Categories: Weight

Easy to Administer Drug Gives Cats Their Appetite Back

This drug gives cats their appetite back which may be very useful because there are 9 million cats apparently losing weight in America because of a loss of appetite. Of course, the loss of appetite may be due to an underlying illness. However, simultaneously encouraging eating may well help the healing process while other drugs can be used to treat the illness.

Picture in public domain

Developed as a human antidepressant

The drug was initially developed as an antidepressant for people in the Netherlands. It gave people an appetite as an unwelcome side-effect. However, it has now been approved by the FDA for cats. It can be applied transdermally which means it is applied to the ear of the cat where it is absorbed through the skin.


All cat owners know the difficulty of giving pills for their cat. To be able to administer medication using an ointment which you place on the cat’s ear is a blessing. The drug is called Mirataz.

The drug has been known to vets for quite a long time. It has been applied in pill form but the latest development of making it a transdermal drug is a big advancement. This is because compliance was low in pill form.

One veterinarian says that weight loss is the number one reason why cats are taken to the vet. I am not sure if that is correct because we know that there is an epidemic of cat obesity. And underweight cats are not the number one illness symptom far as I’m aware in the USA.

The drug has been developed by Kindred Bio. The business’s CEO Denise Bevers is, of course, delighted. Of the 9 million cats suffering from appetite loss only 3 million are treated successfully. This drug gives cats their appetite back and it should greatly improve that statistic.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • This is interesting and hopefully it will be available in transdermal form in the UK too. A cat with no appetite can be a nightmare to know how to help when you have tried everything you know of or can research.

    There's mention of behavioural effects such as vocalisation and vomiting (not uncommon when cats are given human psychiatric drugs. The vomiting is usually called psychogenic. I guess that alludes to the changes in how the cat feels when the drug action starts.

    Humans can understand "this might make you feel a bit odd don't worry, it won't hurt you".

    Cats of course won't be reassured by those words. I've seen a couple of cats have bit of a rough/confusing time when they have had their serotonin messed with via human antidepressants.

    A bit of confusion, a long as a carer can reassure the cat they are safe has got to be worth the risk if it helps keep that life force going.

  • Thank you. I forwarded the link to this story to our shelter, particularly the medical personnel and shelter director. Periodically, we run into this situation. It's nice to know there are other alternatives.

  • Have there been any side effects noted with this ointment or with the drug Mirataz in any form?

    • Good question. I don't know of any side effects. I will certainly consider it when and if my cat is old and has lost his appetite.

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