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 Post subject: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:42 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hi all,
I don't know what to do and wonder if anyone else has experienced the same thing.

I have two cats, Oliver and Moliere. I adopted them together in 2006. They have always been together, and they snuggle and groom each other, although they do have the occasional fight - usually play, but sometimes it seems a bit too enthusiastic...

Oliver is a blue/grey, and has always been a bit of a fraidy cat. He doesn't like strangers or loud noises. However he's a mama's boy and LOVES to snuggle. Moliere is a black, brave, laid-back boy who is never bothered by anything, except not enough treats.

Everything was fine yesterday - I came home from work, and they begged for their dinner, and then we had a bit of an after dinner cuddle. But after dinner, Oliver went to the bedroom. I thought maybe he just wanted to sleep undisturbed - a bit unusual, because when I'm home he likes to be near me, but nothing new. If he's tired enough, he'll do that.

But he hid under the bed all evening! Then he wouldn't come to bed at bedtime. I went looking for him and he was in the living room (he retreated there after I took over the bedroom), and he was curled up in a tiny, tense ball! His eyes were all big and wide. He was stressed and scared! So I picked him up and took him to bed. Normally he likes this. But he was so tense! I could feel it in his poor little body. He didn't fight me, and I kept hugging him and talking to him, and he finally managed to relax after about an hour of this. He was stretched out and purring and relaxed. But then he suddenly "remembered" how scared he was, and took off again. I didn't follow him.

This morning I found him in the living room again. He was in the same scared-spot, but he didn't seem as tense. He seemed happy to see me, and nuzzled my face like he usually does. But when I went to put breakfast out, he took off and hid under the bed again. I put his breakfast under the bed and left him alone. He's been there a few hours, and I just checked on him - he's still scared, and he hasn't eaten his breakfast! What could it be? I wish he could tell me.

Moliere seems quite relaxed and normal, so I don't think it's a ghost or anything like that (which occured to me in the middle of the night - plus I recently watched Paranormal State. Brrrr).

I live by myself, and have had no guests recently. I haven't changed anything in the apartment - everything's been normal for months! The heat hasn't been working for 4 days, and it's freezing in here.

I miss Oliver! It breaks my heart to see him so stressed out. What do I do? How can I help him?


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:52 am 
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Memorized Veganomicon

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:58 am
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Maybe he's sick or in pain? Cats can seem really reclusive and nervous when they don't feel well. Is he urinating?

My male cat acted that way (reclusive, tense body, not eating) when he had a urinary tract blockage, which as you might know is a common problem in male cats that is easily treated but which can be fatal or cause permanent damage if not treated quickly. Hopefully it's something less severe, but I'd want to get him to a vet (including an emergency vet if needed) right away if he's been like this for a whole day.

If your interpretation of his behavior is correct and he's really just scared, not sick, then I don't know what to do other than wait, sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:03 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I would guess maybe he's sick, too.

It's also possible that there were some loud noises going on when you were out of the house - construction nearby, neighbors hammering in their apartments, something like that?


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:55 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks all. There is some construction across the street, but it's not extraordinarily noisy. I think he may be in pain after all. I can't think of the last time he used the litterbox (he shares one with Moliere so it's hard to tell), so I called the vet and they advised taking him in, today! Poor little feller. I'll update when i get back this afternoon.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:04 pm 
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The last time my cat acted like that his urinary track was blocked (right on the tip of his penis, poor guy!). He was in bad, bad shape but came out of it okay. A switch in diet and no more problems!

I hope everything goes as well for you. Keep us updated!

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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:02 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
What a day! I took Oliver in the vet. The vet didn't know what was wrong with him. She felt his bladder and urinary tract, and thought a block unlikely (and he peed in his carrier just before we left - likely from him squeezing his bladder. Poor thing had to have a bath before we left!). She didn't think there was anything urgent or chronic going on, but did advise some antibiotics, since he was sick in the spring (respiratory infections) and still had some discharge in the eye. The vet couldn't do bloodwork today, but advised me to get some done if he doesn't improve, later this week.

Since we got home, he's been less afraid. However he's definitely showing some litterbox issues. He pooped in the kitchen to great fanfare (loud meowing), which made me wonder if he's constipated? But his stool looked like normal kitty stool, not dry or excessively hard. And I would think that the vet would have checked for an intestinal blockage, no? She didn't mention anything about that, though. He did eat when we got home, which is good. He wanted petting earlier this evening, but he's definitely not acting normally - still acting kind of freaked out.

