What can I do to stop my cat from spraying in the house? What medication can be given to a cat to stop it from peeing indoors? What is cat Prozac? What are the side effects of giving Prozac to a cat. Will Prozac change my cat's behavior? What is Fluosetine? Is Prozac approved for use on pets?
Fluoxetine is often called cat Prozac® . It is an antidepressant used for humans sold as Prozac or in a chewable tablet known as Reconcile®. Although not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use on cats or dogs, it has been prescribed by veterinarians for many years.
One of the most common applications of Fluoxetine is for spayed or neutered cats who are urinating throughout the house with no explanation other than stress. Prior to being put on this medication, the cat should be tested for urinary tract problems, and the owner should address any other underlying causes, such as a dirty litter box, wrong type of litter, poor litter box placement, and so forth. Failing to find a cause, or at least a cause that can be fixed in other ways, the owner often seeks to medicate their cat to bring down its anxiety.
Some of the causes of anxiety that may lead to a cat urinating in the home include other cats in the neighborhood, arrival of a new baby or other pet, without proper introductions, and so forth.
Other reasons that a veterinarian may prescribe Fluoxetine for a cat are if it is aggressive without cause (noting that some declawed cats become aggressive and are sometimes treated with this drug), if it shows signs of compulsive behavior such as licking, or if it suffers from separation anxiety.
Sam (name changed to protect the cat and his owner) was a three-year-old neutered male cat whose first incident of spraying in the home was when his owner brought home a lamp from a garage sale. He promptly sprayed it. Although he did go outside and had a companion cat indoors whom he got along with, he was clearly bothered by the large number of other cats in the neighborhood who would often walk by the house, even urinating on it from the outside.
After trying everything, having the cat tested for urinary tract health problems, adding additional litter boxes, washing everywhere in the house where the cat had sprayed, putting food down where the cat had sprayed, putting tinfoil down, and so forth, his owner opted to try cat Prozac®.
She noted that Sam did stop urinating throughout the house but his personality was greatly changed, he became very lethargic and was not the same cat. She opted to take him off the pills feeling it was unethical to alter his behavior so drastically.
When she moved into a new house, in a new neighborhood where there were no other roaming cats, and restricted him to a small cat enclosure, his negative behavior stopped.
Side Effects of Cat Prozac®
As demonstrated in the case study, there are side effects as the drug is a behavior modification drug, not one specifically designed to control inappropriate urination.
Side effects, which vary from pet to pet, include:
- Increased Aggression
- Increased Meowing
Fluoxetine can cause seizures and overdoses are possible. Some pets may have an allergic reaction to this medication. It should only ever be administered with veterinarian guidance as to the dosage. There may be reactions if combined with other medication.