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Your Experiences w/ Amitriptyline?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have had to take Sammy in to the vet 3 times since we have moved seven weeks ago. He has a bad case of inappropriate peeing that has escalated to every day. Short of waking up at 4 a.m. when this happens (because his signal is to loudly scratch the wall in the room where it happens) and following him around with the Urine-off bottle and being incredibly sleep-deprived, Sammy is a fantastic cat - the best! - but this new house we have may have had some dog/cat marking before and shazam....the flood gates have opened. Sam is negative for all tests, he's in perfect health but this is driving us nuts.

So the vet has prescribed 10 mg of Amitriptyline....and I've done some reading on my own and I know there are one or two threads about this in the past for cats who act out and need anti-depressants, but for peeing in a happy cat? This is a good vet, however, and we've explored everything: no break in household patterns or rythyms, nothing "new" in the house, he loves and dotes on his little sister Saba and still tries to sit on top of Sandy, our dog - Sam's just a pleasure to have around....

I'm feeling kind of ashamed...that I would even give him meds, he's such a cuddlebutt and a good guy. He's about 10, I adopted him in 2005, so it may be that this type of behavior was never dealt with in his former home, too.
post #2 of 18
Amitrityline is an anti-depressant(anti-depressants for peeing makes absolutely no sense to me!). It is bitter tasting, so pilling must be fun. Ophelia was on it for awhile & it did nothing but irritate the tar out of her. Personally, I've seen it used on shelter kitties & it did not work. I think my vet said it takes 4 weeks to fully get into their system.

What about Buspar? It's is an anti-anxiety medicine......works much quicker than the Amitrityline.....and is non-addictive-you can just quit it one day. Ophelia was on it & it helped a great deal with her aggression issues.

I know Prozac has also been reccomended for spraying. My only suggestion is to talk to your vet further about drugs, which ones, if he needs them, etc.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Amitrityline is an anti-depressant(anti-depressants for peeing makes absolutely no sense to me!). It is bitter tasting, so pilling must be fun. Ophelia was on it for awhile & it did nothing but irritate the tar out of her. Personally, I've seen it used on shelter kitties & it did not work. I think my vet said it takes 4 weeks to fully get into their system.

What about Buspar? It's is an anti-anxiety medicine......works much quicker than the Amitrityline.....and is non-addictive-you can just quit it one day. Ophelia was on it & it helped a great deal with her aggression issues.

I know Prozac has also been reccomended for spraying. My only suggestion is to talk to your vet further about drugs, which ones, if he needs them, etc.
Amitriptalline can be prescribed for cats who soil the house.
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...e_soiling.html
I personally have not used it.
post #4 of 18
Amytriptaline is not always prescribed because it's an antidepressant. In fact, it's pretty ineffective as an anti-depressant. It is an old medication that's been around a long time, it is safe, and in people it is usually prescribed to help insomniacs get some sleep. It also happens to cause people and animals to retain their urine, which is why it is prescribed for inappropriate peeing because it causes the cats to not have to urine as frequently, and that somehow seems to help them use the box.

When Spooky was peeing inappropriately when we moved into a new house and adopted a new kitty and a new teenage daugher, Spooky stressed and let us know. We did a million things to correct the situation - enzyme cleaners, changing box locations, aluminum foil, extra play time, loads of feliway - we bought the plug-ins, and finally got down to confining her to "re-litter box" train her. And then she started obsessively licking. So we finally decided to go with the amitriptaline. It worked, and right away.

Doc said it would take two weeks to get into her system, and that she'd sleep a lot at first. She did sleep a lot more - at first.

But while you take the time to get the carpets cleaned (with an enzyme cleaner added to the cleaning compartment - this should take care of previous cat/dog smells), I think the amitriptaline is not a bad idea. You may also want to purchase the litter called "cat attract."

You may only need to keep your kitty on the amitriptaline for just a month or two - we were able to successfully wean Spooky off it after about four months, I think it was - however long it takes you to work through getting rid of previous pet smells and get him using the box regularly again. 10mg is a low dose, and you can wean him off it by giving it to him every other day and see how it goes.

There are many people on TCS who would never use a med like this on their animals - but it can buy the time EVERYONE needs for stress relief while you deal with all the peeing that has gone on, get your house and your nerves back together, and then pretty quickly wean him off the meds.

BTW - you may want to try ordering this product: http://www.nokout.com It can be added to the laundry, or to whatever you're going to use to clean the carpets - or sprayed directly on any pee spots.

