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Signs of a Stressed-out Cat

By Natalia Macrynikola

Signs of a Stressed-out Cat

You’ve probably heard the phrase “hair-pulling moment” in reference to stressful situations, but did you know that cats sometimes compulsively pull out their fur when they feel anxious? “Stress is a very big deal because it has a profound effect on all aspects of animals’ experience,” says Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist.

Stress can trigger feline reactions ranging in severity from hiding to self-mutilation. Just as humans often need support during tough times, our feline friends could use a “helping hand" when feeling anxious.

Is Stress Really That Serious?
When it comes to feline stress, a bit of it is actually a good thing. Predatory animals enjoy excitement, so your cat may relish the stimulation caused by a small amount of stress. But if stress increases dramatically, it can take a toll on your pet’s health. “Chronic stress suppresses the immune response, causing a broad range of illnesses,” explains McConnell. Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, for example, notes a link between stress and pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause abdominal pain and may lead to other health problems in your cat.

But health isn’t the only aspect of your cat’s life that can be affected by stress. Significant stress may also influence your cat’s behavior. Cats often develop fear-related responses to regular things, like hiding under the bed and not coming out. A stressed cat may also become more aggressive than usual, making playtime physically painful. Some cats even stop eating completely, while others eliminate outside the litter box, spray around the house, groom excessively and become restless.

But Why Is Kitty Stressed?
Cats enjoy familiarity and routine; therefore, change is the biggest culprit of feline stress. A change in your cat’s environment, whether it involves moving to a different home or bringing in a new housemate, can frighten your cat. Since social relationships are a defining part of your territorial cat’s life, any sign of an “intruder” may make kitty feel threatened and anxious.

While stress is often caused by outside factors, physical discomfort can contribute much stress to your cat too. Feeling pain without knowing why can be a terrifying experience for your feline. It’s important to consult your veterinarian in these situations.

How You Can Help Your Cat
If you suspect that stress-related discomfort is adversely affecting your cat’s life, here’s how to take action to relieve your pet’s stress:

  • Spot the signs Be observant of changes in your cat’s behavior. Look for body language that exhibits stress. “Anxious cats get a big round-eyed look, with pupils dilated,” says McConnell. Also, note ear position: confident cats’ ears tilt up or are relaxed. If your cat’s ears stand back and lie flat against its head, it is probably stressed and in an aggressive mood.
  • Pay the veterinarian a visit Always take your pet to the doctor first, to rule out medical issues. “Often, stress is related to crystals and urinary tract infections,” says McConnell. University of Edinburgh animal experts, for example, conducted an extensive study on cats and determined that stress may indeed trigger such problems in your cat’s urinary tract. These conditions are usually treatable when diagnosed early.
  • Be patient during change If kitty is having trouble adjusting to a new home, take things slow. “Cats in the wild take a long time to decide where to live and where to hunt,” explains McConnell. “If your cat feels most comfortable under the bed for the first few weeks, it’s OK -- take its food and water there.”
  • Do not force interaction Introduce new pets slowly. Let new human housemates play with your cat while frequently offering food treats. When your cat doesn’t want to play, postpone the session. Never force cats to do anything.
  • Establish a routine It’s always helpful for animals to be able to anticipate things. Stick to a schedule for daily interaction. A few play sessions that your cat expects will help your pet regain control over its life.
  • Offer mental exercise Who said that tricks are only for dogs? McConnell has trained her own cat to high-five, sit up and fetch. Her theory? Give them mental exercise often, and that will divert them from being worried.

Stress can make a sound difference not just in the life of the animal but also those it shares its home with. Everyone in your household will therefore benefit if you can take immediate steps to soothe your uneasy kitty. Understanding, care and attention will go a long way toward reducing your cat’s excess stress.

Natalia Macrynikola is a Group Editor at Studio One Networks, which publishes The Daily Cat.


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Posted on June 26, 2012

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Posted on May 26, 2012

Jackie says: My cat is 6 years old for the past 3 years she's left during the summer and comes home for the winter, She used to be this sweet and loveing cat but now she is, well basicly a bitch. Last year when she came back a cat was gone so she stayed longer, but in her litter box blood was mixed with her poo, and she would leave blood spots when she sat down, Shes back for her 4th year but its summer, she came home starved and is sweeter then a kitten. Was the past 4 years caused by strees?

Posted on May 9, 2012

jasmine says: My cat just gave birth but i notice she cut her tail off is that normal was it because she was in pain or stressed out?

Posted on May 8, 2012

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Posted on April 25, 2012

Rachel says: This post helped some, but the issue with my cat is sort of complicated. A few days ago she got shocked by stepping on a powerstrip. It sent her flying, shrieking in pain before she hid. I called the vet immediatly, and she told me to keep an eye on her, listen for her breathing, check her paws when I can, etc. I managed to check her paws, and she seems physically fine. However, now she's afraid to touch the carpet in my house. Which is bad, since the entire house is carpeted except for underneath the stairs. I brought her a tiny bit of food and water so she can hydrate herself and nibble at least, but my step grand-dad yelled at me for doing that, saying she'll come out if she's hungry and thirsty. Will she? I can tell she's stressed and scared out of her marbles. What do I do? I'm really worried.

Posted on April 25, 2012

Rachel says: This post helped some, but the issue with my cat is sort of complicated. A few days ago she got shocked by stepping on a powerstrip. It sent her flying, shrieking in pain before she hid. I called the vet immediatly, and she told me to keep an eye on her, listen for her breathing, check her paws when I can, etc. I managed to check her paws, and she seems physically fine. However, now she's afraid to touch the carpet in my house. Which is bad, since the entire house is carpeted except for underneath the stairs. I brought her a tiny bit of food and water so she can hydrate herself and nibble at least, but my step grand-dad yelled at me for doing that, saying she'll come out if she's hungry and thirsty. Will she? I can tell she's stressed and scared out of her marbles. What do I do? I'm really worried.

Posted on April 25, 2012

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Posted on April 19, 2012

jimmy says: hi my cat had 3 kittens and it wos time for them to goto a new home but the mum is crying for them what can i do to help her

Posted on March 29, 2012

Adams says: Is it weird for my 13 year old daughter to hiss at inanimate objects?

Posted on March 21, 2012

Barry Finkel says: My 24 year old siamese is sitting in her litter box all the time. she will come out to eat and see me. This is new behavior. She has slowed down recently and has gotten thinner over the last couple of years. She does not appear to be in distress, but this is not her usual behavior. What does this mean? She is just laying around in her box all day. Thanks for any help.

Posted on March 11, 2012

kathy says: my cat just got spayed on wed and now she is very aggressive towards my other cats.. when they come in the room she charges them.. she still is recovering from her surgery. this behavior has never happened with my other cats that were fixed

Posted on March 2, 2012

Elizabeth says: I jsut got two new cats today from a friend due to allergies. Baluea (Ba-Lue) Is the older one shes 7 and Gracie is 3. Since i got them home Gracie has been hissing a spitting a baluea and they have been together since they were kittens, Should i just leave her to adjust?

Posted on February 29, 2012

angel says: i just got my three month old female cat three weeks ago. she and my neutered eight month old cat are soul mates. but my concern is she is pooping in the bath tub and i dont know how i can teach her to use their shared litter box.

Posted on February 15, 2012

js says: I could not find an answer. She is spoiled rotten and I give her love, food, treat, she has water both downstairs and upstairs. In fact she has the run of the house. Sleeps anywhere and sleeps with me all night. I don't understand the sudden bites and scratches. I ended up in the hospital due to a bite. I don't think she's under stress since there haven't been any changed that I can think of. If anyone comes by whether it be ups or fed ex or solicitors she hides then comes and comes out when she feels safe. What should I do about the biting or scratching?  They hurt. 

Posted on February 19, 2012

Mimie says: Hi. My 8 yr old cat has suddenly started hissing, spitting & growling at my 23 yr old Son. We have absolutely no idea why. She loves him & he wouldn't hurt her, for anything. He tried to approach her, to stroke her, & she nearly took his hand off. Why is she doing this?

