Cat Choking Self!

molson

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My cat, Jango, is about 7 years old, neutered when he was a kitten, and this started choking behavior about a year ago. Nothing new, no changes in the house or household at that point--so no obvious triggers. He'll do it whether we are in the room with him or not. At 1st we thought he was trying to reach an item in the laundry basket, but no, it's the basket itself that has his interest. It's very odd/worrisome.
 
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catspaw66

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Welcome to TCS. Exactly how is he choking himself? On the edge of the basket? Describe what he is doing and what noise he is making.
 

callista

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Is he having problems with hairballs? Sometimes a cat's throwing up a hairball sounds awfully like that.

So... he's trying to get into the laundry basket? What does that have to do with "choking"?

We are really confused here. We need more information.
 

catspaw66

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If the OP would answer some of our questions, I am sure that we could help them.  

To the Original Poster - please, come back and resume this discussion.
 

hly478

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My cat does this as well-she pushes her throat against a box and seems to be choking herself. Anything That's stiff and "her"height, she will do this. I pull her away from it, and even remove her from the room, but she quickly returns and starts choking herself again. For background info, she is 12 and she's been exhibiting this behavior for the past five years. We have three other cats, none who share her behavior. She is active, loving, and has been a part of our family since she was three weeks old-there is no abusive past. Indoor only cat. She woke me up twice doing this, which is why I'm seeing answers at 5:30 a.m. to know someone else has a cat with this proclivity is heartening. She doesn't permanently harm herself, but it is very disturbing.
 

CwazyCatWady

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Our 4-year-old cat Angel does this, too! He hangs his head over small open trash cans, the bottom of chairs, the metal that holds up the foot rest on my recliner, any boxes. He starts choking and coughing, and then I have run as quickly as I can to pull him backwards. He does it several times a night. There is not generally anything he is trying to see or reach. It concerns me that he may take it too far when I'm not here. The vet is trying a low dose of Prozac (fluoxetine) in case it is some kind of OCD type behavior. So far it has made no difference after about 3 weeks. He seems like a really happy guy otherwise. He gets plenty of love and attention. I've had to change out all my small bathroom/room waste baskets to the kind with lids that you have to step on to open. I'm not sure what else to do. I have a theory it may have to do with his position while in utero, maybe a sibling or umbilical cord was pressed against his neck, and he finds it comforting. It is so weird and worrisome!
 

ChrissyKat

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I am SO glad I found this! We fostered a litter of kittens since they were one day old, hand raising them and kept them. One is gray. Maybe part Russian Blue? But he chokes himself on cardboard boxes, low garbage cans, sometimes his choking sounds horrific! We found he had black spots in one eye that are gradually fading away - looks like he choked himself hard enough to break a blood vessel in his eye?! Maybe overnight? Needless to say, no more playing in boxes, we flatten all boxes upon receipt, keep trash cans up high on a bookcase or behind closed doors. He is neurotic as heck, a one person Cat. He did have pneumonia as a newborn. Our vet looked at me as if I were crazy, I did video him once in a minor choking, normally rescuing instead of recording is my priority. He does sometimes wheeze, on full inhale, vet said he might have partial paralysis of his glottis or something? Anyway, it is a relief to know we are not alone. I even had to trim down the edges of the soft wool/felt cat caves We bought, because he kept trying to choke himself on them. @@
 

ChrissyKat

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Welcome to TCS. Exactly how is he choking himself? On the edge of the basket? Describe what he is doing and what noise he is making.
My cat chokes on the hard rim, it is not a hairball issue nor does it include vomiting. Sounds like choking! Sometimes his littermates come running in response. i have to physically remove him or he continues.
 

fionasmom

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I had a cat who did this years ago. She would purposely choke herself almost to the point of unconsciousness on the neckpiece of her little harness when I would put her on a tieout in the patio. Rushed to the vet several times as I thought she was dying, was having seizures (which she was not). Nothing added up....I am leaving out all the obvious parts of this just to get to the point....nothing to chase, not caught in the lead, not left alone and unattended, not trying to get food or water, not frightened, no evidence of hairballs or any disorder if the lead was not on. Vet finally looked at me and said I think that she likes that sensation and that was the best explanation I ever had for it. Eventually she grew out of it and died years later of a completely non choking related illness.
 

ChrissyKat

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Thank you, fionasmom, that sounds about right.
i have owned more than 25 cats in my life, and this is the only one with a feline fetish. We just have to protect him from himself
 

Pat3055

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Yep. My 6 month old cat chokes himself as well. It can last anywhere from 1 min to 5 min and if we remove him ... he just goes right back to it. Is there anyone who has had success stopping this behavior ?
 

fionasmom

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I never actually stopped Zoe and she did love to sit out on her tieout.....my point being that I suspect that maybe she realized that the last time was a close call and learned not to do this. Even when I sat out with her and watched her, she would make a sudden move before I could even grab her and stop it. Zoe never went to the point of doing this on any stationary object though, just the harness from the tieout, so that is probably not much help in stopping your cat.
 

Dhandy333

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This is crazy my cat also chokes himself I've been pulling my hair out even though I don't have any trying to figure out what is wrong and yeah I think he just has a weird thing and he likes to do it! lays his neck across this bar and chokes himself with his body weight it looks scary but he's totally fine afterwards!
 
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