It's the middle of the night and I'm tired and not sure what to do! Sigh.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:40 am 
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Memorized Veganomicon

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:58 am
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Hmm, that is sad. It sounds like he might be getting better. Why wouldn't the vet take blood?

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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:46 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The vet wouldn't do bloodwork because the office closes at 3pm on Saturdays, and they squeezed me in at 2:30 as a courtesy. Which was nice but I'll probably have to go back.

The strange behavior continues...he's not lingering far from the food bowl; he seems to have a great deal of anxiety about it. In fact he ate his antibiotics, like I was giving him a snack! If he's constipated, I don't want to give him anymore dry food, though. Plus last night he ate an entire day's worth of dry food, that i usually give to both cats! He's overweight so I don't want him to be doing that. I also give them wet food in the morning and evening - a small amount to increase the moisture in their diet. I tried to switch them exclusively to wet once before, but Ollie peed on some of my things - something he does when the dry food dish stays empty too long, or if he's mad at me. Anyway, I'm going to try switching exclusively to wet food again.

He hasn't gone to the bathroom since he pooped in the kitchen last night. I was wondering if he has some litterbox anxiety, so I took him to the litterbox to show him that I changed out the litter. He sat in the box for a couple of hours, just sitting there! He didn't seem nervous or worried.

Why is he acting this way so suddenly? Sometimes kitties are so mysterious!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Can ride a bike, drink a Blue Sky, and eat some Stonewall's all the same time (bad ass)
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I don't have anything helpful to add but I wanted to say sorry about your kitty. I would definitely go back to the vet for the blood test, just to be sure. Usually when kitties have sudden odd behavior it's because something is wrong with them. We had company over that spooked our cat quite a bit and she acted weird for a day but it didn't last longer than that. So my guess is your kitty is probably not feeling well. Keep us posted! Hopefully it's nothing serious, I'm sending good vibes your way.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:02 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
OK...after some blood tests and some xrays, I found that my little Oliver was SEVERELY constipated!! So he had to have an enema at the vet's - that was Tuesday night. He pooped at the vet, then twice more when we got home. And I must say, it was impressive - I've never seen such enormous kitty #2's in my life! He was pretty much back to himself afterwards, although a little mad at me about our 2 1/2 hour vet visit.

I was wondering over the past couple of months if he was having painful constipation - he made a fuss in the litterbox and I was wondering if he was straining. The vet said that sometimes if a cat has painful defecation for a while, they may just decide to stop going to the bathroom, cause it hurts! So now it's Thursday, and he hasn't pooped since Tuesday night.

Any advice on how to convince a cat to poop? The vet mentioned if this continues, I may have to buy him a laxative.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:11 am 
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Thinks chickens are assholes
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If he's (not too!) lactose intolerant a teaspoon of natural yoghurt might help soften the stool and let him know pooping isn't always going to hurt. Can you get something like peridale granules there? I believe adding puréed pumpkin to their food helps too, something with plenty of fibre. They're a stool bulking agent and can help the poops soak up water so they're not as hard. He's probably tender after the enema and jumbo poops so softening his stool for a couple of days would help him.

ETA: your vet really should have felt the constipation on the physical exam without needing all the other tests! My vet can feel if Angus has any stools waiting to pass when he's getting his abdo exam, he's also able to feel for enlarged kidneys etc manually (CRF kitty).


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:22 am 
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Poor Oliver. I agree with fezza, something to help soften his stool to show him that pooping is not a bad thing would be good. Maybe the vet can give you some sort of stimulant, so he has the urgency to go as well?

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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:48 am 
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pumpkin will help, and for some reason a lot of cats seem to like it. just a tablespoon or so mixed into some wet food should do it, but you can adjust the amount based on the effect it has. there are medications you can try, but this is a fairly cheap and easy fix if it will work for your kitty. i hope he feels better!

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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:10 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I'm glad he's feeling better!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
How's Oliver doing?
When my kitty is constipated, or passing really hard poop there are a few things I do.
I put canned pumpkin in his wet food; 1-2 Tbsp. He loves it!
I add more water than usual to his wet food. He doesn't know how to eat wet food; only laps it up.
I cut back on his dry food, which he hates me for.
I give him Rescue Remedy daily, because he is usually stressed when he is constipated.
I give him Lactulose syrup (stool stoftener). He was prescribed this by a vet a few years back, so I know the dosage to give him. My kitty gets 2cc 2 times a day for 3 days. Then as needed. It is much cheaper to buy it at a pharmacy than through a vet.

