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Cat with difficulties

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by peachespurrfectboys, May 10, 2017.


  1. peachespurrfectboys

    peachespurrfectboys PetForums Junior

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    humphrey is now a 1 year old persian cross ragdoll. ever since day one i have noticed very specific difficulties he has. he has very clear abandonment issues, he displays alot of different behaviours. he has got cystitis and the vet says he has stress and anxiety problems. he is on those herbal tablets meant to help calm him and one of the pheromone plug ins. its been a while since he has been poorly yet still tries to wee outside his litter tray, im not sure if this is just a behavioural problem but he does seem in pain when he tries to do it, hes not quite poorly enough for the vet to really do much though. he has been neutered and i am home every single day. on a night i wake up to him howling for cuddles. he is very destructive but he is getting alot of play time so he shouldnt be this active. he has little twitches and anyone who has met him is quite aware instantly there is something not quite right with him. he has a very strong personality. he is hard to train into habits as he doesnt seem to know anything going on around him, every time he goes into my bedroom he acts like he has never even seen it before! he is not my first cat and i have never seen a cat quite like him. need this fixed as its causing me constant stress worrying about him. he cant even land on his feet when he jumps bless him, his body just smashes into the ground. has anybody had a cat anything similar or any ideas on how i can help him?
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @im18 and welcome :)

    I am sorry to hear Humphrey has these problems you mention. It must be worrying for you.

    What does the vet say is the cause of the twitching, and his inability to land safely when he jumps? Have you had an MRI brain scan done of Humphrey?
     
    Calvine likes this.
  3. peachespurrfectboys

    peachespurrfectboys PetForums Junior

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    our vet doesnt see anything wrong with him we just both agree he is just a special cat. the vet has never done a brain scan and i dont know if i could bare it, hurts my heart enough when i even have to take him to the vet plus i have only just stopped paying off his vets fees from meds and 2am emergency visits:( not quite sure what theres left to do about it apart from see what suggestions people have and see what works.its a endless cycle of me up all night and all day while he goes from acting like a baby to aggressive to spooked untill he makes himself poorly again
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear things are so bad you are up all night comforting him. Poor Humphrey, and poor you, it sounds awful. :(

    It sounds as though your current vet appears to think the cause is not physical but behavioural (emotional). Though I can't see how Humphrey not being able to jump safely is behavioural.:confused:

    From your description of him getting 'spooked' and the 'twitching' I wondered if it might be something called 'Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome" (FHS). One of my cats has FHS and has had it since he was a kitten. He does get very scared when he gets an attack.

    http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/skin/c_ct_feline_hyperesthesia_syndrome

    The cause of FHS is not fully understood but is believed to be a neurological condition. There is no cure but calming treatments can help.

    There are some calming remedies it would be worth trying for him. They are not drugs but supplements but can be very effective for anxious, stressed cats:

    1/ Zylkene - start with one 75 mg capsule a day, open the capsule and mix the powder into one of his meals.

    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/zylkene-75mg-for-cats-and-small-dogs-20-capsules-(online-only)

    2/ Beaphar calming spot-on. Put on the back of the head once a week.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beaphar-Ca...1-1&keywords=beaphar+calming+spot+on+for+cats

    3/ Pet Remedy plug in diffuser:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pet-Remedy...494496740&sr=1-1&keywords=pet+remedy+diffuser

    4/ Nutracalm (available from the vet)

    https://www.nutravet.co.uk/nutracalmfb

    5/ If you feed dry food you could substitute some of it for Royal Canin Calming dry food (contains l-tryptophan)

    https://www.royalcanin.com/products/vet/calming-support

    I am not advising you use all these products at the same time, as that would be too much (as well as being expensive). Try them one at a time maybe to see what helps. But give them a few weeks to take full effect.

    If none of these help, then I advise you to bring in a Cat Behaviourist, who can observe Humphrey's behaviour and advise you. If you have pet insurance the Behaviourist's fee will be covered as long as the vet makes the referral. If you pay yourself the cost may be around £80 a visit. But you may only need one visit and a follow up on the telephone.

    I think it would help you cope better with the stressful situation if you could get a good night's sleep. I would seriously consider settling Humphrey in a room on his own at night, with his food, water, litter trays, a cosy bed. Curtains with blackout linings at the window so he sleeps past dawn. Leave a radio on low playing soothing classical music. Close his door and close your bedroom door so there are 2 doors between you. If he is used to sleeping with you at night you may need to sleep in his new room with the door closed for a few nights just to help him adjust so he can sleep on his own without fretting.

