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Drugs for Rocket's spraying

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Rocket had his consultation with his feline behaviorist for his spraying problem, and she recommended anti-anxiety medication, seeing as we've tried everything else. She though the vet would prescribe Buspar. However, the vet wants to use Prozac. Has anyone here had any experience with either or both to correct a spraying problem, and which do you think is better? Thanks.....
post #2 of 26
it wasn't for spraying, but Natalie (white cat lover) has her Ophelia on Buspar for aggression and it has worked wonders, you might want to PM her, I don't think Ophelia has had any side effects
post #3 of 26
Yeppers, Ophelia is on Buspar & it is my holy grail! The only side effect is that she now allows me to pet her & snuggles up near me. Not that I mind it at all! She was attacking the other cats dreadfully, I just posted pics the other day of Ophelia & Molly laying next to each other. Ophelia is female cat aggressive & I never thought she'd ever have anything nice to do with another female cat!

Buspar is a drug that is non-addicting, if that's the word I want. If I want to stop Buspar, I can do so at any time. Ophelia takes the highest dosage 1 1/2 pills 2x a day. It costs me about $20 a month. It is a drug that is often administered long-term.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Do you have to do blood work periodically?
post #5 of 26
Hey Tim, I don't have much to offer... I just wanted to wish you good luck. I know how many problems you've been having. Hang in there, you're doing great! It will get better
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Tiffany, that's sweet.
post #7 of 26
I haven't done any blood work on Ophelia. Because of the nature of Buspar, it shouldn't affect a cat like that. If you Google it, look at side effects, I think the only one is that a cat can become overly affectionate to the point of being obnoxious. This is a link I found particularly helpful:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_buspirone.html
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Rocket had his consultation with his feline behaviorist for his spraying problem, and she recommended anti-anxiety medication, seeing as we've tried everything else. She though the vet would prescribe Buspar. However, the vet wants to use Prozac. Has anyone here had any experience with either or both to correct a spraying problem, and which do you think is better? Thanks.....
I don't know anything about Buspar or Prozac in animals but I don't like how Prozac affects humans.

Did you get an RX for either?
Good Luck. So far Connor is calming down w/out drugs.
post #9 of 26
I don't have experience with either. But my Mom just started one of her cats on Buspar for inappropriate urination problems. I've heard good things about it.
post #10 of 26
I hate to admit how much experience I have with Prozac cats.

Anyway, Leopold is on Prozac for spraying. It's been effective. The biggest side effect is the lack of spraying, honestly. There's no other obvious behavior, attitude, or energy level difference with or without the Prozac. For the first week or two, he did have a noticeably decreased appetite, but that is typical and temporary. He eats well now.

It does take awhile to start working. In some cats, you see no change at all in the first month or so. In others (like Leopold), you might see ups and downs over the course of the first few weeks, finally leveling out and proving effective after 6 weeks or so. After a few weeks, the spraying was cut down by 50% I would say. Now, at 6-7 weeks I hardly see him even thinking about doing it.

Far too often, I hear that people tried it for "a month" and it "didn't work". Trying it for only a month is not worth the effort, in my experience. From what I've read, Prozac is effective for spraying 90% of the time. From what I understand, the long term success rate is much better if it's used for at least several months, maybe 6.

Prozac has a very long elimination half life, which is the reason for the lapse before it works. That also means that it could be stopped abruptly...as it would naturally take at least a few weeks to be out of their system. I was told to taper off, though - when the time comes.

I think the concern re. the blood work is to do it before hand, to make sure there are no underlying liver (or kidney) issues that could be aggravated by the meds.

My vet has it in gel caps, just a small amount of powder that even picky Leopold will eat in wet food. It's about $18/month. I have picked up the solid pills from Walgreen's for $12/month too (works if the cat likes pill pockets). He's on 2.5mg, once a day.

The veterinary patient info sheets for both...

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Rx_Inf..._buspirone.pdf

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Rx_Inf...fluoxetine.pdf
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
The vet wants him to take 5 mg a day for 8 weeks. If it's effective after that time, what do you think are the chances that he'd resume spraying again if & when we take him off of it?
post #12 of 26
Peaches is taking prozac for peeing out of the box. She was on it before; it worked well and we thought we cured her. She started again when we took her off prozac. She takes 1/5 pill once a day. She is impossible to give meds to -- no pill pocket, no touching her. I mash it in various foods and it usually takes a while. But, she pees in the box now.
post #13 of 26
Puppy is on Paxil for anxiety (no spraying or aggression, just anxiety).

One vet was going to use Xanax and Prozac. Prozac takes a few weeks, so the Xanax was for those weeks only. However, Puppy had major problems with Xanax. It made the anxiety worse.

The older vet at the clinic took him off and suggested the Paxil. He was afraid that Puppy would have the same reaction to Prozac as he did to Xanax. Apparently there's also some Cornell study on cats and Paxil suggesting that it's more effective.

He's been on it for two weeks. No side effects, it's for long term use, and it worked in 12 hours.

