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Does My Cat Suffer From Paranoia?
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Does My Cat Suffer From Paranoia?

I have a female cat who is 7 years old. We have had her since she was a kitten. She has never been abused, neglected or mistreated. She was very social as a kitten and very young cat. As she has aged, she began hiding when friends or family would visit. This has just gotten worse over the past year. She now screams when you get near her. (Like she is in fear for her life.) If you even walk into the room she is hiding in she will meow/scream and then run into another room like you are chasing her. I recently tried to pick her up to give her some loving and soft words and she peed all over the place while I was holding her. (Like you would if you were truly scared for your life.) I know she is eating and comes out at night when we are all sleeping. I feel like her quality of life is diminished and am considering putting her to sleep. I don't know what to do. We love her very much but I cannot afford massive therapy or testing for her. Has anyone else dealt with something like this? Any ideas on what could be wrong with her?
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Krissy,

I think there may be a physical problem rather than a behavioral one.  Being picked up may be painful and she is running away and reacting to avoid that.  Have you taken her to the vet?

Linda,

I think your situation is different.  Feral cats are like any other type of wildlife.  When your return them to wild (in this case your shed) they need a totally different skill set that would reinforced by her mother and the other cats that live there.  If you want this one to stay domesticated you need to keep in the house and away from the feral cats.  Having to switch back an forth between feral and domestic behavior is going to be very confusing for her and she most likely would end up not very well adjusted to either feral or domestic skill sets.

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996946_tn?1434154877
The only experience I have along this line is with a 13 mo old kitten who was born from a somewhat feral cat.  The first few months she was a little skittish but she would let me hold her.  Then a couple months ago I put her outside with the other cats.  We have 5 now.  She seemed to get along ok because one of the cats is her littermate and one is her mother.  Well twice I went out specifically to pet her and give her treats and she would not come out of our metal bldg.  At first I didn't think anything of it but the second time, yesterday, she hissed and growled at me when I came close to her.  She definitely didn't want to have anything to do with me.  Well, this morning she was laying on the back porch with her sister.  I walked out, gave them both treats and picked her up just like nothing had ever happened.  She is still in the house and acting very normal, almost loving.  Her personality changed completely.  The only thing I can figure out is she was feeling territorial about the metal bldg she was staying in and when she came out she just acted completely different toward me.
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Never hold a freaked out cat. Always let a cat come to you, you shouldn't charge at a cat or he/she will feel threatend. If you want to comfort a cat do it on kitty's terms. Maybe you could try giving kitty treats, and talking in a calm soothing voice. Maybe you could try laying on the floor and see what kitty does.
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Avatar_f_tn
Krissy,

I think there may be a physical problem rather than a behavioral one.  Being picked up may be painful and she is running away and reacting to avoid that.  Have you taken her to the vet?

Linda,

I think your situation is different.  Feral cats are like any other type of wildlife.  When your return them to wild (in this case your shed) they need a totally different skill set that would reinforced by her mother and the other cats that live there.  If you want this one to stay domesticated you need to keep in the house and away from the feral cats.  Having to switch back an forth between feral and domestic behavior is going to be very confusing for her and she most likely would end up not very well adjusted to either feral or domestic skill sets.

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Hi Nancy, I think you are misunderstanding the situation.  The mother cat was not really a feral cat, just abandoned and on her own for many months.  The father of her litter that was born after we rescued her was most likely feral.  The kittens stayed in the house for almost a yr only because i was worried about our 4 dogs.  We gradually let the kittens out and living in the country there are many places for them to run and play and hide. Our other cats are not feral.  They all get along together.  Heidi, my little bratty, loud'mouth long hair kitty demands to come in as often as I can tolerate her.  She is very spoiled and cuddly as long as she wants to be.  If she decides SHE doesn't want to be held, SHE has a mind of her own.  Mommycat is fine anywhere....no problem and NO feral tendencies.  Shadow is the one who was showing the change in personality...never had a cat like that before.  I think this kitten may possess some genetic traits of the father, just enough to make him skittish and leary of people.  These 2 kittens are the only 2 we kept fronm the litter.  

After I had posted above, I brought him in again and he was fine.  They don't stay in a "shed" it's a 2400 ft metal bldg and they come and go at will, we have a huge back porch they love to congregate on until the sun hits in in late afternoon.  Nancy, I think sh'e a lot less feral at this point than domestic. Krissy's cat above made me think of her behavior the other day.  
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It's funny, I noticed I kept referring to Shadow as  "he"  She has always seemed more like a male, in looks and actions. She is more of a hunter, very inquisitive, not one to normally just sit and do nothing.  She has always seemed more like a boy but maybe she's just s "tomboy"
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Hi, your cat has really had a major personality change.  I honestly think that this is something to worry about!  If it were me, I would be wondering if someone in the house or a guest has been abusive to her AND/OR I would be wondering about some illness that I don't know about.  I would most definitely take your cat to the vet.....7 yrs old is the age where they need to get regular check-ups once or twice a year with a full blood work-up.

Good luck!  Please let us know how things are going!
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Thanks to everyone for the advice! I will be taking her to the vet soon for a check up to see what is up.
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