Friday, July 31, 2015

The Curious Case of the Cat Curled in the Colander in the Cupboard

About a week ago, I noticed that Sodapop, one of my permacats, was doing an awful lot of scratching.

Here is Soda:

Cute little bugger, ain't he?

ANYway, Soda was all itchy and scratchy and nervous-acting, and I figured that maybe he had developed a flea allergy.  I treat all the permacats with Frontline because it's effective against ticks, but I knew it didn't work as well against fleas, so when I noticed that Soda was scratching, I treated him with Advantage.

and voila!  The scratching stopped.

and then Soda started hiding.

First it was in the hall closet,  and now it's a cupboard in the kitchen.  He's made himself a little nest in there (in a big colander, which would be funny if it wasn't so mystifying), and he stays in the cupboard all. the. time.

He comes out long enough to stretch, eat, use the litterbox, and be petted, and then he goes right back in.

At first I thought something outside had scared him, and he was scared to go outside again.

But not only won't he go outside, he won't even leave the kitchen.  Plus, I have a game cam set up out back to watch the wildlife, and the only things that have been out there lately have been my three cats, and the regular random deer/squirrels/woodchucks/etc.  There's not, like, a rampaging bear out there or something.

Then I thought, well, maybe one of the other permacats beat up on him in the house, and now he's scared of the other cats.

But when he's out in the kitchen and the other cats are there as well, he doesn't act weird around them at all, and they're all just indifferent to each other.

THEN I thought, well, maybe there's still fleas, in the throw rugs, and he's afraid to be on the rugs because he thinks he'll get flea-bit.  I thought it was probably not likely, because usually if there are fleas in the house I know it because *I* get bit, and because I haven't seen a flea in months, but it was a possibility.

So I flea treated every rug and every piece of upholstered furniture in the house.

He's still hiding in the cupboard.

I took him to the vet, who did a thorough examination and could find nothing wrong.  He did have some scabs on his neck and back (not in the area where he was flea-treated), which she thought might be indicative of an allergy to something other than fleas, so she put him on steroids to see if it eases the symptoms.  (She feels that it's easier and more productive to treat the symptoms of a pet allergy than it is to try to find out what exactly the allergy is.)   We're on Day Three of steroids, and while he is coming out of the cupboard for longer periods, he's still spending most of his time in there.

When he DOES come out, he's ... normal.  Eats, and drinks, and uses the litterbox, and rolls onto his back for bellyrubs and purrs.  But after five minutes, or ten, or half an hour ... it's right back in the cupboard.

I mean, I could SEE it if he had, like, wifi and gin and craps tables and kitty porn stashed in there, but there's just a colander in there, for Pete's sake!

I have to admit it.  Soda has me stumped.

Ideas/suggestions welcome.


~~Silk said...

Cats sleep umpteen hours a day. Even when you think they're outside marauding, most of the time they're snoozing under a bush. Soda's just found his man cave. A bed that fits him perfectly, the exact temperature he likes with no drafts, the proper amount of light, quiet, and no one to bother him while he sleeps. That may be all there is to it. He might go back to it often to "protect" it.

There may be something more, or maybe not. Cats will hide when there's something wrong, illness or pain. It's possible this started when he was having the flea problems, but then he discovered he liked it.

the queen said...

Maybe soda pop doesn't like other creatures in the house, or maybe the colander is his own personal throne.

Becs said...

What would happen if you moved the colander outside the kitchen closet, just a little bit?

Domestic Kate said...

My orange cat (now deceased sadly) started scratching himself a lot, to the point that he would break the skin. It didn't seem to be fleas, and he was pretty normal aside from that. Sometime later, he stopped eating and I took him into the vet. The vet completely ignored the scratching, but they got him on some meds and fluids for a problem with his kidneys. It worked, for a time, but the not-eating would creep back in a few months later, and we'd go through it all again. I finally googled his symptoms and found a chronic kidney condition that fit all his symptoms, including the scratching, and it could be controlled with daily medication. I figured the next time he was sick, I'd bring it up, but the ex and I split up and I wasn't with the cat anymore, so I didn't know when he was sick.

I say that not to scare you, but it's probably good to keep an eye on him.

rockygrace said...

Thanks for all the help, guys! Soda spent less time in the cupboard this weekend - maybe he finally got bored in there. Or whatever issue he was having resolved itself. He's still acting a little ... odd, but then again, he's such a weirdo, it can be hard to tell what his "odd" is. Ha.

Kate, I'll certainly keep that in mind - luckily, I have the most thorough vet known to mankind (although it can be unlucky when it comes time to pay the bill), so if he keeps acting off I'll mention it to her.