Feline MPD

Cats With Suspected Multiple Personality Disorder

by Suzanne Patricia Johnson (alphonse@uclink.berkeley.edu)
written 17 Feb 1994

This article is classified "Fictional"

We know that cats can get feline leukemia and feline aids.  Cats are
subject to mood disorders (e.g., distemper) and adjustment disorders
(e.g., peeing on owner's new lover's discarded clothing).

I've been reading a lot about Multiple Personality Disorder lately, and I
think my cats have MPD.  It would explain a lot.  For instance, one cat
goes in and out a lot.  She'll meow at the door to be let out, goes out,
meows to come back in, is let back in, and two minutes later the cycle
begins again.  I'm beginning to suspect that she is actually amnesiac for
having been let out in the first place.  (I don't hold with those theories
that are critical of the MPD diagnosis, implying that the cat's behavior is
purely hysterical or manipulative.  My cat would never manipulate; our bond
is to deep for that.)

Possibly she is switching from an "indoors and wants to go out" alter to an
"outdoors and wants to come in" one.  Possibly her symptoms indicate
underlying concerns having to do with (door) closure.  (I should note that
she has a perfectly acceptable indoor litterbox, free access to sunny spots,
and a history of abuse -- she's a lab refugee.)

The other cat has other peculiar traits that might be dissociative as well.
Like the first, she has an early childhood history of trauma, living on the
mean streets of Oakland under the tutelage of her notorious father "The
Original Mop" who disappeared suddenly one year and did a lot of running
around before that.

For one thing, she forgets that she has eaten almost immediately after
every meal.  Consequently, she often gets fed twice, once by me and once
by my partner to whom she presents as not having eaten.  (Like I say, I
don't think this is pure manipulation).  I think she has a "hungry" alter,
possibly related to her early experiences of deprivation.

Also, she likes to lie in forbidden spots.  Even though she is repeatedly
removed and told "no," she immediately jumps back up (onto the printer,
bed, etc.)  I suspect that such forced removal is actually traumatic for
her, and the stress of the event precipitates a switch into an alter
personality that remembers nothing about having been thrown off the
forbidden location.

Both cats often appear to be in a daze, staring at nothing in particular
for hours on end, and in the most intent fashion.  They sleep a lot, which
can be indicative of depression; but some MPD experts suggest that
depression is just evidence of a depressed alter.  The way their ears
twitch or they meow at nothing in particular also suggests to me that they
may be hearing voices of alter kitties in their head.

I'd be interested in hearing about anyone else's experiences along these
lines.  With enough data, it might even be able to put together a truly
ground-breaking article.  The top-ranked journals might not accept it, but
there's always the Journal of Polymorphous Perversity.  I can supply lots
of appropriate references, such as my unwritten dissertation and other
unconducted research which would, given the chance, show conclusive

If you really think your cat has MPD, take it to a therapist right away.

As a follow up to the original research, I've learned that at least one of
the subjects reported has come to view her posterior appendage as an
hostile alter -- the rest of her body periodically chases and bites it,
in an apparently hysterical frenzy.

See also:
  • Cats And Dogs
  • M.E.O.W. Treatment
  • Cats, How To Pill
  • CAT

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