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Personality change after near death

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

Our kitty Smokey nearly died from a urinary tract infection. He was born in the woods and we took him in, worked with him, and made him a part of the family with his mom and brother. He was always the most "suspicious" of the world, though very gentle and sweet. Well, after 7 days in the hospital and one very expensive surgery later, he surprised our vet, is all better and back at home.

And he's quite different. He's more catlike, approaching us for love and hugs, meowing much more frequently. So I'm trying to figure out the true cause of his change. Is he just feeling physically better and that has brought out his personality, or does he recognize his second chance at life?

It's probably a combination of both, but I love to humanize my cats so much that I like the idea that he's grateful for his new life and loving us a teeny bit more because we went to such lengths to save his life. That's the cheesy romantic in me. Anyone else experience something similar?
post #2 of 10
Not from that, no. I've had cats that have been through illnesses come out of it more loving, though.
How did he nearly die? Was he at the vet and they had to bring him back? Maybe some how there was a slight amount of brain damage?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
That's so funny that you thought of brain damage! My husband asked the vet if he suffered brain damage from the surgery. (He laughed and said no).

He nearly died because the poor guy's urinary tract blocked the weekend we took a 2 day trip to Seattle. He has always been very stoic, so he didn't show any obvious signs of the infection, but what we didn't know was that his little bladder was stuffed with crystals, and of course the one weekend we go away, he blocked.

Strangely, my husband and I decided to skip out on the zoo and return home early. Thank the Lord we did! When we saw him under the bed, we didn't think much of it, except that he wouldn't come out. We had to dismantle the bed to get to him, and then we knew immediately that he was in bad shape.

The blocking is what nearly killed him, as the vet thinks he had been blocked for at least 24 hours, which greatly affected his kidneys. It was nothing short of a miracle that he pulled through. The vet confessed later (after we knew Smokey would make it) that he though we'd have to put him down. And he said after the surgery that he'd never seen so many crystals in a kitty's bladder.

Needless to say he's on a new diet and we bought him a Drinkwell water fountain that he likes. And now he rubs against us, makes bread, climbs onto our laps....he's just so much more interactive!
post #4 of 10
My cats personality really changed after he went through hell himself. Mowgli used to be very stuck-up (I'm sure it was due to being so spoiled ) and not very talkative unless he wanted something, but he's a different cat now! We joke that each of their 'nine lives' must come with a different brain because he's that different!

He just talks away now just to talk. He barely ever used to purr and now he's a purr monster! He hangs out with the dog all the time now and lets the dog lick him and love on him. It's just so weird how he's changed so much! He even takes his meds now with no problem and that's just not normal for him. It's like he knows that it will keep him from getting so sick again. It's so weird!
post #5 of 10
The thing with surgery is that it's possible for blood pressure to fall during it due to medications being used and the shock of surgery itself. There's even chance of seizures (both in people and in animals) because of this. Whenever the brain doesn't get enough blood and oxygen there can be damage. The degree depends on how much oxygen the brain was deprived of.

I have very low blood pressure myself and if I slip on taking my medication I start showing weird neurological symptoms due to my brain not getting enough oxygen - So I know it doesn't take much to affect the brain.

Or maybe the traumatic event itself just changed your cat? It happens in people, too.
post #6 of 10
Poor thing. I think he's probably just so happy that he's comfortable now that he appreciates life all the more, (as well as you) the same as people do after they recover from very serious illnesses.

Hope you keep him away from cat foods with high ash. Male cats who don't run free or play a lot are particularly vulnerable to dying horrible deaths from this and it can occur more than once. It's terribly painful. In the end, it will really pay off to feed him better quality cat foods especially designed for cats with urinary problems.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Very true about feeding cats, especially males, a good-quality food. Cheap is expensive, especially if you have mega vet bills because of UTI. Smokey is now on Hill's CD prescription diet. We had his brother checked also, but he showed now signs whatsoever. Looks like Smokey was just predisposed for this kind of thing, which our vet said is typical. We will never, never feed our cats anything but high-quality food from here on out. Our vet likes Purina, but would never go for anything cheaper than that. All our cats are now on the "good stuff," and I don't miss the extra few dollars one bit. We're just so grateful to have our Smokey Bear back.
post #8 of 10
oh my word......the same thing happened to my cat, Cheyenne. At 9 years old, he had always been aloof, standoffish, & generally not affectionate. After his pancreas shut down in 2010, & weekend care at an emergency clinic, he is not the sweetest, most affectionate kitty you've ever seen. He sleeps on the bed with me, snuggles up on the couch with me, & even stands still when I give him the two insulin shots he now requires each day. And....when I picked him up from that weekend in the hospital, he gazed at me with a look of pure adoration & I think your cat & mine realize they were given a 2nd chance at life? you bet I do! do I believe they are grateful? yes, absolutely. Animals are sensitive creatures who feel the same emotions we do.......
post #9 of 10

Aww!  I've always felt people don't give them enough credit in that department; their emotions and things.  


Welcome to our forum!

post #10 of 10
My cat Nefertiti almost die due to calcivivirus she was 20 days with esophagic feeding tube so I was feeding each 4 hours per 30 min each time, she was in the hell but she recovered and then I realized that she was a new cat if she has a new personality after that terrible experience, now she is very dependent and like to be feed in small plates like a human (well I like also do that, is like play cat restaurant) we have other cat isis and they are not friends but they tolerate each other very well and usually stay alone this weekend after a 7 days trip (cats were attended by relatives) my husband back to our home and Nefertiti was crazy and angry being very agressive and with mouth foaming, we tough that she was under a
New calcivivirus episode and after a 1 hour fight she got inside the carrier and was took to the vetenerinary, he examined and everything was ok and mentioned that she was angry due to stress and send back to home, this is the first time that she was so aggressive and angry, it seems like she want to be with us all day and if we left she is going to get crazy.
Do you have experiences with cats that get stressed when you go for a week?
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