    Good luck. Please let us know how things go. A photo of Humphrey would be lovely :)
     
    #4 chillminx, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
    moggie14 and Paddypaws like this.
  5. peachespurrfectboys

    peachespurrfectboys PetForums Junior

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    i will research fhs and see if thats the problem! thank you so much for the help i will try these. not sure how he'll feel sleeping on his own though, sometimes when he gets too stressed on a night i do have to put him in the spare room so he has time to calm but he gets really distressed when he isnt near me it breaks my heart so i just give in
    ill let you know how things go!
    IMG_2122.JPG
     
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Aww, he really is gorgeous isn't he!! I love his big saucer eyes, his sweet expression and his beautiful colouring. What an angel - I can see why you adore him. :)

    It sounds rather as though he panics and gets very frightened when he gets the 'episodes' you refer to. This is how my cat who has FHS gets when he gets an attack, really scared and he hides. It is upsetting to see.

    I have found it helps him if I go very calm myself, talk to him softly and distract him with a pinch of powdered cat nip or a couple of his favourite cat nip treats. Then I stroke his head slowly and gently. I appreciate Humphrey's attacks sound worse than my cat's but I think if you can make yourself be super-serene Humphrey will sense that and it will reassure him.

    There are various symptoms for FHS, some cats may have some symptoms but not others. The twitching skin (often described as 'rolling' when the skin on the back moves in a wave like motion) and the panic and terror are typical. Biting and attacking their own flanks and/or tail are also quite common. Does Humphrey do that?
     
  7. peachespurrfectboys

    peachespurrfectboys PetForums Junior

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    he really is just a big baby! i have read up about all the symptoms and all of it is him down to the letter! thank you so much this is the first anyone has mentioned this and its such a relief that now i can help treat him more accurately! i have quite bad anxiety so i definitely think he picks up on that sometimes and gets freaked out. he always bites his tail when he starts to get panicked, its amazing to finally understand why. i will try everything you recommend to see what helps him the most. i read one symptom says the cats can be very vocal and thats humphrey down to the t, he never stops chirping and howling. do you have more than one cat? Because i was wanting more as i have always been a cat person but i bought a little ragdoll girl aubree about 4 months ago and humphrey got worse noticeably fast even though he loved her so i did have to rehome her after a few weeks to the best home i could find but dont want that experience to stop me trying again one day
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I am so relieved to hear the symptoms of FHS seem to fit Humphrey's symptoms! Because hopefully the mystery of what is wrong with the dear fellow has at last been solved. :) And as you say, you can now try and manage it. :)

    I am so sorry to hear you had to rehome your little ragdoll kitten 4 months ago. That must have been very upsetting for you. Unfortunately FHS episodes are triggered by stress and any stressful event in my cat's (Ben) life has made him worse for a while. This includes vet visits, and having workmen in the house.

    I do have more than one cat. I adopted Ben and his brother together from a Rescue when they were about 14 mths old. I also adopted an old boy of 15 at the same time (though sadly he passed away from kidney disease 2 yrs later).

    Ben's FHS attacks started soon after I got him. It is quite likely that going through the major upheaval of losing his previous home, being put in a Shelter and then being rehomed was what triggered the FHS in the first place. After about a year the attacks of FHS became fewer and then disappeared altogether. Because I had read it was possible for a cat to grow out of FHS as they got older I assumed after a few years of no attacks the FHS had gone for good. So I added to my household by adopting two 4 month old female kittens from Rescue.

    I went very, very slowly with the introductions, so as not to upset the boys. The girls lived in their own quarters upstairs away from the boys. After about a month separate I allowed short daily periods of exposure between the girls and the boys through a screen door. This went on for about 4 months before I allowed the girls downstairs for short periods every day always under my supervision. The time was slowly increased. I supervised them all the time when they were together for about a year, and the girls always went back to their own quarters upstairs at bedtime. They still do 4 years later. I find such routines are important for keeping everyone calm.

    However although the introductions went slowly and smoothly and all 4 cats happily spend time together now, Ben evidently found the very fact of living with extra cats in the house to be a cause of stress for him and as a result his episodes of FHS came back, albeit luckily never anything like as bad as they were when he first came to live with me. Gradually over the past two years the FHS episodes have become less frequent again, and I have noticed they tend to happen these days in the summer. He had none this winter just gone. Perhaps because he is much more active in the summer.

    4 years ago if I had actually thought Ben's FHS episodes would come back I would not have adopted the 2 kittens.. However not to have had the girls would have been a pity as both boys get on well with them and have become much more lively and playful since the girls arrived. Ben's brother, who had become a bit quiet and lazy as he got older (he is nearly 8), gets on really well with the girls and he and they are always playing together. He has rediscovered his kitten ways, bless him! It is a joy to see. :)

    As far as Humphrey is concerned he is still very young, only a year old, and everything I have read on FHS suggests it often becomes less severe as they mature into adulthood. I would recommend leaving any plans to bring in another cat or kitten until he is fully grown, which will likely be around the age of 3, possibly 3.5 in some cats). Also by then you will be able to get a good idea of how well you can manage his symptoms to keep him calm.

    If you do decide at a future stage to bring in a kitten, I would make the introductions very, very slowly at a pace that will minimise the stress to Humphrey.
     
    moggie14 likes this.
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