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Scaredy cat.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
My cat is terrified of his own shadow. He had never been abused, he is just that way. Is there any medications for cat's anxiety? I keep asking the vets but they are useless and don't know of any. What am I supposed to do with this cat?
post #2 of 29
first try feliway ... there are some otc "herbal type relaxers... Have you tried playdates
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
first try feliway ... there are some otc "herbal type relaxers... Have you tried playdates
I tried feliway but no change. Playdates? What is that? I have never heard of it. And herbal type relaxers-what are those and where do I get them. Cause this cat is driving me nuts. He hides when anybody comes over and wouldn't come out. I am pretty sure that is why he got sick with bladder problems because he was so scared and stayed under a bed for a week...
post #4 of 29
finding a friend My Zioey has playdates with the dog next door...lol.. suprevised not planned..

try to find someone that is not aggrassive or overly territoial...

I found getting another cat actually helped my Kandie who unless your a bird she is hiding from you.. she is coming out much more since the annoying Zoey moved in..( kandie calls zoey annoying

petco and petsmart have so of the herbal s
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
finding a friend My Zioey has playdates with the dog next door...lol.. suprevised not planned..

try to find someone that is not aggrassive or overly territoial...

I found getting another cat actually helped my Kandie who unless your a bird she is hiding from you.. she is coming out much more since the annoying Zoey moved in..( kandie calls zoey annoying

petco and petsmart have so of the herbal s
He has another cat. Doesn't seem to help him being scaredy. In fact, he is making my other cat a bit scaredy too. My other cat keeps scaredy's company under the bed even though he wouldn't be sitting down there if scaredy wasn't. What are the herbal's names if you know? I might try those. Because I have no clue what else to do and the vets are absolutely no help.
post #6 of 29
I will look tomarrow... I will be in one working
post #7 of 29
I'm sorry, but why is this a problem?
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
My cat is terrified of his own shadow. He had never been abused, he is just that way. Is there any medications for cat's anxiety? I keep asking the vets but they are useless and don't know of any. What am I supposed to do with this cat?
I have a cat that's skittish, and my Mom's is even worse! I have never seen my Mom's cat!!! He hides under the bed whenever I come over. Now, he will come out when one person comes over to visit her because she's quiet and gentle and has gained his trust.

Some cats are just very skittish. I'm sorry for you and your cat. It'd be better if he/she were not so frightened by everything. The funny thing is, I think that's why so many cats in the world are named, "Shadow." They tend to be either intrigued or frightened of them, lol.

Whatever you do, be patient and gentle...and give him/her time. Just try to be sensitive toward his/her plight until you can find a solution. Hopefully you will, and if you don't, I hope you will continue to love him/her and know that just like humans, cats can be timid, shy, anxious and neurotically sensitive.

I wish you luck, and hope other people would post some helpful hints.
post #9 of 29
What did your mom do for her timid cat? I have my first truly frightened one - I only know she's in the house because food gets eaten and I clean her litter box. She's currently my only cat (I have her because her previous roommate wouldn't accept her).
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimmyandNunny
I have a cat that's skittish, and my Mom's is even worse! I have never seen my Mom's cat!!! He hides under the bed whenever I come over. Now, he will come out when one person comes over to visit her because she's quiet and gentle and has gained his trust.

Some cats are just very skittish. I'm sorry for you and your cat. It'd be better if he/she were not so frightened by everything. The funny thing is, I think that's why so many cats in the world are named, "Shadow." They tend to be either intrigued or frightened of them, lol.

Whatever you do, be patient and gentle...and give him/her time. Just try to be sensitive toward his/her plight until you can find a solution. Hopefully you will, and if you don't, I hope you will continue to love him/her and know that just like humans, cats can be timid, shy, anxious and neurotically sensitive.

