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Cat gone strange recently (long)

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teapot:
Thanks for all your replies, I wanted to wait until the baby arrived (its a boy) to let you know how things worked out.

I took the cat to the vet as some of you suggested and she is having frontline for fleas which may have been adding to the bald patch problem.  The vet also gave her some hormones to mellow her out and a month into having the baby she seems fine.  The cat was on the sofa in the front room all the time I was in labour and only left at the end when the baby arrived.  I have been really careful to make a fuss of her and not panic if she goes too near the baby who is now a month old.

The cat is back sleeping at the foot of the bed, and the baby sleeps with us at the top, so far so good but I do want to wean her off the hormones soon as there is a risk of breast lumps with them.  She has worked out that I am an easly target for a lot of strokes and fuss when I am breastfeeding too, the only trouble there is that she sometimes tries to stand on the baby to get closer to me.

Thanks everyone for your help and ideas, it looks like it might be working!

Lisa (teapot)

J. Baird:
I just found this BB so it may be too late to send this suggestion to you.  You my already have had your baby. (Congrats).  Take a worn tee shirt (not laundered after you wore it) to the hospital when you go to deliver. Be sure you wrap the baby in the shirt when you hold it so that it's scent becomes mingled with yours.  Have your husband take the tee shirt home and give it to the cat to smell. Do this every day that you are in the hospital.  Bring the baby home in one of your worn tee shirts & intoduce the cat to the baby in the shirt. You want the cat to associate the baby's scent with you.  But be careful if the cat still has claws - it may strike out.  Give the cat LOTS of attention & affection after you bring the baby home. When you are holding the baby, be sure to say it's name & the cat's name in the same tone & preferably in the same sentence.  Expect some problems - your household will be chaos for awhile & the cat will be upset.  

Mary_L:
I'm not sure this will be any help, but we have a cat with similar problems (except we have a lot of children already, so she is adjusted just fine to children). She was abandoned by her mother at a very young age and the children brought her up with bread soaked in milk until she was big enough to eat.

We did get her neutered, and she chewed the sapplesches out. We returned her to the doctor and he stapled the wound shut. She chewed the staples out. He put a long wire-type thing in to hold it together and left the ends sticking out so that if she attempted to chew the wound, the wires would poke her. It finally healed. But she hasn't been happy since. (That was over two years ago.) I am wondering if maybe she has adhesions from the neutering procedure and they hurt when she's picked up or something. :-/

As long as she is treated like a queen and we remember which types of cat food she doesn't like, she is okay. ;)

She does lose her hair in patches about once a year, mostly on her back in the rump area. Perhaps this is just a normal cat thing. It happens in late winter. It has always come back okay, so we have learned to ignore it.

If she feels that she is being "mistreated," (i.e. we let another cat in the house, we give her the wrong food, etc.) she will mess in the girls' closet (in the room she usually stays in when she's indoors).

On rare occasions she becomes affectionate and jumps up on someone's lap to be petted. But usually she just spends most of the day sleeping on one of the girls' beds.

You may just need to keep her away from the baby. A warning: sometimes cats that feel that they have been replaced, or who can't deal with the stress of a new situation, run off and don't come back.


Pepper:
When my cat missed the litter box, I took her to the vet to make sure she didn't have a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or some other medical problem. Once a physical problem was ruled out, I was able work on the behavioral issues.

Cats don't like change and in response they soil in the wrong place & overgroom. Giving the cat more attention when she's nervous has helped us. Here is a link to an article that explains it better than I can. You'll have to copy the link & paste it in the address bar of your browser.

www.ivillage.com/pets/expert/behavior/articles/0,12329,261732_68458,00.html

Hope this helps,
Pepper

teapot:
I have a 6 yr old neutured rescue female cat.  In her last home she was incredilbly spoilt until her family had a baby and then she turned violent, I think through jealousy.  I have had her for a year and a half and have got her to the stage where she will come and sit and be stroked and she doesnt bite unless provoked now.  She was just turning into an ordinary cat then....

In the last 2 weeks she has gone a bit strange.  She has a big bald patch on on her thigh and she has started messing and weeing in the hallway.  I think that she has been fighting with another cat who has the same cat flap magnet as her and got into the house so she is marking her terrotory.  I think the baldness is a mixture of fleas and excessive grooming.  Fleas I can sort out but I don't know what to do about the grroming.

Basically she is not a happy girl, and she has lost some weight in the last 2 months as well.  I have wormed her recently and thought that the fur loss could possibly be a side effect.

The other thing I would like advice about is how to introduce her to the baby that I will have in June without disturbing her again.  It's not fair on her to keep disposing of her when a babay comes along, I'd like her to be happy.

Any advice would be appreciated.  I was just congratulating myself on my sucess with her and now I feel like a terrible cat owner all of a sudden.

teapot

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