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Dr Pete
Dr Pete, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3009
Experience:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science University of Melbourne
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My cat has been acting very skittish, nervous and jumpy for

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My cat has been acting very skittish, nervous and jumpy for about a week now. Just a few minutes ago as I was walking in the door and holding one of the other cats we have, she jumped really high in the air in a blur of frantic motion. Afterward all the cats in the house (we have 5 total) were very jumpy around her and watching her closely, and their hair was somewhat raised. She's also defecated in the living room a couple times in the last few days, which is unusual. We have her locked away from the other cats at the moment and I plan to take her to the vet in the morning, but can you tell me if this could be from something OTHER than rabies?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 7 years ago.


I don’t think that rabies would be my first consideration with this. This sounds much more like something has created a state of high anxiety in her. It’s not going to be possible to say what without knowing the details of her daily life and recent adventures. That might even be difficult for you. But something has happened to make her skittish. Cats are very observant creatures and your other cats have noticed her body language and have responded with some signs themselves.

Very often the types of things to cause this behaviour are alterations in the cat’s immediate surroundings. So this may mean altered cat activity outside, a new neighbourhood dog, etc.

Her passing the stool in the living room is a common manifestation of anxiety in cats, well recognised. We call it misplaced defecation.

It’s still worthwhile having her assessed by your vet because illness can cause anxiety in cats but I feel her problem is more psychological than physiological.

It may be worthwhile talking to your vet about anti-anxiety treatment if this should persist. You should also consider obtaining some Feliway. This product is available on the internet, at pet supplies and from your vet. It is a spray that contains cat pheromones. Cats produce these chemicals from specialised chin glands. You will see them rubbing their chin on household objects, effectively marking these as "safe zones". So you can use the Feliway to mark your home as such. This reduces the anxiety. The product is safe and odourless to humans. This is the first step you should take.
So don’t get too worried at this stage.

I hope I’ve been of some assistance.

Kindest regards, Peter

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