Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cat update

Bowie’s behavior continues to mystify.

He hasn’t peed anywhere inappropriate recently (*knocks furiously on desk and own head*), but he seems to still be more… anxious? restless? annoying? Than usual.
Like, in the evenings at our old place he used to just hang out in the living room or wherever we were. He would lie down on the back of the couch or curl up in a chair and take a snooze. Now usually starting at about 8PM he just won’t settle down. He’ll stalk around the room and go over to the bookshelves and knock the contents to the floor. He’ll knock papers off the desk and shred them into tiny pieces. He’ll stand at the front door and meow. He’s 12 years old, so I sort of thought he would get LESS active and crazy over the years, but it doesn’t seem like it. And it seems like it coincides with all the big changes in his life, but I don’t know how to fix it.

About, oh, a year ago I want to say (?), the vet (old vet, not new vet) told me that Bowie was too heavy at 26lbs and needed to go on a diet or else he would get diabetes. The vet recommended Fancy Feast Tender Beef because it’s high in protein and doesn’t have fillers or grains. So now he gets one can of Fancy Feast Tender Beef in the morning and one in the evening, plus a tiny scoop of dry food when we put him in the garage at bedtime.
As a semi-related side note, have I told you about my former cat sitter who shamed me about Bowie’s food? He texted me while I was out of town to tell me that Bowie had eaten HIS ENTIRE BOWL OF FOOD from the previous day and maybe I should consider an automatic cat feeder. I was like 1. Call me when the cat DOESN’T eat his entire bowl of food. Then I’ll be worried. And 2. Are you trying to talk yourself out of a job?
Anyhow, I digress, but it was just an interested incident of someone worrying about my 26 pound cat being UNDERfed.

On his new diet, Bowie went from 26 pounds to 17 pounds. HE LOST NINE POUNDS. That’s like, a whole normal sized cat. His bones started to stick out more. And now he's all jittery and anxious. So maybe he DOES need to eat more now? About a month ago I decided that if it would make him HAPPIER, I would just give him more food. So I bought this automatic cat feeder to give him little snackies while I was at work. I had it for a week and a half before Bowie managed to break it so that the lids won’t close anymore. So then I started leaving him a little extra food in the morning before I left for work and he started puking on a daily basis. Because apparently he will just EAT ALL THE FOOD if you just leave it out.

I’ve started trying to give him more attention when I first get home from work and later in the evenings.
I’ve tried distracting him with the laser pointer when he starts throwing papers on the floor.
I’ve tried squirting him with water when he does his annoying habits.
I’ve tried opening the balcony door and letting him wander out there in the evenings.
I’ve tried sprinkling catnip on his scratch pad.
I’ve tried giving him an extra little snack in the evenings and a bigger one at bedtime.

Nothing has changed.
I think my next step will be one of those anti-anxiety cat collars or diffusers. Anyone have experience with that?