Feline friends may revert to animal instincts

Feline friends may revert to animal instincts (Image 1)

One out of every three households in the United States owns at least one cat. And while each feline has its own unique personality traits, some owners may become concerned with quirks that appear a bit ‘off.'

Most cats, for instance, tend to playfully chase or attack their tails. But Cara Nina Gentile says her cat Astha doesn't just play with her tail, she viciously attacks it.

“She's always attacked her tail,” Gentile said. “When she was a kitten, it was really cute — it was adorable.”

“But as she's gotten older, she's gotten really vicious.”

Gentile says Astha growls, hisses and bites herself, describing the action as “like a cat fight.”

Dr. Heather Moeser, with Downtown Mobile Vet, says Astha's behavior is not normal. She says the attacks could be anxiety related.

“Feline hyperesthesia,” Moeser suggested, “or it can be an inflammatory disease in the muscle. Potentially it could be an anxiety related disease.”

Gentile says in addition to Astha attacking her tail, her predator instincts are in full gear.

“She brings lots of mice, lots of moles, she has brought in a chipmunk,” Gentile said. Once, Gentile said, Astha left a mole on her baby's car seat.

“She brings them in as gifts,” Gentile said. “She'll make a special sound when she comes in and you can hear that she has something in her mouth.”

Moeser agrees, saying Astha's hunting instincts have her bringing Gentile “presents.”

Rather than mice and moles, Lois Kelly's Persian, Slider, is an indoor cat and prefers to chase the pointer on Kelly's iPad.

“It's like a paint thing and he chases the mouse on,” Kelly explained.

When she first got the now 6-year-old Persian, there were a few things that worried Kelly — for example, Slider's two different colored eyes.

“That's not normal. It's actually very rare in cats,” Moeser said. “It's a genetic abnormality where the melanin, during the development, does not go into the eye.”

Kelly says Slider also throws up hairballs, which concerns her. However Moeser ensures that hairballs are completely normal, and says an easy fix is to brush your cat daily.

If you have questions about your pet's actions, let us know on our Facebook Fan Page.

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