If your cat has been having trouble sleeping, is it alright to give them an Ambien to make sure they get a good night’s rest? Cats are well-known to spend a good chunk of the day sleeping, and although it might be the source of some jealousy for us, it’s just how they’re naturally designed.
Ambien is used to treat insomnia in people, and insomnia itself is a rather extreme condition. Many of us have trouble falling asleep at night, but insomnia refers to a chronic disorder of not being able to get to sleep, or stay asleep once there. To give your cat an Ambien would mean that you suspect that your cat has insomnia, a very rare case indeed for a species that takes so many “cat naps”.
Many owners think it’s OK to tinker around with over the counter drugs and prescription medication. The thought usually pops up when these things are on hand in the home, but they should really not be considered, and your vet should be consulted in cases where you think something needs to be done. It’s good that you are doing your research before administering medication to your cat.
Can I Give My Cat Ambien? Answer: No
Ambien is a very powerful sedative, so even if you only give your cat a very small bit from a pill you are still rolling the dice as far as your cat’s health and well-being are concerned. There are countless cases of humans having adverse reactions from it, and it’s designed for us. They don’t test these on felines so it’s not as if there is any study done that says whether it’s harmful or not for them. You have to trust that it is, or at least that it’s not something that’s designed for them, and should be avoided.
The Negative Side Effects
There is a list a mile long of people saying that Ambien caused things like nausea, vomiting, delusions, and amnesia. And these reports are from people that were prescribed this drug and took the recommended dosage. Imagine a different species taking an unknown dose of this. Since cats can’t talk they can’t tell you if they’re having delusions or amnesia, and the only side effects you’ll be able to know about are the ones that present themselves physically.
Why Cat’s Have Trouble Sleeping
Most cats will be able to sleep just fine, but their cycle can get disturbed, especially if their normal routine gets shaken up. If you’ve recently moved houses, or left your cat at a cattery while you were on vacation, they may take some time to adjust to the new surroundings. Eventually they will get tired enough and fall asleep on their own, without the use of pharmaceutical intervention.
A Cat’s Sleeping Cycle
It’s hard for cats to be sleep deprived because they don’t follow a sleeping pattern like ours. They don’t zonk out for 7-9 hours in a row. They sleep when they get the notion, and they wake up abruptly a lot of the time. You may think that your cat is having trouble sleeping because you can hear them knocking around in the middle of the night. This is just fine for them and is not a sign that they have anything wrong with them.
If you still feel that your cat is having trouble getting good amounts or rest, you can be sure that they have a cozy and consistent place to sleep. You can also try to reduce the amount of stress in your home, if you have a hectic environment for them. Getting a special cat nook or bed, something that they know is for them might do the trick, but most cats will just plop down wherever they feel like and catch some winks.
So to recap, your cat is most probably just fine and does not need your help with getting to sleep. However, if you are sure that they aren’t getting enough sleep, and you’re unable to determine why, consult with your vet to see what your other, safer options are. Don’t give them an Ambien, as it’s just not safe.