Anti-Anxiety Drug Helpful for Shelter Cats

©Camille Tokerud | Getty Images

Extremely stressed, anxious and fearful cats remain in animal shelters longer, and some never get adopted. A study published in May in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association explored the use of the drug gabapentin, which has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects in cats, combined with behavior modification therapy. A group of 32 cats rescued from hoarding situations and placed in an animal shelter received either behavior modification therapy only or behavior modification therapy paired with gabapentin. Cats who got both behavioral therapy and gabapentin made faster progress behaviorally and showed fewer signs of stress.

3 thoughts on “Anti-Anxiety Drug Helpful for Shelter Cats”

  1. It's extremely unrealistic to give the public the notion that shelters would actually pay for Gabapentin to administer to fearful cats and dogs. The shelter we deal with in the county of Los Angeles, California is often out of blood test kits, unable to do spay or neuter before adoption and the list continues. They are not going to buy gabapentin. Somebody is dreaming.

  2. I always question this method. Animals are to have a behavior correction. People should know they are traumatized in a new, stressful, unknown environment. Animals have behavioral problems and they are put down. Many humans need a behavioral correction, since we are all broken. It's sad so many animals are euthanized for this issue.

  3. Healing is a process and while I know shelters are in a hurry for placement of these kitty fur babies, medications of this sort can create other health issues – not an ideal treatment. Putting a teaspoon of chamomile tea in their drinking water would be less harmful, and/or catnip, diffusing Feliway and/or considering homeopathic/flower essence (i.e. bach pet rescue remedy) type remedies would be something worth looking into. I get that this is just another way for big p to make more cash. Cats have a very sensitive physiology – I would never consider giving my fur babies such a heavy duty medication.

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