Cat is not sleeping since being on Buprenex

by Franziska Schroeder
(los Angeles)

Hello there!
This site is very informative, thank you!
My cat had surgery on her stomach 36 hours ago. A mammary gland and two masses were removed and I was sent home with her with doses of Buprenex to administer orally every 12 hours, 15ml each dose. Now I think she feels fine, she eats, drinks, uses her box and lets me cuddle her, but she's restless and paces around all day. She hasn't been smelling at all yet! Is there something else I can give her to alleviate the pain and help her sleep?
Thank you for your help!
Franziska and Bailey


Buprenex (buprenorphine) is a very powerful opiate drug. It interacts with the central nervous system to alleviate pain for up to 8 hours, often longer. It is typically given in small doses (less than 1 mL). Are you sure your cat is getting 15 mL doses??? Perhaps it is .15 that you mean.

This powerful drug doesn't take a lot to give pain relief for cats. My cat takes .10 mL twice a day for extreme arthritic pain so I'm hoping that you meant .15 mL It is common for cats to feel a little drowsy with the drug but being restless isn't common so perhaps the dosage of the Buprenex has to be reconsidered by your vet.

The fact that your cat is eating, drinking, using the litter box and is showing affection is positive for a good recovery. However, the restless behavior isn't a typical side effect of Buprenex.

Of course the trauma of surgery and being happy to be home could have something to do with her behavior since it's only been 36 hours and she may settle into a normal routine in another day or so. If not, then double check with your vet about her drug dosage level which may need to be put down to .10 or raised to .20

As for the comment that she's not smelling yet, I didn't really know what you meant. Did you mean she isn't sniffing things in the house? Perhaps being back in her own surroundings is enough for her at this time and she's got enough going on that she doesn't need to investigate further. Just a guess.

I wish you and your recovering kitty the best of luck.

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