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Mental illness in a cat?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I seriosly think my poor Scaredy is mentally ill. For instance, he runs away from me during the day, and hides under the bed. But he jumps up on my bed at night and sleeps there with me. He also purrs and wants scritches, but he will have nothing to do with me during the day because he is scared of me. If he is so terrified of me, why would he jump up on my bed and sleep? Could he be bipolar?
post #2 of 31
Has he always acted this way? How long have you had him?

Our only female cat, Pepsi, has acted this way since she was a kitten. The thing is, Pepsi was feral till about three months of age, so when we got her, she was pretty wild. She did get to where she would jump on the bed at night, purr, and beg to be petted, but run away from us during the day.

We finally figured it out: Pepsi is scared of things, especially feet and hands, moving toward her. (She improves with age, though, and for some reason has made HUGE leaps in improvement since she had the kittens; she's way more laid-back.)
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by evnshawn
Has he always acted this way? How long have you had him?

Our only female cat, Pepsi, has acted this way since she was a kitten. The thing is, Pepsi was feral till about three months of age, so when we got her, she was pretty wild. She did get to where she would jump on the bed at night, purr, and beg to be petted, but run away from us during the day.

We finally figured it out: Pepsi is scared of things, especially feet and hands, moving toward her. (She improves with age, though, and for some reason has made HUGE leaps in improvement since she had the kittens; she's way more laid-back.)
No, Scaredy isn't feral. He is a Persian cat. I had him for ~ 6 month. No, when I got him he wasn't that way but he got sick after a couple of days and been that way ever since. I think Scaredy is crazy...
post #4 of 31
He isn't crazy- how sick did he get and was he hospitalized? He could have just had a bad experience in the daytime (at the vets) and at night feels more comfortable, because at night the staff goes home and he can sleep-
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
He isn't crazy- how sick did he get and was he hospitalized? He could have just had a bad experience in the daytime (at the vets) and at night feels more comfortable, because at night the staff goes home and he can sleep-
No, he wasn't hospitalized. But I had to medicate him and since he is sickly, I have to continue on medicating him. Maybe he thinks that once I am in bed, I am not going to get up and give him the medications, so it's safe? His personality changed so much from when I got him, I wonder if he got some complications in the brain?
I mean, people think I over react when I say my cat is nutty until they come over and then he completely freaks out.
post #6 of 31
Ahh you are medicating him, that explains a lot.
My guess is that he avoids you most likely because he does not like getting medicated.
He knows that you do not medicate him after bed.
I would try to help him by associating medication time with a possitive reward afterwards.

I have a kitten who's been medicated from day one, in order to keep her from associating human contact with yucky medications, I always offer her something she truly loves afterwards.
In her case, it's a spoon of heated canned food mixed with a spoon of plain yogurt.
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Ahh you are medicating him, that explains a lot.
My guess is that he avoids you most likely because he does not like getting medicated.
He knows that you do not medicate him after bed.
I would try to help him by associating medication time with a possitive reward afterwards.

I have a kitten who's been medicated from day one, in order to keep her from associating human contact with yucky medications, I always offer her something she truly loves afterwards.
In her case, it's a spoon of heated canned food mixed with a spoon of plain yogurt.
That would explain why he is scared of me... But why is he scared of other people? They didn't do anything to him. And another funny thing he does, when I take him to a vet, he climbs behind me in a chair and hides behind me, so the vet can't see him. So, he is scared of me, but he is scared way more of other people, so if it's a choice between me and other people, he would pick me. But when we get home from the vet, he runs away from me again, even though just before I was supposed to defend him from the big bad vet.
Crazy little kitty.
post #8 of 31
Illness and medication will have a temporary effect on personality. When you're feeling sick, you're not up for a party, are you? I think once your cat is well, these things should work themselves out over time. I really don't think your cat is bipolar. Just have patience and be gentle.
post #9 of 31
I agree. If I were a cat & a human came at me every day to stick something ickey into my mouth...I would hide too.
I hope your kitty feels better soon. Here is a hug for you both.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
Illness and medication will have a temporary effect on personality. When you're feeling sick, you're not up for a party, are you? I think once your cat is well, these things should work themselves out over time. I really don't think your cat is bipolar. Just have patience and be gentle.
post #10 of 31
That makes since the medication part - When Max got sick I had to give him his meds a couple times a day. It got to the point that he would take off when I would come around him. I would love him and cuddle him before, during and after medicating him so hopefully he would understand I was not trying to hurt him in anyway or make him unconfortable. Now this has been a couple months and he finally is coming around. He is back to playing with me when I make the bed. Rolling over when I say " Maximus rub da belly " I have been saying that since he was a baby every time I would rub his belly or pick him up, so now when I say it he falls over so I can rub his stomach. So I bet that is what he is afraid of.

