Compounding Medication: Is It Right For Your Cat?

compounding medicationHave you had to try to give your cat medication, only to end up scratched, stressed and your cat still not medicated?  If so, compounding medication may be the answer.

The July 2013 issue of the Catnip newsletter, published by the Cummings School of Medicine at Tufts University, provided some insight into reasons for compounding medications for cats.  One reason is that the medication necessary may not be available in a veterinary formula.  The other reason is what I stated above.  Even though the medication is available is pill form, cat guardians may not be able to successfully administer it to their cat.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing compounding medication is there is no governing agency that monitors quality standards of compounded formulas, as the USDA does for mass-produced drugs.  Compounding operations must adhere to state standards set by regulatory agencies in their state of operation.

Compounded medications are filled by pharmacies qualified to devise the medications according veterinarian’s prescriptions.  These pharmacies are members of a professional organization called the Professional Compounding Centers of America.  Membership is nearly 4000 pharmacists, and for more information, go to

The biggest risk tied to compounding medications is the compound may contain too much or too little of a certain drug.  There is no check in place to monitor potency of a drug once its form is changed to make it work for compounding.  For example, an unstable drug may be added to a compounding liquid and lose its potency, thus making the compounded version ineffective.

Although the compounding process isn’t flawless, it does provide relieve to increasing numbers of felines and their guardians.  I used a compounded formula of a thyroid medication for my cat Bo, and it worked great.  Compounded formulas are quite costly because they are manually developed, but the benefits for cats are a definite plus in my opinion.


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Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.