Cerenia for Cats – How Long to Take Effect?

Cerenia is a medication used for treating vomiting in both cats and dogs. Having been designed by the brand Zoetis, it’s one of the most common antiemetic drugs currently used by veterinarians. 

But is it safe? How long does Cerenia take to have any effect on pets? Find out the answers to these questions in the sections below. 

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How long does it take for Cerenia to work in cats?

Cerenia is a fast-working medication, which means that it can provide the desired result in just one to two hours. 

If you are planning a car trip with your feline friend, that does mean that you have to think ahead and give her the tablets about 2 hours before the ride. 

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There is also the option of you taking your pet to the clinic for an injection, and while this usually does work faster, it’s still going to take at least 45 minutes to take effect. 

So, unless you want to sit in the waiting room at the vet clinic or in your car for the medication to have any effect, we suggest you ask your veterinarian for the oral medication so that you can administer it at the time of your convenience. 

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How long does Cerenia last?

This antiemetic has an average efficacy of 24 hours. For example, in cats that experience vomiting for a period of time and due to disease, most vets recommend administering a single dose per day. 

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Using smaller doses is another option, but most pet parents find the task of giving their feline friends pills a challenge, so most prefer the single daily dose. 

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Cerenia dosage for cats

How much Cerenia is right for our feline buddies? Well, it depends on the form. Obviously, the injection will be administered by your vet, so that’s one less thing to worry about. 

When administered subcutaneously or intravenously, the dosage is 1mg/kg weight (.5 pound weight) per 24 hours and for 5 consecutive days. The same dosage is used for oral medications, at least for cats. 

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Dogs should not be given the same dosage as in their case, it could prove to be ineffective. The right dosage for them is 2mg/kg weight (.5 pound of body weight). 

The manufacturing company (Zoetis) also makes a Cerenia dosing chart available on their website

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Side effects of Cerenia in cats

Are there any Cerenia side effects? Unfortunately, there are several. According to the manufacturing company’s website where the label is available for everyone to read, some of the most commonly experience adverse reactions are the following (in both cats and dogs):

  • Hypersalivation
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting

Surely it is ironic that an antiemetic might have vomiting as a side effect, but unfortunately, this is the truth. 

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It’s also worth noting that Cerenia can produce anaphylactic reactions, convulsions, as well as ataxia. 

For this reason, we recommend that the first administration happen only at a vet clinic. 

If your cat is already known to be allergic to other medications or stimuli, the vet will inject a very, very low dose and assess your pet’s reaction — so that any sensitivity is ruled out. 

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Is Cerenia safe for cats? In most cases, the Cerenia side effects cats experience are benign. 

However, it’s worth noting that Cerenia tablets and a Cerenia injection can interact with other medications, such as the following:

  • A variety of NSAIDs
  • Erythromycin
  • Chloramphenicol 
  • Ketoconazole
  • Itraconazole

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To prevent any issues whatsoever, make sure to clearly communicate with your veterinarian and let them know if your feline friend is undergoing a specific treatment using any medication. 

This is particularly necessary if you have recently moved homes and you also intend to switch veterinary clinics. 

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What is Cerenia priced nowadays?

A vial, meaning a bottle of Cerenia injection for cats, can cost as much as $200. But keep in mind that the veterinarian will be the one acquiring the entire product. 

Depending on your cat’s weight, an injection can cost anything from $20 to $40 or more.

The tablets cost about $20 for a box that contains four pieces of 16 mg. Considering the recommended dosage, a dose (a quarter of a tablet or less) can cost less than $2. 

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How long does Cerenia last? (the product)

If you are referring to the injectable form, it should be stored in the refrigerator and used in the course of 90 days after the first dose is administered. 

The tablets, on the other hand, have a much longer expiry date – some of them can last in your medicine cabinet for as many as two whole years. 

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Is Cerenia FDA approved?

Yes. If that puts your mind at ease, it certainly is worth adding that the Food and Drug Administration has indeed approved this medication. 

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Cristina is a licensed veterinarian who has been a cat owner since she was 12. She is passionate about giving useful advice to pet owners across the world. Her favorite topics range from pathology and novel therapies to infectious diseases and animal welfare. Her work has been featured in many online publications from The Pet Friendly House to Alpha Paw, Animal Wellness Magazine, and

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