Has your cat suddenly lost appetite and lost weight in the process? Do they seem uninterested in eating even if you change their diet? If yes, you must be devastated because you’ve tried all you can to make them eat, but your efforts have been futile. You go online searching for an appetite booster to help your feline friend gain weight. You come across one, and you’re wondering: what is Mirataz for cats? This article will give an insight into oral and topical Mirtazapine and current medications for cats, including regular, geriatric, lactating, pregnant cats, and cats with kidney or liver disease. Here is everything there is to know about it.
Why is your cat’s appetite decreasing?
According to Chewy, our cat’s appetite may change and might lose weight due to many reasons like:
- A change in what or where they eat
- A reaction to mental stress like the loss of another pet or pet owner
- It could be a symptom of a severe medical condition like chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, or inflammatory bowel disease
All these factors can contribute to your cat’s loss of appetite. Therefore, it’s not advisable to assume that they are under stress unless your vet confirms it. Detecting early signs of weight loss in your cat at home starts by checking for:
- Their interest in food
- Time taken to finish the food
- The quantity ingested
What is the rationale behind Mirtazapine use?
According to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center, Mirtazapine; the bioactive compound in mirataz, is often prescribed to humans to mitigate depression. It doesn’t have tricyclic properties like clomipramine or amitriptyline, but it belongs to the tetracyclic class. The drug works by triggering:
- Serotonin- for relaxation and comfort
- Norepinephrine- for stimulating neurotransmitters
Both neurotransmitters help the brain to relax and work towards treating depression. The most exciting part about medications used to treat anxiety and depression is that the side effects they bring are a blessing in disguise in veterinary medicine. That means the side effects offer great healing powers for animals. According to European Medicines Agency, Mirtazapine has appetite-stimulating properties, helping animals with a poor appetite to get the nutrition they require. In animals like cats, it works by exerting anti-nausea effects. For example, if your cat doesn’t have an appetite and is vomiting, this drug will inhibit serotonin activity in their gut system, increasing their appetite for food.
What is Mirataz for cats, and how does it work?
Mirataz for cats is a transdermal gel form applied to the skin of the inner ear daily. It gets absorbed into the bloodstream through the ear. The active ingredient is Mirtazapine. Scientists believe it works by inhibiting the actions of serotonin and histamine, thus inducing appetite and preventing nausea. It also regulates leptin, a hormone for controlling hunger. Vets usually prescribe it for cats with intestinal/stomach, liver, kidney disease, or any other condition that leads to loss of appetite and nausea.
How to apply Mirataz on cats
Before applying Mirataz, wear disposable gloves so that its content doesn’t contact your skin. Then follow these steps for maximum effect:
Step 1: Twist the Mirataz cap on a tube in a counterclockwise direction to open
Step 2: Using even pressure on the tube, press a 1.5-inch line of the topical treatment on your finger. Use the measured line on the carton or in the package insert for accurate measurements.
Step 3: Use your gloved finger to gently rub a ribbon of ointment inside the cat’s ear (the pinna), ensuring it’s evenly spread out over the surface. Don’t apply to the external ear canal. For desirable results, clean your cat’s ear with a dry cloth immediately. You can start with the left air on the first day, then alternate with the right ear the following day. If your cat misses a dose, apply Mirataz the following day and continue daily dosing.
Step 4: Throw away the used gloves after each application. Throw away opened Mirataz ointment after 30 days. If the ointment comes in contact with your skin when removing the gloves, wash your hands with lukewarm water and mild soap.
- Make sure other pets and humans are away from you during the application. Keep them away from your cat for two hours to allow the transdermal treatment to penetrate the skin.
- Avoid applying it on cats who are allergic to mirtazapine transdermal ointment. That means you should consult your vet before buying it, leave alone applying it.
- Cats who are under monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) might not also benefit from Mirataz treatment unless your vet approves of it.
- Exercise great caution on cats diagnosed with hepatic and kidney disease because the clearance of the drug from the body reduces by around 30%. That means the dosage requirements for cats in this category should be reduced. Make sure you check with your veterinarian for instructions.
- Monitor your cat’s appetite after completing the treatment (should be after 14 days). Upon discontinuation, your cat’s appetite for food may lessen. If it goes away drastically for many days or if they stop eating for more than two days, go back to your vet for a second review.
- Don’t administer this treatment on cats less than 2kg or less than six months of age.
- Administration on breeding, pregnant and lactating cats should be under the supervision of a vet.
- Store Mirataz ointment at room temperature away from excess heat or cold
In an emergency due to an overdose or adverse side effects, see a veterinary doctor immediately. Should they offer directions, make sure you follow them to the letter.
