Melatonin, aka “the darkness hormone,” is a neurohormone found in animals, bacteria, and plants. It is called the darkness hormone because the increase in melatonin levels at night signals the body that it is time to sleep.
Usually, melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated through the night, at least for up to 12 hours. At dawn, the levels start reducing and will be barely detectable during the daytime.
If your pet finds it difficult to fall asleep naturally, it means melatonin levels are low. This can be cured through melatonin supplements. However, pet parents hesitate using it for cats and want to know – is Melatonin safe for cats?
After all, it’s your precious furry friend. So, you must ensure that whatever the feline consumes is 100% safe and beneficial. We understand it completely.
If your feline cannot stay asleep, finds it difficult to fall asleep, or keeps yowling or meowing at night, these are signs that they might need melatonin supplementation. Whether it is safe or not depend upon several factors, such as the dosage and the purpose behind its usage. If your cat is experiencing dental issues, make sure to use melatonin as a supplement to the cat food for dental health.
Let’s not forget that felines are much different from canines or humans. Where Melatonin may prove to be a calming treat for most cats, it isn’t a miraculous supplement. It is a potent cure for several health issues, mainly sleeplessness. Don’t forget that the melatonin is not a replacement for food, so make sure to use melatonin as a supplement to the best cat food.
However, its abuse can create many other health issues, especially if your feline is suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, or liver dysfunction. Therefore, make sure to give the right dosage to the cat and avoid long-term usage of melatonin.
In this guide, you will find answers to all your queries regarding melatonin supplements for cats.
Best Melatonin Supplements for Cats
There are many quality supplements available to treat a lack of Melatonin in your pet. However, before purchasing the supplement, you must understand the rules and guidelines for administering melatonin supplements.
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Always rely on a nutraceutical brand of melatonin supplements.
If you feel that Melatonin is working for your cat and wants to continue it on a long-term basis, always consult your vet. Never proceed with long-term use of the supplement without professional advice.
You may not see favorable results instantly because the dose works after 2-3 servings. Positive results may take over a week.
Melatonin For Cats: Can You Give It, And How Much?
You must know that Melatonin is non-toxic but can have potential side effects if given in higher doses. Such as, the feline may sleep way longer than desired. It may cause allergic reactions if your cat is receiving other medications. It may also induce hypersensitivity. However, these are rare side effects and only occur because of melatonin abuse.
It is good to start with the lowest dosage, which is 3mg, and observe how thefeline responds. You can increase the dosage gradually. It is essential to consult the vet for determining melatonin dosage.
Melatonin supplements are available in different levels of milligrams (mg), starting from 1mg to 3mg and up to 5 or 6mg.
Ideally, treat is administered orally at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Never give more than 6mg at a time.
Calming Cat Treats
Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone. The brain’s pineal gland produces Melatonin to tell the body when it’s time to sleep and when to get up. But, this happens under normal circumstances. Pets experiencing sleep issues may require additional supplementation to receive the desired amount of Melatonin. That’s why pet parents use it for felines and dogs.
You might be wondering why cats would need sleep-inducing supplements since they spend two-thirds of their lives sleeping. In fact, catnap is a phrase commonly used to refer to someone falling asleep frequently. So, why would cats need Melatonin to fall asleep?
You aren’t wrong in thinking on these lines because cats do sleep twice as long as we humans do. However, they get their bouts of restlessness, anxiety, and irritability, too, just like humans. For instance, the cat could be having a jet lag or hates long distance travels and is finding it hard to unwind. Any change in the pet’s routine, surroundings, or environment can cause sleeplessness.
Or else, as the cat age, their brain produces a lesser amount of melatonin hormone. Therefore, the reasons why cats cannot stay asleep may be diverse. Research suggests that restlessness and stressfulness are the two main issues that can cause sleep troubles in even the calmest kitties.
When cats cannot stay asleep, they become agitated and furious. Calming a cat may become quite a challenge for you. So, in such a situation, you must try to help the tired and exhausted feline get a sense of relief through melatonin supplements. Do remember that Melatonin cannot magically treat your furball’s anxiety. But it can gradually help the cat calm down and stay asleep longer.
Why Is Melatonin Good For Cats?
Snoozing is very important for every feline. If cats don’t sleep well, they won’t be as active or cheerful. Cats can get emotionally or physically weary, and elderly cats can have irregular sleep cycles. Most importantly, don’t consider your kitty as the bravest feline out there. She can get scared and may also suffer from post-traumatic stress.
Unfamiliar surroundings, unexpected strangers, new furniture pieces, anything can make the cat anxious and restless. That’s where Melatonin can help you out. Melatonin supplements are an excellent sleep aid for your cat and can treat various other issues. Some benefits of melatonin supplements for cats are as follows.
For Managing Anxiety, Fearfulness, and Noise Phobia
Anxiety can have different forms, such as travel or separation anxiety. Stress can trigger disruptive behavior among pets. Even the noise of a thunderstorm can make your cat anxious. A melatonin supplement can help your cat feel less frightened and calm.
For Suppressing Heat Cycles and Regulating Body Rhythms
To address the overpopulation issue, many owners don’t want their cats to reproduce frequently. Melatonin is an ideal solution because it suppresses cats’ heat cycle hormones.
For Inducing Sleep
Cats are naturally programmed to spend the majority of their day napping. However, some may find it difficult to sleep and keep wandering and meowing around the house all night long. Sleeping problems become too frequent as cats get old. Melatonin supplements can help in regulating a healthy sleep cycle.
For Regulating Cognitive Dysfunction in Older Felines
Just like humans, cognitive dysfunction can occur in cats as they age. You cannot expect a better cognitive function from an old cat through Melatonin, but it can be slowed down. So, Melatonin helps in delaying the biological clock and can positively impact pets suffering from cognitive impairment.
For Treating Hair Loss
Dogs are more prone to experiencing hair loss than cats. However, cats may also lose their fur. Melatonin supplements, together with best cat food for shedding can encourage fur growth.
Melatonin for Cats FAQ
Melatonin cannot kill a cat. It may adversely affect the feline if given in higher doses and can cause sedation.
Animal studies on the effectiveness of Melatonin are limited. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Melatonin can treat sleep and behavioral issues, improve breeding rates, and cure adrenal disease. It is also beneficial for treating alopecia (non-allergic hair loss).
Yes. Melatonin is not just useful in cats but other felines, dogs, ferrets, and horses. In dogs and cats, it helps in treating behavioral and sleep issues. Horses breeding rates are improved through Melatonin, and in ferrets, it can treat adrenal disease.
Melatonin is given orally in the form of a capsule, tablet, chewable, or liquid. You may mix the pill in food or provide it as it is. Never give it on an empty stomach; otherwise, the cat will vomit it.
Melatonin doesn’t cause any severe side effects. It may cause weight gain, and if your cat is taking other drugs, like tranquilizers, oxidase inhibitors, or corticosteroids, using Melatonin may cause health issues.