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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30273
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat was put on amitriptyline. He's always in s cat

Customer Question

my cat was put on amitriptyline. He's always in his cat bed now and doesn't hang out with the family or sleep with my husband like he use to. I'm a little worried. Is this normal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. The most predominant adverse effects seen with the tricyclics such as amitriptyline are related to their sedating and anticholinergic (constipation, urinary retention) properties. Cats may be more sensitive to amitriptyline than dogs as it is metabolized in a manner which predisposes to sedation, hypersalivation, urinary retention, anorexia, thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets), neutropenia (low blood neutrophils - a white blood cell), unkempt hair coat, vomiting, nausea, ataxia ("drunken sailor"), and cardiac conductivity disturbances. Considering the response to therapy you're seeing, it would be prudent to consult with his vet as there are many alternatives to amitriptyline when treating behavior disorders, pruritis (itching), symptomatic therapy of idiopathic cystitis, or neuropathic pain.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I have to leave my computer for the night but promise to reply in the morning if need be.