do you think a cat can be bipolar (manic-depressive)? seriously.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by patandchickens, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I've had cats for a while now, but this one has me stumped. I am wondering if any of y'all have any similar experiences to share taht might offer a clue or at least make me feel better.

    Mojo is guesstimated to be 5ish; we adopted him from a shelter in July, after he was turned in as a stray. He is seemingly a supremely confident unshakeable outgoing cat -- when we first walked into his cat room at the shelter he came over, stood on his hindlegs, and licked my 2 yr old on the forehead, and he seems entirely unafraid of people, loud children, shelter dogs, and in fact most things except loud gravel trucks going very close by him.

    However, he periodically refuses to eat. Like, will eat NOTHING, and syringe-feeding seems to make it worse. Right now is the third time in 3 months. It comes on fairly suddenly (slows down eating for a day or two, then bam, No More Food), lasts for a week or two, and thus far has ended within a day or two. He licked a little butter this morning and had a small amount of kibble, and has been suddenly extremely affectionate (his head is on my left hand as I type this right now, pls excuse resulting typos [​IMG]) so *hopefully* he is coming out of this episode.

    We have spent about $1100 on vet bills on the little bugger so far, but after bloodwork, fecal, xray, and ultrasound, the vet can't find anything wrong other than his intestines are (inexplicably) very fluid-filled. We have tried medications, Feliway, every sort of tempting food on teh whole darn planet, and I have built him an elevated walkway over the kitchen and am partway through making an extensive outdoor run for him and his 3 companions.

    The vet says it's stress. I'm not disagreeing, but I am just sort of wondering... he seems to go from extreme happy playful high to extreme sad curled-up hunger-strike low so rapidly and completely with no particularly obvious provocation. If he was a person, you'd say "hey, he needs his lithium doseage adjusted" [​IMG]

    Has anyone ever had another cat that GENUINELY (not just humorously or sarcastically) seemed manic-depressive? Or in any other way comparable to Mojo?

    Thanks for any stories or suggestions,

    Pat
     
  2. starforever61

    starforever61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As soon as I read your post title I knew exactly what you meant. When you say he's stray, do you mean he might have been almost wild? My kitty is exactly like yours! No joke! She was wild, and I think it might just be in his genes...good luck!
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Nope, actually he was super friendly when turned into the shelter, clearly has been a housepet previously.

    Part of his problem is presumably wanting to be outside (we are only 60' back from a very busy road with 65 mph gravel trucks and commuters though, so it's just not an option). I do take him for a walk on a leash twice a day -- yeah, go ahead and laugh [​IMG] -- and he now has an outdoor run (to be expanded), which seems to help.

    But I am not convinced that wanting to be outdoors more can really explain the suddenness and extreme-ness of his swings between happy confident loving active vs sad droopy self-starving. You know?

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  4. starforever61

    starforever61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I see what you mean. I'm stumped... [​IMG] I hope someone else can help! good luck! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  5. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't count out dental problems that may not have been detected in an oral exam (without knocking him out).
     
  6. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    I haven't heard of anything like that. Maybe diabetic?
    I don't see why a cat couldn't suffer from depression...many times it's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It wouldn't have to be from his past or anything currently going on. Ask your vet about prozac.
     
  7. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    What did his last blood work say on the BUN, Creatinie, and total protein (TP) levels? It sounds like very early CRF (chronic renal failure). If they are elevated in the slightest they can cause anorexic behaviors that run in cycles. I've gone through this with cats and dogs and know the signs well enough to catch it before blood work shows any problems in a lot of the animals I've rescued (I scare my vet sometimes). Cats are more prone to it and can be treated for it for years without too many problems. Have a basset right now dealing with the same.

    Also, what food are you feeding most of the time? Longhair? What was his sugar level last vet visit. And have you had a thyroid panel run? Good that you take him on a leash but I'm not thinking its a 'depression' issue, not a common thing for cats even if they were previously outdoor only cats.
    Has he been tested for FIP, FIV, FeLv?
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Hey, those are all very good questions [​IMG]

    Undetected dental problems -- a possibility. He is always, even in the best of times, a messy eater (food flung everywhere). Not sure how to pursue that, short of expensive xrays or anesthetized dental exam, though. Will discuss with vet next time we see him though.

    Diabetes, CRF, thyroid -- I do not have his actual numbers (will have to mull over how I could get a copy without weirding out or pissing-off the vet office...) but I was told that the only thing from his bloodwork that was even slightly high-normal was white blood cell count (or some close variety of that).

    He is semi-longhair, fwiw. No trace of hairballs, not in barf or poo nor in xrays nor ultrasound.

    He is mostly eating Hills Prescription Diet c/d dry; a little bit of Nutram (I think) dry food. No people food at all; occasional bug or baby vole but not correlated with timing of his problems. Vet wants to try him on Hills d/d (skin/bowel sensitivity diet) if we can get him to eat it.

    Tested FIP/FeLV/FIV negative on the day we adopted him in early July.

    One reason I think that desire to be outdoors more may be involved to *some* degree is that he perked up a lot, and started eating a few days thereafter, when I first started the twice-daily walks; and now, two days after opening the first part of his free-access outdoor enclosure, he has (hallelujah!!!!) started eating again. (He ate a full dinner! Woo! Zero to sixty from one meal to the next! But not til a day and a half *after* he recieved the keys to the catflap. I do not understand.)

    It just seems so abrupt and disproportionately severe, you know? And keeps HAPPENING, and I don't know how to prevent it, and I'm afraid that one of these times it will go too far and we will lose him [​IMG]

    You have a good point, KDBeads, I should try to figure out how to get a copy of his blood panel #s. I used to get copies regularly back when I had a cat with polycystic kidneys, but that was a long time ago and I'm sort of out of the habit [​IMG]

    Thanks very much y'all, and any further comments/ideas welcome too,

    Pat
     
  9. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    Just an FYI.... I've never had a cat here that willingly ate Science Diet. Then again I attract strange animals. Before you try the IBD food try raw chicken, I usually give my herd the trimmings when I cut it up, if he ignores that then there might be some issues with his stomach. During these anorexic periods or right before, is he throwing up any?

    The high white cell count is a red flag for me, hmmmmm.......

    If you can get his numbers shoot me a pm and we'll go over it [​IMG]

    Still thinking and I'll look through my vet manuals and other books to see what I can find.
     
  10. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    Just thought of something, has his temp been taken before and during these episodes? If his temp is cycling up and down with the onset of these episodes there's a possibility that it's what is referred as FUO, fever of unknown origin. That would explain some of the high white cell counts and usually takes a 2 to 4 week course of doxicyclene specifically to clear up.
    We noticed that our Sumi was just not herself one summer and took her to a brand new cat specialist where we lived at the time. It took a few days to come up with the diagnosis and she was on a hunger strike too, lost about 4 pounds that summer. After 4 episodes of not eating and month long course of the meds she hasn't had it again.

    Not sure if it helps but.....
     

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