New Drug for Cats Battling Weight Loss

Even cats with chronic kidney disease may find help

A new FDA-approved medication called Elura (capromorelin oral solution) may make the battle to put weight on your older or ill cat a bit easier. This is the first weight loss drug for cats that is specifically approved for cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) as well as healthy cats. Capromorelin is a ghrelin receptor agonist known to increase appetite and weight gain and is approved as Entyce for appetite stimulation in dogs.

A field study of cats with documented, unintended weight loss, and a history of CKD showed that cats given Elura gained weight, while cats in the control group lost weight. Although enrolled cats were in stable clinical condition, most had a variety of other conditions in addition to CKD, including hyperthyroidism and hypertension, which were managed with medications.

The second study used healthy cats and treated them with normal or excess doses of Elura for six months to watch for side effects. All the cats gained weight even though some had bouts of increased salivation and vomiting. Male cats were more likely to show side effects, for reasons that are currently unclear. Further studies are needed to verify this finding and to identify its potential cause. A third study in eight healthy juvenile male neutered cats was done to provide information on the drug’s effects on the cardiovascular system and blood glucose levels. Elura resulted in transient decreases in both heart rate and blood pressure and transient increases in blood glucose. This is a prescription drug, so it must be prescribed by your veterinarian.n