If your cat does have a reaction, try a different medication. Our vet was saying that these meds are meant for depression, anxiety, and OCD. Apparently some will have the opposite reaction depending on the cat (or person!), so you may have to stop one and try another one.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
The vet wants him to take 5 mg a day for 8 weeks. If it's effective after that time, what do you think are the chances that he'd resume spraying again if & when we take him off of it?
I've never used more than 2.5mg/day, for a 10-12lb cat...but IMHO I think 8 weeks is long enough to see an effect but not long enough to make the change stick after stopping the meds. I would plan on keeping up with it longer...but maybe cut the dose down a little at that time.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcat View Post
Peaches is taking prozac for peeing out of the box. She was on it before; it worked well and we thought we cured her. She started again when we took her off prozac. She takes 1/5 pill once a day. She is impossible to give meds to -- no pill pocket, no touching her. I mash it in various foods and it usually takes a while. But, she pees in the box now.
Sorry for the slight hijack, but are you talking about a flat "round" pill? I ask because I've had capsule shaped pills and they're kinda crumbly and hard to cut accurately. They're oval shaped. I guess you'd call it a caplet?
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I've never used more than 2.5mg/day, for a 10-12lb cat...but IMHO I think 8 weeks is long enough to see an effect but not long enough to make the change stick after stopping the meds. I would plan on keeping up with it longer...but maybe cut the dose down a little at that time.
Thanks for that. This is my vet's first Prozac case, so I'll pass your advice along to her.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Rocket's vet is prescribing Prozac, which he'll start in a couple days if he clears his bloodwork, which was taken today. But this timing is just bizarre: yesterday the gray tomcat who I think started this whole mess, who I tried to trap for two weeks, and who hasn't been seen around here for a month, showed up!! Not only that but tonight another stray cat, a black one, and this one wasn't scared off as easily.
post #18 of 26
I started my 7 year old male cat Neo on Prozac this week. He's getting 5 mg of the Liquid (it's chicken flavored, his fav ). So far, I haven't noticed any difference in personality or eating habits. The only concern I have is shortly after I give it to him, he constantly licked his lips. Last night, I noticed a little drool afterwards. Has anyone had this happen and is this a side effect?
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
That's the same dosage Rocket gets, though I mix it in his food. I haven't noticed any side effects. I haven't noticed any benefits yet, either. He's been on it about three weeks. I understand it could take eight weeks to work.
post #20 of 26
How is Rocket doing with the Prozac? Neo has been responding nicely to the meds, plus a little alone time in my room away from the other cats has also mellowed his disposition. I haven't noticed any spraying, so far . My biggest problem is giving him the meds. I had the pharmacist compound it in a liquid form and for the first two months, he foams at the mouth for about 10-15 minutes after getting the liquid. I hate to see him like that, so I got capsules from the vet yesterday. What a nightmare. I tried to hide them in his food and he immediately spit it out. When I snared him again to give him the capsule, it was half melted and caused him to foam at the mouth worse than before. I'm not sure what to do at this point and could really use some guidance, if anyone has any suggestions I'm open for it. I thought about trying to mix it into baby food, or his wet food, but we have 7 other cats and I don't want them to get in it. If I sequester him to eat, he won't eat alone.
Thanks for listening!
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
What I got from my vet was a 120 ml bottle of "Fluoxetine Oral Solution 20 mg/5 ml" manufactured by Apotex Corp. It's a clear liquid that I squirted on top of his food and he never noticed it.

He's been off it now for, oh, two weeks, I guess. He was on it for 13 weeks total, including dose titration an beginning and end. He hasn't sprayed yet (that I know of) although he occasionally backs up to one of his "spots" with his tail partially lifted. I'm keeping things very low key here, trying to keep him from being stressed. Although when spring rolls around again, I don't know what's going to happen when the next stray cat comes around.

Thanks for asking. Good luck with your cat.
post #22 of 26
Thanks so much for the update on Rocket. By the way, how did the fancy pants work for him? My roommate is seriously thinking of fashioning a pair for Neo. I think I figured out a solution. I got some Pill Pockets yesterday and emptied the capsule into it and Neo took it like a champ. No foaming at the mouth at all! He took one again this morning with no fighting or fuss. I'm so relieved that we can do this after two months of turmoil. He was doing so well not spraying, but we took in 2 foster kittens last week and although they were in another room, it must have been enough to trigger something because he sprayed last night in one of his old spots. I'm praying he doesn't have to be on the meds long, but we'll do what we need to do to end the spraying.

Thanks again!!
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
The pants worked all right. He urinated in them a few times, but he never sprayed. Since he doesn't seem to associate the pants with interferring with his urination, I don't think they influenced his need to spray, either. I'm still putting them on him when he gets in one of his agitated "moods" because that's when he's been most likely to spray.

Be sure to continue the meds long enough -- I'd say give it three months before you decide whether it's working or not.

Here's a couple links you can use to download my pants pattern:

http://home.new.rr.com/perihelion/pants-pattern-1.jpg
http://home.new.rr.com/perihelion/pants-pattern-2.jpg

It's in two images because the pattern is too big to scan in one. You have to splice them together, using the numbered lines to match up the halves. Sew A1 to A2 and B1 to B2 and attach fasteners to the split along the back. I've found that the best place to fasten, and velcro the best fastener to use.
post #24 of 26
I so appreciate the pattern. If we need to go that route, I'd rather do that than put him in depends. The meds seem to be working really well, plus, he's been getting alone time in my room at night and has been sleeping alot more, which has caused him to be less stressed. He likes playing with the other cats during the day, but too much causes too much stress for him. The vet said it would take approximately 2 months for him to be on the meds and now that we can get them into his system in a less stressful manner, I think we're on the road to no more spraying! Thanks for your help. I'm so lucky to have found this website.

Enjoy the weekend!
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Don't give up after two months if he's still not there, yet. Vets are prescribing two months based on a clinical study done which ran for two months. Feedback that I've gotten from other people going this route is that it could take longer.
post #26 of 26
Okey doke. I've been keeping him in my bedroom at night (with his sister) and that gives him a good night's rest away from the other cats which keeps his stress down. And with the new way of giving the meds, we're both not as stressed.
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