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Poor Neurotic Kitty: The Prozac Chronicles *Update post 18*

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  • Poor Neurotic Kitty: The Prozac Chronicles *Update post 18*

    My fat cat has been pulling out all her hair. This began several years ago and has gotten progressively worse over time. She is neurotic on her best day. She no longer seems to enjoy going outside because it's scarey. She anticipates when I might pick her up and carry her to the garden and runs and hides. She generally is worse in the spring after and gets used to it after a few months of nice weather. She over reacts to everything despite my husband's constant protestations that "No one has ever hurt you".

    So, as to the hair pulling: She has overgroomed to the point of giving herself acne on more than one occasion. We've tried the angle of flea allergies. Not a solution. We've tried regular baths and no baths at all. We groom her regularly. We've tried cortisone shots to stop the itch. They no longer seem to help. She just keeps pulling hair.

    On her most recent vet visit the vet said it could be food allergies (Hmmmm.. never thought of that, but makes sense.)
    They ordered some special food and also sent her home with a prescription for Prozac in case she is really neurotic and just over grooming from stress.

    Now, my husband took her to the vet, so I'm just working with the aftermath. The sensible side of me says "don't try both treatments at once (Prozac AND change in food) cuz you won't know which one worked". As the prescription was most readily accessible, we started with that while we wait for the food.

    Which brings us to the crux of the matter. How to medicate neurotic kitty without causing more neurosis?

    Day 1, put the Prozac in a lump of cheese, and down the hatch it went. But, uncharacteristically, Hoover Kitty decided to chew the cheese, and suspects there may have been a foreign object in it. (ate it anyway)

    Day 2, she becomes suspicious of the cheese, which had a bitter aftertaste yesterday (ya think). I resort to shoving the pill down her throat. She is traumatized by this and promptly vomits and hides in the basement. I give her 12 hours and shove half a pill down her throat.

    Day 3, Prozac Pussy refuses all treats on principle and regards me with deep suspicion all day. I am much more savvy about the pill shoving and the pill stays down. I order a pill popper from Valley Vet

    Day 4, I am feeling bad about the shoving, so I stop at PetSmart and buy Greenies Pill Pockets in the hypo allergenic Roasted Duck and Pea formula, just to be on the safe side. Prozac Pussy licks it across the floor, but as it is new, regards it with deep suspicon and refuses to eat it as well as other familiar treats. I give up and shove the pill down her throat.

    Prozac Pussy is now hiding under the kitchen table Not only is she afraid I will take her out to the garden for a walk and some sunshine, but alternatively I may insist she eat a treat, then pry open her mouth and shove a pill down her throat.

    Poor Prozac Pussy.
    Last edited by SmartAlex; May. 31, 2012, 03:46 PM.
    ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

  • #2
    I had stellar luck with treating with half a pill pocket (yummy!), shoving pill down gullet, and then treating with the other half of the pill pocket (yay!) She grudgingly accepted being pilled to get the treats.

    After a couple weeks of that, Miss Meow was totally willing to eat a pill wrapped in half a pill pocket. HALF is important--you want just enough pill pocket to completely cover the pill, but no more.

    If that doesn't work, ask your vet about a transdermal compound of your meds. It's applied to the ear flap and so, so easy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes ago I had a cat who pulled the hair off his lower tummy. He would also
      be in my lap and suddenly leap out, bite at himself and act very weird.
      It was diagnosed as hyperesthia syndrome and here's a link:

      http://cats.about.com/od/healthfaqs/f/ripplingskin.htm

      Don't know if this helps but it was something I had never heard of before nor
      have since.

      Comment


      • #4
        Your post made me laugh. Only advice here is to give her a bunch of uncontaminated greenies, then give her one with a pill. Somehow that managed to trick my cat. Otherwise, finger down the cathatch it is.

        PS My current cat used to lick all the fur off his belly...did this for about 2 years, then it just stopped. No change in anything, maybe he just got bored.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've had success crushing a pill and putting it in a small amount of sour cream...kitties will do just about anything for the white stuff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you ruled out mites? Our dog showed similar symptoms, lots of licking and a bit of itching, then a nice acne-like rash popped up on her paws and stomach. Obviously cats and dogs are very different, but it's always good to eliminate possibilities.
            I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
            Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
            Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by BasqueMom View Post
              Yes ago I had a cat who pulled the hair off his lower tummy. He would also
              be in my lap and suddenly leap out, bite at himself and act very weird.
              It was diagnosed as hyperesthia syndrome and here's a link:

              http://cats.about.com/od/healthfaqs/f/ripplingskin.htm

              Don't know if this helps but it was something I had never heard of before nor
              have since.
              My other cat does that.... I've never heard of it either.
              And this past week I've noticed Prozac Pussy twitching, but so far she hasn't reacted with a leap.