Posted on February 12, 2012

Emma says: My cat is still the same after all this. Whenever I pet him, he starts to hiss at me, meow angry, or look at me in a mad way. WHYYYY??????

Posted on January 21, 2012

miranda says: this is a helpful page because i hope it is good enough for me to help my cat out of stressful situations

Posted on January 22, 2012

Angie Scola says: I have 2 females indoor cats.They are not fixxed due to not enough funds to spare...When in heat the other or both would pee on clothing or furniture.Their litter box are clean daily.Why do they do this,I'm getting really upset??? I also need help to get them fixxed..Please Help!!!

Posted on January 19, 2012

Barbra Richman says: Why has my female cat licked an orange-sized patch of fur off her belly and has started on her hind feet and ankles?? She did this at Christmas while I was in VA for 4 days. It was the first time no one stopped in to visit them, so I don't know if it's mental or physical for her. She's a very sweet cat, my Hannah. Would someone please help me?

Posted on December 27, 2011

Topaz says: My Cat is being overly aggressive- atleast more aggressive then usual. I'm afriad he might be sick, but my parents wont take him to the vet. Could it be that he is sick, or is it more likely he is stressed because we changed the food from dry to wet?

Posted on December 8, 2011

Gary says: i have a 7 yr old tan tabby that comes from an abusive home,He has been vomiting during the 4 yrs i havs had him and i have tried all kinds of diet changes including Iams digestive care dry, Science diet dry, some wet Iams chicken gravy flavor and other expensive diets... cat maintains weight and continues to eat regulary. aAny help will be appreciated as I am at the end of my rope...

Posted on December 18, 2011

Becky says: My 10 year old cat Chester has always been a mummy's boy so when we got a new kitten I knew he would act out towards her and me, but now it's been a year later and he still growls at me all the time. I'm the only one who gets growled at and I'm worried that he hates me! What do you think?? 

Posted on November 28, 2011

Charles Freeman says: I was wondering how to prevent our female cat name stormer to quit bitting herself she does not do it to the point she bleeds she just from her stomic bits her fur out and gets little red spots is ben gay safe to use on her even if it stings her a bit will she be ok?

Posted on October 10, 2011

Ginny Matchwick says: Hi, My 2 year old female cat seems really stressed at the moment. We shampooed all the carpets at the weekend and left the doors open to dry them out, and the neighbouring tom, who is a huge bully came into the house and attacked her. She obviously has been on edge since. Is there anything I can do to make her feel comfortable and safe in her house again? She has a microchip cat flap already, so other cats getting in is not a problem. Any help gratefully received as it is horrid to see her like this. Thank you - Ginny

Posted on October 1, 2011

Kym says: I have a issue with my 1yr. old female cat... My boyfriend and I rarely argue, however, at times we've gotten into tiffs and as we are shouting at each other, my cat randomly comes up to me and smacks my mouth (it doesn't hurt because she doesn't have her claws out... Now, the first time this  happened my boyfriend and I just stopped arguing out of amazement of what she did, but now, its getting annoying... and now, after we stop arguing she has turned aggressive and will attack me.. Of course she doesn't do anything to him, and it gets really annoying that she takes his side... lol... She doesn't know what we are arguing about, but she obviously hates it when I raise my voice.... (I rarely raise my voice, so I think it may scare her when I do, my voice pitch is obviously a lot higher than my boyfriends too) My boyfriend is always loud, and it never affects her.... Sometimes I feel like she loves him more than me.. :( How can I get her to chill out... Let me speak up for myself without her making me look dumb... 

Posted on September 30, 2011

Lorna says: I have a ginger cat which found me! now another cat I discovered on the street who eventually followed me home but now prevents my origonal cat from coming in or being able to relax without hissing or fight. I am not going to be able to live with this much longer ... what can I do with the new black cat Ninja. He fights and snarls and only wants to be with me in my house or sit outside and gaurd the house and I am constantly trying to manage this so my Ginger cat Ginga can come in as he used to do. I have a small house so no doors mostly ...I am stressed and cant get on with my life .. who would want this kind of cat?????

Posted on May 15, 2011

Sugar says: My 4 year old neutered male has begun spraying in the house. I think because of a stray tom cat hanging around outside. How do you stop them from spraying? Will he most likely stop when the tom cat goes away?

Posted on July 23, 2011

Meme says: I have an 8 yr old female who was an 'only child' and always a housecat. Last July she got out somehow and poofed into nowhere. Two months after she was gone and some heartbreak let up we adopted 2 kitten brothers. 3 1/2 months after our female 'poofed' a friend found her and brought her home, but now of course the 'boys' are there. Here we are, almost a year later. My female still hates the boys but what's worse is that she is constantly attacking me, like she hates me. Whether I pat her, give her a treat, no matter what, she growls at me and swats at me. She'll still sit beside me here on my printer as she always did, but when I go to pat her, she still growls and swats at me. She'll sit here on my desk, but when I look at her and talk to her, she'll growl. It's so strange. Like she wants to still be near me, but she hates me! Like I said, it's almost a year now, I'm at a loss about what to do. I've tried treats, toys, 'spoiling' her a little extra, nothing works! HELP!

Posted on August 29, 2011

Jane says: Does shredding paper off and on denote a sign of stress?

Posted on September 16, 2011

Donna g says: i just got a cat from the paper iv had him for two days now he is sleeping on our bed eating and drinking but wont use the litter box he hasnt been at all since he has been here is that normal? would it do something to his bladder?

Posted on May 11, 2011

BONNIE BUNN says: MY GRAY PERSIAN IS FAT AND ALWAYS PULLS HER HAIR OUT AND EATS IT IAM DISABLED SO CANT CHASE HER TO PULL IT OUT

Posted on April 27, 2011

connie says: My problem is where my cat will chew her fur off down to the skin and open the skin.Tryed hoilisic foods, liter change,tapewarn meds,special creams nothing works.we are going to try streiods now. what am i to do.she has been at this for 6yrs.

Posted on May 11, 2011

Allene Ofcky says: My cat Smokey is going to be eleven years old soon. I notice she hides for hours . And when it rains she is scared and will not come out of hiding for hours. It isn't as if the rain will come in on her. Why is she doing this?

Posted on May 11, 2011

shorecat says: My cat Julius Caesar is 7 years old and was an only cat. We had adopted many strays over the years and Julius has begun to urinate in the heat vents. We can not change this habit. He is free to go in and out of the house all day and has a quiet environment to explore outside.Can you help?

Posted on February 19, 2011

brenda gay says: should i just give up on the cat andtake him back to the animal shelter because igot him for company because i am an oler lady and live alone i

Posted on January 17, 2011

Mike says: Not sure how long I can expect this to go on. Our 12 year old black and white has been unusually vocal. We believe it is because, for the last 10 years he has gotten used to our lab/bloodhound mix, who had to be euthanized a week before Christmas. Since that day, he yells at everyone in the living room and dinning/room kitchen. We're pretty certain it is confusion about where the dog is (she's in a little box in my wife's curio cabinet). He looks outside for her, he spends a lot of time sniffing where she used to sleep. He doesn't seem to be in any other discomfort. How long do you think he will miss her?

Posted on January 10, 2011

Rita says: We have a Stray cat that has adoped us, we love her and call her Winnie, she is perfect, lets us know when she wants out side and to come in. She is in all night does not have a litter box in the house. It's winter here in Michigan and when we go to work she is in all day. She does Great. My problem is yesterday, my husband was going to test a new gun and he was shooting at a target when Winnie ran out side just as he fired, she ran back in and hid under our bed. He got her out petted her before he had to go to evening church. When he left she went out with him. He had to make her let him pet her by holding her. When I got home from work, she finally came back, but I had to pick her up and birng her in the house, she is scared and keeps hiding under our bed, if we get her out she will let us pet and hold her and she will purr, but she still keeps going under the bed. I'm worried about her needing to go pottie and eating. What do I do.??? She is such and outgoing fiendly pet, I hate to see her this way.

