stress? what do I do!?

Paige WillisPaige Willis ChicagoMember Posts: 3,409
edited 9 February, 2009 in Behavior & Training
I need your guys suggestions on this one, I'm going ot start to pull my hair out soon. My boyfriend ( and his medium sized dog)moved in in November. He accidently stepped on Barrister and the cat ahs decided to be DEATHLY afraid of him since. Barrister use to run around and play a lot with toys and things, but now all he seems to want to do is hide under the bed. We live in Chicago and its very cold and dry and I've got a lot of dry skin right now, but the BIG issue is that he has a big chunk of hair taken out of his shoulder, one from his head by his eye, and the top parts of his back legs are rubbed raw and one is bleeding, and also ripped one back toe nail out. more things going on that may help: - the dogs are not tormenting me, I try to rub on them every once and a while and they may play a little, but they are more interested in eachother. - I'm not allowed in the bedroom anymore to hide under the bed because Mom thinks thats how my legs got rubbed raw - I don't want to play - I scratch posts and things a lot less than I use to - I'm eating fine and am at a decent weight - I've started to be vocal again (like before) and will come out from behind the couch at times when dh is around, but still will not play. Any ideas????? How can I be more comfortable?

Comments

  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 22 January, 2009
    Have you talked to a vet at all about this? Any time a cat rubs any area raw, you want to rule out some sort of illness that could be medically based (like fleas, which some cats are allergic to, and which will cause them to attack their own skin - something that can become more of an issue if he lives with dogs), or figure out whether any anti-stress medication might be in order instead.
  • Paige WillisPaige Willis ChicagoMember Posts: 3,409
    edited 23 January, 2009
    Thanks for the response. Its not fleas. Its freezing cold here and neither dog have fleas. Good thought though. I have yet to talk to a vet about it because vets are so ridiculously expensive. I was wondering if anyone out there may know a natural remedy that I can add to his food to help calm him? Maybe I'll also post in health on this one. I just feel bad for my poor guy. I just want him to be comfortable.
  • Jennifer ColbertJennifer Colbert JasperMember Posts: 21 ✭✭
    edited 23 January, 2009
    Purrr. I second the vet. When I was reading your description of Barrister's condition, I got wide eyed and bit my lip. Cats can be allergic to many things.. not just fleas. he could be allergic to the dog, or his food or something else. the toenail also worries me. how did THAT happen?? as for the boyfriend.. I'd suggest pulling barrister out and cuddling him periodically. you need to show him that you still love him, and that the dog and man are not stealing you from him. Give him treats and love. after a while, start to get your boyfriend to feed him petting and treats also. I would also suggest making sure the kitty has a 'safe place'... somewhere, say, up high. Like a cat tree with an enclosed area up top. somewhere that he can watch the room, but not be bothered by man, dogs, or other things. But I REALLY do suggest the vet... because something here really isn't right.. that or we're not getting the full story here...(no accusing or anything, I jsut know the details can sometimes fall between the cracks.)
  • Jennifer ColbertJennifer Colbert JasperMember Posts: 21 ✭✭
    edited 23 January, 2009
    Oh, also: maybe you can also get some feliway or something. that'd probalby help with the stress, but my gut says that there's something else wrong here.
  • Paige WillisPaige Willis ChicagoMember Posts: 3,409
    edited 23 January, 2009
    thanks for the caring post!!! I have no idea how the toenail thing happened. Like I said, he scooted around under the bed and I'm guessing it happened there on something thats under the bed, but I have yet to find said offending toenail. That, by the way, is healed and on its way to growing back. I keep a close eye on it. Hes got a door climber that goes up to the top of the door that he'll climb up on, but for now since its so cold here he really likes to get close to the vents on the floor. boyfriend brushes Bear with his favorite brush now, and gives him treats and cuddles him in his blanket, so I hope that starts to help. I really do appreciate anything that comes to anyones mind though. And now yes--- we'll be contacting the vet. I'm just kinda sad about it because he's going to become more stressed on that trip, poor guy.
