Melatonin is a drug prescribed for human use that has shown effectiveness in treating mild cat anxiety. However, medication is best used in conjunction with a training program that will help your cat learn to relax and deal with his stress. Uses of Melatonin Melatonin is a hormone and antioxidant that combats particles in the body called “free radicals,” which are thought to contribute to brain deterioration. Because of these properties, melatonin is used to regulate hormone cycles. It can also be used as a mild sedative. Because melatonin is approved for human consumption, it’s available to pet owners over the counter. It should only be used with veterinarian consultation since it can have side effects, especially when used in conjunction with other medications. In cats, melatonin has been used successfully in treatment of separation anxiety and fear reactions, such as noise phobias. Because it also has sedating properties, it can be used to calm hyperactivity at night, and to help senior dogs who become disoriented at night. Separation anxiety, where a cat becomes stressed every time the owner leaves the house and often engages in destructive behavior, may require long-term usage. Short-term use of melatonin is also effective, such as kenneling your cat during a vacation or the week of July 4th, when noises are particularly disturbing. Since melatonin is a hormone, not a drug, it has few side effects and can be used either for long-term or short-term use, without worrying about addiction or negative repercussions from missing dosages. Combining with Training Though long-term use of melatonin is not considered dangerous, using medication to treat anxiety is only managing the issue. A better long-term solution is training your cat to relax in stressful situations, thus improving his quality of life. If you use melatonin in conjunction with training, you may be able to eliminate it later on as your cat learns better coping skills. For example, if your cat has noise phobias, place him in a comfortable place, such as a crate or calm room. Begin to play a noise CD at a low level, low enough that your cat’s ears prick, but he doesn’t become frightened. Play the CD for only a minute or two, rewarding your cat with his favorite treat during this time. Gradually increase the noise as your cat becomes accustomed to each volume. If your cat ever becomes stressed, you’re moving too fast. Using melatonin during the process reduces your cat’s anxiety so that he’s able to tolerate a higher level of noise while remaining calm. This allows your training to progress more quickly. When you begin to reduce the amount of melatonin, reduce the volume during training and slowly build up again. This will keep your cat from being suddenly startled by the change. Since behavior problems may get worse with time, melatonin might not always be effective. Behavioral modification is an important step in reducing your cat’s anxiety. However, melatonin can be a helpful training aid that helps your cat reduce anxiety and improve coping skills.
There are many uses of melatonin, some with more scientific proof than others. Melatonin is used to help manage separation anxiety in dogs and cats as well as sleep cycle disorders and cognitive dysfunction in older pets. Melatonin is used in mink to accelerate their fur growth. Melatonin can be used to suppress estrus (heat cycles) in cats. It is also used to treat other fearful conditions, such as noise phobias. Melatonin is used in dogs to treat some causes of alopecia (hair loss) such as Alopecia X, canine pattern baldness and canine flank alopecia. Melatonin has also been used in dogs with platelet disorders such as idiopathic thrombocytopenia (ITP). Melatonin has been used to help induce sleep in pets that are hyperactive at night and to treat elderly pets suffering from an impairment in their biological clock (resulting in so-called “sundowner syndrome.”)
Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian. For small dogs, melatonin is dosed at 0.5 to 1 mg per dog orally whenever necessary up to every 8 hours. For medium-sized dogs, melatonin is dosed at 1 to 3 mg per dog up to 8 hours. In large dogs, melatonin is dosed at 3 to 9 mg dog orally up to three times a day. Melatonin Implants can be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) in dogs. The following sizes have been used: Dogs less than 20 pounds receive the 8 mg implant, dogs 21 pounds to 36 pounds the 12 mg implant and dogs over 37 pounds receive the 18 mg implant. Effects of Melatonin implants can range from 6 to 12 months in dogs. In cats, melatonin is dosed at 1.5 to 6 mg per cat orally whenever necessary up to every 12 hours. The 18 mg implant has been used to suppress estrus in cats for 2 to 4 months. The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian.
Melatonin, also known by the names of Melatonex®, Dermatonin® and Regulin®, is used to help manage separation anxiety and other fearful conditions, such as noise phobias in dogs and cats, suppress heat cycles in cats, help with hair loss disorders in dogs, as well as other uses. Behavioral disorders in dogs and cats are a common reason for veterinary visits. Unacceptable or dangerous animal behavior problems are also a common reason why owners elect to have their pets euthanized. Recently, veterinarians have placed greater emphasis on training and behavior, and specialists working in the field of animal behavior have increasingly adopted drugs used in human behavior for animal use. Melatonin is one of those drugs. Melatonin is a neurohormone and is also an antioxidant that combats “free radicals.” Free radicals have been attributed to brain deterioration. Melatonin is best known for its ability to regulate body rhythms and reproductive cycles, but it also appears to have uses as a sedative and anti-convulsant. Melatonin is available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian. This drug has not been specifically approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but may be prescribed legally by a veterinarian as an extra-label drug.
While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, melatonin can may side effects in some animals. Melatonin should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. Melatonin has very few side effects and is very safe. However, it may disrupt desirable hormonal influences in bitches. Melatonin may interact with other medications. Consult your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with melatonin. Such drugs include sedatives and tranquilizer, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and corticosteroids.
Much like in humans, melatonin for cats is often used to combat sleep disturbances. These tend to arise when a cat has experienced a stressful event such as the introduction of another animal to its territory, being moved to a new territory, or any other kind of trauma. Much like digestion issues and hair loss, sleep deprivation is a sign of stress. As well as combating hair loss by stopping cats from excessively grooming themselves (another sign of stress), melatonin for cats can also stimulate the growth of new fur. Human beings often take melatonin as a sleep aid, and it works in much the same way with cats.
It’s also called “the hormone of darkness” because of how the level of melatonin in your blood rises at night telling your body that it’s time for sleep. High levels of melatonin can stay elevated during night-time, for up to 12 hours. Usually around dawn, the level of melatonin reduces and during the day it is barely detectable. The question is can you give melatonin for cats?
Yes, you can give melatonin to your cat. Melatonin doesn’t only help cats, but also other feline animals. In the following text, it’s explained how melatonin can help cats, as well as the recommended dosage.
In recent times, melatonin has emerged as an option for owners concerned that their cats (and dogs) are experiencing unnatural levels of stress. In this article, we will discuss what melatonin is, how it came to be used as a supplement, and whether it is suitable to use melatonin for cats.
They may also require the sedative effects of melatonin should they experience general behavioral issues. Hyperactivity, or even latent aggression, can all be mitigated with melatonin. In older cats that don’t have these concerns, they might instead experience ‘cognitive dysfunction’. Melatonin for older cats can help them redress their body clock.
When cats are subject to as many stimuli, smells, sights, sounds, and stresses as humans, it’s no surprise that they may develop behavior issues or even anxiety disorders. Melatonin for cats helps calm down your beloved pet for both short and long-term cases. Whether you’re looking to keep them calm during a move, or while they are recovering from a particularly stressful time in their lives, it can often be a good sedative option to nip future problems in the bud. By keeping your cat calm, and reducing needless, stressful behavior, providing melatonin for cats (with guidance from a vet) reduces the risk that they will develop future issues with their diet and their fur.