Prazosin for Cats - Usage, Dosage & Side Effects

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. April 6, 2021
Prazosin for Cats - Usage, Dosage & Side Effects

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Prazosin is a drug that can be used on cats as part of treatment recommended by a veterinarian for urinary problems such as feline idiopathic cystitis, a type of feline lower urinary tract disease. It is suitable for these cases because of its relaxing and antispasmodic effects.

In this AnimalWised article, we will discuss the uses and dosage of Prazosin for cats. Additionally, we will review those cases where its administration is not recommended and present the possible side effects that cats may suffer after treatment.

  1. What is Prazosin for cats?
  2. Uses of Prazosin in Cats
  3. Dosage of Prazosin for cats
  4. Contraindications of Prazosin for cats
  5. Side effects of Prazosin in cats

What is Prazosin for cats?

Prazosin is the name used on the drug market for the active ingredient known as prazosin hydrochloride. It is a relaxant for soft muscle tissue and has antispasmodic effects. This product is part of the group of so-called alpha blocking drugs. It works specifically on the alpha 1-receptors whose main function is vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels).

Listed below are the most common situations in which a veterinarian would prescribe the use of Prazosin for cats. It goes without saying that only a professional should prescribe this drug.

Uses of Prazosin in Cats

When prescribed for cats, Prazosin is mainly used to deal with problems affecting the urinary system. The drug’s relaxing and antispasmodic effect allows it to act on the urethra, the tube that allows the elimination of urine from the bladder to the outside.

In this way, a veterinarian may prescribe Prazosin to alleviate feline idiopathic cystitis. This relatively common condition is closely related to stress, which triggers internal inflammation in the wall of the urethra, resulting in considerable pain. Cats are very sensitive to any change in their environment and this can translate into both behavioral problems and physical alterations. The severe discomfort only adds to the stress that the cat is already experiencing and amplifies the problem.

As a result, the urethra can also become obstructed. This phenomenon is more common in male cats as they have a narrower urethra than females. Due to the discomfort caused, feline idiopathic cystitis can alter the behavior of the cat. Indeed, other issues such as hematuria, which is the presence of blood in the urine, are common. The cat will also feel pain when urinating which may lead to different behavioral changes, such as urinating or defecating outside the litter box.

In cases of acute cystitis, Prazosin can prevent obstructions to the urethra from occurring in the first place. Please note that any obstruction of the urethra should be treated as an emergency, regardless of if it is partial or total, and the cat should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Prazosin is also recommended for use as part of the recovery treatment after urinary catheterization. This procedure involves the placement of a catheter in the urethra and can be used to treat various conditions. In a similar way to its use for feline idiopathic cystitis, Prazosin is administered after catheterization in order to prevent obstructions of the urethra.

Cats, as a species, do not generally show overt signs of pain. We encourage you, therefore, to read this related article on signs of pain in cats so you may recognize it in your feline.

Prazosin for Cats - Usage, Dosage & Side Effects - Uses of Prazosin in Cats

Dosage of Prazosin for cats

Only a veterinarian can decide on the correct Prazosin dosage and schedule, as it will depend on the specifics of each case. For use after catheterization, the general recommended dosage is 0.5 mg, to be administered orally every 12-24 hours, for approx. 2-3 days.

On the other hand, in diagnosed cases of feline idiopathic cystitis, the oral dosage varies between 0.25-1 mg, approximately every 8-12 hours for about 10 days. If your veterinarian prescribes Prazosin for your cat, give the treatment as prescribed for the indicated duration. You should not attempt to finish the treatment prematurely.

Contraindications of Prazosin for cats

It is not recommended to administer Prazosin to cats in the following circumstances:

  • Cats with heart disease
  • Cats diagnosed with renal insufficiency
  • Pregnant or lactating cats
  • If the animal has previously shown any allergic reaction to the active ingredient

If the cat is already being treated with any other drug, this may cause a reaction. In this case the veterinarian should be informed.

Side effects of Prazosin in cats

Some side effects have been reported following the administration of Prazosin. While they are often mild, and it is usually not necessary to interrupt the treatment. However, the following adverse effects have been reported:

  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Drowsiness or Sedative effect
  • Hypersalivation
  • Apathy
  • Poor coordination
  • Diarrhea

If these or other signs are detected after administering Prazosin, it is necessary to inform a veterinarian. Similarly, if the cat has ingested a higher dose than that prescribed, it is important to contact a veterinarian and report the overdose.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Prazosin for Cats - Usage, Dosage & Side Effects, we recommend you visit our Medicine category.

  • Dessal, F. (2018). Feline idiopathic cystitis. Veterinary Portal.
  • Palmero, M. L. (n.d.). Cystitis in cats . Update on the diagnosis and treatment of FLUTD. Gattos Feline Clinical Center.
  • Reineke, E. L., Thomas, E. K., Syring, R. S., et al. (2017). The effect of prazosin on outcome in feline urethral obstruction. J Vet Emerg Critic Care, 27(4), 387-396.
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Prazosin for Cats - Usage, Dosage & Side Effects