Baytril for Cats

Posted by in Cat Stories on October 4, 2018 0 comments
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Welcome to our complete guide go Baytril for cats.

Are you worried about potential Baytril side effects in cats?

Unsure of the recommended Baytril dosage for cats?

Here you will find answers to all those important questions you forgot to ask the vet!

Baytril Antibiotics for Cats

A bacterial infection in your pet can be a scary experience.

Various types of infections are quite common, and can cause serious discomfort for your cat.

If treated properly, bacterial infections pose a minimal threat for serious damage – but it’s vital to treat these conditions as soon as possible.

Fortunately, bacterial infections are a condition seen daily by vets, and there are many potential treatments at our disposal.

One common treatment used for both cats and dogs is Baytril.

We shine a spotlight on this drug in the guide below.

What is Baytril for Cats?

Baytril is a brand name for Enrofloxacin, a prescription-strength antibiotic.

It’s most often used for skin and ear infections, but can also be effective in the treatment of internal infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and respiratory infections.

Baytril is a “broad spectrum” antibiotic, which means it’s effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

That essentially means that Baytril/Enrofloxacin can be used to treat a wide variety of infections, because the drug is effective against most bacteria.

A Brief History of Baytril for Cats

Baytril is a product of Bayer AG, a German pharmaceutical company that is one of the top 10 largest biotech firms in the world.

Enrofloxacin, the active ingredient in Baytril, was first synthesized by Bayer researchers Peterson and Grohe in 1980.

It was further refined and later introduced to the commercial market in 1988.

Since that time, Baytril has quickly become one of the most important treatments against bacterial infections in animals.

Baytril was developed exclusively for veterinary medicine, and has no human use applications.

What is Baytril Used for in Cats?

Baytril’s active ingredient, Enrofloxacin, is a potent antibiotic.

Thus, Baytril is used to treat bacterial infections.

In cats, Baytril is often used to treat abscesses and wounds that become infected.

It’s shown the most clinical efficacy in treating wounds susceptible to infection by Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Pasteurella multocida bacterial strains.

Baytril is often prescribed to treat other infections, including urinary, digestive, ear and respiratory infections.

It’s a fast-acting and highly effective drug, which makes it a common recommendation of veterinarians.

What Form Does Baytril Antibiotic for Cats Come In?

Baytril for cats is most commonly prescribed in coated tablet form.

Baytril Otic for cats is also prescribed for ear infections – this is a liquid form of the drug that can be applied topically in the ear.

A Baytril injectable for cats is also used in some situations, but not for home use.

The injectable form of the drug is generally only available for use directly by a veterinarian or hospice care aid.

Additionally, Baytril injection for cats may have an increased risk of side effects compared to tablet forms, and is rarely used for cats.

How Does Baytril Work?

Baytril for cats disrupts bacteria’s ability to make DNA, thereby killing the bacteria and preventing its spread.

Baytril is fast-acting and quickly penetrates all feline body tissues and bodily fluids.

Its rapid spread makes its use very common, particularly in treating bacterial infections that are known to spread quickly.

Is Baytril Available Over the Counter, or Prescription Only?

Baytril for cats is a prescription-only drug.

You can only obtain a Baytril prescription through a licensed veterinarian.

Baytril Safety

If used in the proper dosages, Baytril is a relatively safe drug for felines.

Whilst Baytril can be safe for cats, side effects are common, and we’ll come to those in a moment.

Cats That Shouldn’t Have Baytril

Baytril is not safe for use in pregnant cats, as the drug can cross into the placenta and potentially have a detrimental effect on fetal development.

Baytril safety has not been established in nursing mothers, as the drug can cross into milk supply.

Baytril is contraindicated in cats who are known to be hypersensitive to quinolones, the class of drug that Enrofloxacin belongs to.

Discuss with your vet any reactions your pet has had in the past to prescribed or over-the-counter medications.

Interactions with other drugs are also possible.

Be sure to provide your vet with a detailed list of any medications your pet is taking to avoid interactions.

Cats That Might Not Tolerate Baytril

Baytril should be used with caution in young kittens, as it can interfere with proper development.

