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post #31 of 58
Have you tried just opening the door and walking away and pretending you don't have a cat? I really think that is great advice......
post #32 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
Have you tried just opening the door and walking away and pretending you don't have a cat? I really think that is great advice......
Unfortunately, he'll attack me if I do that. i live in a very tiny city apartment, so it's not like i can go to another floor to be away from him and safe.

I just opened the door to put his bed in there and he hissed at me. I don't think he's going to go back to the way he was with me. I'll have to find him another home, maybe someplace with woods so he can be outdoors but be fed regularly.

I've had other cats get mad at me - for bringing another cat home, for accidentally stepping on their tail, etc., for giving them a pill - but they're usually fine in a short time. He doesn't recognize me as someone he loves any more. He's just got deep-rooted rage from before I knew him and now it's all directed at me.
post #33 of 58
Dear Brokenheart

Please don't give up just yet. You need to give your baby more time.

When the vet came over for the house visit and subsequently your nephew, those visits triggered something in your cat that caused him to be *terribly afraid and to feel threatened*. It's not that the people themselves did something wrong but it sounds like you don't have company over very often and your cat is probably afraid of strangers. If Mac has been severely abused in the past, as has been suggested, that would explain his fear of strangers and his reaction to them.

Right now you're scared of your cat. Very understandable. But try to put yourself in his shoes. When he became afraid of the vet and lashed out at him, in what was in his mind, defending himself from a potential threat, you sided with that potential threat by pulling him away. So then you became not only a potential threat, but a traitor as well, so naturally he attacked you too. Remember I'm thinking from Mac's point of view.

Then you picked him up using a towel and put him in the bedroom. This probably confused him, since, in his mind, he was trying to defend himself. Instead of removing the source of the threat, you removed him.

So now Mac is mad at you. In his mind you broke his trust and he now sees you a threat.

Now, I'm not saying what you did was wrong but I think in the future you have to do things a little differently.

If you take him to a vet now, and this is just my opinion, I believe he will freak out even worse and see you as someone who is trying to put him in harm's way. You said you felt the problem was more mental than physical right now. I think you are right.

Now, to add to the fantastic advice you have been given, especially from Laurie. I would ignore your cat for some time. I would not make eye contact with him, nor would I try to touch him in any way I say this because in one of your posts you mentioned that he let you scratch him on the head but then quickly became aggressive again. You tried to touch him too soon. He needs more time to calm down. He also needs more time to rebuild his trust in you.

There are a few ways you can do this.

First you must calm yourself down and stop being afraid of him. What has happened to him is *not* his fault. He was only, in his mind, trying to defend himself. Stop looking at him as if he is the cat from hell and start looking at him as a victim, and more importantly, as the sweet cat that he was a few short days ago. Cats can see our auras and sense our thoughts and intentions. If you are afraid of him, he can sense it and will react accordingly.

Talk to him! Talk to him constantly!! Doesn't matter where you are in the apt. or where he is, just talk to him. He needs reassurance that he is safe, loved and wanted. Tell him you are sorry, tell him you were only trying to protect him, that you love him, etc. etc. Sure, he may never have forgiven the woman at the shelter but how much of an effort did she make to win him over? So Talk to him, like he is the only best friend you have in the world! Cats are very smart and they can understand a lot of what we tell them.

Like when you have to go into the bedroom. Tell him in advance, "OK Mac, I'm coming in the room now, don't be afraid, I'm just getting my clothes and then I'll be right out." Then go in, don't even look around to see where he is, get your things and get back out. Keep talking to him the whole time Tell him "Mac, I know you and I are buddies, now you know I love you, and I know you love me, so I know you are not going to hurt me and I'm not going to hurt you." Do wear your jacket, just in case, but again, try not to let your fear show. Be confident, think of him of his fear, of what he is going through.

If you can sing, play some soft music, be in a good mood, that way you are creating a good "ambiance" . Keep the tv on low.

And again, let Mac come to you. When he finally does come to you, only then should you try petting him etc.

Don't forget to try the perfume thing that Laurie suggested.

Keep trying the meds in the food and water.

