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Schizophrenic Cat?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi to all.

I am trying every alternative, short of seeing a vet right now (for financial reasons) to seek help. I adopted a stray cat about two months ago. He is a 2-3 year old male. I had thought he was unneutered but recently took him to be neutered and found out he already was!

My problem is this: Normally, he is a very affectionate cat. However, there are times (most often once or twice a night or more) where he changes. Basically, I associate it with sexual behavior. He starts making this weird miaow and then gets in a defensive position, but then attacks me, then does the weird miaow...then defensive. If I raise my hand at him (not to hit him but to defend myself)..he gets almost scared, but then comes for me. Then, he will get into a "mating" position which at that point, I grab him by the scruff and gently move him away from me and walk away. A lot of the time this happens at night and the other night he bit me on the arm! At all other times he is gentle. This behavior seems unprovoked, especially when it is in the middle of the night and I am not near him. When he is "normal" he is very affectionate and lets me pat him etc for awhile.

I have read some of the posts that would suggest that this behavior is "love-biting"...as he does do a lot of head-butts generally and is super affectionate...but this behavior seems unrelated to any affection I am giving him. It seems arbitrary.

Any thoughts??? He was a stray for 8 months or so and was very skinny when I got him. He had a lot of diarhhea and vomitting, but now he is getting pretty healthy and getting his energy back. Apart from this behavior he would be perfect (except for night-time froliking which I am working on changing)...he also likes to chew on paper!! I try and get rid of most of it at night, but he chews on books in my book shelf!!

Thank you so much!
post #2 of 18
I know that vet costs can be high, but anytime there is aberrant behavior that appears out of the blue, your cat is trying to tell you something. I strongly suggest a vet visit for a health check, and if that comes up all clear, then there are behavior meds he can go on until whatever is wrong with him is figured out.

Most vets are really good about payment plans, and this fella needs a professional's help and not a board diagnosis.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that. I did have a vet in a month or so agao, for the diarrhea and he checked for everything. He has had blood tests etc. There are cheap vet places, however he FREAKS OUT being taken to the vet...and now that he is getting healthier and happier I don't want to "rock the boat" unless I have to....When I took him to the Humane Soceity to get neutered (as I thought his sexual behavior was due to him being unneutered and the initial vet I got in to my house said he was not neutered!), they said he was neutured...but he was so scared he peed in the box and was in quite a state...so I am loathe to do this straight away! I am not sure what kind of medical reason he would have for this kind of behavior?? Otherwise he seems to be happy and getting much healthier?

Thanks again for your reply.
post #4 of 18
I agree with Hissy, that a visit to the vet is in order. This is very bizarre behavior which may be due to seizures or other medical problems.

In the meantime, please click here and go near the bottom to read about the rare cat who attacks violently. Perhaps some of these techniques will help. But, of course if the problem is medical, these techniques won't work.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you again for your reply.

I live near a great Holistic Pet Store and they have given me a herbal calmative and I have also tried the Bach Flower Remedy. I think, more than anything, this may be seizure or eplipsy type behavior, as he definitely appears out of body when he does this...like there is no reasoning with him. The thing is, it does also seem to be very related to his sexual behavior. Why would a neutered cat be so sexual? I have heard of sexual male cats, but of course not with the associated behavior. The other problem is, when he is not doing this behavior he is calm and happy and totally loving.

I guess the consensus is the vet! I just have found vets to be kind of unhelpful so far. The way I think, both for humans and animals, is in a more holistic approach...and vets seem to have a very specific approach...like if they can't find anything with blood tests they say nothing wrong, when there is!!

Thanks again for your reply.
post #6 of 18
There are holistic vets out there. My bet is that (living in New York) you will be able to find a holistic vet not too far from where you live.

Also, if it is indeed a brain problem, the mis-firing may be happening in the part of the brain which handles both aggression and mating (the hypothalamus) which would explain why these two behaviors are occurring together in a neutered male.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
The Holistic vets are so expensive!!!!

Just as a side note, I told the woman who ran the shelter that I could not take on a sick cat as I didn't have a lot of money and she convinced me he was totally healthy!!!! It has been a frustrating road.....

I will have to take him back to the Humane Society...only thing I can afford

Thanks for your help.
post #8 of 18
I'm not sure that you are dealing with a kitty sexual problem...but

For what it is worth, we have a male cat that was neutered and still behaved very sexually. He was neutered before we got him at an unknown date that had to have been at least about 2 months prior (from what we do know), and he was attacking and attempting to mate with our spayed female. We finally got him a stuffed animal that he really enjoyed for as long as he had the hormone issues.

In general, as far as neutering and sexual behavior goes, there are two biological factors you may like to consider.

1. The hormones connected with sexual behavior can remain in a cat's system for quite some time after the operation. Occassionally, when the hormones cause a big enough problem (i.e. they still spray or attempt to mate with an unwilling partner), a vet may choose to treat the hormonal problem using Ovaban, a contraceptive pill designed for use in females, that sometimes helps males with that sort of problem. It can be risky to use -- some studies connect it with cancer when used for prolonged periods of time, but it is something to ask the vet about. We aren't sure if it helped our cat or not, we had him on it for the shortest suggested time period, but then took him off and waited until his hormones eventually subsided without further treatment.

2. The fact that the vets didn't agree about whether he was neutered makes me wonder if your kitty may have a non-descended testicle. If a cat had a testicle that had not descended by the time of his operation, he may still have one intact inside his body rather than externally in his scrotum. You may want to make sure that at least one of the vets who examined him actually felt for a non-descended testicle. If they did not, he may have only been half-way neutered, which could explain his sexual behavior.

Best of luck!
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply.

