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Ask Dr. Romy Core Your Own Question
Dr. Romy Core
Dr. Romy Core, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 196
Experience:  6 years veterinary small animal practice experience and owns a solo veterinary practice
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My cat is all of a sudden acting really scared of everything.

Resolved Question:

My cat is all of a sudden acting really scared of everything. He is still eating, drinking and using his tray but he seems to also be staying in the one spot in the house a lot which is in front of the radiator in the bathroom. He needs to be encouraged to go downstairs and although going to his tray he is not using it as often. He is also hissing at things and acting really frightened around them. What can be wrong with him? He is still purring sometimes, but again sometimes needs to be encouraged, this is not like him. He also likes his hugs and again doesn't always want them?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Romy Core replied 7 years ago.
Hello there! Sounds like your old friend is having some problems. In a cat this age with these type of new symptoms, I am slightly suspicious of hyperthyroidism. This is a very common problem that we veterinarians encounter with older cats. It most often causes, a rapid heart rate, increaed appetite and thirst, weight loss, and can definitely bring with it some strange new behaviors or anxieties. Pets are in a hypermetablolic state, so they can be hyperactive and anxious. With hyperthyroidism, often the pet loses weight despite a continually good appetite. This can easily be checked for with a small blood sample taken by your veterinarian. This test as well as a blood chemistry are meritted on pets of this age range, no matter what the problem. They can not only determine what may be causing these symptoms, but also what should be done next for him to help.

If the blood test shows normal values for his thyroid and other chemistries, then perhaps this could just be behavioral. Sometimes these erratic type behaviors can come from a place of anxiety in these pets. While there are behavior modifiying medications that may be helpful to you, I will start you off with another suggestion. There is a great plug-in diffuser product called a Feliway Diffuser that emits a calming pheromone that can aid in relaxing your stressed out cat. This product helps for cats that are territorial or anxious and uncomfortable. This might offer you an initial solution to try and if your pet is still behaving strangely after a month or more, then visit with your veterinarian. He or she may help to solve this problem with medications that you can either give by mouth or through a transdermal gel that can be applied to the ear. I hope this helps and I wish you luck.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
When you say hyperactive, he's not jumping around frantically, but does walk around very slowly, sniffing everything particularly the floor around him. I would certainly so a bit anxious, as he is acting scared, but would that cover hyperactive as he is doing a lot of sleeping too..
Expert:  Dr. Romy Core replied 7 years ago.
Doug, I say yes. Any new strange behaviors like you are describing could be explained by an overactive thyroid. They don't all "read the book" as we say, so won't always have ALL of the typical symptoms, but if you were my client, I would be suspicious enough to rule this out first thing.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

okay, many thanks for your help. So I think we may take the advice on the diffisuer but would also be happier to have him visit my own vet locally.



Expert:  Dr. Romy Core replied 7 years ago.
Glad to help. I hope if this was useful, you will ACCEPT the answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

I wish you luck with your cat. Let me know.
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