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Effectiveness of prozac for kitties

Kitty_Pryde_and_JackKitty_Pryde_and_Jack los angelesMember Posts: 317 ✭✭✭
edited 8 April, 2010 in Behavior & Training
For about 5 weeks now, Indiana has been taking the cat version of Prozac to help with aggression issues at home-him always attacking my other kitty to the point where she either hides under the table all the time or on the top of her kitty perch. I haven\'t yet noticed a big change, actually things have gotten worse btwn the cats for sure, but he is a little better with me, after being aggressive the first weeks after starting the medication. My vet says to keep on going and see, since it can take a few weeks for the medicine to take effect, but I was curious if anyone else had the same thing happen, where the relationship btwn the cats is already stressed, has become even more strained. Indy never chased Kitty P. at the litter box, but after the meds started he jumped at her and startled her so much that she jumped out of the box and her poop actually ended up on the floor, since she was mid-potty. Another time he jumped on her again and she had a bloody scratch above her eye and now has another on her nose and I noticed while grooming her she has little tiny scratches on her head that I didn\'t notice before. Where before she would hiss at him when he would bother her on her window perch or when he would jump on her, she now hisses and growls almost just at the site of him. She doesn\'t do it if all three of us are playing together, unless he gets right next to her in her face, but for the most part she does any other time. They still eat together fine and a few nights she let him join her on the window perch with no hisses/growls, but now if he is even standing underneath it or on the dresser next to it, she is growling....she is even growling and hissing when he isn\'t even close to her because I think she is scared he might be hiding, just waiting for a chance to jump on her. I have them separated now whenever I leave the house and when I open the door to the bedroom (I have a small place and only one door seperates the bedroom/bathroom from the living room) Kitty starts grooming his neck right away, but almost within minutes the sparks start to fly because he tries to play and she is not having it. I can\'t just let them \"work it out\" because I don\'t want her to have cuts anymore and fear him even more, but I am not sure what else to try since I am giving Indy the medication daily. I am just really confused at what to do-the vet has been great, considering I feel like I have called there so many times, but I am worried that this will never get better. I guess it always seems like the worst when it\'s your kitties! I really think he is just trying to play with her 90% of the time, and I am doing my best to make sure I play with him a lot, but I don\'t want her to feel left out, and if she hears him in the other room when I have her for 1 on 1 time, she just stares at the door and won\'t play. I even got him another collar-we\'ve tried a few, with a bell (to give her warning), which lasted about 3 days before he figured out how to get this one off! I got a harness too and am working on getting him used to wearing it, so if anything I can put a bell on that. So, after this long message, has anyone else had something similar and has suggestions that might help? Thanks for listening!