Enrofloxacin has been shown to have detrimental effects on growing bones and joints in young kittens.

Caution is advised when administering this drug to pets with kidney disease or failure, liver disease, or central nervous system disorders.

Cats with pre-existing kidney failure are particularly susceptible to Baytril side effects cats.

Baytril for Cats Treatment Protocol

The treatment protocol for your cat will be established by your veterinarian during your visit.

Specific dosage amounts, dose timing, etc. will depend largely upon the condition being treated, and the health of your pet.

If you miss a dose, give the missed dose as soon as possible.

If it’s close to the scheduled time for the next dose, you can skip the missed dose altogether.

Do not give two doses at once.

You should follow your vet’s recommendations closely.

If something doesn’t seem right, follow up with your vet – but do not alter the treatment protocol without first consulting a licensed veterinarian.

Baytril Dosage for Cats

The proper dosage amount for your pet will be prescribed by your veterinarian, based on the animal’s size, weight, and the condition needing to be treated.

The dosage may differ depending on the type of infection – as will the form of medication prescribed.

For internal infections, Baytril tablets are common, while for ear infections you may be given Baytril Otic, a liquid drop form.

In tablet form, Baytril for cats typically comes in 22.7 mg and 68.0 mg sizes.

In some cases, your vet may recommend splitting the tablets to customize the dose to your cat’s weight.

The Baytril injectable dosage for cats will differ from the tablet dosage – however, injectables are rarely used to treat cats, and are only used under veterinary supervision – so, there’s no need to worry about the injectable dosage.

Baytril dosage should not exceed 5 mg/kg of body weight per day in cats in order to reduce the risk of retinal toxicity.

Baytril for Cats Side Effects

Enrofloxacin (Baytril) is a highly effective, fast-acting treatment.

Unfortunately, broad-spectrum antibiotics like Baytril can also be toxic to the host organism, creating a high potential for side effects.

Some common Baytril cats side effects can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures (mostly in pets with central nervous system disorders)
  • Cataracts (if used long-term)

In rare cases, Baytril may also lead to blindness in cats – particularly when used in doses exceeding 5mg/kg of bodyweight per day.

Side effects should be reported to your veterinarian if they become severe. Mild vomiting is common, but if you notice any more worrying side effects, be sure to give your vet a call.

Baytril for Cats

All these side effects, warnings and contraindications are enough to make anyone feel nervous about using Baytril for cats.

However very few pharmaceuticals are completely without risks or side effects.

When your vet prescribes Baytril, they have balanced the potential for improving your cat’s symptoms against the unpleasantness of those side effects.

In the hope that, in the end, the side effects will be worth enduring!

Best Practices for Baytril Treatment

Baytril can be a highly effective treatment, but it’s also a drug that has a large potential for side effects.

To reduce the risk of complications, be sure to:

  • Fully describe to your vet all the medications your cat is taking
  • Provide a full health history to your vet, including kidney issues, central nervous system disorders, and pregnancy
  • Discuss all the treatment options with your vet to determine if Baytril is the right choice
  • Do not exceed the recommended maximum dosage your vet prescribes
  • Do not alter the treatment regimen without consulting with your vet first
  • If your pet experiences side effects, report them to your veterinarian

In some cases, if your cat reacts poorly to the initial dose, the veterinarian may recommend a lower dose that can be gradually increased.

In summary, it’s vital to discuss your pet’s health history and treatment options with your vet, and to trust the veterinarian’s recommendations.

With the proper care of a professional vet, your kitty will be back to good health in no time!

Baytril for Cats – Tell Us Your Experiences!

What has been your experience with Baytril? Let us know in the comments!


Bayer. Baytril Product Label. 2014

M.R. Lappin, J. Blondeau, D., et al. Antimicrobial use Guidelines for Treatment of Respiratory Tract Disease in Dogs and Cats. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2017.

Gelatt, K. N., Van Der Woerdt, A., et al. Enrofloxacin-associated retinal degeneration in cats. Veterinary Ophthalmology, 2001.

Studdert VP , Hughes KL. Treatment of opportunistic mycobacterial infections with enrofloxacin in cats. 1992.