Safe Cat Tranquilizer Alternatives to Ketamine

Whether your pet has a planned cat surgery or if he displays negative behavior or other conditions, a cat tranquilizer can help in a variety of situations. A variety of cat diseases can be partially mediated or treated with tranquilizer medicines. Out of the available tranquilizers on the market today, Ketamine is the most popular and frequently prescribed medicine. Unfortunately, some animals have negative cat allergies or other reactions to Ketamine, so it's important to be aware of alternative tranquilizer medicines that are available.


Diazepam is a sedative that is typically used to treat anxious or hyperactive cat behavior. It can help to address a wide range of problematic actions and medical conditions. Among the most frequent uses of Diazepam are as treatment for aggression, seizures and separation anxiety. While Diazepam does not cause life-threatening side effects to pet cats, it may contribute to increased aggression in a small number of animals. It also generally causes lethargy and drowsiness, although these are oftentimes desired effects.

Diazepam is more commonly referred to as Valium, and is oftentimes used as a treatment for animals that are anxious before surgery as well.


Lidocaine is a commonly used local anesthetic. It causes numbness and sedation in cats, with effects lasting for up to 2 hours at a time. It is safe for the large majority of cats, but it is important to test for negative or allergic reactions before you provide your cat with a full dosage of lidocaine and before surgery or other procedures.


Acepromazine has effects similar to those of Diazepam. Consequently, it is used for many of the same functions. Most commonly, veterinary surgeons administer a dosage of Acepromazine to a cat shortly before anesthetization and surgery, as this tranquilizer helps to relax animals and reduces the risk of injury or damage that accompanies anxious pets.

This particular tranquilizer is generally considered healthy for pet use, although it can occasionally cause seizures in pets. Additionally, it is important to monitor your cat's blood pressure during his dosing of Acepromazine, as this drug has been linked with lowered blood pressure in cats. As with Valium, Acepromazine may also lead to drowsiness and lethargy for several hours following surgery or administration.


This tranquilizer functions in a similar way to Ketamine. However, while Ketamine is ideally suited for short-term procedures and anesthetization, Thiopental has a period of use that is even shorter. Thiopental is extremely fast-acting, and pets that have received an injection of this tranquilizer will fall unconscious within a minute or two. Thiopental also has a much shorter list of potential side effects and negative reactions than does Ketamine, so it is a preferred tranquilizer drug for very short procedures.

This list of safe tranquilizer alternatives to Ketamine is by no means exhaustive. The specific tranquilizer and drug program that will be best suited for your pet depends upon the operation or procedure (or on your dog's symptoms and behaviors) as well as his size, breed and previous health records. Your veterinarian can help to determine which tranquilizer or sedative will be best for your pet.