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 26 January, 2009
    I'm so sorry Barrister is having a rough time of it. I had a thought on the dry skin, when you mentioned the vents. If your heating system is anything like the ones we've had, perhaps that is doing a bit of damage to his skin? Maybe having some kind of hammock bed like these - http://fortypaws.blogspot.com/2008/10/ham-micks-for-sale.html - over the vent would help? It would put a bit of space between Barrister and the vent, so while he would still be warm, it wouldn't be the direct stream. When Suey first moved in with us, she was terrified of my fiance. We found that she was worst when he was wearing his work boots. Is it possible that some kind of heavy winter footwear is adding to his stress? If possible, it could be very helpful for him to have some kind of cat tree or platform in the most lived in part of your house, where you and your boyfriend are most likely to relax. In general, cats feel safer up high, and it might encourage him to move out closer to you. Good luck, please let us know how he goes at the vet.
  • Kerri ZimmermanKerri Zimmerman WinnipegMember Posts: 448
    edited 26 January, 2009
    Too me it sounds like he rubbed himself raw because he may have been stressed. But a trip to the vet is needed to determine this. I don't think keeping him out of the bedroom is the best thing for him. That is where he feels safe and keeping him out of there is probably adding to the stress. The arrival of the new dogs and your boyfriend stepping on him has obviously scared him dramatically. Now he associates your boyfriend with this. In time he will come around when he feels much safer. Baby steps.... My Lexus was a 6 month old stray that took me over a month to finally get into my house. She fell in love with Bishop but was really terrified of me and anyone that came over. I would never force her to come out of the bedroom. I would go and sit with her, talk with her, play with her. Gain her trust. She would slowly start to trust me....took years. It's been over 8 years and she still runs and hides at loud noises and quick movements. And unless she feels comfortable with company - she will not come out. But I let her do everything at her pace. No use in forcing her and stressing her out. It sounds like your cat will come around but at his own pace =;
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    edited 26 January, 2009
    I kind of agree with Lexus. Our Golden Retriever will chew the fur off the top of her paw when she\'s stressed. I think Bear feels like he\'s in the minority now since BF and DOG moved in. It\'s a lot for a little kitty to accept, especially since he\'s probably the smallest one in the house. Get down on the floor on your stomach and look around. That\'s how Bear sees things! He needs a whole lot of love and attention right now from you. And when he starts to come around, let BF start to bond with him. Make sure that under no circumstances is the dog allowed to harrass him, even for a few seconds. Lots of treats are always nice, too!
  • Paige WillisPaige Willis ChicagoMember Posts: 3,409
    edited 8 February, 2009
    Hi guys!!! I'm Rishta and I'm Barrister's new live in buddy!!! After long deliberation, Mom went to the same lady that she got Bear from and she was willing to give her Bears old best friend, me!! Since I'm an f2 bengal I'm still pretty spooky and not sure whats going on in the house, but the boy and I have said hi via nose-touches and we even lie by the register togetehr sometimes. Mom hope this will help Barrister, and I do too! I was kept in a crate at the old place, so this is MUCH better!!
  • MaynrysMaynrys Member Posts: 172
    edited 8 February, 2009
    I hope things are going well with your new kitty friend. I have allergies and stress issues, both which I demonstrate through denuding my abdomen and hind legs. I also try to comfort myself with stress eating. I know how vet trips are expensive - I went so much when my parents first rescued me that my daddy nicknamed me \"typhoid kitty\" (I still love him most of all!). However, if you can swing it, go to the vet. Like people, cats can develop allergic symptoms throughout their lives. If it is stress, the vet might be able to give a short course of medication for you to calm down. Whatever your family decides, good luck! Maynyrs Professional Belly Picker
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 9 February, 2009
    We hope Bear enjoys having his old friend around. We hope it will help him to relax and enjoy his home like he used to :)
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