or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › The best adj. I can think of to describe her is 'frazzled'...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The best adj. I can think of to describe her is 'frazzled'...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Pepper is six, spayed, and declawed. We bought her from a shelter as a kitten, and she has been our only cat ever since.

For nearly the past two years, she has had problems with obsessive cleaning--licking and biting her neck and upper stomach into a bloody mess, and giving her entire coat a very nappy, stressed look. This worsens and nearly diminishes in waves--for the moment, it doesn't seem to be a severe problem. We've taken her to the vet on several occasions, the result being a new non-allergetic dry food and several (over time of course) shots (she just had one a few weeks ago--perhaps why her cleaning habits have improved). At one point, she did actually have fleas, but I'm pretty sure that only worsened an existing problem, not caused.

She's always been quite playful, in fact, I fear that as a kitten, we played with her too much (and/or perhaps with too much intensity), using our bare hands more often than I think we should (now of course, we only interact with toys, a chasing finger under the blanket, etc., and not as agressively).

Even though her cleaning has improved, she still is one stressed out lady. She hisses and growls whenever anything doesn't go her way--she just hissed at me because I gave her two 'pounce' treats, then put them away (her eyes intently said she wanted more). Sometimes, walking past her in a small space will invoke her to bat, grab, and/or bite people's feet/ankles.

Her posture is slightly less than perfect, although with no other cats around to compare to, I see that as, unfortunately, natural. Her muscles are tense and rigid, and she is ever so slightly overweight. She also inhales/exhales in very rapid, short breaths through her nose whenever she is nervous, confused, etc.

I fear she doesn't get good enough exercise, as her endless nights of chasing the yarn ball from one end of the house to the other have dwindled (either by herself or with us throwing it, she used to bring it back to us in her mouth), and she seems altogether less energetic. She does enjoy being petted, and will sit on people's laps for hours at a time, but even then sometimes she will hiss if you shift your position, pet too much etc. Last night she climbed up and quite dramatically collapsed on my lap, exhaused from a day of her own craziness.

Basically, she just seems 'frazzled', and it makes us all so sad to see her distressed as much as she is. My family calls her 'disturbed' and hopes that the vet visits will ease her symptoms, but I know there has to be more we can do. She needs to relax, to feel comfortable and confident again, and as much as I think a companion would be/have been wonderful for her, I don't see her as being even remotely open to a new feline any time soon. Any suggestions, stories, links, etc.? What can we do for our baby?
post #2 of 7
First of all..welcome to the boards and thank you for sharing about your cat. The only thing I can think of is to buy some Feliway to calm her environment.


post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Is there risk of her becoming dependent on Feliway? I'm a bit hesitant to give her something that I'd only have to ween her off later.

Also, TNR? Please explain.

Thanks for the welcome Katie, glad to be here.
post #4 of 7
Questions? Has she had a neurological workup by a feline specialist?

Did the vet check for infection in the pads of her feet where she had the initial declaw? Often times, even years afterwards, a problem can develop and an infection can start. Her biting herself could be in response to the pain she is under, her only defense is to start biting on herself in her anxiety to get it out of her. If her paws are really sore, she won't bite them- she wouldn't be able to handle that type of pain.

Her posture sounds typical for a declawed cat. When they take the claws, the actually sever the tendons and muscles, her knuckles are cut off (is the layman's way to describe it) This affects how they walk in later life, because cats walk on their toes, and declawed cats no longer have those toes.

I would get her into a specialist as soon as possible, there could be a myriad of things wrong with her. Also, I don't know how you flea-treated her, but over the counter remedies do not work! They cause more problems, and can even result in your cat's death if used.

The feliway, is a plug in that dispenses pheromones that calm you cat down if she is stressed. It is not a drug, it is just a scent they pick up. If your cat is ill- and I believe she is, Feliway will not help you. But a qualified feline specialist will-

Good luck!
post #5 of 7
hieronymus...sounds as if Hissy has provided you with some excellent advice. As far as TNR....it stands for Trap, Neuter, Return which is a program for humanely treating feral cats.

post #6 of 7
I agree that your cat does not sound healthy. It sounds more like a physical than psychological problem given her posture and breathing. Also, has the vet ever done a skin scraping to check whether she has mites? If not, insist on it. I hope you can find a cat specialist because it sounds like problems that go beyond the knowledge of a general practitioner.

To help calm her in the meantime, you can try Bach's Rescue Remedy. It is an herbal calming agent that you can find at most health food stores. It is nonaddictive and works well on most animals to calm but not drug them.
post #7 of 7
Recently I bought this little care package of Jeff Werber Pets products (shampoo, emollient spray, etc) and one of the items was a powder to add to a cats moist food that is a herbal calming agent for cats. I haven't used it yet so I don't know if it works or not, but you could try something like that too. But I tend to agree with hissy that even if you tried feliway or one of these calming agents it will only cover up the anxiety symptom and there is likely an underlying cause for the anxiety that needs to be addressed.

These products might be good to use before and after a vet visit since vet visits are typically very stressful for cats. I think I'm going to try the one I have before giving Isabelle her bath (that is if it ever warms up enough for me to give her a bath!!)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › The best adj. I can think of to describe her is 'frazzled'...