Friday, October 28, 2011

Living with a cat on prednisone

Eamon the cat in his chair, looking for trouble
Eamon is clearly looking for trouble here. Note the narrowed eyes...
Eamon has been on a low dose of prednisone for about a month. In that time, I have seen remarkable improvement in his back condition. He's able to run, jump, play and amble. He's had at least one session of play fighting with Lucy (which he hasn't done in over a year). Overall, he seems like the picture of good health. I can thank the pred for that.

That being said, prednisone does have some side effects for Eamon that drive me a little wild.

For starters, prednisone tends to interfere with a cat's metabolism, so Eamon is hungry all of the time. And by hungry, I mean that Eamon is yelling his fool head off around dinnertime, and he's choking down his food as fast as you put it down. He's constantly on the countertops looking for food. He's even tried to sneak into the basement and eat food out of the bag. I can't increase his meal levels, since we don't want him to gain weight and put more pressure on his back. But even when I do give him a small snack to tide him over, he still yells for more.

In addition, I believe the prednisone is making him slightly more frantic and active. He has always been a busy cat, and he loves to run, but now he's even more active than he ever was before. He runs up and down the stairs twice as much on prednisone days as he does on non-prednisone days. He runs into a room, forgets why he is there, and runs back out again. Sometimes I am concerned that he'll hurt his back even more with all of this running.

Long-term prednisone really can do wonders, and I am so happy that Eamon is no longer in pain. But I am planning to talk to his doctors about these disturbing changes. Perhaps we can taper his dose yet more.