? Delayed stress reaction?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lillie, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    I was in the Southern California Thomas Fire. I took my cat with me to the shelter and he stayed in the car with his carrier and litter box. He was visibly shaking when we came home. He seemed to be all right for several days but was a little jumpy. He is now after several days of being home having a flare up of his IBD.
    Can cats experience PTSD? Could he be having a stress related reaction do you think? I know I am but not sure if animals experience this also.
     
  2. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about your emergency in the fire, and I'm glad you are all ok. I took Leo in the car last September from Austin to Ft Collins. 2 days in both directions. It was for his SRT (radiation for the acromegaly).

    He hyperventilated in the car a lot. We got home a week later. At one point in the last day of the drive home we drove thru torrential rain and hail - so much that most of the cars on the freeway just stopped. Anyhow it took him a few days to get back to normal. He was stressed out for awhile.

    I think your kitteh may be more traumatized. I would give it a week, but would monitor for issues.
     
  3. nmveasey

    nmveasey Member

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    Nov 15, 2017
    I’m glad you and Kitty are safe from the fire! I’m sure that was a very scary situation.

    Yes, animals definitely have stress reactions to different situations, just like we do. I can’t say if it’s PTSD per se, I don’t think we can rationalize animal reactions to that extent. their bodies react from the increase in stress hormones, and his recent bout of IBD could be the result of the stressful situation you and he were in.

    Animals can sense a lot of things that we can’t... Hopefully he will get to normal very soon. Definitely visit your vet if issues persist.
     
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  4. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Poor baby. I can see where that situation might upset his system. I hope he feels better soon.
     
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  5. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Stress could well be the cause. IBD is an inflammatory condition and stress can increase inflammation all over the body. I hope you both feel better soon.
     
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  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    poor baby. Maybe plugging a few feliway stress diffusers around the house will help him settle.
     
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  7. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    PTSD also affects dogs and cats that have gone through the traumatic and stressful aftermath of natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina or an abusive home. - from HERE.
    We are close to the Lilac Fire, N. San Diego - I am so glad you are able to come home now!
    :bighug: to you and your kitty!
     
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  8. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    While I've never seen research papers on the subject, based on my experience with my civvie, Lúnasa, I do think that cats can experience PTSD. I have PTSD myself and many of her behaviours (e.g. hypervigilance, hypersensitivity to stimuli, trust issues) lead me to believe that my little Noodler experiences similar.

    I found her on a windowsill - completely immobilised with fear. She would have been about 5 weeks old at the time and I think she has never recovered from being parted from her mother at such a critical developmental time. I've had her for 11 years and in all that time I've never been able to connect with her the way I did with my other cats. She also has problems with fear aggression and I always had to keep her separate from my other kitties. It makes me sad that, even after all these years, I've never been able to make her feel completely safe. :(

    FWIW, as a human with PTSD I can attest that it can play havoc with one's digestive system and even what might be considered mild everyday stressors can trigger flares.


    Mogs
    .
     
  9. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Thank you all for your responses and experiences. I went up North for a few days to my sister's for Christmas and to get away from the toxic air quality and took him to his vet's for boarding. He threw up the morning I took him so I took all his meds etc. with a note about what to give him. He knows everyone there and it was very quiet there over Christmas and the vet tech said she would give him special attention. Poor guy, I hope he can calm down some when he comes home. He was so jumpy when we got home from the shelter and it seemed like every little noise would upset him. I'm sure their nervous system gets out of whack somehow. I think I was worrying about him more than myself because they don't understand what's going on and why they were transplanted into a car! Thank you everyone for your concern. Wish us luck when he comes home tomorrow. I think I will get a few of the feliway defusers.
     
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  10. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Sounds weird but also go on YouTube and look up either healing music for cats, or calming music for cats. It's helped me tame feral kittens and keep recovering cats calmer.
     
  11. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    I forgot about the Relax Your Cat music! I will need to keep it on for him.
     
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  12. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    I was talking about you and your kitteh during Christmas dinner. Everyone was sympathetic, and they asked me to spread some xmas cheer to you and your traumatized kitteh. I hope he gets settled down at the boarding facility, and can get back into his old kitteh self when you return.
     
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  13. donnalea

    donnalea Member

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    Jun 18, 2016
    Remember, you need something rest and relaxation too.
     
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  14. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Thank you both so much for your well wishes. I hope I never have to go through something like that again. The parking lot at the shelter was full with many people who also had dogs and cats in their cars. At least with dogs you can take them out and walk but it's impossible to do that with cats. There were shelters set up to take pets but they were filling up fast and for some reason I felt better knowing Leo was with me.
     
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  15. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    For some reason I really like the name "Leo" for a cat - see my signature.

    Merry Xmas.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    He looks quite content. Never thought of a heat lamp for the cat but I guess it works by the expression on his face! Beautiful Christmas tree. My Leo has a white long mane around his neck so there was no other name that fit better.
     
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  17. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    The Xmas tree is setup by merchants at a local shopping center. I also thought it looked amazing. Good name for your Leo kitteh.
     
