Ivermectin In Cats: Overview, Dosage & Facet Results

veterinary examination of cats

Ivermectin is a prescription-only drug used to deal with parasites in cats and different animals. You’re most probably to make use of ivermectin in your cat to stop heartworm an infection, utilizing a month-to-month pill (Heartgard). However your veterinarian may also prescribe ivermectin for quite a lot of different parasites, together with ear mites and scabies.

Ivermectin is available in pill, liquid (to be used within the ear), and injectable types. Ivermectin is sort of protected for cats when used at advisable doses however can have severe unwanted side effects at excessive doses.

Ivermectin for Cats Overview

Treatment Kind:


Treatment Kind:

Tablets and topical liquid (ear drops); injectable types licensed to be used in cattle.

Model Names:

Heartgard and Acarexx otic suspension licensed to be used in cats. Numerous merchandise licensed to be used in cattle.


Licensed for stopping heartworm and treating ear mites in cats in america. Additionally efficient towards different inner and exterior parasites off-label, together with scabies.

Obtainable Dosages:

Heartgard tablets 55 micrograms (as much as 5 kilos) and 165 micrograms (5 to fifteen kilos). Acarexx otic suspension 0.01% answer. Injectable 10 milligrams/milliliter varied merchandise licensed to be used in cattle.

Potential Facet Results:

Few when used at acceptable doses. Vomiting (lower than 0.2% of cats) and diarrhea (lower than 0.3% of cats).


Don’t use in kittens youthful than 6 weeks of age.


Keep away from utilizing alongside benzodiazepines, ketamine, erythromycin, spinosad, or sure anti-fungal therapies.

About Ivermectin For Cats

Ivermectin is mostly utilized in cats to stop heartworm an infection. Heartworm is a severe illness attributable to worms referred to as Dirofilaria immitis. Your cat will be contaminated after being bitten by an contaminated mosquito. Heartworm an infection could cause coughing, breathing problems, and non-specific indicators comparable to weight loss or vomiting. Sadly, in extreme circumstances, it may possibly trigger sudden demise.

Heartworm an infection is tough to deal with, so it’s higher to stop your cat from being contaminated. To stop heartworm, you may give your cat an ivermectin pill (Heartgard) at house each month.

Ivermectin can be used to deal with different inner and exterior parasites in cats, comparable to ear mites and scabies. It’s not efficient towards fleas or tapeworms.

Ivermectin Dose For Cats

Ivermectin is accredited by the FDA in cats for stopping heartworm, utilizing Heartgard tablets. They suggest a minimal dose of 12 micrograms/pound as soon as a month. Nevertheless, it is best to converse to your veterinarian about testing your cat for lively heartworm an infection earlier than beginning preventative therapy.

Cat Weight Tablets per 30 days Energy
As much as 5 kilos 1 55 micrograms
5 to fifteen kilos 1 165 micrograms

The FDA has additionally accredited an ivermectin answer for treating ear mites in cats, referred to as Acarexx otic suspension.

Heartgard Oral Tablets

Heartgard tablets are the licensed product for stopping heartworm in cats older than 6 weeks outdated. They arrive in two pill sizes: 55 micrograms (for cats as much as 5 kilos) and 165 micrograms (for cats 5 to fifteen kilos). Give your cat one pill a month 12 months spherical.

You will need to give the primary dose inside 30 days of your cat’s first attainable publicity to mosquitoes. The final dose ought to be given no later than 30 days after their final attainable publicity. Attempt to give Heartgard on the identical day every month to ensure they’re efficient.

Month-to-month therapy with Heartgard can even shield your cat towards an infection with hookworm.

Acarexx Otic Suspension

Acarexx otic suspension incorporates 0.01% ivermectin and is used to deal with grownup ear mites in cats and kittens older than 4 weeks of age. Your vet will administer 0.5 milliliters of liquid into your cat’s ear canal. Normally, one dose is efficient. However your vet would possibly repeat the therapy as soon as extra if wanted.

Off-Label Use Of Ivermectin

Your vet might also use ivermectin “off-label” at differing doses and formulations to deal with different parasites in your cat, comparable to scabies. This implies they’re utilizing it in a manner that isn’t what the FDA initially accredited it for. For instance, your veterinarian would possibly use an injection of ivermectin that’s licensed in cattle to deal with ear mites or scabies in your cat.

How To Administer Ivermectin To Cats

Cute cat eating from bowl

Heartgard (ivermectin) comes as a chewable pill that may be given to your cat as a deal with or combined into meals.

