Can I Give My Cat Melatonin?
There are a few benefits to taking melatonin supplements, which is secreted by the pineal gland in humans, animals, and plants.
Melatonin supplements are thought to be able to help fight and prevent cancer, help reduce dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, help reduce depression in pre-menopausal women and sometimes it can restore fertility, and can offer some protection against radiation.
One should be careful when using a melatonin supplement since it has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. If you are sold on taking the product it may be a good idea to consult a doctor for more information.
There are a few side effects like sleepiness, so it should be taken at night. Also headache, stomach irritation, or nausea. When taking melatonin a person should not drive or operate heavy machinery. It also has been shown to raise blood pressure, so if you are a person with heart problems, hypertension, kidney problems, sleep apnea, or if you have suffered from a stroke you should not take it. You should also see the correlation to side effects in humans and how they will also effect your cat in some way.
Can I Give My Cat Melatonin? Answer: As Directed by a Vet
Melatonin is given to cats by their owners and veterinarians for numerous reasons such as, hair loss, anxiety, certain noise phobias, and to help induce sleep. Melatonin is best known for the ability to to regulate body rhythms and reproductive cycles.
Although this drug is mostly safe and can be found over the counter in most health food stores, it should be used under a veterinarian’s orders since this drug is not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), but it can be prescribed legally by your veterinarian as an extra-label drug.
How Melatonin Is Dosed
For a cat melatonin is usually dosed at 0.5 to 0.8 mg per cat by mouth when it is needed or every 12 or more hours. This is a medication and should be prescribed by a veterinarian, who knows how much melatonin your cat should have. The dosage will also be dependent on what your cat is being treated for, and the size of your cat. Your cat’s response to the medication should also be noted and dated to show your veterinarian at the next appointment. If you think your cat is having an allergic reaction to the medicine, then you should go in as soon as possible.
Purchasing Melatonin Supplements
Melatonin supplements can be found at most health food stores as well as drug stores. Be careful when giving your cat melatonin without the supervision of your cat’s veterinarian because it is only sold in 1 or 3 mg capsules. There is a liquid version however, it can be stronger than the capsules so read the label very closely if you are not going to ask for your veterinarian’s advice. Which is strongly recommended, for the health and well-being of your cat.
If your cat is underweight it may not be a good idea to give your cat a melatonin supplement since it is believed that melatonin helps assist with weight loss.
Increasing Melatonin Without Supplements
Melatonin can be helpful with many minor problems but giving to much melatonin to your pet cat can do more harm than good. If you are worried about this or do not have a lot of money to see a veterinarian there are a few things that you can do to help raise your cat’s melatonin levels.
Be sure your cat is in total darkness for 10 hours everyday while he or she sleeps. This means no television or night lights to interrupt sleep. Cat’s can have some organic brown rice and/or oats, however these foods are a no-no for cats with cancer since carbohydrates are not a good calorie source. Fresh sage also can help since it contains melatonin naturally, as well.
Melatonin and Your Cat
Cats can have a melatonin supplement for various reasons and is usually safe. Your pets veterinarian should prescribe the correct dose and dosing times to be sure your cat does not get to much melatonin. Do not give your cat melatonin if he has hypersensitivity or an allergy to the supplement, or if your cat is on other medications (unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian).
If you cannot afford to take your cat to the veterinarian you should not give your cat melatonin since the cat could be allergic, or overdosed which could be dangerous to the cat’s overall health and well-being.
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