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Spraying and Prozac

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
We are having a terrible problem with one of our male cats spraying. He's been checked by the vet and is neutered. He is an indoor cat. The spraying gets worse this time of year with all the cats running around outside.

We've tried Buspar without success. The vet wanted to try amitriptilan - but our kitty may have a heart problem so I didn't want to give it to him.

I would like to try Prozac because I have read online that there has been success with it in reducing spraying, but our vet will not prescribe it. She says it is not what is generally used. Sounds like she had a bad experience with it once with one of her dogs.

Has anyone had success with Prozac in reducing spraying? I would love to have some data to present to her. We are at the point of 'last resorts' before having to find a new home for our cat.

It's difficult because our vet is a friend who has taken care of our pets for 20 years.


post #2 of 43
I have two cats on prozac and it has saved my house, my sanity and their lives.

Thankfully I have GFI sockets, because they were spraying into them on the kitchen counters. My laminate floor is ruined. The door to the oven is rusting from cat urine. I have managed to save the bottom cabinets from ruin by taping pee-pee pads to them. Disgusting, I know, but I just want you to get the picture of how out of control the spraying and urine marking was.

Now I will have to clean a spot or two if I am away overnight. It has turned my household back into a happy place for all of us to live in again.

There are lots of references on the web of using Prozac in cats.
There is a current thread in this forum, Amytriptline and Olley discussing this very subject.

Here is the link to the article I referenced in that thread too,

Also if you search Prozac on TCS I know there is at least one other member who has used it with success.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the following site under Prescription Options, you will see where they say
"I have removed links referring to Buspar, Elavil & Depo Provera. I believe, based on personal experience and the findings of Dr. Nicholas Dodman of the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine, that Prozac is the first and hopefully last stop to managing territorial spraying."

They have several links to research articles as well.

All the veterinary compounding pharmacies will make Prozac chews ( or the generic). However if your cat is of an appropriate weight you might be able to get human pills as $4.00 generic and split them, then give using pill pockets. One must be really careful when pilling cats longterm. They can get esophageal burns and tears from improper pilling.

The liquid generic is really cheap, but my cats just foam at the mouth with it. Giving the chicken flavored chews cut up into their food works really well but costs about $1.00 a day. My cats need 2.5 mg a day and I just switched to using 10 mg pills quartered with pill pockets. My vet is looking for another less expensive compounding pharmacy. We are thinking of trying Vet Pharmacy of American as a vet friend of hers has used them successfully and their prices are better.

Hopefully your vet will be willing to look at the research and open their minds to help you. If not, it might be time to search for a different vet.

Wishing you good luck.
post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the information and the links. You have given me hope! I guess we just have to be more forceful with the vet.

It's worth a shot, right?
post #4 of 43
absolutely worth a shot! Normally I am not the type to recommend drugs, but when the inappropriate urination gets so out of control, the drugs really do become the only option.

I really hope your vet sees the positives and is at least willing to try with monitoring.

Keep up posted.
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
Well, we got the vet to prescribe Prozac for Jax. She told us over the phone he would get 1/2 pill per day, but when I went to pick it up, it was the liquid form. I need to figure out how to give him the liquid form. I understand it doesn't go down so easy.

Anyone have any suggestions? Could we add it to some sort of gourmet canned food? (My cats aren't big on the canned food so it would have to be something really yummy.)


post #6 of 43
Originally Posted by JaxMaxMom View Post
Well, we got the vet to prescribe Prozac for Jax. She told us over the phone he would get 1/2 pill per day, but when I went to pick it up, it was the liquid form. I need to figure out how to give him the liquid form. I understand it doesn't go down so easy.

Anyone have any suggestions? Could we add it to some sort of gourmet canned food? (My cats aren't big on the canned food so it would have to be something really yummy.)


You can rub the dose on his ear, and it will absorb into his bloodstream that way, from what I understand.
post #7 of 43
The gels that go on ears are different from the liquids that go into mouths. Many drugs can be formulated both ways, but be sure to read the label to see which formulation you've got.

