Copyright © 2019 JaneA Kelley/Paws and Effect; all rights reserved. Have you had a cat with PTSD or who was aggressive seemingly without cause? And the answer is going to be a qualified yes. If you’re living in a house, that could very well be an issue. Tara: Some of the symptoms you’ll see in a cat with PTSD include uncharacteristic aggressiveness, agitation, hypervigilance, sudden changes in behavior, and hiding without any apparent reason. Cat anxiety frequently causes the development of destructive behaviours that your cat may not have exhibited before: this can include furniture scratching and clawing at curtains.. 0 1 2 3 4. Sufferers experience PTSD differently. They can begin immediately after the traumatic event or years later. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Fear of being alone Tara: I suppose you’re right, Thomas. Written by Mickey Goodman In brief, if you suspect your cat is experiencing PTSD, you will want to locate a professional behaviorist in your area, but you can begin therapy by applying some of the suggestions in this article that have been very successful for us. Make lifetime diagnosis of PTSD 3. The question is asking whether domestic cats can help a person get over PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). And thank you for being nice and not chasing me when I’m feeling really scared. If they see another cat playing and being affectionate with you, it can make a very positive impression on them. In short: Don't take our word as gospel. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. That is an interesting question and I think it comes down to very specific parameters of what PTSD is— which is tricky because the definition of the disorder and our understanding of it has evolved quite a bit in recent times. Although thoroughly researched, articles are not written or edited by a veterinarian. PTSD and DSM-5. Please let us know how things turn out! I do like being out in the living room with everyone else. We have also deployed a small device called a Betar Relaxation box in each of the areas of the house. For example, these can be signs of PTSD and separation anxiety: Peeing or pooping in the house Howling, barking, or whining Destructive behavior As you can see, we don’t use ads on this site. Make current (past month) diagnosis of PTSD 2. Eyes - Red. Chubby had been hurt by previous owner but she was a really cuddly cat. Because of this, retailers should be familiar with the symptoms of PTSD and anxiety in animals and be prepared to offer guidance to those consumers who are seeking solutions on calming their anxious pets. This has been a recurring thing every night when we go to bed. … Tara: One more thing we want you to do, separate from our three-prong approach, is to see if your cat could be getting freaked out by other cats or wild animals coming into your yard. Upsetting thoughts or pictures about what happened that pop into your head. Manna giving me a hug. Here are some of the symptoms that are frequently observed in traumatized cats suffering from PTSD: Uncharacteristic aggressiveness Fearfulness, trembling Decreased appetite and weight loss Reduced interest in playing or interacting with other pets, people or both Hypervigilance (an intense, “on guard” awareness of surroundings) A tendency to be easily startled I have had her for about 2 months now and she is very sweet, BUT once I lie down under or over the covers to go to bed, she goes crazy. This can create a tragic cycle wherein the adoptive parent returns the pet to the shelter because they are unaware of why the pet is displaying the behavior, which can lead to further trauma and make the pet’s PTSD symptoms worse. Please share your stories and ideas in the comments! Extreme escape behavior to avoid a stressor (for example, climbing a wall to attempt to flee during a thunderstorm) First, talk to your vet about her symptoms and see what he or she has to say. Thomas: Anyhow, Erica, you’re correct that cats can manifest symptoms that look a lot like PTSD, especially if they’ve been through a lot of change and possible trauma. After the year, the doctor asked if I would like to take her because she warmed up to me very well. The first night I had her, I had my hands above the blanket and she latched onto my arm with her teeth. For the first six months you were here, you hid under the couch, and now you come out and sit on the desk, and on Mama, and even on the top of the cat tree! you could try a night light and maybe have some soothing (to cats) music on quietly so she doesnt think she is on her own, do you know what happened to her previous humans? The CAPS-5 is a 30-item structured interview that can be used to: 1. Cat consultant Ingrid King advises, “To treat feline depression, physical symptoms need to be addressed first, especially inappetence. 0 1 2 3 2. Answer #2 | 31/12 2015 05:13 It depends on the cat and is done on a case by case basis. Thomas: Oh no, Tara, don’t do that. She was abandoned by her second owner at my sister’s vet clinic for a year. Seizures in cats are typically classified as either generalized or focal. or she’s scared of the dark? For more information about our privacy practices please go here. We recommend using ultrasonic or water-based wildlife repellents. You know how you get if you don’t have your medicine. Many cats rescued from dire situations experience trauma from their experiences, but when PTSD symptoms manifest, it is necessary to seek professional help for your pet. gradually sitting for longer over time…, I had a problem with my one cat Chubby attacked my cat Sugar who was in the home first. The effect of repeated/ongoing trauma – caused by people – changes the brain, and also changes the survivor at a core level. Thomas: The answer to your main question, Hollie, is yes — cats can get PTSD. Tara: We hope these recommendations help you and Peaches. Not everyone who lives through a traumatic experience gets PTSD. Others have detected such symptoms in African elephants . But symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can pop up months or even years later. These are marketed as tools to stop inappropriate urination, but they stop the urination by helping cats feel less stressed. Only a professional behaviorist can diagnose PTSD, but recovery from trauma can be assisted by several therapies and treatments that are not harmful to try. The reason you were hiding in the closet today is because Mama forgot to give you your special treat last night. Bella: It doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat’s previous owners abused her. As you can see above, I still sometimes get stressed and have to go hide in the closet to calm down. