Cat(s) behavior issues...what to do?
May 8, 2014 12:28 AM Subscribe
Sister cats, adopted from the shelter very young (~couple months)...are now around 3 years and thriving. Problem is they will randomly get very...agitated? Upset? Freaked out may be the best way to describe this. Not sure what to do or how to go about explaining it to vet without having to force pills down their little throats (this causes more trauma and anxiety!) Tedious details inside.
posted by PeppahCat to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some background: Syd and Blue are, as I said on the front page part of the question, about 3 years old. They're sisters, adopted from the shelter while very young. Both had some minor health issues (mainly fleas/wormy-things due to fleas/one respiratory infection) early on, but nothing bad or critical. They're indoor-only cats with occasional supervised outdoor time on the screened porch during the nice days/nights. Both are kept up to date on shots and vaccines and the like. Both are in quite good health and lead normal, lazy cat lives. There is nothing out of the ordinary that has happened in the last year or so for them to suddenly start freaking out, no major changes to trigger a freak out, and yet they have.
The best way to describe their "freak-out moments" as we call them: Sydney (who I might add is the Alpha of the two) will get VERY mad, start growling and howling, hissing and slinking low to the ground while puffed up. She swats at or will even attack anything near her (an object that moves, her sister, or one of the humans in the house). She is provoked by the most random things, and sometimes things that we humans can't even figure out. For instance, I received some bad news one morning and started bawling. She FLIPPED out, and while I was (sobbing and) trying to get into the bathroom to get a tissue, she attacked my leg. I had to hide in the bathroom until my mom came home. It was lucky I was living with her at the time or I'd have had to stay in there who knows how long. Syd left rather impressive scars. Another time (and this will now about happen once a week per my mom), my mom came in from work through the screen porch into the house and they completely lost it. Both girls got irritated and slink around puffed up and growling and the like.
Blue's "freak-out moments" are not quite so dramatic...I blame this on her not being the Alpha of the two...but she still lets out a quiet hiss or growl and in doing so will unintentionally provoke or further upset Syd.
You can't separate them...you'll just cause a physical fight with them and either you or one of them will get bitten/clawed/etc. We've tried the pheromone spray, which seems to do nothing but take their minds off whatever triggered the freak out long enough for them to squint their eyes since we sprayed the pheromone spray (even if it's done in a different room...they're drama queens). Using a spray bottle is the easiest way to get them to get out of your way long enough to get out of the room, but we hate to do that as it seems to be mean to spray them when they're already upset and we don't want to do the "punishment" for something they technically aren't doing wrong (ie scratching the furniture would be worthy of a spritz). The easiest way to deal with these little moments of freaking out is to just walk out of the room. They sort themselves out after a few minutes (maybe even a minor scuffle if both are in the same room/are both involved) and things are OK, albeit a tad on edge for a while. Both girls are not always involved in this crap...one will get upset and the other will come in to investigate the noise, and in return become upset. It's an exhausting little cycle.
Has anyone got any suggestions for how we could go about speaking to our vet regarding these problems? Anyone had similar issues? Ideas for treatments or things to try and help calm/ease the tension, so to speak? These two have a WIDE OPEN HOUSE all to themselves when my mother is at work, and when she's home it's just the three of them. I can't imagine it's anything revolving attention or lack thereof, because they get plenty of it equally. They're both loved dearly, and both are very kind, loving girls outside of these little mood swings. Putting them down is NOT an option, nor is taking them back to the shelter. We aren't opposed to giving them medication again, but pilling cats is such an absolute nightmare and these two cause even more drama than normal cats would over the whole ordeal. Injections, maybe? Do they even make injections that owners could give to kittehs? 0.o
I no longer live with my mom but she wanted me to ask the MeFi community for help since I still regularly visit her (and the cats). Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated by myself, my mother, and Sister Syd/Sister Blue! =)