Does Prozac for Cats Reduce Spraying Problems?

Spraying is a common feline behavioral problem and it is one of the most frequent reasons why cats end up in pet shelters. To prevent this from happening and to stop this annoying behavior, you should consider therapy or treatment. Cats can be given Prozac. Prozac is an antidepressant medication that is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety, but may also be used to correct certain behavior problems such as spraying.

How Prozac Works

Prozac, also known as fluoxetine or Reconcile, is an antidepressant that will stimulate the brain to produce more serotonin. The serotonin is a chemical that gives the pet a sensation of well being. Serotonin also helps the communication between brain cells.

Prozac and Cats

Prozac is a drug that hasn’t received FDA approval for veterinary use, but it can be prescribed by vets, and this is legal, as it is considered an extra label drug. (Drugs made for humans that can be safely used in pets are known as extra label drugs.)

The veterinary formula of Prozac is presently marketed as Reconcile or Lilly, and these are available as tablets which can be chewed.

Common Uses of Prozac in Cats

Prozac or Reconcile can be used in behavior problems in both cats and dogs. Most frequently, cats will receive Reconcile for separation anxiety and aggressiveness. However, when cats spray and this behavior is not controllable, Prozac can eliminate the problem.

Prozac and Spraying

Spraying is a common behavior in adult male cats, as the urine contains certain chemicals that mark the territory and send messages to other felines. If neutered, a cat should stop spraying. Spraying can also be due to a medical condition, such as a lower urinary infection. If you rule out medical conditions, spraying can indicate anxiety and stress.

Prozac is only effective in eliminating spraying that is due to stress or unknown causes. A medical condition can be treated with different medication.

Prozac Side Effects in Cats

Prozac for cat is typically safe, but there may be some side effects in more sensitive pets.

The main side effects of Prozac in felines include:

  • Lethargy
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Trembling
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive meowing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Aggression

The cat may also vomit and have diarrhea, especially at the beginning of the treatment. The medication shouldn’t be prescribed for cats that are allergic to Prozac or its components.

Inform the vet if your cat is under medication. Prozac can interact with other medications such as diazepam, oxidase inhibitors, busiprone or phenylbutazone.

If the cat gets an overdose of Prozac, he may have seizures and enter a coma. In case of an overdose, contact the vet immediately.

Prozac is a prescription medication for felines and should not be administered without consulting the vet first. In most cases, Prozac or Reconcile will stop your cat from spraying. If your cat continues to spray, visit the vet, as he may have a different condition that causes the behavior.