If you're not sure you've gotten everywhere he's gone, get a black light. This will also help you identify any places other kitties (or dogs) that lived there before you have peed that weren't properly cleaned up - it shows up as an orange splotch in the black light.



Laurie
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Amitrityline is an anti-depressant(anti-depressants for peeing makes absolutely no sense to me!). It is bitter tasting, so pilling must be fun. Ophelia was on it for awhile & it did nothing but irritate the tar out of her. Personally, I've seen it used on shelter kitties & it did not work. I think my vet said it takes 4 weeks to fully get into their system.

What about Buspar? It's is an anti-anxiety medicine......works much quicker than the Amitrityline.....and is non-addictive-you can just quit it one day. Ophelia was on it & it helped a great deal with her aggression issues.

I know Prozac has also been reccomended for spraying. My only suggestion is to talk to your vet further about drugs, which ones, if he needs them, etc.


hmmmm thank you very much! Sammy is not aggressive in any way and he's always in good spirits, too. I will ask about that. The bottle is on the kitchen counter, I have not started it yet...I'm a little hesitant.
post #6 of 18
My guess is that the problem isn't anxiety so much as it's the smell of previous pets.

Even if you decide not to use the amitriptaline, I'd really suggest the black light to see what's up.

Laurie
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

BTW - you may want to try ordering this product: http://www.nokout.com It can be added to the laundry, or to whatever you're going to use to clean the carpets - or sprayed directly on any pee spots.

If you're not sure you've gotten everywhere he's gone, get a black light. This will also help you identify any places other kitties (or dogs) that lived there before you have peed that weren't properly cleaned up - it shows up as an orange splotch in the black light.



Laurie
Hey there! I did order it, and we black-lighted the entire house and found nothing. The carpets were heavily shampooed before we got there, because when we shampooed correctly --with proper carpet shampoo and just water -- Eric sucked up tons, and I mean tons, of soap from the carpet which shouldn't happen if correctly shampooed and rinsed, etc.
post #8 of 18
They might have used that chemdry stuff to shampoo the carpets before you got there. That always leaves tons of residue!

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's really tough. I'm glad you went through with the black light already. The problem is that IF there was a pet problem before, the smell could be down in the floor boards, and you wouldn't see it on a black light. I was just hoping that would help you find obvious problems.

I know you've already done the carpets - but IF you're willing to put up with it again, you may want to do it again with the nok-out (using the directions they provide).



Laurie
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
They might have used that chemdry stuff to shampoo the carpets before you got there. That always leaves tons of residue!

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's really tough. I'm glad you went through with the black light already. The problem is that IF there was a pet problem before, the smell could be down in the floor boards, and you wouldn't see it on a black light. I was just hoping that would help you find obvious problems.

I know you've already done the carpets - but IF you're willing to put up with it again, you may want to do it again with the nok-out (using the directions they provide).



Laurie


Ah, Yes indeed!! But thank you so much, everybody, and it's Christmas. I just don't run to medication when things go wrong and it seems like such a drastic step for Sammy, who is so cuddly and sweet.
post #10 of 18
OMG if 10mg of amatriptaline is a low dose I would hate to see a high dose! I personally use 50mg! Im a person!! My cat is not even close to 1/5 of the size of me!! So that just strikes me as crazy. I know that they have been using this medication for a long time though, so there has probably been alot of research! If you're willing to just clean the stuff up well I wouldn't bother with the meds, but if you need time to clean them properly or whatever then I dont think the meds would hurt! Im thinking it'll knock kitty on butt though!! Good luck to you and kitty!! Let us know what you decide to do and how it goes!
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post
OMG if 10mg of amatriptaline is a low dose I would hate to see a high dose! I personally use 50mg! Im a person!! My cat is not even close to 1/5 of the size of me!! So that just strikes me as crazy. I know that they have been using this medication for a long time though, so there has probably been alot of research! If you're willing to just clean the stuff up well I wouldn't bother with the meds, but if you need time to clean them properly or whatever then I dont think the meds would hurt! Im thinking it'll knock kitty on butt though!! Good luck to you and kitty!! Let us know what you decide to do and how it goes!
LOL Thank you so much hunny, that makes me feel better. It's been almost a week now and Sammy has NOT peed outside the box. He actually has peed in the box with poop and I praise him tons when he does. He scratched at the wall and I was there just in time to say NO SAM NO NO NO!! really loud and scold him firmly but then I hugged him later. I can't even bring myself to scold him.... so for now... we're in a holding pattern on the meds and it's bought some much needed sleep and cleaning time.
post #12 of 18
The one thing to watch out for is that while it seems to be good for a certain time, it can backfire eventually and become the 'depresser' rather than the antidepressant, so I'd keep a definite eye out for that happening.
post #13 of 18
We used Amitriptyline for Raven for about 4 months in 2004. He had interstitial cystitis. Amitriptyline is supposed to help soothe the bladder and stop the "need to pee" feeling.

