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MK
August 4th 06, 06:53 AM
Jake is one of two cats my elderly parents adopted from the humane society
as kittens (indoors, male, neutered). He's a spaz and spooks very
easily...usually for no apparent reason. My mother (who is in her 70s) was
holding him yesterday, when the phone rang. Jake panicked and literally
ripped the skin off her hand completely. It was one of the worst degloving
accidents I've ever seen; her skin is like parchment paper and it required
over 30 stitches to put everything back in place (tendons, blood vessels etc
were completely exposed).

Jake is also a very destructive chewer- he obsessively gnaws phone cords,
computer cables, electrical cords etc and nothing we've tried so far has
deterred him. He ignores hot sauce and bitter topical sprays, and will gnaw
at where plugs/wires exit the protective conduit we installed. If company
comes over, he will eat the shoestrings right off their shoes- right under
their very noses!- or get into handbags/purses and chew anything he can
find. (Truth be told, I'm terrified this cat will short out a wire and
cause the entire house to burn down!)

We're all at our wit's end. Finding Jake a new home is out of the question,
as my parents (well, my dad anyway LOL) absolutely adore him...and since
he's got "issues" his chances of being placed elsewhere are slim and none.
I've suggested declawing but my mother is absolutely against it...(I am too,
ordinarily, but this is a very extreme situation and I'm scared that he
might do even more damage should the situation arise again). It would be
even worse if Jake pulls a 'spaz' when my dad is holding him, as my dad is a
"bleeder" (on blood thinners) and even the slightest scratch requires a trip
to the ER.

Any suggestions on what my folks can do? We're willing to try just about
anything in order to keep "Shaky Jake" and my parents all SAFELY under one
roof.

Thanks in advance for your assistance,

Molly K

MaryL
August 4th 06, 07:12 AM
"MK" > wrote in message
...
> Jake is one of two cats my elderly parents adopted from the humane society
> as kittens (indoors, male, neutered). He's a spaz and spooks very
> easily...usually for no apparent reason. My mother (who is in her 70s)
> was holding him yesterday, when the phone rang. Jake panicked and
> literally ripped the skin off her hand completely. It was one of the
> worst degloving accidents I've ever seen; her skin is like parchment paper
> and it required over 30 stitches to put everything back in place (tendons,
> blood vessels etc were completely exposed).
>
> Jake is also a very destructive chewer- he obsessively gnaws phone cords,
> computer cables, electrical cords etc and nothing we've tried so far has
> deterred him. He ignores hot sauce and bitter topical sprays, and will
> gnaw at where plugs/wires exit the protective conduit we installed. If
> company comes over, he will eat the shoestrings right off their shoes-
> right under their very noses!- or get into handbags/purses and chew
> anything he can find. (Truth be told, I'm terrified this cat will short
> out a wire and cause the entire house to burn down!)
>
> We're all at our wit's end. Finding Jake a new home is out of the
> question, as my parents (well, my dad anyway LOL) absolutely adore
> him...and since he's got "issues" his chances of being placed elsewhere
> are slim and none. I've suggested declawing but my mother is absolutely
> against it...(I am too, ordinarily, but this is a very extreme situation
> and I'm scared that he might do even more damage should the situation
> arise again). It would be even worse if Jake pulls a 'spaz' when my dad
> is holding him, as my dad is a "bleeder" (on blood thinners) and even the
> slightest scratch requires a trip to the ER.
>
> Any suggestions on what my folks can do? We're willing to try just about
> anything in order to keep "Shaky Jake" and my parents all SAFELY under one
> roof.
>
> Thanks in advance for your assistance,
>
> Molly K
>

Have you considered using Soft Paws? I have never used them, but several
people on this newsgroup have and they report good results. You can read
about them here: http://www.softpaws.com/

MaryL

Photos of Duffy and Holly: >'o'<
Duffy: http://tinyurl.com/cslwf
Holly: http://tinyurl.com/9t68o
Duffy and Holly together: http://tinyurl.com/8b47e
Recent pics: http://tinyurl.com/clal7