Posted on December 20, 2010

Steve says: My 2 year old female cat likes to unrinate in the same spot by her box. She's been doing this after noticing a cat on our back deck. What can we do?

Posted on November 6, 2010

Norma Tassler says: My very smart little ginger kitty, 4 mos. old, is an incorrigable biter. He will be neutered within the week, Will this help behavior problems? Times out don't work. He's figured out how to open doors.

Posted on November 24, 2010

Lynne says: We adopted a mature cat 11 days ago from the humane society. We have another cat and initially kept them separate for a few days. Now they both have free run of the house but the adopted cat seems really stressed, hiding and running from place to place. He lets us pet him but he is usually in such an inaccessible spot that we have to be pretzels to get to him. We bring him treats, which he eats and he sometimes purrs but he absolutely will not come out of hiding to interact with either us or our other cat. We are wondering what to do. The humane society only gives us two weeks to make a decision about whether to keep or not. We don't want to stress this cat so much that he becomes ill.

Posted on November 3, 2010

deb says: i have a 5 mth old ginger tom not had his plums off yet very loving but also jumping on dogs back and my other cats backs they are getting pretty pd off now

Posted on November 1, 2010

britt says: I have a problem similar to the Fonzie issue. I ahve a 11 yr old male cat who currently lives in his own room with a litter box, food and water and even a nice old leather couch to sleep on. During the day while im away at work he stays in his room. When i come home, he gets to come out. If i don't watch him, He tends to go off and pee in the laundry or in my husband's tool boxes or any type of plastic bag that might by laying around. What is that about?

Posted on October 17, 2010

katie says: I've had my cat for about 7 years. The past year she has started very aggressive behavior. I never know when or what will set her off but she will hiss, growl and attack me then couple hours later be loving. She might start hissing when I walk in the room or if I'm sitting on the chair (while she is in my lap). I really can't place the bad behavior with any one thing. Her litter box is clean, I tried introducing different food (didn't change the behavior), calming wall plugs, calming collar, calming treats, etc. I'm scared to walk around my apartment without some kind of water bottle or something because I never know when she might attack. The past month I've just completely ignored her when she starts but that is not working either. I'm really at a lost. Could she be bi-polar?

Posted on October 8, 2010

asha says:

Posted on October 8, 2010

asha says: If you cat is not using his litter box it can just be stress. I have a cat who is 2 years old and he did this 2 times- once when he didn't like my roommate's cat and was stressed out... and a second time when I was taking finals and didn't get to see him most of the day for a week. Try searching for something that has changed in his environment. Make a routine for him in order to gain some stability in his day. If he is urinating other places for longer than a few days it could be an infection so you should take him to the vet. Good luck!

Posted on September 21, 2010

Nicole says: I have two cats from the same litter that are about two years old. My female recently had surgery and was gone from our home for a little over a week. When we got her back our male has not been the same. Won't have anything to do with her, with me or with my husband. Seems scared of us. She's been trying to play with him and cuddle with him like they used to do, but he just gets aggressive towards her. Help...

Posted on September 29, 2010

robin says: Baby Gray has always used his box , and here the past 2 days he is using the bathroom through out the house . We had him for 7 yrs . , and had a dog for 1 yr that stays in the house with him . Could this be jealousy ?

Posted on September 18, 2010

Fonzie..... says: Charlene, Also, I almost forgot, try putting Fonzie in a cage or small room with a litter box , food, and water, and keeop him there, and see if he uses it.

Posted on September 18, 2010

kelly g says: Charlene, one reason Fonzie may nto be using the litter box is he may have crystals. This is similar to kidney stones in humans to give you idea. Have you noticed any pain or grimacing from him when he does go to the bathroom? You took him to Vet, but did they check for crystals? A urine sample will determine this. Also, the worst thing you can do is change the litter. If he used the litter box from the beginning then suddenly stopped, it is a medical issue. Have the VEt investigate. I had a cat with htis problem.

Posted on September 16, 2010

kathleen Mc says:

Posted on September 12, 2010

Liz Brady says: I have a cat who is a year and a half old and I just got a new kitten, she wants to just play, but he chases her in certain parts of the house, and jumps on her and looks like he is biting her, I have reached to separate them and then he has went after me too! Can you please tell me the right ways to let them get use to each other, I have separate littler boxes and food areas and when he goes into her areas he is nice to her, just when she goes in his areas is he really agressive.Help me make him get along with her(the new kitty)

Posted on September 15, 2010

Laurie says: Many animals, including cats, respond to 'jail time.' If you have one of those portable kennels you can put in the house and put your cat in it every time it acts violently toward you, it may make the connection. If you can't get one of those, you can use a cardboard box that you can close. It is rarely useful to leave an animal in jail for more than 15 minutes, as they make the connection immediately (if at all) and have short attention spans, so longer is not helpful. Meanwhile, wear protective clothing! Handle your cat with leather gloves, don't let it near your face, and always be sure to clean your injuries with soap and water immediately after putting kitty in jail, because cats scratches and bites can cause nasty infections. Cats do learn and they do try to train us. I had a cat that would attack me and hurt me. One day she jumped on my arm and bit me so hard I bruised through a sweatshirt. Coincidentally, I was going on a trip and I threw her off me and left for two days. She never did it again! I learned about kitty jail since then with another kitty who was just too rough due to rough handling and play as a baby. Good luck!

Posted on September 5, 2010

Charlene Miller says: Fonzie is my 8yr old Maine Coon cat, who was a stray until I adoped him 5 yrs.ago.He's has given us a great deal of enjoyment until 4 wks. ago, he stopped using his Kitty Litter, and goes in the Rec. room that's in the basement right next to the room that has his kitty litter.I,ve taken him to the vet,who found no med. problems. I clean kitty litter twice a day and have 4 litter boxes. We also have a 6 yr old female yellow cat who gets along fine with Fonzie.I have changed brands of kitty litter 4 different times, from clay litter, to torn up newspaper,to unscented litter with 'DIRT'that I purchased from the vet. We gave Fonzie anti anxiety meds.,doesnt work, he just sleeps all day. We have 3 floors in our house, so I put alitter box on all three floors.......nothing works.When I tell him nono about using the rec.floor, he fights to get away from me,because I feel he knows he's not suppose to be doing that, but I cant figure out why ?????

Posted on September 5, 2010

Patrick Harper says: My new kitten/cat has bitten me and drawn blood for no apparent reason when being petted and at play. I swat him and am using a spray waterbottle. Does this behavior go away? Help?

Posted on March 3, 2010

Jonmarie Smith says: my cat always seems to be aggressive like when i go to pet him he will bite me and hump me and WONT LET GO!! iv tried a spray bottle but he seems to like that so what do i do?

Posted on April 19, 2010

chocolate says: my 1 year old starts to be very picky... he often refuses to eat anything new. it makes him less chubby.. I'm really worried about that

Posted on June 12, 2010

diane kimura says: my cat is approx.13yrs. she recently moved into a house with 5 other cats which has taken quite a bit of patience and tolerance. Within the past 5 days she has started to vomit white foam, stopped eating and seems quite lethargic. I am taking her to the vet tomorrow am but was wondering if there could be something I could feed or do to make her feel better for the night. I am totally worried and stressed out worrying if I should rush her to the ER or wait for our 12noon appt.

Posted on August 28, 2010

Christine says: My cat attacks me often and i dont know how to stop him from clawing and biting me. Last time i had to go to the doctor because he cut my hand so bad. Sometimes he's really nice and he crys when im not around. He's fixed and has food and water, so what should i do?

Posted on January 6, 2010

kennia says: i have a black cat he is so pretty

Posted on January 8, 2010

lisa says: my cat was wild i took him in. he is a grate cat but at times he wants outside and he rather stay outside. he is a good cat but sometimes he scare me cause he be like he sad so i will let him out i guess cats like to be in and out, but the fleas is my cocearn.

