Niko- I'm not sure if he's sick or depressed. Please help. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2008, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Niko- I'm not sure if he's sick or depressed. Please help.

Hi, I still have to figure out how to put a picture of Niko into the signature box b/c I want to keep my Lucy as my avatar. It was really hard for me when she passed so suddenly on September 23 of this year & I ended up getting a male black cat Niko maybe about 2 months ago. We adopted him from a shelter that had him & possibly his brother at a Petco & I fell in love with him. His papers said he didn't really like to be hugged unless he was tired & he liked to play. He surprisingly did let me hold him a lot & would come under the blankets at night and snuggle with me every night. It felt so good after losing Lucy after I had her for 10 years. He helped me a little with the pain I felt from her passing. He was very hyper & loved all the toys we got him & would chase me around the house when I brought out a ball with a bell inside, tied to a string. I've noticed in the past few days that he's been spending more time alone (under the bed) & doesn't seem to be interested in playing (maybe I'm picking the wrong time or the wrong toy? Maybe he's bored of the toys)? He doesn't meet me at the door anymore when I come home from work & he used to like to sit in my lap when I'm on the computer but he doesn't do it as much anymore. He's also been spending a lot of time in his kitty condo. My roommate has been home with him pretty much for the last month or so & said that he'll spend all day in the kitty condo or rarely see him. Tonight when he was walking, I noticed that he was walking funny-- it looked like there was something wrong w/ his left leg, he kept falling over on that side or almost falling over. At first I wasn't sure if it was b/c he was tired & just got up but everytime he gets up, which is rarely or not as much as I'd like, I watch him to see what's going on with his leg. I put him up on the bathroom counter so I could look at him & softly touch his leg and the rest of his body to see if he was in any pain, which he didn't make a sound. He seems depressed, like there isn't that "kitten joy" in his eyes anymore. I don't know if he's depressed because even though my roommate is home all day, she isn't really a cat person & doesn't play with him all the time, although at times she does; then I get home from work & I feel like I've been gone from him too long & wonder if he's just lonely or feels neglected? But then when I noticed his leg (and he's only 5 months old now), I wondered if his mood has changed b/c he's in pain, sick, or hurt. I'm going to take him to the vet tomorrow (I hope they're open or I'll try to find one that is). I know that he was always zipping around the house & jumping on things & wonder if he got hurt that way (but I have no way of knowing b/c I'm at work all day or he runs around sometimes really late at night when I'm sleeping). He does whine/cry sometimes when I pick him up & I'm not sure if it's because he is in pain or if I'm just interrupting his comfortable position. When I call him, he doesn't come; or if I walk towards him he'll hurry under the bed. I haven't hurt him in any way, I haven't yelled at him or treated him badly, I talk to him in a loving soft tone always... He did have a problem with eating his cat litter. I'm not sure if it's the litter he's trying to eat or little pieces of #2 that the scooper didn't get & he noticed. I try to keep him from doing that but am not always around him to make sure, so I don't know if he's sick from that. I know I must sound really scattered, I just wanted to explain everything that's going on. The #1 concern I guess I should have is his leg but I want to make sure it's not some other kind of sickness or depression. I wonder if he's just changed & doesn't like me anymore? But he'll still let me hold him if I pick him up but he doesn't stay as long as usual. I'm just really afraid b/c of what happened to Lucy & I don't want to get the unfavorable news that I'm going to lose him. In the end, Lucy ended up having problems with her back legs but it was due to DKA. I'm hoping he just hurt his foot somehow & it's something that can be fixed & he'll be his old self again.

Does anyone have any ideas of what this could be? Any thoughts on it would be appreciated. I've been blindly searching the internet for possibilities & haven't come up with anything substantial, which I know I will have no idea about until I go to the vet. I'm also worried that something will be wrong w/ Niko & the vet will miss it & send us home without any answers & he'll get worse. I don't want to be super paranoid & afraid, but I am. I cannot lose another family member (which includes my kitties) any more this year. It's been a really hard year for me with many losses. I'm also worried about finances as I am struggling to pay the bills & my temporary assignment ends on December 5th. But I am going to take him to the vet but am worried about the cost since I have no idea what I'm looking at.

