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Strange problem with cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: House cat
Age: 8-11 years
I am having a serious issue. I have an 11 year old female indoor cat, never fixed. She is throwing fits. scary violent fits. I took her to the vet a few months ago for a first visit and parasite testing, all i could afford. And they found no issues. They want senior testing I can no way afford it. So a few months went by and she got better. But then within the last week she is back at it again. Let me explain best i can to what she does..

She will be laying in her bed and I will walk through the room and she FLIPS! Runs all over scratches me and anyone else around hisses bites you name it. Sometimes will happen when she is just sitting on the table or anywhere. Sometimes we are just sitting and do nothing and she will pop up like possessed! This mostly happens to my father but sometimes to my sisters and I as well.

I spent hours googling and cant find anything on this issue this is my last hope. The vet had told me putting her down wasnt needed to think about. But she is so violent what can I do?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm so sorry that you and Lightning are going through this difficult time.

I can give you a few possible reasons for her behavior.

First, it may be that she has something called feline hyperesthesia syndrome. You can read more about this condition here. However, it is not common for this condition to start happening in an 11 year old cat.

Next, it's possible that she has some pain somewhere. Something that can cause this is back pain or possibly something called lumbosacral pain which is pain at the end of the spinal cord just as it meets the tail. If this were my case I might be trying her on some pain medication to see if this makes a difference. An xray of her spine is the best way to diagnose this, but may be more money than you can spend.

It could be that she is having a form of a seizure. But this is definitely not a normal presentation for a seizure. Unfortunately if this is a seizure problem it is likely caused by a tumor in the brain. If this is the case then there is not much that we can do for her.

And finally, this may seem really silly, but is she on a good flea prevention? Even if she does not have any fleas that you can see it would be great to treat her with a dose of Revolution (you need to get that from your vet). Some cats are so sensitive to fleas that even one flea can cause them to be really aggressive and do very strange things. They often can be super sensitive to everything because of fleas. If the flea treatment fixes the problem then you will want to do it monthly for a few months to be sure that any fleas that are in the environment will be killed as they hatch and jump on the animal.

This is a tough case. If this were my case I would be recommending blood tests and xrays if you could afford it. If not, then I would try a flea treatment. If that didn't work I would try pain medication. And, if that didn't work I'd recommend an anti-anxiety medication such as amitriptyline or clomicalm.

I really hope things improve soon!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

she isnt on a flea treatment but was checked for that and was fine. I will try it tho doesnt hurt to try.

My sister and I notice it more towards my dad to the point when he leaves she will stand by the door until he returns. Is that normal?

I think another trip to the vet is going to have to be in order. I dont want to do senior testing though and they keep pushing that on me. Its very pricey. is it ok for me to just ask for blood work?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I think doing blood work is a good place to start. I'd also suggest asking your vet to have a good feel of her tail and spine to see if they think there is any sign of pain there.

I'm not sure what to say about the fact that she is standing at the door waiting for your dad to return...that's a little strange.

I've had a few cases like this and unfortunately I haven't always gotten a diagnosis. I really hope she gets some relief soon.



Customer reply:

she isnt on a flea treatment but was checked for that and was fine. I will try it tho doesnt hurt to try.

My sister and I notice it more towards my dad to the point when he leaves she will stand by the door until he returns. Is that normal?

I think another trip to the vet is going to have to be in order. I dont want to do senior testing though and they keep pushing that on me. Its very pricey. is it ok for me to just ask for blood work?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ooops...not sure if you got the response above.....look up and you'll see my response.



Customer reply:

Thank you. I will make a return to the vet tomorrow.. wish me luck on getting her back in that carried haha i may lose an arm. Thanks for your help.


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.