Kitty Pryde and Jack

Comments

  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 April, 2010
    My husband and I went on a trip and came back to two cats with problems. Natasha was avoiding the litter box and was pooping/peeing in the bathroom. I had three boxes out on the back porch for them. Now, I wished that the litter boxes were scattered around the house. Alex attacked her in the litter box. He is seven and she is fifteen now. He likes to play and doesn't take no as an answer. She started to hide and then she was frightened to go to me as well. She hid under the bed and just came out for her food, litter and water. It scared me too as your cats are scaring you. After two months of Natasha hiding, I went to the vet to have everything checked out. Her counts were fine but two months later she had an infection. My vet told me to place both of them on meds. Now, it is six months later, Alex still wants to play and Natasha wants him away from her. She is no longer hiding and will actively tell him "no". He is slow to learn. She is in my room now and loves it. I have a baby gate between them so they can see each other. She can go under the gate since it is raised from the floor by several inches. He can't because he is bigger than her....I just heard her hissing but that is ok. Her infections are gone and she is eating better. She had almost stopped eating which scared me completely. I had taken her to Angell's Memorial and spent 900 to find out that she is healthy but scared. No kidding!!!!.....Well, she now has early, early, kidney disease so I have decided to end the meds. Things have leveled off. She has her room and he has his space. The prozac brought her from under the bed and back to eating but it took about six weeks. It works very slowly. Alex just became a bit more laid back. The prozac did work for her in that she is gaining weight and is on the bed rather under. Alex does back off but it takes him time. I hope that I answered your questions....tough isn't it!!!!....I need to go....I hear hissing.....Bamcat
  • Thea PowellThea Powell Member Posts: 852
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Indy, DON"T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry just had to get that out there. I do beleive that prozac (clomipramine) has its advantages but NOT in every aggression case nor necessarily in any. I lived what you are going through. Now my home is MUCH more calm but not due to the prozac. I honestly beleived that the drugs made the cat worse. I don't know your whole story but I've posted a bunch in the past and I was litterally terrified that I would come home to a dead kitty, I was frustrated and at my wits end, my stress level was also through the roof. I can empathize with your situation. Here is what I did. 1) I bathed all my cats in one day (with in 3 hours) with the same shampoo. 2) I whent throught the process of re-introduction (twice acctually) 3) I used some herbal stuff (don't know if you beleive in it but it really did have an effect a slight effect but still an effect and my kitty was NOT high on it) and it was enough to start to work with him. 4) I implemented Cesar Milan's techniques. (I'm not sure if you are familiar with him - the dog whisperer) They work on cats too - to an extent. 5) I whent with the flow. My problem child is diagnosed insane - litterally and I learned his patterns and how to calm his "episodes" or prevent them. 6) I kept an eye on the local strays so that they would not feel so threatened by them. My home has been calm for over 6 months now, not that I don't get the ocasional ruckas but they are much happier. Oh and this may sound strange but they got even better once I stated to train them to use the human toilette. I think because there is less smell they don't feel as threatened - territorial wise - as before. I was using a great litter with 3 large boxes in a small appartment but it still had a smell, now there is none. The other thing is that by using prozac there are no studies on the long term effects it can have on our kitties especially thier liver. My suggestion is to speak with your vet again see what they say about using non medical techniques first and only go to prozac as a last resort. Especially if you have to buy the meds from him. I'm not sure where you live but in Canada you can ask for a perscription and have it filled at a human pharmacie at a quarter the price. So if you MUST buy the meds from them I would think twice about going that route untill ALL other avenues have been tried. That is just my 2 cents worth.
  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 April, 2010
    It was a last resort for me. Natasha was facing the wall and didn't want to be here at all. Your cat is not like that. I tried the Feliaway first and other methods. My vet wanted her on it for the rest of her life. I disagreed. Much to her dismay, they are off the meds. I had to do it slowly over a month. They were on the meds for six months. I hated doing it but Natasha worried me to no end. She is now on the pillow next to me purring. A year ago, I would given anything for this to happen. I tried bathing them in the same shampoo too and used a bell on Alex so she could hear him. First, try other methods...this is a last resort. It takes over six weeks to work and has to be given daily. I worry about the kidney problems too. My vet assured me that it would not effect them. Fluoxetine is what this prozac is. It seems to be harmless but the early kidney disease worried me. Try other methods first..... Bamcat.
  • Kat WhickerKat Whicker ToledoMember Posts: 1,695
