L-Theanine Dosage for Cats

Posted by Lianne McLeod D.V.M. on

L-Theanine Dosage for Cats

As pet owners, ensuring the well-being of our feline companions is paramount. Cats, known for their independent nature and unique personalities, tend to exhibit stress related behaviour in various situations, impacting their overall quality of life.

In recent years, the use of natural supplements to support feline health has gained attention, with theanine emerging as a promising option.

cat laying down, l theanine

L-theanine, a naturally occurring and unique amino acid primarily found in tea leaves, particularly in green tea, has been studied extensively for its calming effects on humans. However, its potential benefits for cats are also being explored.

Cats are sensitive creatures that can experience stress and anxiety due to factors such as changes in their environment, vet visits, or the presence of unfamiliar people or animals. Stress related signs in cats usually include excessive vocalization, hiding, aggression, inappropriate elimination, or destructive behavior.

Understanding the unique needs of stressed cats and the challenges they may face, pet owners are increasingly seeking natural solutions to support their feline companions' emotional and mental well-being. L-theanine offers a promising avenue in this regard, with its ability to promote calm behavior and decrease anxiety without causing drowsiness.

This article will explore the benefits of L-theanine, safety considerations, side effects, dosage, and administration tips for responsible pet care.

Potential Benefits for Cats

L-theanine offers several potential benefits for cats, including:

Stress Reduction

One of the primary benefits of theanine is its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress related reactions in your feline friend. Theanine helps by increasing the production of calming neurotransmitters, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), without causing sedation. This is particularly beneficial in situations that trigger environmentally induced stress responses in cats, such as car rides, thunderstorms, or introductions to new places.

l-theanine in green tea

Behaviour Modification

Sometimes, cats exhibit stress related emotional signs such as excessive meowing, aggression, or inappropriate elimination, which can be challenging for both the cat and their owner. These behaviours may be triggered or exacerbated by anxiety. L-theanine's calming properties may aid in behavior modification by helping to reduce stress-related behaviors and promoting a desired calming effect in anxious pets.

Improved Cognitive Function

Cognitive decline is a concern in aging cats, leading to issues such as disorientation, decreased activity levels, and changes in behaviour. L-theanine's potential to enhance neurotransmitter activity may support cognitive function in senior cats, potentially slowing down age-related cognitive decline and promoting overall mental well-being.

Facilitating Socialization

Introducing a new cat into a household or helping cats get along with each other can be a challenging process. Cats are territorial animals, and introductions may lead to stress and tension. L-theanine may aid in the socialisation process by promoting relaxation and reducing fear induced aggressiveness, facilitating smoother interactions between cats.

cats socializing with l-theanine

Anxiety Management

Cats may exhibit anxiety in various situations, leading to undesirable behaviours like excessive vocalization, aggression, or hiding. L-theanine's calming effects may help manage anxiety, making it easier for cats to cope with stressful events or changes in their surroundings.

Support during Medical Procedures

Cats often experience stress and anxiety during vet visits or medical procedures. Theanine can be used to help manage this stress, making veterinary experiences less traumatic for the cat and more manageable for the owner.

Non-Sedating Calmness

Unlike some sedative medications, theanine is known for inducing calmness without causing drowsiness. This is advantageous for cat owners looking to help their cat remain calm without affecting their feline's alertness or daily activities.

Safety Considerations when Using L-Theanine

Although theanine is generally considered safe for humans and has a favourable safety profile, it's essential to consider the following safety considerations when using it for cats:


Determining the appropriate dosage of theanine for your cat can be challenging as there is limited research specifically focused on feline dosages. It's crucial to consult with your veterinarian before administering theanine to your cat to determine the correct dosage based on factors such as the cat's weight, age, and overall health.

cats being cute

Quality and Purity

When selecting an L-theanine supplement such as anxitane tablets for your cat, opt for products that are specifically formulated for pets and sourced from reputable manufacturers. Ensure that the supplement contains pure theanine without any unnecessary additives or fillers.

