Melatonin for Cats: Why, How, and When to Use It for Your Cat’s Wellness

Melatonin for Cats: Why, How, and When to Use It for Your Cat’s Wellness

Melatonin for cats can be a useful tool for adult cats who need some calming support. Check out our guide on how to use melatonin safely for feline health.

If you have a crazy cat on your hands, a fellow pet owner might have recommended melatonin for cats as a strategy to support your kitty’s efforts to chill. But before introducing any new wellness resource to your pet’s life, you need to understand exactly what it is, how it works, the safety implications, and the best way to administer it to your cat. Here is our ultimate guide on melatonin for cats so you can decide if adding this to your routine will promote happiness and health for your feline friend.

What Is Melatonin?

When trying to understand the possibilities and risks associated with a new wellness resource for your cat, it’s important to start with the question of “what.” Let’s look at some basics about melatonin, including:

  • How it’s made
  • The purpose it serves in your cat’s body

Your Cat Makes Melatonin Naturally

Melatonin is a hormone that your cat’s body makes naturally in response to the dark. As with dogs and people, melatonin is secreted from the pineal gland, which is located near the brain. Production of melatonin can be disrupted by excessive levels of blue light (i.e., television screens) during the naturally dark hours. Many other things, such as major life transitions or traumatic events, can also impact your cat’s natural production of melatonin.

The Role of Melatonin in Your Cat’s Body

Melatonin works with other hormones and natural cycles (such as daylight hours) to regulate your cat’s sleep and waking habits. Melatonin has a naturally calming effect, so it not only helps your cat get much-needed sleep, but it also helps them manage their stress levels.

The Benefits of Melatonin for Cats

Melatonin is most often used to support your cat’s response to stress triggers and help them maintain a regular sleep schedule. Some owners have reported it can be useful in keeping a cat more calm during their heat cycles, as well.

Melatonin Can Support a Regular Sleep Schedule

A cat laying it's head down on a carpet and sleeping

Cats spend a third of their lives asleep, so many cat owners might scoff at the idea of needing to support their cat’s regular sleep schedule. However, your cat’s sleeping routine is an incredibly important part of their overall health and if it is disrupted, melatonin can be used to regulate it. This might mean using melatonin to encourage more sleep at night and less during the day (though be careful of disrupting your cat’s crepuscular nature). You might also introduce melatonin to help your cat return to their sleep patterns after a disruption to their life, such as a move or holiday festivities.

Melatonin Can Help Your Cat Manage Stress Responses to Various Triggers

Melatonin can help your cat stay calm in the face of various triggers, from noise to visitors to the barking dog across the street. By maintaining healthy sleep and wake cycles, your cat will be more prepared to deal with any issues that arise in their daily life. Plus, melatonin has a naturally soothing and relaxing effect on your cat.

Can You Use Melatonin for Cats in Heat?

Some people are interested in the use of melatonin for cats in heat because there is some evidence that this resource may suppress heat cycles in female cats. While spaying your pet is the most foolproof way to avoid the mewling and mess of a cat in heat, some owners may want to breed their cat and therefore have to tolerate a few heat cycles.

While we can’t speak to the efficacy of using this resource to suppress natural hormonal cycles, melatonin is likely to calm and relax your cat, which can make the process of heat more bearable for both you and your feline friend. When your cat is getting regular sleep and feeling relaxed, they are less likely to be ferocious and dramatic during their heat.

Is Melatonin Safe for Cats?

Protecting their feline friends is the primary concern for most cat parents, so there are always questions about the safety of melatonin for cats. To ensure that melatonin is safe for your cat, it’s important to understand:

  • Some melatonin products are better than others
  • There are some risks and side effects
  • Melatonin should only be used for adult cats
  • Melatonin is a tool, not a cure
  • Melatonin may interact with other medications

The Right Kind of Melatonin Is Safe for Certain Cats

Not all melatonin supplements are created equal, and not all cats are the same. A reputable, trustworthy melatonin product is likely safe for most adult cats, but it’s important to check the labels and reviews of any product before giving it to your pet.

