Senvelgo® for Cats

Published Feb. 21, 2024
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PetMD’s medications content was written and reviewed by veterinary professionals to answer your most common questions about how medications function, their side effects, and what species they are prescribed for. This content shouldn’t take the place of advice by your vet.

What Is Senvelgo® for Cats?

Senvelgo® (active ingredient velagliflozin) is an FDA-approved prescription veterinary medication used for the management of diabetes mellitus in cats. Senvelgo® is used to treat newly diagnosed diabetes in cats that are otherwise healthy and have never been treated with insulin before.

Your veterinarian will carefully screen your cat to determine whether this medication is right for them.

Senvelgo® is available for cats as an oral solution. It is not used in other animals or humans. A generic formulation of Senvelgo® is not available at the time of this publication, only the brand formulation is available through a veterinary prescription.

In cats that continue to have poor glucose regulation after four weeks of treatment with Senvelgo®, your veterinarian may recommend discontinuing Senvelgo® and starting insulin treatment.

Senvelgo® Considerations in Cats

Senvelgo® should only be used in cats who are alert, active, eating, drinking, and feeling well. Senvelgo® should not be used in sick cats who are not eating, dehydrated, lethargic, or underweight with muscle atrophy.

Senvelgo® should also not be used in cats with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), pancreatitis, chronic diarrhea, diarrhea that is not responding to treatment, and in cats with certain elevated liver and kidney levels. Senvelgo® should be used with caution in cats with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).

It is important to note that the safety and effectiveness of Senvelgo® had not been studied in breeding, pregnant, and nursing cats or in cats with chronic kidney disease or in cats with more advanced chronic kidney disease (Stages 3 and 4) at the time of this publication.

Treatment with Senvelgo® requires very close monitoring and supervision by your veterinarian. Before and during your cat’s treatment, your vet will perform blood and urine tests to screen them for underlying and acquired medical conditions that could increase their risk of diabetic ketoacidosis and to monitor how well your cat’s diabetes is responding to the medication.

If your cat is sick or develops diabetic ketoacidosis, your veterinarian may discontinue Senvelgo® and start insulin therapy.

Giving Senvelgo® with certain medications can result in health risks to your cat, so it is important to discuss your cat’s medications, including vitamins and supplements, and medical conditions with your veterinarian.

How Senvelgo® Works in Cats

Senvelgo® is classified as an SGLT2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter 2) inhibitor. Senvelgo® decreases blood glucose levels (blood sugar) in diabetic cats by blocking the absorption of glucose from the kidneys. This causes the extra glucose due to diabetes to be excreted into the urine instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream, thereby causing blood glucose levels to normalize.

Senvelgo Directions® for Cats

Follow the directions on the drug label or as provided by your veterinarian.

Generally, your veterinarian will instruct you to give this medication at approximately the same time daily, directly in the mouth or on top of a small amount of wet food. Do not mix this medication into the food.

If your cat is having surgery or their appetite is decreased for any reason, your veterinarian may advise you to temporarily discontinue Senvelgo®.

Missed a Dose?

Speak with your veterinarian about what to do if you forget to give a dose of Senvelgo®. Generally, they may instruct you to give it when you remember, or if it is almost time for your pet’s next dose, to skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not give extra or double doses.

Possible Side Effects of Senvelgo® in Cats

The most common side effects of Senvelgo® in cats include:

  • Gastrointestinal upset (soft stool or diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite)

  • Weight loss

  • Increased thirst

  • Increased urination

  • Elevated BUN kidney level

  • Hypersalivation (drooling) or gagging

  • Dehydration

  • Decreased energy level (lethargy)

If your cat becomes ill or is experiencing these symptoms, stop giving Senvelgo® and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to have them evaluated.

You may see some effects of this medication for two to three days after it has been discontinued.

Human Side Effects

This medication is not used in human medicine. Wash hands after use. Avoid contact with eyes, as this medication may cause mild eye irritation.

If you accidentally ingest a pet medication or if this medication accidentally gets into your eyes, call your physician or the national Poison Control Center hotline at 800-222-1222.

Call Your Vet If:

  • Severe side effects are seen (see above)

  • Your pet’s condition worsens or does not improve with treatment

  • You see or suspect an overdose

  • You have additional questions or concerns about the use of Senvelgo®

Senvelgo® Overdose Information for Cats

An overdose of Senvelgo® is unlikely to cause toxicity. Large overdoses given over long periods of time may result in gastrointestinal upset and liver changes.

If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control center. Consultation fees often apply.

Pet Poison Helpline  855-764-7661

ASPCA Animal Poison Control  888-426-4435

Senvelgo® Storage for Cats

Always confirm storage requirements by reading the prescription label.

Senvelgo® should be stored at controlled temperatures at or below 77 F, with brief periods  as high as 104 F permitted. Keep the container tightly closed in order to protect the medicine from moisture and light.

After administration, the syringe should be cleaned with a clean, dry cloth if needed.

Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Senvelgo® FAQs

How long does it take for Senvelgo® to work in cats?

Senvelgo® starts working in cats within 30 minutes of administration, but it may take several days for your cat to start feeling better. Most cats show improvement in their diabetes symptoms within the first 30 days of treatment.

No vet writer or qualified reviewer has received any compensation from the manufacturer of the medication as part of creating this article. All content contained in this article is sourced from public sources or the manufacturer.


Hoenig M, Clark M, Schaeffer D, Reiche D. Effects of the sodium‐glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor velagliflozin, a new drug with therapeutic potential to treat diabetes in cats. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2018;41(2):266–273.


Molly Price, DVM


Molly Price, DVM


Dr. Molly Price has practiced small animal medicine for over 20 years and is a graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. She...

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