Again don't give up on him just yet It may be that in the end, you don't have a choice, you may have to give him up to the shelter you mentioned. But, as others have mentioned, he has been with you for 3 years and all went well. Based on that alone, that is very very hopeful that given a bit more time, he will return to normal.

It could also be that when you do have someone come over in the future you may have to keep him in the bedroom. But again, I would talk to him then too. Tell him, I have a friend coming over and I don't you to be afraid or upset so I am putting you here, in your safe zone, so that you feel safe and secure.

It's like when I take my cats to the vet, they don't like it, Rascal cries the whole there and back too but I talk to them the whole time. Now it doesn't stop Rascal from crying but I make sure my voice is calm and reassuring. And when it's time for the exam I tell them "yes I know this not fun but the doctor needs to look at you and yes it might hurt a bit, but the doctor is trying to help you, he's not trying to hurt you on purpose." I know it may sound crazy, but it makes a difference. I'm not saying my cats like it, but I think they understand that we are trying to help them.

I sure hope this helps, please keep us all posted, let us know how things are going.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenheart View Post
I said I would foster him because by that point I had bonded with him.

I was pretty scared when I brought him home, but from that day over three years ago, he's always been very sweet tempered. No agression ever. Cut to last month, when I had a housecall vet come do his and the other cat's checkups (I live in a 6th floor walkup and it's gotten really hard to transport these guys). He flipped out during the appt. and went after the vet and then me when I pulled him away.

Today my grownup nephew came over for the first time. I noticed Malc was acting kind of wary and thought it might be because my nephew's a big tall guy like the housecall vet. Malc started hissing so i picked him up - I had to use a towel - and put him in the bedroom.
You have a bond with this cat and he needs you now. The result of sending him back to a shelter is known. He will not live.

He has been a good cat for three years. Think what happened when it changed for him.

The vet visit....were you present during the vet exam and shots? Think about those chain of events that may have caused this since this is where it started after three years being good.

Did the vet hurt him (unintentionally, of course) ?
Did a needle break off under his skin and the vet not know?
Did he have a reaction to a vaccine?
He reacted to nephew, maybe because he was hurt by the vet visit.
Is the vaccination site ok? I had an animal that the vet injected in the muscle when it should have been under the skin. Took months and a new vet to get her well.
Did another cat you have during the vet visit that day react to the vet? Could be transferance of aggression. This can be solved.

Please give this guy the benefit of trying to sort it out and NOT label this as being due to what happened to him in a former situation of abuse. Please do not make up your mind now as to what you will do.

Hissy gave the most valuable advice to do FIRST. If he walked past you into this other room, you can get him in a carrier.

Write down all that you can think of in the order of events to show vet so they can help.

He can't tell you what hurts or why. Let a vet clear him of a physical problem. You cannot say he is healthy because cats hide pain and illnesses.

When you have him at the vet or an animal hospital, ask for an animal behaviorst that you could contact as a next step after vet check.

You can do this. He is counting on you now as he did three years ago when he bonded to you. He has not changed....something changed for him and he is reacting. I wish you and your baby the best. Prayers for you both.
post #35 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I am trying. He is now in the little sunny room with the window seat, his cat bed, litter box, food, water and some toys. Ironically, it's just like when I first brought him home. I figure the best thing is to start at square one, and just let him have the room to himself for a while.

Strangely, I've always had friends over and he's always been fine with them. i wonder if it's neurological, as he hasn't been making his jumps so well in the past months.

For now, I'm just going to leave things as they are.

Skimble, the shelter he would go to isn't one where he'd die. it's no-kill and they have permanent housing for unadoptable cats.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenheart View Post
Thanks, I am trying. He is now in the little sunny room with the window seat, his cat bed, litter box, food, water and some toys. Ironically, it's just like when I first brought him home. I figure the best thing is to start at square one, and just let him have the room to himself for a while.

Strangely, I've always had friends over and he's always been fine with them. i wonder if it's neurological, as he hasn't been making his jumps so well in the past months.

For now, I'm just going to leave things as they are.

Skimble, the shelter he would go to isn't one where he'd die. it's no-kill and they have permanent housing for unadoptable cats.
Don't know if you had a chance to read my above post or not, but putting him in your little sunny room is definitely the right start.

