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Oh the poor dear is a mess. we got him when we moved into…

Customer Question
Oh the poor dear...

Oh the poor dear is a mess. we got him when we moved into the apt. the previous owner had moved to assisted living and left him in the empty apt, feeding him weekly. he was alone for many months.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the cat?

He's been with us since July. He's made a lot of progress but he still wanders around meowing. meowing meowing. he is so distressed you can feel it when you pick him up tense and wild. just been trying to figure out how to help him. i feel like he got in a pattern of looking for his old owner when he was abandonded and he just goes back into that place sometimes

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the cat's name and age?

He's approximately 14 and I found out his name was Shadow so i still call him Shadow

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Shadow?

He's a very fussy eater

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
9/28/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10,986
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help with this concern about Shadow.

It sounds as if he's fortunate to have made his way into your life. I have a few thoughts as to what might cause this behavior. Please give me a few minutes to type back a response for you. Deb

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

There actually could be several possible explanations for this behavior and the stress of being alone without his owner may have exacerbated some of them:

1. Cats with senility or dementia excessively vocalize; I think it reflects the confusion and/or anxiety that they are experiencing. Many of these cats will also experience memory loss, possibly inappropriate elimination, staring off into space or acting like they don't quite know where they are at times. Signs can be intermittent but the condition does tend to progress.

Treatment options are limited, unfortunately, but there are a few things to consider.

a) Feliway diffusers or a spray which are natural pheromones which can sometimes instill a sense of calm may be helpful. There a similar oral product called Composure Chews. These products are available on the internet or at most pet stores

b) Fish oil supplements such as Welactin may help some cats because of their anti-oxidant properties.
c). Specific cognitive supplements such as Neutricks, SAMe (Novifit) and Senilife may be useful as well as NuCat Senior supplement. They should be available on the internet

2. Cats with hyperthyroid disease will often excessively vocalize. I don't have a good explanation for this (probably secondary to hypertension....see below) but I see it all the time. Blood work would diagnose this problem and there are good treatments for this disease.

3. Cats with arthritis pain or other pain in their bodies will vocalize. We are also somewhat limited in treating cats with this problem but options to consider would include:

a. Cosequin for Cats which is a joint supplement.
b. Occasional use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Onisor which is licensed for use in cats but can only be given for three days in a row.
There is a drug called Metacam but it is somewhat controversial in veterinary medicine. It's use can cause significant damage to the kidneys and should be used with great caution in older cats.

c. Adequan which is basically a stronger supplement but is an injection and needs to be given by your vet.
d. Fish oil supplements as I mentioned above

4. Cats with hypertension can behave in some odd ways. This is rarely a primary problem in cats but usually secondary to Hyperthyroid Disease (#2 above) or kidney issues or Diabetes. Blood work would help diagnose either one of these conditions.

And blood pressure measurements are routinely done in cats these days and they can be treated for it, similar to a human.

5. She is going deaf. I think these cats meow louder to hear themselves.

6. I always worry about a brain mass when older cats start to behave in odd ways. I only include this to be complete but not to alarm you.

I often suggest that owners give their cats over the counter, human Melatonin which can help some of them sleep at night if the vocalization is worse at that time (which it often is). The dose would be 3-6 mg about one hour or so before bedtime; I usually start with the lower dose. For some cats, it can take several weeks before improvement is seen. Nature's Bounty is a good manufacturer since what's in the bottle is not necessarily what's on the label.

I hope this helps, Deb

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Deb
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