A liquid in a syringe is actually usually easier to give than pills are.
post #8 of 43
How about some Wellness pouches. My cats go nutty over them. They are in chunks but have gravy. You could probably stretch a pouch over 2 or 3 days if it is only for one cat.
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 
The doctor called and said that she prescribed the liquid because they couldn't get the pill in the right dosage for splitting.

We just tried the liquid straight...was not good. Kitty is foaming at the mouth, as you all said he would. We need to find another alternative.

Can someone tell me how I might find either pills in the right dosage, the chews, or the gel?

Kitty ate one of the pill pouches (without a pill) and LOVED it, so I think it will work if I can get a pill.

Should I look at some place like Should I call local pharmacies or only vet pharmacies? (Not sure what I am doing.)

post #10 of 43
My cats are on Prozac... we get it compounded into liquid that's tuna flavored. I give them a little wet food with their doses mixed in. They do just fine.

Jack was peeing right in front of the LB's, and spraying (although not too badly), and both cats were getting aggressive with each other... I tried another medication, but was finding that JoJo was too smart for her own darn good, and Jack wasn't being affected by it... i.e. still doing his bad behaviors... so I talked to my vet once again... right now, we're doing a slow weaning off of it... and so far, so good.

I do have to keep my bedroom window closed, even during the summer months... because Jack still goes nuts over outside kitties on my patio... but he's not spraying... just being loud and obnoxious... silly boy.

Another 'thumbs up' for Prozac here. Try mixing it in to so extra gooshy wet food. If he likes tuna, and you have a Trader Joe's nearby, look for their Tuna for Cats... JJ and Jack love that stuff...

Good luck!

post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice.

No Trader Joe's we will probably try the Wellness, and would appreciate any other suggestions.

Our kitties don't generally eat canned food. They like the chunks with gravy, but generally they only eat the gravy and leave the I suppose we can mix something into the gravy. (Just need to keep the other kitty out of it, I suppose.)

I am hopeful even though the vet is not.
post #12 of 43
I suppose two alternatives to the Wellness pouches, since they eat the gravy but not really the meat, would be (1) Vita Gravy, which is available at PetCo and PetSmart and comes in two flavors; and (2) Fromm 3 ounce cans of gravy, which are more difficult to find. They are OK for dogs and cats so they might be stocked in the dog section. They come in three flavors --- Duck & Potato, Beef and Bacon, and Chicken a la Veg. In my area the Fromm cans work out cheaper than the Vita Gravy, are more nutritious IMO, and are more convenient. I'd rather use up a 3 ounce can fairly quickly, rather than have a 12 ounce bottle open for some time. And, most importantly, based on reviews that I've seen, Vita Gravy is very hit-or-miss as far as cat enjoyment is concerned.
post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 
Well, here's an update. We've tried the Wellness go. We also tried tuna water. Kitty took a few licks and walked away.

I think we have no choice but to try to find pills somehow (and try to use the pill pockets). Not sure why the vet couldn't find pills for us, but will talk to her tomorrow.

The gel inside the ears is interesting...anyone know where I can get more info on this?

Is there a gourmet food with gravy that the kitty might like better than the Wellness?

post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
Maybe someone here can help me understand the dosing.

The vet is giving Jax 1 ml per day of the liquid (20mg/5ml), so he is getting 4 mg per day (correct?).

As far as I can tell, the pills come in 10, 20, and 40 mg. So there really isn't a good dosage for him in a pill. How easy is it to split a 20 mg pill into 5 pieces?
post #15 of 43
I am sorry the pouches didn't work. I was hoping they would for you.

Maybe like Rub said you could get it in a flavor if the dosage can't altered. But if pillpockets are an option maybe the vet could either give you a pill or get the ear stuff.
post #16 of 43
how big is Jax? That is a pretty high dose, so he must be a big cat.

I just went over all this stuff with my Vet on Thursday. Sorry I didn't catch this earlier. Thankfully she is very cooperative. She made some calls while I was there to see what kind of pricing we could get.

So far Vet Pharmacies of America seems to be the best price. They will make a chewable, flavored pill for 43 cents per pill, which works out to about $12 a month for one cat. This is not bad at all. Wedgewood compounding pharmacy in NJ charges 95 cent per Chew. I will later take a photo fo the chews and attach it.

