Sweet cat is not himself

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
My cat Marley is a one of a kind. He wants you to pick him up and love him all the time...not uncommon for him to try to climb us. Recently we took him to the vet bc he has a bad tooth, while there we found out his heart murmur got worse. He now needs heart medicine 2 times a day. We had to bring him back to the vet to check his heart rate again last week. I cannot even explain how traumatic it was to get him in the carrier. I held him and he was so afraid he jumped out of my arms and scratched me pretty bad. Now that he's back home for over a week now, if we try to pick him up, he cries and the tail goes down and he runs under the table. I have never seen any of our cats not get over a vet visit. What can we do to help him get over this? I'm so afraid we damaged this relationship. He doesn't trust us at all. He still sleeps with us and started coming in our laps a little, but he won't allow us to pick him up at all. He's 9 years now...any suggestions?
 

Draco

NOT Malfoy!
Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2011
Messages
8,750
Purraise
2,816
Location
LawnGuyLand, NY
Sounds like the vet was traumatizing to him and he thinks he'll be going back again. Your relationship with him is not damaged! My cat has gone through the same thing after a vet visit.

I suggest letting him be, let him calm down and not try to pick him up. Give him lots of treats when he comes around, remind him that you are not bad. Play with him too with a wand toy. Sometimes it takes time for a cat to come back around!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
Thank you. He's my favorite cat I've ever had. He has brought me put of depression just by being so loving. I feel so bad that we were trying to help his heart condition and now we are faced with another problem. It seems like the more we try, the more upset he gets. So, we are trying some Feliway to see if that helps. We just have the spray though.
 

talkingpeanut

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
11,793
Purraise
3,600
I'm not sure how hard you are trying, but the best option may be to let him come to you.  As mentioned above, give him treats and lots of love when he does, but remove all pressure from the situation.  He is recovering and will come to you when he's ready.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
He's sleeping in my lap, so hopefully we are on our way to forgiveness. He still will not let me pick him up. We are making slow progress..will keep you posted!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
It's still not the same. We are two weeks in. He used to let anyone pick him up. He'd put both paws around your neck and mush into your face. If we didn't pick him up, he'd try to climb us. He's still coming in our laps and still eating, sleeping in bed with us...not hiding. But....he cries if I pick him up. He actually cowers down, tail between his legs and cries. It's so sad. I'm heartbroken. This cat does not like treats at all...it's like he has no sense of smell. I can't even hide his heart medicine inside a treat which is another stress on on us. I have been crying a lot. I feel like I have a whole different cat and it's my fault he's associating me with this traumatic vet visit. I'm afraid if I don't try once a day to pick him up, it will get worse no? You think I should never try at all to pick him up?
 

talkingpeanut

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
11,793
Purraise
3,600
I think if he's crying when you pick him up you shouldn't. I would let him dictate the terms of your relationship right now. Let him continue to build confidence and come to you, only petting him as much as he's comfortable. I think you'll get your guy back, but I'm sorry that it's so hard right now.
 

zed xyzed

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Nov 10, 2015
Messages
3,793
Purraise
3,786
Location
Toronto Canada
He will forgive you, you just can't force it. It needs to be on his terms. The fact that he still sits in your lap and sleeps on your bed is a good sign. Just don't pick him up, he is obviously afraid of going to the vet again 
 

catlover73

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
2,627
Purraise
1,542
Location
Chicago area
I have a cat that does not do well with the being in the carrier or the car. She is also scared of everyone except us. I took her to a new vet last year for a bad URI. This vet sprays herself with Feliway spray in between patients. Starbuck was much less scared around this vet. The vet gave me a sample of some Feliway wipes and told us to wipe down the carrier next time. Hubby used the wipes on the carrier before her last vet appointment. She was much calmer once in the carrier and was much better in the car. My hubby said she was like a different cat. Perhaps the wipes for the carrier would be helpful for you. Also you could try using the spray on yourself perhaps it would help.

I agree with the others about being patient and not trying to pick her up right now. Baby steps are needed to rebuild trust.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
Finally!!! He finally let us pick him up...short amount of time, but he was cuddly last night and wanted us to pick him up....hopefully we keep moving forward. [emoji]128519[/emoji][emoji]128519[/emoji][emoji]128519[/emoji][emoji]128519[/emoji]
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
And we are going on 4 weeks...still will not let me pick him up. I've tried Feliway. He doesn't like treats. I pick him up and he squirms, cries and cowers down. I can't understand how he still thinks I'm the bad guy. When we tried to put him in the carrier, he was in my arms and scratched me so bad that he jumped out of my arms on the tile floor face first. I'm thinking it could have been the fall that he's associating me either? Maybe he got hurt? I'm devastated he's not normal....it's been a month
 

talkingpeanut

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
11,793
Purraise
3,600
I really think that as much as you want to help, you are making it worse by picking him up at all until he is ready. Every time you pick him up against his will and he has to squirm you are setting him back from a full recovery. Please try to give him some time and continue to love on him in other ways. You are rebuilding trust, and that takes time.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
I really think that as much as you want to help, you are making it worse by picking him up at all until he is ready. Every time you pick him up against his will and he has to squirm you are setting him back from a full recovery. Please try to give him some time and continue to love on him in other ways. You are rebuilding trust, and that takes time.

