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Can I Get a Prescription for My Cat Online? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Genevieve Dugal

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Can I Get a Prescription for My Cat Online? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


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

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Have you ever had a sick kitty and wondered if you could simply get a prescription for your feline friend online? The answer is no, but you can get a prescription from your normal vet and fill that online.

Most online veterinarians aren’t allowed to write prescriptions because they can’t establish a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR). This is a connection between a veterinarian, a pet parent (you), and your pet. In most states, a vet must see your pet in person to create a VCPR. This ensures that they know the animal’s medical history well enough to diagnose and treat any issues.

That said, you can get a written prescription from your veterinarian, to fill online, in many instances. Here’s the rundown on the process.

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How to Get a Prescription for Your Cat Online

Getting a prescription for your cat should always be done through a Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site (Vet-VIPPS) to ensure that you’re obtaining medications safely and legally. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

1. Obtain a prescription from your veterinarian.

Before you can purchase medication for your cat online, you’ll need a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. This typically involves a consultation with the veterinarian, to diagnose your cat’s condition and determine the appropriate treatment. Your vet will then provide you with a written prescription (generally you need to ask for this), that you can use to order medication from an online pharmacy.

Image Credit: thodonal88, Shutterstock

2. Choose a Vet-VIPPS-Accredited pharmacy.

Select a Certified VIPPS Online Pharmacy from the available options. These pharmacies have been verified to meet strict standards for quality and safety in dispensing medications for animals. You can usually find a list of accredited pharmacies on the Vet-VIPPS website or by asking your veterinarian for recommendations.

3. Submit the prescription to the online pharmacy.

Once you have the prescription from your veterinarian, you’ll need to submit it to your chosen online pharmacy. This can usually be done by uploading a scanned copy of the prescription through the pharmacy’s website or by faxing it to the designated fax number. Some pharmacies may also accept prescriptions via email or postal mail.

cat lying on desk behind the laptop
Image Credit: MariaBorovkova, Shutterstock

4. Verify the prescription.

The online pharmacy will verify the prescription with your veterinarian to ensure its authenticity and accuracy. This may involve contacting your vet’s office directly to confirm the details of the prescription.

5. Place your order.

Once the prescription has been verified, you can proceed to place your order for the medication. Make sure to provide the pharmacy with any necessary information, or any specific instructions from your veterinarian.

Hand holding credit card and using laptop
Image Credit: Kite_rin, Shutterstock

6. Receive the medication.

After placing your order, the online pharmacy will dispense the medication and ship it to your designated address. Depending on the pharmacy’s shipping policies, you may receive the medication within a few days to a week.

7. Follow up with your veterinarian.

After receiving the medication, follow up with your veterinarian to monitor your cat’s response to treatment and ensure that the medication is working as intended. Your vet can provide guidance regarding any adjustments that may be required for your cat’s treatment plan.

female veterinarian carrying a white cat
Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

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Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy

  • Keep records of your cat’s medical history. Maintain detailed records of your cat’s medical history, including any medications that they are currently taking or have taken in the past.
  • Monitor your cat for any possible side effects. When starting a new medication that you bought online, carefully monitor your cat for any adverse reactions or side effects. Report any concerns promptly to your veterinarian and follow their guidance.
  • Don’t skip your vet appointments. Even if you buy prescriptions online, schedule regular check-ins with your veterinarian to monitor your cat’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to their treatment plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take When Getting an Online Prescription for My Cat?

In many, if not most instances, prescriptions cannot be written for animals that have not been seen in person by the veterinarian writing the prescription, though the laws may vary state to state, country to country, and change in the future. Therefore, most online prescriptions are merely filling a prescription that your veterinarian has already written.

Can I Get All Types of Pet Prescriptions Online?

While many common medications and treatments for pets can be obtained online, not all pharmacies will have all medications.

ginger cat and woman in bed using laptop
Image Credit: Konstantin Aksenov, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Although it is possible to fill prescriptions online for your cat, you should approach this process with caution and responsibility. Make sure you use reputable platforms. Above all, if you get a medication from online, and have concerns about how it looks, or how your cat is reacting to it, don’t hesitate to reach out to both your veterinarian and the prescribing pharmacy with your concerns.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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