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31 March 2014 @ 10:22 pm
And this is why we can't have nice things.  
Ziggy Stardust had a trip to the vet tonight, or more accurately, to the pet behavioural therapist. As a result he'll be on prozac for at least the next six months, but hopefully over time the dose can be cut back and he may one day come off it completely.

Ziggy has been a problem child almost right from the start; way back in August 2012 he started pulling his coat out by the mouthful and ended up on tablets for a month, which chilled him out but didn't help the coat-pulling. We ruled out dermatological problems, and food allergies, but couldn't get a handle on the coat-pulling at all. As he's grown, his problems have increased. He chews fabric - there's a fist-sized hole in my summer bedspread (the bit that tucks under the pillows, fortunately) and most of my pillow cases are missing a corner; the cushions on my lounge have holes, and any clothes that I leave within reach end up with frilled hems.

And then he started in on the really inappropriate stuff, leading to two trips to the vet so far this year to have foreign objects removed from his intestines. Nothing like getting up in the morning and finding a puddle of cat vomit full of bright blue rubber, when he's found the ONE rubber mat that I overlooked putting away.

He also gets carried away with himself, displaying what the vet called Chaos Behaviour, when the animal gets so overstimulated that they're incapable of calming themselves down. These bouts usually start off with him wanting a snuggle, and end with him attacking me unless I can distract him in time.(you should see the scars and bruises on my arms - I look like a domestic violence victim). And he's no gentler with Bodie; what usually starts off as a mutual grooming session always ends with Bodie running away squealing while Zig tries to stick the fangs in.

So. Here's hoping this works. Vet bills so far this year have already put a dent in my mortgage-reduction plans, but more importantly he's endangering his life by eating random things that he shouldn't. And it's not like I can put everything out of his reach; the obviously dangerous things are put away (and the maybe-dangerous things) but what can you do with a cat who is chewing a hole in the hem of your dress while you're sat at the kitchen table having that first cuppa of the morning?
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
moonlightmead on March 31st, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's quite a saga. I've known friends with animals who chew and destroy things because they are 'naughty' (dogs who know better, basically), but never one where there is effectively a psychological cause. Poor Ziggy - I hope the tablets work!
miwahni: Cats Zig and Bodie fullmiwahni on April 1st, 2014 11:14 am (UTC)
I hope so too. The chewing could just be boredom, but added to the rest of the behaviours it has been classified as part of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Poor kid!
entropy_houseentropy_house on March 31st, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
Poor Ziggy! You know, maybe a change in living conditions would help? Possibly he's overstimulated & if you could shut him in a room by himself for a few hours a day it might give him a chance to 'reset'.

Bonnie used to wash her belly raw- the vet gave all sorts of excuses & stuff, but it kept happening no matter what. Then I got 'Tasha, and didn't want to risk 'Tasha getting whatever long-term illness Bonnie has, so I started shutting Bonnie up in one room during the day while 'Tasha has the run of the house, and when I go to bed I'd switch and shut 'Tasha in a different room while Bonnie could come out. So they always have one room that doesn't smell of any other cats where they can relax.

After a few weeks I realized Bonnie had stopped chewing on herself, and she hasn't done it since.
miwahni: Cats Zig and Bodie headsmiwahni on April 1st, 2014 11:17 am (UTC)
It could work - but I'm away 12 hours per day and when I'm home I want him near me, and he wants to be with me too. I've put him in time-out (the bathroom) a couple of times when he's been driving Bodie mad, and he's spent the time howling at the door and been quite distressed when I've let him out.
Right now he's lying across the doorway behind me, while Bodie is curled on the filing cabinet. They follow me about like little dogs.
entropy_houseentropy_house on April 1st, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
My two are each locked up for roughly 12 hours in spacious rooms fitted with all the necessities (including windows) and after the initial grumbling over a few days, they don't mind.

When I let them out, Bonnie yells for a minute and then settles down, Tasha just gets up and follows me, mostly.

