Zoloft is a prescription medication that is used to treat a host of problems ranging from depression to obsessive compulsive disorder. The
If your cat gets anxious and jittery you might have thought that calming them down with Zoloft would be a good idea. It’s not recommended, and most vets won’t prescribe it to cats.
When you’re looking for an across-the-board answer about whether to give your cat a prescription drug, the only answer is that they should never have drugs that are as powerful as Zoloft.
When you consider how hard it is to get a prescription, it becomes clear that they simply aren’t meant for our pets.
Can I Give My Cat Zoloft? Not Recommended
Doctors put patients through a serious of tests and questions to see if they should even have Zoloft, as there is a host of side effects that come along with it, so it’s not something you want to play around with. Any prescribed medication should only be taken by the human that it was prescribed to, and other humans shouldn’t even have it. When you introduce a new species into the equation it becomes even less of a good idea to give them a prescription drug.
The list of side effects associated with this drug should be enough for most responsible cat owners to rule out the use of Zoloft. This is for humans, imagine how much it lengthens when it’s a cat and not a person. The first effect is that your cat could have an allergic reaction to this, with swelling and difficulty breathing. They might also exhibit unusual behavior, and turn on the owner or those in the home. They could develop all sorts of rashes and skin problems. They could have chest pain or an irregular heartbeat. And remember, your cat won’t be able to tell you how they’re feeling, so often you won’t know until it’s too late.
Cats and Human Medication
In general, cats should not be given human medication, and that applies to both over the counter drugs and prescription pharmaceuticals. In this instance Zoloft is a prescription drug that works on the neurons of the human brain so it’s not something that you want to be giving your cat. But your cat should be off limits to these sort of medicines, because they aren’t formulated for them, and the intention of the drug manufactures was not that these would be used on animals.
In fact, in order for the drug to be cleared it has to go through human test trials before it makes it to a public release. Nowhere along the line is it tested on dogs or cats to see if it would be OK for them too. The research that goes into these drugs is intense, and they are formulated to provide an effect when taken by a human. Our body breaks down pills and medicine different than a cat does, so it’s not a matter of tinkering with the dose to try and account for the size difference. It’s a physiological difference that can’t be circumvented by simply cutting back the amount.
If your cat gets anxious, especially during thunderstorms or car trips, there is a non-medical device called a Thundershirt that is worn by both dogs and cats and is intended to soothe them by applying a snug amount of pressure to their body, almost as if they’re being held. This calming effect can help them through traumatic experiences, and can limit or cancel out the need for any sort of medication to be given to them.
Finding Out What Your Cat Needs
Your cat can help you determine what is the best course of action if they are showing signs of needing a drug like Zoloft. First, find out what is causing them to act the way they are. If petting and showing signs of affection aren’t enough to calm them down, see if they might benefit by having a sort of “cat house”, either one you can buy online, or a makeshift one that you make out of a cardboard box. You’re looking to make them feel more secure in their environment, and a big house is not very comforting to them because it’s so spacious.