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Research Note: Feline Appetite Stimulation with Gabapentin or Mirtazapine


|September 2021

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This double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effect of gabapentin on appetite in healthy hospitalized cats following ovariectomy. Sixty cats received gabapentin (5 mg/kg PO), mirtazapine (1.88 mg/cat PO), or placebo. Food was offered 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-hours postoperation, and intake was measured. Cats given either gabapentin or mirtazapine began eating as early as 2-hours postoperation and consumed significantly more food over 8 hours than the control group. There was no significant difference in total food intake between cats given gabapentin or mirtazapine. Although there was no significant difference between groups in pain scores measured 6-hours postoperation, a connection between the analgesic effect of gabapentin and appetite could not be ruled out. These results suggest gabapentin and mirtazapine produce similar effects on appetite.


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