Prozac for Cats & Kitties

by Susan Paretts, Demand Media Google
    Prozac can help with litter box issues.

    Prozac can help with litter box issues.

    When your kitty becomes stressed, it can cause her to do things you find unpleasant, like urinating outside of her litter box or fighting with your other pets. Your vet might prescribe an antidepressant medication like Prozac for your frazzled feline to help calm her down and resolve these behaviors.

    Prozac

    Prozac is a type of antidepressant medication that is approved for use in kitties as an extra-label drug. This means that, although Prozac isn't approved for use in animals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it can be prescribed by veterinarians for pets even though this is not listed on the label, according to PetPlace. The active ingredient in Prozac is fluoxetine, which is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. An SSRI increases your kitty's levels of seratonin in the brain. This improves your furry friend's mood and helps to curb behaviors like urine marking, aggression, fear, anxiety and some compulsive behaviors, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    The Vet

    Because Prozac requires a prescription from your veterinarian, you'll have to consult with him if your furry friend is having any behavioral issues. Prior to prescribing any medications, your vet will give your kitty a thorough exam to rule out a medical cause for her unacceptable behavior. In addition, your vet might suggest some changes to your kitty's environment. These changes could include the addition of more litter boxes to your home or toys and climbing trees to make her surroundings more engaging. If these don't work, he'll then prescribe an antidepressant medication like Prozac to help calm your kitty and make her feel better. Prozac can also help enhance any behavior modification training you are using with your little one.

    Usage

    Before you'll see any results from the use of Prozac in your kitty, you'll need to give it to her daily for at least six weeks. According to PetPlace, the typical dosage of Prozac for a kitty ranges from 2 to 5 mg per day. Don't skip any doses because this can decrease the medication's effectiveness. Sometimes the medication can initially increase anxiety for your furry friend before going into effect and calming her. For conditions like urine marking, 90 percent of kitties stopped this behavior after being given Prozac for eight weeks, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. Consult with your vet if you aren't seeing results from the medicine within the first four months of use to see if another drug might be right for your particular kitty, recommends the ASPCA.

    Cautions

    In kitties, Prozac is processed through the liver and kidneys and should only be used in your little one if she has no prior history of liver or kidney problems. Your vet will perform a blood test on your kitty prior to prescribing her an SSRI to check for any health issues like kidney disease or diabetes; kitties with such issues shouldn't take Prozac. He'll also repeat these tests yearly if your feline companion is taking Prozac long-term. The medication isn't without potential side-effects, including lethargy, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, upset tummy or excessive meowing, according to VetInfo. If you notice any unusual behavior in your furry friend, contact your veterinarian immediately. Never give other medications to your kitty without speaking to your vet; some medications, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, can interact badly with Prozac.

    About the Author

    Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

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