My cat was found in a drug house- she was living there for months and no one else was actually a resident, but they produced, sold, and used crack in the house. When I first got her, I noticed she had trouble jumping on the bed or window. Since then, I've noticed a number of other behavioral/maybe neurological issues that have since improved but not totally. I'm saying they may be neurological because I study neurological deficits in humans (many also with drug issues) which are similar to Penelope's, but I wasn't sure if cats would exhibit the same behavior. The problems are:
-Trouble following a laser pointer
-Trouble finding her way out of things (such as the closet, the window if the curtain falls and covers it, the cabinet, etc)
-Sitting with her mouth open for long periods of time
-Trouble locating any toy I throw UNLESS it makes a noise- such as a bell, or hits a wall
-She had fleas which were treated right away as soon as I got her
-She had ear mites which took weeks to go away despite getting her quality medicine
-Her ears constantly have wax (not mites)
-She becomes very, very scared if she is laid on her back
She is a sweet, loving cat who had three kittens before I got her- two of which were killed. She was also abused besides the drugs in her home- hit, kicked, cut, extremely malnourished, dehydrated...I have her medical records from the shelter that took her in so I know her eyes, ears, etc are functioning properly. Is there anything else this could be? Can cats develop a mental deficiency if they are not cared for properly or left to live in an environment with drugs?
I assume Penelope has had the usual tests and vaccinations, check-ups and such? Do you know if she was physically abused at all, in addition to the drug exposure and neglect?
Frankly, she probably does have some emotional issues and some issues from the crack exposure - how could she not? A lot of those symptoms sound exactly right for drug or toxin exposure.
Has her vision been checked? Her hearing sounds fine, since she can find a toy with a bell, etc, but her vision may well be an issue here. Being exposed to the drug over time could easily have compromised her sight.
In addition to the above-mentioned symptoms, does she seem to have trouble figuring things out (if you see what I mean)? Does she seem to take unusually long to work out how to make something happen?
I think the exposure may indeed have caused some neurological damage and she may have some organic brain damage as well. I have also worked with human drug addicts and with chronically ill people who sometimes have had neurological issues. What does your vet say about this?
Good for you, by the way! I've taken in abused cats and they make wonderful pets. They certainly tend to have difficulties with trust and that sort of thing, but with love, patience and care they make really great friends!
Welcome to the board! I hope you'll stick around :)
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