How to wean cat off Amitriptyline

Giving your cat an anti-depressant like Amitriptyline in the first place and then asking, ‘How to wean cat off Amitriptyline?’ could be a common issue. Addiction of any kind or long-term dependency on a drug is a worrisome thing. Talking about weaning off, it is important because it imposes several side effects like intestinal problems and gaining of weight too.  And weaning off must be done at a lower rate and decrease the dosage slowly.

Hence, do not be worried about it. Every problem comes with a solution. And who knows you might find your solution here!

Let’s start with knowing about Amitriptyline and why are you giving your cat it?

How to wean cat off Amitriptyline

Amitriptyline-An Antidepressant

Amitriptyline is known to be a human antidepressant that is also used to cure certain conditions in the creatures like cats and dogs.

Amitriptyline also holds some properties regarding anti-inflammation.

It could help to lessen the pain and discomfort which might be related to certain other medical conditions.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help decrease discomfort and pain associated with certain medical conditions.

This drug is also known as ‘Elavil’.

Conditions Amitriptyline is used to deal within the cats

Well, one should be well aware of why they are using Amitriptyline for their cats.

It could have been prescribed by the vet for the following reasons:

  • To treat social anxiety in cats
  • The issue of urine spraying
  • To deal with other inappropriate elimination behaviors
  • To exit the neurological pain
  • The itchy skin in cats

Side Effects of using Amitriptyline:

Following are the side effects that your cat exhibits when medicating it with Amitriptyline:

  • Sedation
  • Stomach disorders like Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Trouble in passing urine

Less serious side effects could be:

  • Aggression or Excitability
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Cat’s body imbalance

That is why after completing the prescribed course by the vet, go for tapering or weaning the cat off Amitriptyline.

Points to ponder when weaning cat off Amitriptyline

Weaning off is a process but one must keep the following points in mind when dealing with it:

1.     The Reason for weaning cat off Amitriptyline:

You must take into consideration that why are you now, weaning your cat off this medication.

It might be due to:

  • Full recovery of your feline for which the medicine was prescribed
  • Potential side effects
  • Long term dependency on the Anti-depressant called Amitriptyline

This would aid you in choosing the most effective method for weaning off by your vet.

·       Full Recovery:

You do so because if the tapering is due to full recovery, then all you need to worry about are the withdrawal symptoms.

·       Potential Side effects:

If you are tapering your cat off Amitriptyline due to the side effects of medicine, you would have to cure the side effects too.

Your cat must be treated then for the side effects it is going through and also the drawbacks it is going to face afterward.

Be very vigilant about it.

·       A long term dependency:

If your cat is having a long-term dependency on it, then it should be a problem.

Because your cat is functioning normally when Amitriptyline is in its system and is part of it.

The situation might differ from the rest.

2.    Weaning off should not be torturous for your cat:

This medicine, Amitriptyline, has become an aid in the normal functioning of your cat’s body.

At once tapering off would be just torture for it.

This would hurt its mental condition as well as the physical one.

Hence, look for the ways that it ends up as a cure for your cat and not suffering for it.

3.    Slowly and Gradual tapering off Amitriptyline:

To avoid any kind of inconvenience in your beloved pet, there must be slow and gradual weaning off process.

Do not push it hard or make it end, administrating it at once.

Follow a proper protocol to do so.

How to wean cat off Amitriptyline

‘How to wean cat off Amitriptyline’ is the most crucial stage than administrating the cat with certain medication.

Try to follow these points to successfully wean the cat off Amitriptyline:

1.     Consult your vet:

The first thing you should do is consult your vet. He would be the best one to tell you about your feline’s condition.

Ask anything about weaning your pet off medication. The following questions might help you do so:

  • Is my pet ready to be weaned off the medicine I am giving it?
  • How should I carry out the process?
  • How much amount I should reduce and over how much time period?
  • What are the side effects my cat would face?
  • Which alternatives I should give to help it wean off with lesser drawbacks?

Your vet would guide you in the best manner to help taper your cat off Amitriptyline.

2.    Reduce the amount of Amitriptyline gradually:

When you are done talking with your pet, you might go for reducing the amount of medication you are giving your cat gradually.

This is the important protocol you need to follow. At once tapering off the medicine would have a worse effect on your beloved pet’s condition.

You need to lessen the amount per day or week as prescribed by your vet or the dependency condition of your feline.

Why the gradual weaning off?

This is because your cat’s body is used to this medicine and is working normally by its presence.

The body certainly would overreact when you stop it suddenly. This is not good for your cat.

Therefore, you must carry on the process until finally your cat is completely off the medicine and is fine without it.

3.    Protocol for reducing the dosage:

The weaning protocol depends upon:

  • Weight and age of your feline
  • The dosage it has been given
  • The time period
  • The medical condition of your cat

Thus, this protocol better is prescribed by your vet because he knows all about your cat.

Here is a general procedure that you can go for when ‘how to wean cat off amitriptyline’ bothers you much.

For the feline of 10lbs weight:

Normally, if your cat is of 10lbs weight, most probably, it should have been following when firstly given:

5-10 mg Amitriptyline1 to 2 per day


Now, due to full recovery and long-term dependency, you find it a need to wean it off, then, decrease the dosage at a constant and lower rate.

