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View Full Version : cat self mutilation - long story


Tyu
December 12th 05, 06:44 AM
Hello, I'm posting on behalf of an old roommate and friend who owns a 5
year old brown and white tabby named Shig, and a 4 year old grey female
tabby named Neki. About three years ago, Shig began scratching the back
of her neck to the point that she bled and her fur came out. As far as
I know, she's been doing it pretty much constantly since then. I have
my own theories as to why this cat is mutilating herself in such a way,
and have voiced them to my friend who is either dismissing the ideas
that both I and the vet have, or ignoring them. She says she's done all
this different stuff to help, but I am not sure if she has or not
because I have not seen her in a very long time and the poor cat has
gotten worse.

One of my thoughts is that Shig wants attention, is jealous or feels
unloved. This idea came to me because my friend mentioned that
sometimes Shig will scratch herself on purpose when she wants the door
opened to be let out of the room. Years ago, just before Shig started
scratching, my friend had taken in a pregnant stray who eventually had
four kittens. We had to give all five of them away since we lived in an
apartment and already had two cats. It seemed like my friend was trying
to hoarde them; she didn't want to give any of them away, always
talking about a cat farm. After there became seven cats in the
apartment, my friend seemed to lose interest in caring for them but
still wanted to keep them all. We allowed her to keep them for six
months until we convinced her that there was no way for her to look
after them all. She had no job, was living off a student loan and spent
all day sleeping and all night playing computer games while the kittens
and mother cat tore the kitchen apart. We'd wake up almost every
morning to garbage strewn around the kitchen because the cats had
knocked the can over and pulled everything out. My friend didn't really
look after the cats, she bought a large bag of catfood and ripped it
open so they could eat out of it whenever, and she just let them run
all over the place while she stayed in her room. Shig and Neki didn't
really want much to do with the kittens, so they spent the days in my
room with me where I wouldn't let the monster kittens go.

It was about this time that Shig started scratching herself. There was
cat blood spattered on my bedroom wall because of it. Up until the
kittens came along, my friend was paying decent attention to Shig and
Neki, but they usually came to me to play or be petted or to just sit
with me while I worked on drawings. I think she just lost interest in
caring for her original two cats while the other five just made a mess
everywhere.

The first thought I had, was that she had ear mites or an ear
infection, so we took her to the vet and got an ear cleaning solution,
which I had to administer because my friend couldn't hold Shig still
well enough. But cleaning her ears regularly every day until the
solution was gone didn't seem to help much at all.

After we moved apart, I to the US (from Canada), and my friend back to
her moms, she took Shig to the vet again. The vet thought it might be a
food allergy. I can't be sure if it really is or not, since my friend
says she's tried her on four different "expensive specialty foods", but
has also admitted to me that all brands were dry food. I told her she
should try canned food for a while and she said that she forgets to buy
some when she goes out. Call me crazy, but how do you forget that you
are supposed to be getting something that might potentially help your
cat who's ripping the back of her head apart every day? So the food
allergy is still up in the air because I don't know if she's really
trying every option on that.

As for the jealousy and feeling unloved thing, I've suggested to my
friend that she should spend more time with Shig, and when it looks as
though she's going to scratch, pet her and give her treats, and play
with her til she's tired. I doubt that suggestion will be taken to
heart, as she spends her life sleeping, eating and playing computer
games.

Has anyone else ever have a cat self mutilate itself? If so, what was
the cause and was the problem fixed? Right now, my friends mom is
trying to get Shig to be euthanized, but I'm sure there must be a
better solution. Even though I haven't seen Shig for a while, I still
care about her and would like to see her live and get better.

Please help.

-Tyu

NMR
December 12th 05, 03:27 PM
First of all I suggest one get the cat or cats out of that situation if she
is not taking care of the cat. It will do no good to give medical advice
for someone who will not take care of the animal (them not you)

Tell the mother to back off there is no reason to kill the cat or that
persist and they decide to do it take the cat to a shelter ( no kill ) give
the cat a chance to survive instead of the idioticy of putting the cat down

It sounds like your roommate is going thru depression and needs help herself

The back of the neck is not ear mites it could be a couple of things

1 an allergy ( to me this is the most strongest in favor if the room mate is
a slob as you described that means something could easily cause an skin
problem) considering when a cat rubs on you or anything they arch their
back with a head roll going nose to back
2 a behavioral thing ( which a cat is not going to mutilate itself to get
attention they don't have hang ups like humans) if it is a medication or
training will help the situation pss the cat has you to get attention
from correct?
3 the cat might have a medical problem such as epilepsy: I have a cat that
was ripping it fur out and digging till it bleed because of what epileptics
call the itches. A full medical work up is required no two ifs ands or buts
which I can tell has not been done
4 There is a remote possibility that the room mate is causing the problem
which I am not saying it is but if she is suffering from depression which
from what your described is almost certain anything is possible


If nothing is being done for this cat you need to step up and do the right
thing take the cat to be adopted or give the cat a chance by taking the cat
to a shelter ( no kill)

