Webster is a “Gabapentin Kitty” – Why We Love Gabapentin For Fearful Cats!

Webster is a very cute 9-year-old DSH cat belonging to Sault Ste. Marie Animal Clinic Veterinary Assistant, Cindy. Even though ‘Mom’ works here, Webster, like quite a few other kitties, is not really a big fan of coming to see us. In fact, Webster used to make his feelings about us quite well known – unfortunately making visits to us stressful and unpleasant for himself (and everyone involved!).

The last couple of visits, Cindy has given Webster a dose of Gabapentin at home a couple of hours prior to his visit. Gabapentin has multiple uses in veterinary medicine (pain relief, seizure control) but one useful effect is that it has been found to reduce anxiety in cats!* While even with Gabapentin, Webster may still not have been exactly thrilled to be here – he was ‘OK’ with it. Along with the gabapentin, we used fear free handling techniques and pheromone sprays. He was much less stressed and much easier to examine- letting us perform a more thorough physical exam. We were even able to draw blood samples for his Geriatric Health Screen with out too much fuss!

If your cat is a regular client of Sault Ste. Marie Animal Clinic and gets stressed by coming to see us, ask us if they are a candidate for Gabapentin before their next visit.

Click the following links for more information about how to reduce the stress of veterinary visits for your cat:

Fear Free – The Way To Be!

Tips For Making A Trip To The Vet Less Stressful For Your Cat

*An article posted Nov. 15. 2017 issue of Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association concluded “Overall, the present study yielded good evidence that oral administration of a 100-mg gabapentin cap¬sule to cats 90 minutes before transporting them to the veterinary hospital led to a significant reduction in stress-related behaviors during transportation and examination. Gabapentin administration also de¬creased aggression and increased compliance of cats during veterinary examination”