Amitriptyline for Cats: A Comprehensive Guide

In recent years, veterinarians have been exploring the use of certain human medications for pets, including the tricyclic antidepressant Amitriptyline. This medication has been used for a variety of conditions in feline patients, including behavioral issues, anxiety, and certain medical conditions. This article will delve into the use of Amitriptyline for cats, addressing topics such as dosage, side effects, reviews, cost, and alternative treatments.

What is Amitriptyline for Cats?

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant initially developed for human use, particularly for treating depression and certain types of pain. In cats, it has been used off-label for a variety of issues, including behavioral problems like over-grooming and spraying, as well as certain medical conditions like cystitis and urinary inflammation.

Amitriptyline for Cats with Behavioral Issues

Behavioral issues in cats, such as spraying, aggression, and over-grooming, can sometimes be challenging to manage. Cats may spray or over-groom due to stress or anxiety. Amitriptyline has been used to help manage these issues, possibly due to its calming effects and its ability to help regulate serotonin levels in the brain.

Amitriptyline for Cats Spraying

Persistent spraying can signal stress or territorial issues. Amitriptyline is sometimes used to manage this behavior, but it’s essential to work with a vet to identify and address the underlying cause.

Amitriptyline for Cats Over-Grooming

Over-grooming, or psychogenic alopecia, can lead to bald spots and skin irritation. Amitriptyline can help reduce the anxiety that often drives this behavior.

Amitriptyline for Cats with Medical Conditions

Amitriptyline has also been used in cats with certain medical conditions, such as cystitis, urinary tract inflammation, and urinary crystals.

Amitriptyline for Cats with Cystitis

Feline Interstitial Cystitis, a complex bladder disease, can cause discomfort, increased urination, and even urination outside the litter box. Amitriptyline may help manage this condition due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Amitriptyline for Cats with Urinary Crystals

Urinary crystals can cause discomfort and may lead to urinary tract infections or blockages. While dietary changes are the primary treatment, Amitriptyline may help manage associated pain and inflammation.

Amitriptyline Dosage for Cats

The dosage of Amitriptyline for cats can vary based on the cat’s weight, the condition being treated, and the individual cat’s tolerance. Always follow the vet’s instructions regarding dosage.

Amitriptyline for Cats: Side Effects

Like all medications, Amitriptyline can cause side effects in cats. These may include increased appetite, lethargy, dry mouth, constipation, and changes in behavior. If you notice any significant changes or concerning side effects, contact your vet immediately.

Amitriptyline for Cats: Reviews

Reviews for Amitriptyline in cats vary, with some pet owners reporting significant improvements in their cats’ conditions and others noting minimal effect or concerning side effects. It’s important to remember that individual cats can respond differently to medication.

Amitriptyline for Cats: Cost

The cost of Amitriptyline for cats can vary based on factors like the dosage, the specific formulation (pill, liquid, transdermal gel), and location.

Alternatives to Amitriptyline for Cats

If Amitriptyline is not effective or causes significant side effects, there are alternatives, including other medications (like Prozac or Paxil), behavioral therapy, and dietary changes.

Amitriptyline for Cats: Conclusion

Amitriptyline can be a helpful tool for managing certain behavioral and medical conditions in cats. However, it’s important to work closely with a vet to monitor your cat’s response to the medication and adjust the treatment approach as needed. Always remember that each cat is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.


While this article is comprehensive, it is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Always consult with a vet for the best treatment options for your pet.

Please note that while we strive for accuracy, the world of veterinary medicine is constantly evolving, and new research may change our understanding of how medications like Amitriptyline work in pets. Always consult with a vet for the most current advice.

There are various forms of drugs available, such as tablets or liquids, and each may have a separate patient information leaflet (PIL) for different doses. It is important to refer to the PIL for the specific form and dose of the drug that you have been prescribed.

You can search for further information and PILs on websites such as:

  • The British National Formulary (BNF)
  • Electronic medicines compendium (emc)
  • The National Library of Medicine's DailyMed
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
  • Different drug forms like tablets or liquids have specific patient information leaflets (PIL) for various doses. Refer to the PIL for your prescribed drug form and dose.

    Search for PILs on websites like:


    • ANSM (Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé):


    • AEMPS (Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios):


    • BfArM (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte):


    For questions about your medication:

    • Consult your doctor, a healthcare professional, or a pharmacist


    • Contact SOS Médecins: 3624
    • For mental health support, contact SOS Suicide: 01 45 39 40 00

    Belgium (French)

    Switzerland (French)

    • La Main Tendue: 143
    • Website:

    Canada (French)

    • Centre de prévention du suicide du Québec: 1 866 APPELLE (1 866 277-3553)
    • Website:


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Teléfono de la Esperanza: 717 003 717


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefonseelsorge: 0800 111 0 111 or 0800 111 0 222


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefono Amico: 199 284 284


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact 113 Zelfmoordpreventie: 0800 0113


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Sos Voz Amiga: 21 354 45 45, 91 280 26 69, or 96 352 46 60

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