I no longer want my cat....kind of..

suzeanna

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Fluoxetine/Prozac was a total game changer with the older cat I adopted who developed aggression after a few weeks. We did try other things for awhile with no luck. I strongly recommend if your vet doesn't come up with anything else. It has really helped her settle into her environment and be less constantly on edge/anxious. She went from someone who was unlivable to be around to a pretty gentle lady. She hasn't had any aggressive episodes in the time she's been on it.
 
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Jamz3k

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I know this will be unpopular but I’m not sure I agree with giving a cat something like fluoxetine etc. As a person who had to take it for his own mental health issues in the past and absolutely hating in much less than human it made me feel, I’m not sure I would want my cat to live a life of he walking dead.:(

Maybe I’m being stupid though
 
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Jamz3k

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Well there was the first unprovoked attack again in about a week. :( Feel like progress has went backwards.
 

suzeanna

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I know this will be unpopular but I’m not sure I agree with giving a cat something like fluoxetine etc. As a person who had to take it for his own mental health issues in the past and absolutely hating in much less than human it made me feel, I’m not sure I would want my cat to live a life of he walking dead.:(

Maybe I’m being stupid though
I felt the same way originally, but it's such a quality of life improver. It's also not really the same as for humans. The first 1-2 weeks they might sleep a little more and have slightly decreased appetite, but their personality and playfulness are still there.
 

fionasmom

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Having one attack still might be progress as you continue to iron this out. I understand how hard this is for you, so don't think that I am making light of this.

My personal opinion is that I would try the meds. Often the side effects that humans have are not the same in animals. Notably, most animals tolerate chemo very well, whereas it is generally a nightmare for humans.
 

suzeanna

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How quickly did you see an improvement suzeanna suzeanna ?
Within a couple days -- she was on gabapentin already for a few weeks which was good, but there was still an occasional episode. Once she started the fluoxetine the episodes stopped completely.
 

GustifursMom

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Your vet gave her a physical exam. My vet always explains to me that a physical exam can only tell them so much. Therefore my vet requests that we do blood tests and stool tests to rule out physiological things that a vet can't measure without the help of lab tests.
 

silent meowlook

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Talk to your vet about Prozac. It’s a game changer in a cat like this. That’s the quick fix.
As for your feelings about her......if you don’t want her then euthanize. Sorry to be so blunt. The truth is you have either triggered her without knowing, or there is a chemical imbalance in her brain that Prozac will help. Every relationship animal or human will go through challenges. You have to decide if your a person who will stick it out or one that won’t. You are hurt by this but are taking it way to personal. She is a cat. Not a person. She did not premeditate anything. It just happened and she is as confused as you. It’s going to take a while but you need to stop seeing this as something she did to you and get her on Prozac with guidance from your vet.
 

FeebysOwner

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Or, to the opposite of what was said just immediately above, start looking for someone who would be willing to adopt her and try to work with her issues. Nothing I have read in this entire thread suggests any investigative effort has been made to see what could be causing the issue. For the most part, there is no 'out of the blue' to a cat - that might be what a human thinks, but rarely applies to a cat. Generally speaking, a cat of that age has either displayed this kind of behavior before, has a health-related issue, or some other events/occurrences are behind the change.

If health issues have been ruled out, and serious investigations on your part have ruled out possible causes, and you don't want to give this cat up - then try the meds and see what happens.
 

silent meowlook

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To find out what causes this involves work from the owner and they already don’t want the cat anymore. That’s why I said it’s a quick fix.
 

hyperf

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I would highly recommend gabapentin. Prozac takes weeks (or months) to work. Gabapentin takes hours. It's far cheaper too and is harmless. My cat has been on both, but gabapentin was by far the better option! Sadly vets aren't always helpful with behavioural issues.
 

cheeseburger

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Just chiming in here. I would also suspect a health issue, and a 20 minute exam isn't anywhere near enough to rule that out. Was bloodwork done? There should have been a follow up phone call from the vet to confirm results of labs if they did their jobs properly. I'd definitely be talking to another vet about a holistic health workup and get all of the paperwork on what has been done to date. Cats who are in pain do really unpredictable things. Could be as simple as a tooth that's infected.

Also, inventory your personal care items. We have friends who changed their deodorant and their cat went apeshit for a while. It took some time to figure out that was the issue. But cats are so smell-sensitive, even small changes like shampoos, new detergents, bodywashes, colognes, face moisturizers, or makeup can throw them into a tizzy if they don't like the smell or fail to recognize your smell anymore.

I'd double up on structured play. Commit to ten minutes a day in the morning and again at night, focused on you with a toy simulating something for the cat to hunt and letting them get out any aggressive energy. It's also really good for reaffirming the bond between you (especially for the cat).

If it is a territory issue, you could try removing the room in question from the cat's territory. Gate it off, keep the door closed. Wash it thoroughly to change the smell in it. This might cause some short-term stress for the cat but might eliminate the aggression.
 

Meowmee

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I would take her to another dvm asap. Any dvm who does a 20 minute exam on a cat who just attacked someone and declares them ok is not doing their job. She needs bloodwork, stool tests etc and someone who is going to properly evaluate for any physical illnesses that may have caused the aggression. I am so sorry you are going through this, it must be awful. I hope things will get better. I also second gabapentin. That was given to one of my outdoor cats who I tried to save who was not totally tame and who sadly turned out to have cancer. It was given for pain for her eye but it also calmed her down a great deal as well. It is worth a try anyway.
 

KittyFriday

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I would tend to agree but what I don’t understand is her severe reaction to me over the week after the event. She just seemed so scared of me and would not let me out of her sight for a second, it became very unsettling.
It takes awhile for stress hormones to return to normal. I don't have much experience with cats with anxiety, but my dog has severe anxiety and the general rule of thumb is that it can take 72+ hours for them to come back to "normal" after a particularly triggering event.

I know this will be unpopular but I’m not sure I agree with giving a cat something like fluoxetine etc. As a person who had to take it for his own mental health issues in the past and absolutely hating in much less than human it made me feel, I’m not sure I would want my cat to live a life of he walking dead.:(

Maybe I’m being stupid though
Not stupid, but everyone has different experiences with antidepressants. For me, Lexapro and then Prozac were a lifesaver. The six weeks getting onto them was hellish but once I was on a steady dose I was a functioning human again. My dog was previously prescribed Prozac (fluoxetine) and now takes Paxil (paroxetine) along with Clonidine. He's still reactive and struggles with anxiety but nowhere near where he was before. He's also not a zombie - he's very active and you wouldn't know he took medication unless told. So it's worth exploring.

But - with a senior cat I do agree with others that a full vet workup needs to be done, and I'm not totally sure your vet did that. Can you see someone else? There could be so many things happening here - from arthritis to cognitive decline - and really anything in between. Perhaps a vet that specifically works with behavior would be more helpful?
 

ladytimedramon

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Call around the vets. Some are now allowing clients in the room. My previous vet didn't. My current vet does.
 
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