MEDS yuck who likes them anyway..
post #11 of 31
" Maximus rub da belly "
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
I seriosly think my poor Scaredy is mentally ill. For instance, he runs away from me during the day, and hides under the bed. But he jumps up on my bed at night and sleeps there with me. He also purrs and wants scritches, but he will have nothing to do with me during the day because he is scared of me. If he is so terrified of me, why would he jump up on my bed and sleep? Could he be bipolar?
Franz acts the same way with me...wary during the day, does not want me to approach him, yet at night..Mr. Loverboy in the bed. I used to fret about it and tried to "change" him, but it only made him more skittish. Now I just leave him be, and realize he's just my Mommas boy at night. Once I let up on trying to change him, he became less wary.

Now as far as a bipolar...that I can tell you about since I am. I don't believe cats/dogs can become bipolar because their brain is not sophisticated enough. I suppose mental illness is a price we pay sometimes for having more brain cells.
post #13 of 31
Before I adopted him, Leo was treated for ear mites. A month or so later later, I had to go away for the weekend and leave him in my roommate's care (and she's an idiot, should have known better) and she didn't watch him...he got into her plants, ate some, and got sick to his stomach and refused to eat or drink for about 36 hours, so upon my return, we were at the vet for pepcid and fluids. But anyway. While I was at the vet, I asked her about his ears, because despite my cleaning them, they still looked a little bit inflamed and had a lot of wax that wouldn't go away. She told me that it was probably just inflammation left over from the mites and to use teh cleaner more often. So that's what I did. she explained that mites can open up the ears to chronic infammation, so it probably wasn't a big deal and I should just keep them clean.

Well, last week I took him in for his yearly, and I asked this new vet (who I am totally happy with) what was up with his ears, and so she (ACTUALLY) ran lab tests. It turns out, he has actually had an infection this whole time! So, we have beem medicating him (which he is not thrilled with) and the infection is obviously clearing up.

His behavior has changed immensely. He is now the most affectionate, laid-back cat ever (though, he still refuses to pass out in my lap like a lot of cats do, but with a cat this awesome, I don't miss it). He used to randomly get aggressive; I'm assuming it was when his ears were bothering him!

The moral of the story is this: illness can really change a cat's behavior, as can medication. Even trips to the vet can freak a more skittish kitty out for weeks. Just keep helping your kitty back to health and you'll be thanked for it!

Also, that first vet is FIRED.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
Franz acts the same way with me...wary during the day, does not want me to approach him, yet at night..Mr. Loverboy in the bed. I used to fret about it and tried to "change" him, but it only made him more skittish. Now I just leave him be, and realize he's just my Mommas boy at night. Once I let up on trying to change him, he became less wary.

Now as far as a bipolar...that I can tell you about since I am. I don't believe cats/dogs can become bipolar because their brain is not sophisticated enough. I suppose mental illness is a price we pay sometimes for having more brain cells.
I have heard of mental illness in Cats, my girlfriend brings her can to the Vet once a month ofr a vitamin B shot....now I am not sure exactly why her cat needs it but it does relieve some of the stress the cat is feeling.

maybe look into it? what kind of meds is your kitty taking?