I wish you luck, and hope other people would post some helpful hints.
Unfortunately, I can't gain his trust because I always have to pill him and to medicate him as he is making himself sick over being so scared all the time. It's a vicious circle. In fact, I definetly think he is so scaredy because I am medicating him non-stop-that's how it started. He was fine for a few days until he got sick when I got him.
post #11 of 29
there is a nice herbal liquid at petco it is right next to the calmezze I think which is the same stuff in a tablet
post #12 of 29
Feliway is helpful for anxious cats. Here's a link:
http://www.vpl.com/cgi-bin/vpl.cgi/1...ml?id=75vMFxXK
You can get a diffuser that spreads the odor, or just a spray bottle. Feliway gives a comforting odor to cats, that tells them this is a safe place. It is definitely worth a try.

There are also medications to help anxious cats, but as in humans, I don't think vets want to jump straight to medications. If you have a new cat, and it is sick and being pilled, that is reason enough to make it anxious.

After he feels better, and gets a chance to settle into the house, he may improve a lot. If he hides under the bed, and is afraid to come out to use the litterbox, unfortunately the answer is to put a litterbox under (or next to) the bed! And if you can catch him to pill him, he is not a feral cat.

Some cats are just shy or anxious. After he heals, and gets a chance to settle in, if he continues to be excessively shy, maybe the vet will medicate him. But although he may never be a total lovebug, if he becomes more comfortable with you he will be fine. As for avoiding visitors, many cats do that!
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
Unfortunately, I can't gain his trust because I always have to pill him and to medicate him as he is making himself sick over being so scared all the time. It's a vicious circle. In fact, I definetly think he is so scaredy because I am medicating him non-stop-that's how it started. He was fine for a few days until he got sick when I got him.

What kind of sickness does your cat have? Is there anyway to chill from the pills? Or is it absolutely necessary? I mean, if the pills are for the being scared, how is he making himself sick? Without knowing all the answers to my questions, my thoughts are to back off from him. And give him a chance to start trusting you again.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsZcat
What did your mom do for her timid cat? I have my first truly frightened one - I only know she's in the house because food gets eaten and I clean her litter box. She's currently my only cat (I have her because her previous roommate wouldn't accept her).

She didn't do anything spectacular. He is still incredibly fearful of anyone but her and the one friend of hers that comes over occassionally. She keeps a quiet house. Nothing is ever blarring loud over there. She lives there, so she is a consistant presence and he knows her voice. She talks very gently to him. And is very gentle with petting him.

How long have you had your cat? If not for long, it could just be a matter of time before you two bond and adjust to each other.
post #15 of 29
I personally believe I ruined my cat. Nunny was my first cat, and I sheltered him from any kind of mild discomfort that I perceived to come his way. Like, my fiance would step over him while he was lying on the floor, and I would correct him and say, "Don't just step over him full force like that! You need to gently walk passed him! You don't want to freak him out do you?" LMAO, omg, am I an idiot. Live and learn and then you get Hugs. lol

I learned my lesson with Nunny because while I'm sure there are other factors and genetics involved, (i must keep telling myself that) I know I didn't provide the type of environment that would make him more easy going. So, a lesson out there for Mommy's and Daddy's of new kitties, while you don't want to freak them out, you don't want to shelter them to the point where they can't handle anything.

Now, Nunny is nowhere near as bad as my Mom's cat. She says her cat Tiger lived in a barn before she got him, and she thinks he became tramatized over the tractor starting. That's quite possible. Nunny is just cautious about things.

The poor thing, one day he tried to get up on the kitchen counter (which he is more than welcome to in my home) and pulled down a stack of dishes with him. He will NOT get on the counter tops anymore. It was a one time deal with him.

He also seemed to have changed after he got fixed. He was horrified and tried to bite the girls. He was completely tramatized over that event.

But he tries to be friendly with people but not the way he is with Mommy and Daddy because we're always here.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Feliway is helpful for anxious cats. Here's a link:
http://www.vpl.com/cgi-bin/vpl.cgi/1...ml?id=75vMFxXK
You can get a diffuser that spreads the odor, or just a spray bottle. Feliway gives a comforting odor to cats, that tells them this is a safe place. It is definitely worth a try.

