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overly affectionate from indifferent cat

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all -

We are the proud parents of 4 cats. We have had our cats for about 15 years, and that is the age of our oldest.

The cat that I am curious about today is about 10 years old. He is a neutered male, and was a street kitten before being lured into our friends apartment with food. He was clearly abused in some way since he is very skittish and does NOT like men at all.

He has always been somewhat affectionate to me, but not strongly so. He would tolerate my pets when I could sneak up on him and not scare him away. He has bonded very strongly with another of our cats, and the two of them are frequently found curled up together, mutually grooming.

We moved residences about 10 months ago. Since that time, he has had potty issues, which we are dealing with. We believe that he is in pain - we took him to the vet, and discovered he has a fused vertebra from arthritis.

The biggest change, which I find so striking, has been his levels of affection towards me. He will come out of the back when I am sitting at the table, and rub my legs. If I am laying on the bed, he jumps up (actually, he climbs paw over paw since jumping hurts him too much) and demands attention. This has only started in the last 2 months or so.

It is getting a little out of hand (although I am very honored!) and is really making me worried that something is wrong with him. (One of our other cats was ill, but we weren't aware of it - she was in renal failure, and the only outward symptom was that she was hiding a lot and being very affectionate. She eventually died.)

Does anyone have any idea why he has gone from pretty indifferent to being a love bug?? Should I be more concerned about his health? Or is this just something I should be grateful for???

Thanks for your help and advice!
post #2 of 9
Maybe silly, but have you recently stopped using some kind of e.g. shampoo or hand lotion or ciggies? It's the kind of thing they pick up on really fast.
post #3 of 9
Poor kitty, arthritis is awful
Has your vet suggested anything to help him with pain? Also you may want to watch weather changes, fronts moving in, high humidity and even winter itself causes more pain in people.
They make heated pet beds that would probably feel good to him. And I'm sure you've seen the commercials for pet stairs - maybe something like that would help him get up on the bed?

That aside, since you know he has health problems a vet visit wouldn't be a bad idea. At the very least you could see how his back is doing (if it's progressed up the spine any) and ask the vet if there's anything that could help him a bit.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
[quote=strange_wings;2052741]Poor kitty, arthritis is awful
Has your vet suggested anything to help him with pain? Also you may want to watch weather changes, fronts moving in, high humidity and even winter itself causes more pain in people.
QUOTE]

Yes, we have been giving him cosequin in his food - it's supposed to help with joints. He also has arthritis in his knee.

There are 2 other medications that we tried giving him (an anti-inflammatory and 1 for pain), but it broke my heart chasing him around trying to catch him while he tried to run limping away. It seemed that the cure was worse than leaving him alone. Not to mention that it made him sooo afraid of us whenever we came near - he lived in terror of us for those few days we tried it. Its bad enough getting him his monthly Advantage!

Yes, the weather is definitely a factor - we used to keep our litter boxes outside (we have a "cat corral" where we put them and use a doggie door) but when he first started having potty problems, we thought it was because it was too cold outside for him to go. (We live in southern california, so cold is maybe low 60s for us.) Actually, he goes out there all the time to chatter at the birds and swat the bushes.

We're due for a followup for him at the vet, so certainly we will ask. I just wasn't sure if I was being overly paranoid about his change in behavior or what!

Thanks for your suggestions and comments!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
Maybe silly, but have you recently stopped using some kind of e.g. shampoo or hand lotion or ciggies? It's the kind of thing they pick up on really fast.
This is a really great suggestion. But unfortunately, I can't think of anything I've changed! I am as much a creature of habit as a cat and rarely change my laundry detergent, lotions etc.

I will ruminate further ... thanks for the idea! It would be a relief if it were something so obvious and nothing sinister at all!
post #6 of 9
Is it possible that cats know when we have brought them to the vet to help them? Perhaps that is the case and he is very thankful for trying to help his arthritis?

A long shot I know. I like to think they know
post #7 of 9
One of my cats (a rescue) was very skittish the first year and a half I had him. I could pet him for about a second before he ran away. Suddenly, one day, he presented himself for a "scritching" session and I could almost see the gears shift in his head where he went from "RUN!" to "Hey, this is kind of nice." Since then he looooves to be scritched -- unfortunately, mostly at bedtime so I'm always up at least a good fifteen minutes longer than I plan to be. He's never been comfortable being picked up or sitting on my lap, so it may be he feels less "trapped" and vulnerable when I'm lying down.


But it still doesn't hurt to have the vet check him.

And I know, it's so frustrating that they don't let on that they don't feel well, sometimes until it's too late.
post #8 of 9
If he's a senior cat, that could be responsible for the personality change. My family had a cat who became much more affectionate, mellow and snuggly in his old age.

Does he tend to rub your legs when he wants food? If so, maybe he's wanting more to eat. Have you changed his diet or the amount you fed him since the move?
post #9 of 9
Sounds like the poor guy is dealing with a lot of stresses; the move, not feeling well, and it's tough for strays and change.

I think he's seeking comfort from you. I'm sure you'll do all you can.

It's like that old joke; "Everything's been fine up to now!"
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