Cats Community
4.01k Members
Avatar universal

Feline antidepressants

Hi everyone, I am trying to determine if Callie, my 9 1/2 year old tabby would respond well to antidepressants.

She has always been an anxious cat and prone to health issues, most of which were determined to be stress related (mostly due bladder infections with no bacteria and ongoing issues in one eye from her original herpes infection).

She lost her littermate, Maisie in November of 2014 and I got Gus, a one year old male cat in December 2014. The two events sparked a feline herpes flare up and even though we got it under control, her "bad" eye is still watery and it's been almost 4 months. I have been doing twice daily doses of L-lysine too but that doesn't seem to be helping.

She has lost interest in playing, mostly because Gus is still hyper, and she sleeps all of the time. I have had to take her to the vet numerous times in the last 9 months for minor things and at our last visit in February, the vet indicated that maybe it was time to look at antidepressants for her.

She eats fairly well but it takes a long time for her to eat any amount, I am not suspecting a bladder issue either. She has a habit of chewing out her fur in one spot near her spine but the vet couldn't find any reason for that other than maybe stress or allergies.

I am trying to spend some "alone" time with her regularly but she has never been a cat to be held and keeping her confined to one area of my apartment so she can play without Gus doesn't seem to do much for her either. I pet her, groom her and talk to her frequently but it if it is helping, I can't tell that anything is different.

I haven't heard too many good things about feline antidepressants and pilling her is always stressful (for both of us) but I am concerned that she is so withdrawn and I don't want her to keep getting sick, even if it something minor.

Does anyone have any experience they can share?

7 Responses
874521 tn?1424120397
hi....first the Lysine, how much are you giving? and what kind is it from your Vet clinic which really isn't as pure therefore not as good as a human brand I use that is safe for cats. you can use up to 1000mg of this short term during an acute attack, its very pure and works!!! the scoop inside is equal to 1200mg so use just under a scoop once a day for a week or so, than lower it down to abt 250mg which is safe for maintenance.


second topic...I too am very against medicating cats but when their quality of life isn't what it should be than we have to at least try other alternatives don't we.
there is another amino acid called L-Theanine that reduces stress, I've tried it on my Nemo but that didn't work for him it may be worth a try for Callie, the one below isn't the exact one I've tried but similar..also gluten free..I would just have to look up the dosage for you if you want to try


my Nemo's troubles werent exactly like Callies....but still behavioral related, he gets stressed out by ??? God knows what, the scent of other male cats roaming around the yard, yet he is an indoor kitty.
we could just never figure out exactly why he is feeling stressed. but seems he was...Nemo likes to pee on things around my house....NOT nice, and believe me I've tried everything over the last 4-5 years but it was becoming worse, he went from occasional to everyday over the passed year,  and I was forced to try something
In Dec/14 we began a trial of the Antidepressant PROZAC(fluoxetine) our Vet started him on .5ml(1/2ml) every day. it worked, so I started experimenting...and lessened the dosages to 2x a week, by doing so he was having accidents again so we upped the dosage to every SECOND day...and he's been on that routine since the beginning of March and so far its working!!! most cats need to use this everyday, but I'm always one for finding the least possible dosage if possible thats why the experimenting with lowered amounts...
I've not noticed any bad side effects thus far, but I am diligently watching. he seems to tolerate it very well, it comes in liquid form and he hates the taste and salivates for a min after a dose...but otherwise ok. his appetite if anything has increased, he does sleep alot, but always has so thats not abnormal....he is 11.5 years old and weighs 11 lbs

so IMO, its certainly worth a trial isn't it, Callie as is isn't enjoying life so much...no one does when they are 'stressed out'
Avatar universal
Thanks so much. The L-lysine (Enisyl F is the brand name) is from the vet (Equinol I think is the company name) and it says 1-2 pumps twice a day. I use one pump twice a day and if the eye seems to run less, I go to once a day so the dosage fluctuates a bit. She has never been on it this long before so it may be time to cut it out....