In case you are administering ivermectin to your cat at house, this may most probably be Heartgard tablets. As Heartgard tablets are chewable, you possibly can provide the pill to your cat in your hand or combined with a small quantity of their meals.

Nevertheless, in case your cat won’t eat the pill, you possibly can break it into items and provides it immediately into their mouth. Take care to make sure your cat has eaten the entire pill. In case you suppose they haven’t, it’s best to offer them a brand new one.

Facet Results Of Ivermectin For Cats

When used at acceptable doses, ivermectin could be very protected for cats. There’s a small likelihood your cat would possibly expertise vomiting or diarrhea. Nevertheless, in medical trials, this was solely seen in lower than 0.3% and fewer than 0.2% of cats respectively.

In case you suppose your cat does expertise a facet impact from ivermectin, contact your veterinarian for recommendation. You also needs to report the suspected response to the producer, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA.

Overdose And Emergencies

Ivermectin has a large security margin in cats, which means overdoses with heartworm prevention tablets are uncommon. In fact, in case your cat does ingest greater than the advisable quantity it is best to contact your veterinarian for recommendation.

Nevertheless, ivermectin is usually used off-label in cats utilizing formulations designed for a lot bigger animals comparable to cattle, sheep, and horses. Sadly, it’s not unusual that cats are overdosed when these merchandise are used at an inappropriate dose, as they comprise such excessive concentrations. Cats also can undergo from ivermectin overdose by unintentionally ingesting these massive animal formulations. As an illustration, licking unused horse wormer from the syringe.

In case your cat ingests an overdose of ivermectin they may present indicators inside two to 3 hours. However signs also can develop extra slowly in much less severe circumstances. Signs of ivermectin toxicosis embrace:

Cats affected by ivermectin toxicosis want instant and intensive veterinary therapy.

Potential Drug Interactions With Ivermectin

veterinary giving the vaccine to the cat

Cats mustn’t use ivermectin if they’re additionally taking benzodiazepines, ketamine, erythromycin, spinosad, or sure anti-fungal therapies.

Ivermectin is used safely in cats receiving widespread vaccinations, antibiotics, steroids, and different antiparasitics. Nevertheless, it is very important let your veterinarian find out about any therapy (together with natural or dietary dietary supplements) that your cat is taking earlier than they prescribe ivermectin.

Specifically, keep away from utilizing ivermectin in your cat if they’re being handled with benzodiazepines, ketamine, erythromycin, spinosad, or sure anti-fungal therapies.

How To Retailer Ivermectin

Retailer ivermectin merchandise at room temperature away from direct daylight. At all times return the remaining tablets of their blister-backed foil into the bundle after use to guard them from gentle.

Associated Situations

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Is ivermectin protected for cats?

When used at an acceptable dose, ivermectin could be very protected to make use of in cats. The FDA has accredited ivermectin to stop heartworm in cats at a minimal dose of 12 micrograms/pound as soon as a month. Ivermectin has a large security margin in cats, with single-dose tolerance research displaying a 30-fold security margin over the minimal advisable dosage.

Why is ivermectin given to cats?

Ivermectin is mostly given to cats to stop heartworm an infection. It can be used to deal with quite a lot of different inner and exterior parasites, together with ear mites and cat scabies. This use is usually “off-label,” which means it’s getting used to deal with one thing aside from what the FDA accredited it for.

Is ivermectin good for deworming cats?

Ivermectin is usually used to stop heartworm in cats. Though it may be used to stop different varieties of worms (comparable to roundworms), different varieties of wormers are extra generally used. Ivermectin will not be efficient towards tapeworms.

How a lot ivermectin are you able to give a cat?

The FDA has accredited ivermectin to stop heartworm in cats at a minimal dose of 12 micrograms/pound as soon as a month. It may be used off-label at a spread of doses to deal with different inner and exterior parasites. Indicators of ivermectin toxicosis have been reported at doses over 100 micrograms/pound.

What occurs when you give a cat an excessive amount of ivermectin?

Indicators of ivermectin overdose in cats can develop in as little as two to 3 hours after ingestion. They embrace melancholy, weak point, enlarged pupils, blindness, lack of coordination, tremors, and collapse. Cats suspected of ivermectin overdose ought to be taken to a veterinarian instantly.

View Sources

Heartgard prescribing data: https://docs.boehringer-ingelheim.com/PI/Paras/Heartgard_for_Cats_PI_with_BI_logo_-2020.pdf

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