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Published June 03, 2011, 12:00 AM

Pet Care: Cat just getting ‘crazies’

Dear Dr. Fox: My cat is going crazy! Every night when I go to bed and turn the TV off, she begins her rampage. She starts banging on the closet door, running through the house, knocking things over, etc. I spray water at her, but it doesn’t work.

By: By Dr. Michael Fox, INFORUM

Dear Dr. Fox: My cat is going crazy! Every night when I go to bed and turn the TV off, she begins her rampage. She starts banging on the closet door, running through the house, knocking things over, etc. I spray water at her, but it doesn’t work. This goes on for about 30 minutes before she calms down and goes to sleep. The next morning at 6:45, she jumps on the bed and meows or jumps down and bangs on things again until I get up, give her treats, and open the shades for her to look out – only then is she happy.

I try to keep her up from 6 p.m. until I go to sleep, I keep waking her when she goes to sleep in the hopes that she will be tired when I go to sleep, but it doesn’t work. Please help me! – P.F., Neptune, N.J.

Dear P.F.: What you are describing is perfectly normal feline behavior. Many cats have what I call the “evening crazies,” racing and banging around the home. Then they get turned on around sunrise.

Biologists call this morning and evening activity cycle “crepuscular,” as distinct from nocturnal and diurnal activity of owls and dogs, respectively. Trying to make your cat diurnal by waking her up will not work.

You have two options: wild play with your cat just before you go to bed or ideally adopt another cat so they can romp together and not bug you.

Of our two cats who enjoy evening romps and wrestling together, one in particular, Pinto Bean, will just take off by himself and race through the house often with his tail fluffed out as though he were terrified!

It is rather amazing how cats can make such heavy footfalls on the floor. This should not disturb you when you think of how much fun your crepuscular cat is having – and staying fit in the process with a compatible feline companion.


Dear Dr. Fox: We have a sick dog named Gidget, a 2-year-old boxer adopted from animal rescue. We have two other 10-year-old dogs in the house, plus a foster – these are in good health.

Gidget escaped from her crate and ate glass Christmas ornaments and a metal hook in January. She spent a week at the vet but was able to avoid surgery, and the hook cleared. (X-rays were taken.) Since then, she has lost almost 15 pounds and now weighs 41 pounds. She has had periods of vomiting (no blood), diarrhea and blood in her stool. She was diagnosed with colitis and then IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). She has been de-wormed multiple times, done two courses of metronidazole, and is now receiving vitamin B12 injections. Blood work and several GI panels have been done, in addition to fecals. She has taken tests for her thyroid and pancreas. Gidget has also been to a holistic vet, experienced acupuncture, and seen a chiropractor.

We just saw a specialist who did an ultrasound and said the intestines are thick throughout, her lymph nodes are enlarged, and her adrenal glands are unusually small. The specialist does not think the ornaments and hook are the cause of the problems. Gidget is being tested for cortisol levels to see if she has Addison’s disease. If that comes back normal, the specialist is recommending an abdominal exploratory with biopsies, followed by steroids for the inflammation of the intestines.

Do you think we should do the exploratory? At this point, what choice do we have on the steroids? We are afraid that if Gidget continues to lose weight at this rate, she will not survive. – D.L., Cheverly, Md.

Dear D.L.: You and your poor dog have indeed gone through the proverbial mill. It does seem that she has inflammatory bowel disease and/or “leaky gut” syndrome.

Before abdominal biopsies and ruling out Addison’s disease, your veterinarian should consider oral treatment with various supplements that can help alleviate intestinal problems. These include aloe-vera liquid, sangre de drago, glutamine, lecithin and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

To help prevent her developing food hypersensitivity, adopt a “rotation diet,” providing a single protein (lamb, fish, venison or lentils, etc.) in the diet for four to five days, and then switch to another single protein source. Check “Balance It” veterinary-formulated recipes from Davis, Calif. (888-346-6362).


Send your questions to Dr. Fox in care of The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns. Visit Dr. Fox’s Web site at www.twobitdog.com/DrFox.

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