Melatonin is a hormone both cats and humans (yep, me, you and our kitties) produce naturally and it’s the main hormone responsible for helping control our sleep-wake cycles.
However, also much like us, cats can sometimes have problems sleeping. It may be due to their production of melatonin, some external stresses, health issues, or just due to aging.
If your cat isn’t sleeping well, they are at risk of developing other health issues. So, you’re right to step in and try some natural supplements or remedies to see if you can help.
Which is why I’m exploring the following questions in this article:
- Can you give cats melatonin?
- Is melatonin dangerous to cats?
- What does Melatonin do for cats?
Why Use Melatonin for Cats?
Vets will often recommend or treat cats with a melatonin supplement if they are not sleeping well and/or suffering from hair loss, anxiety, and other conditions that are related to sleep and sleeping disorders.
I first came across melatonin is a solution several years ago. We’d moved home a few hundred miles and one of my cats, Loki, clearly wasn’t dealing with the change of home and scenery well.
I took all the right steps during the move, slowly introduced her to her new surroundings, and kept the stress to a minimum. Yet, she still wasn’t sleeping well, was clearly agitated, and after a couple of weeks and was starting to lose hair in patches down her spine.
Our vet prescribed a melatonin supplement that we had to syringe into her mouth twice a day.
Within a few days, there was clearly an improvement in Loki’s sleeping cycle. The patches of missing fur on her back started filling out, and she was exploring more around the house when she was awake.
Is Melatonin Dangerous to Cats?
You should always seek the advice of a vet or another qualified animal health professional before giving your cat melatonin. It is however deemed safe when used correctly, and there are some melatonin supplements you can buy over-the-counter.
If your vet has given you the go ahead to give your cat melatonin, stick to the recommended dosage and other instructions provided with the melatonin product you’re using and your cat will be fine.
It’s important to note that you cannot use human melatonin for cats. Products designed for human use is far too strong, you should only give you cat products specially formulated and designed for cats.
Here are two of the best melatonin supplements for cats I was able to find:
Melatonin Supplements for Cats
NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid with Melatonin
This product from NaturVet has been specially formulated to help calm cats that are stressed or anxious, or about to be subjected to travel, fireworks, and other things that will stress them out.
It has a blend of Thiamine and L-Tryptophan, which are known to help reduce stress. Ginger to help ease stomach issues, and melatonin to give them that natural sedative effect.
I’ve read through a lot of customer feedback on this product. These chewables have helped owners calm anxious cats, reduce aggressive behavior, made traveling easier, and most importantly, helped induce natural sleeping cycles.
There has been some feedback that some cats do not like the taste and won’t eat them. That’s to be expected with any chewable food you’re trying to get a cat to eat.
Plus, results do vary. Which is also to be expected. But overall, the feedback is positive and I think it’s worth giving these a go if you want to give your cat some melatonin.
Click Here to Check Price on Amazon
Healthy Pets Mela-Vet Melatonin Soft Chews
This melatonin supplement from Healthy Pets is for both cats and dogs. It helps restore hair loss and support normal hair function, so perfect if your cat is experiencing hair loss.
It will also help with all the other known effects of giving your pet a melatonin supplement. Such as easing stressful situations, reducing anxiety, helping them sleep, and so on.
Reading through all the marketing information and feedback from owners, this product is probably a better choice over the NaturVet chewables if your cat is showing physical symptoms of hair loss.
Click Here to Check Price on Amazon
In Summary – What Does Melatonin Do for Cats?
Melatonin supplements for cats are primarily used as sleep aids for cats. It’s also used to treat some other health and behavioral issues, such as:
- Hair loss, either from a health condition like alopecia or as a result of some kind of stress
- General sleeping disorders
- Behavioral issues such as aggressive behavior
- Separation anxiety
- In preparation for a stressful situation, such as fireworks, long-distance travel, and so on.
I know of a few specific situations where a melatonin supplement helped. I mentioned my own experience above with a cat that was struggling to settle into our new home.
I also had a friend who was at her whits’ end with her cat roaming around at night with a toy in her mouth yowling. She solved this specific problem using melatonin supplements to calm her cat down and change this behavior.
It’s certainly one of the easier and safer remedies to help cats with certain issues. I showed you some chewable products above, there are also sprays that work as well.
As always, it’s best to discuss your individual situation and the health and age of your cat with your vet before going ahead. They might raise some pointers you wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of.