HomeBabysittingI need some input about using tranquilizers for cats.?
Posted in Babysitting on 4th January 2011

I need some input about using tranquilizers for cats.?
My male cats (all neutered and related) have decided that they are each others worst enemies. One is “babysitting” his sister’s kittens and the battle for supremacy has gotten to the point that we have been injured. I read one place about giving the cats Paxil and Valium. I also read about using Rescue Remedy to calm them down. Any experience with either?

Best answer(s):

Answer by tagi_65
You need to talk to your vet about this. You should never give an animal a human medication, unless it’s been prescribed by your veterinarian.

Answer by hard2getbutch
Think about the animal situation. Sadly it might be time to consider down sizing. Seperating the brothers might solve the issue. I would not reccomend giving them medication to stop the problem. The cat would be a zombie. What good is a cat that is on drugs?

Answer by mimmi_swe
this sounds like an difficult situation. I had a dog once that I used a natural “medicine” that is called valerina (in Swedish anyway)when I needed him to relax and take it easy. Maybe it will work one your cats as well.

Answer by torbaynewfs
Try the rescue remedy. Do not use Paxil or Valium unless you consult your vet first. You could kill them. Many meds like Paxil and Prozac need time to work and have to be given for many days to a week before results are seen.

It sounds as if you have too many cats in too small a space. Kittens and the mother should have no access to other cats and they should have no access to her. That just causes fights. Maybe fixing all the cats in the house would be better. Females in heat cannot be good for the situation either.

Answer by Kirsty

Rescue Remedy with cats


I use Rescue Remedy on my stressed out new foster cats – usually they’re terrified when they first arrive at my house, and it takes them a few days (weeks/months) to warm up. I also use it when I do vet trips.

I haven’t found there to be *dramatic* changes in the cat’s anxiety when I use it, but I do think it helps a bit. And they like it – they’re always quite interested in smelling my fingers after I’ve handled the bottle. I dab a few drops on the backs of their ears, or put some in their water bowls. I’m not unusual in my use of it on cats – most of the rescue people (relatively mainstream people in other ways) I work with use it too, and there’s plenty about it in the natural pet care books.

There are more specific flower remedies they could try too, for the exact symptoms their cat is having.

I guess it all depends on how exactly the tranquilizers aren’t working well. I mean, are they not working in that the cat is no calmer on them than without? In that case I doubt RR would work any better (maybe someone else here has more dramatic success with RR). Or is she having side effects or “overmedication symptoms” from the tranquilizers (in which case I think RR might be a better choice).

I have no firsthand experience with tranquilizers with cats but I’ve heard they can be quite rough. I remember my childhood dog was given tranquilizers in order for us to be able to groom her (she wasn’t a fan of this) and man was she *nasty* when she began to come out of it.

Poor kitty – life changes like that are hard. Perhaps they can also try giving her a small area of her own where she can feel safe? Cats, especially anxious ones, will actually prefer dim, quiet, close spaces to having the run of the house, so a closet might be just what she needs, complete with some worn t-shirts from her owners, so their scents can comfort her.


Kitty Hissy Fits

Cynthia B. Whitney
Reprinted With Permission

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One of the things cat lovers enjoy most about cats is their easy-going, loving attitudes. If your cat suddenly acts aggressively, don’t assume he is just having a bad hair day. Something isn’t right in his world.

To know if you should run for cover or just pet him and reassure him all is well, you need to know your cat. Observe his daily routine. As a creature of habit, he will show you his normal times and ways of doing things, how much petting or holding he likes, and how much play he can withstand. When you learn your cat’s routine, and limits, you will more easily recognize when he’s not acting like his normal, wonderful self. Watch his body language and listen to his voices. Cat lovers know that when you get to know your cat, you will have to interact with him on his terms, for best results.

If your cat is in an aggressive mode, you need to evaluate the situation. Try to see things from the cat’s point of view. Is there an outside irritant causing an agressive behavior? Look around; listen. Many small things that wouldn’t disturb a human can cause fear and terror in a small mammal like a feline.

