Obsessive Compulsive Cat Has Trouble Getting His Pills

Cat with OCD
Photo by Jo Singer
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Cat guardians whose kitties begin acting strangely often get frustrated and upset with their cat’s bizarre behavior. Being unable to communicate with them verbally makes it even more difficult to pin-point the problem.

Many years ago, Sir Hubble Pinkerton, our loving, even-tempered Oriental Shorthair kitty’s behavior started changing dramatically. We knew he was upset when he began pacing aimlessly around the house for hours, yowling incessantly and starting to ritualistically trot around our garden tub three times precisely before using the litter box in the bathroom.

He also started to compulsively lick himself, tearing out huge chunks of hair. He often left bloody sores on his sensitive skin. He began spraying which complicated these symptoms. It was high time to call our veterinarian.

After taking an extensive history and giving him a thorough examination, she diagnosed Sir Hubble with Obsessive, Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The next step was finding the right behavior-modifying medication with which to treat him appropriately.

I was at my wit’s end when Prozac and Buspar only exacerbated his symptoms. And while Sir Hubble is not depressed, as a last ditch effort our holistic veterinarian prescribed Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant to help relieve his obsessive behavior. The medication worked like a charm. Within two weeks his symptoms had diminished. Sir Hubble stopped mutilating himself, his episodes of spraying abated, and the litter box no longer a scary monster.

Amitriptyline is a generic drug. At $8.00 for 60 pills; the drug’s cost is extremely reasonable. And for years we have been getting it from our local pharmacy. However, last week when I realized we were down to 8 pills and no further refills available, I asked my vet to call the pharmacy.

The next day I contacted the pharmacy to make sure the prescription was ready. But you can bet your bottom dollar that I was fighting mad when she told me no request had been made. I called the clinic and the vet tech told me she would immediately call them once again.

When I rang up the pharmacy, the assistant suggested I call back in the late afternoon to make certain it was ready for pick-up. But when I called she told me the medication was already out for delivery. Out for delivery? Since I hadn’t asked for delivery I was mystified. She explained that the pharmacist was so apologetic about the delay in refilling the prescription, as a courtesy he was having it delivered at no charge.

Hours later the deliveryman arrived. He said I had to pay for it since the account was in “suspense”. In “suspense”? Additionally, they were charging me a whopping $15.98 plus $3.00 for delivery. Now I was fighting mad. The deliveryman told me to call the pharmacy to work this out but fortunately gave me the pills.

But I went ballistic when the assistant told me that Sir Hubble Pinkerton had no account, which is why it was in “suspense”. Stunned, I informed her that Sir Hubble has no money, that he cannot work. She asked me if he was disabled. Choking on my words, I informed her that Sir Hubble is a CAT!

And since the pharmacist was not in, I won’t know the outcome until sometime this week. But I sure ain’t gonna pay no $15.98 for the meds, nor for the delivery. Perhaps I should borrow some of Sir Hubble’s pills to chill out before I call the pharmacy again.

What do you think? Tell us in a comment.

Jo

48 thoughts on “Obsessive Compulsive Cat Has Trouble Getting His Pills”

  1. This past year has been horrible for my house. In March I lost a dog to cancer and in September I had to put down my 16 year old Shep. mix. This left me with a 8 year old Rottie who missed them so much because he always had companions, started compulsive licking himself. It even progressed to where he was licking me all the time. Time for the vet!! He was proscribed Prozac which cost me $81.00 the first time. Then I was introduced to Walgreens pet medication system. It cost me $35.00 to join but Lugers second prescription only cost me 15.00. What a difference. OH and yes they worked for a while. But I found a forever solution by adopting a rescue dog. She has brought him back to his old self.No licking at all. Yes I still have some medication if I need it in emergency. I might add that it is taking the cats some time to adjust to our addition.

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  2. Oh dear, I hope you got it all sorted out in the end Jo. I’m glad the amitriptyline helped Hubble and he has no side effects from taking it, it’s a scary drug which can affect people and animals in different ways.
    I had it for depression after our mother died, it did no good, then I had seroxat, one tablet almost finished me off as I turned out that I was allergic to it.
    I worry about cats taking drugs because they can’t tell us how they feel, have they a headache? Do they feel strange? It’s a minefield!

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  3. Wow! What a terrible mix up. Having gone through a similar situation with one of our cats, you become frustrated, irritated and down right mad. My situation was not through a pharmacy but with the vet office. Calling the vet and ordering the cat’s meds was routine. I learned that if the vet is out of town and someone is filling in for her, you will suffer the same fate as Sir Hubble. Ugh. great article. thanks so much. PS: Now if I have a cat on meds I call the office and get the vet’s schedule. LOL

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  4. That is hysterical!! Of course you do not have to pay for the “delivery”. It sounds like everyone involved made some kind of mistake. It is like the guy in DC who was given a ticket for not having some kind of license tag on his windshield. The ticket was placed next to the license tag on his windshield. He took a picture of it and, eventually, the DC MVD agreed that he did not have to pay the fine…

    Kathy

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  5. We really don’t know what caused Sir Hubble’s OCD. While stress is one of the major causes of this condition, Michael is correct. It seems that Siamese are one of the breeds that are more prone to OCD.

    But I will bet that stress was the cause- since his odd behavior started when an intact male cat started to “visit” by a window- leaving calling cards outside the window, making Sir Hubble very upset and anxious. But we will never truly know for sure.

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    • I think he is just a sensitive cat and is perhaps stressed more easily than some other cats. I agree that the modern refined Siamese is possibly more prone this sort of health problem than other breeds. He is a beautiful cat.

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