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anyone else here have a cat with obsessive-compulsive disorder?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
i took emily to the vet yesterday because she had an upset tummy. the vet (a board-certified cats-only vet with his own clinic) asked if she'd gotten into anything. i explained that the only thing she does is to lick plastic. constantly. she will seek out anything and everything plastic in the apartment and lick it for hours on end. if i try to stop her, she gets mad. it used to be constant scratching at closed closet doors.

anyway, this morning i told him that her licking was really getting out of control since the visit, and he said that with such extreme behavior, she probably has obsessive-compulsive disorder and will need medication since it's so bad. (he determined at the visit that she had an upset tummy because of something she'd eaten, and not the plastic-licking).

i really don't want to debate whether the disorder exists, or if it's appropriate to medicate cats for anxiety- i'm just looking to commiserate.

btw, the way i decided that yeah, he's right, was to google "obsessive compulsive disorder cats" (no quotes) and it fits poor emily to a "t".

thanks~
post #2 of 25
Good luck with treating your little kitty. What type of treatment does your vet propose?
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
he was talking about giving her antidepressants. my first thought was "no way!". then i saw her go around and just lick everything in the apartment to death yesterday, and i kept hiding stuff that made noise when she licked it (plastic bags, mostly).

the thing that made me change my mind was to see that the illness progresses, and that some cats will start eating the substance, and even eat wood!

i see that this problem is definitely escalating. emily seems to be very nervous now that i've hidden her favorite plastic things to lick. the article i read was really scary, and sad, and talked about cats going into self-mutilation and such.

i've ordered another feliway diffuser, and i'm hoping that will calm ashley down and stop her from tearing after emily every once in awhile. after that, i hope emily calms enough to not lick all over the apartment! if she does not, i am seriously thinking of giving her the medication, since she must be miserable and awfully nervous for this to be going on. the article suggests trial periods of medication, and if it helps, to continue the therapy.

it just made me so sad to see that article and see poor emily licking all over the place.
post #4 of 25
Keep us posted, okay?
post #5 of 25
My MIL adopted an abused dog that turned out to have this issue..it was soooo bad, it almost ended their 20 year marriage..the dog was A LOT of work, they went through soooo much money.

We went to visit them a couple of months ago and she put the dog in a boarding facility for the first day, after that she brought Sasha home. Sasha is on anti depressants and it makes A WORLD of difference...we could even see it in her while we were there.

She was very shy aorund us, but when on her meds, she would actually jump on the couch next to us and curl up. Off her meds...when it was meal time, she would not walk out the door if anything was standing by the door, just stare at the door, then us, then the door, then us...looking panic stucken...when she would finally go, she would walk out and come back 5 times then go eat. On her meds, she did not do this.

The meds have made a huge differnce with this sweet little puppy...good luck!
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5catsandcountin
My MIL adopted an abused dog that turned out to have this issue..it was soooo bad, it almost ended their 20 year marriage..the dog was A LOT of work, they went through soooo much money.

We went to visit them a couple of months ago and she put the dog in a boarding facility for the first day, after that she brought Sasha home. Sasha is on anti depressants and it makes A WORLD of difference...we could even see it in her while we were there.

She was very shy aorund us, but when on her meds, she would actually jump on the couch next to us and curl up. Off her meds...when it was meal time, she would not walk out the door if anything was standing by the door, just stare at the door, then us, then the door, then us...looking panic stucken...when she would finally go, she would walk out and come back 5 times then go eat. On her meds, she did not do this.

The meds have made a huge differnce with this sweet little puppy...good luck!
thank you so very much for this information. because of this, i've decided to go ahead with the medication. i'm watching emily slowly go insane, and it's heartbreaking. i caught her trying to eat the mattress today (there's chunks out of it, which i thought was from clawing). i've got to keep an eye on that and make sure she doesn't get sick from that.

emma's friend- i will definitely keep things updated here!

thank you again!
post #7 of 25
No problem...I can't gaurantee what will happen with your cat...but we were able to see a huge difference in my MIL's dog...I hope it works out for you!
post #8 of 25
Fred licks and chews compulsively. He had a head injury years ago, and the vet said it was probably from that. It drives me nuts, I wish I could do something such as meds, but it has not been offered to me as a solution.
post #9 of 25
Do you know which medication your vet wants to put her on? One of my babies is on amitriptyline for a bladder disorder. It is an older antidepressant that is supposed to reduce the inflammation of her bladder and reduce the amount of stress (though just giving her the pill is stressful). If you end up giving a tablet, particularly one that is cut, I highly recommend getting some empty capsules to put it in. Those pills are so bitter that my cat will start drooling the second it touches her tongue. With the capsule, I have between 30 seconds and a minute to get her to swallow before the capsule dissolves.

Best of luck to you. My cat licks things occasionally (mostly wood, like doorframes and chair legs) but not to the point of obsession.
post #10 of 25
Poor girl, get her on meds (IMHO). I'm biased, because I'm a psych nurse for humoons! But meds can make such a difference, I would guess they will help your cat.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm still trying to figure out whether to medicate Emily.