Posted on January 16, 2010

Sarah says: I have a 9yr old ginger tom cat. The friendliest cat I've ever known. He used to purr constantly. I only had to speak to him and he would purr. Recently he has stopped, has dialated pupils most of the time and I have no idea what or why he has changed. The only thing different is that I have had a cat flap installed. Is he scared something is going to come into the house? The vet has checked him out and he is medically ok.

Posted on January 17, 2010

paul says: we have had kashmir for 16 years or so. He started meowing very loud about the time we retire for the night standing on the edge of the tub or out in the hall he sometimes does this off and on all night any thought on how to get him to stop ??

Posted on January 6, 2010

Barbara Rouse says: We have 6 yr old siamese nutered male cat that has been circro chipped and front declawed. for the last several months he has been acting like he is starving , he is not, he has dry food available all the time and then wet food 35 time a week as a treat, he weights 9 lbs. but lately if he eats more than a teaspoon ful or 12 nuggests of dry food down we find on the carpet the next morning. He doesn'td seem to feel bad and wants to play and we always keep plenty of frshe water. whe I take him to the vet or do you have an idea of wat is going on? Thanks for the help

Posted on January 5, 2010

deb says: are both of your kitties indoor only?...try having them declawed... only time will tell if they will ever enjoy each others company...i have tried to intigrate many different mixes of pets over the years and sometimes to no avail, but ultimately the pet will decide if he/she wants to be intigrated...sin sounds as if she has other social issues, like hiding her food, and felix has obviously picked up on this anti-social behaviour. he was there 1st, and is only defending his territory, as we are all prone to do. if you have done your best, it mat be all you can do....i am also interested in the animal catch and release program in your area...i currently live in seminole county,fl and have recently moved to a neighborhood on a lake with some feral cats present., along with other wild life... unfortunately , county law says they can catch and detain any cat , not on a leash...my 10 yr old, amadeus, is an indoor/outdoor since his kittenhood,and although enjoys primary time indoors in a controlled climate, prefers outdoor potty time to a. litter box, only. a particular neighbor, continues to have animal control set cages, right across the street, to catch feral cats, regardless how the rest of us feel...we go over to kick the cages shut but i know they have caught a few...i worry every time my boy, a neutered male, goes out!!!

Posted on December 20, 2009

gena says: In the morning before I wake up .My cat meows at my bedroom door. I think that he is either board or he wants me to service him his wet food. I often do my excerises and then I try to eat my breakfast . After I do my exerices sometimes he bites me on my ankle or bite my knee. Is this normal for my cat to bite me because I am not putting him first ? Please help me to understand this can of behavior. thanks for listening to my issues.

Posted on December 20, 2009

Jeff says: My cat is a one person cat he was born in the wild I tamed him now he's an inside cat he go's outside to potty hes more like a dog than a cat but he will not let anyone but me get around him will this ever change

Posted on December 21, 2009

carol says:

Posted on December 22, 2009

Jana says: I have 5 cats, one is a 14 year old female, one is a 5 year old female, the other three are 4 year old males. The 5 year old is the mama of the younger 3. Lately there has been a huge problem with spraying and urinating on my counters, rugs, clothes on the ground. Misty, the oldest, is picked on constantly and I know is contributing to my problem since I have caught her, but I don't believe she is the only one. I don't know which cat(s) are doing this and I don't know what to do about it shy of buying a video camera. Even if I did know which ones, what do I do?

Posted on December 28, 2009

Rainer says: My female cat schrates the glass sliding door in our bedroom. She is an indoor cat 1 of 2.

Posted on December 12, 2009

John says: I have a 2 1/2 year old indoor cat who reacts really strangely when there's heavy rain. He runs back and forth and looks anxiously out the window. Is this normal behavior for cats when it's raining?

Posted on December 13, 2009

katrina says: my cat i that i had for 3 to 4 months is so scard she is not lovable like my other cats. she attacks me and my other cats when we sleep. And she doesn't let us pick her up or pet her.

Posted on December 16, 2009

Maria says: I have a multiple animal family and this dynamic changed back in July. I started with a husky, then added 3 cats one at a time over a period of 5 years. We all lived hapily until last June. I lost my Husky at age 14. My cats seemed to be fine but gradually took over the home, free to raom and do whatever. I had no behavioral problems at this time. I then acquired not one but two new dogs from the SPCA who are both full of energy. Out of my three cats, two have done very well and one has not. She hides most of the day and only emerges at night. I do notice good size pieces of her fur lying about but do not notice any balding spots on her. As the days go by, I am noticing problems that are not easily assigned to any particular cat but I have a good idea who the culprit is. Urination in the kennel where the dogs sleep, urination in the back of the closet and finally today, urination/spray on the couch in the living room. I am concerned and need an immediate solution to this. I have read blogs about why this may be occuring but have no idea how to calm her about the new additions. Both new dogs are big and plenty interested in her but have not shown any aggression. Does anyone have any ideas?

Posted on December 16, 2009

Robin says: I have a 6mo male cat Mitts (because of his double front paws-not extra toes). Very lovable at first as he was the runt. Slept on my neck and wanted to be with me always. Sleeps in his bathroom with food, toys, bed, and litter as my husband cannot have him in his face at night (slightly alergic), and Mitts will bite my dogs while they sleep. He gets more aggresive over the last several weeks with no changes in environment. The only thing I find that works really well is to spray stinky stuff on what he likes to bite. I use bathroom spray and spray my hands or feet when he gets that way. One bite and he changes his mind quickly. Word of encouragement is that he is letting me hug and cuddle more lately again. Maybe it is just a phase he was going thru.

Posted on December 9, 2009

JODI says: MY CAT JUST STARTING NIPPING AND HITTING ME WITH HIS DECLAWED PAWS. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME INFRO TO WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH HIM

Posted on December 10, 2009

Jan says: This is to Sheri regarding her new Maine Coon that suffered an emotional trauma and wouldn't come out or eat. Don't try to force the issue. Think how you would be if you stayed with a a dead person who was the center of your world. By now, I would not be surprised if the cat has come around, but if not, leave food out where the cat is hiding. I ha a Maine Coon who hid in the chimney for two weeks, then hid behind the bathtub, but he ate when I wasn't around. The poor kitty is in mourning, just as you or I would be. Best of luck.

Posted on November 29, 2009

Sheri says: I brought her home yesterday. Her owner had died, and she was left with the body for 1 week. My friend found the body with the cat standind over it. he was dead for a week. So I assume the cat was starving. My friend feed him instantally. 2 days later the cat was brougtht to me. He wont eat or come out of hiding. Will she ever come around, or eat

Posted on December 3, 2009

Diane Kostick says: My cat has lost a tremendous amount of hair around his belly under his four paws and wherever he can get access to biting his fur. It's not food alergies and it's breaking my heart I can't find a remedy to fix his problem. Any suggestions?

Posted on December 8, 2009

Alma & Mike says: Our cat has recently begun to leave feces on top of the litter...no major changes have occurred in her/our life, so we're really puzzled. She's eating and drinking, justnot doing what she used to do, which was cover her stool immediately.

Posted on November 22, 2009

April Albright says: how to get rid of them for a home rimidy.

Posted on November 23, 2009

Audge says: I have had Bitzy for 10 yrs. I had to bring her to my Mothers while my apt was being sprayed for bugs. Once we arrived and I let her out of her kennel she became very aggressive by spitting, hissing and screaming at anyone who came near. She also attacked her sister cat that she has lived with for 5 years. It has been almost 12 hrs and there has been no change. I am unable to get her back into her kennel because she is so aggresive. I dont know what to do, she has never acted like this before.

Posted on November 29, 2009

Jill Nelson says: HELP! My 18 year old female Has been exhibiting stressed out behavior for several years and I feel I am out of options. She has excessively groomed her tummy and side and is now hairless in those areas. She eliminate outside the litter box and has destroyed the carpet in almost every room in my home. The vet believes she has OCD and suggested medication. Due to her age and my budget, this is not realistic for me. Is it time to put her down? HELP!!

