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Cats and mental health

Dec 11, 2015 - 0 comments

Pet Place
Cats and Mental Health - What You Need to Know


    * Written by: PetPlace Staff - Staff at PetPlace
    * Published: November 30, 2015
    * Last Modified: December 09, 2015

They’re fascinating creatures, to say the least.

The unique mannerisms and quirkiness of cats have long been popular topics of conversation, both for feline owners and animal behaviorists. From hoarding tendencies to infatuation with catnip, felines demonstrate many behavioral traits that prove interesting to observe and analyze.

Often overlooked, however, is the topic of feline mental health. Similar to humans and many other animal species, cats are susceptible to disorders that affect mood, thinking, and behavior. In fact, cats have been diagnosed with mental illnesses ranging from depression to anxiety to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

While offering your cat enhanced environmental enrichment to maintain mental alertness represents a good starting point, there are many factors a cat owner should consider in regards to a feline’s mental well-being. Here’s what you need to know about cats and mental health.
Can Cats be Mentally Ill?

The word “crazy” often gets thrown around in regards to cat behavior, such as when felines are observed scampering around the house at night, or pawing incessantly at a door to be let in. While this terminology is no longer acceptable within the mental health community, it’s widely recognized today that cats can, in fact, suffer from mental illness.

Much like their human counterparts, cats endure mood swings and feeling out of sorts. If your cat exhibits signs of depression, including losing interest in food and constantly hiding out-of-sight, it’s worthwhile to notify your veterinarian. It’s possible there are underlying health issues resulting in your cat’s depressed behavior.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) represents a behavioral issue in which a cat engages in repeated, exaggerated behaviors that do not seem to have a real purpose. These include over-grooming to the point of irritation or exposure of bare skin, pacing, vocalizing, overeating, and chewing. Your veterinarian can assist with confirming a suspected OCD diagnosis.
Is Your Cat Suffering from Anxiety?

Felines are not immune to the perils associated with excess stress. Cats experience anxiety because of psychological, physical, and environmental struggles. Without intervention, the results of a cat’s stress may have detrimental effects on your home, your family, and your cat’s overall health.

The potential triggers of cat anxiety are vast and varied. These include:

    * Separation from family
    * Boredom
    * Lack of exercise/play
    * Inadequate living quarters
    * Changes to daily routine
    * Loss or addition of family member or cat
    * Health problem/pain

If you notice a substantial change in your cat’s behavior, it’s worthwhile to evaluate the situation and attempt to determine if something is bothering your feline friend. Such behavioral changes can take the form of hiding, appetite changes, excessive vocalization, aggression, restlessness, and lethargy. Should your cat demonstrate any of these symptoms for an extended period, a veterinary visit is in order.
Cognitive Dysfunction in Cats

While most cats tend to suffer reduced mental alertness as part of normal aging, some felines fall victim to Feline Cognitive Dysfunction (FCD), a pathological condition for which behavioral signs are exhibited that are abnormal, seem out of character, or are performed out of context.

There are various symptoms of cognitive dysfunction, and particular attention should be paid to a cat demonstrating more than one of these:

    * Loss of control of bladder or bowels
    * Decreased activity/playfulness
    * Increased sleeping time
    * Loss of coordination
    * Increased irritability or aggression

Should you have reason to suspect your senior cat may be suffering from cognitive dysfunction, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Drug therapy treatments are available that can help to reduce the impact of FCD on your cat.
Protect Your Pet

Orphaned Cats - Their Mental and Social Needs

Certain situations leave a cat particularly vulnerable to suffering from mental illness. Among these is the unfortunate circumstance whereby a kitten is orphaned and absent of traditional nurturing. In the worst-case scenario, an orphaned kitten is deprived of both parental care and the company of his siblings.

In addition to mental health ailments like depression and anxiety, several behavioral problems prove common for orphaned kittens. These include:

    * Over-attachment to human caregivers
    * Owner-directed bullying or dominance
    * Demonstration of nursing behavior

The issues arising from orphaned kittens illustrate the incredible importance parental figures play in the nurturing and socialization of their young. People who devote extensive time and effort to fostering orphaned kittens deserve to be commended.
What Can a Veterinary Behaviorist Do For My Cat?

When your cat displays behavioral problems that you suspect are the result of an underlying mental illness, it may be worthwhile to consult a veterinary behaviorist. These experts are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat problems in animals, whether they are medical or behavioral.

Veterinary behaviorists typically have a background in learning theory and are able to counsel on psychological problems. In many cases, a veterinary behaviorist can quickly assess a problem and provide viable treatment options. Modern treatments recommended by veterinary behaviorist tend to be holistic in the sense that they embrace all aspects of a cat’s life and lifestyle:

    * Changes to diet and exercise
    * Enhanced environmental enrichment
    * Medical or psychological treatment

Your cat’s mental health well-being is simply too important to be overlooked. By using your knowledge to know when to more actively monitor your cat and when to seek veterinary involvement, you can play a fundamental role in keeping your cat happy and healthy.
Resources for Cats and Mental Health

Want more useful advice regarding prevention and treatment of feline mental health issues? Check out our featured articles:

    * Crazy Cats: Can Cats be Mentally Ill?
    * Is Your Cat Suffering from Anxiety?
    * Cognitive Dysfunction in Cats
    * Orphaned Cats - Their Mental and Social Needs
    * What Can a Veterinary Behaviorist Do For My Cat?

