Melatonin For Cats – Is It Safe?

Cats spend almost two-thirds of their lives sleeping, and any disruption could lead to physical or mental issues. Melatonin is an over-the-counter drug/supplement that you can purchase to help ease your kitty back to dreamland. However, this should only be given with the recommendation of your vet.

Can you give cats Melatonin? The answer is YES.

We will be discussing many ways to administer this supplement, so make sure you read further.

veterinary doctor and cat vector

Benefits

  • Helps in inducing sleep
  • May help with diabetes
  • Reduces stress due to separation anxiety
  • Help reduce dog skin problems
  • Reduces the side effects of chemotherapy, as well as strengthen its cancer-killing ability
  • Helps in controlling reproduction by interfering with fertility

Overview

Cats usually spend most of the day sleeping, and any difficulty in doing so could be signs of impending physical or mental illnesses. Cats can also experience problems such as anxiety, depression, stress, etc. Some possible causes of not being able to sleep are:

  • Change in the sleeping area
  • Reduced food intake
  • Dominance by other pets in the household
  • Excessive noise
  • Physical sickness (stomach upset, diarrhea, cancer, etc.)

Symptoms of sicknesses and diseases can easily be spotted. However, if you feel like the only symptom your cat is showing is restlessness, then you should visit the veterinarian to check what’s happening to your kitty.

Vomiting, hair loss, and reduced food intake could be signs of sleep deprivation, but these symptoms could be caused by many different illnesses, and any attempt to pinpoint the culprit on your own is futile. Get your pet checked at the veterinarian to see what could be the reason behind these symptoms.

Giving your house a total makeover (including your pet’s sleeping place) could trigger discomfort in cats, which could lead to insomnia. Prior to making any changes, you should note down the places where your kitty gets uneasy and remember to avoid placing any pet-related items there.

Buying another pet could also be one of the reasons why your fur baby is uncomfortable. An addition to the family would more likely leave the cat feeling dejected, and could affect its eating, sleeping, and even playing patterns. Your new pet might be exercising too much dominance, which would take a toll on your kitty’s confidence.

Here are some of the changes that could result from animal dominance:

  • Reduced eating habits – the other pet could be hogging all the food
  • Change in the sleeping area – some cats could take over your pet’s territory, which forces it to move and experience discomfort and/or problems sleeping
  • Fewer activities and interactions – having a new kitty could dishearten the first one, leading it to stop interacting with you, which are the usual signs of stress and depression
  • Constant “meowing” – cries from your pet always have a meaning. You can stop the pet rivalry by giving them different areas to sleep, different eating times, and their own playtime with you.

You can also try to train them together. Giving them disciplinary lessons could help them come to terms with having other animals around, and trust exercises could help them solve their differences.

Try looking at the area where you place your cats. Is there too much noise? Are they so close to the window that any outside sounds could disturb their sleep? Maybe it’s time to move them away from anything that could interrupt their peace.

Try placing them near the closet, or at the foot of your bed. Cats are more comfortable sleeping near their masters (or on the owner’s bed to be more accurate).

Providing your cat with medicine isn’t the only way to help it sleep. There are other methods such as therapy, massages, soft music, and fluffy pillows, but some vets recommend a small melatonin dosage for cats.

The proper dosage would depend on two factors-the reasons for the medication and the size of your pet. Some cats are given around 0.5 mg – 0.8 mg, while others get 1.6 mg or more every 12 hours. The vet will also instruct you to take note of any adverse reactions that may arise.

Skin abrasions can also happen if your cat is allergic to melatonin. If you notice any symptoms, then stop administering the supplement and see your vet immediately.

The main benefit of your cat taking melatonin would be to induce sleep. Most cats who deal with mental problems find it very hard to maintain their inner peace, which leads to difficulty in snoozing.

Some cats are given Melatonin through tablets, liquid gels, or through chewable treats. Melatonin can also be added to their diet upon the recommendation of the vet if it ends up being a recurring problem.

Here are some of the brands that include Melatonin:

  • NaturVet Quiet Moments
  • VetriScience Pro Bite
  • Mela-Vet Soft Chews
  • Particular Paws Cat Calming Aid

Not only does it help your pet get some ZZs, it can also help regulate their immune system. Melatonin is an ingredient in most cat supplements which also contain other vitamins and minerals.

Some side effects of this supplement could be hormonal imbalances, an increase in appetite, changes your cat’s heat cycles, etc. These situations help in regulating your pet’s hormones as they stray them away from the thought of reproduction.

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What’s the Bottom Line?

We all agree that Melatonin could be good for problematic cats as long as you give them the right dosage. Though it does not cure sicknesses, it can help calm down your felines in order for you to find the right solution if their condition is more than what meets the eye.

Sick cats may be taking more than one medicine at a time so make sure to list all of them down and check with your vet to see if Melatonin would react to any of the drugs being taken. Failure to do so could result to intolerance or allergies to different types of medication.

ill cat sleeping

We all agree that Melatonin could be good for cats who struggle to sleep, as long as you give them the right dosage. Though it does not cure other sicknesses, it can help calm down your felines in order for you to find the right solution for them. Sick cats may be taking more than one medicine at a time, so make sure to list all of them down and check with your vet to see if Melatonin would react to any of them. A failure to do so could result in intolerance or allergies to different types of medication.

Pros and Cons of Melatonin

PROS

CONS

·Reduces stress and anxiety

·Induces sleep

·Increases appetite

·Controls hormones

·Can be expensive

·Includes scheduled trips to the vet

·Has some side effects, such as lameness and inactivity

Not safe for pregnant or nursing mother cats

Not all cats like the taste of the drug/supplement

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