Use of clomipramine in the treatment of anxiety-related and obsessive-compulsive disorders in cats

Aust Vet J. 1998 May;76(5):317-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-0813.1998.tb12353.x.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of a treatment protocol for anxiety-related and obsessive-compulsive disorders in cats.

Design: A study was undertaken to assess the clinical response in cats diagnosed with anxiety-related or obsessive-compulsive disorders to a treatment regimen that included clomipramine and behaviour modification.

Procedure: The study group of 11 cats was acquired through referral. A detailed behavioural and clinical history was obtained. Presenting signs were urine spraying in seven cases, overgrooming in three and excessive vocalisation in one. Clomipramine was administered orally once daily. The mean starting dose was 0.4 mg/kg. If necessary, the dose was adjusted according to the clinical response of each cat. A behaviour modification program was designed and the owner instructed on its implementation. Cats were to continue on medication for at least 1 month after clinical signs disappeared, then medication withdrawal was to be attempted by decreasing the clomipramine dose progressively at weekly intervals while the behaviour modification program continued.

Results: In all cases the presenting clinical sign was largely improved or disappeared. One cat was removed from the study by the owner. Four cats became lethargic at higher doses, but this resolved when the clomipramine dose was reduced. The average maintenance dosage was 0.3 mg/kg once daily. Clomipramine withdrawal was attempted in two cases: the behaviour returned in one case and the medication was reinstated at 0.3 mg/kg twice daily.

Conclusion: Clomipramine was effective in controlling the signs of anxiety-related and obsessive-compulsive disorders in 10 of 10 assessable cases when used in combination with behaviour modification. Clomipramine was well tolerated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cat Diseases / psychology
  • Cat Diseases / therapy
  • Cats
  • Clomipramine / pharmacology
  • Clomipramine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Grooming
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy
  • Self Mutilation
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Territoriality
  • Vocalization, Animal


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Clomipramine