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Cat has become a basket case!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Some of you may vaguely remember Punkin, the paw-washer. He's always generally been a nice cat to the family, shy or scared around strangers, and a complete bloodthirsty, murderous, holy terror at the vet.

I'm worried about him at the moment, though. His attitude has really changed.

To set the stage, my cats have their own room for when I'm not home, and at night when I sleep. It's a big room (like bigger than my master bedroom O.o Little buggers got it good ), and has climbing things, and a cushion, and their food, and water, and two litterboxes, and a couple places to hide, so they do pretty well for themselves. Anyhow, when I am around, they get the run of the house, with some exceptions (I have a bathroom with a loose mirror; no interest in having shredded kitties). They've always been pretty good about when it's time to go back downstairs to their room. Honey will walk down with me, and Punkin usually has to be carried, but he's always been good about it.

Until now. Now there is war--and not just when it's downstairs time. It started with Punkin hissing me when I went to pick him up to take him downstairs. Understandable reaction, I guess, like a little kid who doesn't believe it's nap time But it's gotten worse. He hissed the dog (who we've jokingly called his "auntie Sugar" for a long time now, due to how the cats and the dog have always tolerated each other), he hissed me when I tried to pet him, he hissed me when I gave him cat nip (ungrateful little twerp ), and last night things really came to a head.

He'd camped out under the bed with a grumpy look on his face after I'd had them up for a while, then went into the bathroom and hid in an empty drawer -- the empty drawer game is a bit of a favorite: go hide and see if momma cat or my owner can find me! Then get petted! Well, I found him in the drawer when it was time to go downstairs and reached to pet him and--HISS! Backed off and tried again--HISS!

Unfortunately I had to head out the door, or I'd have left him there until he calmed down and tried again. As it was, I had to get him to his room, so I took the drawer out, and he went and hid behind the toilet and starting making this awful wauling noise that I'd only heard him make at the vet's.

At this point, Honey decided to get into the act. She gets between me and Punkin and started the "I'm you're mother and I can still whop your tail" bit at him, then hisses at me, then goes back to him, like she's trying to break up a fight.

At this point I thought about it a bit and decided that my best bet was to get Honey downstairs, and use some "headology" on Punkin, rather than force. So I left the cat carrier in the bathroom, and took Honey down to her room by shaking the catnip bag. Sure enough, Punkin's in the box and I lock him in and carry him downstairs.

I let him out downstairs and it all starts all over again. I gave up, and left to do what I needed to do.

This morning he was all friendly and wanting to be petted again--though I'll admit, I was a little leery and cold.

So any ideas what's up with this guy? He's eating like a horse, perky as ever, and when he's being good I've been able to get a look at his ears and teeth and they seem just fine--when he's being bad I get a good look at his tonsils :p No peeing all over or anything that might indicate a UTI, litterbox is full of cat leavings every day like clockwork. In other words, he seems very healthy--just a complete freak.

I can take him in to be looked at, but they're unlikely to find anything without knocking him out, because he is so incredibly violent with the vet. And he's been violent all along, and with two different vets (two different genders even!)

Anyone had a complete attitude change like this? There are three things I can think of 1) I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like to with them lately (hope that will change) 2) my sump in the basement has been running nonstop for about a month, and it makes weird noises that are heard all over the house and it's scaring him, or 3) a few months ago it was evident that there'd been a shift in cat hierarchy and he'd become the boss cat.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 9
I'm going to say "take him to the vet" anyway.
A gentleman on this board had a cat whose behavior changed suddenly and he got aggressive. He went on to die unexpectantly not too long after (if I remember correctly).

ANything else changed or new? New carpet? Rearranged furniture? New people in your life coming over? Has your health changed (maybe it has gotten bad and you smell weird to kitty)?

Anyone in your house smoke that quit or does it outside now? My friend's cat became a "total bitch" as he put it when he quit - it was his cat's own nicotene withdrawal at work.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
My friend's cat became a "total bitch" as he put it when he quit - it was his cat's own nicotene withdrawal at work.
That made me giggle

Mom has been painting in my garage! I hadn't thought of that, but now I wonder. I know I can't stand the smell, and she's had the screen door to the garage open so that she can keep an eye on the dog.

I'll have to put in a call to the vet and see when I can get in.
post #4 of 9
I agree with taking the cat in.

Other things you could do to help herd them to their room is to always have a food treat associated with it. Wet food can bribe most kitties. Whatever is going on that can help you reestablish the routine.

By the way, what's your mother painting with? If the smell bothers you, and maybe the cats, I sure hope she has good ventilation.
post #5 of 9
I just re-read your post.

How long have you had Punkin?

And he went back to normal? Did I read that right? The hissing was a one day thing?

If he's normal again and it has been days I wouldnt be too concerned w/o other issues. For all you know he ate something weird or his tummy hurts or whatnot. (I always worry my cat will catch a mouse or bug, eat it, then get sick).

Fumes give me a terrible migraine and in turn I get cranky. I can see that perhaps fumes would bother a little creature (compared to humans).
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
strange_wings: Exterior heavy duty paint and primer -- stinks like hell. She's been painting in the garage with back door and garage door open, so it doesn't bother her. My nickname is "the nose"--every scent bothers me.

I'll definitely have to think about a wet food treat for them. Now that I finally have a proper refrigerator I can do that without giving them a whole can.

CDubbie, he's 5.5, and I've had him since the day he was born (Honey's his mum, age unknown). The hissing thing has been off and on lately, with him generally returning to normal between episodes (in other words, he's not aggressive constantly). Last night was the first time for anything more than a hiss, and then he was really nice and friendly in the morning--though I didn't let them upstairs in the morning, so I didn't have to try and get them back down either :/
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzuri View Post
strange_wings: Exterior heavy duty paint and primer -- stinks like hell. She's been painting in the garage with back door and garage door open, so it doesn't bother her. My nickname is "the nose"--every scent bothers me.

I'll definitely have to think about a wet food treat for them. Now that I finally have a proper refrigerator I can do that without giving them a whole can.
I'd make her put a fan by the garage door just to help move some air around, but I tend to worry about things like that.

3oz cans of cat food work really well when someone only has two cats to feed. A meal of 1.5 oz is perfect for an adult cat. No need to refrigerate anything that way. Adjust other feedings, if on a meal schedule, to accommodate the extra meal.
post #8 of 9
At the zoo we lure the tigers into their night area with a whistle. This whistle they have learned to associate with their evening meal, so they come running when they hear it.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
I'm going to say "take him to the vet" anyway.
A gentleman on this board had a cat whose behavior changed suddenly and he got aggressive. He went on to die unexpectantly not too long after (if I remember correctly).

ANything else changed or new? New carpet? Rearranged furniture? New people in your life coming over? Has your health changed (maybe it has gotten bad and you smell weird to kitty)?

Anyone in your house smoke that quit or does it outside now? My friend's cat became a "total bitch" as he put it when he quit - it was his cat's own nicotene withdrawal at work.
Yeah, the first one was correct, that was my Jinxie cat.
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