Pss you need to see if you can help you friend

"Tyu" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Hello, I'm posting on behalf of an old roommate and friend who owns a 5
> year old brown and white tabby named Shig, and a 4 year old grey female
> tabby named Neki. About three years ago, Shig began scratching the back
> of her neck to the point that she bled and her fur came out. As far as
> I know, she's been doing it pretty much constantly since then. I have
> my own theories as to why this cat is mutilating herself in such a way,
> and have voiced them to my friend who is either dismissing the ideas
> that both I and the vet have, or ignoring them. She says she's done all
> this different stuff to help, but I am not sure if she has or not
> because I have not seen her in a very long time and the poor cat has
> gotten worse.
>
> One of my thoughts is that Shig wants attention, is jealous or feels
> unloved. This idea came to me because my friend mentioned that
> sometimes Shig will scratch herself on purpose when she wants the door
> opened to be let out of the room. Years ago, just before Shig started
> scratching, my friend had taken in a pregnant stray who eventually had
> four kittens. We had to give all five of them away since we lived in an
> apartment and already had two cats. It seemed like my friend was trying
> to hoarde them; she didn't want to give any of them away, always
> talking about a cat farm. After there became seven cats in the
> apartment, my friend seemed to lose interest in caring for them but
> still wanted to keep them all. We allowed her to keep them for six
> months until we convinced her that there was no way for her to look
> after them all. She had no job, was living off a student loan and spent
> all day sleeping and all night playing computer games while the kittens
> and mother cat tore the kitchen apart. We'd wake up almost every
> morning to garbage strewn around the kitchen because the cats had
> knocked the can over and pulled everything out. My friend didn't really
> look after the cats, she bought a large bag of catfood and ripped it
> open so they could eat out of it whenever, and she just let them run
> all over the place while she stayed in her room. Shig and Neki didn't
> really want much to do with the kittens, so they spent the days in my
> room with me where I wouldn't let the monster kittens go.
>
> It was about this time that Shig started scratching herself. There was
> cat blood spattered on my bedroom wall because of it. Up until the
> kittens came along, my friend was paying decent attention to Shig and
> Neki, but they usually came to me to play or be petted or to just sit
> with me while I worked on drawings. I think she just lost interest in
> caring for her original two cats while the other five just made a mess
> everywhere.
>
> The first thought I had, was that she had ear mites or an ear
> infection, so we took her to the vet and got an ear cleaning solution,
> which I had to administer because my friend couldn't hold Shig still
> well enough. But cleaning her ears regularly every day until the
> solution was gone didn't seem to help much at all.
>
> After we moved apart, I to the US (from Canada), and my friend back to
> her moms, she took Shig to the vet again. The vet thought it might be a
> food allergy. I can't be sure if it really is or not, since my friend
> says she's tried her on four different "expensive specialty foods", but
> has also admitted to me that all brands were dry food. I told her she
> should try canned food for a while and she said that she forgets to buy
> some when she goes out. Call me crazy, but how do you forget that you
> are supposed to be getting something that might potentially help your
> cat who's ripping the back of her head apart every day? So the food
> allergy is still up in the air because I don't know if she's really
> trying every option on that.
>
> As for the jealousy and feeling unloved thing, I've suggested to my
> friend that she should spend more time with Shig, and when it looks as
> though she's going to scratch, pet her and give her treats, and play
> with her til she's tired. I doubt that suggestion will be taken to
> heart, as she spends her life sleeping, eating and playing computer
> games.
>
> Has anyone else ever have a cat self mutilate itself? If so, what was
> the cause and was the problem fixed? Right now, my friends mom is
> trying to get Shig to be euthanized, but I'm sure there must be a
> better solution. Even though I haven't seen Shig for a while, I still
> care about her and would like to see her live and get better.
>
> Please help.
>
> -Tyu
>

Tyu
December 12th 05, 06:15 PM
I don't live with my friend anymore, haven't for almost three years
now. Not sure what I can do to help from here.

NMR
December 12th 05, 06:24 PM
Tyu this might be a hard decision to deal with

This is my view on what I would do I would either call animal services and
report it as animal abuse; the animal control has to investigate they will
either take the cat away or and require her to seek medical services for the
animals and prove it.

Do you have a phone camera take a picture to show them what is going on.

Can you get the cat from her take them to the vet for her get proof of what
is going on show it to her and her mother what is going on also it is proof
for animal control

THIS A LAST RESORT AND THE ONLY REASON I WOULD MENTION IT IS THAT THE CAT IS
IN HARM"S WAY but some times intervention is the only way

if you can't take them to the vet but get her to give them up take them to a
no kill shelter in a different area so they can't call the local animal
control and find the cat ( this is if they are vindictful and if you can't
care for the animal)

"Tyu" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>I don't live with my friend anymore, haven't for almost three years
> now. Not sure what I can do to help from here.
>

meumar
December 31st 05, 09:56 PM
I can't really give any suggestions on how your friend is treating her
cat, since I don't know your friend, but I think that cats scratching
themselves like this is fairly common. My cat did this on her back
about 10 years ago (she is 19). She had to wear one of those white
cone collars to prevent her from biting herself, and we had to have two
emergency apptments with the vet because of bleeding. In our case, my
cat had food alergies - but we also initially discounted this because
we tried many different speciality cat foods. However, the only food
my cat can tolerate is homemade - made from a recipe given to us by the
vet.

However, the problems started after we moved into a new house which we
later found to be infested with fleas. We think that the fleas
triggered the food allergy.