Other things to note when administering Mirataz treatment on cats
Mirataz is prone to irritate the skin and eyes. If you’re hypersensitive to Mirtazapine, avoid coming in contact with it. Your skin or mouth can easily absorb the drug and cause drowsiness or sedation. No matter how immune you may be to Mirtazapine, make sure you wear impermeable disposable protective gloves upon purchase, handling, and applying the drug. Make sure you wash your hands with warm water and soap immediately after administration, even if your skin doesn’t come into contact with it. Avoid administering this drug if you’re trying to conceive, already pregnant, or lactating. Also, avoid coming in contact with treated cats throughout the treatment period. Children should also stay away during the treatment and from the treated cat until it gets well. Make sure the child-proof cap stays firm until the completion of the treatment. According to the European Medicines Agency, the best time to administer Mirataz treatment on cats is in the evening. This prevents contact with the treated cat for the first 12 hours after each daily application. Also, avoid sleeping with it regardless of how close you are to the cat.
Is Mirataz approved by the FDA?
Your cat depends on you for basic needs and protection. Knowing if a drug is safe, effective, and quality-assured is the reason the FDA exists. In conjunction with leading and reputable scientific bodies, the FDA scrutinizes the approval process for animal drugs like Mirataz. It evaluates the information provided by the drug company to authenticate the drug for safety and effectiveness for its intended use. Also, it assesses the product’s manufacturing, labeling, and packaging process to ensure it’s safe for use on cats. According to the US Food and Drugs Administration, Mirataz is safe and effective on cats when used as per the directions on the label. The label specifications about the dosage, safety, and contraindications are specific to cats alone.
The side effects of Mirataz for cats
You may notice the following side effects after Mirataz administration on cats:
- Increased vocalization
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increase heart rate
- Tremors or shaking
These side effects should wear out in a few hours after treatment. Your cat may experience one or more of these symptoms depending on their current medications, medical history, and current physical condition. Think of them as the healing effects following serotonin inhibition, regulating your cat’s hunger pangs. But if they go more than two days, consult a vet immediately. They should tell you why your cat is behaving that way.
What if my cat doesn’t regain appetite after Mirataz treatment?
Your cat should regain appetite within two days after Mirataz treatment. Keep monitoring them until they finish their 14-day dose. If the loss of appetite worsens or keeps going and coming back, take them to the vet. They could be battling a digestive problem that can worsen the loss of appetite when left untreated.
Can I trust Mirataz to be safe on my cat?
Yes. Mirataz is FDA-approved for use on cats. However, it is advisable to check with your vet, mainly if they’ve been diagnosed with Hepatic or kidney disease, to review the dosage requirements. The treatment should also be administered on breeding, pregnant, and lactating cats under the watchful eye of a vet.
Which medications does Mirataz react with?
Cats on monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) treatment shouldn’t combine it with Mirataz treatment. Check with your vet if your cat’s current medications contain these elements before giving Mirataz.
Can I give Mirataz for cats to my dogs?
No. Mirataz for cats is formulated for cats alone. There’s a particular Mirataz medication for dogs though the active ingredients are similar. Keep in mind that Mirataz for cats is poisonous on dogs and humans. So, if your cat constantly interacts with your dog or children, separate them until the treatment is complete.
What should I do if Mirataz ointment accidentally comes in contact with my skin or eyes?
Before administering Mirataz ointment on your cat, the first thing to do is wear impermeable disposable gloves. Once you finish applying the treatment, discard the used gloves immediately. If by any chance it slips into your skin, wash it thoroughly with water and soap. If your eyes feel irritated after the administration of Mirataz, wash them off with water. Consider calling a poison control center to give you a way forward.
How is Mirataz applied to a cat?
Mirataz is a transdermal ointment that is applied to a cat’s pinna. Before applying Mirataz, wear disposable gloves so that its content doesn’t contact your skin. Then follow these steps for maximum effect:
Step 1: Twist the Mirataz cap on the tube in a counterclockwise direction to open
Step 2: Using even pressure on the tube, press a 1.5-inch line of the topical treatment on your gloved finger. Use the line on the carton or in the package insert for accurate measurements.
Step 3: Use your gloved finger to gently rub a ribbon of ointment inside the cat’s ear (the pinna), ensuring it’s evenly spread out over the surface. Don’t apply to the external ear canal. To ensure the ointment penetrates the cat’s skin, clean your cat’s ear with a dry cloth immediately. You can start with the left ear on the first day, then alternate with the right ear the following day. Keep alternating until the 14-day dose is complete. If your cat misses a dose, apply Mirataz the following day and continue daily dosing.
Step 4: Throw away the used gloves after each application. Throw away opened Mirataz ointment after 30 days. If the ointment comes in contact with your skin when removing the gloves, wash your hands with lukewarm water and mild soap. Should it also accidentally find its way in your eyes, wash off with lots of water.
What quantities is Mirataz for cats available in?
According to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center, Mirataz for cats is available in 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 30 mg, 45 mg tablets, and a transdermal gel. Depending on your cat’s weight and current medical condition, your vet will prescribe the medication.
Overall, Mirataz is a safe-to-administer drug that works towards inducing your cat’s appetite, thus boosting their weight. Before using this drug, check with your vet if your cat’s weight loss is stress-related or due to underlying conditions. Your vet will also give you the go-ahead or otherwise if you have a breeding, lactating or pregnant cat. Your cat should regain their appetite and weight in no time if you follow the directions indicated on the label.