FDA Approves New Treatment for Anxiety and Fear in Cats

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

It’s no secret that most cats get really stressed out when they have to leave the house, especially for a trip to the veterinarian. And the anxiety and fear that your pet experiences can certainly affect you as a pet parent as well, making you feel awful about having to put your cat through such a scary experience.

The good news is there are things you can try to help reduce the stress your kitty feels, and one of the latest solutions is a new treatment recently approved by the FDA.

Bonqat for Cats

In November 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pregabalin, also known as Bonqat, for cats.

The oral solution is not a sedative; instead, it affects the neurotransmitters that are involved in acute anxiety and fear. Therefore, it can be used to reduce the stress experienced by cats who are being transported for any reason, and it can be helpful for those who get frightened when they go to the vet.

To determine if this medicine would be effective, cats were given either a placebo or Bonqat before being transported by car and examined by a veterinarian (the cats had a history of being fearful and/or anxious under those circumstances). The results? While roughly one-third of the kitties who got the placebo had a positive response, just over half of those given the medicine did better while being transported and examined. Also, over the course of two examinations, 77% of the kitties who took Bonqat had less fear and anxiety, while 46% of those given the placebo exhibited an improvement in their fear and anxiety levels.

Discuss Bonqat with Your Veterinarian

You can only get Bonqat with a prescription from your veterinarian, so discuss its pros and cons to determine if this medicine would be right for your cat based on factors like age and medical conditions. And bear in mind that side effects, such as ataxia, vomiting, and lethargy, might occur with Bonqat.

To reap the benefits of Bonqat, you simply give it to your cat about 1.5 hours prior to transporting them or taking them to the vet. This medicine is a liquid, and it can be given to your pet with a bit of food.

Also, there are some precautions that need to be taken while administering this medicine to your cat. For example, it shouldn’t make contact with your eyes, mucous membranes, or skin. So, in addition to talking to your vet about how to use it correctly to ensure your cat gets the best results, you also want to be well-informed about how to handle this medicine safely.

For more information about Bonqat and how it works, click here.

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Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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