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Paranoid Kitty/Skittish Kitty

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi - we have two cats, both of which we adopted about two years ago (they were left/abandoned in a box outside a restaurant and a girl I went to school with took them home, but could not keep them b/c of apartment rules - so we took them).

One of them (Tazzy) has been acting very strange and opposite his typical personality for about 4 days now. He is normally very curious and friendly (with us and others once he "knows" them), but lately he has been extremely paranoid and jumpy. He still eats, uses the litter box, etc., but throughout the day he gets in this weird mood where everything and nothing seem to startle him. He will just all of a sudden start jumping back and forth and looking under his paws and he acts scared (his ears do not go down, just back).

Tazzy and our other cat (Frankie) seem to be getting along as they always have, they will wrestle around and fight somewhat, but then they will be sleeping and cleaning each other an hour later. Tazzy did break his hip somehow about two months ago - it happened while we were on vacation and my mother-in-law noticed (he was playing upstairs but when he tried to follow them downstairs he started yelling) and took him to the vet.

He still lets us pick him up, etc. - he is one of the most loving little cats we have ever seen, but every once in a while he just jumps at everything...I have a new hole in my shirt and a couple in my arms from about a half hour ago when he thought (or did) hear something and leaped across the room.

I took him to the vet yesterday and he said that everything was ok physically (checked blood, heart, lungs, etc.) and he gave him a shot of an anti-inflammatory in case something was hurting him from the surgery.

If anyone has similar experiences or any ideas - please let me know. Most of the other similar posted experiences dealt with problems between two cats and both of our's still get along - the other cat and I just slowly approach Taz to try to figure out what is wrong - I think Frank is as confused as us :-)

post #2 of 7
Wow! I don't know what to say regarding this situation..

I have heard that cats have "keener" hearing so they can hear things that u guys can't hear due to high pitched or low pitched sounds. (I'm deaf so that's why I said "u guys") Hearing strange things might be what's making him nervous. Do you live in an apartment or a house? If u live in an apt, then they probably can hear other people's noises in other apts and some noises might bother or scare them.

About a couple months ago, all my 4 cats started FREAKING out one night. It was about 7 pm and I was starting to freak out myself seeing my cats acting so scared- I walked all over my basement apt trying to identify what could be scaring them. They'd look around, run away and hide and walk very LOW to the ground and several times I saw them hissing. It was not until about midnight that I saw that there were many cars outside and realized that my landlord was probably having a party. There might have been music and that would be very strange to my cats since I never play music and my landlord and his wife are deaf also.

The point to this is don't worry too much about it if it's not affecting him too much.

Good luck and keep us posted!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
We live in a house and it is the same house that they (the cats) have always lived in. We have been trying to figure out the sounds thing - the other cat, Frankie, is acting just like he always does so we are assuming there is nothing too constant, etc. We did have the ceiling fan on which was making a higher pitched sound that took us a while to notice, but it has been off for days. The weirdest part is just that Tazzy's personality does not lend itself to this type of behavior - when my husband would be working on the house with loud tools like sanders and the shop vacuum, Tazzy would be right under his feet - never scared of anything...Frankie is the one that runs when he hears thunder or something, but never Taz...we are all concerned - even Frankie has been slowly coming up to him sniffing and trying to figure out his problem :-)
post #4 of 7
Has ur vet checked him out (hearing levels and neurologically?)

U might want to look at this book called Psycho Kitty? written by Pam Johnson-Bennett or Is Your Cat Crazy by John C. Wright Phd. I've heard that these books have helped some people who have cats who aren't behaving normally..

Hope it helps? Good luck! I'm sure some cat sages here will respond to ur posting. I'll pm Hissy (she's VERY knowledgable about cats) and ask her to respond to ur posting.
post #5 of 7
Hey there,

I just saw this posting so Pamela you don't need to PM me. I would suspect if the problem does not go away, that you should really seek a specialist who concentrates on neurological disorders.If could be that when he injured himself he also short circuited his brain. You can try and give him Rescue Remedy, there is one called (believe it or not) Impatience that you can order and mix with distilled water and give it to him daily that might help calm him down. But the way he is behaving, I suspect a neurological problem.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Is it normal for something like that to show up this long after the injury? (He had the injury and surgery the week of May 19th)? Where do you find such a specialist and what can they actually do for him - do you know? Also, where can I buy the Rescue Remedy? We are willing to try anything - he is our baby! :-)
post #7 of 7
It sort of sounds like what my cat was doing. She wouldn't look under her paws, but was just terrified at every little creek that happened. It first I thought it was that one disease (I forgot the name) where they are hyper active and frightened at everything, but she didn't display all the syptoms, and the ones she did display, was only part of the day. I found out later that my neighbors cat had been wandering around outside. My cat could see and smell him. She is now back to normal. He usually stays home now. She usually stays in. I would have the cat checked out by a specialist. I found this info being repeated by every site I found, so it must be good.