good luck!
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
I don't think my cat is ever going to improve healthwise. He keeps peeing all over the place. I think I might have to euthanize him because nothing seem to help for his FIC.
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
The moral of the story is this: illness can really change a cat's behavior, as can medication. Even trips to the vet can freak a more skittish kitty out for weeks. Just keep helping your kitty back to health and you'll be thanked for it!
Yes!!
post #17 of 31
When you first posted about Scaredy...you did not mention that he was peeing out of his litter box. You said that you thought he was crazy. I cannot believe that you would consider death as an option for Scaredy unless he is already near death from ill health? Has your vet. said that Scaredy is in horrible pain? You said that you have had him for only 6 months...how old is your kitty? Please...if you cannot live with Scaredy & your vet has not said that he is suffering from a terminal illness ...find & call a Persian rescue group or any rescue group in your area that will place Scaredy in a loving home where he can be helped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
I don't think my cat is ever going to improve healthwise. He keeps peeing all over the place. I think I might have to euthanize him because nothing seem to help for his FIC.
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
When you first posted about Scaredy...you did not mention that he was peeing out of his litter box. You said that you thought he was crazy. I cannot believe that you would consider death as an option for Scaredy unless he is already near death from ill health? Has your vet. said that Scaredy is in horrible pain? You said that you have had him for only 6 months...how old is your kitty? Please...if you cannot live with Scaredy & your vet has not said that he is suffering from a terminal illness ...find & call a Persian rescue group or any rescue group in your area that will place Scaredy in a loving home where he can be helped.
I think poor Scaredy got crazy from all the medications he had been given. He has IBD and FIC. He pees out of the litterbox not because of the behavioral problems, but because he has FIC, which is the same as cistitis in humans.
He is only a year old. I don't think he is in horrible pain, but his FIC isn't getting any better and vet says they can not do anything for him. It's extremely annoying to have cat peeing everywhere. I can handle a lot of things but not that for a long time. And of course with carpets the whole apartment is going to smell like cat pee.
He already is in a loving home (mine) but I have no idea how else he can be helped. He is a very sickly animal and has been ever since I got him. If his FIC doesn't get better, I have no idea what else to do. SHould I crate him? I don't think he will be happy in a crate, though. He would sit on my bed, look at me, and pee right on it.
I know it's not his fault but there seems to be no cure for his FIC. I really want to help him but don't know what else I can do.
post #19 of 31
Can you get a second opinion from a Feline only vet or even a different vet. Try contacting a Persian reacue group to see if they have had kitties with this problem before. Also, go online to Persian message boards if you can find one.
I am suggesting that you contact Persian lovers because you may generate more interest in your problem that way. In the health forum post a message asking for help about a Persian cat. Please...don't give up. I am sure you want to love your kitty but this may be to complicated for you alone to handle. Again...locate & talk to someone at a Persian rescue group & see if they will be on standby in case you need them. I pray that you find answers.
post #20 of 31
She probably doesn't want to give out free advice to everybody who asks, but you might just try pming newigal to ask about the peeing problem.
post #21 of 31
Great idea Tim...
elizwithcat...check out "newigal" in the members list & look at her public profile...she lists her website. It looks like a great resource for you.
I hope this helps little Scaredy.
Lei

Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
She probably doesn't want to give out free advice to everybody who asks, but you might just try pming newigal to ask about the peeing problem.
post #22 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
Can you get a second opinion from a Feline only vet or even a different vet. Try contacting a Persian reacue group to see if they have had kitties with this problem before. Also, go online to Persian message boards if you can find one.
I am suggesting that you contact Persian lovers because you may generate more interest in your problem that way. In the health forum post a message asking for help about a Persian cat. Please...don't give up. I am sure you want to love your kitty but this may be to complicated for you alone to handle. Again...locate & talk to someone at a Persian rescue group & see if they will be on standby in case you need them. I pray that you find answers.
I would like to take him to a feline specialist but I think I will need to get a second job just so I can support Scaredy. I think I spend so much money on the vets already, I could have bought a nice used car with it. And the vets seem to be pretty much useless anyway. At least if I knew they would help him I wouldn't worry about all the money being wasted. The ones I have been taking him too flat out told me that there is nothing they can do for him.
post #23 of 31
Last cat I had with FIC was diagnosed at 2 years, I had him put down at 13 years.
Quite frankly, I think your vet lied to you, when you were told that nothing could be done.
I completely understand the situation you are in, but if you are unable financially or otherwise to handle his illness, it would be kindest to release him to a breed rescue group. They work with a lot of people, some of which have dealt with these very issues themselves and are prepared to handle them.

