Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Snafu - Extended

A couple commenters from yesterday's post brought up some interesting points about Snafu's situation. 

Kari asked about Snafu's neutering and I thought this was an excellent point. As a matter of fact we had Snafu's neutering job checked specifically for the possibility of cryptorchidism because Nick had this condition when he was a juvenile. Snafu was neutered at a young age at our local humane society where most of our crew is from (Penny, Angus, Yukon, Snafu and Owen), and we knew some unfortunate stories about their staff vet. Alas, he checked out fine. No leftover manparts making him crazy. It was at this point we started him on Amitriptyline (last October).

#1 brought up Rescue Remedy and we actually have not tried this. We expect this homeopathic vet will put him on this first. We were going to do it on our own, but we wanted to consult a veterinarian who works with it. 

I want to stop the Amitriptyline because, other than our concern for the long term effects, it doesn't stop his unwanted behavior anymore.  So we wonder if it's Spring smells triggering this bad bout or if he's just adjusted to medication...and would this happen to every med we try. I need to review everything with a professional who will look at his whole situation - physiological and environmental so that I can feel confident I'm doing everything else right.

Connie brought up the idea of an animal communicator. This does intrigue me, but I have no idea what to expect. DP and I came across, not one, but two animal communicators just this past weekend at a local "Holistic and Mystic Fair." If you read my human blog, you'll know that we found it very disturbing to see them BOTH eating meat - ham even! It just doesn't make sense to me that a person who claims the ability to communicate with animals would eat them.

I'd love to know if anyone of you have had experience with an animal communicator and what you gained from it? What were they like and how did they...do their thing? I'd like to hear about what others have learned before we hire someone to tell us that Snafu is very unhappy, would rather I stay home from work to be with him and not have the other cats around. He's already told me this in so many stinking ways!

Thanks for your advice and continued purrs!

~Lisa Co9T


  1. Poor little Snafu, he's clearly not a happy boy at the moment. We are sending more healing purrs and hoping that yoo can help him get better. We are so grateful that yoo are patient and are not giving up on him. Purrs.

  2. I admit to being skeptical about animal communicators. I think a lot of it comes down to common sense--knowing your non-human companion, his/her stresses, etc. I suspect that most, if not all, animal communicators will tell you what you really already know (by asking astute questions and *listening*), about the animal in question. That said, if it gives some humans peace of mind or reassurance, there's nothing wrong with it at all.

    Frankly, some cats just prefer to be an only cat. If that's the case with Snafu, there's not much that you can do--I doubt you will change who he is. Then it just becomes a matter of managing things to the best of your ability, for his Highest Good and the Highest Good of all concerned -- something you already are doing.

    Good luck, lots of Light from me and purrs from the boys!

    -Mom Kim at Fuzzy Tales

  3. I blogged about some of my sessions.


  4. Before I adopted my Thomas (since gone to the bridge), he was seen by an animal communicator. He was just crippled with fear and was not adapting to the shelter at all. It was thought he was totally feral. His rescuer hired an animal communicator to let Thomas know that he was in a good place and that he was safe and no one would hurt him. The skeptical staff of the rescue noticed a marked change in Thomas' behaviour and were able to handle him without him becoming completely terrorized. I don't know how to find a legit one. Personal feelings are that most are probably charlatans.
    My Holly is the incomplete spay. She still has heat like cycles where she exhibits all of the behaviors. Our vet said even the smallest amount of retained tissue can cause symptoms.
    Our old vet used rescue remedy herself at exam time in vet school so she really believed in it. It has been hit or miss for us.
    An idea here, which you might have already tried. Place Snafu in a room he is very comfortable in and then introduce each cat into the room on a one by one basis ( removing each cat before the next is introduced). Maybe you can identify the "trigger" cat or cats for his behaviour.
    It might turn out to be one you wouldn't expect. Maybe Snafu feels threatened by a cat he is afraid to confront so he acts out in other ways. If you can figure who it is, you can work with them both.
    Good luck with the new vet.

  5. I had a cat that sprayed. He did so for about 8 years before I finally got serious and consulted a veterinarian behaviorist. He recommended prozac which is the first choice of med for cats that spray. The prozac along with some behavior modifications helped stop my cat's spraying 90% of the time. I know you are concerned about long-term medicating, but you might want to consider changing Snafu's meds. (BTW, it was also suggested to me that maybe my cat hadn't been properly neutered either, but I had him checked and he was okay in that department.)

    I don't have a lot of hope for the Rescue Remedy. I've tried it and did not see a lot of benefit even though others have said it helped.

