Cats & Mirtazapine

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Elizabeth Says:

Our 13 year old Maine Coon mix is in the last stages of renal failure. We didn't know anything was wrong until about a month ago when she stopped eating. It's been up and down ever since her diagnosis. Our vet prescribed Mirtazapine but, after reading the many negative comments, we put off giving it to her as long as we could. We finally had to because the effects of not eating in cats are liver shutdown and death. She's had no serious adverse reaction to Mirtazapine, and it has definitely helped her appetite. It is buying her a little more quality time with us.

I certainly wouldn't use or give this drug lightly, but as some posters have noted, in the end it's a risk v.s benefit judgment call.

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Verwon Says:

I am very sorry to read of what you are going through.

I am not very knowledgeable regarding the use of medications in animals, though I am glad it is helping her.


How is she doing?

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Elizabeth Rogers Says:

Thanks for asking about Tazzi. She's hanging in there. The mirtazapine does help with the appetite issue, and she hasn't had any of the more serious negative side effects I've read about. 1/4 of a pill lasts 4-7 days, which is good because she is VERY difficult to pill! We're also hydrating her every other day.

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Verwon Says:

I know what you mean, I well remember once having to give a cat a pill and I STILL have the scars!!! He DID NOT appreciate it at all.

Yes, cats metabolisms are much slower than dogs or people, so some medications tend to last a long time.

This is why people are often warned not to give them regular human medications, such as Acetaminophen, it is very, very easy to overdose your cat if you are not extremely careful.

I do wish you and Tazzi the best!

If there is any other information you need, please feel free to ask, I will gladly see if I can hunt it up for you.

Keeps us updated on how Tazzi is doing!

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Elizabeth Rogers Says:

Sounds like you've had some experience with animals and medical issues. If you have any suggestions to offer, we'd be happy to hear them. We know that there's no cure for her condition, but we're trying to maintain as long as she has a reasonably good quality of life.

We had to let go of two other cats due to age and illness 6 years ago, and we'd hoped not to be facing that situation again so soon. However, Tazz was a shelter girl and we don't know much about her background or even her exact age. We knew we were taking a chance, but she's a great little cat.

(If you receive this twice, I apologize. The screen disappeared and then reappeared with new verification words, and I'm not sure what happened.)

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Verwon Says:

Some, but not really a lot, especially in this area.

When it comes to a lack of appetite, I'd have been running to the store buying anything and everything I knew they liked and carting it all home! LOL!

When I had my babies, they were quite spoiled.

The only thing I can really say is to make her as comfy as possible and when the time comes when her quality of life is no longer good, I know you'll do the right thing for her.

I lost my favorite baby when he swallowed a piece of plastic, tried everything to save him, but it wasn't possible. When they called me, from surgery, to tell me what the problem was, that part of his bowel was completely necrotic and his chances of survival were minimal and he would probably be sick and miserable, if they even tried, I just couldn't put him through that.

I had them end it, while he was still under the anesthesia. Was the kindest thing I could do for someone who'd been my best friend for many years. Still miss that fellow, Mr. Whiskers, was the best cat I ever had.

I really do wish you guys the best, and yes, that includes Tazzi. From the way you talk about her, I can tell she's quite awesome and deserves the best.

Keep me updated, you can even email me at

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Tache's mom Says:

My vet gave my cat Tache Mirtazapine in December when he stopped eating due to a adverse reaction to an antibiotic. He had lost weight and had become very unactive and showed no interest in us or his house mates. It was amazing, in less than 48 hours he was eating again and had most of his energy back.

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Elizabeth Rogers Says:

Thanks so much for asking. I'm happy to report that Tazzi is hanging in there. She's had a good summer, which is one thing we had hoped to give her. Her overall condition appears to have stabilized, at least for now. We hydrate her every other day and take her to the vet for her mirtazapine 2X/week. As far as we can tell, she hasn't had any of the negative side effects from the mirtazapine that some other cats have. She vocalizes and eats a lot but that's about it.

