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Cats and Xanax?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone.. Just wondering if Xanax is safe to give to cats? Everything I've read says yes but I would like a few more opinions.
It's for Cali and Twig for their aggression towards Serenity. Twig is 12 and Cali is 5. They both weigh 13 pounds. Sorry so brief but I'm running late for work. Thanks for your input!
post #2 of 44
Never, ever give a cat meds that aren't prescribed by a reliable vet.
I don't know that Xanax is available in a feline-friendly form, and you simply can't give a cat a med intended for a human.
Please talk to your vet about it before you do anything.
post #3 of 44
You really should call and ask your vet.
post #4 of 44
Judging that you have been on the board with so many posts, are you asking more of is it safe(if my vet gave it) as opposed to the I have some of my own rx on hand and want to give it. I personally have no experience medicating a cat with any drug like this but am thinking of it for 1 of my cats.

I would just get bloodwork and check it every so often for changes. Have heard of cats doing really good on some meds to point it really changed the lives of the family.
post #5 of 44
If your vet prescribed it, it should be fine as long as you follow the instructions. If you are thinking about medicating them yourself...don't. Talk to your vet and see what options are out there. My one girl, Monster, needs valium every other day. It's to control seizures but it also mellows her out for her nightly Pheno pill...that may be an option for you.
post #6 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies.. Yes the vet did prescribe it, I wouldn't ever think of trying to medicate my cats myself, I am to much of a worrywart and can't even medicate them without looking up all the information I can online about the medicine.. (and asking you all of course ) Well, here goes... Day 1.. Hopefully this will go well...I'm still very nervous...
post #7 of 44
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
If your vet prescribed it, it should be fine as long as you follow the instructions. If you are thinking about medicating them yourself...don't. Talk to your vet and see what options are out there. My one girl, Monster, needs valium every other day. It's to control seizures but it also mellows her out for her nightly Pheno pill...that may be an option for you.

Hi Calico2222 -
was wondering why you give monster pheno and how she/he does on it? My vet has mentioned pheno or amitriptyline for my Tucker's hyperesthesia. Like jugen - I'm trying to get as much info and opinions on both before I do anything. The idea of medicating him with either really scares me but he's getting worse and I don't think I have much of a choice anymore.
post #8 of 44
I am trying to decide the same thing myself. My vet told me the one concern with giving my aggressive cat Xanax is he may not inhibit his bite.

I am going to hold off a few more days as my situation has only been going a week and I am hoping it will go back to normal but if it doesn't I will do it. The other thing he suggested was a calming liquid. Their is something homeopathic that can be give in a liquid form in their water or directly in a syringe. Good luck I know it is exhausting living with aggressive kitties who you know can be so sweet.
post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
Well, day one went by without really any issues. They did have issues with their feet being a little wobbly but really other then that, they were fine. Slept mostly and ate ALOT...Didn't know that would be a side effect, that's ok though I'll just monitor their eating and weight.
Today Cali is a bit over stimulated for some reason. She's running after Neffie who she NEVER chases and trying to get her to play..and she came in here and nipped me just a second ago.. No big deal, right after she did it, she flipped on her side and wanted to be petted. So I have a few things to monitor, and when the meds are in their systems(about two weeks they said), we'll try reintroducing Serenity, very slowly.......
post #10 of 44
Hi jargon just wondering how Xanax and kitties bare going. I am thinking this may be my next step so would love some input. Thanks Erin
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by DarciFinn View Post
Hi jargon just wondering how Xanax and kitties bare going. I am thinking this may be my next step so would love some input. Thanks Erin
Well Yesterday I only gave them one Xanax and they acted like they were completely wasted... I know it takes time to get corrected into their systems but I am a touch concerned about this behavior and will be monitoring it. they are not allowed on the hardwoods until they are a little more "stable" so to speak, I don't want them to get hurt trying to jump off the bed onto the hardwood floor, the other rooms are fine for them because they are carpeted and the beds are lower..They sleep alot and when they are awake, they eat like there's no tomorrow..So I have a few issues to monitor, but over all they seem less aggressive, so that's a bonus, I will be taking them back to the vets for a check up in the next week, so that I know everything is going the way it should be..And I will be talking to him about all the things I've seen so far. So I'll keep you updated as I go..
post #12 of 44
Could you try giving your cats half the dosage till they get used to the drug being in their system? Maybe that will be sufficient enough till their bodies start building up a tolerance....