Alison
August 4th 06, 10:05 AM
"MK" > wrote in message
...
> Jake is one of two cats my elderly parents adopted from the humane
> society as kittens (indoors, male, neutered). He's a spaz and spooks
> very easily...usually for no apparent reason. My mother (who is in her
> 70s) was holding him yesterday, when the phone rang. Jake panicked and
> literally ripped the skin off her hand completely. It was one of the
> worst degloving accidents I've ever seen; her skin is like parchment
> paper and it required over 30 stitches to put everything back in place
> (tendons, blood vessels etc were completely exposed).
>
> Jake is also a very destructive chewer- he obsessively gnaws phone cords,
> computer cables, electrical cords etc and nothing we've tried so far has
> deterred him. He ignores hot sauce and bitter topical sprays, and will
> gnaw at where plugs/wires exit the protective conduit we installed. If
> company comes over, he will eat the shoestrings right off their shoes-
> right under their very noses!- or get into handbags/purses and chew
> anything he can find. (Truth be told, I'm terrified this cat will short
> out a wire and cause the entire house to burn down!)
>
> We're all at our wit's end. Finding Jake a new home is out of the
> question, as my parents (well, my dad anyway LOL) absolutely adore
> him...and since he's got "issues" his chances of being placed elsewhere
> are slim and none. I've suggested declawing but my mother is absolutely
> against it...(I am too, ordinarily, but this is a very extreme situation
> and I'm scared that he might do even more damage should the situation
> arise again). It would be even worse if Jake pulls a 'spaz' when my dad
> is holding him, as my dad is a "bleeder" (on blood thinners) and even the
> slightest scratch requires a trip to the ER.
>
> Any suggestions on what my folks can do? We're willing to try just about
> anything in order to keep "Shaky Jake" and my parents all SAFELY under
> one roof.
>
> Thanks in advance for your assistance,
>
> Molly K >>

Hi Molly ,
Your parents sound really nice caring people and I sorry you mum was hurt.
I'm not sure what you mean by spazz, does he have brain damage?
Cats have very different personalities and the first few weeks of their
lives affect how they will be as adults. If he wasn't socialised in a
household at that age, he will always be nervous of noisy scary things
like phones etc.
I'm going to state the obvious but it is necessary for your parents to
pick him up?
My one cat is not keen to be picked up so I only do it when its necessary.

I wonder why he is chewing so obsessively? Some reasons are he could be in
pain or has bad teeth , he is stressed (chewing relieves stress), he is
bored and its become a habit or he has some brain damage.
I would get him checked by a vet , provide toys or things that he is
allowed to chew and try to look at his life and make it more exciting. If
he is kept indoors , he might not be getting the stimulation he needs. Have
you tried mentol or something like Olbas oil on the cables.You can get
cable covers too.
Alison

BudGan61
August 4th 06, 11:09 AM
Alison wrote:

> "MK" > wrote in message
> ...
>
>>Jake is one of two cats my elderly parents adopted from the humane
>>society as kittens (indoors, male, neutered). He's a spaz and spooks
>>very easily...usually for no apparent reason. My mother (who is in her
>>70s) was holding him yesterday, when the phone rang. Jake panicked and
>>literally ripped the skin off her hand completely. It was one of the
>>worst degloving accidents I've ever seen; her skin is like parchment
>>paper and it required over 30 stitches to put everything back in place
>>(tendons, blood vessels etc were completely exposed).
>>
>>Jake is also a very destructive chewer- he obsessively gnaws phone cords,
>>computer cables, electrical cords etc and nothing we've tried so far has
>>deterred him. He ignores hot sauce and bitter topical sprays, and will
>>gnaw at where plugs/wires exit the protective conduit we installed. If
>>company comes over, he will eat the shoestrings right off their shoes-
>>right under their very noses!- or get into handbags/purses and chew
>>anything he can find. (Truth be told, I'm terrified this cat will short
>>out a wire and cause the entire house to burn down!)
>>
>>We're all at our wit's end. Finding Jake a new home is out of the
>>question, as my parents (well, my dad anyway LOL) absolutely adore
>>him...and since he's got "issues" his chances of being placed elsewhere
>>are slim and none. I've suggested declawing but my mother is absolutely
>>against it...(I am too, ordinarily, but this is a very extreme situation
>>and I'm scared that he might do even more damage should the situation
>>arise again). It would be even worse if Jake pulls a 'spaz' when my dad
>>is holding him, as my dad is a "bleeder" (on blood thinners) and even the
>>slightest scratch requires a trip to the ER.
>>
>>Any suggestions on what my folks can do? We're willing to try just about
>>anything in order to keep "Shaky Jake" and my parents all SAFELY under
>>one roof.
>>
>>Thanks in advance for your assistance,
>>
>>Molly K >>
>
>
> Hi Molly ,
> Your parents sound really nice caring people and I sorry you mum was hurt.
> I'm not sure what you mean by spazz, does he have brain damage?
> Cats have very different personalities and the first few weeks of their
> lives affect how they will be as adults. If he wasn't socialised in a
> household at that age, he will always be nervous of noisy scary things
> like phones etc.
> I'm going to state the obvious but it is necessary for your parents to
> pick him up?
> My one cat is not keen to be picked up so I only do it when its necessary.
>
> I wonder why he is chewing so obsessively? Some reasons are he could be in
> pain or has bad teeth , he is stressed (chewing relieves stress), he is
> bored and its become a habit or he has some brain damage.
> I would get him checked by a vet , provide toys or things that he is
> allowed to chew and try to look at his life and make it more exciting. If
> he is kept indoors , he might not be getting the stimulation he needs. Have
> you tried mentol or something like Olbas oil on the cables.You can get
> cable covers too.
> Alison
>
>
>