    edited 8 April, 2010
    im not so sure long term med use of prozac is good for kitty =/ im not trying to judge, but i personally wouldnt use it.
  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 8 April, 2010
    I agree on that one. Long term is not what I wanted. My vet wanted it. I have done enough reading and research to see that it was not a good choice. I wanted Natasha to come out of herself and enjoy life again. You can't believe her howls before the meds when she say Alex. Now, she growls and hisses when she sees him but there are moments when she just looks and says so what. She is off the meds and so is he. Again, it was a difficult choice but it is over. No meds.....I waited a long time until they were used....Then, Natasha was loosing so much of the world..they were used to bring her back. She is back and happy again...Read and do your research but think this one over well. Getting them off the meds takes time.....Bamcat
  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 8 April, 2010
    One more post...as for the bell, put it on him again. I do it for Alex. Find a bigger collar that breaks away. She needs to know that he is there. Get a cat ladder tree. Natasha loves looking down at Alex from inside my bedroom. Get your active one more toys. Get the energy of of him so he is not going after her. Natasha is eight years older than Alex so all she wants to do is relax. Your cats are at least with each other. Natasha doesn't even want to be in the same room as Alex. She has her haven in the bedroom with an option to leave. She leaves only for turkey....Place the litter boxes around the house in areas where she can go and he can't. Hope this helps......Bamcat
  • Kitty_Pryde_and_JackKitty_Pryde_and_Jack los angelesMember Posts: 317 ✭✭✭
    edited 8 April, 2010
    Thanks for the responses-I feel like this has been a last resort for us too-I've tried so many natural things like composure(this natural herbal prozac type stuff) rescue remedy, green hope farm flower essences (they have an animal line that's alcohol free) feliway, which I keep buying in hopes that it will start to work, tiring him out and her out, separating them, getting loads of toys, etc. My old vet, who couldn't handle Indy and their techs were horrible, suggested that I find a new home for one of them and that is just not an option for me, especially since they did and still do like each other-Actually even yesterday the first thing Kitty did when I opened the door that was separating them, was walk over to him and start grooming his neck and head!!!! He of course tried to wrestle in response and the hissing started right away. Our new vet has been so helpful and patient and suggested the prozac since I've tried so many other things. I don't think it will be a long term thing, but if that's what it takes for some people, then I understand because we have to do what it takes! I did put the bell on him again and so far this morning it was on for a good solid hour and was still on when I left for work. I did separate them again because after we had some play time, Kitty walked to one of the food dishes and Indy tackled her so she started screaming and growling. Even if Indy is totally into a game or toy though, Kitty can walk by or move and his attention is stuck on her and it's like no matter what I do I cannot distract him. Thanks for the suggestion on the baby gate-I've looked at some but I think I would need at least three to cover the whole door since they both can jump up and are both small enough to squeeze thru. We have two cat trees and a window perch and I have it set up so they can reach the top of the book shelf and air conditioner. I've heard and watched Cesar Milian's show-I'll check to see what info I can find for cats...speaking of...what ever happened to that show Housecat Housecall on animal planet?! A friend of mine read this article, I am not sure where, that said maybe Indy actually learned this behavior from Kitty, in that since he was still a kitten too, even though she's only a couple months older, that when she would swat at him for chasing her, that maybe he "learned" that that is how she likes to play. I don't know if it makes sense the way I typed it, but it made sense out loud...he might think that since that's how she was with him when he would approach her, that is how she likes to play. aaah...thanks everyone.

    Kitty Pryde and Jack

  • Linda AbramsLinda Abrams Joanna, SC 29351Member Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited 8 April, 2010
    Kitty, so sorry you\'re having problems with your brother. Mom saw in one of the mail order catalogs (can\'t remember which one) a portable door that fastens with velcro. It\'s designed for outside doors but it might help!! Cheek rubs and kitty kisses.=;
  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 8 April, 2010
    Celebration time!!! Natasha came out to the kitchen to get some turkey and she just looked at Alex. She got her turkey and went back to my bedroom. Yeah! She left the room on her own and is a happy cat with turkey in her tummy!!!!!..;c;
  • Kitty_Pryde_and_JackKitty_Pryde_and_Jack los angelesMember Posts: 317 ✭✭✭
    edited 8 April, 2010
    Awesome!!!! See, Kitty and Indy have moments like that a lot!!! But in-between are all those other "moments" Yay fur yr furbabies!!!=D>

    Kitty Pryde and Jack

  • Linda AbramsLinda Abrams Joanna, SC 29351Member Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited 8 April, 2010
    Yea Natasha, Good for you baby~a~
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