I'm thinking of maybe starting Geronimo on something similar so he quits harassing poor Cassidy all the time, so I'm interested in how the Xanax works for your cats.
post #13 of 44
Thanks Jugen for responding both in my post and yours please keep me updated. Finny has only been aggressive about ten days and seems to be calming down a little. In time it may get better but as I have to go out of town in 2 1/2 weeks for work and want the aggression to start before I have to lock my girl in the room for five days.
post #14 of 44
Thread Starter 
Ok here's todays(day 2) results. Cali and Twig ended up getting two pills because they decided fighting each other was something new and fun
Twig saw Serenity, couldn't get to her and took it out on Cali..Not good, but no blood, got them apart in time. Still a vets visit is in order this week...
post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 
Yesterday passed with no issues. But Twig has the runs now so yet another med for that poor boy.. I've decided that 1 and a half pills are MORE then enough for them. I will be taking them to the vets next week since the couldn't do it this week for a check up. Then in 2-3 weeks if this doesn't work I'll be weaning them off it and looking for another solution..
post #16 of 44

hi jugen-can you give the dosaage that your cat is receiving? The vet prescribed xanax for an anxiety disorder in my 17yr.  old Maine coon and I'm afraid 1mg may be too much. Haven't given it to her yet.

post #17 of 44

Personally, I would try Bach's Rescue Remedy and Mimulus. Go to their website and call them (free), tell then your problem, they will tell you what formula's youu need. These are essenses made from flowers - all natural. If you watch My Cat From Hell, you may have heard Jackson Galaxy mention using essenses. You just add 2-4 drops to the cats water dish. Make sure you get the Rescue Remedy FOR PETS, NOT HUMANS! There is alcohol in the human version for preservation reasons. I just adopted a feral Burmese, and have ordered the above to help her with the stress of her new environment.

post #18 of 44

1 mg of Xanax for a cat? What is it, a tiger? This is a habit-forming drug used for anxiety attacks in humans. Most doctors start humans on .25 mg (1/4 mg). I would definitely question the dosage. I have PTSD and Panic/Anxiety disorder, and my doctor has me on 1 mg doses 4 times a day. I weigh 150 lbs (not proud of that by the way), so 1 mg for a 12 lb +/- cat sounds a bit scary to me. If you wish to check with a doctor about Xanax, psychiatrists are your best choice as these are the doctors who prescribe it the most.

post #19 of 44

I, a human being, weighing almost 250lbs takes .25mg of Xanex and it knocks me out.  .25mg is a very very small dose for a human and I even sometimes cut it in half.


I don't know what dose you want to use with your kitties but if a very small dose knocks me out and makes me feel wierd, my God, it will do major damage to your kitty.


Don't ever give your cat medicine that isn't given to you by your vet.  If they are having aggression issues, take them to the vet and him/her can assist you on the situation

post #20 of 44

I have never heard of a vet giving Xanax! Wow! I have heard of Prozac for cats but never Xanax. smashfreak.gif

post #21 of 44



I'm Christy and new to the of my cats Sugar is have some "over grooming issues" to put it mildly and my vet and I have discussed putting her on the same thing (I think) anti-anxiety medication like Xanex to chill her out a bit....the vet is still holding off on it for now but it seems to me it is becoming more prevalent...I hope everyone's kitty's do well on it.

post #22 of 44

I can't speak to the xanax but we did end up giving my Tucker Amitriptyline for his hyperathesia.  It's also an anti-anxiety drug - not sure if it is stronger or weaker than xanax???  He has been on it now for about 1 1/2 years and is doing great.  No signs of him mutilating his tail anymore and he isn't zombied out at all (which was my big fear).  He is back to being perfectly normal now as long as he stays on the meds.  

Having had to diagnose my cat myself because NONE of the vets I took him to could tell me what was wrong with him, I think you are right in questioning the vet on the xanax.  If the drug and/or dosage doesn't seem right to you - trust you gut and ask more questions!!  I blindly listened to 2 different vets (and my husband) tell me that the only way to keep my cat from chewing off his tail was to amputate it.  WRONG  We did amputate and he still persisted on trying to attack himself.  It was absolutely heartbreaking and I still have huge guilt and regret over doing it - even though my cat doesn't seem to care in the least that his tail is gone.  Anyway, the day I took him in for surgery, I knew it was the wrong thing to do and I literally bawled when I got home but I didn't trust my gut and stop it.  My mistake.  

Ask many many questions if something doesn't feel right to you.  Good luck with your kitty!

post #23 of 44

1mg is way too much xanax for a cat. Most people are never given that much in one dose!


Also xanax is only in your system for 6 hours. I don't think this is a safe medication for a cat. It is highly addictive and will cause severe withdrawal when it is stopped. 

post #24 of 44

Barb those were my thoughts too. It's way to strong and addictive. 

post #25 of 44

My vet placed my 17yr old Maine coon cat on xanax @.50mgs and she staggered around and fell down with every step-that was scary-Now he has now reduced it to .25mgs and she is doing much better. No more yowling for hours at a time when I'm out of her sight! (She also has spinal stenosis and cannot get up the stairs.)