If it turns out that Jake is stressed and/or bored, a second cat might
alleviate some stress as Jake will then have a buddy to wrestle with
and blow off some of his pent up aggression. I had my first very
skittish, very active kitten for about a month and then decided to get
him a pet ;-) Best thing I ever did - two really are easier than one!

MK
August 4th 06, 06:46 PM
"BudGan61" > wrote in message
...
<snip>
> If it turns out that Jake is stressed and/or bored, a second cat might
> alleviate some stress as Jake will then have a buddy to wrestle with and
> blow off some of his pent up aggression. I had my first very skittish,
> very active kitten for about a month and then decided to get him a pet ;-)
> Best thing I ever did - two really are easier than one!
>

Hi, thanks for youyr kind response. ;-)

Jake and his brother were adopted together 5 years ago from the humane
society, and my folks have a 19 year old calico as well....so it's not a
single-cat situation. And believe you me, those two boys are holy terrors
when they start running wild during the night crazies-- they are
rambunctious enough to practically walk the house off its foundation! :-D

Molly K

MK
August 4th 06, 07:37 PM
"Alison" > wrote in message
...
<snip>
>Hi Molly ,

Hi Alison, thanks for your response. ;-)

> Your parents sound really nice caring people and I sorry you mum was hurt.

They're kind-hearted people, but this wasn't the first time my mother has
been injured by Jake. He's nailed her quite a few times already...this last
time, however, was by far the worst.

> I'm not sure what you mean by spazz, does he have brain damage?

Oh, not that I'm aware of...'spaz' is my way of saying he's half a bubble
off plumb (and has been ever since he was little). I don't think he's brain
damaged, but he (and his brother too) have always been, well, peculiar. But
Jake has always been very shy and spooky, whereas his brother is a total
love and has to be right in the thick of things (he's fearless and loves
everyone).

> Cats have very different personalities and the first few weeks of their
> lives affect how they will be as adults. If he wasn't socialised in a
> household at that age, he will always be nervous of noisy scary things
> like phones etc.

I'm not entirely sure how old Jake and Junior were when they were adopted- 8
weeks, maybe? And I don't really know a thing about their early background,
but they were both raised together in a loving home and exposed to the same
stimuli. He's always been very spooky and shy, though. Oddly enough, Jake
was the one who absolutely adored my parents' dog (a big BIG rottweiler who
was a total baby). Before she died, the two of them were inseperable- he
followed her everywhere (poor dog, she was so tolerant).

> I'm going to state the obvious but it is necessary for your parents to
> pick him up?

My mother refuses to allow them up onto her lap any more, but my dad is
another story. *sigh* He's nearly 80 and of course will NOT listen to
reason. I've tried telling him to quit picking Jake up and stop letting him
up on his lap, but dad gets very offended with my 'interfering'. I think
I'd have an easier time arguing with a brick wall, frankly- that man is
stubborn enough to make a mule weep (how my mother's put up with him for 54
years, I'll never know LOL).

> My one cat is not keen to be picked up so I only do it when its necessary.

Yup, my own cat is the exact same way. ;-)

> I wonder why he is chewing so obsessively? Some reasons are he could be in
> pain or has bad teeth , he is stressed (chewing relieves stress), he is
> bored and its become a habit or he has some brain damage.

He's done this since he was a tiny kitten. Over the years, he's destroyed
phone cords, computer cables, and EVERY electrical cord in the house.
Drives my mother crazy, too- she bought a brand new computer & sewing
machine, and within 5 minutes Jake had gnawed through every last wire.
(They keep him locked out of the computer & sewing rooms now...replacing
cables is quite expensive) He focuses his attention the most on wiring, but
any kind of string gets chewed as well.

> I would get him checked by a vet , provide toys or things that he is
> allowed to chew and try to look at his life and make it more exciting. If
> he is kept indoors , he might not be getting the stimulation he needs.
> Have you tried mentol or something like Olbas oil on the cables.You can
> get cable covers too.

