What Antibiotic Ointment is Safe for Cats? Read Before Applying


If your cat got into a scuffle with another cat or wound up with a few scratches from another incident, you may be wondering what antibiotic ointment is safe for cats.  Asking this question and doing some research, like you’re doing right here, is a good idea.  Medications that humans are able to use are not always safe for our pets, and the same can be true for antibiotic ointments.  Continue reading, and I’ll share more about using antibiotic ointments on your cat.

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A Quick Note

Before we start discussing antibiotic ointments, if your cat was bitten by another cat, seek medical attention right away. 

Cats have a lot of bacteria in their mouths.  If a cat bites another cat (or if they bite a human), the bacteria may cause muscular abscesses or infections without proper care and medication).

Can I use human antibiotic ointment on my cat?

Can I use human antibiotic ointment on my cat?

If your cat has a large wound, don’t try to treat it yourself.  Bring them to your veterinarian to get the care they need.

Even if the wound is smaller, consulting your vet is a good idea.  They know your cat and her history. Because of this, they will be able to offer more tailored advice regarding the best treatment options. 

However, if you need to treat the wound and can’t – or don’t want to – reach out to their vet, some human antibiotic ointments may be safe to use.

We’ll take a look at some of the most common human antibiotic ointments in the next few sections. Then, we’ll discuss whether they are safe to use on a cat. 

Regardless of which ointment you decide to try, it is important to make sure that your cat can’t lick the ointment off.  Doing so could be dangerous, plus she could open the wound back up.

To stop her from being able to reach the wound, you’ll need to use an Elizabethan collar.  E-collars or cones of shame are other names for an Elizabethan collar. They go around the cat’s neck and head. This keeps the cat from being able to lick or bite at the other areas of their body.

Is it OK to put Neosporin on a cat?

Just as you may wonder whether it is safe to give your pet Calpol, you might also want to know whether you can put Neosporin on their wound. 

Let’s explore what Neosporin is and the different ingredients found in it. This will help us better understand whether it is safe to use on a cat’s wound.

Neosporin is a brand name for a triple antibiotic ointment from Johnson & Johnson.  As you may suspect after hearing that it is a triple antibiotic ointment, three different antibiotic ointments are in Neosporin: neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin B.

While Neosporin could potentially be used topically safely on a cat’s wound, you will have to be absolutely certain that your cat won’t be able to lick at it and ingest any of the ointment.  According to the Animal Poison Control Center, Neosporin is a toxic medication for animals.  It should not be ingested and could lead to severe side effects or even death if it is ingested.  

Additionally, some cats can be allergic to polymyxin B, one of the three ointments used to make Neosporin.  If your cat is allergic to polymyxin B, they could have an allergic reaction. This could include a very severe reaction that may lead to anaphylactic shock.

Is it OK to put Neosporin on a cat?

Is it OK to use Bacitracin on cats?

Bacitracin is one of the three antibiotic ointments that make up Neosporin.  You can also find bacitracin sold as a single ointment, not as a part of Neosporin. 

As with Neosporin, if you want to use bacitracin on your cat it is a good idea to contact your vet for their advice.  If you do decide to use it on a wound, be sure to use an Elizabethan collar to prevent your cat from being able to lick the wound  

Is polysporin safe for cats to lick?

No, polysporin is not safe for cats to lick. 

Polysporin, also called Polymyxin B, is one of the three ointments found in Neosporin. 

As I shared above, it is toxic for pets, according to the Animal Poison Control Center. This means that cats could suffer a severe reaction or even die if they ingest it.

Is Vaseline safe for cats?

Yes, Vaseline is safe to use on cats.  However, you should still discourage your cat from trying to eat or lick it. 

Use an Elizabethan collar if you need to put Vaseline on your cat’s wound and want to try to stop her from licking it.

antibiotics are generally bad for cats

Using Antibiotic Ointments on Cats

If your cat has a wound, the safest option is to contact their veterinarian.  They can offer advice regarding which antibiotic ointment they think is best for your cat, or they may even prescribe something designed specifically for cats. 

If you choose to use Neosporin or another over-the-counter ointment designed for humans, remember to make sure that your cat isn’t able to lick the area by using an Elizabethan collar to block your cat’s access. 

Some ointments can be dangerous and could potentially lead to severe allergies or even anaphylactic shock and death.


What antibiotic is used for cat wounds?

The type of antibiotic or antibiotic ointment used for a cat wound can vary based on the injury and the vet’s recommendations.  Some different types of oral antibiotics that your vet may prescribe include ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, cefovecin, or cefazolin.  Your vet may also recommend a topical antibiotic powder or ointment.

What can I put on a raw spot on my cat?

If your cat has a raw spot, contact their veterinarian.  If the spot is large, the vet may want to see your cat. This way they can ensure that the wound gets properly cared for.  They may recommend using an antibiotic powder or ointment.  If the cat will be able to lick the wound or the antibiotic, be sure to put an Elizabethan collar on her to prevent her from being able to do so.