Cats should never be given human melatonin because it might include ingredients that are not cat-safe. Furthermore, consult your veterinarian before introducing this wellness resource, as your cat might have some kind of condition or issue that makes melatonin inadvisable for them. Generally, a good melatonin product will be safe for an adult cat.

Risks and Side Effects of Melatonin

While melatonin is generally considered safe for adult cats, it’s not without some risks. As with any new wellness resource in your cat’s life, you need to monitor your pet carefully after you introduce melatonin to make sure they aren’t experiencing any negative side effects. Some of the downsides associated with melatonin for cats include drowsiness, itchy skin, appetite changes, stomach trouble, and possibly disorientation. If you notice any of these results after giving melatonin to your cat, cease use immediately and consult your veterinarian.

Melatonin Should Not Be Given to Kittens

Kittens are still growing and developing, and therefore their diet and routine should be kept very simple. A kitten might have an irregular sleep schedule and this is normal. That schedule will regulate as they get older, and their body needs a chance to do this naturally before introducing any additional support like melatonin, which should only be given to cats over 1 year of age.

Melatonin Is a Tool, Not a Cure

Melatonin should be used to support your cat’s existing wellness and prop up a healthy routine. It should not be used as a treatment or cure for an issue your cat is struggling with. Melatonin is not a substitute for a healthy, well-rounded daily routine that includes play, sleep, a proper diet, and regular veterinary visits.

Melatonin Can Interact with Other Medications

It’s very important to consult your pet’s veterinarian before giving the melatonin, in part because this resource can interact with other medications. Melatonin could negate the important health benefits of some medications, or even cause an allergic reaction when combined with certain medications. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you about if and how melatonin will interact with anything else your cat is taking.

How to Give Melatonin to Your Cat Safely

Once you feel confident that melatonin is safe for your cat, you’ll need to consider how to deliver it to your cat. To give melatonin to your cat safely, be sure to:

  • Consult your veterinarian
  • Choose a good product
  • Use the right amount
  • Consider using melatonin with other resources

Consult Your Veterinarian Before Making Changes to Your Cat’s Health Routine

We can’t drill this point home enough: Consult your veterinarian before giving melatonin, or any other wellness resource, to your cat. Your veterinarian has intimate knowledge of your cat’s health conditions, medication routines, and other factors that will influence whether melatonin is a good choice for your kitty. Give them an opportunity to weigh in on when, how, and what kind of melatonin you give to your feline friend.

A cat laying on the ground next to a bottle of paw cbd feline calming hemp oil 150mg unflavored

Choose a Safe and Pet-Specific Melatonin Product

Cats should only consume melatonin for cats, not melatonin made for humans. Read the labels and instructions carefully on any melatonin product you consider buying and read the reviews of the product, as well. Research will be your first line of defense in keeping your cat safe and ensuring that they are consuming a high-quality, effective, safe melatonin product.

Give Your Cat the Right Amount

When you’ve decided to use this calming resource for your kitty, one of your first questions will probably be “How much melatonin should I give my cat?” Using the right amount of melatonin will ensure your cat gets all the benefits and none of the negative side effects.

The amount and regularity of your cat’s melatonin use will depend on several factors, including their size, breed, and personality. It’s always best to start with the smallest recommended amount for your cat’s size because you can increase it as needed according to your pet’s reaction. A trustworthy product will have clear instructions on how to choose the right amount for your cat.

Consider Combining Melatonin with Other Wellness Resources

One of the best things about melatonin is that it can be delivered in combination with other wellness supports for your cat, such as CBD. If you already have an existing CBD routine with your cat, or you’re considering one, check out products that include CBD and melatonin in one easy-to-use tincture. Our Calming CBD Oil for Cats features the relaxing properties of hemp-derived CBD along with soothing melatonin and a calming blend of herbs.

Melatonin for Cats Can Be Safe and Useful

When you’ve considered the risks and possibilities associated with melatonin for cats, as well as the unique health situation of your pet, melatonin might turn out to be a great way to support quality sleep and calmness for your feline friend. If you practice responsible consumerism by carefully researching a melatonin product before buying, and consulting your veterinarian, your cat is likely to reap the benefits of this natural wellness tool.