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Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1484
Experience:  Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon
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Our cat (approx 8 yrs old) has suddenly developed behaviour

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Our cat (approx 8 yrs old) has suddenly developed behaviour problems. He always slept indoors overnight and looked forward to coming in and sleeping on one of the beds. Recentle he wants to remain outside in next doors greenhouse, not budging for hours - he wont even use neighbours gardens for his toilet procedures, but will do everything in his dirtbox before going out. There is a cat - a fluffy kitten type trhat has been hanging around and has ventured into the house on occasions, would that cause our pet to behave so differently. He also appears to be off his food to some extent - although will eat when very hungry. We are quite concerned - can you help please?

I hope I can help with your question and do message me if you have any queries regarding my answer/advice.

I am sorry Sammy is behaving differently.

Firstly, you should make sure he is eating, drinking and defecating normally and is not suffering from diarrhoea or sickness and that albeit behaving differently is alert, bright and attentive. If this is all normal then it is likely to be a behavioural problem.

It is highly likely that the intrusion of this new cat on to Sammy's territory has caused significant upset. Cats are extremely territorial and anything that affects those territory boundaries will cause grave concern to the established cat. It is quite usual for the appearance of a new cat to cause altered behaviour in cats but for a strange cat to enter the house, significant upset is likely so it is not surprising Sammy is spending more time away from the house.

The increased use of his litter box may well be an attempt to re establish his territory by marking scent in the house.

Ways to improve the situation..... Firstly deter this new cat from the house as if repeated episodes of it entering the house continue then Sammy will feel further pushed away. Secondly make the house a relaxed place for Sammy and this can be done using appeasing pheromones such as Feliway ( these can work wonders and are plugged in like an air freshener. If this doesn't improve things then pop to your vet and get some zylxene ( this is a natural product aimed at in reading serotonin levels in animals and alleviating anxiety and stress, I have had some great results with this.

I hope this helps and things improve. If you notice any physical changes in Sammy or increasing amounts of lethargy then definitely get a vet check.


Dan Makin
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