Cat Can’t Walk After Gabapentin: Symptoms And Treatment

Gabapentin is a commonly prescribed medication for cats that is used to treat neuropathic pain, seizures, and anxiety. While it can be extremely beneficial for many feline ailments, there have been cases where cats experience adverse effects, such as being unable to walk or move properly, after taking Gabapentin. This side effect is alarming for cat owners, and it is important to understand the symptoms and treatment options to provide the best care for a cat experiencing this issue.

In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why cats may lose their ability to walk after taking Gabapentin, common symptoms to look out for, and the various treatment options available for this concerning issue. By understanding the causes and treatments, cat owners can make informed decisions about their pet’s health and well-being.

Cat Can’t Walk After Gabapentin: Symptoms And TreatmentCat Can't Walk After Gabapentin

Gabapentin is a commonly prescribed medication used in humans for the treatment of nerve pain, seizures, and anxiety. However, it has also been used in veterinary medicine to manage chronic pain and anxiety in cats. While this medication can be beneficial for feline patients, there have been reports of cats experiencing side effects such as loss of coordination and difficulty walking after being given Gabapentin.

Symptoms of a cat being unable to walk after receiving Gabapentin may include stumbling, falling, or appearing unsteady on their feet. This can be alarming for cat owners and may cause concern for their pet’s well-being. In severe cases, cats may even become unable to stand or move their hind legs.

The exact reason why cats may experience problems with walking after taking Gabapentin is not fully understood. It is believed that the medication may affect the cat’s central nervous system, disrupting motor control and coordination.

If a cat is experiencing difficulty walking after being given Gabapentin, it is important to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. The veterinarian may recommend discontinuing the use of Gabapentin and switching to a different medication. In some cases, supportive care and physical therapy may also be necessary to help the cat regain their ability to walk.

What Are Gabapentin And What Are Its Uses For Cats?

Gabapentin is a medication that is commonly used in veterinary medicine for the treatment of pain and seizures in cats. It belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants, which work by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Gabapentin is often prescribed for feline patients suffering from conditions such as arthritis, nerve pain, or epilepsy. In some cases, vets may also use gabapentin to help manage anxiety or behavioral issues in cats. 

Can Cats Take Gabapentin?

Yes, cats can take gabapentin, which is a medication commonly used to treat seizures and nerve pain in both humans and animals. Gabapentin works by reducing nerve signals in the brain and is available in both oral and injectable forms. The dose and duration of treatment will vary depending on the condition being treated and the cat’s weight. Side effects of gabapentin in cats are rare but may include drowsiness, loss of coordination, and loss of appetite. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your cat any medication, including gabapentin.

Gabapentin Makes My Cat Hyper

While gabapentin is commonly used to calm anxious cats, some cats may experience the opposite effect. In a small percentage of cats, gabapentin can cause hyperactivity, excessive vocalization, or other signs of excitement. If your cat seems unusually hyperactive after taking gabapentin, talk to your veterinarian. They may recommend a different dosage or medication, or even suggest that you stop giving the medication altogether. Gabapentin is generally safe for most cats, but it’s always important to monitor your pet’s behavior and report any changes to your vet.

How Does Gabapentin Work In Cats?

Gabapentin works by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, altering the release of certain neurotransmitters and reducing the transmission of pain signals. In cats, this can help to reduce anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions that can be triggered by environmental stressors. Gabapentin is thought to work by affecting the level of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which plays a role in regulating mood and emotion. By increasing levels of GABA, gabapentin can help to create a sense of calm and relaxation in cats. Some vets also believe that gabapentin may reduce inflammation, which can help to relieve pain.

What Is The Form Of Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is available in three main forms for use in cats: oral capsules, oral liquid, and transdermal gel. The oral capsules are typically given whole or opened and mixed with food, while the liquid can be given directly into the mouth or mixed with food. The transdermal gel is applied to the inside of the ear flap, where it is absorbed through the skin. The dose and frequency of administration will vary depending on the form of gabapentin and the individual cat’s needs. Gabapentin is typically started at a low dose and gradually increased until the desired effect is achieved.

Gabapentin For Cats: How Long Does It Last?

Gabapentin typically begins to take effect within 30-60 minutes after administration, but the effects may last for up to 12 hours. The exact duration of action will vary depending on the individual cat and the specific dosage. For example, a low dose may only be effective for a few hours, while a higher dose may last for up to 12 hours or more. If your cat seems to be experiencing a resurgence of anxiety or other negative behaviors after the initial effects of gabapentin wear off, talk to your vet about adjusting the dosage or frequency. It may take some trial and error to find the right dose and schedule for your cat.

