Prozac for cats is a standard treatment for cats with anxiety disorders or specific inappropriate behaviors.
It can be very stressful to live with a cat that is anxious and aggressive. I know because I’ve lived with one!
My cat, Bella, suddenly become aggressive shortly after she turned two. She would act super cuddly and then try to claw your arm off.
She also began having “accidents” outside the litter box and just generally being a pain to live with.
After this went on for some time, I took her to the vet, who prescribed Prozac.
After a few months of messing with the dosage and waiting for the treatment to take effect, she was back to her usual, calm self!
So let’s take a look at what might be able to help.
Medication for Cats
If your cat is prescribed a new medication, it can be somewhat frightening and confusing.
We only want what is best for our feline friends, so it only makes sense to learn as much as we can about any medication they’re taking.
That’s why we’ve put together this article about Prozac for cats.
We’ll discuss side effects, effectiveness, and take a look at a few scientific studies to give you all the information you need about Prozac for cats.
What is Prozac for Cats?
Prozac for cats is commonly referred to as Fluoxetine, which is its scientific name.
It belongs to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical; it makes you feel calm and affects your sleep cycle.
Prozac for cats increases the brain’s reaction to this chemical, causing your cat to feel calm.
Prozac is used for both cats and dogs and is prescribed to treat anything from aggression to inappropriate urination.
So, how useful is Prozac for cats in treating these behavioral problems?
Prozac for Cats Urinating
One of the most common uses of Prozac is to treat inappropriate urination in cats.
When a cat becomes anxious, it is not uncommon for them to urinate to “mark” their territory.
This is especially true if the cat is experiencing an environment change or if you have recently adopted a new pet.
One study found that Prozac was effective at stopping urine marking caused by stress.
The longer the treatment lasted, the more effective it was.
A break in the treatment caused the behavior to start up again, though subsequent treatment was still effective.
Prozac for Cats Aggression
Just like many humans, it is not uncommon for a cat to become aggressive when anxious or stressed.
After all, we all know what cats do when they’re backed into a corner.
Now, imagine what they would act like if they always felt like they were backed into a corner.
That’s feline aggression caused by stress.
In some cases, this stress can be reduced by training and by modifying your cat’s environment.
However, if the catalyst of the stress cannot be removed, like a new baby for example, or the changes do not fix the behavior, it might be time to introduce medication.
Prozac for cats is one such medication and might be suggested by your vet to stop the aggressive behavior.
Forms Available for Prozac for Cats
Prozac for cats comes in a number of forms.
There is liquid Prozac for cats, transdermal Prozac for cats, and oral Prozac for cats.
But, one study showed that a Prozac cream was less effectively absorbed by the cat’s system than oral Prozac.
Therefore, oral Prozac is the most common form. It is most effectively absorbed by your cat’s system, and it is the easiest to give.
Prozac Dosage for Cats
The dosage of Prozac for cats depends on what is being treated.
The dose of Prozac for cats is usually given every 24 hours.
You and your vet will probably have to adjust the dosage over a period of months, since every cat reacts to the medication differently.
Because of this, there is not a standard dosage for cats.
You should ask your vet if you forget which amount you are supposed to be giving to your feline.
How Long Does Prozac Take to Work in Cats
When you first begin giving your cat Prozac, it can take three to four weeks before you start to see any change.
Then, the change might be too extreme or too little. Odds are, you and your vet will have to adjust the dosage.
It is essential to stick with this medication even if it doesn’t appear to be working. Stopping suddenly can cause unpleasant side effects, such as worsening behavior.
Prozac for Cats Side Effects
Because Prozac affects the brain, a number of side effects can occur.
Serious side effects include seizures, tremors, shivering, muscle stiffness or twitching; a red, blistering, peeling skin rash; problems with balance or coordination; or agitation, confusion, sweating, or fast heartbeat.
Minor side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea, changes in appetite, weight changes, and dry mouth.
One study found that Prozac for cats can also make it harder for cats to sleep deeply, so sleepiness is a widespread side effect.
Because of this, all medications that can cause drowsiness should be avoided while your cat is on Prozac.
Always report side effects to your veterinarian, as they might indicate a change of dosage is needed.
Prozac for Cats
Prozac for cats can be extremely useful in curbing stress-induced behaviors.
However, a vet prescription is required to give your cat this medication.
You should work closely with your vet when giving your cat Prozac to figure out the best dosage for her.
It is imperative to take your cat to the vet if they experience stress-induced behaviors.
These behaviors can be signs of an underlying problem or anxiety disorder. Medication can help.
References and Further Reading
Siegel, Jerome. “Serotonergic inhibition of amygdala-kindled seizures in cats.” Brain Research. 1979.
Hart, Benjamin. “Control of urine marking by use of long-term treatment with fluoxetine or clomipramine in cats.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2005.
Curtis, Terry. “Human-Directed Aggression in the Cat.” College of Veterinary Medicine. 2008.
Ciribassi, John. “Comparative bioavailability of fluoxetine after transdermal and oral administration to healthy cats.” American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2003.
Kaur, Gagendeep. “The use of fluoxetine by veterinarians in dogs and cats: a preliminary survey.” Veterinary Record Open. 2016.
Slater. “Inhibition of REM sleep by fluoxetine, a specific inhibitor of serotonin uptake.” Neuropharmacology. 1978.
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