Advice for an anxious cat

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by SpencerLindley, Jan 5, 2018.

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  1. SpencerLindley

    SpencerLindley Member

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    Dec 19, 2017
    So our AM and PM routines consist of a gluc check, food, and insulin (obviously). Ballonee is an extremely anxious kitty and has always been. The last 2-3 days she has been feeling much better and acting way more like her self which means more resistance. What has been happening is that she now associates her food with pokes and instead of eating she anxiously looks around for anything/one that may be there to poke her. If someone comes in the room while shes eating she will sink down and try to hide her head or run away (it's like we've been abusing her :( :( which might even be what it's like for her which makes my heart hurt) The last few meals have taken almost 45 mins to get down her. She just has so much more energy now which is great but I need her to eat and I don't want her to have to be afraid of meal times :( any advice? Thank you!
     
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  2. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    Did you check glucose before or after food? I'm guessing before, but did you prepare the food before poking? Can you give more details?

    I'm really glad to hear she is feeling better!

    The way to go would be to try as much as possible to dissociate the pokes from the food, and maybe try rewarding the pokes with something else than her meal.
     
  3. Julia Rae

    Julia Rae Well-Known Member

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    When I started my dance with Magellan, I had much the same problems, found shifting the draw site to his paws and bribing him with freeze dried meats.. "pure bites." Much loves, kisses and snuggles I was able to eventually convince him to submit to the testing. Then later he begain to actually view it as a way to get treats he normaly would not get. He only got the pure bites at testing.. one before and one after he started jumping up on the table I used for testing.....could have knocked me over with a feather the first few times he did this, he still does to this day!
     
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Are you poking her while she eats?
     
  5. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Spencer,

    If you're not already doing so, I'd suggest setting up a dedicated BG testing station somewhere away from where Ballonee eats her food. Knowing that tests only happen in one place may hopefully help her to relax more around the rest of your home. It helps to get everything poised and ready to go before taking an anxious kitty to the test station. Doing so means that they are only there for the shortest amount of time possible and this may help the nervousness. As your technique improves, it will take less and less time to do the tests.

    I also second Julia's suggestion about giving boatloads of fusses and praise during and after each test. And special test time only treats (very important!). Also, some kitties like to be brushed/fussed after a test or an injection.

    Thirdly, as you know well, our kitties really pick up on it when we're anxious or stressed. In the early days I'd be in a heap when it came to test time. My heart would sink at having to do something to make my beautiful girl bleed. ( :( ) Saoirse used to be very uneasy, too. Eventually I gave myself a good talking to, put on my Big Girl Pants and became very business-like and matter of fact when doing the tests. There was a lot of 'fake it till ya make it' involved on my part (including sometimes singing to Saoirse - more for my benefit than hers, methinks ...:oops: ) but things very quickly improved. My (albeit feigned) new and confident approach seemed to reassure Saoirse that everything was OK and she became calmer during tests. As her clinical signs began to improve Saoirse soon worked out that all the poking was directly related to her now feeling better. Not long after that Saoirse became one of the kitties that jumps up to their test station to remind their humans to test their BG and purrs all the way through the test procedure (never in a million did I think that would happen for us).

    Hope some of the above gives you some ideas to try.

    Sending scritches for your dear little girl. (((Ballonee)))


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  6. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    I tst before feed and inject after feeding except of Patches who I inject as she is finishing eating. Otherwise she really tries to bite me.
    Since I have many cats and one dog to feed, frequently there is an hour between taking the BG and injecting.
     
  7. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Some of this has been already said, some I've told before. Not scientific but it can help and I've been blessed with two very patient and trusting cats.
    We put Nigel on a huge towel on the dining room table. The other cats could not hover over him, the light was good, he was at eye level with me. This made for a one-on-one procedure day after day and after awhile I could thump the table and he would jump up. Trust is everything.
    Noah is a different story, very nervous (never been crated, been out of the house maybe 8 times in 14 years, afraid of windows). I lay out everything in front of him including a pre-loaded syringe. He might scamper away in the time it takes me to load a syringe. I talk to him, maybe sing a song, pull his tail and thank him for being a good boy. It's not rational but it works. Don't look for it in a textbook. I also rub his poked ear with a damp and warm paper towel.
     
  8. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Larry, in a previous post I wasn't kidding about wanting your kitchen. New houses = no charm. I live for this stuff! :)
    larrys_kitchen01.jpg larrys_kitchen02.jpg
     
  9. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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  10. SpencerLindley

    SpencerLindley Member

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    Dec 19, 2017
    I check glucose before and then give her the food. After the food I let her settle and clean herself a bit and then give her insulin. I really try to keep the pokes away from the food. But she knows it's coming lol.