Monitoring for Adverse Effects

Although theanine is generally well-tolerated, some cats may experience side effects such as gastrointestinal upset or lethargy. Monitor your cat closely after administering L-theanine for any signs of adverse reactions, and discontinue use if any concerns arise.

Incorporating L-Theanine into Your Cat's Routine

Consultation with a Veterinarian

Before incorporating theanine into your cat's routine, schedule a consultation with your veterinarian to discuss your cat's specific needs and determine whether theanine is an appropriate option. Your veterinarian can provide personalised recommendations based on your cat's health status and individual circumstances.

check with veterinarian when using l-theanine for cats

Administration Methods

L-theanine supplements for cats are available in various forms, including calming chews, liquid formulations, and powder supplements. Choose a formulation that aligns with your cat's preferences and ease of administration. Some supplements may be mixed with food or water, while others can be administered directly into your cat's mouth.

Consistency and Monitoring

Consistency is key when incorporating theanine into your cat's routine. Follow your veterinarian's recommended dosage instructions and administer the supplement consistently to achieve optimal results. Monitor your cat's response to theanine and adjust the dosage as needed.

Side Effects of L-Theanine

Although theanine is generally considered safe for cats when administered in appropriate doses, there are potential side effects that pet owners should be aware of. These side effects include:

Gastrointestinal Upset

Some cats may experience mild gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea when first introduced to L-theanine supplementation. These symptoms are usually temporary and may subside as the cat's body adjusts to the supplement.


In some cases, cats may exhibit signs of lethargy or increased drowsiness after taking theanine. While L-theanine is known for its calming effects, excessive lethargy or sedation should be monitored and discussed with your veterinarian.

cat being lethargic

Allergic Reactions

Although rare, some cats may have allergic reactions to L-theanine or other ingredients in supplements. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itching, swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing. If you suspect your cat is having an allergic reaction, consult your health professional immediately.

Interaction with Medications

L-theanine may interact with certain medications, including sedatives or drugs that affect neurotransmitter levels. If your cat is currently taking any medications, it's essential to consult with your veterinarian before introducing theanine supplementation to avoid potential drug interactions.

l-theanine, check for medication interractions

L-Theanine Dosage Guidelines

Determining the appropriate dosage of L-theanine for cats can be challenging due to limited research specifically focused on feline dosages. However, below are some general guidelines for L-theanine dosage in cats:

Follow Manufacturer's Recommendations

If you're using a commercial L-theanine supplement such as anxitane tablets, carefully follow the dosage recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Anxitane tablets are a type of pet supplement containing L-theanine as the active ingredient. They are specifically formulated to help manage anxiety and stress-related behaviours in dogs and cats. Dosage instructions are typically based on the weight of the animal and may vary between products.

Start with a Low Dose

When introducing L-theanine to your pet, start with a low dose and gradually increase it if necessary, based on your veterinarian's guidance. This allows you to monitor your pet's response and adjust the dosage as needed.

Monitor for Effects

After administering L-theanine to your pet, monitor them closely for any changes in behaviour, appetite, or overall well-being. If you notice any undesirable manifestations, contact your veterinarian immediately.

cat with stethescope

Consider Body Weight

Dosage recommendations for L-theanine in pets often consider body weight. Typically, dosages are calculated in milligrams per kilogram of body weight. However, the specific dosage range may vary widely, and it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian for personalized recommendations.

Consider Purpose

The intended purpose of giving L-theanine to your pet may also influence the dosage. For example, a higher dosage might be recommended for managing acute stress or anxiety compared to a lower maintenance dose for general well-being.

Adjust for Species

Cats and dogs may have different responses to supplements, including L-theanine. Dosage recommendations may vary between species, so it's essential to follow guidelines specific to your pet's species.

Tips for L-Theanine Administration

Administering L-theanine to cats requires careful attention to ensure proper dosage and effective delivery. Here are some tips for administering theanine to your feline friend:

Consult with a Veterinarian

Before starting theanine supplementation for your cat, consult with your veterinarian to determine if it's appropriate for your cat's specific needs and to receive personalized dosage recommendations.