Posted on November 16, 2009

Jen says: I just received a new cat, He hasn't warmed up to me yet. It's been about a week since I have had him. He constanly ignores me but at night when I am laying down he comes near me and just sits and stare at me. It kind of freaks me out. I don't know if he is about to attack me or what. Also why I am sleep. I think he bites me because I always feel sharp pinches on my legs and feet. What does this mean??

Posted on November 20, 2009

LIN CARROLL says: I have been a foster mom for a difficult to place Bombay, since 2-09. I was hoping she would develope rapport with my 4 yr. Felix Maine coon-also a shelter adoption, but with me for 3 yrs. Both neutered. I did initial introductions and follow-ups,per expert advice(Bombay, 'Sin" kept in son's room,both investigating from other sides of closed door, rubbing cats with towel scented by the other,switching brushes-for scent, seperate litter boxes and food). Sin was trapped by animal save group-the notch the ear after spaying and release back to same area(to recognize that cat had been treated before,in case it gets trapped again-they will just let it go. Any one area can only support a certain number of felines,depending on amm't of food sources etc. It was found when trapped and killed, the remaining population didn't change-the remaining ferals would simply have more litters. If a kitten has no human contact in 1st few weeks of life,it may never be adoptable.Sin was trapped,spayed and ear notched-the day before they planned to return her to wild,she jumped in vet's lap. Note she was found last winter and SO emaciated,her head weighed the same as the body-she appeared deformed and was expected to die.Sin is perfect for someone with no other cats,but took a long time to warm up to me without hissing or growling(She sleeps with my son). When upset she strikes out with paws and PUNCHES-At this time,it has been 10 months and I am still playing musical cats. When Felix asleep in my room,I close him in and let open son's bedroom door for Sin to roam the apartment. Of course,Felix has run of apt. at other times. Twice I thought Felix was in my room and let Sin out-They met face to face in living room and I got bit trying to separate them(I know,I know-now water spray bottle or vacuum always handy) Fur flew and both had scabs-no obvious bleeding. I now keep sons bedroom door open for a few hours each day-This is because Felix was nuts and would spend 24 hours lying,sleeping just outside of door. Sin seems to be the one who makes all the noise and will not back down-Noone in my family has dared try to even pick her up-starts to hiss. I have purchased cat calming music and even the calming pheremone plugin for both-cat nip too. I am not sleeping due to worry-Son is planning on college in less than a year. Should I just let them go at it? This musical cat routine is taking up too much of my day and if I go out...I come back to my husband saying "the cats got into it and when I went to check,Felix was in Sins room lying on the bed and Sin must have been in the closet" HELP. I LOVE BOTH>I did try to find her a home in beginning-no luck. She really is a lover-on her terms.Must have been abused-if nipples are visible does this mean she has had a litter? Can't be older than 2-She also covers her food dish with my kids tee shirts-even tho' bowl is kept clean and full and this was behavior from day one-Has nothing to do with Felix HELP AGAIN. Linda Carroll, Glen Cove,NY11542

Posted on November 15, 2009

Jewell Land says: A week ago I rescued a beautiful small female who was on the Eu list for the next day or two. I could not let this beautiful cat be euthanized and wondered why it could have gotten that far without rescue. When I asked for visitation at the shelter, my question was answered. She has been declawed on all four but she is terribly unsocial. She hisses and spits and howls just being near her. Said to be two years old, she is half the size of my persian. I have been isolating her in my guest room, coming in two to four times a day to feed and check on her and allow her to hopefully become less frightened of me. Things do seem to be coming along slowly. I just don't know how quickly to try to move things along. She will let me come in now without the hissing etc. but still recoils if I try to get closer than a couple feet or reach out to her. She obviously shows all the signs of a highly stressed cat and I just want to make it all better. Any ideas/suggestions for me?

Posted on November 15, 2009

annie says: my kitty has blood in his urine what shall i do?

Posted on November 13, 2009

Diane says: In the last year my cat has started making terrible, loud meowing cries that sound as if she is being tortured. In all her 16 years I have never heard this kind of vocalization from the cat except in this past year. I've had her to the vet but all her bloodwork came back just fine. If you approach her inquiringly during these bouts of screeching, she'll stop and will be ready to play or be petted and she'll act just fine. I can't figure it out. Help!

Posted on November 12, 2009

Helen says: I'm going to be getting a new 5 month old kitten in a couple of weeks-after he has had a rest from an operation on his leg. My friend who is a vet sais he is lovely and really sweet natured. I'm really looking forwards to having a cat, and my husband likes cats too-so thats all good:-) Unfortunately however, we are going to be moving in the new year-for my new job, and most likely going to be living with my mam for a while before we get sorted out. My mam loves cats, and lives in a nice safe and quiet area-however, she has an older female cat-probably about 11 or 12, who was rescued, is nervous and a little erratic in her behaviour. This cat hated the other cat she lived with-and became much more friendly and confident when that cat-a male and boistrous cat-passed away. I am afraid that bringing this new young male in will upset both of them-and I'm worried incase the stress makes either of them serously ill, and then I have to move the poor bugger out again-when my husband and I get our new place. Any suggestions guys? I've read some good avice on gradual introductions, but I'l be working three days a week, and my mam and my husband will be working full time, so I'm a little unsure of how it could be put into practice on a daily basis. Man. Am a pile of worries right now-and really would love this new kitten:-(

Posted on November 12, 2009

maxkelly says: Maryse (10/10), my cat does the same thing! She''s a feral, had been returned twice to a kill shelter and she's gorgeous, but, obviously, with some baggage...have had her 5 years now; when I first saw the tail 'twitch/rattle' I thought she must be scared, but she was right next to my dad, whom she loved. Come to learn, she does this, sometimes while lifting first one hind paw, then the other, when she is excited and happy out of her MIND. Don't know why; some neurotic feral tic; pls don't worry about it. I think my baby just doesn't know how to deal with being happy. She will not let me hold her, nor will she sit in my lap. She never licks me (I miss that the most), but has to sleep with some part of her body touching mine (THAT took 3 years). I can bribe her into doing many things bybrushing her. There is nothing in the world she loves more than her cheeks and neck brushed...Caroll Anderson, I hope you took the first AND the third kitty from that last litter to the vets! Reading some of these stories makes me grateful for my own priblems and leavesm me wishing i could help ease more suffering...

Posted on November 11, 2009

Tony in Tulsa says: Especially with kittens the best thing I've found is to save something that smells like your cat or cats a few days before the arrival of a new kitten and then rub it all over the new kitten before he or she meets the other feline members of the family. They will smell themselves and not make AS BIG a deal about the new guy as they might have otherwise. Also the new guy might need a bath before being presented for "membership" in the club.... This can easily be arranged by isolating existing family members from the new one before he is brought into the house, and take him right on in to his bath. Then do the familiar smell transplant I mentioned and you have the best case for success. I have also not forced pets to interact at first and expect a little distancing and territorial behavior. But I also reassure my old pets and don't accept much fussing from them after a time, telling them no, and call them by name,I want you to like the new kitty, and talk sweetly to them to reassure them. It may take a lot of patience, but many will be accepting. Occasionally you'll find a tough character that won't share space with the others, in which case, you give it time. As long as there is no physical fighting, let them work it out and in time they usually will. One case in particular where this happened, we had the older cat and a new kitten who replaced a cat who died that was his own age. Older cat was not accepting at all. We did the smell change and let them both have their time and space. Eventually the older cat loved the young one so much he defended his life from an intruding dog. So don't give up too soon. I'm convinced some pets need more time than others to make friends with a newcomer they didn't ask for. They experience jealousy and many other human-like emotions and often have no idea how to deal with them. They want 100% of your attention and if that feels threatened, they may need a lot of attention and reassurance from you that they have nothing to worry about.

Posted on November 11, 2009

Tony in Tulsa says: We found a great product for managing the shedding problem. It's called a Furminator. Several places sell them. I got mine on ebay for a reasonable price. The cats love it. It removes all the loose fur a brush can't get. The first time you'd thing you brushed off enough fur to make another cat! But the next day the coat will be SO BEAUTIFUL, shiny and close. All cat owners should consider getting one of these. It sure does cut down on how much fur gets ingested and becomes a household cleaning problem. There are also vitamin products available to help with shedding. It doesn't completely stop shedding, but it cuts way back on how much of a problem it is. I have not used them on my cats, but may try them sometime.