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Connie Says:

my cat also a Maine Coon with the same problems
when given this med appetite is good
what do you feed your cat - mine was a dry food eater only and with teeth problems harder to eat
didn't know about problem until shots were due and the vet didn't like the 1 lb weight lose

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acworth lady Says:

My cat has been prescribed this drug recently. We are giving her 1/8 of a tablet, no more than 3 days apart. so far I haven't had to give it to her more than once a week and sometimes we can go longer. In the meantime, I'm giving her cerenia for nausea and that sometimes keeps me from having to give her an appetite stimulant. I agree though, it does have some strange side effects...however, since we cut the dosage down to 1/8 tablet, she doesn't seem to get quite so hyper on it.

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cathy Says:

Gracie is 16 yrs old and on this appitite stimulant and 1/8 pill works fine, however when it wears off the eating stops completely and she becomes so parinoid we have to trick her to catch her. Not sure how much longer we can do this to her, but everything else seems to be fine. She looks good and her eye contact and attitude are fine as long as the pill is working. We just hope she is not in any pain.

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KA Vanzo Says:

I too have a maine coone, my Moose, who is 15 and just found out he has kidney failure. I give him fluids every other day and Azodyl, which does wonders, although you have to break up the HUGE capsule and mix with water and feed him with a syringe, minus the needle. The best thing to do it wrap them up real good in a towel to give them their meds. AND I just went back in to the vet and they gave me the Mirtazapine and it did MIRACLES! Within hours his energy was back and he was back and eating like crazy. I am thrilled with this drug and AMAZED at what it did for him! Also if you are trying to get your cat to eat, they always seem to go for sardines and with my boy, he will only eat organic grass fed no hormone meats! Just like his mama. But I have heard that all the gmo and hormone laden meats are what is giving all these cats kidney failure. And I mean GMO's kill RATS in lab test and that is something important because supposedly nothing hardly kills rats. So take this info I share and try it out on your babies. Mine is gonna beat all odds and stay around much longer!

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Cathy Says:

Since my last post about Grazie and appetite stimulant, I spoke to the vet about getting this drug in a transdermal gel, sure enough there was a compounding pharmasist within walking distance from the clinic. The gel is SO much easier to administer to the inside of her ear than trying to go down the throat! Still working well but sometimes must give it every other day instead of every 3 days. Thyroid med no longer working so weight gain is gone to losing weight. Possibly a few more months for her but as long as she is not in pain will do what we can for her.

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Annie Says:

I have an 11 year old Persian who has been taking Mirtazapine for a year now as an appetite stimulant. She has liver problems and began losing weight. I started by giving her 1/8 tablet every 3 days. The doc said if she was eating well, extend to every 4 days and then every 5 days. She gained weight at 3 days, maintained at 4 days, and started to lose again at 5 days. I have settled in to every 4th day, and she has gained a full pound. I weigh her every week, so this helps me stay on top of things. The only reaction I have seen is that within an hour of taking the pill, she starts following me around, meowing, and wants to be picked up. She starts eating quite well. She does not seem to be agitated, just clingy. My experience with this drug has been quite positive.

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Dorbow Says:

An update on Kitty...she was taking 1/8 of a tab of mirtazapine about once a week and then hit a 3 month stretch when she didn't need any. Two weeks ago I had to give her a dose and as her eating starts to slow down she gets a 1/2 a tablet of Cerenia for nausea and sometimes that helps. For me, I think the 1/8 tab seems to work the best with the least amount of side effects, at least for now. Every cat is different though.

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Cathy Says:

Update on Gracie and Mirtazapine. So far the drug is still working but needs it every other day now. Still very thin and unable to gain much weight. Since using it in a gel form to the inside of her ear she is much less traumitized than forcing pills down her throat. The cost for the gel is about 4 times higher but the drug works and we are happy to pay it for her for all the years of love she has given us. I highly recommend this drug for cats with thyroid problems.

