Cats and Aspirin 

Aspirin is a common over-the-counter medication used to reduce fever, inflammation, and relieve pain. It is used in both human and veterinary medicine. When used appropriately, it can be effective for pain management for osteoarthritis or preventing blood clots. When used inappropriately and without proper veterinary guidance, it can lead to severe poisoning. Continue reading below to learn about the potential dangers of aspirin to our feline friends.  

Medication Mishap 

Cats are more sensitive to the effects of aspirin than dogs. Cats lack a certain enzyme that is responsible for metabolizing aspirin effectively. As a result, felines are unable to break down aspirin and eliminate it from their bodies as efficiently as humans can. This inefficiency can lead to aspirin toxicity, causing a range of adverse effects. Aspirin poisoning can affect the central nervous system, kidneys, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and more.  

Symptoms of Aspirin Toxicity 

If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned by aspirin, they may experience clinical signs. Potential signs include:  

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Bloody vomit 
  • Black-tarry stool 
  • Stomach ulcers 
  • Respiratory changes 
  • Hyperthermia 
  • Weakness 
  • Change in thirst or urination 
  • Collapse 
  • Weakness 
  • Tremors 
  • Seizures 
  • Death 


If your cat has ingested a toxic dose of aspirin, you must call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 right away. Your cat will require aggressive treatment measures, so you cannot delay and take them to the veterinary clinic as soon as you can. Treatment will include inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal to bind the toxins. It’s important to note that you should never attempt to induce vomiting in cats without veterinary guidance as it can put them in further danger. Gastrointestinal protectants and IV fluids will protect the organs and aid in hydration. Symptomatic and supportive care will be necessary to control the symptoms and stabilize your cat.