OCD/Wood Eating/Wool Suckling/Help! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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OCD/Wood Eating/Wool Suckling/Help!

Greetings everyone. Not sure where to turn, as our vet has been limited help, but, here we go.

My fiancée and I have two cats, Audrey and Gilbert. Both are about three and a half years old. We adopted them about six months apart (Audrey first, then Gil). And, well, here we go.

When we adopted Gil, we knew he was a wool suckler, except he's not the traditional case. He has his 'drool rags' that he uses, and that's fine; no problems if it stopped there.

Gil also has (as far as we can tell), the kitty form of OCD. He eats a number of things he shouldn't, most notably wood. He also eats things like fleece (we discovered this after he at a meter long piece of fleece on a kitty toy, which he passed through just fine). His most infamous eating was a piece of foam yoga mat, which was removed from him six months later and costing us quite a bit.

Now, Gil loves attention (side note: doesn't seem to like it 100% when we play with Audrey; he some times runs after and chances her after this). He also loves food. We started leaving a bowl of food down and night, which has helped a lot to sleep through the night (I am a very light sleeper). But, Gil's thing is that he will chew on the corners of our night stand to get attention.

We can't kick him out of the bedroom for two reasons: one, he meows under the door and projects his voice into our bedroom, making matters much louder, and two, he chews on the bottom of the door (there is about a two, three inch gap between the door and floor). We have also tried locking him in the bathroom to deal with the problem, but then he just chews on the metal door stopper (which probably contains lead paint, or traces of).

Oh, and he also loves cardboard, and will rip through boxes like no bodies business. He just rips off small pieces from the box, spits them out, and then goes back for more. This we feel is the least damaging thing he can do, but we aren't sure if we are encouraging him.

Finally, as icing on the cake, despite him really enjoying his scratching pad, he tends to like the carpet and the futon more.

So, we've tried just about everything under the sun to get him to stop any one of these behaviours. Loud noises, water bottles (which turned into a game), Feliway, attempting to wear him out, bitter spray.

This has been steadily getting worse in the two and a half years we've had Gil, so, not quite sure what to do or how to handle this anymore. I've been up at four am the last two days, and it's beginning to take it's toll on me.

He is a very sweet, loving cat. But he is also a pain and really making things tough for us as we have no idea what is the correct way to respond to him any more (after reading so many sites, including Cornell's feline OCD article).

Help!

Thanks,
Peter
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 02:03 PM
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Gil sounds a bit like my Mister(rip). Mister was a very demanding cat. He had to be on me, touching me and I had to have my hands and eyes on him when he was in the room. Mister was a thumb sucker. MY thumb! I learned to sleep with my hands under the pillow or covers or I'd wake up with him attached to my thumb. If I didn't give him attention he would rip pieces of loose paper or cardboard boxes, like Gil.
Mister knew I hated the sound of him tearing my boxes of books. He would rip a piece, spit it out and look at me to see if he had my attention. If I ignored him, he'd repeat the process until I took off after him. I think it was a game for him...it got my attention and he didn't care if it was good or bad attention.
The funniest was when I ignored him because he would try harder and harder to get my attention. While watching TV he would get between me and the TV and hop sideways at me with his ears back, back arched and tail swishing. If that didn't work he'd rear up on his hind legs and wave his forelegs in my face.
How can you not laugh at that?
The worst was when I would return from shopping and be trying to put purchases away. He would demand my attention and if I didn't give it to him, he would meow at me until I looked at him, and while looking in my eyes...he'd spray the wall!
Oh! He sure got my attention then!

I had Mister for about 11 years. I never really changed any of his habits, but I did learn to live with them. I made sure to make a fuss over him, first thing. If he became demanding, I did, too....but my demanding was different. I would grab him and smother him with attention until he couldn't wait to get away from me.
Oh! You should have seen the LOOKS he gave me!
Ears back, eyes glaring, rippling his back skin to get his hairs back in place and whipping his tail back/forth. He was a pest and he didn't like it when I became a pest to him.

I lost him a few years ago, and while I think he was the most demanding pest (pet) I'd ever had...I sure missed him when he was gone and I'd put up with any of his antics to have him back. He really was a unique cat.

I hope someone has some advice for you, as I know what worked for me and Mister may not work for you. Mister never bothered us if we closed the bedroom door.



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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 02:46 PM
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Since it sounds like you have tried all the traditional methods, have you thought about consulting a feline behaviorist? They would be best suited to giving you advice for such a difficult case. They would also be able to tell you when you've reached the point where the only recourse may be meds.

Good luck and please keep us posted. BTW, welcome to the forum!


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like Mister and Gil share a number of irritating traits. I've gotten to the point where I let Gil chew on the plastic hampers we have, but the night stand is too far/too much.

Thanks for the story; glad to know we're not the only ones with an ultra neurotic cat out there...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Doodlebug -

We've talked about behavioral therapy, and well, we don't have the money to tackle anything on that level. I've posted on a few other forums, and all the suggestions seem to come back to BT. So, maybe that's what we need to do. Maybe...

But, I'll do my best to keep you up to date on Gil and his antics!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 03:59 PM
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In the long run, it's probably cheaper than replacing lots of furniture and other things. I don't know if BT would be considered for a Care Credit loan, but it might be something to look into (Care Credit provides low interest loans for medical expenses).

http://www.carecredit.com/


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Onyx, Callie May, Maggie & Kobi forever in my heart.
Yes, I know I need a new signature pic...someday...
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