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Annie Says:

For Cathy and Gracie: I'm happy to know about the gel. I, too, had a very difficult time trying to get a pill in my Persian. She has such a flat face and a tiny little mouth. My vet made a suggestion that has worked beautifully for me. I put the 1/8 pill in a tiny container (like a bottle cap) and add 4 or 5 drops of water (or broth or cat food juice). Let it sit for a few minutes until the pill dissolves and then draw it up into a 1cc syringe without the needle. I then lift her lip and squirt it in the side of her mouth. She can't spit it out like a pill, and I don't have to stuff it down her throat. It's bitter and she hates the taste, but I give her a treat afterwards. It is SO much easier this way, and now my baby doesn't hate me every time I give her meds. Hope this helps. -A

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Grace Says:

My 11 y/o cat was just diagnosed with hypercalcemia, hyperthyroid and she has a stone in her uterus (most likely from all of the calcium). She has had a constipation problem for a long time so I always have lactulose on hand to give her. She has for a very long time vomited after eating her dry food (Science diet hairball control) and drinking a lot of water afterwards. I never really thought it could be related to an illness because she only did it with the dry food-water combo. Canned food was not an issue. She never did eat much of her canned food and for the most part nibbles on both. I took her to the vet because I just moved to a new area which stressed her, and since before we moved (2mos.) she has had a constipation thing going again. I have been giving her the meds for that, but I was feeling like there is something else going on and sure enough there is. We are not waiting for the results of a hypercalcemia of malignancy profile which we should get in about 10 days. She is on mirtazapine and still not eating as well as she should be. However I am grateful she is getting something down. I noticed today that she was drinking lots of water (never saw her drink so much at one time). They want to do an ultrasound too. I'm really concerned with all of these things going on that I might have not caught her illness in time and that I'm seeing the beginning of the end. Anyone have any thoughts on all of these things she has. I understand surgery is the only thing for the stone. She is peeing. I feel so overwhelmed with all of this and am feeling so down about it. I don't want her to suffer. How do I prepare myself if this profile shows she has cancer? Thanks G

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Cathy Says:

Update on Gracie; Gracie lost her battle with the horrible side effects of the hyper thyroid on Nov 25th. The mirtazapine did help her eat and the gel formula was SO much better than the pill, dislovled or not. When giving it to her disolved she still had that horrible taste in her mouth and it upset her so. We were unable to give her the thyroid med because it took her appetite away and eating was an important factor in trying to keep her alive. Our Vet hydrated her and the next day she experienced labored breathing (fluid was building around her lungs, not sure if related to the hydrating, vet said no it wasn't ??) and complete lethargy. The next day she was so bad we had to put her down, her suffering was not an option for us. Good luck to all with their pets in distress, we do what we can for them until we must make the decsion that is best for them.

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Paula Says:

Cathy--I am so sorry to hear about your Gracie 'spassing. It is so hard, I know :( I'm so glad she had a good mom who loved her so much and took such good care of her. Too, when you are ready, I hope you will adopt another kitty. There are so many that desperately a loving home such as yours :) Take care.

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Cathy Says:

Paula, thank you for your condolence on the passing of our Gracie. We were terribly lonely without her and just this week brought home 3 cats from the SPCA. One has the respitory virus, considered a special needs cat. Our Vet was not concerned about mixing these cats as the virus is in about 90% and they don't even check for it anymore. Needless to say caring for her will not be a problem after the 10 months of caring for Gracie. They are a joy and making themselves right at home. This week they will go for their checkups and should any medication be needed, well, we just have to work from there. I urge all who have lost one of their dear pets to adpot as soon as possible, you won't regret it. Taking 3 from the SPCA opens up 3 places in their 'no kill' facility. Good luck to all who are treating their pets illnesses.

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