How Does Gabapentin For Cats Work?

And how to safely give gabapentin to your cat 💊

gabapentin for cats

If your cat gets super stressed out going to the vet, you might be wondering if there’s a (literal) chill pill you can give him.

That’s where gabapentin for cats comes in, according to Dr. Aliya McCullough, a veterinarian on staff at Fetch by The Dodo.

But this medication isn’t just for helping anxious cats mellow out. Keep reading to find out about gabapentin’s other uses, side effects and more.

What does gabapentin do for cats?

Gabapentin is used to help cats with several things, including fear and anxiety, chronic pain and seizures.

“Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety and pain relieving medication,” Dr. McCullough told The Dodo. “Gabapentin has been shown to reduce situational anxiety in cats.”

How do you give gabapentin to cats?

Gabapentin comes in capsules, tablets or liquids, and there are a few different tricks to getting your BFF to take his medication depending on the form it comes in.

“Oral medications can often be hidden inside a soft treat,” Dr. McCullough said. “Avoid mixing liquids into their food as it may prevent them from eating this food in the future, even after you stop adding the medication.”

Make sure you NEVER give your cat liquid gabapentin made for humans. That’s because it’s often made with xylitol, which is super toxic to your BFF.

What’s the right dosage of gabapentin for cats?

The proper and safe dosage of gabapentin for cats is going to vary based on a few things.

“Veterinarians will prescribe an appropriate dose based on the condition being treated, body weight and the cat’s health status,” Dr. McCullough said. “Pet parents should follow their veterinarian’s instructions and reach out to their vet if they have any questions about gabapentin.”

Are there gabapentin side effects in cats?

According to Dr. McCullough, the main side effects of gabapentin are sleepiness and incoordination.

If your BFF has a negative reaction to the meds, you should chat with your vet about finding an alternative medication.

“In general, cats that have had adverse reactions to gabapentin should not take it,” Dr. McCullough said. “Cats with liver or kidney disease may need less frequent dosing or smaller doses of gabapentin.”

You should also be careful about giving cats gabapentin if they’re pregnant or lactating. And it’s always important to check with your vet to see if there are any supplements or other medications your cat should steer clear of while on gabapentin.

Gabapentin for cats can be helpful in many situations, as long as you’re following your vet’s instructions and recommended dosage exactly.

If you’re in the market for a pet insurance plan, you’ll want to check out Fetch by The Dodo since it's made by and for adoring pet parents, and because it's the most comprehensive coverage in the U.S. and Canada, covering things that other providers don't or charge extra for.