Posted on November 11, 2009

Tony in Tulsa says: Cat's have a "third eye lid" that is really cool. Almost always if the eye is partly covered by the eyelid all the time, your cat is sick and needs to see the vet. It might be just one eye that's covered, and if it is, it may be an infection in that eye, which needs to be treated by your vet. Infections in cats can be dangerous to their health so don't wait around, get him in to see the vet. It may not be hard or expensive to treat and then you'll know you did all you could then for your furry friend instead of having regrets later. Cats are pretty hardy except when it comes to infections, and especially when they get older, that may be the one thing they can't fight. If you can see your good buddy's third eyelids all the time and not his eyes, you need to be his good buddy and get him to the vet, like NOW!

Posted on November 11, 2009

Tony in Tulsa says: I have noticed there are different types of cat biting. Playful kitten biting is just a bad habit and you have to say no, remove your hand and stop playing for a while to make them realize they did something wrong. It may take many times to get the message through but they can be trained to not bite. It works best on kittens that have had some handling and have not just been "wild." Then there is the adult cat who bites occasionally, maybe even affectionately. If you don't want this behavior the training is exactly the same. As for the agressive version some of you described, I have not experienced that so I can't offer a suggestion on that. I have seen a cat in pain bite when he would not ordinarily. If that happens you have to understand that for today, he has had "enough" and the rules are out the window. You still can say no and withdraw your hand (not hard to do if this happens!). Like your kids, your cat wants to know what pleases you, after all he or she does like the benefits of knowing you.... Not all of them understand cause and effect, but over a long period of time, they do figure out a few things, it seems to me. I have had several cats through the years, have two now, and have had quite some variety of experiences along the way with their behavior. The award winner of them all is the 13 year old darling we have now, raised from a kitten with us. I think it makes a lot of difference if you can get them early in their lives or get a cat no-one has abused. They are more trusting and have less emotional "baggage." Even so a cat from some other environment can still be a fine pet and buddy, I've seen that too, we had one such that lived 18 very healthy, happy years and his family (mine when growing up) adored him the whole time. He was a dropped cat that was forever grateful (not all are, but he definitely was). My younger sister was his owner and she didn't put up with any biting from him. But there was such a powerful love between them he would do ANYTHING to please her, and that he certainly did.

Posted on November 11, 2009

Tony in Tulsa says: I have a suggestion for the person who wrote about the cat who continually wants to go outside. Assuming you have an indoor litter box that meets the cat's needs, the next thing I'd thinkg about is that cats love fresh grass. It is not unual for them to smell it and want some. Try bringing some in and chopping it up very short about 1/4 to 1/2 inches long, IF your lawn has not been treated with chemicals and if there has not been a frost yet. A good year-round alternative is buying pet grass at a local store, here we can get it at Whole Foods. What they sell here is oat grass. It is a little pricy but does what nothing else will do...stops the cat from wanting to dart out. A firm NO if they try to get out and not opening the door wide to them also helps. Breaking the pattern and providing an alternative really calms down the situation for us. One thing to keep in mind, if you buy the cat grass, buy it from a good store so it won't contain gnats. Some pet stores sell you the gnats too, which can be very undesirable. I hope this information helps you.

Posted on November 8, 2009

ann smith says: my cat tiger is 7 mounths old and constently wants to go outside but i dont think he would come back.what should i do

Posted on November 6, 2009

Donna says: I have two female cats (three years and sixteen years old) whom are already pals, but two months ago We (my husband and I) adopted another older cat from a neighbor who passed away and the younger of my cats keeps chasing the new one into hiding and my original older cat still hisses at the new girl. How do I stop this and bring the three together as pals?

Posted on October 25, 2009

carolyn says: he only goes outside the littler boxs is when we bring the cats from outside in .we dont let them stay in to long ,could it be possiable he doesnt like us doing that and he goes outside of the box

Posted on October 25, 2009

carolyn says: i have recently been letting the cats from outside come in for awhile and now i see my cat which goes outside has use the bathroom in the middle of my bed does this mean he is really mad at me for for letting them cats in

Posted on November 4, 2009

Elwood says: my cats eyes have rolled up under his eye lids and will not come all the way down to normal.

Posted on October 24, 2009

Jeannine says: I have 3 cats 2 male and 1 female. I have had the males for over a year and the female just about 4 months. She is afraid of the males and hisses at them. The males stalk her and chase her. She does not come out of my office except to use the litter box and drink. What can I do to get these cats to get along. The female is a flamepoint siamese, could it be her personality? She also cowers when I go to pet her, and I am thinking maybe she might have been abused. She is a shelter cat.

Posted on October 23, 2009

Jocelyn says: To the person wondering about their cat scratching until it bleeds - this could possibly be a stress indicator, but it could also be something else. My kitten did the same thing - she came from a shelter and she was fine for weeks, and then all of a sudden she started having bloody spots where she had scratched off all her fur and tore into the skin. The vets I was seeing thought it could be a skin infection, or possibly an auto-immune deficiency... they gave her steroids and put her through a painful process of removing the scab to run tests. This was relatively expensive, and I don't know what they were thinking, giving such a tiny kitten STEROIDS. At the time, I knew nothing, so all I could do was to allow them to move forward. When I visited my family in Maine, I took her to our local vet, since the issue had not been resolved, and he was horrified at the other vets. He suggested that she was allergic to certain food, and told me that these days, because of all the artificial crap in cat foods and stuff, cats are developing allergies to the very things they historically love - meat, milk, fish... And once I got her a sensitive skin food, and stopped feeding her treats with any milk or fish in them, she stopped scratching. Now she's indoor/outdoor, so sometimes she still comes home with a nasty patch of skin... but it's probably because she gets into things out there and eats things she shouldn't. My advice - Try your cat on a sensitive skin diet! And try feeding him or her cucumber peels... that was advice my vet gave me, because she can get more vitamins and nutrients out of fresh veggies or bananas or whatev than dry food.

Posted on October 23, 2009

Jocelyn says: I had a friend with this exact problem. The vet told her to crate the cat at night, in a different room, then let him out when she woke up and was ready to feed him. This helps regulate the cats sleep cycle, and you don't have to do it forever. Of course, the cat will hate the crate at first. Hers was very unhappy. He yowled and scratched into the night - which is why it's important to put them in a separate room, where they cannot see you, and it is important to not give them any attention for this behavior. After a night or two, he calmed down and got used to sleeping the night through. This also helps regulate the sleep cycle of a cat who is hyperactive at night and causes a ruckus just by messing with things in your house. After a few weeks, she left the crate open at night, just so he could get used to not having to sleep there (instead of the crate just -which could be stressful) and it worked! No more 5am wakeup calls!

Posted on October 15, 2009

KateW says: I have a 9 year old female cat called Ziggy, who we rescued from a quarry at 4 weeks old. She was feral to begin with but has mellowed a lot with age. Every now and again she will be flat out on your knee with you stroking her and she will just attack you. Bites and scratches and then runs off to sulk. Why the hell does she do that when you are in the middle on fussing her??

Posted on October 20, 2009

Melinda H. says: I have adopted a 6-month old kitten. She has a few strange/odd behaviors that I have never seen in any of my previous cats. If you walk into the room that she is in, she runs away. If you sit down or lean down to pet her, she walks away from you. She will only come towards you if you sit/crouch down and put your hand out and be patient (about 3 minutes) for her to come near you. She does not allow you to pick her up at all! If you try, she squirms and runs away. She also has an unusual behavior in her litter box. She will go to the box, do her thing, and then she rubs the top/side of the litter box and never covers up her mess. I have had kittens/cats for 35 years and have never seen anything like this. This is also the first "adoption" I have ever done. Any help and/or suggestions would be great. I would love to be able to pick her up and pet her at some point.

