Tranquilizers and Behavior Drugs for Cats (cont.)
Buspirone (Buspar) affects the brain chemical serotonin, a neurotransmittor. This medication is about 75 percent effective in stopping inappropriate elimination problems. It may take one to two weeks to truly see an improvement in the behavior, with the full effect often not apparent until four weeks or more. It must be given for about eight weeks and then the cat can be gradually weaned off in many cases-particularly if administration is accompanied by behavioral and environmental modification.
Amitriptyline (Elavil) is a neurotransmitter blocker. This drug can also help with inappropriate urination and possibly separation anxiety. Cardiac side effects may be seen, so cats on this medication should get an initial EKG and periodic follow-up EKGs.
Clomipramine (Anafranil) is a tricyclic antidepressant and helps with separation anxiety and urine marking behavior.
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This drug may be recommended for elimination disorders in cats.
This article is excerpted from “Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Copyright © 2008 by Delbert Carlson, DVM, and James M. Giffin, MD. All rights reserved.