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms. Fearfulness, trembling Ears - Swollen. But any kind of trauma can trigger PTSD in a cat. The abandonment would be hard enough for any people-bonded cat. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Life is rarely dull for Dr. Matt Miller, who has the dubious honor of... Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. In focal seizures, a smaller localized area within the cerebral cortex causes the seizure to occur. Ears - Scratching. Cat's rarely trust new owners and environments immediately. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD and is interested in getting a PTSD animal for emotional support, log on to Moosh for easy instructions on how to get started. For example, if your cat is sociable but doesn't like to be touched or held, she may have … I used Jackson Galaxy Bully Remedy, Peacemaker and then kitty prozac for both. Sudden changes in temperament This is PTSD -- posttraumatic stress disorder, once known as shell shock. We are not veterinarians. Eyes - Squinting. We will treat your information with respect. Thomas: Second, we want you to play with Peaches using an interactive toy. The impact of complex trauma is very different to a one time or short-lived trauma. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Positive: 65 %. This site collects information via the use of cookies and through our email subscription form. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. Decreased appetite and weight loss And I appreciate that you’re letting me touch noses with you sometimes. Many of these cases require a combination of medication and drug therapy (clomipramine, fluoxetine and amitriptyline are most commonly used) but the outcomes are very promising. A prescription of anti-anxiety medication could really help if she’s suffering from PTSD (or any other form of anxiety, for that matter). A nervous, jittery feeling that something dangerous is … Eyes - Tear Staining. What did you do to help your cat change his or her behavior? Thanks in advance! Bella: Post-traumatic stress disorder causes the symptoms you’re mentioning: hypervigilance, anxiety, fighting and inappropriate elimination. There are physical symptoms as well that often manifest such as shaking, vomiting, pain and restlessness. Peaches, is around 6 or 7. However, cats learn very quickly when observing the behavior of other cats. ((just a thought)), you could try picking her up for a cuddle (if she’ll let you) and walking round the bedroom then casually sitting on the bed for a min -or letting her jump off you if she cant handle that long at first -to show her there is nothing to be afraid of then getting up and walking around a bit more and then back to sit on the bed?? Bella: You see, these diffusers issue a synthetic “happy cat” pheromone. If you’d like to help us pay for our hosting costs, please consider supporting our Patreon campaign or making a one-time donation through PayPal. Avoidance of people, places, or things associated with a traumatic event. Highs and lows of the mobile vet life Evidence suggests cats help people cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Admittedly, most research has centered on dogs, but there’s no reason other pets, including cats, would not be great companions because the unconditional love factor is huge when it comes to anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Tara: Let me start here, because I know a little bit about post-traumatic stress in cats. Sleep disturbances Feeling as if what happened is happening all over again. Similarly, compulsive behaviours can become a problem for cats suffering with anxiety. Increased neediness or attachment Ears - Discharge. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. The unquestionably easiest Path to all Important About the diverse benefits of CBD for cat ptsd to learn, is a little Time into the Evaluation of Product to invest. The CAPS is the gold standard in PTSD assessment. Paws and Effect will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Tara: Oh, is THAT what’s in those kitty treats Mama gives me with my meals? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD is defined as “an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened.” PTSD is not a disease; it’s a behavioral change that can be corrected once a pet has been properly diagnosed. Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties: My cat. Scholars have also documented PTSD symptoms in parrots that were captured in the wild, kept as pets and then abandoned. With generalized seizures, the entire cerebral cortex is causing the seizure and typically affects the entire body. I am her third owner. Loving emotional support animals can help show PTSD patients that they can cope with their symptoms in a healthy way, by providing love and care to their pets. So, can they develop Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms like humans as well? We can't tell you, because we don't know what triggered the PTSD in your cat, and we don't know what your cat is doing to show symptoms of PTSD. Focal seizures are also sometimes referred to as partial seizures since they are isolated to specific parts of the body. “Dogs and cats may attempt to escape or flee situations where frightened, they may become aggressive when interacted with or if forced out of a hiding spot, may freeze or show avoidance behaviors such as hiding or becoming still, and fidget by pacing, jumping up, or … Generally, the … Bella: So, Erica, we’d recommend a three-prong approach to Peaches’ issues. