If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
My cat started sneezing a couple of months ago. The next morning, he started having seizures. We think it was toxoplasmosis, but the test came back negative. He went deaf and blind. His hearing came back, but his vision didn't. We have multiple pets in the house. He is the largest and was the most dominant male in the house. Now, he hisses and growls all the time. I took him to the vet to get his shots a week ago and he bit me, pretty serious bite. He has started swatting at me and growling even at me when I talk to him and approach him. He runs away when I try to pet him. When he first went blind, he would let me hold him and lay him on the bed and he would sleep next to me. That's the only time he would really rest, when he was next to me or my boyfriend or one of us was holding him. Now we can barely get close to him. I did manage to pick him up this morning. He used to love going outside. I took him outside and was going to sit with him. He started growling and swatting at the air. I couldn't get close enough to him to pick him up. I finally got him to run into the house through the open door.
He seems miserable. Even when I leave him be, he just hides out in my room and doesn't go anywhere. He doesn't jump up on anything. This cat, my Ryan kitty, used to be the most laid back cat in the world. He used to love to be picked up and held like a baby, getting his tummy rubbed. I'm so worried that I'm being selfish. I have always taken extreme measures to make sure my pets get the best veterinary care, and it was about $1300 to get Ryan over his illness. Is there anything I can do to help him adjust to the major change in his life?
3 isn't old, and I think he'll adjust. I would NOT force him to go outside; in fact, I'd do everything in my power to keep him in--it's just not safe for blind ones to be out. You might start him out in a single room, let him get used to it, and slowly reintroduce him to the rest of the place to help reduce his stress. It sounds to me like his stress level is through the roof, but blind ones typically adjust and become so adept that you can't easily tell that they're blind.
The lack of jumping isn't surprising; he'll probably do more climbing until he gets used to no vision. Also remember that he might have a little brain damage to recover from, which could explain his personality change. Let him take his time adjusting and healing.
Thank you. I was getting really worried because he's getting increasingly aggressive. He keeps trying to bite me and my boyfriend, and he even snapped at my daughter last night and he is her cat, used to sleep in the bed with her.
I do have him in my bedroom. I have a large Rotweiller and he has a tendency to eat the cat food if he can get to it so I usually keep it up high. I bought a large kennel (the soft, collapsable one) and have Ryan's food in there. It took a few days, but he's adjusted to going in there to eat. That way I can keep food out for him all the time. He likes to eat in small doses.
My biggest concern is that he's such a large cat, he could really hurt someone. He's almost 20 pounds. He's really not fat, he's muscular and large framed. Although, I believe he's losing some of his muscle mass. He doesn't do anything except occasionally pace back and forth in my room.
If you have any other suggestions for helping him to adjust and helping us to adjust to the major changes in his personality, I'm open to listening. I don't want him to be miserable. He hated the dog before all of this happened and would run from him. Now he knows when he's close by, if he gets too close he warns him, but he doesn't run away from him anymore. I'm hoping he will stop being aggressive toward us. I miss him. But I do understand that he needs time to adjust.
And just a note...I would never let him go outside by himself. I have a cat fence around my backyard to keep my pets inside my yard, but I wouldn't let him go outside without me with him. But you're right, I will not force him to do anything.
Wish we had a cat fence!
To just accept him, as he is, is, in my opinion, one of the best things you can do. Has anything changed now?
Well, he has gotten more openly aggressive, but it's almost like he's playing...but not. If I don't get his breakfast fast enough, when I'm sitting in the bathroom, he'll run up to me and bite my ankle. It doesn't really hurt, but he will keep doing it until I get up to feed him. It's kind of funny. But he's still biting more and more. And if he gets stressed out by one of the other cats, he will attack us when we walk by. However, I got one of the pin spot lights and when I tried it with him a couple of weeks ago he could see nothing. Today, I was across the room from him and was shining it in front of him. He was following it quickly with his head and he even pawed at it. I'm not sure exactly what that means. I don't know if he can only see the red light or if he is slowly getting his vision back. I'm trying to be positive without being too hopeful. I love him no matter what. He has let me pick him up and hold him in my arms for a couple of minutes that past couple of days in a row. But then he growled and swatted at me when I put him down today. I don't want him to feel isolated or ignored. He's such a sweet baby. I just want him to be as comfortable as possible and know that he's loved.
And the cat fence is one of the best investments I've ever made! I think it's catfencein.com. It's a monetary investment, but it keeps them safe and you don't have to worry about them getting hit by cars or hateful neighbors doing something mean to them. We have 8 cats and my neighbor hates cats. So...it was a necessity! He was putting cages out trying to trap my cats.
I just looked it up. I would probably have to sedate him to get it on him. I can't pick him up anymore and petting him usually leads to him trying to bite me. I do it anyway and just talk to him and tell him not to bite the mommy in a sweet voice. He is getting more and more untouchable and wild. I'll talk to my vet and see if they would give something to give him so I could put it on him.
Talk to your vet about medication. Perhaps daily medication for anxiety (or something else) would make him happier and more pleasant to be around. Meds can often be mixed with canned food or a bit of baby food, making them easy to administer.
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