I found this dosage info at http://www.vetinfo.com/cmegacol.html

Lactulose is used at approximately 1ml per 10 lbs of body weight three
times a day to start, usually. However, it may take up to 3ml three times
a day in some cats to produce soft moist stools. The goal is to give the
amount of lactulose it takes to get soft moist stools without giving so
much that the cat is uncomfortable due to excessive gas or diarrhea.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:10 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks everyone!!

Oliver had a small, dry poop last night - I was so relieved! But he still needs a little help, so I think I'll try the pumpkin and the milk, before I get into the lactulose. I hope he eats it! He's not too fussy about cat food, but he's not big on people food at all. Anyway, will report back how it turns out.

I'd like to get him off the dry food completely. I tried to stop giving it to him a couple of times, but then he gets mad and pees on something of mine. He holds me hostage by peeing, whenever he's very cross with me. Usually only when I travel, but also about the dry food. Sigh.

I really appreciate all the advice. Who knew cat constipation was such a big problem with so many cats?


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:14 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
BTW: I'm not sure how to post an image in the forum, but here's a link to some pics of my little munchkin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8203197@N0 ... 690758953/

Oh yeah...re: the vet. I know it seemed like a lot of tests. She could feel some poop in his colon, but couldn't tell how much was in there...plus she was wondering if there was some other problem that was making him not poop, like a kidney or pancreas problem. He has a heart murmur and the vet wondered if it was a heart problem not making him feel well generally, which freaked me out. I don't mind doing all the tests myself, because I was imagining all sorts of terrible things, so it's nice to rule them out!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:41 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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He is such a little cutie, and seems to really enjoy his new catnip toy.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:22 am 
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Oh he's such a handsome boy! Hope his improvement is continuing & glad to hear your vet wasn't jut sticking the arm in!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Such a weird coincidence but I have a friend whose cat has a heart condition along with constipation issues. I believe he uses the same remedies as Magpie-Grin and it seems to work for the kitteh. I just wanted to second Magpie's recommendations. Hope kitty cat is feeling better now.

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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:35 am 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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The other thing I forgot to mention, which I started doing last night for my kitty, as he too LOVES his crunchies & is currently passing hard stools, is I add some hot water to his crunchies, stir to make a sauce, and then add more hot water just to cover. I let this sit for a bit allowing the kibble to absorb the water.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:41 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hmm. Magpie-Grin, does he make a fuss about the wet crunchies? Like, your kitty doesn't turn his/her nose up at them?

I'd like to know more about Rescue Remedy too. Ollie has high anxiety - his is pretty skittish at the best of times, a real fraidy cat! I always think about how it must be tough to go through life like that. When we moved into this apartment 3 years ago, he was so scared that he hid in a kitchen cupboard for three weeks! He only came out to eat, poop and to snuggle - then, back into the cupboard. It was so sad! Anyway - I wonder if anxiety is part of his problem. Where you do get Rescue Remedy?

And, is the Lactulose you give your kitty different than the one for humans? You mentioned you can get this at a regular drug store? I've never really looked in the laxatives section, so I'm kinda in the dark about this.

Ollie has been doing OK the past week but yesterday was a bit tough - he hadn't pooped in 2-3 days and started hiding again. He also vomited after breakfast and dinner! I was so worried. I ended up feeding him quite a bit of hairball gel (he likes it), gave him one of the pain killers the vet gave me, and then he pooped and was in a much better mood. But I don't want to go through this every few days!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:23 am 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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I feel your pain, Pekerr. I find I get just as stressed out and upset when my kitty is obviously not his best.

Loki is actually enjoying his moisten crunchies, but it has only been 2-3 days. He is a rather fussy eater, so he might go off them in a bit, who knows. I think it might be a nice balance of moisture to firmness, as they still hold their shape. He also started drinking his water again, and he is having pretty good poops - only a couple of issues with kitty grass (you know, the linked poop thing).

I think I first saw the rescue remedy at the vet's office. I've seen it at London Drugs (do you have those?), it is sold at many health food stores, and I heard that it is available at Loblaws/Super Store. There is one specifically for pets and doesn't contain alcohol. http://www.rescueremedy.com/pets/ Some people say it works for their pets and other say it doesn't. I have found it useful for Loki when he is extra skiddish. If Ollie is on any medications, you should probably check with your vet before giving him rescue remedy.

Is Ollie an indoor kitty? Do you provide kitty grass for him?


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:32 am 
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Cut the kitty grass shorter so he doesn't get to swallow big long bits, not so short that it's stubbly though.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! My cat is suddenly afraid of everything.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:19 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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fezza wrote:
Cut the kitty grass shorter so he doesn't get to swallow big long bits, not so short that it's stubbly though.

That's a good idea. Thanks for the tip.


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