Gabapentin Cat Side EffectsGAB

Gabapentin is a medication used to treat seizures, nerve pain, and restless leg syndrome. While generally safe and effective, there are potential side effects associated with its use in cats. These include:

  • Drowsiness and lethargy – The most common side effect of gabapentin in cats is drowsiness and lethargy. This can range from mild sleepiness to a deep sedation-like state. This side effect is often seen when the medication is first started or when the dose is increased.
  • Loss of coordination – Due to its effects on the central nervous system, gabapentin can cause cats to experience a loss of coordination. This can manifest as stumbling, wobbling, or difficulty jumping or walking.
  • Increased appetite and weight gain – Some cats may experience an increased appetite and weight gain while taking gabapentin. This is especially common in older cats or those with metabolic disorders.
  • Gastrointestinal upset – Occasionally, cats may experience gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea while taking gabapentin.
  • Behavioral changes – In rare cases, gabapentin may cause changes in a cat’s behavior. This can include increased vocalization, aggression, or restlessness.

Signs of Gabapentin Overdose in Cats

  • Lethargy: One of the first signs of a gabapentin overdose in cats is lethargy. A cat that has overdosed on gabapentin may appear sleepy and lack energy.
  • Loss of coordination: Cats that have overdosed on gabapentin may also experience loss of coordination. They may have difficulty walking or appear unsteady on their feet.
  • Tremors: Tremors or shakes are another common sign of gabapentin overdose in cats. These tremors may affect the entire body or only certain parts, such as the legs or head.
  • Vomiting: Cats may also experience vomiting as a result of a gabapentin overdose. This is the body’s way of trying to rid itself of the excess medication.
  • Dilated pupils: If you notice that your cat’s pupils are dilated and do not seem to respond to changes in light, it could be a sign of gabapentin overdose.
  • Difficulty breathing: Breathing difficulties can be a serious sign of gabapentin overdose in cats. If you notice your cat struggling to breathe, seek immediate veterinary care.
  • Lack of appetite: Cats may also lose their appetite and refuse to eat if they have overdosed on gabapentin. This can lead to weight loss and dehydration if not treated promptly.
  • Changes in heart rate: Gabapentin overdose can also cause changes in heart rate, including an irregular or slow heartbeat. This can be dangerous for cats and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Seizures: In severe cases, a gabapentin overdose can cause seizures in cats. This is a serious condition that requires immediate veterinary care.

Gabapentin for Cats Dosage Chart

The following is a general dosage chart for gabapentin in cats, based on the cat’s weight. However, it’s important to note that every cat is different, and your vet may recommend a different dosage based on your individual cat’s needs. Gabapentin Dosage Chart for Cats: Weight Dosage (mg) 2.5-4.5 lbs 2.5-5 mg 4.6-6.5 lbs 5-10 mg 6.6-9.5 lbs 10-15 mg 9.6-13.5 lbs 15-25 mg 13.6-16.5 lbs 25-35 mg.

SEE ALSO: Why Does My Dog Rub His Face on Me?

How Do You Treat Gabapentin Toxicity In Cats?GAB 2 1

Gabapentin is a medication commonly used in cats to treat seizures, chronic pain, and anxiety. Although it is generally well tolerated, it can lead to toxicity in cats if given in too high of a dose or if the cat has kidney dysfunction. Here are the steps for treating gabapentin toxicity in cats:

  • Stop the medication: The first step in treating gabapentin toxicity is to stop giving the medication to the cat. If the cat is taking gabapentin for a chronic condition, talk to your veterinarian about alternative treatment options.
  • Seek immediate veterinary care: If your cat is showing signs of gabapentin toxicity, such as lethargy, weakness, stumbling, or seizures, it is important to seek immediate veterinary care. This is a medical emergency and prompt treatment could save your cat’s life.
  • Induce vomiting: If the cat has recently ingested gabapentin and is not showing any symptoms yet, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to expel the medication from the cat’s system. This is only effective if the cat has ingested the medication within the past one to two hours.
  • Provide supportive care: Your veterinarian will provide supportive care to help the cat through the effects of the toxicity. This may include administering IV fluids to help flush the medication out of the cat’s system and providing oxygen therapy if the cat is having trouble breathing.
  • Monitor kidney function: Gabapentin toxicity can lead to kidney damage in cats. Your veterinarian will monitor your cat’s kidney function through blood tests and may administer medications or fluids to support kidney function if needed.
  • Manage seizures: If your cat is experiencing seizures, your veterinarian may administer anticonvulsant medication to help control them. They will also monitor the cat’s body temperature and provide supportive care to prevent overheating.
  • Follow-up care: After your cat has been treated for gabapentin toxicity, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to support kidney function or help manage any lingering symptoms. It is important to follow all of their instructions and attend any follow-up appointments.