A cat that acts aggressively for no apparent reason (to you) could be ill. To rule out any medical causes, take your cat to his veterinarian as soon as possible. Try to look around the areas where the cat has been to see if he has vomited, or has possibly ingested a foreign object or toxic item, like a houseplant.

When medical causes are ruled out, you need to look for other causes. Keep in mind fear is an aggression trigger to most living things. We fear the unknown and things we can’t control, or when our security is in jeopardy.

Cats can be afraid of people, but, most often, their aggressive behavior is toward another cat. In one study, 85% of cats swatted at another cat, 80% hissed, 70% fought with the other cat. Only 25% hissed or growled at another person. If you have multiple housecats that don’t get along very well, you can separate them by minimizing the times they have to come in contact with each other. Provide separate litter boxes, in different rooms, and separate feeding dishes, and beds.

Male cats do tend to fight more often than female cats. To minimize the tomcat from fighting, it has been well proven that neutering a male cat before puberty greatly reduces his tendency to want to fight. A male can be neutered at five months of age. Some veterinarians will do it at three months. If a neutered cat still fights, progestin therapy has proven to be helpful in most cases. This also helps in cases where the cat is spraying, even if neutered. Other drugs, such as diazepam (Valium) and mild tranquilizers such as acepromazine (“ace”) can assist in reducing aggressive behavior. Dosages are reduced as the misbehavior decreases.

Redirected aggression occurs when your cat gets irritated by something else and passes the aggression on to you instead. He may see another cat outside and can’t get to it. While upset, you come into the room. He hisses at you or even tries to attack you. All you can do here is try to discourage the behavior with deterrents such as a water sprayer, or making a sharp noise and firmly saying “no!” A water sprayer can help in many misbehaviors, such as scratching on furniture, but is best if done annonamously. If your cat sees you spraying the bottle at him, he will come to fear you, which is not what you are trying to accomplish.

Your cat may be exhibiting the “top cat” syndrome. The aggressor may swat at the other cat, or prevent him from eating in the food dish, etc. Giving equal attention and comforting petting to both cats can help minimize this behavior. Keep that water sprayer handy, too.

Dominant/territorial behavior often occurs in an otherwise calm, resident cat when a new kitten is introduced. His security is being threatened. This is fear of safety and fear of not being the one who is going to get all your love and attention. Again, giving both cats equal attention and re-assuring petting sessions will help this. Remember to introduce a new kitten gradually.

The territorial behavior can be a reaction to a new person in your house, too. It can also be triggered by a new sofa, carpet, or even re-arranging of furniture. This goes along with the fear of the unknown. Remember that unknown noises, odors, moving to a new place, new people or even a baby can threaten your cat’s sense of security, and thus, he will react in the only way he knows: with fearful aggression. This is a defense mechanism triggered instinctively.

Predatory aggression comes in the form of stalking and pouncing on your feet as you walk by. This is common in cat’s that weren’t socialized well as kittens. It’s often just a playful action. But, it’s one that should be discouraged. As I tell kitten buyers, especially with children, “ body parts are not toys.” It may be fun to rassle your foot with a small kitten. But, when your cat is a fully grown fifteen pounder, it isn’t so fun. You can easily discourage this behavior with any dangling toy, teaser, or stuffed toy they can “attack” with safety.

A cat with reoccurring aggressive misbehavior may need a behavior modification program, a cat behaviorist specialist, or just some more quality time with his loving person.

Answer by wabbitqueen
AAAA! Don’t give a cat a human prescription ever!!!

Yes, there are “cat tranquilizers” that contain ingredients similar to Valium, but cats can overdose and die really easily on these things, so they should only be given by prescription of a licensed veterinarian. They are usually used for one-time situations like a plane ride, not as a long-term solution to aggression.

You may have to find groups of cats that get along, and house them in seperate rooms than the other group or groups. The house also needs to have as many litterboxes as there are cats, plus one (too few litterboxes will really strike up the territory dispute).

If this doesn’t resolve in two weeks or so, it may be time to find some of the cats different homes.

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