Categories: drugs

Side effects of cat tranquilizers

Although I am not a veterinarian I do have access to some excellent books. Although tranquillisers are useful for calming an injured or frightened cat or for relieving anxiety in general or for specific reasons such as transportation, there are side effects.

Tranquilizing cats

Tranquilizers for cats block cortical inhibitory impulses which may be evident in that the cat no longer uses the litter tray. Or the cat might bite and scratch at the slightest provocation.

As a result it can be difficult to carry out behavior modification with a cat on tranquillisers.


One tranquilizer used for cats and people is Diazepam, aka Valium. A side effect is that it has been shown to cause serious liver problems in some cats and it should not be used routinely.

Frequent liver enzyme evaluations should be conducted on cats who are on Valium. Valium is 55-75% effective in stopping inappropriate elimination in cats but as soon as the drug treatment stops the inappropriate elimination resumes.

It is therefore inappropriate for long term use on felines.

Acepromazine maleate

Wedgewood Pharmacy online (Dr Barbara Forney) refer to Acepromazine maleate (‘Ace’) as a commonly used tranquilizer in the US for cats, dogs and horses. In fact this tranquilizer is heavily referred to when searching for information on feline tranquillisers. It appears to be a major, if not the major tranquilizer for cats in 2019.

However, it can produce the opposite effect to that desired: the cat becomes aggressive or excited.

And Acepromazine is said to be unsuitable for cats to calm them down when fireworks cause anxiety. This is because it does not help to reduce fear and anxiety under these circumstances. It is worse than that; it stops the cat moving and exhibiting signs of anxiety and fear. It acts as a chemical straightjacket. It can also increase a cat’s sensitivity to noises (source: Preventative Vet online).

Acepromazine can also cause hypotension, a decreased respiratory rate and bradycardia. Hypotension is low blood pressure. Bradycardia is a heart rate that is too slow. Other side effects are: collapse, absent pulse, pale gums and unconsciousness. It can be fatal but this is rare. It causes a decrease in the ratio of red blood cells to the total volume of blood (hematocrit).

You should ask your vet for more information on this feline tranquilizer before consenting to its use.

Don’t ignore homeopathy as a possible treatment for your cat

Homeopathy is a controversial treatment for ailments in people. It can also be used as a treatment for companion animals ...
Read More

RetroMAD1 for cats to be tested as treatment for coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Sun newspaper online reports that there is talk about using a rare and experimental drug for cats called RetroMAD1 ...
Read More

Itchy cats: Don’t give anti-flea treatment first

Because cat fleas are such a predominant feline health issue, there might be a tendency among cat guardians to presume ...
Read More

GS4441524 also known as EV0984 – a drug treatment for FIP and COVID-19 in humans?

GS4441524 is a anti-viral drug that interrupts the FIP infection. Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), is a viral disease of cats ...
Read More

CBD oil for cats – potential side effects such as damaged liver?

I am extrapolating a review of research concerning the use of CBD oil (cannabidiol) for humans to warn that this ...
Read More

73% of cats with feline leukaemia survived and thrived on RetroMAD1

A press release on the website from Singapore dated December 5, 2019 tells us that a research article recently ...
Read More

Warning about the overuse of stomach acid suppressants for feline patients

American veterinarians overdo stomach acid suppressants for feline and canine patients which can cause health issues which somewhat nullifies the ...
Read More

Is it unethical to give your cat catnip?

Debra Merskin asks the question whether it is ethical to give your cat catnip. It might sound like a strange ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
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.

Recent Posts

Bug-eyed calico kitten’s hair strands remind me of Van Gogh’s brush strokes

Her name is Zinnia. There is a faint similarity of the brush strokes and the…

1 hour ago

A link between women’s love of cats and their concern for fairness and compassion?

There's a huge study out at the moment from the University of Southern California concerning…

5 hours ago

His childlike pet drawings have raised thousands for rough sleepers

You never quite know the formula for becoming an internet, social media sensation perhaps because…

10 hours ago

Woman isolated during lockdown with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome finds comfort in her cat companions

NEWS AND OPINION: It is a time to praise the domestic cat for comforting vulnerable…

11 hours ago

Cats Protection report that black cats are no longer being ‘left on the shelf’

Some good news for people who love cats, all kinds, no matter what their colour.…

12 hours ago

Is it normal for a cat to have one kitten?

I have to research this as I don't have first hand experience and my research…

1 day ago