What Are Alternatives to Gabapentin In Cats?

  • CBD Oil: CBD oil is a natural supplement that has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It can help alleviate pain and discomfort in cats without the potential side effects of gabapentin.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into specific points of the body. It is effective in relieving pain and discomfort in cats.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help improve mobility and reduce pain in cats with chronic conditions. It involves specific exercises and techniques to strengthen muscles, increase the range of motion, and improve overall function.
  • Herbal Supplements: Various herbal supplements can provide pain relief for cats without the potential side effects of gabapentin. Some examples include turmeric, ginger, and devil’s claw.
  • Prescription Pain Medications: In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe alternative pain medications specifically for cats, such as buprenorphine or tramadol. These medications may have fewer side effects than gabapentin and can still effectively manage pain.
  • Laser Therapy: Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-level light to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation. It can be effective in relieving pain in cats with conditions such as arthritis or nerve damage.
  • Joint Supplements: Glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used joint supplements for cats with arthritis. These supplements can help reduce pain and inflammation in the joints and improve mobility.

How To Prevent Your Cat From Getting Gabapentin Side Effects

Cats, like humans, can suffer from pain that needs to be treated with medication. One common medication for pain management in cats is Gabapentin. However, as with any medication, there can be side effects that may cause discomfort or harm to your cat. If you’re considering giving your cat Gabapentin, here are some tips to help prevent potential side effects.

  • Consult with your vet first: Before giving your cat any medication, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet knows your cat’s medical history and can prescribe the proper dosage for your cat’s specific needs.
  • Start with a low dosage: Gabapentin comes in different strengths, and it’s important to start with the lowest dosage possible. This allows you to monitor your cat’s response to the medication and adjust the dosage if needed.
  • Give the medication with food: Giving Gabapentin with food can help prevent stomach upset in your cat. It’s best to give the medication with a small amount of wet food to make sure your cat eats it all.
  • Gradually increase the dosage: If your cat seems to handle the medication well, you may gradually increase the dosage as prescribed by your vet. This will help reduce the chances of side effects occurring.
  • Monitor your cat for side effects: While on Gabapentin, it’s important to monitor your cat for side effects. This may include excessive sedation, loss of coordination, or behavior changes. If you notice any new symptoms or changes in behavior, contact your vet immediately.
  • Don’t suddenly stop giving the medication: If your cat needs to stop taking Gabapentin, it’s important to gradually decrease the dosage under the guidance of your vet. Suddenly stopping the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms and potentially harm your cat.
  • Talk to your vet about possible interactions: Gabapentin may interact with other medications your cat may be taking. It’s important to inform your vet of all the medications your cat is currently taking to avoid any potential interactions.
  • Consider alternative pain management options: If your cat experiences significant side effects from Gabapentin, talk to your vet about alternative pain management options. There may be other medications or treatments that can provide relief for your cat without causing side effects.

SEE ALSO: Male Dog Won’t Leave My Female Dog Alone: Why?


Q. Can gabapentin cause difficulty walking?

A. While gabapentin is generally well-tolerated in cats, some cats may experience side effects such as drowsiness, lack of coordination, and difficulty walking.

Q. What if my cat can’t walk after taking gabapentin?

A. If your cat is having difficulty walking after taking gabapentin, the first step is to contact your vet. They will want to rule out any other possible causes of your cat’s symptoms, such as a stroke, seizure, or other neurological condition.

Q. How long do gabapentin side effects last in cats?

A. The duration of gabapentin side effects in cats can vary depending on the individual cat and the dosage given. However, most side effects should resolve within 24-48 hours after the medication is stopped.

Q. Can gabapentin kill a cat?

A. Gabapentin is generally considered to be a safe medication for cats when used as prescribed by a veterinarian. However, a cat can experience an adverse reaction to the medication, which can be life-threatening in rare cases.

Q. Is gabapentin bad for cats’ kidneys?

A. There is some concern that gabapentin may be harmful to a cat’s kidneys, but the evidence is limited. In some studies, gabapentin has been associated with kidney damage in animals, but it’s not clear if this damage is caused by the medication or by other factors.


In conclusion, gabapentin is a commonly prescribed medication for cats, but it can have adverse side effects such as hind leg weakness and loss of coordination. These symptoms should not be ignored, as they can greatly affect a cat’s quality of life. If your cat is experiencing difficulty walking after taking gabapentin, it is important to consult with your veterinarian and potentially adjust the dosage or switch to a different medication. Management of these symptoms may include physical therapy, supplements, or alternative pain management methods. It is crucial to closely monitor your cat’s response to gabapentin and work closely with your veterinarian to ensure the best possible outcome for your beloved feline.

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