I guess it is time to take her in to the vet again and make sure she isn't gearing up for another full blown herpes flare up and ask about alternative therapies for her "anxiety" in a last ditch attempt.

I have not had any success with Feliway products or Bach's Rescue Remedy but the L-theanine is not one that I am familiar with. Off to my local pet "health foods" store this week to see what they have for options.

When the vet mentioned it previously he said that most patients do not find them helpful but that his sister swears by them for her cat, so who knows? I only know of one person who used them and she keeps telling me that they're awful so that has colored my attitude towards them.

Thanks again! It eases my mind to know that these meds can actually work if I need them.
242912 tn?1402547092
Hi Corrie...please try the PURE Lysine Opus is suggesting.  Check out the link.  My kitty who passed last year had herpes, and I gave this to her every single day.  I know it worked.  The stuff from the vet is not only expensive, but with all the additives in it, kitty is getting very little Lysine.  

The product Opus is telling you about is pure Lysine and nothing else.  It has the consistency of fine salt.  Even tastes like salt.  The link Opus left is a jar that cost about $6, and will last a little less than a year!  If you feed Callie wet food (which you should), just sprinkle on top, mix it in a little bit, and she will never know the difference.  
Avatar universal
You definitely make a good case for it! :)

I'm going to get some and see if I can mix it into her food. She seems to notice when I try that and bless her, she eats very little wet food in one sitting but she just might surprise me.

Fingers crossed!
874521 tn?1424120397
My Nemo won't accept it in his food:( I mix it with a dab of water than give it to him via a dropper, but if Callie would that would be excellent!!!
I've never had any luck with the Feliway o RR either.....but your right many swear by them, that's why they are always worth a try
There's also a newer product avail thru most Vet clinics called Zylkene made by Vetoquinol you can google it. A 75 mg capsule that I opened and mixed wth bit of water and gave via dropper, I used it for Nemo with good results but only for awhile, it's meant to be calming. It may work better for Callie's issues than it did for Nemo's??
242912 tn?1402547092
Opus...That's a shame Nemo won't accept the Lysine in his food.  Via dropper; what a hassle.  I didn't think Jade would accept it either, so you can imagine my elation when she didn't even blink the first time I added it.  

Corriel...Jade was the same way.  Didn't eat much in one sitting.  If Callie notices, then break up the dose into several feedings.  That's what I ended up having to do because Jade vomited.  OR, if Callie eats a small can (like the size of those Fancy Feast cans) per day, just mix it up real well in the whole can.  Better anyway.  With something like this, it's better to space the dose out in order to keep it in her system consistently.  
7052683 tn?1392942395
Hi Corriel,

Loosing a litter mate is like a human death. It will take time to come to terms with it. Getting Gus one month later (a Male, and young one) was perhaps too soon for this event.

But Gus is now your baby so you will try and make the best of it, which is certainly understandable. The First thing I would do is give Callie the run of the house and Gus should be the one confined. Callie is suffering a double loss--Maisie and her territory to , of all things a young male?

She needs to feel she is still #1 and Gus gets to work into her life gradually. Piparskegger is excellent at transitioning males and females. He is in the process of doing that right now. So I would turn to him for advice from a pro.

The Lysine and antidepressants have been covered by Jade and Opus.
I think antidepressants are a good thing to try.
Callie is probably still grieving and just doesn't want to have to deal with this young buck. I can understand how she might feel. She needs your extra TLC and the run of the household--Sorry Gus needs to be reined in , not her. IMOO

Good Luck and keep us posted
Have an Answer?
Top Cats Answerers
874521 tn?1424120397
Canada..., SK
506791 tn?1439846583
Saint Mary's County, MD
242912 tn?1402547092
740516 tn?1360946086
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Members of our Pet Communities share their Halloween pet photos.
Like to travel but hate to leave your pooch at home? Dr. Carol Osborne talks tips on how (and where!) to take a trip with your pampered pet
Ooh and aah your way through these too-cute photos of MedHelp members' best friends
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child