Cat with mental health issues pacing like crazy tonight

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
My cat is pacing nonstop for hours. I don't know why, but it does fall within the purview of his mental illness issues. This is pretty extreme, though. He won't even rest, he keeps checking windows and corners. He was getting out of breath, so I drugged him with an extra dose of gabapentin. He also takes amitriptyline. I get that this is a medical-sounding question, but trust me, I take this cat in A LOT, and the answer is always, "anxiety." He's a pretty extreme trauma survivor, so it comes with the territory, but seeing as it's 10pm, anyone got any insights? I'm considering just crating him until sunrise. It's ridiculous. And I wanna point out that it's not a vestibular, off-kilter sort of pacing, and he is able to divert his path. He's peeing, breathing, and eating. But WTF. Anyway, I'm preparing myself mentally to go spend hundreds of dollars I don't have to yet again get the "anxiety" answer, but in the mean time, I'd like him to not wear a hole in his paw pads.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
Also, didn't know you couldn't post Whiskey Tango Foxtrot without it being censored, if anyone is wondering what I said there.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
39,528
Purraise
54,374
Location
Colorado US
Hi
Have you tried Cat Music?
There's RelaxMyCat. Com, Musicforcats . Com, and Spotify and other sources have harp music for cats.

Also, have you tried taking him for walks or would that not be a good possibility for him? Or buggy rides, basically to try and give him more normal physical and mental exercise and stimulation, and a distraction from what's causing the pacing?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
Hi
Have you tried Cat Music?
There's RelaxMyCat. Com, Musicforcats . Com, and Spotify and other sources have harp music for cats.

Also, have you tried taking him for walks or would that not be a good possibility for him? Or buggy rides, basically to try and give him physical and mental exercise and stimulation, and a distraction from what's causing the pacing?
I have to physically hold him down to get him to stop. Usually, I use kids' cartoons to soothe him, but this is way past that. And he puked up his meds, so I don't know, we might be in for something rougher than a panic issue.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
39,528
Purraise
54,374
Location
Colorado US
Try the music, you never know. I'm thinking the Musicforcats although that one might require a membership or something.
 

Cat McCannon

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
976
Purraise
2,394
This is typical behavior when an outside cat starts coming into the yard and your cat feels its territory is being threatened. The key symptoms are the constant checking of corners and windows. Put up motion sensor cameras outside and check the outside of your home with a UV light for cat pee.

Territory threats will cause anxiety in your cat.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
39,528
Purraise
54,374
Location
Colorado US
Gosh, I wish I could come up with something else, -- brushing while you're holding him? I'm reaching, but I'm trying to find something sensory to try and break through to him .. ..
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
Gosh, I wish I could come up with something else, -- brushing while you're holding him? I'm reaching, but I'm trying to find something sensory to try and break through to him .. ..
It's okay, it's a tough one to crack without medical intervention, which is looking necessary. Maybe he had a stroke or a head injury. I think I can at least force-feed him some watered down food to make sure he doesn't get dehydrated, and I can slip him some more drugs. It just sucks. He had a hard life, so it's just one thing after another sometimes.
 

Margot Lane

Kitten at heart, not a Top Cat
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
4,708
Purraise
9,831
This is a little out of my wheelhouse, but it sounds as if from what you’ve written you know what his trauma was…are there such things as “cat therapists?” Also you might have said, but how old is your cat? I think Furball’s Mom is right, you have to break the pacing pattern, which I’d bet would take catmusic, patience and time. Even if you can only hold him for a few seconds and soothe him, doing this repeatedly might at last get him to realize that your love is consistent and not going anywhere…I think the low soothing tone of your voice will be key here. All I can say is my boy was a scrappy fighter for most of his life & it has taken me most of his life to transform him into the soppy sap he is now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
This is typical behavior when an outside cat starts coming into the yard and your cat feels its territory is being threatened. The key symptoms are the constant checking of corners and windows. Put up motion sensor cameras outside and check the outside of your home with a UV light for cat pee.

Territory threats will cause anxiety in your cat.
This was my initial guess, but it's been seven hours. Even in a semi-feral ex-stray male, that's a lot.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
This is a little out of my wheelhouse, but it sounds as if from what you’ve written you know what his trauma was…are there such things as “cat therapists?” Also you might have said, but how old is your cat? I think Furball’s Mom is right, you have to break the pacing pattern, which I’d bet would take catmusic, patience and time. Even if you can only hold him for a few seconds and soothe him, doing this repeatedly might at last get him to realize that your love is consistent and not going anywhere…I think the low soothing tone of your voice will be key here. All I can say is my boy was a scrappy fighter for most of his life & it has taken me most of his life to transform him into the soppy sap he is now.
We've been working on him for a few years, but his mental health issues are pretty big. Definitely a lifelong project. He was a stray for who knows how long, and he wandered around with no eyelids until he went blind. Now he's indoors, and has some sight back from his surgery. He could be anywhere from 7 to 17. Strays do age badly, so I would put him on the lower end of that, but he's old in physique at least, if not in years. I keep picking him up to let him catch his breath, but I can't convince him to eat. I keep finger-swiping food into his mouth when I can, but the fact that he isn't biting me at all is a bad sign. I think he's getting exhausted.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
Maybe a cat sprayed the side of the house, as mentioned, and he is constantly smelling that?
I live in a place where hardly anyone keeps their cat indoors. It's been a (much lesser) issue in the past, for sure.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
I feel kind of clever. My 18yo cat doesn't have diabetes anymore, but I still test his blood occasionally just to keep tabs on him, so I tested Jack, and he was 57bg! That's pretty low, so I forcefed some honey to buoy him a bit. Normally just getting a pill in him is a struggle, so I will be using his lethargy to my fullest advantage to track his blood sugar. I think he's running himself ragged.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20

nartyteek

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
118
Purraise
199
Good on you !

Poor guy, --I'm glad he has you to care for him.
I don't feel that just yet. I guess I feel like I was supposed to save him from all that nonsense, so it's hard not to feel a sense of failure when something goes wrong. I'll feel better after the vet, probably.
 
Top