Posted on October 22, 2009

helen says: kittens love to bite! wear gloves when you play. they will out grow this and then only bite when not in the mood to be messed with or if they get over stimulated by to much petting. sorry but the last part will come with no warnining!

Posted on October 23, 2009

PB&J says: Hello! I've been feeding a stray city cat for about 4 months. She's very skiddish, and has not yet let me pet her. Dispite this. she lays for hours on the porch right in front of the screen door. When my house cat goes to the screen to visit, she rubs her cheeks and neck over the screen, while my cat rolls on the floor. They also sniff eachother through the screen, and touch noses, etc... I have let my cat on the porch to meet her twice (a month apart from each meeting), but both times, he attacked her and ran her off the porch. When they're interacting through the screen, my cat does not act violent-It seems as though he likes her. I am interested in adopting this street cat -If I can ever catch her, that it. I'm worried about my house cat interacting with ANY future second pet. Can someone explain this strange love/hate behavior being exhibited by my kitty toward the street cat?

Posted on October 23, 2009

MF says: Hoping someone can offer some advice or insight. We've had cats for many years in the past, which we got when they were kittens and they were wonderful. After my 15 year old tabby passed away several years ago, we have not had any animals until adopting a 3 year old female tabby from the local animal control. She was brought in a month prior, listed as "lost", was already spayed, beautiful little cat. She snuggled my hand through the cage and began eating her food when I was visiting her. After bringing her home,we set her up in the bathroom with food/water/cat box & bedding. She handled the ride home well and actually snuggled with me upon letting her out of the carrier in the bathroom. She was cautious and sniffing her way around, but would purr, come over and snuggle, then go eat some food. Later that day, we let her explore a little more outside of the bathroom. She was not afraid of anyone and even jumped up into my elderly father's lap. We took her for her vet follow up visit the next day, she did very well there. She did have an eye infection which we treated with an ointment for 10 days-also was very good letting us apply to her eyes and gave her a treat. She would come into the bathroom where we started her food/litter/bedding whenever we went in there and start eating her food and brush up against our legs- then she would oush the door open if it wasn't fully closed and jump into your lap when you were on the toilet-no kidding!! She was very friendly and social. Then after the first 10 days or so, when we would pet her as before, after a few pets, she would turn and swipe or bite at any of us. Usually, we could tell the warning signs when a cat's getting angry and avoid further aggravation by ignoring them for some time-but this would be out of the blue and not every time we pet her. The only changes we made since she has been here was moving her litter box and her food/water into a corner in the kitchen, but that was after the first week or so and it has now been a month. She is an indoor cat and does not try to dart for the door when it's opened. She gets fed a few times a day, has her box raked twice a day. She will come in the room where we are and lay in the floor nearby as opposed to hiding or being completely removed from humans. She has come over to brush up and snuggle and will let you scratch under her neck, then when she's had enough, she'll swipe or bite. I've been advised to flick her on the nose when she bites and then go away and ignore her for awhile. I've tried to have some positive/progressive sessions with her on my lap or laying on my chest or stomach petting her to get her use to it. Sometimes she will purr and participate for a little while, then will get off me and go lay down a foot or two away on the bed- or swipe at me-but I usually can tell when it's a good time or not to do this, so I won't force it. I'm concerned if this behavior can be stopped and puzzled that she was such a sweetie for the first week, which you think would be the most stressful and now she's turned nasty. She has been treated very well by our family- I don;t know what kind of environment she came from before the shelter, but she was already spayed, so I would think she had at least been to the vet at some point- but we'll never know if she was abused. Yesterday, she came over to my father wanting to play, so he got the orange feather boa on a stick she loves so much and entertained her for a bit, then let her have it as she likes for a little. When she was done and had calmed down, she came over and brushed up next to his hand where he was sitting, so he reached down to pet her, after a few pets that she initiated, she turned and bit his hand drawing blood, this is the second or third time she's done this to him, and he's not too happy about it. He's also on coumadin, so he has to be careful about getting cuts and scratches, bites, etc. I am sad that's she's gone from being so delightful to a little nightmare. The animal control center said upon her adoption that there was a 60 day period that you could bring the animal back for any reason if it doesn't work out- but I'm afraid they will put her down if we bring her back. We will have to tell them that she has been biting & scratching. I'm thinking of taking her to a no-kill cat shelter, but even doing that makes me feel sad and guilty. Because we've raised our other cats from kittens in the past, this has never been an issue before. I wish she was the sweet little thing she was the first 10 days we had her. Sorry so long winded, but I'm hoping someone can suggest something I may not have heard or tried & how long it may take to stop this behavior, if possible. I don't want to give up on her if possible- but I also don't want her attacking everyone either. Can you teach a cat to snuggle again? or at least not swipe and bite? Thanks for any input...I'm torn on what to do :-(

Posted on October 11, 2009

David K. says: I just adopted a small kitty about 6 months old... I don't know the extent, but I do know that I grabbed her from a young couple that neglected and abused her. She is not shy, but she does the same thing as what I have read others here say... She bites, and attacks from corners on occassion. If anyone knows how to make her stop I will try it she is a great potty trained kitty other than her bitting habbit. Oh, we also went and got a bunch of toys for her and a scratching pad to minimize her biting. Also, she hides in the bath tub if we raise our voice when she does something bad i.e. swatting at our plants.

Posted on September 30, 2009

Rose Mary says: My young cat was shot at recently and treated by the vet. She has now been refusing to take food and water and has been on a drip. How can this problem be solved?

Posted on September 30, 2009

Linda says: The cat is a year old, has been neutered, and has food in the bowl, but doesn't want anyone to sleep past 5 am. Help!!

Posted on October 1, 2009

Karen says: I have a cat who sheds ALL THE TIME and I am wondering if this might be due to something lacking in her diet? Does this warrant a trip to the vet?

Posted on October 2, 2009

Maryse says: Why does the end of my cats tail constantly flicker( like a rattlesnake) She's a very happy kitty.....just wondering why she does it.

Posted on October 2, 2009

judy may says: my cat pulls chunks of hair out all the time, why?

Posted on October 3, 2009

june says: The cat belong to a young couple who just let it room and would not feed it. Then when the cat was about 6 mo he started visiting the next door neighbor who had 2 small grandchildren and they were very rough with it. Then is started coming to our house and we feed and it stayed so we took him in and had him neutered. we continued to feed him out doors and gave him a shelter. He eventually found his way in thru our Doggie door. we have small 11 year old Pom. When he first started coming in they started fighting but now are so so. How ever he has started coming up behind me grabbing me around the leg and bitting sometime hard enought to draw blood. He will come and sitting on my lap and purr and I pet him but do not hold him down and he has on occasion turned and attacked me hare on my arm. Can I break him of this or what. H follows me all around and likes to stalk me also as he does the dog. Any help would be appreciated. june

Posted on October 3, 2009

Kathy says: My 3 yr old male tabby has started growling while grooming his rectum area. His appetite seems normal but he has also started hiding. We recently had company for a week, could it be stress or something worth a visit to the doctor?

Posted on October 8, 2009

LMG says: My 17 year old had always been mouthy but in the past couple years, its gotten worse. He gets a half can of food morning & night and always had dry food available. No matter what time we feed him at night, he thinks 5:oo a.m. is a great time for breakfast. Have tried squirting with water, yelling, etc. Any ideas?

Posted on October 9, 2009

tab-E says: i have a tabby kitten, found him about 2 months ago.. he was very small when i found him. I'm just wondering if biting is something kittens do when they play..sometimes it actually hurts.

Posted on October 9, 2009

A Girl SRK says: My cat Buddy is the best . he is way better than your cats. He is so cute!

