antibiotics wouldn't be necessary. However, when you pair up a powerful immune system with antibiotics, it causes the bacteria responsible for your cat's illness or infection to quickly die off. Any symptoms your cat currently has, like pissing, swelling, or cold symptoms will likely start to improve in a short period of time.

While it's great that your cat is feeling better, you should never stop the antibiotics before their treatment period is up. This could allow some of the bacteria to survive and become antibiotic-resistant, allowing them to reproduce and cause a much worse illness in your cat.


Once your cat's antibiotic treatment is complete, they should be completely well again. If they have an injury, it may require additional time to heal. However, with proper wound care, it shouldn't have an infection anymore or develop a new one.

Some cats continue to experience mild stomach issues after antibiotics, like an increase in gas or loose stools. If you notice these symptoms or just want to head them off at the pass, talk to your veterinarian about probiotics. These helpful bacteria repopulate a cat's stomach after the antibiotic kills some of them off, which can help to improve your cat's digestion.

Antibiotics are extremely effective when used according to direction. If you have questions or concerns about your cat's treatment, talk to a veterinarian to find out more.