Cat Behaviour – Zylkene

The Natural Way to Treat Animal Behavioural Problems Associated with Stress

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Zylkene is a food supplement made from a protein found in milk. The active ingredient is a peptide (a simple protein molecule) which is able to bind temporarily to certain receptors in the brain. This has a calming influence which is similar in some ways to tranquiliser drugs such as diazepam (Valium), but without the side effects.
Zylkene has been clinically proven to help relieve anxiety and stress in dogs and cats. In fact it is so successful they have now brought out a new human version called Equilibrium in Boots pharmacies.
It is supplied in 3 different sizes of capsule: Zylkene 75mg, Zylkene 225mg and Zylkene 450mg, chosen according to the weight of the animal to be treated. Tablets are given once a day and are easy to give: they can be given whole or opened and sprinkled onto food (either wet or dry food). They taste milk-y, so are highly palatable and most animals take them well.

Zylkene Dosage:

Cat weighing <5Kg

1 x Zylkene 75mg Capsule daily

Large Cat / Small dog weighing <10Kg

2 x Zylkene 75mg Capsules daily

Dogs weighing between 10kg & 20Kg

1 x Zylkene 225mg Capsule daily

Dogs weighing between 20Kg & 40Kg

1 x Zylkene 450mg Capsule daily

Dogs weighing over 40Kg

2 x Zylkene 450mg Capsules daily

Zylkene can be used short term or longer term:

  • SHORT TERM: Zylkène supplementation should be started a few days before required. For example, several days before fireworks are anticipated or several days before the suitcase comes out for holiday packing.
  • LONG TERM: Zylkène should be given for at least 1-2 months, if not longer. Examples include the arrival of a new baby.
  • Stress is very common in both cats and dogs, and particularly in cats, but unfortunately often goes unnoticed. Whilst Zylkene is extremely helpful, it is important that it is used as part of a multifactorial approach to stress reduction. The environment has a huge impact on stress and anxiety in cats, and you will need to address this alongside using medications. In comparison, the owner has a larger effect than the environment in anxiety in dogs.

 Common causes of stress include:

- Moving house

- Arrival of a new baby or a new pet into the home

- A new cat moving into the neighbourhood

- Sudden noise e.g. fireworks or thunderstorms (please see our full article on Fireworks and Noise Phobias)

- Cattery or kennel stay

- Living with other cats (even siblings) – believe it or not, many cats find this stressful


Dogs and cats obviously cannot tell us how they are coping, but they can alter their behaviour.

There are many different ways pets can show stress including:

- Posture changes e.g. crouching, dilated pupils

- Vocalisation – particularly in dogs

- Changed demeanour

- House soiling (particularly urination in abnormal places or straining in cats)

- Changes use of their environment e.g. changed resting place, reduced exploration or stopping visiting a certain part of the house

- Changes in pattern of sleeping

- Habits such as excessive licking and grooming (which you may notice, or you may only notice the evidence – hair on the floor or hair loss on your pet)

- Reduced play

- Changed interaction with humans or other pets – can be increased or decreased

- Withdrawal behaviours (hiding more or resting on a higher surface e.g. top of wardrobe rather than a chair)

Note: some behaviours which you may consider destructive are in fact normal – for example, in cats if your cat scratches a lot bear in mind that this is a NORMAL behaviour, and you should try to accommodate for the behaviour with scratching posts around the house as outlets, so that you don’t find your carpets or furniture ruined!


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