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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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My 9 year old male cat had been acting really strange in the

Customer Question

My 9 year old male cat had been acting really strange in the last few days he came home without a collar on he goes out every night. He has always been a very lazy cat and only comes downstairs for food and a cuddle on a light ad that's it he has been having what can be explained as a mad half hour and acting aggressive he has never bit or swiped at me but has started doing so, is he bored or could there be something wrong within
Thank you for any help you can give me
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi Gina, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help you and Romeo. It does sound to me that something is physically wrong with Romeo. Is he eating and drinking normally? Is he urinating and defecating normally? Does he drink excessive water? Has he lost any weight? And. . .does he move normally and jump onto things as easily as he used to?

Dr. Barbara :

It is also possible since he lost his collar while out, that he was in a fight and is feeling sore from that. Do you think he has a fever? A fairly easy way to tell is to feel his ears. Usually, they feel warm to us, but not hot (a cat's normal temperature is about 37.5.

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : He has no signs of being in a fight and he feels fine and other than him acting strange he is normal Romeo miserable and lazy he is eating fine and drinking fine and hasn't lost any weight
Dr. Barbara :

All very good signs! Sometimes, there are no obvious fight wounds. (Actually, initially, there is much evidence at all!) So this could be what happened still. I asked about whether he was moving normally and jumping onto things to see if his aggressiveness could be from musculoskeletal pain (like sore muscles or a developing abscess from fighting, or a back problem).

Dr. Barbara :

The other approach to this, would be to consider changes in his environment both indoors or outdoors. Any new animals (new cats in the neighborhood), and new people in your household?

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : Sorry I'm not much help but yeah he is jumping fine the only other thing I could tell you is his skin was kind of twitching
JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : Nothing new at all the only thing that's changed I'm his life is a move 4 yrs ago and my daughter being born 2 1/2 years ago
Dr. Barbara :

That can be a sign of pain for sure. Also, sometimes diabetic cats have twitchy skin, but if he is drinking normal amounts of water and eating normally, then this is probably not his problem.

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : again sorry I'm not much help I'm just worried about him
Dr. Barbara :

No apologies necessary. . .you are being a big help. This is why we have this chat, so I can hopefully get to the bottom of his problem by you being my hands and eyes as I ask questions.

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : He's just bouncing off the walls it seems at growling which sounds strange
Dr. Barbara :

Is he licking anywhere excessively?

Dr. Barbara :

Does he seem to be aware or do you think he is disoriented at all?

Dr. Barbara :

Is he current on his vaccinations?

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : No not really he sat with his nose against the wall for ages though if that helps which I just laughed at because t was the weirdest thing I've seen him do
Dr. Barbara :

Sorry for all of my questions!!

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : No il answer anything I can
Dr. Barbara :

Is he up to date on his rabies vaccination?

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : He has all of his injections and he seems aware as soon as I open the cupboard the food comes from he knows exactly where I am when talking to him, I've just picked him up again and his eyes went huge you know like all black
Dr. Barbara :

That means his pupils widened which occurs if a cat is anticipating something delightful or awful. Also, if he was moved by you from an area of bright light to an area that is dimmer or dark.

Dr. Barbara :

Do his ears feel especially warm or hot to you?

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : No I didn't move him just picked him up from the floor into my arms on the couch as he just growled again, it's awful I've never done anything to make him afraid of me or expect something awful
JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : Not really
JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : Again sorry I'm not much help
Dr. Barbara :

I am totally sure of that!

Dr. Barbara :

You are being very helpful! Really, the symptoms you are describing seem possibly neurological ( meaning from his brain. . .like a seizure or a brain infection of some kind), or from muscle pain like from a fight. When a cat or dog has possible neurological symptoms, we have to consider rabies, which of course has very serious implications for you and your daughter's safety. You have said he has had all of his injections, but just to double check has he had a rabies vaccination in the last year? (Here in the States we have both a one year and a three year rabies vaccination).

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : The last injection was just after my daughter was born so about 2 years ago
JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : Do you think it's worth a trip to the vet in the morning
Dr. Barbara :

Yes, definitely. Doesn't sound like this is a behavioral problem. You should also take every precaution to protect your daughter and you from any bites or scratches. It is highly unlikely that he has rabies. . .but not impossible. If he did have a 3 year rabies vaccination, then that is very, very good. If his vaccination was just for one year, then rabies becomes more of a possibility. . .still very uncommon, but possible. Do you remember what they told you about the vaccinations he received. . .how long until he needed to get more vaccinations?

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : No I don't remember what they said I will take him tomorrow in the morning thank you for your help
Dr. Barbara :

I can imagine. . .what with a new baby and all!!!! After we finish here with your rating, we can continue on this thread, so I'd like very much to hear what is determined about Romeo. Thanks so much for allowing me to work with you! Dr. Barbara

JACUSTOMER-k98uzi09- : Thank you for your time
Dr. Barbara :

I'm happy to be of help. Good luck!