Posted on October 10, 2009

Carol Anderson says: We live in the country and we feed about 6-8 feral cats outside. When you live in Central Florida outside cats near the house are necessary to keep down the pests. We seldom see a snake, have never seen a mouse or rat. So we keep an eye out and whenever we spot a litter of kittens we bring them in. We keep them in a spare bathroom with their own, food, water and litter pan. After about 2-3 days we put them out on the screen porch for them to learn to run,climb and play. When they are ready we let them join the general population. (we have 7 inside cats) We have 3 play towers of all different types, we have treat and catnip parties for them once a week. The reason for this discussion is this. The last batch of kittens we brought in were about 3-4 weeks old. We caught 2 the first day and the third only 2 days later. The first two were very normal and playful and loving and would sleep on our laps. The 3rd one was just not adjusting at all. We tried to treat her the same as the others but she just hid and hissed. Then she started playing with the other kittens. So we left her alone and then she slowly joined the group and is still a little shy but ready to be adopted out. But the strangest thing we have every seen happened this morning. One of the first of the three suddenly went wild. She was running all around the house with the other kittens chasing her to play and she just screamed, growled and hissed. Last night she was standing on her hind feet on the coffee table eating ice cream off from my spoon. Today she is almost completely mad. We have no idea what to do. We take in and find homes for about 30 kittens a year so we have seen almost everything there is to see around kittens. Can anyone give us a clue? Of course this has only been going on for about 4 hours today but we are very worried about her. I picked her up and tried to check her out and I don't think she is hurt unless it is internal. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Posted on September 5, 2009

David Eddy says: My cat scratches herself until she bleeds. No fleas on her. I was wandering if this is stress related.

Posted on September 8, 2009

Jenni Bryant says: My cat is very laid back and never hisses at anything. That is, until I played a Youtube video of other cats! Now every time he comes in the guest room (his room!) he sees himself in the mirror and hisses! I covered up the bottom of the mirrors - they are on closet doors. Incidentally, the dressing area he eats in is mirrored, too! He hasn't seemed to realize that yet. I'm disturbed seeing him so upset - plus until now he loved his room. What should I do?!?!

Posted on September 9, 2009

PAT says: My kitty has not visual effidance of flea's but seems to always be bitting and licking and making a slubbering noise, it might look as if she is cleanning her self but it is so often I am concerned. We have used the earmite for her ears and used an oil for the flea's on her neck back. Her hair seems dirty to the feel now should I give her a bath?

Posted on September 12, 2009

Beth says: My cats pissed at me cuz i cut 3 of her toenails and then gave her a treat

Posted on September 12, 2009

grouperlu says: my cat seems to urinate on my body while I'm asleep.

Posted on September 13, 2009

Ethel Seay says: My son has a 5 1/2 month old kitten, adopted at 6 weeks of age. My son and the kitten moved in with me about a month and a half ago. The kitten is basically fine with me now, but when he first arrived in my home, he would bite my hand without warning. He still does this with my son several times a day. Sometimes, the kitten will jump up from behind my son's chair and bite or stratch him on the face, arm or hand. The only difference is in how we handle the cat. From what I understand, my son and his friends "rough-house" played with the kitten when he was very young. My son also always wants to pet or pick up the cat when the cat is just laying around or walking through the room. I keep advising him to just leave the cat alone unless the kitten wants to play with him wihen offered a toy or when the kitten comes up to him and seems to want to nestle or snuggle; then when the kitten first indicates that he has had enough to immediately let him go on his way. The kitten is an unneutered male. Will that help with some of this aggression? Also, am I giving my son the right advice? Please let us know. This is the first cat either of us has been around and I can't seem to find any information on this particular subject. It is painful and irritating to see these confrontations on a daily basis. Thanks for your help! By the way, except for this behavior, the kitten seems happy and well-adjusted, eats well, is up on his shots, etc.

Posted on September 15, 2009

misspriss says: Great advice about the no kill shelter. Thinking about those places make me sick to my stomach and bring tears to my eyes. How could we do such things to helpless animals unless its absolutely necessary?

Posted on September 15, 2009

Harold says: Why does my cat pull his hair out by the mouthful?

Posted on September 24, 2009

Stephanie says: David Eddy - your cat may have a skin allergy or may be very stressed about someting. Take your cat to the vet. If you want to try giving her a bath, use a mild shampoo without any fragrances to see if that helps her. But I would still stress going to see a vet!!!

Posted on September 24, 2009

Stephanie says: Harold, check your cat for fleas, give him a bath, and if he is still doing this take him to the vet. It may be more serious than just fleas or dry skin.

Posted on September 24, 2009

Stephanie says: Grouperlu - if your cat is urinating on you, then he is trying to tell you something. Check his litter box, if he may not like his litter - or it may need to be cleaned. If that's not it, take him to the vet - he may have a UTI.

Posted on September 24, 2009

Stephanie says: Pat - Try giving your cat a bath - if that does not help, then she may have a skin irritation or allergy - you may need to consult your vet.

Posted on September 24, 2009

Stephanie says: Ethel - kittens tend to rough house and if they are played with rough when they are little, they will think that it's ok to play like that. Make sure your kitten has lots of toys to play with and that when you play with him you are not using your hands. This will help deterr that behavior. If you don't have a lot of time to play with the kitten to help exert some of his energy - you may want to get him a playmate (make sure that both are spayed or neuter!)

Posted on September 24, 2009

JANE HOPPER says: HOW HARD IS IT FOR A CAT TO ADJUST TO A NEW OWNER? IT WAS A STRAY AND I'VE HAD HER 6 MONTHS AND NEED TO GIVE HER TO A PERMANENT HOME.

Posted on September 27, 2009

jas says: Have had Ben, a young male cat, for about three months. Initially he laid on his back, signifying the pecking order, and all that. I would initiate times where he'd lay on my chest getting "scratches," etc. He seemed very content with these. Which we did with greater frequency in the beginning. About half-way through our relationship, he often initiated "fighting," he has been de-clawed both front & rear, but even before this, his bites and such were harmless. Meaning no blood, just light little bites . . . When I did play fight, he'd run off and hide for extended periods of time. So, I nixed them, since I did not like the run and hide outcomes. So when he tries and play fight, I say "no," and continue about my business. Now when I initiate scratching sessions he seems to care less, one way, or the other. He used to jump onto my lap, or come up and lay on my chest before lights out, and in the morning walk up and lie down on my chest for scratches. He sometimes does, sometimes not , anymore. Seems now I change his box, feed, water him, and that's about it. No matter what I do, we grow further apart. Have had cats for 36 years, this one confounds me. Have had success with all the others. The degradation in our relationship has gotten to the point where I simply sit back and wonder. To the point, I'm ready to take him back to the Humane Society where I got him from. His bowl is always full of food, changing from one flavor to another, twice daily, fresh water served twice a day as well. I found that keeping their bowl full always. That my cats remained trim, since they didn't have any, even the slightest fear of where their next meal is coming from. I have made Ben three places to lie, and watch the squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, turtles, birds, and so on. One is where he can see quite far, and get lots of sunshine. Have had bird feeders and critter feeders in the back yard seems forever. Helps keep him interested in that at least. I did the same thing for all my other cats. They appeared to really like watching the critters do their thing. As said, just about at wits end, since being redundant, what began as a great relationship is to the point, I've just about had enough. I'm not interested in being a provider, with no interaction . . . First time I've had a pet in which we didn't have a very comfortable, harmonious relationship. So, back to the HS house he most likely will go. By the way, he is not mean, in fact has a very mellow, pretty, song like meow, uses his box, no urine, except in the box, et cetera. Of which I keep very clean for all the obvious reasons, health being one. Has all the creature comforts, seems satisfied with them. Getting chatty . . . Intially he layed on his back, signifying the pecking order and all that. I would inithiate times where he'd lay on my chest and get "scrates," etc. He ssmed very content with these. About have way through our relationship, he often initated "fighting," he has been declared both front & rears, but even before this, his bites and such are harmless. When I did play fight, he'd run off and hide for etended periods of time. Now when I initate scratching sessions he seems to care less. He used to jump into my lap, no more. Seems now I changed his box, feed him and that's about that. No matter what I do, we grow further apart. Have had cats for 36 years, this one confounds me. To the point I'm ready to take him back to the Humane Society I got him from.

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