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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20848
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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She was a feral cat when we got her at the animal shelter.

Customer Question

she was a feral cat when we got her at the animal shelter. she was abused. is afraid of the dark. we have to keep a nitelite on 24/7 for her to even go downstairs to use her kitty litter. we are using laxatone but she has started to spit it up. she is very healthy. all her check ups have come out great. but the vet says she is psychotic and is reacting well. her psychosis shows up as extremely excessive grooming and she could not pass all the hairballs but the elavil has relaxed her enough to groom her which i could never do before. can't touch her belly to comb, but we did have her shaved which helps me somewhat. she has stopped vomiting but doesn't do well on the laxatone. she is pooping better and drinking water but we have changed her diet to rachel ray's nutrish and beyond's chicken patee. must be no grain fed, no chicken byparts and protein and low carbs. end of the line for us. i don't know what to do. she has the vet puzzled too. she does eat a little of the hair ball science diet dry food.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cat eat anything unusual?
Customer: know. she is strictly a house pet and has no access to other foods. all her check ups were normal. all blood test, ekg, egd, xrays. we are all simply puzzeled.
JA: What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: dolly mae merrick (miss mericka). she is so lovable after having been so abused as a feral cat. we were able to get her at our animal shelter. she love's my son and i but can be real aggressive and difficult she she is on elavil.
JA: How old is Mae Merrick?
Customer: we have had her for 6 yrs but age can't be strictly determined. vet feels she more like maybe 8 yrs.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Mae Merrick?
Customer: i am puzzled. the vomiting with food and all has stopped. but within 1/2 hr of talking the lazatone she is spitting up. no food. just bronze colored oil like substance which is staining our carpets.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 4 months ago.

Hello, and welcome.

What exactly is the problem? Is she constipated or was constipation only a problem in the past?

So, to sum up, she's eating, drinking and urinating well, she's loving, but on Elavil to calm her enough for you to groom her and prevent her from swallowing any excess 'dead fur' during self-grooming, but she was acting psychotic due to former abuse and that's why she was prescribed Elavil.

What is puzzling you at this time?

Thanks for all your additional information and after you reply, please allow me some time to compose and send my detailed answer.

Warmest regards,


Expert:  Cher replied 4 months ago.

Hello, again.

I wanted to get some additional information from you, but I will answer your question now, and if you need any further information, just let me know.

It sounds, from your description, that constipation is still an issue on and off, depending on how much fur she actually ingests during self-grooming. Her previous behavior, which seemed 'psychotic', was most likely a condition called feline psychogenic alopecia, which is an obsessive-compulsive disorder, in which a cat will over-groom due to stress or anxiety.

Because the Laxatone doesn't seem to be agreeing with her, you might offer her an ounce of whole milk, once a day, which is a natural laxative, as most cats are lactose intolerant. You can also mix 1 tsp. of plain, canned pumpkin (not pie filling) into a small amount of her wet food, twice a day; the natural fiber will be beneficial. Instead, you might also try plain, jarred baby food pumpkin or sweet potato.

I'm glad you changed to Nutrish and she likes it. She should only be eating wet food and you can add a little water or tuna water from canned tuna to each feeding, providing extra moisture. The Science Diet Hairball formula dry food is not as healthy for her. If she likes 'grazing' on dry food, get a high quality, grain-free food, like Wellness, or EVO and leave out a small amount for the day.

You can also encourage her to drink more, by getting a cat drinking fountain; cats love drinking from a moving water source. More water/moisture will help her pass stools and hairballs more easily.

Ask your vet if you can add a very small amount (1/4 tsp.) of Metamucil to her wet food; that should help also.

Please keep in mind to do only one of these things at a time, to encourage her to have more regular b.m.'s--don't give all at once or she'll have loose stools.

I hope all will be well with Miss Mericka!

I hope you found this answer helpful and will please take a moment to select a positive rating from the stars at the top of your page, then click 'submit;' this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. Thank you very much!

Even after rating, I will always be available if you need additional information; just click 'reply' and I will be glad to continue.

Warmest wishes,

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Cher, i am sorry, but mu "Dolly Mae" has passed away. nothing else to reply.
Expert:  Cher replied 4 months ago.

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this sad news about your Dolly Mae. I send my most heartfelt condolences to you at this difficult time. Were you told by the vet, the cause of her demise?

When you're ready, you might want to look at this website on pet loss and know that one day, you WILL be reunited. This really helped me and many of my clients, after losing our beloved cats.

Scroll down to the poem on the lower right hand side.

My best thoughts and prayers are with you at this devastating time.

Warmest regards,


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
can is now fgone. please no more contact!!
Expert:  Cher replied 4 months ago.

I will no longer contact you, but the site does not know you don't want anymore contact and will keep sending you reminders to accept my answer(s). I have no control over that. If you want to write to Customer Service you can do so via email at: ***@******.***

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