4 Best Medications to Help Pet Parents Deal with Cat Anxiety Learn How to Help Your Feline Be Less Anxious and Live a Better Life

4 Best Medications to Help Pet Parents Deal with Cat Anxiety

Did you know that cats can get anxious? They exhibit symptoms due to various stressors. Learn more about cat anxiety, anti-anxiety medications, and alternatives.

Have you ever felt tense or overly nervous? Maybe there was a time when you were unable to relax and kept fearing the worst. That’s what it feels like to be anxious. 

Now imagine the same happening to your feline. These cherished companions can experience such behavioral challenges that could affect their well-being. Cat anxiety is a thing! 

On average, 60% of all home cats experience stress and anxiety symptoms. That means over 40 million cats are dealing with anxiety in America. 

In recent news, an orange cat adopted a yarn lump as emotional support as it suffered from anxiety. Arcturus seems very happy and calm after cuddling with this new favorite toy. However, not all cats can become their own therapists. 

Have you recently noticed your cat isn’t enjoying the cat tree, using the litter boxes inappropriately, or avoiding the scratching post? In this article, we’ll discuss how cat parents should be aware of every trigger, understand the signs, and get the right medication for their anxious cat.

Why Do Cats Get Anxiety?

According to Jenny Alonge, DMV, stress and anxiety in cats occur because they have to constantly stay vigilant. They are considered both prey and predatory animals. Your feline can experience this behavioral issue because of the following reasons:

  • Changes in routine and their environment

  • Evolving social dynamics (new person or other pets in the house)

  • Being separated from their owners

  • Loud noises 

  • Past traumas due to abuse

While separation anxiety can trigger stress and insecurity, environmental stressors can also provoke anxiety. In some cases, the cat might develop these symptoms due to underlying medical conditions like urinary tract infections, arthritis, and more. 

Cats’ anxious behaviors can also be because of genetic predispositions like hyperthyroidism. As a cat parent, it’s important to check for signs of anxiety and seek appropriate interventions for their well-being.

6 Signs That Your Cat Has Developed Anxiety

According to Reader’s Digest, cat parents can accidentally stress out their kitties without ever having a clue about it. Leticia Robinson, a certified anxiety specialist, says cats show feline anxiety through excessive grooming and changes in behavior. Apart from these, the common cat anxiety symptoms include the following:

  1. Increased hiding or withdrawal behavior

  2. Hair standing when you touch the cat and rapid breathing

  3. Changes in litter box habits and appetite

  4. Bald patches or skin sores throughout their body due to grooming

  5. Heightened irritability and excessive aggression

  6. Consistent yowling and excessive meowing to vocalize their frustration

Some cats might also exhibit extreme destructive behavior. These include scratching the furniture, biting your hands, etc. 

Be sure to observe these changes to offer prompt assistance and address their emotional needs. You can do that through proper medication, environmental enrichment, etc. Remember to consult a vet to explore unique ways to alleviate your feline companion’s distress.

4 Medications That’ll Help You Reduce Anxiety in Your Feline

Reports suggest that 42.6% of felines exhibited aggression at the vet clinic because they didn’t receive anti-anxiety medications. These vets could have given them these medications, but they didn’t. That’s because such drugs shouldn’t be given to felines carelessly. 

As a cat parent, you should only administer them if the symptoms seriously impact their quality of life and pose a health risk. It’s also best to consult a vet before administering the drugs. 

Some of the medications for cat anxiety include the following:

#1. Fluoxetine

Dosage: 0.5 mg to 0.9 mg per pound (one capsule or tablet a day)

This FDA-approved veterinary medicine helps treat depression and anxiety in your cat. It contains fluoride hydrochloride, which acts as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). With the right dosage of Fluoxetine, you can improve your cat’s mood with feel-good hormones and happy chemicals.

#2. Amitriptyline

Dosage: 2 mg to 10 mg per cat (once a day)

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that helps ease anxiety and modify your cat’s behavioral problems. It contains chemicals that can adjust and balance the cat’s brain chemistry. This off-label medication for cats works by altering the neurotransmitters in their brain, leading to a calming effect.

#3. Diphenhydramine

Dosage: 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg per pound every 12 hours

At its core, Diphenhydramine is a medication that effectively treats allergic symptoms and itching. However, some vets recommend it as a sedative to treat travel anxiety and motion sickness in cats. It contains active hydrochloride that’s often accompanied by cellulose, magnesium stearate, etc.

#4. HomeoPet Anxiety Relief Feline

Dosage: 5 drops for kittens and 10 drops for adult cats (3 times a day)

This isn’t exactly a medication—it’s more of a remedy for anxiety. The HomeoPet Anxiety Relief Feline calms fear associated with stress. It’s safe, 100% natural, and gentle on all cats. With this, you can reduce anxiety symptoms like trembling, hiding, etc.

Are There Any Alternatives to the Cat Anti-Anxiety Medications? 

In some cases, the vet might recommend that you not give any of the aforementioned medications to anxious cats. Why do you think that is?

Usually, these come with serious side effects like low blood pressure, increased heart rate, allergic reactions, weight gain, and more. According to Amy Dolan, who worked in pet care, cats should be given anti-anxiety meds only if the vet has prescribed them for that specific feline. 

That’s why you must look for alternatives to treat anxiety in your cat. Some types of products you can look into include the following:

#1. Anxiety Relief Supplements

These supplements can be calming when they’re designed to support your cat’s relaxation. You can give them this type of product when they exhibit anxiety symptoms. These work without the need to sedate your cat with medications. 

#2. Calming Catnip Products

Hands down, most felines love catnip as it mimics natural cat pheromones. Hence, try to find a 100% natural product to help your feline relieve stress and anxiety. With such soft blends, your cat can maximize play time and relax.

#3. Healthy Chews and Treats

Most treats and chews come with zero harmful chemicals. The right product can help minimize your cat’s anxiety and motion sickness and make them less nervous. Some chews can also help deal with separation anxiety.

In summary, you should always be on the lookout for cat anxiety symptoms. These include changes in the cat’s body language, compulsive behavior, and more.

Based on that, you can avoid making changes to the cat’s environment. Moreover, try to choose the products mentioned in this blog post if you truly want to see a positive change in the cat’s behavior. 

All in all, cat parents must be vigilant every time there’s a change in the feline’s routine. This way, you can catch the signs of cat anxiety early and visit a vet.

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