              Thanks for the link
              ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                I had stellar luck with treating with half a pill pocket (yummy!), shoving pill down gullet, and then treating with the other half of the pill pocket (yay!) She grudgingly accepted being pilled to get the treats.

                After a couple weeks of that, Miss Meow was totally willing to eat a pill wrapped in half a pill pocket. HALF is important--you want just enough pill pocket to completely cover the pill, but no more.
                Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                Only advice here is to give her a bunch of uncontaminated greenies, then give her one with a pill. Somehow that managed to trick my cat. Otherwise, finger down the cathatch it is.
                I would be happy if she would just try an empty one. So far she says they stink. I have to agree, when I opened the package I thought it smelled rather vile.
                ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by ljcfoh View Post
                  I've had success crushing a pill and putting it in a small amount of sour cream...kitties will do just about anything for the white stuff.
                  May try that. Also have had luck in the past with liverwurst, so will have to hit the deli.
                  ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Electrikk View Post
                    Have you ruled out mites?
                    Yes. The past two times they scraped and combed and ran tests and could not find any evidence of either mites or fleas. They said it was possible they were still missing the mites, and we could try a series of sulfur baths if we can't find another solution. But they said the baths are pretty putrid and unpleasant.
                    ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a cat that has allergies. He has bumps that form on the back side of his hind legs below his hocks and on his belly and occasionally on his paws. He would lick and chew on them. The vet gave him cortisone shots and suggested food allergies and/or flea allergies. (he has never had a big flea problem but does occasionally pick up a flea or two). I have cut all corn products out of his food and tried to be as grain free as possible. He has improved a lot. He used to have a rough coat and its now soft and smooth. He still has a few bumps on the back legs but they are getting smaller.

                      Moral of my story, try changing your cats diet. I feed some raw food, some canned and a little grain free dry kibble. I would like to convert to an all canned and homemade diet but have one stubborn cat that refuses to eat anything but dry kibble. Hopefully, a diet change will solve the problem and you won't need to give her the Prozac.
                      Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks everyone for the advice and PMs. I'm confident we will figure out a program to help Prozac Pussy. She such a nice cat and very loving. I hate that I have to do things to her that trigger her natural suspicions.

                        Oh, and further info: She has been on a mostly grain free diet for about two years. She gets Evo Turkey and Chicken formula, which the vet suggested to limit her regular vomiting. The diet has cut down the vomiting dramatically, and when she does vomit, at least it isn't full of red dye to ruin the carpet.
                        She also gets six Temptations treats a day. On the weekend she gets half a can of Fancy Feast Chicken or Turkey (not grain free), or an equal amount of tuna instead of her regular meal. Very little people food as she doesn't beg, just occassional cheese or other dairy.
                        When whatever the vet is ordering comes, we will cut out everything else.
                        ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Where does she pull her hair out?
                          My Siamese pulled his hair out on his back and it turned out his lungs were full of tumors.
                          One of my DSH cats pulls out her belly hair when she feels like she doesn't have a place to herself (without dog and barn cats bothering her).

                          Also, why force the sunshine/garden if she hates it?

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            She always over groomed her belly, mostly because she's so fat that's all she can actually reach. Then she began pulling the furr off her front legs and this progressed to her right hind leg then her left hind leg, and now up the left hip.

                            Actually, she loves to go outside and prowl, she just doesn't want to be made to go out. If you leave the door open, she will go out on her own. However, I can't just leave the door open. And, if I do leave the door open long enough for her to go out on her own, then as soon as I head over to close the door, she makes a beeline and beats me to it. If I happen to act quick enough to beat her to close the door, she then tries to batter her way inside. Finding the door impervious, she will then, systematically, begin the assult on each window and door, pausing only to find a place to pee because she obviously has a nervous bladder. I swear, she's a mess.

                            After I get her past her wintertime institutionalised mind set, she will be much better. Having folage to hide under also calms her. In the mean time, I take the other cat out daily, and Mitey Mite (Prozac Kitty) sits in the windows and cries. Until I go to get her, then she runs and hides. She can't have it both ways. I cannot bring the outdoors in to her.

