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 :)
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.