    As I mentioned in my comment yesterday, I have been dealing with intercat agression with Zoey and Wally. In trying to figure out what to do, I considered an animal communicator. Hendrix, who blogs, has worked with an animal communicator and his mom swears it helped Hendrix a lot. She gave me the name of that communicator who I think was in Ohio (she did phone consults). I did call but she never called me back and I never followed up and ended up making an appointment with a vet behaviorist which I am still working with.

    I hope the homeopathic vet can help Snafu. I'm very interested in what he/she recommends.

    Island Cats' mom

  6. I have to agree with Kim -- I do wonder how much the animal communicator reads the human VS the animal.
    I just don't know.
    Our vet recommended the prozac just like the Island Cats Mom. But it was not something to start or STOP quickly. We just didn't want to medicated Ping. So, I just don't know what we should do -- they also recommended a animal behaviorists to us also. We didn't follow up on that.

    >^..^< >^..^< >^..^< >^..^< >^..^<
    Abby Ping Jinx Boo Gracie

  7. Lisa: with respect to urine spraying, I found this article informative.


    Of note was the fact tat 89% of cats spraying were from multicat households. They reported on several drugs and their relative merits or lack thereof.

    We hope for the best.

  8. Oh I am so behind and sorry to hear that Snafu is so unhappy right now. Floyd was sprayer, but lucky for us it was in one spot most of the time (not that it was pleasant but it made it more managable). We are having an issue with Lola marking (is it still called spraying with a ladycat) and she has her own room she is in most of the day. She had stopped but then I have seen it a bit more recently - I think one thing is that I had the litter box attractant in the drawer she was spraying so I moved that(though I did put plastic there anyway to be safe) and she is spraying the couch, which started when she was sick. I have used Rescue Remedy with her and while it helped a lot with her mood with the new cats, it didn't seem to stop the spraying. So instead of angry peeing it was happy peeing I guess. Since she has been able to have her own room she is better but mainly because she just does it in there and nowhere else now (she is allowed out when we are home and awake but she doesn't do it anywhere else). I hope that the holistic vet helps - please keep us updated because I am curious for my own situation with Lola. I would never think to send her out (she is 12 now, so I don't have a youngin' like you do) but boy, it can be frustrating. My vet is great but they are a very basic place without any fancy stuff - but I bet if I asked them about it they would be open to the holistic idea. I just haven't really heard much about it so I would love to see how you think it goes. I know that Lola is an "angry pee-er" (found that out when she didn't want to go to the vet the first time when she was younger - now I am prepared for that at least), and I wonder if Snafu is the same way - he sounds kind of like a younger male version of her when I read about him. Good luck - I hope they can give you some ideas.

  9. I know what youa re going thru - I have tried it all on our Al the deaf one - nothing works for him. One vet suggested that his rabies shot has affected him in making him more aggressive - it did happen after he was neutered and had the shot! I have tried what you are using, homeopathy, Rescue Remedy, animal communicators (I left a message on your FB page) but because Al is deaf the communicator could not get him to "listen" to her. We have just learned to deal with it. I always have gone to holistic vets too and love them but still no help on Al's aggressive issues. let me know if you come up with anything new!

  10. I have got behind with your posts but am sending our bestest wishes and love to Snafu and hope you have respite from the worry too. Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xxx

  11. Four months after my Eva was spayed she started have what appeared to be heat cycles...I couldn't believe it! The cycles became stronger and more frequent. Finally, I started to let her go outside which has calmed her down. Unfortunately, the vet who spayed her died about the time all this started. Another vet said they could operate again and try to find the tissue but probably wouldn't be able to find anything because even one left over ovary cell can trigger this behavior. I wasn't going to put her through that again.

    I hope things work out for you and dear Snafu. I have enjoyed reading about his antics. And, by the way, the pink thong is adorable !!

    Eva & Gracie's Mom

  12. We feel so bad for Snafu. Thank you for being so patient and trying everything possible. We are sending our best purrs and prayers for you all.

  13. I know you have probably considered this, but it could be something as simple as a smell he can't take. When did the spraying start and did anything, no matter how small, change around that time. That problem happened here (BB - before Brian) and Dad finally traced it back to a change in fabric softener. Once they quit using it the problem stopped. It may not be so much behavioral as environmental. Good luck Snafu!

  14. Brian-I know exactly when Snafu starting spraying and getting more and more aggressive. It was when I went back to work. I'd been at home for two years...raising kittens :). But the economy turned and other stuff and I had to return to the workforce. I'd love to fix that problem by being back home again!
    Good information everyone! Thanks!
    ~Lisa Co9T


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