Also, Skimble is right you have a bond with this cat and he needs you. Please don't give up on him yet.

keep us posted!
post #37 of 58
Oh man, this sounds so tough! But it also sounds like you're doing exactly the right thing; you've got him in a small, pleasant safe room and you can get to your clothes and your bed.

You are worried that things will never be the same between you and this cat again, yet you've described progress. You were able to touch him early on. It degenerated later, but he did let you touch him! That's amazing, and, to my mind, quite hopeful. You say you've had other cats calm down faster; some cats have a very long memory and stay disturbed for a long time. That doesn't mean they won't calm down eventually. Like in two or three months.

By all means use the Feliway and keep feeding and watering him in the small room, and talk to him whenever you go into the room. But otherwise, I'd try to not think too much about him. Go about your daily routine, do things that make you happy and be calm. Don't rush anything with your cat; in fact, I would not initiate any contact with him in the foreseeable future. Let him be in charge of everything in his tiny little room, and eventually, let him be in charge of where he goes in your house.

I suspect the problem was that the house call turned a safe place into an unsafe one. With time, the currently unsafe house can be safe again. I would suggest not doing house calls in the future. Do talk to your regular vet on Monday; it might be very important to take him in to them, but they'd know more about that than I do!
post #38 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
I would suggest not doing house calls in the future. !

Oh, I agree with you 200%!

I now look back at the housecall vet decision as one of the worst I ever made.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
Oh man, this sounds so tough! But it also sounds like you're doing exactly the right thing; you've got him in a small, pleasant safe room and you can get to your clothes and your bed.

You are worried that things will never be the same between you and this cat again, yet you've described progress. You were able to touch him early on. It degenerated later, but he did let you touch him! That's amazing, and, to my mind, quite hopeful. You say you've had other cats calm down faster; some cats have a very long memory and stay disturbed for a long time. That doesn't mean they won't calm down eventually. Like in two or three months.

By all means use the Feliway and keep feeding and watering him in the small room, and talk to him whenever you go into the room. But otherwise, I'd try to not think too much about him. Go about your daily routine, do things that make you happy and be calm. Don't rush anything with your cat; in fact, I would not initiate any contact with him in the foreseeable future. Let him be in charge of everything in his tiny little room, and eventually, let him be in charge of where he goes in your house.

I suspect the problem was that the house call turned a safe place into an unsafe one. With time, the currently unsafe house can be safe again. I would suggest not doing house calls in the future. Do talk to your regular vet on Monday; it might be very important to take him in to them, but they'd know more about that than I do!
Totally agree!
post #40 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks and thank you so much to everyone who offered advice. I'm a tiny bit more hopeful today, part of which has to do, I think, with the fact that the apartment feels less chaotic with him seemingly happy in the little room rather than barricaded in the bedroom.

It's so frustrating that you can't talk to them and explain they're overreacting. As a friend of mine pointed out, because I was feeling all guilty over having the housecall vet, the vet just gave him a rabies shot, he didn't perform surgery without anesthesia on him. But you can't tell a cat that.

Stay tuned, and thanks again to all, for so much help. I hope it turns out well.
post #41 of 58
Well, it definitely sounds more hopeful today! Here are vibes that he calms down and can see more clearly, LOL!
post #42 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
Well, it definitely sounds more hopeful today! Here are vibes that he calms down and can see more clearly, LOL!

Well, I opened the door a bit and he looked at me and did that flirtatious roll on his back "look how cute my stomach is" head tilt, so there's probably some room for hope.
post #43 of 58
Maybe he had a bad reaction to the rabies shot. One of my old cats used to act "not himself" for 24 hours after a rabies. I hope you work it out. Hang in there.
post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyluvscats View Post
Maybe he had a bad reaction to the rabies shot. One of my old cats used to act "not himself" for 24 hours after a rabies. I hope you work it out. Hang in there.
mine, either - altho they usually just sleep a lot more, thank goodness!
post #45 of 58
I'm so glad he's making some progress. As others have said, please don't give up on him. We're all here to support you. It's a death sentence to send him back to the shelter. He's been a good companion to you for 3 years - he'll come around. Keep it up - smile a lot when he can see you (maybe not looking at him) and think really good thoughts.
post #46 of 58
When Luxor had his rabies shots - he got sick and was mopey for a day. Fortunately/unfortunately Stoli originally had a 3 year shot when he was little so he's not due until next June.....
post #47 of 58
Hi,

Buspar is tasteless if you crush the tablet and mix it with some canned food (the stinkier, the better). Prozac comes in a liquid form, must be compounded at the pharmacy, but I mix it into canned food and they don't even know it's there.