Putting him down is not necessary at all.
post #24 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Last cat I had with FIC was diagnosed at 2 years, I had him put down at 13 years.
Quite frankly, I think your vet lied to you, when you were told that nothing could be done.
I completely understand the situation you are in, but if you are unable financially or otherwise to handle his illness, it would be kindest to release him to a breed rescue group. They work with a lot of people, some of which have dealt with these very issues themselves and are prepared to handle them.

Putting him down is not necessary at all.
What treatments did you try on your FIC cat? I don't think the vets lied on purpose, I think they are just clueless. They didn't seem to know anything about treatment at all. His urine pH is fine, he has no crystals in his urine, his bladder x-rays was fine, so they have no clue what to do with him. Also, how would I get my cat into a breed rescue group? If I could find a persian rescue group that could help him, I would give him to them.
post #25 of 31
My cat's issue was controlled through diet alone.
And a lot of litterbox retraining had to be done, on my part as well as his.
He was never perfect about it, but his accidents were minimal.

As far as breed rescue goes, others here would be better able to get some contact info for you.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
My cat's issue was controlled through diet alone.
And a lot of litterbox retraining had to be done, on my part as well as his.
He was never perfect about it, but his accidents were minimal.

As far as breed rescue goes, others here would be better able to get some contact info for you.
What do you feed him?
post #27 of 31
He was prescribed Purina CD dry and canned, I know there are other prescription foods out there for FIC as well.
He only had two more flare ups in his entire life.

In his later years, he refused to eat anymore prescription foods, after consulting with his vet, we switched him over to Nutro Natural.

As far as retraining goes, he was confined for many weeks, and I had to pick up everything he favored for peeing on:
plastic of any kind, laundry baskets with clean, or dirty clothes, boxes of all kinds, my door mats, and he was no longer allowed in my bedroom.
He had other health issues throughout his life, he was diagnosed as being developmentally disabled,and had violent mood swings, his littermate, whom I also adopted was put down at 6 weeks for being hydrocephalic.
By the way, he wasn't put down for his FIC, he developed cancer, a fast moving sarcoma.
post #28 of 31
I just started reading this thread, Elizabeth. I think you should try the new suggestions before giving up on this guy. You are certainly frustrated now, and I totally understand. Arlyn's pointers about crate training could help. Although Scaredy's peeing started with FIC, maybe he can gain some control over it.

I don't think he is bipolar. Bipolar does not cycle on a 24 hour schedule. He is very smart, and loves you, and is getting his cuddles at night when you aren't scary. Have you read the thread on blinking? I wonder if you are giving him "scary" messages by making eye contact during the day. (The blinking info is new to me. I had a semi-feral foster I was trying to tame, and wish I had known that earlier!) Maybe a few slow blinks will help him understand that you are safe, despite the medications!

Good luck. I hope he improves, for his sake and yours!
post #29 of 31
Elizwithcat, I don't know where you are located, but here are two websites that have links to Persian rescue groups around the country:

http://www.felinerescue.net/PersianRescueLinks.htm

http://persiancatrescue.org/rescues.htm#national

If you click around on that website, you'll see this message:
If you have a pedigreed cat that needs rescue and cannot find help at one of the rescues listed on the links above, please tell us about it on the Purebred Rescue Message Boards and we'll try to help you find a purebred rescuer or a placement.
The link to that message board is:
http://www.purebredcatbreedrescue.org/forums/index.php


Here's a group in Atlanta that rescues from all over the southeastern US:
http://www.felinerescue.net/persian_rescues_links.htm

And if you go to Petfinder.com, to this page:
http://www.petfinder.com/pet.cgi?action=4
You can select your state at the top and scan through to see if there are any Persian rescues in your area. If there aren't, a caring, cats-only rescue group might also be able to help.

I found all of this by going to Google and entering "Persian cat rescue." If you put in your state, you'll be able to find even more info.
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
I hate vets! I tried to get him into a feline specialist and the earliest they had is June 30th! Now this poor cat is peeing everywhere and no help whatsoever from the vets! How is he going to wait until June 30th?
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