I would be that Vet Pharmacy of America will be less expensive on the chew as well as the chewable tablets.

Also my vet said there is a dosing range for Prozac so, maybe splitting a 10 mg pill into 3rds would work. That would be 3.3 mg each and if you were a little over or under each day it would not cause an overdose.

I am not as big a fan of the transdermal gels as some. My CRF kitty hated the smell of it and after about a month of use she got really irritated ears. Also, the efficacy of all meds being absorbed with transdermal gels has not be studied. I think it was on PubMed there is an article on Prozac, it needs an increased dosage to get the proper amount absorbed. I will look it up and post the link.

You can also try looking for local compounding pharmacies. I even have one in the next town over which only has a population of 8,000 people. So they are out there even in some small towns.

I will get my research together here and post back. I just wanted to let you know some starter things straight off the top of my head. PM me if you would like.
post #17 of 43
Ok here is more information. As you will be able to tell the liquid just did NOT work for me in any way shape or form. My cats hated it and they recognized the smell of it right away so no hiding it in the food. Plus since loss of appetite is one of the things you need to watch for ( I have had NO problems with this) I didn't want have them associate the medicine with their food at all.

says dose for cats is 2-5 mg per cat per day.
this is another good short article on behavior modification drugs in cats. Says dosage for Prozac is 0.5mg/kg once a day. This is what the dosage for my cats is based on. If you vet is going by this dosage then:

12lb cat = 5.44 kg = 2.72 mg Prozac daily
15 lb cat = 6.80 kg= 3.4 mg Prozac daily
17 lb cat = 7.7 kg = 3.8 mg Prozac daily
18 lb cat =8.16 kg = 4.1mg Prozac daily
20 lb cat = 9.07 kg= 4.5 mg Prozac daily

The link above is to the abstract for the research paper titled “Comparative bioavailability of fluoxetine after transdermal and oral administration to healthy cats. It states the Prozac does absorb transdermally, but the bioavailability is only 10% of that of the oral dose. They used a dosage of 1 mg/kg.

Marvista vet has a list of compounding pharmacies

Vet Pharmacies of America's toll free number is 1-877-838-7979. This one seems to be the least expensive that my vet has found. I haven't used them yet, but for the other pharmacies, she calls in the script, then I call with my credit card. When I need refills I just call or email the pharmacy just like I would with my own meds. Don't need to bother the vet each time.

This is the link to their catalog, it is a PDF file so takes a little while to load Page eight shows what the chews look like, they are about the size of a nickle, page nine shows what the chewable flavored tables look like and they give an actual size diagram.
post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 
Wow, that's great information. Thank you.

Jax is about 14 it sounds like the dosage the vet is recommending is high. Should I present this information to her on dosage or trust that she knows what she is doing?

The chews sound you know if the kitties generally like them?

Will any compounding pharmacy do the chews or is that specific to the one you mentioned above (Vet Pharmacies of America)?

post #19 of 43

I think you could talk to your vet about the dosing if it would make it easier to use a pill and pill pocket.

If you don't mind going the chew route then wait and see. Me, personally, I like to use the smallest dose that works. So if you started at the lower dose, you could always increase it as needed.

I am pretty sure that any compounding pharmacy can make the flavored chews. Mine are chicken flavored. My cats don't eat them like a treat, so I chop them up and put them in their food. This way they eat it right up.

You should be able to do the calling to the pharmacies to check availability/price etc and then let your vet know what you found. This will save the vet time.

I don't free feed though. I feed on a set schedule so my cats are hungry at feeding time. They also get only wet/homemade food. I don't know how well the chews would work with dry food.

I am really glad your vet decided to help you and give it try. I think you will notice a big difference
post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
Spoke with the doctor today. She's going to try to get the transdermal gel. She does not think we can get the correct dosage in a pill.

She also suggested that I mix the liquid in a little bit of Science Diet A/D (which is a liquid food) and squirt it that way - to make it less bitter.