From what you're saying, it might well be neurological. Is there anyone you know who could handle your guy physically so you can get him to vet for a thorough checkup?

Another thought: your vet might know of an animal behaviorist, or maybe there's one in the phone book. They might be able to help you if it's just behavioral.

I do hope this quiets down for you.

Try not to think of it as trading in a sweater if you find you must trade him. He'd be taken care of, and if it keeps going like this, it is not good for you (understatement), and not good for him.

Please take care. I hope you post again soon - this is heart-breaking.
post #48 of 58
My take is when you open the door he/she equates it with an impeding attack. Leave the door open as suggested and let him come out on his own. When he does talk quietly but let him be. Create a calm setting. When company comes put him in a safe comfy room. He is traumatized and protecting himself. If you cannot manage him and he is downright vicious you have sad decisions to make.
post #49 of 58
Rabies shots can have some side effects. I am wondering if he felt a little off from the shot and then felt vulnerable. He may be scared to feel powerless and over aggression may be his reaction. I have seen with my ferals and strays that the more frightened they are the more aggressive they behave.
You did the right thing by putting him in his favorite spot, with some toys and the things that he find comfort in.
I would still take him in to be checked and perhaps to get him on some low dose meds for awhile.
It sounds like he is already coming around. By putting him near his favorite spot it may have signaled in his mind to knock it off and remember that he is with his favorite human being. He may need some time to regroup.
When cats are like that it is really scary. I was afraid of a 5 week old kitten who was behaving in a feral manner. Now she is a love bug but boy when she was crazy it was scary!
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanynne View Post
Dear Brokenheart

Please don't give up just yet. You need to give your baby more time.

When the vet came over for the house visit and subsequently your nephew, those visits triggered something in your cat that caused him to be *terribly afraid and to feel threatened*. It's not that the people themselves did something wrong but it sounds like you don't have company over very often and your cat is probably afraid of strangers. If Mac has been severely abused in the past, as has been suggested, that would explain his fear of strangers and his reaction to them.

Right now you're scared of your cat. Very understandable. But try to put yourself in his shoes. When he became afraid of the vet and lashed out at him, in what was in his mind, defending himself from a potential threat, you sided with that potential threat by pulling him away. So then you became not only a potential threat, but a traitor as well, so naturally he attacked you too. Remember I'm thinking from Mac's point of view.

Then you picked him up using a towel and put him in the bedroom. This probably confused him, since, in his mind, he was trying to defend himself. Instead of removing the source of the threat, you removed him.

So now Mac is mad at you. In his mind you broke his trust and he now sees you a threat.

Now, I'm not saying what you did was wrong but I think in the future you have to do things a little differently.

If you take him to a vet now, and this is just my opinion, I believe he will freak out even worse and see you as someone who is trying to put him in harm's way. You said you felt the problem was more mental than physical right now. I think you are right.

Now, to add to the fantastic advice you have been given, especially from Laurie. I would ignore your cat for some time. I would not make eye contact with him, nor would I try to touch him in any way I say this because in one of your posts you mentioned that he let you scratch him on the head but then quickly became aggressive again. You tried to touch him too soon. He needs more time to calm down. He also needs more time to rebuild his trust in you.

There are a few ways you can do this.

First you must calm yourself down and stop being afraid of him. What has happened to him is *not* his fault. He was only, in his mind, trying to defend himself. Stop looking at him as if he is the cat from hell and start looking at him as a victim, and more importantly, as the sweet cat that he was a few short days ago. Cats can see our auras and sense our thoughts and intentions. If you are afraid of him, he can sense it and will react accordingly.