Sorry for the long post, please help me if you can. Thank you for your time.[attachment=0:1ualdkqj]Just looking reedit.jpg[/attachment:1ualdkqj]
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2008, 01:39 AM
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Re: Niko- I'm not sure if he's sick or depressed. Please help.

He is a beautiful cat, and I don't think his change in behavior is a reflection of you or directed at you. I do think there is something wrong, though I don't know what, and that is why his behavior has changed. It is a good idea you plan to take him to the vet. Just explain to the vet what you have noticed going on and that you are living on a budget and would prefer to keep treatment/diagnostic costs down.
A five month old kitten should be rocketing around with an abundance of energy.
Good luck and I hope the vet finds something that is easily treatable.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2008, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Niko- I'm not sure if he's sick or depressed. Please help.

Thank you Heidi. I took Niko to the vet today & they made sure he could feel both feet, which was good. Then when the vet was messing with his left leg, he started crying so she tried the same thing on the other side to make sure that he was in pain & not just upset at being manipulated like that. He didn't cry when she did his right leg. They took him for xrays & said everything looked okay but they think he may have had trauma to one of his leg muscles & gave him a steroid shot. They wanted to hold off on any blood work for now unless he declines in health/ behavior & doesn't get better. She said the shot should work within 6 hours & that it could be up to 2 weeks though until he's fully better. I hope this is all it is. Right now he's under the couch but I'm going to let him go wherever he wants, wherever he feels "safe" or comfortable & check on him & make sure he's eating/ drinking water, & using his litter box.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2008, 03:15 PM
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Re: Niko- I'm not sure if he's sick or depressed. Please help.

Niko is adorable!

I hope this takes care of the little guy and it's nothing more serious.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Niko- I'm not sure if he's sick or depressed. Please help.

Me too. He seems to be getting better. He walks better but sometimes still looks like he has trouble walking but he's not falling over like he was. He is still not the speed demon or playful kitty like he used to be & should still be but I can get him to play with string every once in a while but he just kind of sits there or comes a little closer & I have to keep running the string in front of him for him to grab or sometimes bite it. He doesn't seem interested in his other toys but Lucy never liked toys so maybe he's the same way??? I got him to sleep in bed with me a few times but don't know when he left & I slept with him on the floor last night by his kitty bed that I filled with blankets, away from the windows or any drafts. He didn't sleep in the kitty bed but slept under the covers & snuggled with me. I just don't like him sleeping on the carpet under the bed, I'm sure he's cold, I'm cold. And if he does have some sort of sprain, I'm sure it's more painful with the cold, I have Lupus (which includes arthritis) & when it gets cold, I experience severe pain so I'm sure it's the same w/ him. We live in Colorado, he's almost 6 months old & this is his first winter & it's been getting cold & snowed the other day. We've tried to put towels along the bottom of the doors & windows that have drafts & was told by a friend of ours who manages an apartment complex that if there are drafts & we're cold, our apt complex has to do something about it. We use the heater but it doesn't heat up the apartment enough (because of the drafts & we have 9 foot ceilings in the living room). I researched online last night about cats & the cold & his symptoms match that of a cold kitty. So we're going to call maintenance today. He's been laying on the computer power source which is warm but very dangerous & I'm trying to get him to not do that anymore so I'm not sure if I should get a space heater or something for our room. The website I went to last night suggested trying to feed the cat more (to not really "fatten" them up, but you know, he's a skinny kitty & a little more "fat" would keep him warmer) & mentioned different fatty oils (like fish oil?) & other vitamins but I don't want to give him anything like that without talking to the vet first unless there are cat foods that have that in it already.

Cindy said that last night she massaged his leg & then he turned over to his other side like, "okay, next leg." And she said that after she was done, he seemed so much better. So she did it again this morning for him. We need to live somewhere warmer. I don't like the cold either & want the best for Niko.
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