He and his brother have plenty of stimulation- they wrestle, and have tons
of toys to play with. They've also got lots of "Cat TV" to watch, since my
folks feed wild birds. The vet has looked him over and said there's nothing
wrong; I thought maybe he had thyroid problems, since he's always been
'bug-eyed' (looks like he's on the verge of a freakout 24/7).

Mom and dad have tried every substance they could find to stop Jake's
obsessive and destructive chewing- Mom even went so far as to put pure
capsicum concentrate on the wires, and Jake will completely ignore it and
STILL chew. Dad finally installed electrical conduit and ran the exposed
wiring through that, which Jake cannot gnaw through- but he focuses on the
ends of the conduit and will work on chewing the plugs off right at the
outlet. They try to leave things unplugged when they're not around to
supervise, but my dad 'forgets' and occasionally something is left plugged
in. It's a frustrating and quite dangerous situation...and quite frankly, I
don't understand how they can put up with it. About the only thing I can do
is worry, it seems.

Molly

MK
August 4th 06, 07:47 PM
"MaryL" -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> Have you considered using Soft Paws? I have never used them, but several
> people on this newsgroup have and they report good results. You can read
> about them here: http://www.softpaws.com/
>
> MaryL

Hi Mary, thank you for your response. :)

I've suggested that they try using Soft Paws, but the moment I brought it
up, my father got upset; I guess he thinks it's cruel, for whatever reason.
He won't even allow me to trim Jake's nails- I had to do it when my dad
wasn't home. I hate to be sneaky, but I may have to put Soft Paws on Jake
behind my dad's back (he's very stubborn). *sigh*

Molly

>
> Photos of Duffy and Holly: >'o'<
> Duffy: http://tinyurl.com/cslwf
> Holly: http://tinyurl.com/9t68o
> Duffy and Holly together: http://tinyurl.com/8b47e
> Recent pics: http://tinyurl.com/clal7
>

Alison
August 4th 06, 07:55 PM
I can't think of any thing else except for a Feliway diffuser which might
help calm him.
What is it about dads that makes them so stubborn, mine was the same <G.>
Good luck!

--
Alison
http://catinfolinks.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/
http://doginfolinks.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/

"MK" > wrote in message
. ..
>
> "Alison" > wrote in message
> ...
> <snip>
>>Hi Molly ,
>
> Hi Alison, thanks for your response. ;-)
>
>> Your parents sound really nice caring people and I sorry you mum was
>> hurt.
>
> They're kind-hearted people, but this wasn't the first time my mother has
> been injured by Jake. He's nailed her quite a few times already...this
> last time, however, was by far the worst.
>
>> I'm not sure what you mean by spazz, does he have brain damage?
>
> Oh, not that I'm aware of...'spaz' is my way of saying he's half a bubble
> off plumb (and has been ever since he was little). I don't think he's
> brain damaged, but he (and his brother too) have always been, well,
> peculiar. But Jake has always been very shy and spooky, whereas his
> brother is a total love and has to be right in the thick of things (he's
> fearless and loves everyone).
>
>> Cats have very different personalities and the first few weeks of their
>> lives affect how they will be as adults. If he wasn't socialised in a
>> household at that age, he will always be nervous of noisy scary things
>> like phones etc.
>
> I'm not entirely sure how old Jake and Junior were when they were
> adopted- 8 weeks, maybe? And I don't really know a thing about their
> early background, but they were both raised together in a loving home and
> exposed to the same stimuli. He's always been very spooky and shy,
> though. Oddly enough, Jake was the one who absolutely adored my parents'
> dog (a big BIG rottweiler who was a total baby). Before she died, the
> two of them were inseperable- he followed her everywhere (poor dog, she
> was so tolerant).
>
>> I'm going to state the obvious but it is necessary for your parents to
>> pick him up?
>
> My mother refuses to allow them up onto her lap any more, but my dad is
> another story. *sigh* He's nearly 80 and of course will NOT listen to
> reason. I've tried telling him to quit picking Jake up and stop letting
> him up on his lap, but dad gets very offended with my 'interfering'. I
> think I'd have an easier time arguing with a brick wall, frankly- that
> man is stubborn enough to make a mule weep (how my mother's put up with
> him for 54 years, I'll never know LOL).
>
>> My one cat is not keen to be picked up so I only do it when its
>> necessary.
>
> Yup, my own cat is the exact same way. ;-)
>
>> I wonder why he is chewing so obsessively? Some reasons are he could be
>> in pain or has bad teeth , he is stressed (chewing relieves stress), he
>> is bored and its become a habit or he has some brain damage.
>
> He's done this since he was a tiny kitten. Over the years, he's
> destroyed phone cords, computer cables, and EVERY electrical cord in the
> house. Drives my mother crazy, too- she bought a brand new computer &
> sewing machine, and within 5 minutes Jake had gnawed through every last
> wire. (They keep him locked out of the computer & sewing rooms
> now...replacing cables is quite expensive) He focuses his attention the
> most on wiring, but any kind of string gets chewed as well.
>
>> I would get him checked by a vet , provide toys or things that he is
>> allowed to chew and try to look at his life and make it more exciting.
>> If he is kept indoors , he might not be getting the stimulation he
>> needs. Have you tried mentol or something like Olbas oil on the
>> cables.You can get cable covers too.
>
> He and his brother have plenty of stimulation- they wrestle, and have
> tons of toys to play with. They've also got lots of "Cat TV" to watch,
> since my folks feed wild birds. The vet has looked him over and said
> there's nothing wrong; I thought maybe he had thyroid problems, since
> he's always been 'bug-eyed' (looks like he's on the verge of a freakout
> 24/7).
>
> Mom and dad have tried every substance they could find to stop Jake's
> obsessive and destructive chewing- Mom even went so far as to put pure
> capsicum concentrate on the wires, and Jake will completely ignore it and
> STILL chew. Dad finally installed electrical conduit and ran the exposed
> wiring through that, which Jake cannot gnaw through- but he focuses on
> the ends of the conduit and will work on chewing the plugs off right at
> the outlet. They try to leave things unplugged when they're not around
> to supervise, but my dad 'forgets' and occasionally something is left
> plugged in. It's a frustrating and quite dangerous situation...and quite
> frankly, I don't understand how they can put up with it. About the only
> thing I can do is worry, it seems.
>
> Molly
>