Thank you. I'm just not understanding what happened. He has been to the vet many times over 10 years. Never has he acted like this? Maybe he got hurt jumping out of my arms? I was told to try every day a little bit to pick him up. The weird thing is my husband started to pick him up when I was away traveling this weekend. He said he was fine. When I got home, I tried, he tried...right back to the cowering. I can let him be, but my heart is broken as we had this special bond. I don't understand what I did, what happened or how to fix it, but it's been a month now. I don't see this changing.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
I am still dealing with the same issue. It's going on 6 weeks now. We've left him alone...he's fine but is not normal. He used to climb us to get picked up. Now he just sits with us but has stopped letting us pick him up. We tried after 2 more weeks...once again, he squirms and hides. Is there anything else anyone suggests? He does not like treats or catnip...so I can't use anything to coax him...not even food. I'm ready to call in a cat therapist at this point.
 

foxxycat

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
8,089
Purraise
13,358
Location
Honeybee on my lap, music playing in background
Is this because of his medical issues? Is he eating and drinking ok? I would try to talk to the vet and ask them if anything strange happened there with your kitty? And of course don't pick him up. Or is This his way of telling you that something else medically going on?
 

haleyds

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
576
Purraise
264
Location
North Carolina
I don't know if this is relavent to cats, but when my grandpa was on heart medication it made him very lethargic and he had an upset stomach basically all the time. I'm in nursing school and I know human heart medication can make people become either very panicked because it causes tachycardia (fast heart beat) or brachicardia (depressed or slowed heart beat), which makes people sleep more and become withdrawn because they don't feel completely awake at times. Again, I'm not sure if this applies to cats. I hope your sweet kitty gets better soon and best wishes to you and your family [emoji]10084[/emoji]️
 

hellomisskitty

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
1,362
Purraise
372
Location
Portland, Oregon
In addition to foxxycats comment above, I would add that cats soak up our emotions and react accordingly. You are understandably concerned about this behavior change so possibly your sweet kitty is sending your anxiety, stress and apprehension over how he is or is not going to react when you pick him up that he then becomes emotionally charged in reaction to you? Maybe suspend any attempts to pick him up until you can rule out a medical issue?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
In addition to foxxycats comment above, I would add that cats soak up our emotions and react accordingly. You are understandably concerned about this behavior change so possibly your sweet kitty is sending your anxiety, stress and apprehension over how he is or is not going to react when you pick him up that he then becomes emotionally charged in reaction to you? Maybe suspend any attempts to pick him up until you can rule out a medical issue?
There is no real medical issue, well, except for he is now on heart medicine twice a day. He's 100% himself except for the fact that he will cry when we try to pick him up. The day we went to the vet, I was holding him like normal. He heard the carrier and freaked out. He jumped from my arms although I was holding him tight. His claws were digging in me so he slipped out. When he did, he landed hard on the tile floor. My husband then followed him around the house to put him in the carrier. He was very upset. For some reason, he's fine with my husband, but associates me with this bad experience. I'm taking this very hard. I cry about it all the time because Marley is special. He would love to be held and basically stay with you until you put him down. Now he can't stand being picked up. Other than that, he's normal. It's been two months. We go for weeks without picking him up and then try again....once again same issue. He cries and squirms. He needs to go back in a month to the vet . He's got a bad tooth and we are waiting on the heart medication results to kick in. The vet is being cautious about putting him under with his heart murmur. I'm really upset that he's associating me with this. We've taken him plenty of times to the vet before and never had this issue.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
I don't know if this is relavent to cats, but when my grandpa was on heart medication it made him very lethargic and he had an upset stomach basically all the time. I'm in nursing school and I know human heart medication can make people become either very panicked because it causes tachycardia (fast heart beat) or brachicardia (depressed or slowed heart beat), which makes people sleep more and become withdrawn because they don't feel completely awake at times. Again, I'm not sure if this applies to cats. I hope your sweet kitty gets better soon and best wishes to you and your family [emoji]10084[/emoji]️
When I say he's not himself, I'm referring to the fact that this cat was very special. He wanted to be loved and picked up. He basically would hug you. N
Ever since this incident, he's fine...sitting on our laps, being affectionate, but freaks out if we try to pick him up. He's associating me with this bad vet experience. It's been over 2 months and I am taking this very badly. I feel terrible about it and I am not getting over it either. I cry all the time about it. It's like I have a different cat.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20

njariesgirly

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
30
Purraise
14
Is this because of his medical issues? Is he eating and drinking ok? I would try to talk to the vet and ask them if anything strange happened there with your kitty? And of course don't pick him up. Or is This his way of telling you that something else medically going on?

He's fine..he sleeps with us, eating fine on our laps. He's just different now. He used to want to be held. He would hug you until you couldn't hold him anymore. Now, ever since he freaked out before the vet, he wants nothing to do with being picked up. It's like we have a whole different cat now. There's no medical issue...it's more that he is associating me with that bad experience l I'm the one upset though. I cry all the time. I feel terrible about this. I've left him alone for weeks. I travel a lot too so we keep hoping he will forget about it but he doesn't.
 
Top