                            She needs exercise. Playing in the house only holds her attention for a few minutes. She used to go on walks with us. Now we joke the only way to get her to exercise is to carry her to the back property line, set her down and let her sprint for the house. Repeat as necessary.
                            Last edited by SmartAlex; May. 1, 2012, 11:50 AM.
                            ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Although I got a LOL over the Chronicles of the Prozac Kitty ...Your cat is over grooming, hence the bladness (acne) due to stress. What is different in this kitties life and you can't say nothing because their lives change like ours do

                              Prozac .. yea tried that once for my kitty.. she started panting, eyes big, thirsty, became neurotic. I stopped the pills and sat back and figured out my kitty .. all better now

                              Good luck with the Prozac Kitty!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Ozone View Post
                                Although I got a LOL over the Chronicles of the Prozac Kitty ...Your cat is over grooming, hence the bladness (acne) due to stress. What is different in this kitties life and you can't say nothing because their lives change like ours do
                                Honestly, the biggest change has been switching to the Evo food. Prior to that, the over grooming was "under control". Food was changed almost two years ago. Grooming increased a year ago and got out of control over this past winter. This is referencing vet receipts which include flea treatments, testing and cortisone shots. What has not changed, and maybe you will think of something I have not:

                                Still the same for several years:
                                Feeding schedule. (DH is retired, so day to day life is pretty steady with no recent vacations)
                                Bowls (stoneware and washed on the same schedule)
                                Treats
                                Water
                                Water Filter system
                                Laundry Detergent
                                Dish Detergent
                                Shampoo
                                Carpets/furnishings/bedding/pillows
                                Beds
                                Scratching Post
                                No new humans
                                No new pets
                                No new toys
                                Catnip: I grow and dry my own, don't use any chemicals
                                Haven't done any lawn treaments
                                We didn't even re-mulch the landscape beds last year
                                Both cats used to be indoor/outdoor, but we changed to outdoor only under supervision 5 years ago

                                Oh wait... I did switch litters two years ago. I'll have to search CoTH to see if I can figure out aproximately when. I used to use clay based, but now use corn cob based. That could honestly be it.

                                ETA: switched litter around Aug 2009. I'll have to compare that date against the vet record... It could conceivably be worse depending on how much new material I add.
                                ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  good luck with the Prozac...I had to give it to one of my cats for a short period after being diagnosed with cystitis (bladder inflammation caused by god knows what-hence trying an anti anxiety med). What I ended up doing was crushing it and mixing in with a bit of wet food. He ate it well enough which is fortunate since omg, pilling this cat is impossible. Too smart and figures out most of the normal tricks really easily (one of the downfalls of having a Bengal, perhaps lol).

                                  Sour cream is an interesting idea too though, you just need something smelly enough to overpower the taste buds.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    We didn't stick with the Prozac for too long, because honestly, who wants a zonked out kitty? Even a half dose put her in La La Land. Plus, come pill time, it was taking both of us to round her up and hold her down. She can be amazingly evasive, and she knew eactly when meds were being handed out. We got the uber expensive prescribed Rabbit and Pea formula food, and it made her itch more. In a week's time, the two cats ate less than a cup of it. My husband broke down and gave them a can of tuna fish to break their hunger strike.

                                    So we did the allergy testing (honestly, why didn't my husband insist on this in the first place)?

                                    When I took her back in to have blood drawn for the allergy test, she got a cortizone shot (honestly, why didn't my husband insist on this in the first place? ) and she stopped itching and digging almost immediately. The turn around in her personality was dramatic. She suddenly had all this free time to go exploring all over the house. She was into everything. Within two days she felt good enough to be at the door asking to go out in the big scarey world.

                                    The vet also sent us home with antihistamine pills in case the cortizone didn't hold out. The shot lasted 2 weeks, and now a half an antihistamine helps her for a little over 48 hours.

                                    The test results came back, and she's allergic to lots of stuff. Ragweed, Golden Rod and some common airborn and vegitation things like that. But, most inconveniently ~ poultry. And wheat, but not corn (so I can continue to use the corn base litter). The vet gave me a list of foods to try. So, I have to go shopping with my list of good and bad to try to find a better diet for her that we can all live with.

                                    The hair on her front legs has all grown back, and even her haunches are getting fluffy again. She is a much happier kitty.
                                    ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      good news
                                      Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                      The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I love your prozac kitty chronicles! I have one also who gets "racing stripes" down her back from picking at it. She is now living with my mom who has been giving her steroid pills on and off, which help but don't cure it (andshe is NOT a pill pocket fan,just lucky she loves to speak so much , so we get her between our legs, tip her head back and wait for her to talk, then...down the hatch!).

                                        I would love to know what ideas your vet had for food.

                                        She gets wet classic FF (no wheat gluten I think ) but mom still gives her science diet dry (wheat, corn ,soy , oatmeal...). I can't help but think that doesn't help her. When I had her, she had occasional flare ups but not severe. So glad prozac kitty is back at it and feeling better!

                                        Comment

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