I actually took him to the vet for other reasons (he wasn't eating ands turns out he probably has IBS) and when he was sedated, the doctor thinks he found a testicle that had not come down! So your half-neutered theory is probably right. I am confused though, why the initial vet who neutered him did not get both testicle...I mean, if he or she only found one! In any event, I am taking him back to be (hopefully) neutered! The vet I recently saw said that he had jowls like a tom, and that even if he was neutered, it would not have been so long ago (even though the cat is 2 or so years old).

So, I am hoping that is the problem! At least THAT problem..one down, twenty to go!

What I want to know is...how do people not feel guilyt when they leave their cat for the day!? I am getting too neutoric. I don't want him to be lonely, but can't get another cat as my apartment is tiny!
post #10 of 18
Originally posted by GStein
I am confused though, why the initial vet who neutered him did not get both testicle...I mean, if he or she only found one!
The surgery for a non-descended testicle involves surgery similar to a female spay - they actually have to cut open, remove then stitch close - a much more complicated procedure. If the neuter was a quickie job by a donating vet, who knows what they would have chosen to do.
post #11 of 18
I'm sorry to hear that your kitty probably has IBS -- our "perfectly healthy" female cat suffered with it from the time we got her from the shelter. Thanks to an excellent raw diet, a wonderful vet, and some patience, she finally got a clean bill of health yesterday. I would like to encourage you to read the thread I started in the behavior forums entitled "Help, we can't keep him if he keeps attacking...," because the last several posts ended up dealing with IBS related health concerns.

As for your guilt about leaving your kitty alone -- that's tough. There are things you can do that may help you feel more at ease.
1. If you should choose to take the time needed to prepare a special diet for him due to his IBS, you will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that you are taking little extra pains to keep him healthy and comfortable.
2. If you set aside even a little bit of time each day to play with and brush him, you'll be able to contribute to his sense of security and make him feel cared for.
3. You may like to create leaving and coming home rituals with your kitty. for example, as you leave in the morning...tell him that you love him, and that you can't wait to see him when you get home. Tell him that you'll give him his dinner and play with him with his favorite toy when you get back...etc. This may sound absolutely crazy, but there are some people who believe that that cats are very sensitive to their owners' moods -- if you are able to leave thinking and speaking positively about seeing him when you get home, then he may pick up your sense of ease about the situation. (This idea should be credited to Anitra Fraser, in her book "The New Natural Cat".)

Here are two further thoughts about his night-time aggression:
1. If it turns out your kitty has IBS, you should also keep in mind that pain can contribute to feline agression. Helping him to become healthy may help decrease his aggressive night-time behaviors.
2. Your kitty (especially since he was a tom) may very well have gotten used to hunting and prowling at night when he was out on his own. He may be remembering the thrill of the hunt and may be acting it out with you while you try to sleep.

Best of luck!
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much.

I will read the thread about diet for IBS. I do not like the idea of giving him medication every day. Right now the vet prescrived Metrodoizale (or something like that) and antibioitcs and his diarhhia has stopped, but now he seems constipated! The other night he was drooling all ngiht also! I feel like this is never ending.

I definitely speak to him and tell him I will be home etc....and I do play with him when I am home...but he spends a long time alone...it worries me. If I was rich, I would hire a cat-sitter!!!

The vet I recently took him to believes he may have on testicle which did not come down..so that would explain the agreesion...I hope. I have him into get neuetred in a few weeks. The vet also wants to do a biopsy for IBS, but I would rather not...

Thanks for your feeback.
post #13 of 18
I do know of a cat clinic recently opened in your area that is supposed to be really tops in their field.

I know you are loathe to put your cat on life-long medication, but sometimes, it simply is necessary for the cat's comfort and longevity. I wish you both the best. Prior to taking him into the vet, spray the inside of his carrier with Feliway Spray and put a little bit of vanilla extract under his chin, to detract from the stress smell he will pick up the minute the door of the vet's office opens.

here is the link:

Manhatten Cat Clinic
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your post.

I always thought Feliway was only good for uneutered cats (which I guess mine is), but to stop them spraying?

I will check out that vet...right now I go to the Humane Society..which is the cheapest in NY.

Thank you.
I am having such a hard time giving him his tablets...sometimes I get it wrong and he spits it out and I am sure it tastes horrible. I grab him by the scruff of his neck and prie open his mouth..the top of it and try and get the tablet right at the back of his mouth, behind his tongue..but he hates it..and so do I!
post #15 of 18
I use a pill gun for pills - got mine from my vet. It's a plastic tube with a rubber tip to hold the pill on one end and a syringe type handle on the other side. It keeps your hands away from their mouths, and I've found that it is less intrusive for them - you don't have to open their mouths quite so far so its less stress on them. With very little practice, its easy to use.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I will ask my vet about it for sure!
post #17 of 18
Also the easiest way to pill is with the gun, and also in this position.

Kneel down on the floor, spread your legs apart and lock your ankles behind you together. Place kitty between your legs, her back to you. Scruff her gently, raise her head, use the pill gun and shoot the pill down her throat. Don't put the gun all the way into the mouth as that engages the gag reflex, just at the entrance. The burst of air from the gun will propel the pill right down the throat. The cat's instinct will be to back pedal against you, but she can't go anywhere, because she is essentially caught.

I found this method quite by accident a long time ago, and it never fails me. I have some cats here that to pill them is a major undertaking and this works successfully all the time.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I use that method, except without the pill gun....

I will have to find that pill gun as soon as I can...The whole thing stresses me out...and my cat out...and if I will have to do this for a long time!!

I have to say..he doesn't appear happy since he has been taking the medication, although he is better a little physically.
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