Talk to him! Talk to him constantly!! Doesn't matter where you are in the apt. or where he is, just talk to him. He needs reassurance that he is safe, loved and wanted. Tell him you are sorry, tell him you were only trying to protect him, that you love him, etc. etc. Sure, he may never have forgiven the woman at the shelter but how much of an effort did she make to win him over? So Talk to him, like he is the only best friend you have in the world! Cats are very smart and they can understand a lot of what we tell them.

Like when you have to go into the bedroom. Tell him in advance, "OK Mac, I'm coming in the room now, don't be afraid, I'm just getting my clothes and then I'll be right out." Then go in, don't even look around to see where he is, get your things and get back out. Keep talking to him the whole time Tell him "Mac, I know you and I are buddies, now you know I love you, and I know you love me, so I know you are not going to hurt me and I'm not going to hurt you." Do wear your jacket, just in case, but again, try not to let your fear show. Be confident, think of him of his fear, of what he is going through.

If you can sing, play some soft music, be in a good mood, that way you are creating a good "ambiance" . Keep the tv on low.

And again, let Mac come to you. When he finally does come to you, only then should you try petting him etc.

Don't forget to try the perfume thing that Laurie suggested.

Keep trying the meds in the food and water.

Again don't give up on him just yet It may be that in the end, you don't have a choice, you may have to give him up to the shelter you mentioned. But, as others have mentioned, he has been with you for 3 years and all went well. Based on that alone, that is very very hopeful that given a bit more time, he will return to normal.

It could also be that when you do have someone come over in the future you may have to keep him in the bedroom. But again, I would talk to him then too. Tell him, I have a friend coming over and I don't you to be afraid or upset so I am putting you here, in your safe zone, so that you feel safe and secure.

It's like when I take my cats to the vet, they don't like it, Rascal cries the whole there and back too but I talk to them the whole time. Now it doesn't stop Rascal from crying but I make sure my voice is calm and reassuring. And when it's time for the exam I tell them "yes I know this not fun but the doctor needs to look at you and yes it might hurt a bit, but the doctor is trying to help you, he's not trying to hurt you on purpose." I know it may sound crazy, but it makes a difference. I'm not saying my cats like it, but I think they understand that we are trying to help them.

I sure hope this helps, please keep us all posted, let us know how things are going.

I think this is very good advice.

The others have also given very good advice. I wouldn't give up on Malc just yet. So far, it sounds as if you've done everything right. You can't do much more than that.

How is Malc today? Has there been any progress?

BTW, I wanted to add that one of my kittens, who has a deformed tail which gets pooh stuck in it, has to have a bath whenever it's necessary. The first time my s/o and I tried to give her one, it was a disaster! She screamed and fought like crazy, which prompted Momma Cat to come to her "rescue". Since that first incident, I tried giving her a bath by myself: I figured that maybe she got too scared by having 2 people holding her down. So I cuddled her and talked to her in a soothing voice while bathing her, and it was a success! After giving her a bath, I wrap her in a towel and cuddle & talk to her some more, telling her the entire time that I love her, and that I don't want to have to do this, but I'm doing it for her own good. She seems to understand, and hasn't put up a fight since I've given her a bath on my own.

So I think that if you try handling Malc in the same way, you'll be more successful. As the others have mentioned, he can sense that you're upset, and is reacting to that. When I give Cassidy her bath, I do so when I'm in a calm mood. Cats are very perceptive!
post #51 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
[font="Comic Sans MS"]
How is Malc today? Has there been any progress?
]
Thank you for asking! He's doing very well and has been back to his old sweet self the past two days. I'm just hoping this doesn't repeat itself when new visitors come, and wondering what I can do to avoid it. I know I can put him in a separate room, but I'm worried he'll want to come out and socialize and if I let him, he may go ballistic again.

I think I made some errors handling the situation, which might have prolonged it. The doors to the other rooms were shut because of the a/c, so he probably felt like he had nowhere to go. Also, I should have really checked on his mood before letting him out the first time after he was upset. Hopefully now that I've learned these things, I'll never have to use them!
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenheart View Post
Thank you for asking! He's doing very well and has been back to his old sweet self the past two days. I'm just hoping this doesn't repeat itself when new visitors come, and wondering what I can do to avoid it. I know I can put him in a separate room, but I'm worried he'll want to come out and socialize and if I let him, he may go ballistic again.

