Zylkene for cats
Just like people, animals experience stress and anxiety.
Cats can feel stressed or anxious by lots of different events or changes in their environment. This could include:
- a trip to the vet or groomer
- moving to a new house
- visitors or people staying overnight
- a stay in the cattery
- thunderstorms or fireworks
- a new pet or baby
- loud or sudden noises
- a change in the furniture.
Cats are notoriously bad at dealing with changes in their environment. They hide their anxiety as much as possible, but you might notice destructive or anxiety-related behaviors, such as:
- hiding or shyness
- changes in litterbox activity
- urination in strange places
- increased miaowing or unusual noises
- more scratching.
You can now buy a range of drugs, pheromone products and nutraceuticals that can help your cat relax and adapt better to stress in their environment.
You’ve probably heard of options like Adaptil and Feliway, as well as Valium (diazepam) which can be used for pets as well as people (but please, speak with your vet - never dose your animal yourself or you.
Zylkene is another product you can consider to help your pussin.
What is zylkene?
Zylkene is a nutraceutical, meaning it’s a product that is derived from food sources.
Nutraceuticals have health benefits that go beyond just the nutritional value of the food, and they can be used to help promote your pet’s good health and wellbeing.
In this case, zylkene is derived from a protein in milk called casein. The active ingredient in zylkene is alpha-casozepine. Casein is thought to be the ingredient in milk that makes babies feel relaxed and calm after they have nursed from their mothers.
Zylkene could be a good all-natural nutraceutical product that can help treat your pussin’s fear and anxiety issues, instead of using a drug.
Because zylkene is a nutraceutical and not a drug, you can buy it over the counter or online and you don’t need a prescription.
Is zylkene safe?
Zylkene is an all-natural, non-sedating nutritional supplement.
Zylkene has been assessed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and classified as food, and given the status GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).
It’s also been tested and proven safe and effective in clinical studies on both animals (including rats, cats and dogs) as well as humans.
A 2007 study by Beata et al trialled alpha-casozepine on cats to treat their anxiety. Over 8 weeks, 34 cats were tested against a placebo, meaning that some cats received the product and others didn’t.
The study showed that the cats who received the product showed an improvement in fearful behaviors.
This demonstrated that alpha-casozepine can be successful in treating cats with anxiety caused by stressful situations.
How do you use zylkene?
Zylkene can be used short-term - for a few days to a week - , or long-term.
In a situation where the case of stress is going to be prolonged, such as a new baby arriving, you can give zylkene for a minimum of 4-8 weeks or even longer if you need to.
Zylkene is produced in capsules and it’s water soluble. This means you can either give your pet the capsule, or open it and mix it into their food. It should be given once a day.
If you know there is going to be a stressful event that your cat might react to – say, fireworks, visitors, a new baby or an upcoming stay in a cattery – then you should start supplementing their diet with zylkene a few days before that event.
Cats are sensitive, perceptive creatures, and they’ll often notice subtle changes in your own behavior before an event like this. You’ve seen this action – think about how your cat responds when you get the suitcase out! You haven’t actually gone away yet, but they know what the suitcase means.
Giving Zylkene in advance can help calm your pet when they pick up on this kind of behavioral cue from you.
What dosage of zylkene should you use?
Zylkene comes in capsules in a range of sizes:
- 75mg – small dogs and cats
- 225mg – medium dogs
- 450mg – large dogs
The minimum effective doze is 15mg per kilogram (around 7mg per pound).
Here are the following dosage recommendations:
- Cat weighing less than 5Kg 1 x Zylkene 75mg Capsule daily
- Large cat weighing less than 10Kg 2 x Zylkene 75mg Capsules daily
You might find you need to increase or decrease the dose depending on how your cat responds.
You can’t really overdose your cat as zylkene is a natural product, but of course you should always stick to the recommended dose. Some owners have reported their kitty swallowing much more zylkene than recommended, without any adverse effects.
Here are some options you can consider for zylkene as part of a stress-reduction program for your pussin:
- Vetoquinol Zylkene 75 mg 14-capsule blister pack
- Vetoquinol Zylkene 75mg 30 capsules
- Veotquinol Zylkene 75 mg 120 capsules
Does zylkene have any side-effects?
There haven’t been any reported side effects of zylkene in the clinical studies that have been conducted on cats and dogs. It’s non-addictive, non-sedating, and doesn’t have any known drug interactions.
Zylkene doesn’t have any lactose, even though it’s derived from milk. It does have hydrolyzed casein in it though, so if your kitty is allergic to cow milk products, they might not tolerate zylkene well.
Some mild gastrointestinal effects such as soft poop have occasionally been reported from animal owners. These tend to resolve on their own. If you see your pussin experiencing this after you’ve given them zylkene, you can reduce the dose to see if that helps make a difference.
Remember that zylkene isn’t a magic cure-all
It’s important to remember that while a natural supplement like zylkene can help manage the symptoms of stress in your cat, it isn’t a magic bullet.
When an animal experiences stress on a regular basis, or continually, the root cause of the stress should be addressed. It’s not responsible to let your pet suffer in circumstances or an environment that isn’t good for them.