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. Sparrow Marcioni is the Chief Behaviorist at La Maison du Chat, a Reiki practitioner and founder of CatRangers Cat Rescue. Service Animals vs Emotional Support Animals, “Norbert’s Little Lessons for a Big Life” is the Valentine Pick-Me-Up You’ve Been Searching For, Atlanta Pet Life – Spring Events Calendar 2020. Bella: They’re non-toxic and they don’t cause any extra problems for you, your cat, or your neighbors. She is available for consultation by emailing or by calling 770-831-5513. While working with traumatized cats over the years, it has become evident that it is not just humans who can suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Screens for child trauma history and PTSD symptoms in youth ! Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us: You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We also utilize the healing arts of Reiki to accelerate healing from both physical and emotional injury. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Tara: Thank you, Bella. If you suspect your cat is suffering from a trauma, establishing a calm safe environment for them is critical. We haven’t used these products and can’t say for sure how well they work. Assess PTSD symptoms over the past week In addition to assessing the 20 DSM-5PTSD symptoms, questions target the onset and duration of symptoms, subjective distress, impact of symptoms on social and occupational functioning, improvement in symptoms since a previous CAPS administration, overall … maybe she is scared that you will disappear in the night? Thomas: What about you other readers? Thomas: So, what do you do about it? Child and Caregiver report versions ! Complex PTSD does acknowledge and validate these added symptoms. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. 0 1 2 3 5. Uncharacteristic aggressiveness Please view our privacy policy for details on how we use your information. PTSD symptoms in pets can include: Uncharacteristic aggressiveness; Fearfulness, trembling Thomas: Please keep in mind that the products linked above are just examples of what we mean. did one of them die in their sleep or in bed by any chance? Destructive behavior by The Paws and Effect Gang | Jul 16, 2017 | Cat Behavior | 2 comments. Hiding for no reason We try to help you understand your cat and what may or may not be going on with him or her, but please discuss your concerns about your cat with your veterinarian! Thomas: Finally, we suggest that you buy some plug-in pheromone diffusers. Subscribe to our email list to be instantly notified when we make a new post. Excessive meowing Remember that this passive therapy will require patience and becoming impatient or getting upset with your kitty can cause serious setbacks. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Bella: Our vet put Tara on alprazolam (brand name Xanax), and Mama gives her a quarter of a tiny tablet with her breakfast and dinner. The attack claimed more than 150 lives and injured at least 700 others. Feeling very upset when you are reminded of what happened. Earning their trust feels so special. Burghardt noted in his study that the military dogs that suffered from PTSD displayed a range of symptoms. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. The meds and remedies did take the edge off Chubby but Sugar was still scared for some time. The owners and operators of Paws and Effect will not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages or loss in connection with, or arising out of, the furnishing, performance, or use of the instructions, suggestions or products on this website. Unlike a rash or broken arm, PTSD can be tough to identify, especially when it's happening in your own mind. By playing with her, you’ll build her confidence, which should help her deal with anxiety. These cookies do not store any personal information. Eating - Refusal to Eat. Last night out of nowhere, she clawed onto my face and wouldn’t let go. They got along fine until one day Chubby all out attacked Sugar and that sent her up to the Refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. Urinating or defecating inappropriately Hypervigilance (an intense, “on guard” awareness of surroundings) Your Cat Hides Most Of The Time. Bella: We recommend a good 15-minute play session twice a day–once in the morning and once just before bedtime. Exaggerated startle response [that allows oneself to defy gravity and dash up walls]. Theit reactions to everyday situations seem so irrational to those without PTSD but to the individual with the condition, it is very real. Some behaviorists even recommend treatments such as acupuncture, but weigh the benefits of any treatment against the potential stress of traveling to a therapist. The use of supplements such as Omega 3 fatty acids, L-theanine and melatonin are also known to help relieve stress, as does stretching and scratching so be sure to provide some strong scratching posts. 0 1 2 3 3. We make no pretense of being veterinarians and we don't know anything about your specific cat's health or behavior history. The symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. A few symptoms are: Hyperarousal. Even if I don’t sleep with a cover, she still does this. That will activate a cat’s natural “hunt, kill, eat, sleep” cycle. Good luck…. I’m thinking she might have some type of PTSD from being abandoned and maybe abused by her first two owners. maybe she’s scared that you will too?? “…must be treated with love, compassion, patience and understanding.” By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Well, Mama tried a lot of things with Tara: herbal calming collars, pheromone diffusers, Bach Rescue Remedy for when she was really scared…but the thing that finally worked was medication. Maybe I should stop eating them!