The behaviour of healthy awake cats following intravenous and intramuscular administration of midazolam

Jan Ilkiw, C. M. Suter, Thomas B Farver, D. McNeal, Eugene Steffey

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47 Scopus citations


The onset of action and behavioural effects following intravenous (i.v.) and intramuscular (i.m.) administration of 0.05, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 5.0 mg/kg of midazolam were studied for 2 h in 20 awake, healthy cats. All cats, except one that received 0.05 mg/kg i.m., showed effects of the drug, whereas no effects were observed in cats administered only the vehicle in which midazolam was dissolved. The onset of action was rapid following both i.v. and i.m. administration, some cats became ataxic, while others assumed positions of sternal or lateral recumbency. Even after administration of the highest dose (5.0 mg/kg), anaesthesia was not induced, with swallowing reflexes and conscious perception of a clamp placed on the tail still present in all cats. An abnormal arousal state was observed in many cats after administration of midazolam. During the first hour, restlessness was more commonly observed, while from 1 to 2 h, sedation was more prominent in cats that received the highest dose. Ataxia occurred in all but one cat, was short-lived in cats that received the lower doses, but still present at 2 h in all cats that received 2.0 and 5.0 mg/kg. Midazolam caused some of the cats to behave differently when approached and restrained compared with behavioural patterns identified prior to administration of the drug. The cats were more likely to behave abnormally following i.v., administration rather than i.m. administration and, for the most part, abnormal behaviour was equally distributed between the two extremes; cats being easier to approach and restrain and cats being more difficult to approach and restrain. Food consumption increased significantly, during the 2 h period, following all i.m. doses and all but the highest (5.0 mg/kg) i.v. dose, with most of the food being consumed in the first hour after administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • veterinary(all)


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