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JJ the Bengal cat's journey from 4 to 3

JJ developed a growth in his shoulder called Osteochondroma

JJ the Bengal cat's journey from 4 to 3

Day 23 – Grumpy Cat

April 27th, 2017 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

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Well I’ve not posted for a while. For a few reasons: busy with work, busy with JJ, busy worrying. Was hoping to post with a high note but there have been very few.

So here goes….

since my last post there has been very little change. JJ is managing to go up and down stairs and is hopping about, he will play with toys and the crate came down two days ago. So I guess that’s all good news.

The bad news. JJ has been extremely anxious. To the point where if we move too quickly or he senses someone or something near him he will freak out and growl and hiss. He seems to be in a constant state of fear. The only time he seems to forget the fear is when playing. So I try to initiate play as much as I can. This fear is usually shown through a growl and a hiss. He’s done it to me, my partner and today my daughter….. today she tried to kiss him! We have warned her not to as JJ is very temptamental right now and we are always telling her not to stick her face too close to him but she ignored us (this has happened before he was a tripawd). Upon trying to kiss him and he flipped and scratched her nose. I don’t blame JJ in any way, she made him he scared and he defended himself (he didn’t know she just wanted to kiss him). She was upset but not because of what he did but because she realised it was a stupid thing to do.

We are learning how to approach him so he feels less anxious. Get low to his level and approach slowly. No sudden movements. Stay away from the stairs if he’s going up or down.

Then there’s Pixel. I’ve now witnessed two very big fights between them. We have had to pull them apart and it wasn’t pretty, fur flying and JJ terrified. Each time I’ve had to pull Pixel off him. Generally they are ok, but when Pixel decides it’s playtime JJ doesn’t think it’s play and it all escalates. We try to prevent as many of these as we can but it’s hard unless you sit with them both constantly. Pixel is missing his playmate and I feel bad for him too as he doesn’t understand. He’s getting lots of love and attention from us.

So for anxiety I’m trying Feliway already (no impact) now also  Zylekene. So far after 3 days of using, there has been no change in his axiety levels. I’m trying everything I can think of. I’m scared he will never be confident again and we will have a grumpy, terrified, sad boy forever. It breaks my heart to see him like this. I keep trying to tell myself it’s early days but I can’t help thinking he will never bounce back. I’m miserable seeing him so sad. Luckily for me he seems least anxious around me, so it’s nice to know I make him feel safe.

I feel like this is all doom and gloom. It’s not, every day the are good and bad moments. I just don’t feel like we are making much progress. Maybe I’m just expecting too much, too soon.

Does anyone know anything else anxiety product wise I can try? What adjustments could I make to help him feel safe? Has anyone else had this and got a better place? I need some light at the end of the tunnel.

JJ enjoying some sunshine.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • tinsch

    I just don’t know enough about cats to be really helpful here. Generally I think that time will bring a little more peace. -I know my dog took quite a while and was scaredy at first. Even just snapping his collar shut would freak him out at first. That went away completely after a while and today he is just as he was.
    are there Thundershirts for cats? My dog had one after about 6 weeks for a couple of weeks and he really seemed to like it for a while. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help!
    All the best
    tina & Manni

  • purrkins

    I’m sorry JJ is still to feeling like himself! Are you using the multi cat diffuser? Was JJ like this at all before the amp?? Before the cancer more importantly? I would seriously be calling the vet and discussing it. He still may not be comfortable (pain wise). Broken record here but the Gabapentin still might be needed. My concern is that JJ is in pain. Zylekene I would continue more then 3 days it might just take time. If it was just with Pixle then that’s a different story . My other concern is if one of the kitties gets bit, that is bad news! You will have to watch and feel both of them after a fight. Any cat bite is serious business. I’m not trying to scare you or make things even worse just know cat bites are not anything to dismiss. Have you daughter stay away from JJ until things change. Always see a vet or Dr with a cat bite! Purrkins was bit once and it does not show up under all that fur until the next day! We had to the Vet for antibiotics ! It was nasty. Cat bites are full of bacteria! Can you keep JJ separated while no one is home and have the diffuser in that room? Depending on the size of the house you may need to have more then one going.
    A product we have had some luck with it form PetAlive Hompeopathic product called Petcalm. Jackson Galaxy makes a holistic line of pet products Spirit Essences Solutions. I’m assuming you are wanting natural products.
    You could try Canna Companion feline our holistic Vet prescribed that! There are drugs of course for kitties the vet can prescribe too. They do make thundershirts for cats, I do not think that will help JJ right now anyway. You could try it of course I think it will just tick JJ off right now.
    Please consider calling the vet.
    Holly & Purrkins

    • mardybum13

      Thank You. I will be taking him back to see the consultant that did the surgery. I’m dreading it as it means stressing JJ out. When I’ve called they have suggested this as they need to see him to fully evaluate. My gut says it’s not pain, it’s different to when he was in pain or off his face on drugs. This is anxiety. He was a nervous cat before the op and before becoming sick. I’ve also had the exact same injury as my daughter when he was about 8 month old. He is easily spooked. He was like this when we first got him and he met Pixel for the first time but in a few weeks they became the best of friends. JJ realised he could very easily get the better of Pixel in a play fight and he assumed top of the hierarchy. Even then though, he was a nervous character but not to this extent. I think the thing that worries me is whether he will ever feel like he can defend himself in a play fight. Until he does, he’ll carry on feeling nervous.

      We never leave the alone in the house together, they are separated when we are all out and they haven’t been left for more than a couple of hours.

      I’ll look into the things you have suggested as I’m willing to try anything if it helps. I need them to get along as long term it’s not fair to either one not to have full run of the house. Bengals have a lot of energy and being cooped up in a room is no good and adds to stress. I’m starting to panic it may mean we have to loose one of them to a new home so they can both be happy. I can’t contemplate that right now as there’s no way I could choose between them. It would kill me. Before this I will try and exhaust every avenue.

      Thanks for your help Everyone.

  • Joy&Ginger

    Sorry to hear about JJ, even though I’ve had cats all my life I don’t have any ideas on how to help him as I am still adjusting to the personality change in my dog. Though hers not nearly as drastic as what you describe with JJ. Definitely suggest checking with vet, keep giving love and safe zones and maybe he’ll ease back into things when he feels more like himself? Just a couple thoughts from the general experience that cats can tend to take longer to adjust to change. Good luck and prayers for you all and JJ.

  • jerry

    Awww I”m sorry. As a pet parent to an anxiety-ridden dog myself, I understand the stress and worry you feel.

    Ditto to Holly’s suggestion to discuss with your vet. BUT if your vet isn’t a home vet or at least one who has a Fear Free Feline practice, please consider switching. That would take away a lot of the stress of the visit. Next, I would discuss putting him on anti-anxiety medication like Prozac or whatever your vet feels is appropriate.

    I know it’s not what any of us want to do but believe me I’ve seen it make a HUGE difference for many animals. All of the natural remedies didn’t do diddly for our Wyatt, who is a super anxious dog. If JJ has been skittish and anxious to begin with, this could really give him a better quality of life.

    Don’t give up. You are doing GREAT and there are solutions out there. Please keep us posted OK?

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