Choose the Right Formulation

L-theanine supplements for cats come in various forms such as chewable tablets, liquid formulations, or powder supplements. Choose a formulation that aligns with your cat's preferences and ease of administration.

Follow Dosage Recommendations

Follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer of the L-theanine supplement, and adjust the dosage as needed based on your veterinarian's recommendations.

Mix with Food

Some L-theanine supplements for cats can be mixed with food or treats to make administration easier. If your cat is a picky eater, this may be a convenient way to ensure they consume the supplement.

Mix l-theanine with food

Administer Directly

If your cat is not receptive to having the supplement mixed with food, you may need to administer it directly into their mouth. Use a syringe or dropper to gently squirt the liquid supplement into the side of your cat's mouth, allowing them to swallow.

Use Treats or Pill Pockets

For cats who are difficult, consider using pill pockets or hiding the theanine supplement in a treat to mask the taste and texture of the supplement.

Be Patient and Gentle

Administering supplements to cats can be challenging, especially if your feline is not used to taking medications. Be patient, gentle, and calm during the process to minimize stress for your cat.

cute kittens together

Consistency is Key

Consistency is important when administering L-theanine to cats. Follow the recommended dosage instructions and administer the supplement consistently to achieve optimal results.

Monitor Your Cat's Response

After administering L-theanine to your cat, monitor their response closely for any changes in behaviour, appetite, or overall health. If you notice any adverse reactions or concerns, discontinue use and consult with your veterinarian.

Store Properly

Store theanine supplements according to the manufacturer's instructions to ensure potency and effectiveness. Keep the supplements out of reach of pets and children.

The Bottom Line

the bottom line on l-theanine for cats

L-theanine offers a promising natural solution to manage stress related behaviour in cats, addressing a common concern among pet owners. As a naturally occurring amino acid found in green tea, it works by promoting relaxation and reducing stress-related reactions in cats. While research specifically focused on L-theanine supplementation in cats is limited, anecdotal evidence and studies in humans and other animals suggest its potential benefits.

Anxitane tablets, containing L-theanine as one of the active ingredients, provide a convenient and effective option for pet owners looking to address stress-related behaviours in their cats. These chewable tablets offer an attractive alternative for cats exhibiting nervousness or environmentally induced stress, especially in situations such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or visits to the vet.

For environmentally induced stress, where wet food can serve as an additional comfort factor, integrating L-theanine into a cat's routine may contribute to a more relaxed state. However, caution is advised, especially in scenarios such as pregnancy or when dealing with cats with a known history of adverse reactions to supplements. The lack of comprehensive research necessitates a prudent approach, and consultation with a veterinarian is essential before introducing theanine supplements to pregnant animals.

Although there is limited research on theanine for cats, further studies, including prospective trials, are warranted to explore its efficacy, safety, and optimal dosage guidelines thoroughly. By working closely with veterinarians and considering individual pet needs, L-theanine can be integrated into a comprehensive approach to support the emotional well-being of cats, promoting a calmer and happier feline household environment.


  1. Dramard, V., Kern, L., Hofmans, J., Rème, C. A., Nicolas, C. S., Chala, V., & Navarro, C. (2018). Effect of l-theanine tablets in reducing stress-related emotional signs in cats: an open-label field study. Irish veterinary journal, 71, 21. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1186/s13620-018-0130-4

  2. WebMD. (n.d.). Theanine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1053/theanine

  3. Fan Z, Bian Z, Huang H, Liu T, Ren R, Chen X, Zhang X, Wang Y, Deng B, Zhang L. (2023). Dietary strategies for relieving stress in pet dogs and cats. Antioxidants, 12(3), 545. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12030545

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Lianne McLeod, DVM, is a former writer for The Spruce Pets, contributing articles for 11 years. Before Dr. McLeod began writing about pet care, she worked several years in small animal practice. She has written extensively about the care and keeping of exotic pets and pet health care. She now researches water quality and chronic disease at the University of Saskatchewan. Lianne McLeod earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. She also received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Simon Fraser University. She continued her education and received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan. Now, she splits her time between her family, research and writing about pet health for all the animal lovers out there.
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