Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sleepy cats on pain medications: A Gabapentin bonus?

Eamon the cat sleeping on the carpet

Two times per day, Eamon the cat gets a dose of a human anti-epileptic drug called Gabapentin. The medication is meant to help control the pain that shoots through his elbows and hips due to his arthritis. But it also seems to have an unintended side effect: Drowsiness.

An hour or two after each dose, Eamon seems to drift into a dream-like state. He's conscious and he's responsive, but he's often pretty darn close to being asleep. He stays like that for hours, too, until it's time for his next medication dose.

Older cats like Eamon rest a lot anyway (but not ALL of the time, and that's something I've discussed before), so this isn't really a new behavior. But, since his episodes of serious sleepage seem to come so close to his medication doses, I'm more than a little convinced that the drugs are playing a part. (And the web backs me up on this.)

Eamon the cat stretched out

Frankly, I think this is an added bonus hidden in Gabapentin. Eamon's sore joints get even more sore when he's done a lot of running and playing (particularly when he's wrestling with the dog). In the aftermath of a very active day, he tends to limp. Sometimes, he even cries after a particularly busy day.

Using Gabapentin keeps him quieter. He is still present, and he's still as cuddly as ever, but he's not bouncing off the walls or running at top speed. In other words, he's doing what he should to protect his joints. And that's a great thing.

Are you using this medication with your cats? I'd love to know. Hit me up in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. so interesting, I have never heard of that medication being used for cats.. Thank you for sharing this