MK
August 4th 06, 08:20 PM
"Alison" > wrote in message
...
>I can't think of any thing else except for a Feliway diffuser which might
>help calm him.
> What is it about dads that makes them so stubborn, mine was the same <G.>
> Good luck!

Thanks! *g*

You know, I replied to another person on here about using Soft Paws...and
the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to just order them and put
them on BOTH cats (Lady, their elderly calico, isn't a problem). I'm sure
my mom can be easily convinced, although dad will be a 'hard sell'. But,
I'd much rather have dad ticked off at me for 'being cruel' than see either
of them wind up in the hospital again...

blkcatgal
August 5th 06, 05:01 AM
My cat is a chewer and while he isn't quite as destructive as Jake, when I
posted a message about my cat chewing, someone responded that it may be an
obsessive compulsive behavior (called pica) that can be treated with
anti-anxiety medications such as prozac. I don't think my cat's behavior is
quite that bad that I need to go the medication route, but it sounds like
Jake's behavior seems especially bad. You may want to pursue this route.
Talk with your veteriarian.

Sue

"MK" > wrote in message
...
> Jake is one of two cats my elderly parents adopted from the humane society
> as kittens (indoors, male, neutered). He's a spaz and spooks very
> easily...usually for no apparent reason. My mother (who is in her 70s)
> was holding him yesterday, when the phone rang. Jake panicked and
> literally ripped the skin off her hand completely. It was one of the
> worst degloving accidents I've ever seen; her skin is like parchment paper
> and it required over 30 stitches to put everything back in place (tendons,
> blood vessels etc were completely exposed).
>
> Jake is also a very destructive chewer- he obsessively gnaws phone cords,
> computer cables, electrical cords etc and nothing we've tried so far has
> deterred him. He ignores hot sauce and bitter topical sprays, and will
> gnaw at where plugs/wires exit the protective conduit we installed. If
> company comes over, he will eat the shoestrings right off their shoes-
> right under their very noses!- or get into handbags/purses and chew
> anything he can find. (Truth be told, I'm terrified this cat will short
> out a wire and cause the entire house to burn down!)
>
> We're all at our wit's end. Finding Jake a new home is out of the
> question, as my parents (well, my dad anyway LOL) absolutely adore
> him...and since he's got "issues" his chances of being placed elsewhere
> are slim and none. I've suggested declawing but my mother is absolutely
> against it...(I am too, ordinarily, but this is a very extreme situation
> and I'm scared that he might do even more damage should the situation
> arise again). It would be even worse if Jake pulls a 'spaz' when my dad
> is holding him, as my dad is a "bleeder" (on blood thinners) and even the
> slightest scratch requires a trip to the ER.
>
> Any suggestions on what my folks can do? We're willing to try just about
> anything in order to keep "Shaky Jake" and my parents all SAFELY under one
> roof.
>
> Thanks in advance for your assistance,
>
> Molly K
>