There are also medications to help anxious cats, but as in humans, I don't think vets want to jump straight to medications. If you have a new cat, and it is sick and being pilled, that is reason enough to make it anxious.

After he feels better, and gets a chance to settle into the house, he may improve a lot. If he hides under the bed, and is afraid to come out to use the litterbox, unfortunately the answer is to put a litterbox under (or next to) the bed! And if you can catch him to pill him, he is not a feral cat.

Some cats are just shy or anxious. After he heals, and gets a chance to settle in, if he continues to be excessively shy, maybe the vet will medicate him. But although he may never be a total lovebug, if he becomes more comfortable with you he will be fine. As for avoiding visitors, many cats do that!
Strangely enough, Feliway seem to have an opposite reaction on my cats. They are scratching the rugs like crazy.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimmyandNunny
What kind of sickness does your cat have? Is there anyway to chill from the pills? Or is it absolutely necessary? I mean, if the pills are for the being scared, how is he making himself sick? Without knowing all the answers to my questions, my thoughts are to back off from him. And give him a chance to start trusting you again.
He made himself sick by getting FIC, which is bladder disease. It's apparently can be caused by stress. I am medicating him because I was told by the vet to medicate him.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
He made himself sick ... caused by stress. I am medicating him ...
OK, it becomes somewhat more clear. You've had a change in behavior in your cat since his illness and his medication. That's not unusual. I would discuss it with your vet. Maybe the dosage needs to be adjusted.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
OK, it becomes somewhat more clear. You've had a change in behavior in your cat since his illness and his medication. That's not unusual. I would discuss it with your vet. Maybe the dosage needs to be adjusted.
His medication is not for his anxiety. He gets nothing for that as I can't get the vet to prescribe him anything-sounds like the vets have no idea what to give cats for anxiety. His medication is for his physical health problems. He also started to destroy the rugs by clawing on them. I wonder if it's because of his anxiety. Bad Scaredy!
post #20 of 29
Yes, but any medication, has side effects. That's why if the behavior change was coincident with the health problem and the treatment thereof, it's reasonable to suspect they're tied in together. I still think you need to suspect the medication. Furthermore, I think you need to get a second opinion from another vet, as this vet doesn't seem to have a clue.
post #21 of 29
Elizwithcat--how old is your cat? Is he fixed? How long have you had him? Where did you get him? I didn't quite understand the living situation. Is he the only cat in your household? How many other people live in your household? What kind of place do you live in (house, apartment, city, country)?

The answers to all of these questions would help me think of some suggestions for your cat. (What is his name?) I have had a "scaredy cat" for about four months now, and she is doing so much better, so I have some ideas if you can give me some more information.

When does your cat act scared? You say he's scared of his shadow, but can you elaborate a bit? Is he constantly hiding, or does he seem to get scared when he's surprised?

A couple of things I can say:

1. He's not being bad when he scratches at the carpets. Cats NEED to scratch, and they do it for two reasons. A. To maintain their claws; B. They have glands in their paws that release a scent when they scratch--it's a way of marking territory. That said, it's a drag to have your cat messing up the carpet, so you need to provide an alternate. There are plenty of options at the pet store: carpeted posts, posts wrapped in sisal (rope), sometimes even bare wood. It might take a few tries to figure out what your cat likes, but if you teach him right, he will scratch where it's appropriate. My cats like tall posts wrapped in sisal--another reason they scratch is to stretch, so it needs to be taller than their body length. Other people have found that their cats like cheap doormats (from T@rget or similar)--some cats like vertical scratching, some like horizontal.

