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Effects of Stress on a Cat

thekatzmeow
July 6th, 2008, 08:13 PM
:stork-baby: I posted two weeks ago when I adopted a rescue kitten and was concerned about how it would get along with my one-year-old Siamese/Balinese cat, Jackson. I admit I took a chance by introducing Jackson to the kitten before the kitten saw a vet. However, on Day 5 the kitten did get to the vet for shots etc. and all tests showed that he was healthy. As it turned out, though, after 10 days of being together Jackson got very sick. Last Thursday a.m. he did not get up for breakfast and stayed laying under the bed. When I picked him up he was very listless and lethargic. I immediately took him to the vet, where I found out he had a temperature of 103 and was dehydrated. I told the vet about having just recently acquired the new kitty. She told me she thought Jackson had something like "Feline Virus Due To An Unknown Cause" and she gave him subcutaneous fluids while there and also antibiotics to give him at home. She said it was most likely both psychological and physiological. In other words, it was a combination of a bug Jackson picked up (possibly from the kitten) -- in addition to the stress of acclimating to him.

This sounds about right to me; however, I'm wondering how common it is and if any other members have gone through this - ?? :confused: (The kitten's health has been fine since he came home.) The 2 of them had been getting along well until Jackson got sick. They are still getting along well; however, Jackson has been weak and not in the mood of all of the playing that the kitten wants -- so I am separating them a good part of the time now. It has been 3 days since Jackson saw the vet and he is just now starting to come around to his old self and beginning to eat better, etc. The whole thing was so scary for me because Jackson took a turn for the worse so quickly. :sick: I have not had animals for years (prior to getting Jackson a year ago) -- so I am new to all of this and curious about the dynamics. Obviously, Jackson is a very sensitive cat. Now, I am wondering just how much of his sickness was due to the stress of having a new kitten in the household (in what was previously HIS domain). Any input or your own personal stories would be much appreciated. Just for the record, the two are peacefully sleeping right next to each other at the moment.

Love4himies
July 7th, 2008, 08:46 AM
I have had this happen when Puddles came to live with us as a kitten, but it was the other way around, Puddles got sick with a virus and Snowball (he was 5yrs at the time) was healthy.

My vet said it was quite common for cats that have been outside (Snowball) and introduced to cats who have never been outside (Puddles) to carry viruses that the other cat may not have an immunity to. Puddles was sick for a couple of days then recovered and was just fine.

Kitties are so good at hiding any illness until it gets bad and they can't hide it anymore. I am glad Jackson is doing well.:)

wolfcat
July 7th, 2008, 08:53 AM
Rule of thumb: always quarantine cats (who do not already have a clean bill of health from a vet or rescue/humane group) for 2 weeks.

There are a lot of viruses that exists where the cat looks healthy but is a carrier.

Jim Hall
July 7th, 2008, 08:56 AM
i agree does not relly sond like stress most likely a bug viral or bcterial Mkae sure if your feeding dry they eaither drink water or get some wet food

phoozles
July 7th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Same thing happened to me when I introduced my kitten Alley to my 9 year old Jake. Alley was rescued from a shelter and had gotten her shots, so I figured she'd be good to go. Two weeks later Jake got really sick and stopped eating. Turns out that Alley must have picked up the Herpes virus and Jake caught it and got a bad case of it because of his stress. After he was finally diagnosed properly (gawd that was a nightmare), it took just a couple of weeks for him to bounce back. Alley didn't show any signs of a cold until a week or so after Jake got sick.

Hope that helps - they are both healthy now and back to their old selves (except Jake lost his voice when he got sick and it never came back :sad: I miss his little meow).

thekatzmeow
July 7th, 2008, 07:18 PM
Thanks all of you for posting. Everything that was said above sounds right to me. Jackson's eyes are brighter now, he's peppier, and he is eating. I did not realize it would take several days of him feeling obviously miserable before he began to bounce back -- but now he is on the mend. And he did do a good job of hiding all of his sick symptoms until the very end when he became so weak so fast.

Now my challenge is keeping the kitten (Ryder) from completely tuckering Jackson out with all of his antics and crazy playing. It is amazing (and quite amusing) how the kitten has taken to Jackson so quickly and follows the poor guy around everywhere!! Jackson is very patient with him and never hurts him; but he seems to be getting a bit tired of the kitty's endless energy. Any advice on how to teach the little guy to let up on poor Jackson a bit?? I am forseeing months of him chasing Jackson around ~ (and many times with a hunk of white fur from Jackson's chest hanging from the edges of his mouth!) I guess, that will come with time and Jackson seems strong enough now to fend for himself. :cool:

14+kitties
July 7th, 2008, 07:26 PM
I am glad Jackson is starting to feel better. :highfive: for getting him to a vet asap.
Jackson will let Ryder know when enough is enough. Usually with a swat. Ryder will learn. They are doing so well!

phoozles
July 8th, 2008, 03:46 PM
Now my challenge is keeping the kitten (Ryder) from completely tuckering Jackson out with all of his antics and crazy playing. It is amazing (and quite amusing) how the kitten has taken to Jackson so quickly and follows the poor guy around everywhere!! Jackson is very patient with him and never hurts him; but he seems to be getting a bit tired of the kitty's endless energy. Any advice on how to teach the little guy to let up on poor Jackson a bit?? I am forseeing months of him chasing Jackson around ~ (and many times with a hunk of white fur from Jackson's chest hanging from the edges of his mouth!) I guess, that will come with time and Jackson seems strong enough now to fend for himself. :cool:


:laughing: Good luck - you're going through the exact same thing I went through last fall - my older guy getting sick from my new kitten, and her constant harrassment of him - look out, you might have a family of strays in your house in a couple of months :eek: :laughing:

I know what you mean about Jackson getting constantly bombarded by your kitten.. it makes you feel bad for the guy, but don't worry, he'll adapt..
Here's the link to my thread that I opened about the same thing: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=46608&highlight=jake+alley

ETA: It's been a few months - Alley is just shy of her 1st birthday, and they are getting along a lot better.. Alley will still try to jump on him, but not as often, and Jake has come back to being a lap kitty.. He still hisses at her all the time, but they never fight.. Good luck with your guys!

thekatzmeow
July 9th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the link, Phoozles, that was helpful. All that I read rang so true. And what IS it with that "hilarious back-arched sideways hop" that kittens do????? I didn't realize that move was such a universal thing!! It is too funny. :clown: I guess that as long as I keep showing Jackson his fair share of attention I don't have much to worry about.

yettiyodamarlo
July 11th, 2008, 01:43 AM
Thank goodness your cats are okay now :)

I have to black cats myself and they are still under a year old. When we first got them, they were very confused (despite our best efforts) and stressed, and whenever the got stressed they'd lose their appetite, or get mild healthy problems. I'm very pleased to say they are both well and spendid now and it was just a little kink in the road.

good luck with Jackson!:pawprint: