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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Previous Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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Over the last three years Ive lost 4 of my 5 pets. 2 dogs

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Over the last three years I've lost 4 of my 5 pets. 2 dogs and 2 cats. I only have one cat left. She's never been an only pet. Its been 6 months now since her brother died, could she still be grieving? She still isn't herself. Is it that she's not used to being alone? She gets startled very easily and snaps at me for no reason. I really didn't want anymore animals but if it would make her happy id get her a friend. What do u think?
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today. I am sorry to hear about the losses of your pets. I have a few questions so I better assess what may be going on with Silly.

Is she eating and drinking normally?

Have you noticed any recent weight loss?

When was she last seen by a vet?

Can you tell me what she is doing when she snaps at you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No,she isn't eating normally. I think I've bought every food in the store. Its probably been about three months since she's been to the vet. As far as snapping,I could just be petting her and she'll bite me. Sometimes gentely and other times bad. When its hard she runs away. Two nights ago when I went to bed she just stood at the end of the hall with a sock. Crying. I went to get her and brought her with me to bed. She went back to the sock. So I tossed it down the stairs thinking she wanted to play. In a few min she was crying again at the top of the stairs with the sock. Really weird. Additionally, since the pets died,our son has moved out too. The house is empty a lot and she's alone. I'm worried
Thank you for the additional information. Please give me just a few minutes to type up your answer.
There are a few possible reasons for what is going on with her.
First cats do not do well with change and while unlike dogs cats in the wild live solitary lives they can grieve when they loose their house mates or when someone moves out.
Even a small change can cause them to stop eating and develop behavior changes. THe not eating normally is a concern as when a cat stops eating or reduces the amount they eat the body begins to burn fat for energy. The problem with cats is that their liver can not process this fat and can result in a condition called Hepatic Lipidosis aka fatty liver. This can lead to liver failure.

While this could be stress related we also have to be concerned in a senior cat that this could be medical in nature. Senior cats are prone to problems such as diabetes, kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. Starting easily, sudden aggression and being more vocal then normal can also indicate a problem with the eye sight.

I would start with a vet visit for an exam, senior blood work to check for the problems I listed above and a good eye exam.

As for getting another pet that really is a hard call. I say that because this is something we see owners do often and in some cases it can help but in many cases it does not go well and the resident cat will turn the aggression on the new comer or stop eating all together, with cats we never know which way this will go.
As I stated above I would start with a vet visit first and then if she checks out ok then you could consider getting another cat but we do not want to do this if this is not something you really want to do. Perhaps you could talk to a local rescue and try fostering a senior kitty that needs a home and see how it goes. If you offer to foster then you would not be committed if things go bad. In some cases rescues will allow you to do a trial if not fostering and if things do not go well they will take the kitty back.

I would also like you to get some Feliway plug in ans even a pheromone collar. Both the plug in and the collar release cat calming pheromones that really help reduce anxiety and are very effective in cases like this. For the collars at our office we recommend the nuturecalm collar . Click here

I would also try to increase her play time if she is a cat that likes to play. just like with humans exercise helps to reduce anxiety. You can try things like a laser pointer or a fishing pole toy so she can not get close enough to bite if over stimulated.

I hope this helps and she calms down soon. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be more then happy to continue.
Candy and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I started using a laser pointer this am and she loves it. She has a lot of energy for an older cat. She's a tiny girl. Maybe that's y. Ill try the find the plug online today. But a question. If she's so excited by the laser pointer doesn't seem to saya that she's bored?
Most cats love the laser pointer and even cats in a multi cat house hold get bored so it just may be that she needs some toys to keep her occupied and not another cat.
Here are some other things she may enjoy
They even have hands free lasers for cats as well
Click here for a hands free laser
Other toys that work well are the panic mouse and or a remote controlled mouse.
Click here for the panic mouse .
Click the links below for other toys that will get her moving
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5

Look for toys that are timer controlled so you can set these for when you are not home .
Link 1
Link 2
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So u think she just bored?
I think it may be a combination of boredom and anxiety but I can not rule out medical problems due to her lack of eating normally
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

okay thanks