Mirtazapine for Cats: Side Effects, Dosage, and Natural Alternatives
Christopher Kjolseth - September 23rd 2020
Accuracy Review & Edit: Nicole Wanner, DVM - August 24th 2021
One of your responsibilities as a cat owner is to make sure your cat follows a balanced diet. But what happens when your cat refuses to eat?
In some cases, you may have the healthiest food prepared for your feline friend. However, this won't do your cat any good if your cat doesn't eat it in the first place.
If you've noticed a change in your cat's appetite, one solution might be to give your cat an appetite stimulant, such as mirtazapine. If you'd like to learn more about mirtazapine for cats, and some natural alternatives, read on below.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Mirtazapine?
- What Is Mirtazapine Used for in Cats?
- Are There Any Side Effects?
- Are There Any Risk Factors?
- Are There Any Drug Interactions To Look Out For?
- What Is the Appropriate Dosage?
- How Can I Stimulate My Cat's Appetite Naturally?
- When Should I Visit the Vet?
What Is Mirtazapine?
Doctors give Mirtazapine to people as an anti-depressant. It positively affects communication between nerve cells in the central nervous system. Additionally, it works to restore the chemical balance in the brain.
What Is Mirtazapine Used for in Cats?
Although Mirtazapine is used as an anti-depressant in humans, it has different functions in cats.
Vets most commonly use Mirtazapine to treat vomiting, nausea, and appetite loss in cats. In some cases, vets prescribe Mirtazapine to treat behavioral problems.
Mirtazapine should start to work for your cat within one to two days.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Mirtazapine is generally considered to be safe for cats, but it is not without possible side effects.
The following are all possible side effects of Mirtazapine for cats, and become more common at higher doses:
- High blood pressure
- High heart rate
Are There Any Risk Factors?
If your cat has liver or kidney problems, you should administer Mirtazapine with caution. Generally, vets will prescribe a lower dosage in this situation.
If your cat has blood pressure, liver, or kidney problems, you should administer Mirtazapine with caution. Generally, vets will prescribe a lower dosage and ask you to monitor your cat closely in this situation.
Are There Any Drug Interactions To Look Out For?
You should administer mirtazapine with caution if your cat is taking any of the following drugs:
What Is the Appropriate Dosage?
Mirtazapine is a prescription medication, so your veterinarian will advise you on the correct dosage for your cat.
Generally, in pill form, your vet will recommend a starting dosage of either 1.88mg or 3.75mg to stimulate your cat's appetite.
It is important to follow your vet's dosage guidelines carefully, as research has shown that negative side effects are more common in cats at higher dosages.
As it is not always easy to get your cat to eat a tablet, it is more common for vets to prescribe Mirtazapine in gel form, which can be applied directly to the skin.
You should apply the transdermal gel form to the inner part of your cats ear (where you can see their skin) as prescribed by your veterinarian, usually once a day.
Wear gloves when you administer the gel, and be sure not to make contact with your cat's skin for two hours after you apply the gel. Be sure to dispose of the gloves you used properly and thoroughly wash your hands after applying it.
You should alternate the ear receiving the treatment. So, you'd use the gel to the right ear on Friday, left on Saturday, etc.
How Can I Stimulate My Cat's Appetite Naturally?
CBD Oil For Cats
Will CBD make your cat hungry? Not in the same way that THC in marijuana does, but research shows that it may help calm the nervous system and ease the digestive tract, which can help your cat maintain a healthy appetite.
Make sure that you do your research and purchase CBD oil for your cat from a trusted source. Always look out for lab results, and make sure you don't buy a full-spectrum CBD oil for cats, as they will not like the intense flavor. A broad-spectrum oil is a better choice for cats, as while still being effective, it lacks the strong flavor of full-spectrum oils.
Provide A Varied Diet
You've probably lost your appetite after eating the same meal over and over again. Like humans, cats also get sick of the same food eventually. In these cases, you're going to want to cycle between different cat food for your pet every couple of weeks.
It may take some time for you to find out what type of food your cat enjoys eating. But when you do, it should be easy to provide a more varied diet, which might be what's needed to get your cat to eat.
A Homemade Broth
Consider giving your cat homemade broths made from pure unseasoned meat.
You will want to avoid using packet gravies or stocks, as these typically contain ingredients that are toxic to cats. If you only have store-bought stock available, make sure you use the low sodium variety.
When Should I Visit the Vet?
If your cat hasn’t eaten for more than a day or two, your first course of action should be to contact your vet. Your vet will be able to determine any underlying problems and the best course of action.
Additionally, if you’ve given your cat mirtazapine and notice any side effects, you should speak with your vet about what to do. Stopping mirtazapine abruptly can cause more side effects, so make sure to check in with your vet right away if your cat is acting differently.
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