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Claritin (Loratadine) for Cats

By | Last Updated: 23rd February 2023

What is Claritin

Claritin (loratadine) is an oral antihistamine (H2 blocker) used to treat allergies, and their symptoms like itchy skin [1, 2].

Can you safely give your cat Claritin for allergies

It is not approved by FDA for use in cats, and studies have shown little evidence of its effectiveness in pets, stating that H1 blockers are more likely to work in vet allergies [6].

However, Claritin may still be prescribed by vets as an extra-label drug for treating allergies in cats [9], and it is sometimes preferred over other antihistamines because it causes less drowsiness [2, 3].

Quick Information

Claritin (Loratadine) for Cats

Generic Name: Loratadine

Brand Name: Claritin

Type: Antihistamine

Who can take it: Cats, dogs, humans

FDA Approved: No [2]

Availability: Over the counter

Available forms for cats: Tablets

How does Claritin work in cats

H2 blockers like loratadine bind to histamines to keep them from binding to h-receptors. Histamines are chemicals released as a result of allergies, traveling through the body to bind with h-receptors to cause itchiness and swelling [2, 4].

Dosage: How much to give

There is a lack of studies to establish the proper dosage in cats. So, make sure to talk to a licensed vet and follow the prescribed dosage schedule. According to certain reports, 0.25 mg per pound (0.5 mg/kg) of body weight, given orally once daily is suggested as the safe dose [2]. The duration of therapy depends on the condition being treated [2].

If you miss giving a dose, give it as soon as you remember, unless it is already time for the next one, in which case, just continue with the regular schedule.

Possible side-effects

Being a second-generation antihistamine, loratadine causes fewer side effects in cats compared to other drugs of this class. However, on rare occasions, side-effects like vomiting, diarrhea, dry eyes and mouth, and lethargy may occur [7], with urinary retention being another possible effect of antihistamines [8]. Your cat may also have these effects in case of an overdose. So, if you notice any of these, immediately get in touch with the vet or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435).

When not to give Claritin

Inform the vet about any medicines you may be giving your cat, or if it suffering from some other diseases or conditions, to avoid any contraindications. Claritin is usually not given to cats if they are:

  • Allergic to loratadine [2].
  • Already having problems with dry eyes (as the drug may further reduce tear-production)
  • Suffering from a hepatic or renal disease [2].
  • Pregnant or nursing [7].

Drugs that loratadine may interact with include cimetidine, ketoconazole, and amidoarone [3].

Claritin syrup is not safe for use in cats as the propylene glycol in it is toxic for them.


    1. Loratadine – MarVistaVet.com
    2. Loratadine (Claritin®, Alavert®) for Dogs and Cats – PetPlace.com
    3. Loratadine for Cats – VetInfo.com
    4. Can You Give Your Cat Claritin? – VetInfo.com
    5. Loratadine Dosage for Cats – Cuteness.com
    6. Allergies and Atopy in Cats – DrsFosterSmith.com
    7. Antihistamines For Cats – Usage & Dosages – Cat-World.com.au
    8. Dermatology Details: Feline Dermatology Cats Are Not Small Dogs – TodaysVeterinaryPractice.navc.com
    9. Cat Allergies – Webmd.com

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