She is suffering from a cognitive disorder similar to human Alzheimers and gets panicky and lost if you're not right in front of her when she awakes.

The vet also said that cats metabolize xanax much as humans do. It has helped tremendously for both Goober and the household.

I'd rather she be comfortable  and stable for the time she has left than in a panicked state for hours on end.

She's even began to play with her favorite bell again which is a blessing in itself. and, yes, it's given her the munchies bigtime so that has to be monitored.

Follow your vet's advice.

post #26 of 44

You could give a cat less than .25 mg and he/she would still be very medicated. Most people will lose considerable stress or anxiety with .25 to .50 Xanax, unless you are close to 200lb, then you would not respond much to the .25 dose- but seriously, a 200lb person would feel fine with a half milligram of xanax. I don't even think they make Xanax pills in doses larger than 1 mg pills. 


Goober, you could give your cat half of that .25 dose, or even a crumb sized amount, and she would feel just fine, seriously! Like the poster above said, humans are started out on .25 mg even with panic disorder.


Also, like I said above, be very careful about not stopping it suddenly or she will experience severe withdrawal. 


I am amazed that vets are prescribing this and in these doses, it is a highly controlled substance for people. I think it is very irresponsible on the part of vets to give it out without more information or instruction. And I strongly doubt this medication is approved for use in cats. I am not saying it doesn't work- I am just saying the precautions for humans are enormous and it is wrong for vets not to use equal or even double caution in instructing kitty parents of its dangers and how to use it correctly i.e. tapering the dose if it needs to be stopped, etc., on behalf of our beloved pets.

post #27 of 44

Update on the Xanax thread. After trying pumpkin, rice, probiotics and everything else we could think of,  I decided to put my Burmese feral on a very small dosage of Xanax. She has had explosive diarrhea for a month, but is too feral to transport. She has had Feliway diffussing in her room, but it hasn't had much effect. So I called her vet and we discussed it. He suggested IF he were to give his 9 lb cat he would give her 1/8 mg for her weight (9 lbs). It is illegal for a vet to prescribe medication for an animal they have not seen here in California, so we were talking hypothetically. After 5 days her diarrhea is subsiding. She is playing with her toys. She chases the mouse on the end of the rope. As long as you don't try to pet her, she acts pretty much like any other inside cat. She is confined to one room, and will not be allowed out until she can be handled, at which time she will meet the "mysterious" cat she keeps smelling under her door.Xanax should not be taken lightly, and not given for long periods of time because it can cause liver damage in cats. Also, you must taper your cat off the drug, not suddenly stop it - to do so could be fatal. At 1/8th mg she functions fine, does not appear to be drugged, just more relaxed around this human creature. Good luck.

post #28 of 44

um ask your vet that on there next vet visit you don't want to give them something and end up calling for a emergancy vet appointment

post #29 of 44
Originally Posted by Mewlittle View Post

um ask your vet that on there next vet visit you don't want to give them something and end up calling for a emergancy vet appointment

I agree...wouldn't risk it!
post #30 of 44

hello i am new to this site and have read your posts on xanex for cats.


first of all, never give a cat a medication that has not been prescribed by a vet.  a low dose for a human is possibly a high dose for your cat.


xanex is what i refer to as a quick fix think about it later medication.  for example if a human has a deathnin the family and is not dealing well usually a doctor will wrire a two week to one month supply so on those days your feeling blue xanex will take away some of that mental pain.


however it is higly addictive which leads me to my statement bout cats.  you can not give your cat xanex for a few months, then when the problem of why you gave it to him in the first place has stopped.


your cat can have withdrawl symptoms such as grand mal seizures and potentially die.


so the better first option is to figure out what is causing my cat to behave in this manner.  try to fix that instead of covering it up with xanex.  if it is something like you bring a kitten into your home and your ten year old cat acts up, he may never stop and they might just end up hating each other.   but giving the older cat xanex because he is not being friendly is not the answer because you caused the issue.


trust me xanex is not something to be taken so lightly.  i rescued a cat today from a famiky whom had a mutual friend drop him off.  well they forgot to mention he is on xanex and just did not gice it to him in the am.  by the afternoon when i got him i said this cat is shaking and looks like he is about to have a seizure.  we gave him a pill and in about 90 minutes he physically was better.


so before you decide to give xanex to your cat it could be life long and under no circumstances do you just stop giving it to him unless under vet care with a process of lowering doses over time.


i am not a vet.  seek knowledgeable advicd from one.  also keep the pills locked up if you have teenage children or even college, xanex is a very sought out drug to be used to get high.

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