Learn How To Sedate a Cat Effectively in 5 Easy Steps

Have you ever tried sedating your own cat? No matter how scary the thought of sedating your beloved pet is, there are certain instances when sedating her is just the only option. With this, it is of paramount importance to ensure that the method to use is absolutely safe.

Reasons for sedating a cat includes the resistance of traveling, grooming, stressful veterinary appointments, and nail clipping. For more serious cases, sedating a cat is an important procedure for certain medical procedures. In this article, we will learn how to sedate a cat effectively while ensuring her safety during the procedure.


Get to Know What You Need Here

The most important tool you need in this process is the choice of sedative. Note that there are sedatives and tranquilizers that have been developed to safely calm an animal when a particular procedure has to be performed. For major surgery, for instance, sedatives such as Diazepam is typically given. Oral trazodone is also proven safe for this purpose.

For a non-medical purpose, one common medicine given to cats that have a sedative effect is Benadryl. Also, since it has a slight anti-motion sickness effect, it has become a favorite method for many traveling enthusiasts with pets. Aside from the sedative agent, you will also need the following:

  • Instruction from your veterinary on the dosage you can give your cat
  • A small blanket or towel to be wrapped around your cat
  • A pill gun to help with the administering of the medicine
  • Time for veterinary visit

Getting Your Cat Sedated in Five Steps

Step #1. Research some possible sedatives for cats


The first step is to know the options you have. You may be wondering why you should do this prior to the veterinarian's visit. The reason is that by the time you go to the veterinarian’s office, you can ask questions about other possible options.

For starter, you ask about Benzodiazepines which is a popular sedative that is known to reduce anxiety if quickly. The side effects include a boost in appetite and disorientation. However, if your cat has kidney or liver problems, this should not be given.

Clonidine is another drug that is used to stabilize the blood pressure of a person, but it also has sedative effects on cats. As you do your research, better write any questions or worries you may have and discuss them with the vet later on.

Step #2. Book an appointment with the veterinarian for consultation and advice


Never attempt to sedate your cat without seeing her veterinarian first. Even when certain drugs with calming or sedative effect could easily be purchased over-the-counter, you need to have your cat checked first and see if she is healthy enough to take those drugs and be sedated.

Also remind your vet of the possible illnesses your cat may have – from diabetes, kidney problems to liver issues. Let your vet also know if there are any behavioral problem that your cat may possibly have.

Note that it could be easy to research about possible drugs to use, but knowing the safe dosage and procedure when administering it should only come from an expert. In this case, you should only follow the veterinarian’s advice.

Furthermore, your veterinarian can inform you of what reactions to watch out for after the sedative has been given. When the consultation is over, you should have a better view on which drug to use and the possible side effects it could have.

Step #3. Prepare your feline pal for sedation


Once you know which sedative to use, it is time to sedate your feline friend. In sedating your cat, make sure that set some time for the sedative to kick in before traveling, grooming or nail clipping. Gently wrap your cat in a towel or a small blanket while ensuring that her head stays exposed.

It will be easier if you let someone help you gently hold your cat on a table or on the floor. You can give your cat the medication. It will be easier if you use a medicine dropper to ensure that the medicine gets in the mouth more easily. Squeeze the medication inside the mouth, specifically on the side of one cheek.

If the medication is in the pill form, it will be easier to use a ‘pill gun’ which lets the medicine be dropped at the back of the mouth prompting your pet to instantly swallow it. You may lift her face and give the throat a gentle rub to encourage swallowing. After this, make sure you comfort your cat as she may be distressed.

Step #4. The waiting part begins


One thing you need to remember is that medications take the different length of time to kick in. This also depends on the dosage given to the pet. Expect the veterinarian to inform you beforehand about the effect of the medication, so you should have an idea about it.

To know if the medication is starting to kick in, you would see your pet starting to get groggy, but not disoriented. The final effects vary greatly depending on your cat’s response to the medication. Some would fall asleep slowly and others could remain awake but calm.

Your cat should regain energy just after a few hours. If you observe your cat to be in a calm state longer than 24 hours, feel free to have her checked again by the veterinarian.

Step #5. You may opt for the non-medication method of calming your cat.


If you are not entirely comfortable using administering medicine, you can try calming your cat instead using a non-medication method. For instance, the use of pheromones in your own home can be done. Such chemical mimics the pheromones produced by felines. This is the chemical they use to communicate with other felines.

You may find synthetic pheromones in certain products in the form of herbal blends or essential oils. Also, there are sprays, wipes, or collars with such chemical. The regular use of these products can make your cat feel calmer more naturally. Note that this method works better for cats who display unwanted behaviors like aggression or compulsive scratching.

Final Pointers to Remember

It is absolutely acceptable to sedate your cat if there is a true purpose for doing it. Although you may be uncomfortable with the idea at first, know that sedating your cat prior to grooming, nail clipping or traveling would keep them safer and far from harm or injuries.

Moreover, never be afraid to explore more natural options. See to it that when you are left with medication as the final option, you should obtain the green light from the veterinarian first.

OK, I fervently hope that my post would be immensely helpful to you next time before taking your pet for grooming, clipping, or a bit of travel. Have you tried a similar method? Let me know. Leave your questions below and I’d be more than pleased to answer them for you.

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Debby Jackson

Hi there, I am Debby. I am your modern-day cat lady who is just utterly crazy about cats. I am always thirsty for new knowledge on how to keep my feline friends happy and healthy all the time.

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