Managing the dosage:

  1. Firstly, decrease to approximately 7.5 mg once per day for the following one week.
  2. Afterward, drop it to 5 mg once per day for another week.
  3. Keep in mind to consult your vet about the decreasing dosages too.

4.   Keep the vet in the cycle of weaning off:

Though this was the first protocol to follow it is also the last one to follow too. You need to keep your vet in the loop most importantly.

Keep him updated about the changing conditions of your cat by decreasing the dosages.

So that in any emergency case, your feline would be able to get treated, at the earliest.

You are not an expert, right? So, do not try to be one.

Possible withdrawal symptoms

From ‘how to wean cat off Amitriptyline’ to actually weaning it off, there must be withdrawal symptoms exhibited by your cat.

They are as follows:

1.     Revival of depression and anxiety in the cat:

Weaning the cat off Amitriptyline- an antidepressant, the anxiety, and depression might come back.

You were administrating it due to the depression and maybe, if long-term use or not giving proper dosages, might result in depression and anxiety.

2.   The behavioral changes shown by your cat:

Cats being a creature would definitely exhibit some changes in their behavior when they are not going to get something they were habitual of.

So, be careful and deal with them for some time.

·        Being Aggressive:

This would seem a rather normal symptom. There is plenty of chances that your cat might show aggressive behavior for some time too.

Aggressive behavior could be anything like messing things up around or not listening to anything you say.

·        The Biting and Clawing:

Behavior change would be a change in the mood too. When they are not mentally or internally at working normally, they would bite and claw you too.

·       The staring and purr:

And now, you would notice them constantly starring at you and making weird sounds after some time.

If you try to be friendly with them, they will not return your love with affection but might purr at you.

3.    Disturbs the body systems of your cat:

One of the major concerns regarding tapering off the cat off Amitriptyline would be that ‘how your cat’s body system reacts to it’.

They have been now working with the medication you were giving and now without it, they might face the following issues:

  • Stomach disorders
  • Nausea conditions
  • Feeling lazy and dizziness
  • In very rare cases, seizures

Alternatives to go for during the weaning off procedure:

For the weaning off period of your cat, you not only need to worry about tapering it off but also the withdrawal symptoms.

1.     Get your cat tested for neurotoxins:

A neurotoxic test is important for your feline in this case. Amitriptyline, being an antidepressant, plays with your brain and nerve receptors there.

Therefore, count it as a neurotoxin if dependency on it is more than expected.

A neurotoxic test would aid to know the toxic level of it in the brain before weaning off and monitoring your cat’s condition better after tapering is done.

2.    Ask your vet about other side medications:

To soothe and keep your cat calm, ask your vet about any other side medications that may help in the meantime.

There might be some good options that would keep your cat be fine and react to weaning off to a lesser extent than expected.

3.    Therapy sessions:

Well, cat expertise knows about such therapy sessions that would help your feline to get through this weaning-off procedure easily.

Proper counseling and coaching of a simple nature could be brought about to gently restore the balance of life for your cat.

This would bring the much better ability for it to deal with the condition going on with it.

4.   Pet parent role in dealing with the weaning off process:

Being a pet owner, you are the one and most closet being for your cat, thus, your role matters a lot.

·       Your learnings about the weaning off:

You, for the sake of your beloved pet, not only depend upon vet, but do your homework too about safely tapering off Amitriptyline.

Use different educational platforms like books, research papers, and finally the internet to help you with it.

·       Do not be harsh towards your cat:

Your cat is showing aggressive behavior, you do not need to show the same in return. It needs your love and affection.

Try to soothe it. Being harsh would only worsen the situation.

·       Show love but do not get tempted:

Take care of your cat. Pay attention to it and give it time too.

But do not get tempted enough that raising the reduced dose would help its current irritable condition any better.

That would make it only sick!

·       Divert your cat’s attention:

This could be the best thing you could do for your feline. Go for different options so that you could divert its mind off weaning off.

You can do it by engaging its mind in some other healthy exercise or giving it some renewed and complex toys that it would like.

Also, you can take it for a walk. Being outside of one typical environment would help it breathe in some clean air.

·       Be careful about your cat’s health and surroundings:

Keeping good nutrition of your cat, monitoring its diet, maintaining its surroundings clean would also have a good effect on it.

Cats are very much careful about their good grooming. Also, the time they are going through, anything would trigger them.

Thus, it is your responsibility to respond to its necessities well.

·       Using Supplements:

Moreover, you can also give it some supplements of minerals and vitamins at the recommendation of your vet.

They would help for maintaining their good mental as well as physical health.


To ‘how to wean cat off Amitriptyline’, there is a lot to do. Your cat, being a creature, would not be able to understand what it is going through.

Follow a proper protocol for safe weaning off procedure for your cat. And the withdrawal time period afterward.

Keep in mind, anything you do must be slow and gradual and offer less suffering for your cat.

This would involve both your and your vet’s efforts. Therefore, you need to work along with him too.

We wish you safe weaning off!


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