    This is super hopeful. Ballonee unfortunately is weird in that she is not motivated by food so I'm trying to think of something else I could give her or reward her with. I just try and cuddle her lots right now. I have to keep in mind that Ballonee was always an anxious kitty so I don't expect it to change.. right now it's manageable I just dont want it to get to a point where she refuses to eat.. to I'm trying to prevent it from getting worse at this point :(

    Yes! I thought of that too when I got home with her from the vet initially but I've let it slip unfortunately. I was torn between trying to keep her in a comfortable place while Im doing the procedure (as to try and lessen the anxiety) and moving her to one place consistently for pokes. The latter seemed to heighten the anxiety initially because she was being moved but unfortunately now shes just anxious everywhere so that kind of backfired. I will start being consistent with the place I poke her. Thank you. Also Do you think it's okay if I let her eat in her comfortable place and then remove her to "our poking station" after she is done. Or does she have to eat in a separate place too. She is such a drama princess though.. today she was on her comfy chair and I brought her food to her and she looked at me and then promptly turned around and faced the back of her chair LOL. I'm like "really ballonee wow" .. she gobbled it up a few seconds later but she's just being super snotty to me hahaha.

    I might try and find some treats she really likes but so far it's so hard to motivate her with food. She just doesn't get that excited with food. Maybe the brushing though! She loves being groomed. Thank you for the idea. Honestly after any poke or procedure she is just so done with me :p Sometimes she will cuddle and other times she'll look at me like "you just need to leave me alone" lol.

    hahahah! I do that too and I'm pretty sure it's mostly so I calm down. Yeah I get super anxious too and I need to get myself together :p I just hate hurting her and I hate the thought of making her uncomfortable and I wish I could just let her be a cat.. like just let her lay in her favorite spots with out having to bother her for gluc checks or shots etc.. I wish she knew I was doing it to help her! I need a cat translator haha. Hopefully she'll eventually put the two together.. as she gets better she just seems to get more feisty haha which as we discussed is great but shes fighting me every step of the way :p

    Thank you, Mogs <3 Will for sure deliver them to her :)

    This is totally Ballonee.. How is he acting now over time? has it ever gotten easier?
     
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  11. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

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    Dec 12, 2016
    Jones is not very food motivated either. I test in a certain spot. Give treat. Let him go. Feed everyone and I let him eat. Do up the syringe while waiting. When he is done eating and is off grooming I pet him, massage his neck to get him to drop and then form tent and shoot. Drop treat for dessert.

    He will try to run when he knows I am getting everything ready every now and again. I spend extra time giving scratches and hugs. I also make sure to give pets through out the day, uninvited pets sometimes with some freeze dried treats...so he knows that I don't come to poke every time.
     
  12. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    I'll try and keep this short but it won't be. Nigel and Noah were brothers, Nigel was our first diabetic cat. They ate the right food and neither one was obese. I had heard of diabetic cats but had no experience. It was just luck that our vet (her father was a vet) knew what to look for and how to treat it and it was also luck that in a home with nine cats and a dog not one of the cats were nervous/don't pick me up/don't ever touch me there. A tech showed me how to test, how to measure and inject, the warning signs of HYPO and where to find the info we needed (Binky's Page). For the first 10 days our vet was on the phone with us morning and night walking us through the whole procedure. We were encouraged to test at home and do our own curves. Vets like that become more than friends and the entire staff gets my baked goods. In fact when Nigel, my (GA), passed they sent us flowers and a card signed by the entire staff!
    What made it easy? Nigel liked riding in the car so that says a lot about him. He just somehow knew this was something that had to be done. I used to poke Nigel on the floor by the sliding glass door, lots of light, but one day I noticed a years worth of blood droplets on the door frame from him shaking his ears after I tested him. That's when I moved the whole procedure to the dining room table. The towel gave him traction, the overhead light meant I could see what I was doing and the increased height meant I was eye level with him so I had a good view of what I was doing.
    Noah is a different story, now very nervous and showing some signs of dementia. He has his own particular basket which he often shares with his buddy Andy. Having Andy in there when I test Noah actually makes things easier. Noah can't squirm and because Noah is the senior cat the others know to stay away, far less distractions. Noah's timetable is way off because he's a solitary cat so I often have to find him first but then he always goes to his basket. Not only is he a high-dose bouncer but because of my sudden on-set medical condition he sometimes misses a PM shot entirely. I tell my wife he had a fur shot.
    Now for some advice you can actually use.
    I bring everything I need; paper towels, lancet, meter with a strip partially inserted (so the meter is not on, turns itself off after 20 seconds), extra strips and a pre-loaded syringe with slightly more than I know I'll need. This is because if I leave to fill the syringe he goes back to the basement. Now Noah knows what's coming and it's not a surprise. Only Noah's left ear will produce enough blood to test so he has to either lay down straight or lay on his left side. I approach from his right, hold a paper towel under his left ear and rub his jaw and head with my right hand. Then I push the strip into the meter, turning it on and I apologize to him before I poke his ear. While I read the meter I keep one hand on him rubbing his back just the way he likes it. He gets squirted in the flank, gets his tail pulled because he likes that and I tell him what a good boy he is. I also tell Andy the same.
    The hardest part is tickling Noah's ear with his transdermal Buprenorphine (BUPE) and making sure Andy doesn't lick it off!
    It is sheer stupid dumb luck that Noah has never approached HYPO and I stumbled across a vet who is an Angel. I can almost do this in the dark!
    I use Monoject syringes with a 12.7mm needle and BD lancets pictured below. They're much easier to handle because they're fat like those over-sized ball point pens.
    ear_001.JPG bd_lancet_01.jpg injsitesforcats1.jpg
     
