Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 2014

(AKA Cats on the Couch)  For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

You’ll want to take note:

On Sunday, September 7, 20l4 there will be an Adoptapalooza in NYC, sponsored by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. You’ll want to attend to cheer the adoptees on to their new homes.  I look forward to seeing you all there.
Noon - 8:00 p.m.
Union  Square Park, North Plaza
Broadway and East 17 Street, N.Y.C. 

Robotic cat
Biscuit, who lives with one of the East Brunswick’s Library’s staff members, had a last moment engagement, so my robotic cat was her replacement.  Nonetheless, Biscuit graciously deigned to let us include her pic. She’s indeed a beauty, and her family is very proud of their Biscuit. 

One of the many questions involved a cat who chewed and trimmed his brother’s whiskers. This quirk would start with a vigorous groom and end in a whisker amputation. “We tried distraction to no avail, and oddly, his brother doesn’t object.”
My solution was to distract the mischievous perpetrator before he went over the edge. He had to be distracted and stopped before he eyed his brother’s whiskers. Other recommendations were to brush both cats daily, add a vitamin supplement to their food, a touch of catnip every few days and if they liked heat, a heating pad would relax and soothe.

A cat’s whiskers, quite apart from their beauty, enable a cat to judge distance. They are used as touch receptors and shouldn’t be tampered with on any occasion. 

Carole's Take on Oscar The Cat Who .....  

Sophie, two-years-old, spayed and declawed, was found several months ago in a box nearby Naples, Florida Humane Society. She was adopted into a family with two neutered male cats and a huge, friendly dog. Her guardians contacted me when she sought refuge and remained under a bed in their guest bedroom.

I told them to put their phone on speaker and to play some of their favorite, soothing music as I talked to them and Sophie. The relaxation combo would chip away at Sophie’s angst.

“Ah, she’s popped her head out,” they said. I immediately told them to wait until she totally emerged before they stroked her.  As I continued to talk, Sophie slowly made her way from under the bed.

  • Keep Sophie in this bedroom for a couple of days with all of her comforts so she could gradually sustain her confidence and courage -- with this room as her sanctuary.
  • Continue to play the present music or that which we used for their former cat. It will become Sophie’s security object, her connection and reminder of her session -- which was all about her.
  • Slowly start to let her explore the other rooms but accompany her so she doesn’t panic if she becomes startled. That could trigger an anxiety attack.
  • Very gradually, they could let Sophie move around without their company. However, they should still keep all of Sophie’s comforts in this bedroom so she has this as her hideaway whenever she feels insecure.
Katmandu & Sophie
I had worked with one of their former cats before so my feeling was that Sophie would feel safe and comfortable with Katmandu, their older, laid-back cat. She would probably be overwhelmed by Newman, their younger male. But he preferred to hang out, a couple of floors below, with Mick, their dog.They were the “downstairs” guys. Sophie and Katmandu were the “upstairs” cats.

My impression of Sophie was that because of her particularly cruel and stressful abandonment, she would need time to let go of her angst. Because she was declawed, this added to her vulnerability. Perhaps we could avoid post traumatic stress disorder with careful prevention. Sophie was a classic candidate for reliving her past trauma whenever she felt threatened which could result in deviant symptomatic behavior -- indiscriminate urination, defecation, pulling out her fur -- to communicate her angst, fear, discomfort.

If Sophie did develop any ptsd symptoms, we would give her additional behavioral support and add a homeopathic remedy or anti-anxiety drug for auxiliary support.

As I ended the consult, I repeated a distant Reiki treatment for Sophie to balance her mental, physical and emotional well-being.

A recent email.... 
Samson’s doing so much better since your visit.  Not one incident of marking since you've been here. His music is going 24 hours/day. We’re on point with the rest of his behavioral program, and we’ve started him on the **L-Theanine tablets to reinforce his program. He seems happier, and so are we.

Samson was born to a young feral mother who shuffled her litter in and out of a busy factory  --  inside during off hours and outside when in operation. She did the courageous and caring best for her kittens. But not a wonder that Samson was people shy and vulnerable, When he was over stimulated or anxious, he urinated in and about. These incidents were triggered by post traumatic stress disorder -- where he would relive the trauma from his precarious kittenhood.  Such an unfortunate legacy from his maternal upbringing.

Samson in his Hide-away Haven
He was now four-years-old, neutered and the only cat. His confidence had increased to where he was more affectionate and interactive with his guardians but not your lap or carry around in your arms cat.

When Samson wanted his privacy or wind-down time, he would hang out in
an oversized closet which had a special flap for him to crawl in and out at will. As his incidents usually occurred when his guardians were out in the evening, one of my recommendations was to make Samson comfy in his "hideaway"
with all of his creature comforts and to tell him you were closing the latch so no one would disturb him while you were out. Upon return home, they could undo the latch and greet him in a mellow, happy tone. Such a tone would be in sync with his feeling of down time while they were away and would ward off transitional angst.

Samson Out & About
Samson’s prognosis is positive, but it will take steady and consistent continuation of his program for him to increase his stress tolerance to a point where he won't act out because of traumatic flashbacks.
I’m always happy when a cat, like Samson, feels happy, and it's only natural that his guardians would mirror his happiness. I was recently quoted on the Leonard Lopate show on NPR for my statement on that very same phenomenon: "Cats mirror the guardian's feelings as well as guardians mirror their cats".

**L-Theanine has the potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress and to improve cognition. It is derived from tea leaves -- green and black tea.

Gale had arranged for a Skype consult to consider a companion for Erasums, her three-year old, neutered male, whom she found in Dubai. Erasmus’s tom cat feuds on the streets of Dubai had left him fearful and aggressive with other cats, but Gale mentioned how he once got on with an older, calm dog. She planned to move to a new apartment and wondered if a roommate who had a dog, would be an option. Because she traveled frequently, Erasmus would have care and company when she was away.
Erasmus Skype screen
I told Gale that if she could find a cat - friendly guardian and dog, her plan could definitely succeed. She should use my introduction so Erasmus would get off to a winning start --  Scroll through my May Blog to see Moonie’s Dog Guest  http://www.thecattherapist.com/blog.asp?published-min=2014-05-01T00%3A00%3A00&published-max=2014-05-31T23%3A59%3A59

In the meantime she should arrange for her dog sitter or neighbor to have access to her apartment to care for Erasmus in case of an emergency. Otherwise, Erasmus is at risk. Prevention is clearly the key to any unforeseen domestic catastrophe.

(Orion, a recovering feral rescue, gives his cat-speak on cat and other issues)

Orion GIVES A SHOUT - OUT FOR BIGGIE D. Who Endorses Scratching Post from Sisal Rugs Direct

Biggie D. is a cat who was very recently adopted from Animal Control in Manhattan. He is his guardian, Nevin’s, first cat. No way, would Nevin have Biggie’s claws ripped out, as he told me and asked for my recommendation for the best scratching post. 
Biggie D atop his SRD Post

Take a look at Biggie’s reaction to the post and his mood after. 

Biggie D -- Post Work out

Yeah, you can join Orion in his shout-out!


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