Right now, her problem consists of licking for only about half an hour a day (as opposed to all day long). She's very playful, bright-eyed, and affectionate, and my concern is that if she gets a bad side effect from the medication, she isn't able to tell me. I've had horrible medication side effects, and I'm just wondering if it's possible for cats to have them.

She is extremely terrified of everyone except me, though, and jumps if she hears even the slightest noise outside. Ashley terrorizes her a couple of times a day (although the second feliway seems to have helped, I can't tell yet for sure). She obviously doesn't do well at the vet.

When I took her to the vet, she literally lunged at him while still in the carrier; she had to be taken to the back room for the exam. Ten minutes of kitty screaming later, a male technician returned her and said "well, everyone survived". The vet came in with his hair all mussed up and said "I'm not going to be able to get anywhere near her mouth unless it's up close and personal" (if she bit him).

So, I know she's nervous. The only thing holding me back now is worrying she'll get a side effect and not be able to tell me. I would hate that to happen.

I think I'll go google this and see if I can come up with anything.

Thanks for all your help, and I'll keep updating here!
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I just wanted to let you all know that I decided not to medicate Emily; she's doing much better, and I think was just very upset after the vet visit. Her licking has improved a lot since I added the extra Feliway diffuser a few days ago (I can't possibly convey how much Feliway has helped the kitties). I'm hoping it stays this way, and that Ashley stops tormenting her so much.

Thanks for your input!
post #13 of 25
Best of luck. Love is the best medicine of all, isn't it?
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma's Friend
Best of luck. Love is the best medicine of all, isn't it?
i hope so. now if i can just get ashley to understand that.
post #15 of 25
wow, when I first saw your title, I almost thought it was just humor. I think my cat is bipolar, then again, most people I know w/ cats say the same. If it starts again though, I would definitely give the medication a try - I mean you never know until you try right? If she reacts badly, simply discontinue, but what if it's the best thing that could ever happen to her, & you. It might give her peace of mind, let her relax, & live a normal life, & be healthy & happy. I hope she continues to do well w/out it, but if not, I would definitely at least give it a try & see, it could be the best thing for her.
post #16 of 25
My cat is nutty too but I can't even get the vet to prescribe him any medication for this.
post #17 of 25
My cat Shane is a plastic licker, too. He doesn't do it all day, or anything, but he does like to lick on plastic bags a lot. When I see him doing it, I tell him "No". After about 3 "no's" from me, he will finally give up and leave the plastic alone. He also has a fetish for photographs. He would lick and lick on a photo until it was destroyed. I'm sure it's the chemical on the photo. I have learned that I can not leave photo's lying around at all. He used to try to destroy photo albums just to get to the photo underneath.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies!

emily is luckily doing much better; although she does lick plastic still- it seems mostly when her stomach hurts (she's getting some chronic upset stomach issues). poor little stressed out kitty.

she's crazy though- maybe she is bipolar. possibly manic right now. ashley talks to me all day pretty much without a break; now emily has decided to do it for no apparent reason. just talking- no distress. sometimes she'll sit by herself alone and talk too.
post #19 of 25
Good luck with the poor sweetie!
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
thanks!
post #21 of 25
Aw I hope she gets better! Shadow has Cleaning OCD.. he cleans up EVERYTHING.. after her eats... after he uses the litter box he scratches for a good 5 mins... He has to cover everything after fins uses the litter box even though its already been done... if my mom is on the floor reading the newspaper he tries to clean it up! lol
post #22 of 25
Aww, i'm sorry to hear that. Is it possible that she's unahppy about something? Just throwing out ideas here. Is there anyway to get her some sort of liquid meds instead of the pill thing? It's so hard to medicate a cat. It sucks for the both of you.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
My cat Shane is a plastic licker, too. He doesn't do it all day, or anything, but he does like to lick on plastic bags a lot. When I see him doing it, I tell him "No". After about 3 "no's" from me, he will finally give up and leave the plastic alone. He also has a fetish for photographs. He would lick and lick on a photo until it was destroyed. I'm sure it's the chemical on the photo. I have learned that I can not leave photo's lying around at all. He used to try to destroy photo albums just to get to the photo underneath.
Oh YES, my cats LOVE photos! I wonder if it's poisonous? I sure hope not. Either way, i don't let them lick 'em.
post #24 of 25
I too have a very nervous cat. She has been with me for six & a half years and is only now beginning to show signs of improvement. She has all sorts of weird behaviours which we just live with, I think it's some kittenhood trauma which caused her to be like this. We have never medicated her for this, just given her lots of reassurance, and safe hidey holes for when she needs to get away. Mine also had a violently runny digestion for six of the years we had her - she has only just started to produce solids. I suppose what I am trying to say is that you are probably making progress with yours even if it doesn't seem that way to you. Best of luck.

Sue
post #25 of 25
My cat got Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome which got now over a year and getting worse, very hard to live with sometimes, when she bad, she wild and when is quite you feel like cant do anything for her. My cat only 3 years. It hard to get help for it here and noone understands...
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