Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Baytril (Enrofloxacin) for Cats: Our Vet Explains Uses, Doses, & Side Effects

Written by: Dr. Paola Cuevas MVZ (Vet)

Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Woman at home holding her lovely Devon Rex cat on lap and gives it a pill

Baytril (Enrofloxacin) for Cats: Our Vet Explains Uses, Doses, & Side Effects


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

“Baytril” is the brand name of one of Bayer’s veterinary use medications. The active ingredient of Baytril is enrofloxacin, an antibiotic that belongs to the group of fluoroquinolones. Enrofloxacin is considered a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means that it is effective against a very wide range of bacteria of both the gram-positive and the gram-negative groups.

In particular, cats under enrofloxacin treatment have been reported to develop retinal damage and blindness. For that reason, Baytril is not the first antibiotic of choice to treat cat infections and should be reserved only when it is absolutely necessary and under the prescription and supervision of a veterinarian.

cat face divider 2

What Is Baytril Used for in Cats?

Baytril can be used to treat several infections in cats including:
  • Ear infections
  • Skin infections
  • Respiratory infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Prostate infections
  • Gastrointestinal tract infections

What Is the Recommended Dosage of Baytril for Cats?

Depending on the specific infection to be treated, the veterinarian will give either 2.5 mg/kg twice a day or 5 mg/kg once a day.

A Warning Note: It is always recommended to consult your veterinarian for accurate case-specific treatment. Baytril is only given to cats to treat specific infections; always follow the veterinarian’s prescriptions. Never give your cat medication without the prescription and advice of a veterinarian, as you might be increasing the cat’s risks instead of helping them.

What Are the Presentations of Baytril?

Baytril is available in 22.7 mg, 68 mg, and 136 mg applications. The tablets are either enteric-coated or chewable tablets called taste or flavor tablets. Baytril is also available as a solution for intramuscular injection with either 2.27%, 5%, or 10% concentration, but the veterinarian will not expect you to inject your cat.

What Is the Best Way to Give Baytril to My Cat?

It is recommended to try to give Baytril to your cat on an empty stomach, before food, or after hours of fasting. This helps increase the absorption of this medicine. However, if you notice that your cat looks nauseous or vomiting after taking Baytril, you could mix it with a little bit of food to try to prevent this problem.

If your cat vomits the medication, inform the veterinarian immediately so that you can be advised whether to give the medication again.

DIY pill pocket for cat
Image Credit: Ovrs
  • A good tip that your veterinarian might appreciate is if you could take a picture of the vomit to give a better idea of the scenario. Sharing pictures with the veterinarian is a great way to provide detailed information, taking advantage of this year’s technology.

If you have the enteric-coated tablet form of Baytril, keep in mind that the content inside the tablet has a very bitter flavor, so do not think about crushing the tablet into their food or water. Your cat will most likely reject this.

The easiest way to get your cat to take the Baytril is to get chewable or flavored tablets. The enteric-coated tablets are only practical if the dose is for a bigger cat, and you can make the cat eat the whole tablet. Smaller cats might need to take ¼ or ½ of the 22 mg tablet; in that case, try to get the flavor tablets instead of the enteric coated tablet to make it easier for your cat to accept the medicine.

A Warning Note: Never give your cat milk or cheese when under treatment with Baytril. The calcium in milk and dairy binds to the medicine and prevents its absorption and distribution, making it face divider 2

The Veterinarian Prescribed My Cat Baytril But I Forgot to Give One Dose. What Should I Do Now?

If the veterinarian prescribed your cat Baytril, it is important to try to give every dose on time. The medicine should be given every 24 hours if prescribed once a day or every 12 hours if prescribed twice a day.

So, if you were not able to give the dose when indicated, give it as soon as possible and count either 12 (if the regime is twice a day) or 24-hour intervals (if the regime is twice a day) from that time to give the next dose.

Never try to make up for a missed dose by giving double the amount! This puts your cat at serious risk of presenting Baytril’s very undesired negative effects.

What Are the Side Effects of Baytril in Cats?

Side Efects of Baytril:
  • Eye damage and blindness (at higher doses)
  • Neurological signs such as seizures and incoordination
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Vocalizations
  • Aggression
sick cat
Image Credit: Flickr

What Are the Contraindications of Baytril for Cats?

Like any other medication, Baytril may cause complications with cats suffering from certain medical conditions. If your cat has any of the following, make sure you inform the veterinarian and do not administer Baytril to cats with the following conditions:

  • Renal disease
  • Pregnant or lactating
  • Kittens younger than 8 weeks old as this could cause abnormal development of cartilage
  • Dehydrated
  • Has hepatic disease
cat face divider 2

The Importance of Hydration

When your cat is under Baytril treatment, it is very important to monitor the water intake; the cat should have good hydration status. Clean, fresh drinking water should always be available to your cat.

It is a good cat owner’s practice always to be aware of your cat’s diet and water intake, which is especially important while your cat is under medical treatment. Inform your veterinarian if your cat drinks or eats less than usual.

tabby cat eating cat food out of bowl inside
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Can Baytril Have Interactions With Other Drugs?

If your cat has been diagnosed with any disease or is under any form of medical treatment, it is vital to inform the Veterinarian about this before administering Baytril.

The following is a list of medications known to interact with Baytril; however, if your cat is taking another medication that is not on this list, it is your responsibility to inform the veterinarian about your cat’s ongoing treatments so that they can recommend a safe schedule for your beloved cat.

  • Vitamins
  • Supplements
  • Antacids
  • Ranitidine
  • Sucralfate
  • Theophylline
  • Cyclosporine

The Veterinarian Prescribed Baytril to My Cat. After 3 Days of Treatment, My Cat Is Fine. Do I Stop?

The veterinarian is trained to provide your cat with appropriate treatments. Follow your veterinarian’s prescription, and never stop treatment before the recommended course duration. If your cat is looking better, that is great news, and the recovery prognosis is good!

However, you could be putting your cat at significant risk by stopping the antibiotics before finishing the prescription course. If the bacteria are not entirely eradicated, they will reproduce as soon as antibiotic levels drop, causing a recurrent infection and, in the worst-case scenario, acquiring resistance against a previously effective treatment.

Your responsibility as an owner is to follow the correct doses, frequency, and course of any medical treatment that your veterinarian prescribes to your cat.

The Veterinarian Prescribed Baytril to My Cat. After Giving the First Treatment My Cat Still Looks Sick, Even Worse. What Do I Do?

Always keep your cat under observation while under a new medical treatment. Contact your vet immediately if you notice something that concerns you or think your cat has a bad reaction to the medicine. If the cat has difficulty breathing this is an emergency bring it back to the veterinarian immediately! Also, be mindful of skin reactions, such as rashes, swelling, scratching, or hives.

If you notice your cat’s eyes look strange when under Baytril treatment, immediately inform the veterinarian about this. Although Baytril usually has a quick absorption, sometimes it takes time for your pet to recover and feel better. If you notice that your cat still looks very sick 24 or 48 hours after starting the first doses of treatment, inform the veterinarian. A change of treatment plan might be in place.

Never give or remove your cat from any medication without the prescription and advice of a veterinarian since you might be increasing the cat’s risks instead of helping them.

Related Reads: 

Featured Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.