Natural Cat Sedatives


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Cats may become anxious for any number of reasons. They can get stressed out over a visit to the vet, long-distance travel or even minor reshuffling in the household. Vets often prescribe pet anti-anxiety medication to help calm the cat down in these situations. While these sedatives usually work well, they can have side-effects and are generally expensive. Cat owners generally prefer to use natural sedatives instead which have fewer side-effects and less extreme results. Let’s look at some natural remedies to sedate a cat, in detail, below –

  • Kava Kava – Kava Kava is a tropical herb which acts as a sedative. It can be used to sedate a cat but only under guided supervision of an expert who knows about herbal remedies for cat sedation. It should be administered in the correct dosage or it could be harmful. It can interact with other sedative medications like Valium. It should not be given to cats with liver problems as it can be toxic to the liver. Avoid administering Kava Kava to a pregnant cat as well.
  • Catnip – Catnip is a member of the mint family and a well-known cat sedative. You can identify it by its heart-shaped leaves and small lavender flowers. Catnip is incredibly easy to grow at home. When you break the leaves and stems, the chemical nepetalactone is released, which triggers reactions in a cat's brain that either makes it calm or induce a sense of euphoria. The effect depends on how the catnip is administered. If a cat smells catnip, he/she becomes euphoric but when they consume it, it has a sedative effect on them.
  • Valerian – Valerian is a perennial flowering plant known for its use as a sedative for centuries. The chemical actinidine present in it attracts cats and acts quite like catnip. Again, great care should be taken to prescribe the right amount according to the weight of the cat. Overdosing can cause extreme fatigue and stomach upsets.
  • Rescue Remedy – Rescue Remedy is a commercial product which is available in the market as an aid to sedate cats. It contains botanical essences of flowers like Clematis vitalba, Impatiens glandulifera, Helianthemum nummularium and so on. It is available in drop form and as mist. In drop form, you can either pour some on the cat’s tongue or in their food. When using it as mist, directly spray it onto the cat’s tongue.

Cats are just as prone to anxiety as humans. However, human remedies for anxiety don’t work on them. You can use natural sedatives for cats instead of using synthetic market-produced sedatives, which may cause extreme side-effects. Natural cat sedatives are safer and a lot less expensive too.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much Benadryl does it take to sedate a cat?

It is not recommended to give Benadryl to a cat without first consulting with a veterinarian. While Benadryl is sometimes used to treat certain conditions in cats, the dosage and frequency of administration can vary depending on the cat's size, age, and overall health. While it is true that some veterinarians may use diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Benadryl) to treat certain conditions in cats and may use a dose range of 1-4 mg per kilogram of body weight, it is important to note that there is still a risk of adverse effects and that diphenhydramine is not specifically approved for use in cats. Furthermore, it is important to note that the sedative effects of diphenhydramine can vary depending on the individual cat's metabolism and sensitivity to the medication. Therefore, it is important to start with a low dose and carefully monitor your cat for any signs of adverse effects, such as lethargy, difficulty walking, or changes in appetite or behavior.

How do I sedate my cat to cut his nails?

Sedating a cat to cut their nails is generally not recommended as it can be risky and potentially harmful to the cat's health. There are other methods that can be used to help make the nail trimming process less stressful and more manageable for both you and your cat. One method is to gradually get your cat used to having their paws handled and their nails trimmed by using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and playtime. You can start by touching and massaging your cat's paws and gradually introduce the nail clippers and the sound they make. Always make sure to use cat-specific nail clippers and to avoid cutting into the quick (the pink part inside the nail). Another method is to use a towel or blanket to wrap your cat gently and securely, leaving only one paw exposed at a time. This can help to prevent scratching and provide a sense of security for your cat. CBD (cannabidiol) has been shown to have potential benefits for animals, including reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. However, it is important to note that the use of CBD for pets is still a relatively new area of study, and there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness and safety.

What is a good cat sedative?

The choice of sedative medication for cats depends on the individual cat's health status, age, and the reason for sedation. It is important to seek veterinary advice before giving any medication to your cat, as the wrong dose or type of medication can have serious consequences. Acepromazine is a tranquilizer that can be used to calm cats and reduce anxiety. It is typically given by injection and can have a long-lasting effect. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam or midazolam, can be used to provide sedation and reduce anxiety in cats. They can be given orally or by injection and typically have a shorter duration of effect compared to acepromazine. Trazodone is an antidepressant that can also be used to provide sedation and reduce anxiety in cats. It is typically given orally and can have a longer duration of effect compared to benzodiazepines. Gabapentin is typically used to treat pain but can also be used to provide sedation and reduce anxiety in cats. It is typically given orally and can have a longer duration of effect compared to benzodiazepines.

Can you overdose a cat on Benadryl?

Yes, it is possible to overdose a cat on Benadryl (diphenhydramine), which can cause a range of symptoms and potentially life-threatening complications. Benadryl is not specifically approved for use in cats, and the recommended dosage and administration can vary depending on the individual cat's needs and health status. Symptoms of Benadryl overdose in cats can include lethargy, weakness, difficulty walking, tremors, seizures, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and respiratory depression. If you suspect that your cat has ingested too much Benadryl or is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

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