We had to order empty gel caps to put the pill in. It was SO bitter. It was very hard to medicate him before we got the gel caps. We also gave him Cosequin at the time. And fed mostly canned food.

I didn't like Raven on Amitriptyline. He slept all the time. Stopped playing, which normally he played every day with his puffballs. And his eyes were dilated much of the time. A cat specialist vet took him off of Amitriptyline after we moved to another city. And he was totally fine after that. Never had a recurrence if IC before he died either.

I don't know how much this will help you. Raven never peed outside of the box.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
..............

I didn't like Raven on Amitriptyline. He slept all the time. Stopped playing, which normally he played every day with his puffballs. And his eyes were dilated much of the time. A cat specialist vet took him off of Amitriptyline after we moved to another city. And he was totally fine after that. Never had a recurrence if IC before he died either.

I don't know how much this will help you. Raven never peed outside of the box.
Brenna, that's very helpful!
So far it's been 9 days and Sammy has not peed on the carpet. We changed the litter to this new clumping litter that Petco carries in buckets and he likes it a lot. Saba is indifferent, she's my little steady rock. And we moved the Feliway plug-in to the spot where he's been peeing...and so far...nothing. ..so I have NOT administered the medication. I don't want my little guy on pills unless it's so critical. This week has given us a break to catch up on sleep and treat the carpets.. so I'm holding my breath. Sam's a smart guy. I had done some intense behavior/feedback with him so perhaps the lightbulb has gone off. Fingers crossed!!!
post #15 of 18
It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with your kitty! Im so glad to hear that he isn't peeing outside of the box right now! Thats a good thing! The pills are really bitter so if you do have to use them that gel cap is a really good idea! Ive had them disolve before I could swallow before and its nasty!!
Ive heard good things about the feliway diffuser but have been too scared to try it with 3 kids and there being ethanol in there!! I hope evverything goes yours and your kitties way!! Please let us know!
post #16 of 18
I am SO glad things are going so well for Sammy without the meds! That is the best news possible.

I'm really curious - what was the intense behavior/feedback work you did with him? This sounds like it could be really helpful for others.

Just to address the dosage issue for others when searching on amitryptaline:

Glitch - 50mg for a person is also a low dose. According to RxMeds,

Quote:
Initial dose for adults: 25 mg 3 times daily. The dose may be gradually increased, if necessary, to the level providing maximal clinical benefit with minimal toxicity, to a maximum of 300 mg daily.

Hospitalized patients may require higher initial or overall dosage.

Adolescents: An initial dose of 10 mg 3 times daily with 20 mg at bedtime is recommended. The dose may be increased to a maximum of 100 mg daily, either in divided doses or as a single bedtime dose.
Just FYI.

Laurie
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

.....I'm really curious - what was the intense behavior/feedback work you did with him? This sounds like it could be really helpful for others.



Laurie
Thx for all the great info!!!

Well, "intense biofeedback/behavior coaching" worked like this:


After peeing/marking episode on the carpet, Sammy scratched the wall every single time. I was alert for this sound, as it sounds different from the scratching in the litter.

Immediate response (usually at 4 - 7 a.m.) where I kept Urine-Off bottle by bed or handy with a rag. I would go to him scratching the wall and grab scruff of neck. "NO SAM. NO. SAMMY NO!" and then he would run off.

Blot urine with rag and drench area with spray.

Take rag to where Sammy was, put it in front of his nose and say "NO!" firmly but did not scream at him.

Rinse and repeat about 20 times in 20 days.....



I knew something was working when the week before he stopped I'd ignore him and go back to bed. It killed me! I have never gotten mad at him or anything! Then he'd wait for about an hour and then jump up onto the bed. He came over, laid down by me, wrapping his paws around my wrists....he just peered at me in the dark...and stared into my eyes until I reached out and cuddled him. Then he turned upside down in his serious sleep position, purr, and crashed out.

This reponse came at the end of about a month of inappropriate peeing and my "behavioral coaching" and right when I first posted. It was like I could feel his little guilty heart when he peered at me to say he was sorry.
post #18 of 18
Thanks for sharing that info. You did great - and I'm so glad it worked for him! Everyone seems to expect kitties to learn new behavior - or change their behavior - within days. You've proven it can be done - but it does take time.



Laurie
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