Can I Give My Cat Lorazepam?
Cats are extremely sensitive creatures and anything outside their comfort zone is stressful to them, and you may think to give them Lorazepam.
Their noses are fourteen times more sensitive than ours and they can hear a larger amplitude of sound so they are more vulnerable to the changes in environment. The roar of an engine can be a near deaf experience and the smell of oil can be nauseating.
Some cats become so stressed their owners might feel the need to sedate them before they die of a heart attack.
Can I give my cat Lorazepam? Answer: Consult With Vet First
Lorazepam is an anxiety medication commonly used on people. The feline metabolism differs from that of humans and as a result many drugs and medications that work on people are just plain poison to cats. However, lorazepam has shown to have similar anxiety reducing and sedating effects on cats and in minute doses is not toxic to them. It is a fast acting drug and as such is used to sedate aggressive patients and can in theory work to sedate aggressive or panicked cats.
Giving your cat drugs should never be taken lightly because they often come with undesired side effects. Lorazepam can cause your cat to lose its balance and coordination. Always consult a veterinarian before administering any medication.
Lorazepam Dosage for Cats
Sedation is always a risky affair and should be done by a veterinarian. Drugs can always have unexpected side effects and are best administered by professionals. However, lorazepam in limited doses is usually safe for cats. If you decide to sedate your cat yourself, keep in mind that it is always best to err on the side of caution. Lorazepam is usually available for humans in pills of 0.5 milligrams. It is advised to give a quarter of one of the 0.5 mg pills to see how the cat reacts. If your feline companion is still stressed and restless it may be necessary to give another quarter of the pill. Do not give your cat more than half a pill every 24 hours.
Side Effects and Precautions
Medication always has side effects. The relaxing effect of Lorazepam is so effective that it can make your cat dizzy and lose coordination. This is actually a part of the desired effect. However, it also hampers the respiratory drive and should therefore not be given to cats that suffer from respiratory disorders such as asthma. Lorazepam should be avoided in cats that are planning to travel by airplane since the extreme state of relaxation and the influence on respiratory systems might interfere with their ability to regulate their breathing and heart rate to accommodate for changes in cabin pressure.
It is also an addictive drug, so each time you use it you increase the chances of making your cat a drug addict. Do not give your whiskered companion Lorazepam if he or she has experienced any allergic reactions to the ingredients of Lorazepam or any other sedatives.
Prepare Your Cat for Stress
It is no secret that it is sometimes easier to sedate your cat during travel. Their growls, hisses, and finally claws will make it very clear they are in no mood to move. However, there are other options that might help reduce the stress involved in traveling. The simplest method is to familiarize them with the environment. Put familiar objects in their carrier like their favorite toy or their beloved blanket. Give them treats while in the carrier to increase the positive associations. Progressively letting them spend more time in the car is an excellent way to get them used to the area.
Once they realize nothing bad happens in that space they will feel more comfortable being there. It takes a considerable amount of advance planning and patience, but it’s much healthier for the cat.
Another option to make your cat more comfortable while traveling is a pheromone spray. The spray contains synthetic pheromones that communicate to the cat that the surroundings are safe and secure. In addition to your own soothing tones, it might just be enough to keep your clawed companion calm.
Sedation Always Involves Risk
The best option is always to travel without sedation whenever possible. Certainly look into other alternatives before you risk encountering any health problems. Lorazepam in low doses is relatively safe for cats, but make sure you are careful with the dose you provide. The safest option for sedation is still a visit to the veterinarian.
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