Lolo and co...

Jul 16, 2015 - 0 comments

Loreena was supposed to have the urinary probe out last Thursday.
It was holiday ( AGAIN _ Did I ever mentionate we have too much holidays here in Brazil???) and Dr Fabiano wont be there but the said the other vet would do it.
I took her to the clinic, early in the morning.
Dr Paulo just took off  the patch and decided he will keep probe til Monday, to be removed together with the stitches by Fabiano.
Ok, back home... Still with probe, so still with cone :-(
Let my baby there,apparently accepting her fate ,had a fast rest and left home for solve another things.
Back home, Lolo was peaceful.Wearing her e-collar ( she can take if off by itself, even being quite thight)
And I had a surprise in the litter box - THE PROBE!!!
I've Got crazy.Called many times the clinic, all numbers.No reply... "Damn it, they must be on some emergency .Hope was not a dog fighting porcupine - it would last forever"
Called another clinic were Fabiano should be.Almost bingo - he had already left - girl there say it would give her the notice and my number ( in fact, she never did)
Back to calling first place, got the vet ( Paulo) No use in putting the stuff back, so we just talk about...
History's Moral
17/07 Girls are driving me CRAZY. All 3 -
Lolo is stressed because of the surgery, the collar time AND changes in her environment ( outside- sigh..)
She is also completely spoiled.She's very very very attached to me - and fighting again her siblings ( and me if I try to mend the situation)
Joy and Lucky are stressed because they are a little "abandoned' by Lolo and me and doing some extra mess.
Im stressed for all above plus other reasons and shout with the girls - what make things worse...( I do KNOW this!)
I should not have let Lolo stay tooo long without her siblings company :-( Too late to mend it, maybe???
I should not shout and make J& L scared about me...But sometimes I just have to "blow"
I should not blame myself for - but sometimes I do...

Lolo having urinary problems :-(

Apr 15, 2015 - 0 comments

urinary problems

I will start this journal with stuff already published as status and try to keep it uptodate.

Protein level is ok and so other points,
But there is hidden blood,some skin cells, eritrocites, leucocites  AND CRiSTALS ( fosfate kind)
too much +++ for my tranquility :( Vet prescribed 3 medicines,I'm still checking prices
S...ALL CAT/pets  parents should be born with a good monetary source...
22 hrs ago

I wish they didnt have different vets every day - they never agree about medication prescribed and the one today is not one of my favorites
22 hrs ago
A whole day searching  in lots of humane drugstores and changes in products vet authorized  and the  total price of meds need it was reduced to about the half;
I started 2 yesterday  ( corticoid and antibiotic) but I still have to bay C vitamine
In fact, he didnt prescribe very expensive stuff - just that I am more f # than ever.
LoLo always drank a good among of water.And she is the one with daily sachet food....hope it helps.
9 mins ago
16pm _ just bought the  c vitamin.Strating tomorrow.Caramel flavour - poor girl...

From The Cat’s Perspective … By: Alex Lieber

Jan 06, 2015 - 3 comments

cool texts about cats


From The Cat’s Perspective …
By: Alex Lieber
Read By:9,356 Pet Lovers

Dear Diary:

He's at it again. The barking. That constant barking during my daily naps. I don't know what I dislike most about that dog – the barking, the foreign scent everywhere, his freakish need for approval and attention ... and the baffling desire to eat my food and play in my litter box.

Just what is he trying to prove?

Perhaps I should start at the beginning. I adopted a family recently. As I explored my new home I picked up an awfully un-catlike scent everywhere. Naturally, I set about changing the scent to my own to let would-be interlopers know this land has been claimed.

But every time I went on kitty patrol, I picked up that scent again. Well, after a few days, I discovered what the smell was. A dog! My family hid him like a dirty little secret, no doubt afraid of my reaction. I suppose they wanted to ease me by introducing the dog gradually.

I stumbled upon him by accident when the door was accidentally left open. He came into my room and tried to greet me with that big snout of his, but I bravely batted him with my paw and ran away. The lumbering giant took after me, and I nimbly avoided him by climbing my tree.

He sat looking up at me, barking impotently, but I wasn't about to climb down. After awhile, I realized I was frustrating him because there was just no way he could make it up the tree. I showed him my disdain by yawning nonchalantly. Unfortunately, my food bowl and litter box were left behind. He retaliated against me by eating my food and desecrating my box.

I don't understand his behavior, Diary, or why my family puts up with him. He hardly sleeps a wink and always wants to play. Sure, I was like that as a kitten, but you have to grow up sometimes.

As the months passed, it became clear the dog just wasn't learning the art of subtlety. He doesn't understand there is a time and place for everything. When someone calls for me, why rush? What's so important I have to run? And the incessant begging. Where's his dignity? If you see something you want, just show a little more affection and purr a little louder to remind the family you're there.

Well, I decided to make the dog my pet project. I try to set an example of how to hunt and chase, the proper times and places to take a nap and that he has his food and I have mine. I think I'm beginning to rub off on him. The other day, I caught the dog taking a midday nap. I was so proud I couldn't resist joining him. Now, we have a routine. We take one nap a day together, eat, then he chases me until I get tired of the game and tease him by climbing out of his reach. I've even grown accustomed to his scent.

He still reverts to form on occasion, though. When he's excited, the dog just can't help jumping, running and, worst of all, that barking. Oh well, Diary. We'll just take it one day at a time ...