Any comments?
post #21 of 43
Thread Starter 
Just bringing this back up for an update. Not much of one, however. The vet has been unable to find anyone to mix up the gel (for the ears) and for some reason (dosage, I guess) refuses to work with us on a pill...which is what we want to try.

We are concerned about the ear sores some people have mentioned with the gel. We had the liquid initially and tried to give it to him a few times, without much success, but it seems like just those couple of doses made a difference (must have been our imagination) but for several days afterward he didn't spray at all. Well now, a few weeks later, it is back to a few times a day.

If we can ever find a source for the gel, I will let you all know if it is effective for us.
post #22 of 43
Try dripping it on the paw and allowing the cat to lick it off. If you put it in food you should only add it to about a tesp. of food to insure all meds go down the shoot, and into the tummy.
I would just put it in the mouth as I did with the pain meds they took after surgery.
post #23 of 43
I didn't use the transdermal gel for long (it was working, but still hard to catch my cat for dosage), but it worked pretty well for my asthmatic cat for the month or so I did use it. My vet did also say that there isn't much evidence that transdermal gels get the medication into the bloodstream, but that there is strong anecdotal experience that it works for asthma.

I don't have the information on the pharmacy here, but my vet used a mail-order pharmacy to formulate the prednisone into a transdermal gel. I wasn't terribly happy with the pharmacy, because the instructions on the syringe were for oral medication, and this was medication to put on ears, but they were somewhere on the east coast and I live in California, so you should be able to use them (or another mail order pharmacy). I'll get you the pharmacy information later.
post #24 of 43
will he eat moist treats?
i looked over the thread, & didn't see these mentioned: pill pockets.
lots of people have had success w/them - but they only work if your cat will eat treats like them.
post #25 of 43
Thread Starter 
OK, here's another update. We got capsules to give Jax, but we can't get them down his throat. Is there something that you recommend we rub on it to help it slide down better? (I think I read this somewhere.)

post #26 of 43
Originally Posted by JaxMaxMom View Post
OK, here's another update. We got capsules to give Jax, but we can't get them down his throat. Is there something that you recommend we rub on it to help it slide down better? (I think I read this somewhere.)

i use butter, myself.
post #27 of 43
As Laureen said butter can work and it is especially helpful if you have a cat piller. Make sure to get some food or water down after the capsule to make sure it isn't stuck in the esophagus.

How big are the capsules and more importantly are they full? Sometimes they use capsules that are much larger than the actual content. If there is only a small amount in each capsule you can try pouring the contents into a pill pocket, or cutting down the capsules to a smaller size.

I don't use the pill pockets full size because my cats tend to want to chew them. I usually make them 1/2 the original size and the cats just lap them up like a treat. You can fill the pill pockets with anything, liquid, powder, or solid pill as long as the volume isn't too large.

Also I don't know if the powdered prozac is as nasty tasting as the liquid. Might be able to mix it into wet food, but I think that is a long shot.

Your not crazy either, the prozac does work right away. The immediate improvement is amazing.

Please keep us posted.
post #28 of 43
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I posted an update on this in a new thread. Results are great, thus far.

Thanks for all your help!

post #29 of 43
I know that this thread has been dead for a while, but if you're still looking for a compounding pharmacy, or even a pharmacy that can do a specific dosage, I might have one. I'm not sure where they are located but I deal directly with them once I've got the order in.. and they ship to me. My vet just has a standing refillable order in, although it's for amitryptolene (sp?).. and I'm about to talk to him tomorrow about Prozac. We are currently using transdermal. I don't think they are nearly as effective as the pills were, but it's really difficult to tell whether its' the med or the fact that it's transdermal.

They wouldn't deal with the treats. They don't like it in either Tuna or Chicken. I had some success with the pill pockets with one cat. THe other won't eat anything besides cooked meat or raw, and that means cat food of any sort.. so.. he won't even eat cat treats. No idea what to do with him.

Anyway, let me know if you need the information. They're not terribly expensive for the Amitryptolene, but I don't know what the other drugs run.
post #30 of 43

Thank you for posting this.  We're going to give it a try.  I have a 15 yr old cat who is in a "pissing match" with another cat we have, and we're at our wit's end.

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