Kitty nightmares? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Kitty nightmares?

It seems like my male kitty, Cal, has nightmares sometimes. He usually sleeps close to my head at night, and a few times I've been woken up my him crying in his sleep. It's a really heartbreaking sound. I'll pet him and snuggle him and tell him what a good boy he his and how much I love him, and he'll usually start purring, close his eyes, and go back to sleep.

We know that his previous owners abused him and ultimately abandoned him (I found him and took him home). I wonder if sometimes he has nightmares about his life before I found him.

Our other cat, Coda, also seems to dream sometimes. She'll sometimes twitch or move her paws like she's running, which is really cute, but I've never heard her cry in her sleep.

Do you think cats have nightmares? Do you think cats with a "troubled past" are more likely to have nightmares?

Jennifer and the kitties, Coda and Caligula
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 04:50 PM
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I really can not answer your question but if it is nightmares about his previous life, waking up and finding himself with you and you comforting him is probably what he needs the most. Hopefully, with time the nightmares will be fewer and fewer until they are a thing of the past.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 05:55 PM
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I'm pretty sure cats dream. And, since dreams are based on previous experiences, your Cal could be dreaming of abandonment. Poor guy.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 06:25 PM
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Zenobi (RIP), who had obiviously suffered abuse because she ran and hid after using her litterbox until she became aware that it wasn't going to happen anymore, often cried in her sleep. I would speak softly to her and she'd stop.

Missy seems to sometimes have troubled sleep and I use the same method by telling her she's a pretty girl.

Sounds as if you're doing the right thing. It is, of course, impossible to tell if he'll get over it.

JusJim
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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He's such a great cat, it just makes me sad when he exhibits any behaviour that reminds me of how horrible his previous owners were. I'm pretty sure they had him since he was a kitten, and he's seven years old now and I've only had him just over a month (I guess getting closer to two months now), so he had a hard life for years. I'm still always amazed at how despite that, he's such a friendly, loving, well-behaved cat. It only took him a few days of living with us before he was always going in the litterbox, tolerating the still somewhat kitten-like antics of our other cat (who is only about two-and-a-half years old and still very playful and active), greeting us at the door, and sleeping in bed with me, my fiance, and our other cat. Despite his past he's never been fearful or had any real behavioural problems. He's even friendly with guests.

When I first brought him home, he hid under the bed for a few hours, and when he came out I picked him up and put him on top of the bed, and he quickly made himself at home (no doubt discovering that curling up on soft pillows and warm blankets is much more comfortable than the cold, dark corner underneath the bed). When I'm home he's my faithful grey shadow and always sits next to me, or at least within reach of scratches and belly rubs when I'm using my computer. I don't think I've ever known an animal to act so thankful for shelter, enough to eat, and lots and lots of love.

He's also one of the greatest "therapy cats" I've ever met. Whenever I'm sad or upset, he always knows and comes to give me snuggles. If I'm sad when I'm going to bed, he'll let me hold him against my chest and will fall asleep in my arms (or at least let me fall asleep holding him, and then re-position himself next to my head of on my pillow above my head and is always nearby if I wake up from bad dreams).

We also have a neighbour who is an older guy, who recently lost his kitten. I guess the kitten got out and got crushed by a piece of lumber that fell over in the parking lot. This poor sweet old guy was absolutely devastated by the loss of his kitten, and he'll often come over to our place to play with and pet our cats, and Cal is always extra friendly to him, as if he knows that this man needs some serious kitty love. (I'm on the lookout for another kitten for this man; he really wants a black one like the one that died, and black cats are common enough, so I really hope I'm able to find him a kitty of his own, but in the mean time he's always welcome to soak up some kitty love from Cal and Coda.)

I'm just glad that if Cal is still having nightmares about his life before I found him, he's able to wake up in a warm bed with people who love him. I'm really looking forward to moving into a bigger place so that both he and Coda can have a big cat tree by a window and have more space to roam, and hopefully a nice area to explore outdoor on a harness and leash. A cat who can give so much love after being treated so badly deserves the absolute best. <3

Jennifer and the kitties, Coda and Caligula
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Most recent picture of Cal. Not great quality because the only camera we currently have is a cheap cellphone.

Jennifer and the kitties, Coda and Caligula
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 03:24 AM
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He is very pretty boy. I am happy he found you!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 05:04 AM
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my kitty Fritzy, does the same thing. I would have to pet her and she wakes up and crys and trys to walk towards me and falls over on to her side and passes out again. she's so funny.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 05:20 AM
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All of mine dream - of all my pets, it's actually the dog who used to have a lot of nightmares but she's much better these days. Like your cat, she had been actively abused. That may be coincidental but I think not.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, as I said, both my cats dream, but Cal is the only one who seems to have obviously bad dreams.

We don't really know much of Coda's story before she came to us. Just that she was picked up as a stray by animal control and had had at least one litter of kittens (teen mommy, lol, she was only about a year old when we adopted her). So it's possible she could have been abused as well, but it seems more likely that she was just a very affectionate street cat, or possibly an escaped or abandoned pet. And even if she was mistreated at some point, it wasn't ongoing for seven years like in poor Cal's case.

I just can't fathom why anyone would get (and keep) a pet that they don't even like. And if they do like it, why would they abuse it and ultimately abandon it?

Memo to the world: only bring an animal home if you're an animal lover.

Jennifer and the kitties, Coda and Caligula
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