|Purred: Tue Jul 1, '08 8:08am PST |
|Valium does not always work on cats the same way it does on humans. Sometimes it can even have the opposite effect. It didn't work for Binks at all. He has panic attacks at night, paces around, cries - it was waking me up several times a night and my husband was getting seriously cranky about the situation since he has to get up early and go to work. The words "it's me or the cat" came up several times.
Did Desert cry like that at your house? Could it be that he is just adjusting to his new situation? If so, Rescue Remedy or Feliway (or both) might work. As well as finding someone who will be patient with him as he adjusts. If it's the right home, they will understand that he might need a little time to feel comfortable in his new environment... especially since he's had several changes in his life lately.
When Binks' problem was at its worst, I consulted a feline behavioral specialist who suggested the following: Playing with him for 30 minutes before bed time, providing a rotating variety of toys he can play with by himself, using Rescue Remedy and Feliway, and ignoring the crying (no positive reinforcement or negative, both of which tell him that his behavior will get him attention). I was told that if you do all of these that the behavior would slowly go away over the course of two or three weeks. Unfortunately, I was not in a position to ignore his behavior as my husband was about to declare war on Binks and I was stuck in the middle, loving both of them, understanding my husband's frustration, but not about to give Binks away. So, I had to turn to the vet for medical help.
If it's not just a transition issue for Desert and it truly is a behavior that you have experienced with him prior to adopting him out, then you might try Paxil. That's what Binks is now on. He is on a super-low dose (5 mg every third day) and it has made such a difference. They did try Valium first but, other than making him a bionic loving kitty machine for a few hours (which still kept me awake), he did not stop his pacing, howling, crying, or any of the other behavior he had been doing.
He still wakes me up once a night on Paxil, usually around 4:00 or so when the birds start chirping, but if I feed him large quantities of his favorite pouch food, he'll leave me alone until my small human wakes me up in the morning. So, in the end, he trained me, but my husband can sleep all night and has a more loving relationship with Binks.
Edited by author Tue Jul 1, '08 8:11am PST
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