I think it works much better if the room is one they like, so they don't feel stressed by being in it- if I'd shut them up in bathrooms, they would never be happy.
Strike while the irony is hot: [EMATE] HUGS C'MEREdraycevixen on March 31st, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)

I'm sorry to read this and hope the medication helps him out.
miwahni: Cats Zig and Bodie fullmiwahni on April 1st, 2014 11:18 am (UTC)
Thanks, I hope so too. I'm just glad to find that it is a medical condition and that drugs could help.
nerthusnerthus on March 31st, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, my, that's really worrisome! Our neighbors a long time ago had this orange tabby who got like the kitty version of Alzehimer's when it got old and it started attacking them all the time and peeing everywhere, etc. They finally put it to sleep because it stopped eating, etc. but it was very hard on them. He tore our neighbor's hand up so badly biting her that she got a horrible infection in her hand.
miwahni: Cats Zig and Bodie headsmiwahni on April 1st, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
How awful! And all the time they'd be knowing that it wasn't the cat's fault, really, but a symptom of his disease.
Ziggy is only two years old, so I can't blame alzeheimer's. The vet has described his state beautifully, though, in talking about overstimulation and chaos behaviours. I'm hoping that the meds will work in helping him calm himself down.
nerthusnerthus on April 1st, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
I hope the meds do help him, poor thing. It's sort of like my son, he has been going through Hell again with his mental illness and it's not his fault but the stress has made ALL of us here snappish and tense and exhausted. Almost two weeks ago we had like 5 cop cars and tons of cops at my house because he emailed suicide notes to some people and broke my cordless phones hurling them against the wall so I couldn't use them and my cell was dead and charging; so I was relieved actually that he did write those emails and some one of his friends was concerned enough to call the police. He had to go in the ambulance, etc. but the sad thing is the psych ward of the hospital and the psych hospital in San Angelo where he went last time are both full up right now and the only option was a 'lockdown' facility way up north where he would basically have just been strapped down and shot full of drugs. So he got NO help, and we're still trying to get him into a private rehab/counseling center 20 miles away but he has no insurance...sigh. So let's hope and pray both my son and your Ziggy will be okay. My son is holding on for now and is on new bp meds cause his b pressure was so high he was about to stroke out; he's on lorazipam as well for now. And I myself am teetering on the brink of illness and a major meltdown but of course with both Daniel and Marissa to care for, I don't get the luxury of coming unglued, myself.
miwahni: B7 BlakeAvon Watching over youmiwahni on April 2nd, 2014 10:35 am (UTC)
That really puts my cat problems into perspective! I do wonder how you're getting on, when you don't post for a little while.
I hope you manage to find the assistance that Daniel needs, and that he can hold on until then. And that you can keep it together too {{hugs}}
miwahnimiwahni on April 2nd, 2014 10:36 am (UTC)
PS and your icon reminded me - how is your new pup? Has Zero accepted him yet?
nerthusnerthus on April 2nd, 2014 12:06 pm (UTC)
Zero is still very territorial about some things, mainly toys and treats; even though he knows Max's new toys are for Max, he will check to see if we're watching and then attack Max and steal his toys even though he (Zero) has his own huge cache of toys. Same with treats, right now I have to put Zero in my room with his treat or rawhide and give Max his in a different room because Zero will lunge at Max if he thinks we're not watching and attack him and take his treat. Max is bigger than Zero but he's scared of him and now he refuses to play with his new toys or touch any treats we give him because he's afraid Zero is going to jump him for them, sigh. So we've got to get Zero in line. But they can lie and snooze together side by side and outside they run and play together like crazy, so it's just getting Zero to stop going overly 'alpha' about certain things. He gets jealous as well if Max tries to snuggle up next to me and will sometimes growl at him.
nerthusnerthus on April 2nd, 2014 12:00 pm (UTC)
Well, it still doesn't make your situation with Ziggy any easier; we worry about our fur babies as much as we do our human children. I'm worried about my new dog Max cause Daniel left him outside a couple hours yesterday while I was at work and that silly dog totally destroyed this old fabric rocking chair/recliner we had on the back porch; I mean he tore ALL the stuffing and cushion out of it, chewed off the arm rests and so forth and stuffing was ALL over the back yard. Now I'm worried he might have eaten some of it (or a lot, Lord I hope not) cause he's gone from having too-loose poops to no poops at all and this morn his usually manic puppy behavior is missing and he's abnormally droopy and not drinking water like he usually does. His tummy area doesn't feel bloated so hopefully he's okay; he ate like a horse as usual last evening, at any rate. But I stay so anxious lately about EVERYTHING, and now I worry that silly boy ate some of that nasty old stuffing from that chair. He 's due back at the vet's for another booster either tomorrow or Friday, so if he keeps acting sluggish I might take him in today instead. Anyway, I hope the meds do help Ziggy and he will feel better, poor thing. It's so hard when they can't tell us (or even understand, themselves) what is wrong.
miwahnimiwahni on April 4th, 2014 01:33 pm (UTC)
I've not been to check my flist tonight yet - how is Max? Is he okay now? I hope he's recovered and is back to his normal bouncy self.