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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.