What is Clavamox and how does it work in cats
Clavamox is an antibiotic, with amoxicillin and clavulanic acid as its main components, often used for treating bacterial infections in cats as well as dogs [1,2,4].
Amoxicillin fights against the gram positive and gram negative bacteria, restricting their ability to form cell walls, thus controlling their growth [2, 4].
The clavulanic acid content has a greater function in inhibiting the action of the beta-lactamase enzyme produced by the bacteria, which would otherwise neutralize the effects of amoxicillin [2, 5].
Clavamox at a glance
|Generic name||Amoxicillin trihydrate/clavulanate potassium |
|Brand names||Clavamox® , Clavaseptin, Synulox |
|Use||Treating bacterial infections|
|Availability||Only through prescription |
|Who is it used for||Cats and dogs |
|Form||Drops and tablets|
|Available dosage (mg)||62.5, 125, 250, 375 |
|Is it approved by the FDA||Yes [2,11]|
What is Clavamox prescribed for to cats
UTI (Urinary Tract Infections)
Because of its bacteria-fighting ability, Clavamox is used to treat urinary tract and bladder infections in cats [7,15].
It helps to treat wounds, cuts, acne, abscesses, dermatitis and other infections affecting the skin and soft tissues [8, 10].
Respiratory tract infections
Since Clavamox is capable of combating gram-positive bacteria, vets may prescribe it for rhinitis, feline herpes, cold or other infections of the upper respiratory tract, particularly if it lasts for long or recurs too often [17,18,25].
Periodontal infections and diseases that affect the gums and teeth, like gingivitis, is also treated with Clavamox [13, 14].
Clavamox dosage for cats
Ensure to follow the dosage as recommended by your vet. The average dose is 62.5 mg/lb, usually prescribed two times a day, but may vary from cat to cat, depending on factors like the severity of the infection, and any underlying conditions [1, 11].
Note: If your cat is pregnant or nursing, mention it to the vet before he prescribes Clavamox, as its safety has not been validated [2,9,24].
How to administer
Some cats may foam at the mouth when given Clavamox orally, which is mostly because of its bitter taste. Hence, it is advisable to crush the tablets and mix them in the cat’s food .
Clavamox oral drops have to be stored in the refrigerator, having a shelf life of 10 days. Discard any leftovers after that period [2,12]. It should not be used if there is any discoloration or foul odor.
How long should you give Clavamox to your cat
Follow the dosage directions given by your vet. In most cases, it is given for 10 to 14 days for urinary tract infections and about 5 to 7 days for skin conditions. The maximum duration should not exceed 30 days.
How long does it take to work
It starts working instantly after a dose, reaching the bloodstream within an hour. However, to treat infections of the urinary or respiratory tract, it might take a little longer .
If your cat does not show any improvement after three days of having the medicine, speak to the vet immediately [1,3].
Side effects of Clavamox in Cats
- Loss of appetite 
- Allergic reactions ( marked by troubled breathing, itching, swelling of face and hives) [2,8]
- Drowsiness or lethargy 
Note: Feeding the cat before giving the antibiotic might minimize the risk of throwing up .
Contact your vet or call the Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435) if you notice any of the above symptoms or in case you have mistakenly given your cat an overdose.
It may cause certain contraindications in cats that have allergies to drugs belonging to the cephalosporin and penicillin group . This medicine might also interact with antacids, erythromycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline .
Treating cats, suffering from kidney failure or chronic kidney diseases, with antibiotics on a routine basis may be unsafe. Make sure to inform your vet of any such condition. Sometimes, vets still prescribe Clavamox if the potential benefits are greater than any risks .