is antibiotic ointment safe for cats

Unlike dogs, cats can have life-threatening allergic reactions to antibiotics that are commonly included in topical antibiotic ointments. For this reason, it’s best to avoid antibiotic ointments in cats and seek veterinary care for infected wounds.

The Short Answer is Yes, Neosporin is Safe for Pets

The short answer is that pets with small cuts, scrapes, or abrasions can safely use the regular strength first aid ointment. It is only meant to be applied externally; never put it in your eyes, ears, or on really deep cuts. The term “triple antibiotic” describes the three antibiotics—Bacitracin, Neomycin, and Polymyxin B—that are present in any brand of first aid ointment. When Neosporin first appeared on store shelves in the 1950s, it quickly became a proprietary brand name for first aid cream.

is antibiotic ointment safe for cats

The tube’s general usage instructions are located there. It should not be used for more than a few days, particularly if the problem doesn’t get better or gets worse. Applying first aid ointment after cleaning with a sterile solution, like saline, maximizes its effectiveness. The small amount that would be applied to the affected area is safe for your dog and cat to consume. If they swallow the tube, you will have gastrointestinal issues, but more importantly, you would need to make sure that neither Sparky nor Fluffy swallowed the tube—that would be more worrying than the contents of the tube.

What Is Neosporin?

The Johnson Company produced a triple antibiotic ointment known by the trade name Neosporin. It consists of polymixin B, bacitracin, and neomycin, three distinct antibiotics. The fourth ingredient of Neosporin, also known as generic, non-brand name triple antibiotic ointment, is pramoxine hydrogen chloride, a topical analgesic (pain reliever).

Neosporin’s three topical antibiotics work well together to keep wounds free of bacteria. They are very safe for topical use in people. If a cat is allergic to one or more ingredients, topical application may result in a mild skin irritation or allergic reaction; otherwise, topical application has no significant side effects. But if consumed in sufficient amounts, it can result in severe allergic reactions like anaphylactic shock, vomiting, diarrhea, or even death.

Remember that cats groom themselves every day, especially if it is feeling uncomfortable from their wound or the greasy ointment. If Neosporin is meant to be used topically, how cautious should one be if the component has such an adverse effect only when ingested? Additionally, the pramoxine hydrogen chloride additive in the “pain relief” variety can irritate cats’ skin even more if you keep it on hand.

Neosporin is not actually advised for use in cats, even though it is safe to apply topically in cats for these reasons. It is a medication that is toxic to pets, according to the Animal Poison Control Center.

Are There Alternatives to Neosporin?

Unfortunately, there is no over-the-counter alternative to Neosporin in cats. Neosporin, however, can be substituted with ointments made specifically for veterinarians. Make an appointment for your cat to see your veterinarian if it has a small cut. They can prescribe the right treatment for your cats wound. You’re in the right place to get your cat’s minor wound treated if your veterinarian finds that it’s not as minor as you thought.


What ointment can I put on a cat wound?

Antibiotic ointments or creams, such as Triple Antibiotic Ointment or Bacitracin, can be applied directly to the wound to help prevent infection and promote healing. Antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or Clavamox, may be prescribed to help fight any bacterial infections that may be present in the wound.

Is it safe to use Neosporin on cats?

It may be tempting to slather Neosporin on your cat when you see it has a wound. But this first-aid kit staple, otherwise called triple antibiotic ointment, isn’t recommended for use on cats. Neosporin can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in cats.

Can cats lick antibiotic ointment?

Most topical preparations work better if they are gently massaged in for a few moments during the application. It is important to prevent your cat from licking and swallowing any of these external preparations as they may contain ingredients that could be harmful if swallowed.

What antibiotic is good for cat wounds?

Antibiotics, such as ampicillin (Ampi-Tab®), amoxicillin-clavulanate (Clavamox®), cefazolin (Ancef®, Kefzol®), or cefovecin (Convenia®), will be given to treat the bacterial infection.