Is Neosporin a Cat's Best Friend?

Neosporin squeeze packet in front of brown and white cat

When you notice your cat has a wound, it may be tempting to use Neosporin. However, this first-aid kit staple, sometimes known as triple antibiotic ointment, isn't meant for cats. Neosporin can irritate the skin and induce allergic reactions in cats. If you want to make a first-aid kit for your cat, skip the Neosporin and instead have a vet's ointment on hand, along with some additional cat first-aid basics.

What Is Neosporin?

Neosporin is the brand name for a Johnson & Johnson antibiotic ointment that contains three antibiotics. Neomycin, polymixin B, and bacitracin are the three antibiotics that make it up. A fourth component in Neosporin (or generic, non-brand name triple antibiotic ointment) marketed as "pain treatment" is pramoxine hydrogen chloride, a topical analgesic (pain reliever).

The three topical antibiotics in Neosporin work well together to keep wounds free of germs. They're perfectly safe to apply on people's skin. Topical treatment in cats may produce moderate skin irritation or an allergic response if the cat is allergic to one or more components, but there are no other significant adverse effects. It can, however, induce vomiting, diarrhea, anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic response), and even death if consumed in big enough doses.

How cautious should one be if Neosporin is intended to be used topically yet the component has such a negative effect solely when ingested? Remember that cats brush themselves on a daily basis, especially if their wound or oily ointment is making them uncomfortable. Additionally, the pramoxine hydrogen chloride component in the "pain relief" type might cause additional skin irritation in cats.

Despite the fact that Neosporin is theoretically safe for topical treatment in cats, it is not advised for use in cats for these reasons. It is a drug that is hazardous to pets, according to the Animal Poison Control Center.

Are There Alternatives to Neosporin?

Unfortunately, there is no over-the-counter Neosporin substitute for cats. Veterinary-specific ointments, on the other hand, can be administered in place of Neosporin. Schedule an appointment for your cat to be seen by your veterinarian if he or she has a small wound. They'll be able to recommend the best therapy for your cat's wound. If your veterinarian discovers that your cat's little wound isn't so minor after all, you're at the perfect spot to get it treated.

Can I Do Anything at Home?

If your cat suffers a minor injury, there are a few things you may do at home after checking with your veterinarian. If your cat can accept it, apply mild pressure to the wound with sterile gauze if there is active bleeding. Check your cat for any additional wounds once you've got the bleeding wound under control. If your cat is in too much discomfort to tolerate this medication, take it to a veterinarian straight away for further care and pain relief.

If your cat has a wound that is no longer actively bleeding and looks to be minor (small and not deep), gently treat it with a weak antiseptic solution such as povidone-iodine. Using sterile gauze and saline solution, clean the area around the wound.

If you detect any that appear to be deep or puncture wounds, clean them with saline and take your cat to your veterinarian or a local emergency clinic as soon as possible.

Every cat owner should be prepared in the event of an emergency that necessitates in-home care. Although keeping Neosporin in your cat's first aid kit is not suggested, there are lots of other products you may and should include. The phone information of your veterinarian, local emergency vet facilities, and the ASPCA Pet Poison Control should all be included in your cat's first aid box (1-888-426-4435).

You should also have a copy of your cat's immunization history, relevant medical papers, a photo, and, if your cat is microchipped, the microchip number. Sterile gauze squares and non-stick or telfa pads should be included in your cat's first aid kit. Bandaging scissors with a blunt point might be useful for cutting these materials. Minor wounds should also be cleaned with povidone-iodine and saline solution, which should be provided in your pack. A correctly fitted E-collar, commonly known as a pet cone, is also necessary to keep your cat from licking or gnawing at its wound, which can aggravate the injury and/or introduce infection.

A rectal "fever" thermometer and water-based lubricating gel should be supplied if your cat enables you to take his or her temperature. Regular thermometers may not be able to read your cat's temperature, especially if they have a fever, because cats have a normal of up to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

These are the minimal minimums for a first-aid kit for your cat. Here's another wonderful post from The Spruce Pets that goes through everything you'll need for a fully filled, ready-for-anything first aid bag.

Every cat owner want to be able to assist their pet in times of need. It's critical to have a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand. Just make sure the Neosporin isn't in the cat's first-aid kit and is kept in your own.

  • Can you use Neosporin on cats?

    You should not, no. It can cause anaphylactic shock.

  • How do you remove Neosporin on cats?

    With pet shampoo, and if you don't have that try baby shampoo.

  • Does Neosporin work on cats?

    No, because Neosporin is poisonous for cats and its use is life threatening.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.


"Antibiotics. Animal Poison Control Center ", "Fever of Unknown Origin in Cats. VCA Hospitals." ;