I think I made some errors handling the situation, which might have prolonged it. The doors to the other rooms were shut because of the a/c, so he probably felt like he had nowhere to go. Also, I should have really checked on his mood before letting him out the first time after he was upset. Hopefully now that I've learned these things, I'll never have to use them!
I've been following this thread for a while, and I'm SOOO glad things are getting better!!

I think it will be a very delicate situation when visitors come. I would think that as long as no one is bothering him and wanting to give him a shot, that he would be okay. But it's probably best to keep him in a safe room. And explain to your guests to be very calm and not too exuberant so that he doesn't feel like these noisy scary people have invaded his territory. Maybe it's best to not have visitors over for a while until he's been back to his old self for a while. I haven't had any experience with this, so maybe someone else who knows a little more can add to this. Just wanted to give my 2 cents.

Vibes to you and Malc that things continue to stay good.
post #53 of 58
I'm so glad things are progressing well!
I've been eager about hearing an update!
I'm glad you learned something from this too - so next time things will be easier on both of you.
post #54 of 58
It's wonderful that he's been acting like himself! I'm curious though; what do you mean by that?

Is he still confined to the small room, or have you given him the run of your apartment? Has he come up to get pet by you? Did you talk to your vet about this? How about the possible neurological issues you mentioned before?

It sounds to me that the biggest lesson (at least for me, reading this and thinking about solving future problems) is that time does heal wounds.
post #55 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
It's wonderful that he's been acting like himself! I'm curious though; what do you mean by that?

Is he still confined to the small room, or have you given him the run of your apartment? Has he come up to get pet by you? Did you talk to your vet about this? How about the possible neurological issues you mentioned before?

It sounds to me that the biggest lesson (at least for me, reading this and thinking about solving future problems) is that time does heal wounds.
By "his old self," I mean he's very sweet and gentle and loving. This is a cat that never even hisses, not even at my other cat; that's why it was such a shock.

He has the run of the apartment again, and he's back to wanting to hang out on my lap when I'm home. It really was a Jekyll and Hyde situation - it's hard to believe it was the same cat - I hope it never happens again! If it does, then I'd take him to the vet to be neurologically checked out.
post #56 of 58
So glad things are going better!
post #57 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenheart View Post
Thank you for asking! He's doing very well and has been back to his old sweet self the past two days. I'm just hoping this doesn't repeat itself when new visitors come, and wondering what I can do to avoid it. I know I can put him in a separate room, but I'm worried he'll want to come out and socialize and if I let him, he may go ballistic again.

I think I made some errors handling the situation, which might have prolonged it. The doors to the other rooms were shut because of the a/c, so he probably felt like he had nowhere to go. Also, I should have really checked on his mood before letting him out the first time after he was upset. Hopefully now that I've learned these things, I'll never have to use them!
I'm so glad to hear that Malc's doing better! I was wondering how things were going. I haven't visited TCS for the past few days, due to computer problems. But I'm glad to hear that he's back to his "old" self!

More vibes in hoping that he'll continue to do well!

~KK~
post #58 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittKatt View Post
I'm so glad to hear that Malc's doing better! I was wondering how things were going. I haven't visited TCS for the past few days, due to computer problems. But I'm glad to hear that he's back to his "old" self!

More vibes in hoping that he'll continue to do well!

~KK~
Thank you! It's so touching that everyone here is so interested in his progress. I wish he could understand that; maybe then he wouldn't be so worried about humans.

He's been doing fine. I haven't had any company, but hopefully I'll figure out how to keep him calm again when people visit and he'll forget about the vet visit because if I never have company or go anywhere, Malc'll be fine and I'll be nuts!

Today he jumped into one of those hanging vinyl clothing bags from the top (I'm assuming) and then was stuck at the bottom till I found him. He was just sitting there calmly. Luckily, I never zip them up all the way so the cats'll be able to breathe if they getinto them.
(My other cat figured out how to unzip them and would do so every night and then sleep in the bottom. I woke up during the night a couple of times just as he was unzipping the bag.)
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