There are many reasons an animal may behave aggressively, including fear, dominance, food or object possessiveness, territorial behavior or protective behavior. It’s necessary to obtain a complete behavioral history through detailed information gathering and direct observation of the animal in his own environment, before a diagnosis and recommendations can be made. This can’t be accomplished over the phone, however, we can provide detailed handouts explaining the causes of aggression and procedures that should be avoided because they may make the problem worse. An animal that threatens another animal or human by growling, hissing, baring his teeth, snapping or biting, presents a danger to others.

The first step is to have a veterinarian examine your pet to evaluate him for possible medical reasons for the aggressive behavior. If it’s not a medical problem, you should seek the services of an animal behavior specialist. If a professional animal behaviorist can’t help, it may be best for all concerned to have your pet humanely euthanized. You may either have your own veterinarian euthanize your pet, or you may surrender him to an animal shelter. If you choose to surrender your pet to a shelter, please relate all the information you have about his behavior.

Some animals, usually dogs, may develop intense, irrational fears, including fear of thunderstorms, firecrackers and other loud noises. Many phobias can be successfully treated using a combination of behavior modification and short-term drug therapy prescribed by a veterinarian. This type of treatment cannot be administered over the telephone. We do have several handouts that explain these problems and the types of behavior modification procedures used to work with them. If your pet exhibits this type of behavior, you should contact your veterinarian for information about medication and for a referral to an animal behavior specialist.

Excessive Grooming
Dogs and cats will sometimes lick themselves excessively until skin sores form, or will pull patches of hair from their bodies. Treatment often involves a combination of drug therapy and behavior modification that can only be obtained through your veterinarian and an animal behavior specialist.

Finding Professional Help
When an individual case is too complex to analyze and resolve over the telephone, you should seek help from a veterinarian and an animal behavior specialist, however, knowing where to turn can be confusing. People who work with animal behavior problems are not regulated by any government agency and may have very different types of qualifications.

Veterinarian:When your pet has a problem, your first call should always be to your veterinarian. Urinary tract infections, hormone imbalances, neurological conditions, genetic abnormalities, orthopedic problems and dental disease are just a few examples of medical problems that can influence your pet’s behavior. Ask your veterinarian if he has received any specific training in animal behavior, and if not, ask him if he can refer you to an animal behavior specialist.

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist: Animal behavior is a specialized field of scientific study. In order to become a certified applied animal behaviorist, an individual must have specialized training in behavior problems in companion animals. The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) grants certification to behaviorists who are academically trained, have experience in the field and meet the ethical standards of the ABS. People who’ve worked with or trained animals for many years, aren’t animal behaviorists unless they’ve received specialized academic training.

Animal Trainer: Some animal trainers are self-taught, and some may have apprenticed under another trainer and/or attended various training seminars. Animal trainers don’t usually have specialized academic training in the study of animal behavior. Good animal trainers are knowledgeable about different types of training methods that focus primarily on reinforcing good behavior and use punishment sparingly, appropriately, humanely or not at all. Innapropriate use of correction collars, including using chokers to lift dogs off the ground and “string them up,†aren’t appropriate or humane training methods and may cause injury to your dog.

Dog obedience classes are an excellent way to develop a good relationship with your dog and gain more control over him by teaching him to respond reliably to specific commands. However, resolving behavior problems, such as housesoiling, barking, aggression or separation anxiety requires more than teaching your dog commands. Specific behavior modification techniques must also be used. Some animal trainers also offer behavior consulting services.

Ask the trainer what methods they use and how they were trained. Go to a class, and if you observe techniques you’re not comfortable with, find another trainer. Dog obedience instructors can be endorsed by the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI). Endorsement indicates that instructors have been approved by their peers and use humane methods of training. If the trainer is endorsed by another organization, ask about the criteria for endorsement.

Things to Watch for and Avoid
People who guarantee their work: Qualified behaviorists and trainers will always do their best for you, but cannot guarantee outcomes, because animals have minds of their own, and can never be completely controlled by humans.

People whose primary methods focus on punishment: If their recommendations involve choking, hitting or slapping your pet, confinement or isolation, this indicates little or no understanding of animal behavior.

People who misrepresent their qualifications: People who call themselves animal behaviorists, even though they’re not academically trained in animal behavior.

People who want to train your pet for you: Most behavior problems are a result of interactions between the animal, the owner and the environment. Giving your pet to someone else to “fix†the problem is rarely successful because these three elements aren’t addressed. Owners need to work with the animal in the home environment.

If you’re committed to working with your pet, and find qualified people to help you, the chances are good that you’ll successfully resolve your pet’s problem behaviors.

Copyright Denver Dumb Friends League and Humane Society of the United States. All rights reserved.

I know it is a bit long, but it was on every site I found. I don't know it it will help at all.
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