can you give a cat xanax to calm down

Alprazolam (brand names: Xanax®, Niravam®, Alprazolam Intensol®) is a sedative/tranquilizer used as an adjunctive therapy to treat anxiety or panic. Its use in cats and dogs to treat anxiety or phobias is “off label” or “extra label”. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off-label use in veterinary medicine.

When Do Cats Need Sedation?

In certain brief circumstances, like when at the vet, trying to remove fur mats, or hearing fireworks, a certain level of anxiety is normal. However, if a cat is extremely stressed, they might attempt to flee and get hurt or lost in their haste. Or, they may bite, scratch, or injure a human.

Medication that reduces anxiety or sedation can help avoid both of these situations. They can also make a cat happier by enhancing their comfort in potentially stressful situations.

There are also some pets who struggle with long-term anxiety. For instance, an elderly cat may be dissatisfied with a new kitten living with them. However, a cat’s personality type or a traumatic past could be the cause of their general anxiety.

Cats who fit this description of chronic stress may benefit from long-term prescription drugs.

This is particularly true for cats whose physical symptoms are a result of stress. Cats with interstitial cystitis, an inflammatory disorder of the urinary bladder, are a common example. Stress can trigger a flare-up in cats that are predisposed to this illness, necessitating veterinary care.


Alprazolam is the medicine sold under the brand name Xanax. It is a member of the benzodiazepine (tranquilizer/sedative) class of drugs. This common drug treats anxiety and panic disorders in humans. However, it can also be used to treat moderate to severe situational anxiety in dogs and cats for the same reason.


The common side effects of Xanax include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Sedation
  • Clumsiness, uncoordinated walking
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting or gas

Some pets may be allergic to Xanax. It’s critical to keep a close eye on your pet and get in touch with your veterinarian right away if you notice any of the following side effects:

  • Breathing problems
  • Facial swelling
  • Hives
  • Seizure
  • Sudden diarrhea
  • There are also cases where your pet will have the opposite reaction than expected. This reaction is known as “paradoxical reaction.” Rather than calm, your pet may become aggressive or hyper after taking Xanax. Your pet will display paradoxical reactions through


How much Xanax will relax a cat?

The recommended dose of alprazolam for cats is 0.0675 to 0.125 mg (¼ to ½ of the smallest tablet made) every 12 to 24 hours as needed. The published dosage for cats is 0.0125 to 0.025 mg/kg, which means that for most cats the initial dose will be % to 4 of a 0.25-mg tablet.

What happens if a cat takes a Xanax?

Alprazolam – Alprazolam (Xanax®) is prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication and a sleep-aid. Most pets that ingest alprazolam can become sleepy and wobbly; however a few will become very agitated instead. These pills are commonly ingested by pets as people put them out on the nightstand so they remember to take them.

What is cat Xanax called?

Alprazolam. The medicine you have been given for your dog or cat is called alprazolam. It may have a trade name such as Xanax®, but often will just be called alprazolam.

What medication will put a cat to sleep?

The euthanasia medication most vets use is pentobarbital, a seizure medication. In large doses, it quickly renders the pet unconscious. It shuts down their heart and brain functions usually within one or two minutes. It is usually given by an IV injection in one of their legs.