Skip to main content

Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company.

Improve cat’s appetite without pills

In this blog, Dr. Lee discusses the use of a transdermal ointment to help increase a chronically ill cat’s appetite without pills.

Improve cat’s appetite without pills

Q: My elderly cat Tango doesn’t eat much because of his chronic kidney disease, so he’s losing weight. His veterinarian prescribed part of a mirtazapine tablet every three days, but he refuses to take it, whether I use a pet piller, wrap the pill in a treat or hide it in his food. Now what?

A: Ask your veterinarian about Mirataz, a transdermal mirtazapine ointment recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Mirataz is easy to apply to Tango’s ear flaps, where it is absorbed through the skin. Once a day, put on disposable gloves, squeeze the ointment onto your finger, and rub it on Tango’s inner ear flap. Remove and dispose of the gloves, and wash your hands. It’s that easy.

Leave Tango alone for two hours to allow the medication to be absorbed so you are not exposed. The following day, apply the medication to the other ear.

Research shows that Mirataz is safe for cats and effective at increasing appetite and weight. In a study of cats with weight loss due to chronic kidney disease, vomiting or hyperthyroidism, cats gained an average 3.9 percent of their body weight in the first week, equivalent to six pounds for a 150-pound human. Cats that received the inactive placebo gained only 0.4 percent.

Editor’s Note: As cats age, they can develop chronic illnesses like kidney disease. Dr. Lee discusses the benefits of administering fluid therapy to a cat living with chronic kidney disease.

Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at

Pattern Blue

by you

Design your pet’s plan in less than 60 seconds!

medium sized cat illustration
medium sized cat illustration
Cat illustration
Cat illustration
Cat illustration
Your Pet's Type
  • Instagram logo
  • facebook
  • tiktok
  • Twitter

No one is permitted to sell, solicit or negotiate an insurance policy without a producer license in the state in which the plan is sold, and all prospects should be directed to Figo Pet Insurance. The information contained in this website is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions (including pre-existing conditions), and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to each state’s approval and coverage may vary by state. Coverage underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (IAIC), a Delaware Insurance Company, 11333 North Scottsdale Road Suite 160 Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Live Vet and the Figo Pet Cloud are separate non-insurance services unaffiliated with IAIC. Figo Pet Insurance's California license number is 0K02763. Figo Pet Insurance LLC is duly authorized to transact insurance in Puerto Rico (NPN: 16841904) in property, casualty, disability, health services, and life.

Copyright © 2015-2023 Figo Pet Insurance LLC. All rights reserved

Chat with an Expert