Cat having nightmares, possible PTSD?

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Purred: Mon Aug 6, '12 9:52am PST 
I don't know if cats can really have PTSD, but it's the only way to describe my cats problem.

We've had her for almost 2 years. We got her from the shelter at 6 months old, she had been there for most of her life and was a stray. We don't know anything about her life before we got her.

She has nightmares. It got worse after my boyfriends dog came to visit- my other cat was raised with the dog and they are friends. Izzi saw the dog and completely freaked out, she's usually the calmest cat ever.In her nightmares she twitches constantly and cries. She sleeps with me so I talk to her when this happens and that usually works. She sometimes wakes herself up and looks around the room, scared to death, then realizes that she's in my house and goes back to sleep.

She also has a huge fear of random things. A few things are: black trash bags (only black ones, no issues with white) belts, ANY sounds or sudden movements, storms... If she's left alone, or if she think we left (like if I'm in the other room and she doesn't know it) she cries, like a baby. She has horrible motion sickness, she has to take medication every time because without it she cries, pants, and gets so upset that she ends up soiling the carrier.

She's been to the vet, everything is healthy physically. I told them about the dreams and they said cats dream like humans do... is there anything I can do to make her less skittish? If she was a person I'd take her to a therapist but I'm pretty sure they don't have them for cats =P. Has anyone else had a cat like this? She is my first and only shelter cat so I don't know if any of this is common behavior.


I may meow to- you if you're- worthy
Purred: Fri Aug 10, '12 12:28pm PST 
she must have had a bad experience when she was little, and maybe seeing the dog triggered the memory for her. Keep reassuring her as much as you can. I know they do have animal behaviorists, but I don't really know anything about them to recommend anyone. Hopefully with extra attention she will get more relaxed again. You could try some Feliway spray in the carrier, or they have plug ins that maybe you could try in your room so she may sleep better. I think there is also something to rub on their ears..Rescue Remedy? not sure if that is the right name. Poor little girl seems so frightened. Does your vet offer any suggestions?


Queen of the- house
Purred: Fri Aug 10, '12 5:35pm PST 
I think cats can get PTSD.

When Luna was a kitten, I was outside with her and a kid just came out of nowhere and kicked her in the face. Since then she becomes very stressed and nasty when there are kids, she will attack them and has trust issues with people. She never forgot.

Maybe your kitty was abused and also had a bad run in with a dog being a stray. Try talking to your vet, I heard there are anti-anxiety medications for animals. There are also treats that are supposed to help reduce stress.

Also Maizy said something about Feliway. I never tried the spray but have tried the plug in. I don't know if it was just mine but it started to get this plastic burning smell. So if you were to try it, never leave the home with it plugged in. I threw mine out.