  13. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    @SpencerLindley There's no such thing as a stupid question here. If you need to know or want advice on anything just ask. :)
     
  14. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    My home was built in the early 1960's and the kitchen has not been update since. You noticed that.
     
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  15. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    I love it! I don't want Oak or Cherry cabinets, just want a place to put my non-organic stuff.
     
  16. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    I know more than I care to about real estate. When a house has nothing left to "modernize" you seldom get a penny over asking. If a buyer sees potential they see $$$ signs in their eyes. I like it just the way it is, looks comfy and warm, full of cats. :)
     
  17. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    The last time we went to Home Depot to look at cabinets they were mostly some gawd awful plastic things. I gave my measurements in both metric and imperial. Za women who zpoke Engloosh wanted to know what inch/" was. Canada is NOT 100% metric, a 2X4 is still the same... :blackeye: :( :rolleyes:
     
  18. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    A quadruple post! Yakidee yak yak :blackeye:
    @SpencerLindley My post #12 was a tad long but I hope it gave you some encouragement. No more ovens or kitchens, I promise. Is anything or everything going better?
     
  19. SpencerLindley

    SpencerLindley Member

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    Dec 19, 2017
    Thank you so much for all of your wonderful replies!! Sorry for the delayed response it's been busy since the holidays ended :) Shes still being challenging and moody but I think it's something that we will just have to work out over time. Thank you for sharing your technique, tips, and tricks it was super helpful to read and to try. I wish she wasn't prone to hypoglycemia so much! I think she needs a break from me for a bit during the day but Im almost scared to let her out of my sight at this point! ahaha and she can sense my anxiety which makes hers worse I think.
     
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  20. Julia Rae

    Julia Rae Well-Known Member

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    Jun 11, 2015
    At this pint my best advise.. in spite of how simple it soundfs it is not.. Breath,, just breath and relax it will come and things will come together.. remember.. just breath!
     
  21. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Spencer,

    Just checking in to ask how Ballonee's getting on.

    :bighug:


    Mogs
    .
     
  22. SpencerLindley

    SpencerLindley Member

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    Dec 19, 2017
    Thank you so much for checking in! Sorry I've been totally AWOL. I've been working closely with her vet and it's been going (knock on wood) quite well. We have her on 0.5 units right now. She's been much more stable on that dose since she has gained a bit of weight and has been eating better. I can't feel her little ribs as much anymore and that makes me so happy. The vet still wants her to gain more weight and has her on Vit B12 shots now. I give them 1x per week. We are also doing Sub Q fluids 50cc per day (usually ends up being every second day because I have so much trouble emotionally poking her with an 18 gauge needle.. just seems a bit huge and she jumps off the walls after). I did tell my vet about the every second day thing and she said she's totally fine with whatever I feel I can do. My vet has me graphing her values differently for the time being so, as you can tell, I'm not using the spreadsheet anymore. But the best part is she is acting much more like herself.. she is jumping around and playing and purring and needing... she seems happier than she's been in a very long time. Crossing my fingers it keeps going alright.. I know things can change so suddenly.

    Thank you again for checking in on us Mogs <3 <3 Hugs.
     
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