2. Our cat Ziv has had to take a lot of medicine since we adopted him. At the worst times, he wouldn't let us touch him because he was afraid it meant we were going to shove another pill down his throat. Try getting a pill gun (ask your vet for one); it makes the process go a lot faster, cutting down on the discomfort for your cat. Also, when you give him his meds, make sure that you're as calm as possible. If you treat it as a cheerful, ordinary task, he won't be able to feed off your anxiety. Try too to give him his pill when he's relaxed as can be. For the duration of the time that you have to medicate him, it will be hard for your cat to trust you, but after it's done, he should start coming around.
post #22 of 29
I've heard that if your cat has a weakness for a certain food--say cheese or peanut butter or something like that, you can put a little dab on a pill and give it to them that way, so its not such a horrible experience for them. I wouldnt know--because my cats will only eat dry food from their bowl--they avoid fish, chicken and any other treat I try to entice them with. But perhaps that would make medication time a little less horrid for your poor scared kitty?
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
He has a lot of scratching posts and condos. I wonder if he is confused because the condos are also carpeted, so, if it's good to scrach on the condo, why not the carpets or rugs?

He is a very sweet cat but he had been a lot of trouble. He got sick a couple of days after I got him and since then it's one thing after another with this kitty. My first cat is an ideal kitty (behavior wise) but this one is a little troublemaker, altough none of this is his fault-he can't help being a sickly kitty. Like when he got FIC he started peeing all over the place-of course it's not his fault but it's not particularly pleasant to have a peed up place. Anyhow, I am dreading to find out what else he is going to come up with. And of course it's pretty sad that he is scared of me and runs off when he sees me coming-he must think I am going to pill him again (which I am, LOL).
post #24 of 29
Scratching the rugs can be a way of marking territory, so maybe they do like the Feliway! It made a big difference in a semi-feral foster cat I had.

I have also heard that pill pockets work to help cats take pills.
http://www.pillpockets.com/index_fs.htm

Don't give up on this guy. I think he is lucky to have found someone as patient as you!
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Scratching the rugs can be a way of marking territory, so maybe they do like the Feliway! It made a big difference in a semi-feral foster cat I had.

I have also heard that pill pockets work to help cats take pills.
http://www.pillpockets.com/index_fs.htm

Don't give up on this guy. I think he is lucky to have found someone as patient as you!
Actually, this cat is driving me bonkers. He is peeing everywhere (he got FIC), he started scratching all the rugs (I am sure it has something to do with his FIC and anxiety as he wasn't doing it before) and he is scared of everything.
Talk about a problem child! I am not sure how much longer I can handle this. I have gotten very good at giving him pills though, if that is any consolation.
post #26 of 29
I'm sorry you're in such a frustrating situation. Can you confine your cat to one room, to minimize the damage he's doing? Narrowing his world a bit might make him a little less stressed. If you can add Feliway, comfy bedding, toys, food, low lights, and soothing music, it might help him get through his rough time. Being sick isn't fun, and since he seems a bit high-strung, everything is probably affecting him more.
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceMuse
I'm sorry you're in such a frustrating situation. Can you confine your cat to one room, to minimize the damage he's doing? Narrowing his world a bit might make him a little less stressed. If you can add Feliway, comfy bedding, toys, food, low lights, and soothing music, it might help him get through his rough time. Being sick isn't fun, and since he seems a bit high-strung, everything is probably affecting him more.
I don't think I can do it-separating him from my other cat doesn't work. They really love each other and if I lock one up they will be scratching the door trying to get together-I have tried separating them in the past with no lack.
post #28 of 29
Just my limited knowledge 2 cents worth: If your vet is not working with you, get another vet. They should not be scratching their heads about your cat's problems, they should be helping you.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
I don't think I can do it-separating him from my other cat doesn't work. They really love each other and if I lock one up they will be scratching the door trying to get together-I have tried separating them in the past with no lack.
Ok, then can you put them both in the same room? I really think this would at least cut down on the area he can damage right now, which will in turn cut down on your stress, which will probably cut down on his stress...
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