  18. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    Also, remember that cats are very sensitive to how WE are doing. So if YOU are stressed out, it can have an impact on him.
     
  19. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    I'm sure he picked up on my anxiety. It was hard to stay calm.
     
  20. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    Definitely take care of yourself first. He's been through a traumatic episode but he should settle back down, given a little time. The more relaxed you are about it (and the more "normal" you are with him) the better the chances.
     
  21. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Interesting article from Tanya and Ducia- I can see how much their nervous system can be on edge after a trauma.
     
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  22. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Leo is home from the vet boarding. He's eating and pooping well but is still a little nervous. I played the relax the cat music all day yesterday for him. He's camped out under my bed this morning which is his 'safe' place. He's a very vocal cat to begin with and when he gets nervous he's even more vocal, if that's possible. Drives me crazy sometimes but I love him dearly.
     
  23. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Noah was born in our home along with his three brothers. With his mom and dad and the five cats we already had that made nine plus a cat friendly Border Collie that just adored all her cats. There are no children in the house pulling their tails, no slamming doors, no loud music etc. Around the age of four something happened to Noah and we still cannot piece it together. He spent the next few years living in our walk-in closet, has never been crated, goes to the vet wrapped in piddle pads and towels. Every knock at the door means he's behind the furnace for an hour, every time we come through the door we have to tell him "It's just mommy and daddy". He has never once bitten a tech or swatted anyone and allows me to trim knots off his tummy and get poked every day. He is not nervous, it's something else. This all happened before he lost all five members of his immediate family, the other three cats and our dog which all happened in just four years.
    They remember everything. Your cat remembers the sound of sirens, what smoke smells like and what happened next.
     
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  24. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I need to add this and in no way do I want this to become a pity-party. "For Nigel" in my signature was Noah's brother, a very gentle and loving soul. We lost two cats before Christmas, then my mom died, then Nigel and Noah's papa Jacob, then Nigel. That broke me and I've never gotten over it. It was what led to my PTSD diagnosis.
    We need to take care of ourselves too to take care of and love our cats and dogs. Hope things get better for all of us. :bighug:
     
  25. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    I'm starting to believe that they do indeed experience PTSD. Something similar in sound or smell may bring on a reaction later on. I know how jumpy I am now if I hear a siren or something that resembles that sound. Gosh I hope he eventually stops reacting to certain things. But maybe now he will always be sensitive.
     
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  26. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Hoping we can take something positive away from this. This is what works for me and Noah:
    ..We just let Noah go in the basement and have some private time where he has a dimly lit little corner near the litter that we keep clean just for him. He always comes back up on his own so I don't have to drag him up against his will.
    ..It's a bit unfair to the other cats but Noah gets his food first near his basket. He doesn't care to compete with the other cats.
    ..Lucky for us Noah has a basket buddy. Andy is a sweetheart who welcomes every new addition with love and heap bumps. If they look uncomfortable and jammed in the basket we just leave them alone, they'll figure it out themselves.
    ..Motion activated night lights near his basket help Noah, he's getting old.
    ..In an emergency you can dash out of the house with a cat in a pillow case. Like a Thunder Jacket for dogs if they feel confined (wrong word?) and are a bit more insulated from the hysteria around them they'll generally do better.
    --Not very rational of me but when my idiot neighbor had a fireworks display on the street (gigantic fields across the street!) I asked him politely to move. He laughed at me so I popped him. The police never came, lucky me. Stick up for your cat's sanity and your own.
     
  27. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Gave me a chuckle about popping the neighbor. Yes I let him sit under my bed as long as he wants to. When he's ready he comes out. I play the relax the cat music and don't bother him when he wants to be in his safe place. My home is usually quiet with no loud music or parties. The only loud thing here is Leo as he is a chatty cat and lets me know when he wants a conversation.
     
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  28. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    That's all I could say about my neighbor as far as "the internet is forever". Maybe I kindly offered him a soda-pop!
     
  29. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Doesn't sound like just a soda pop would have changed his mind. A smack on the head probably effected him more. I don't condone violence at all, but under the circumstances- hmmm- I may have done the same thing! Who knows?
     
  30. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    That was for our Border Collie Hannah. They are incredible dogs with sensitive hearing and real emotions. She learned some basic sign language in one day and when I showed my wife she asked how long I'd been working on it. I showed Hannah once, Over=roll over, Down, Kiss. With intelligence sometimes you get neurotic behavior so the same dog who would knock down a cougar to protect your kids was terrified of thunder and fireworks. Valium and the Weather channel solved that. You can see what a savage beast she was here. That is Nigel with her.

    hannah&nigel001 (4).JPG
     
  31. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    I always love seeing photos of your cats, @Noah & me . I swear they have to be related to Mia somewhere down the line. :D
     
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  32. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Maybe from the first two that were on that big boat with the old guy; long beard, sandals. What's his name again.... Noah! Yes, Noah's canoe!!!
     
  33. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Touche. I was thinking a little more recent than that though. :p
     
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  34. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    They sure do look related somewhere down the line.
     
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