Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! Can you believe it’s 2019? More importantly, can you believe it’s already February? With the new year comes new goals — mine is to be less stressed and to live a more balanced life. Oh! And to eat healthier and exercise more (but that’s a never-ending battle). I’m sure the same can be said for your cats and stress. Cats are such special little creatures who manifest a lot of their anxiety through their urinary system and behavior with aggression.
This is why I’m sharing some of my favorite natural calming agents to help you help them get through the day. If you’re looking for something to take the edge off your cat, but don’t want to dive into prescription medications, here are some options:
- Composure: This comes in a treat form and the main active ingredient is tryptophan, which is found in turkey meat. It’s supposed to help relax your cat in the way that tryptophan relaxes you after you eat a big Thanksgiving meal. Give as directed.
- Solliquin: This is made with natural ingredients, including magnolia and phellodendron extracts, l-theanine from green tea and whey protein concentrate. These ingredients may help in the production of glutathione and serotonin. I can with 100% confidence say that Lando (though he loves food) is a huge fan of the treat version — Kingsley, not so much. Give as directed.
- Zylkene: Contains alpha-S1 tryptic casein, commonly known as alpha-casozepine, an ingredient derived from milk protein that has calming properties. Give as directed.
- Melatonin: This is a natural sleeping aid. Some have used it to help with nocturnal activity in cats. Dose: 1.5 to 5 mg orally once a day.
- Benadryl: Mainly used as an antihistamine, it can also be used to help calm your kitty down because it has some indirect sedative effects. Dose is 1 mg/pound of body weight every 12 to 24 hours (can be given up to 3 times daily).
- ThunderShirt: While designed initially to be used during thunderstorms, behaviorists have started recommending it for other anxiety inducing events. The idea is that it’s like a compressive “big hug” that makes your kitty feel safe and protected.
- Feliway: This comes as a diffuser, wipes, or a spray. It’s marketed not to work on an already stressed cat, rather it’s designed to help prevent a stressed cat from becoming too overly stressed. It can work in conjunction with the ThunderShirt and/or an oral supplement.
I’d recommend these mainly for mild anxiety or aggression. Some of them work even better in conjunction with one another. Talk to your vet about how you can mix and match some of these to make your cat’s life more stress-free. In the end, a happy cat means a happy owner. Wishing you and your kitties a wonderful, anxiety-free year.
Thanks for reading,
Dr. Theresa Loo