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Cat Depression Treatments - What Are Your Options?

How To Tell if Your Cat Is Depressed, And What You Can Do About It

By Sam Bourne. October 08, 2013 | See Comments

Cat Depression Treatments - What Are Your Options?

Depression strikes cats in much the same way it does people -- they shrink away from others, act moodily, and are generally lethargic. It can be difficult to see your cat feeling so down in the dumps, but thanks to modern medicine, there are a slew of cat depression treatments that can help put that spring back into your kitty's step. Check out what your options are here.

Depression stinks. Nothing is worse than taking an otherwise upbeat personality and putting it through the ringer. It's something that affects most of us at one point or another, but did you know it can also take hold of your cat? Often coming hot on the heels of a major change (i.e.,move to a new place, death in the family), your cat might seem more reserved, or a little on edge.

Typically, cats suffering from depression stop grooming, become aggressive, sleep longer, hide, and/or exhibit a general malaise. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from depression, it can be worrisome. Thankfully, there are a number of different ways to help treat your cat's depression.

First Steps to Treating Cat Depression

Before you do anything else, try just giving out some extra love. It could be that your cat feels neglected, in which case some additional attention might be just what the doctor ordered. If that isn’t working, you can try some over-the-counter homeopathic remedies.

If all else fails, you should take your cat over to the vet and see what they think. Chances are, they will prescribe your cat with one of the following medications, depending on the symptoms your cat is exhibiting and the overall nature of their condition. To help edify you on what your options are, here are some key features for some of the most commonly prescribed cat depression treatments.

Antidepressant-Type Medications

Amitriptyline

  • Tricyclic antidepressant
  • Helps by adjusting/balancing brain chemicals
  • Reduces anxiety and modifies behavioral problems
  • Helpful for managing fear of noises, excessive grooming, spraying, or other destructive behaviors

Doxepin

  • Tricyclic antidepressant
  • Blocks dopamine receptors
  • Helps reduce depression, noise phobias, and other anxiety-related behaviors like OCD
  • Also works as an antihistamine

Fluoxetine

  • Generic of Prozac
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant
  • Works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, changing the chemical balance and helping the brain send and receive messages.
  • Helps deal with depression, anxiety, OCD, and panic disorders

Anti anxiety-Type Medications

Alprazolam

  • Generic of Xanax
  • Helps treat phobias, separation anxiety, situational fears, or depression
  • Also works as a muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, or appetite stimulant

Buspirone HcL

  • Generic of Buspar
  • Helps manage anxiety or phobia related behavior
  • Causes mild sedation due to its effect on the serotonin receptors

Antipsychotic-Type Medications

Chlorpromazine

  • Generic of Thorazine
  • Produces immediate results, calming your cat quickly after taking the medication
  • One of the most widely used antipsychotic drugs
  • Reduces aggressive behavior and nausea, eliciting a tranquilizing effect

Quetiapine Fumarate

  • Changes the way your cat's brain chemicals behave
  • Used to treat schizophrenia and severe depression
  • Should never be given with other antidepressants

Thiothixene

  • Helps restore the balance of the brain's natural chemicals
  • Treats various mood disorders -- depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and aggression
  • Cats with glaucoma should not take
More of Cat Depression

Cat Depression Signs and Solutions
Your Lethargic Cat -- How to Tell They Are One, and What You Can Do To Help
Top 7 Adopted Cat Health Problems

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