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.


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

  1. Update: We no longer will be using this pharmacy. They are totally screwed up. Talked with the billing person- she told me the reason the meds were so expensive was that the technician spent 45 minutes cutting them up into quarters.

    I told the billing person that the pills arrived INTACT and that I cut them in half. He only gets 5 milligrams. After arguing with me for 5 minutes that I didn’t know what I was talking about- she reluctantly talked with the tech, keeping me on hold for a long time. Finally she returned to the call and apologized- saying there were two cat rxs in yesterday and they got mine mixed up with the other cat’s.

    I told her the pills arrive INTACT on Friday night. She said that the cost of the medication had gone up. I told her that all the chain pharmacies are selling it for $4.00 for 30- I get 60 at a time. She nicely said that I could have the rx transferred to another pharmacy.

    That’s the end of my association with this pharmacy. After being a customer of theirs for almost 10 years – this is NOT the way to treat anyone- and who knows what other mistakes they would make with an rx for my cats.

    Grrrrrrrrr .. but the delivery charge was removed.

  2. Our Sealy occasionally has to take a pill for his stomacitis. He acts totally weird about an hour after he takes it. He’ll sit on the back of the couch and just start meowing really loud at us. Kind of like a yappy drunk. Thank goodness he doesn’t have to take them often. Brinkley has to take them on occasion and he doesn’t react that way.

      • We only know the pill stops stomach acid from coming back up. Sealy also has to eat only the Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken or baked fresh chicken or he gets sick.

        He “talks” as much as Shirley while under the influence and it usually goes on for a couple of hours. Thank goodness he doesn’t need the pill on a regular basis. I do wonder whether he’s reacting to something physical or whether he gets “high” from the medication.


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