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10yo rescue cat sitting staring at me

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Ralph's Mumma, Nov 7, 2018.


  1. Ralph's Mumma

    Ralph's Mumma PetForums Newbie

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    I am a first time cat owner (I don't have any other pets either) and I adopted my cat, a 10yo moggie, 5 months ago from cats protection. He seems to have a nervous disposition in general, but he has been very affectionate from day 1 and would jump on my lap for hugs all evening, sometimes even without encouragement and usually meows when wanting attention.

    The last couple of days I have noticed him being quite reclusive and when he does come out, he sits at my feet and just stares at me. I have tried encouraging him to jump up and he ignores me and continues to stare at me. If I reach out to pet him he backs away and eventually runs off. This seems highly unusual behaviour from him, despite only having him for 5 months.

    He is still eating and drinking water normally. He has been coming through to my bedroom at night (which he normally does) but sits on the edge of the bed not seeking attention like he usually would. He has had regular vet visits recently for a skin issue (after various dermatological tests we think its a flea allergy), so the vet hasn't flagged up any other issues with his health or well-being other than this.

    He was nervous and hid all evening during bonfire night - could he still be reacting oddly because of this?

    Any suggestions for why he is behaving this way would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Dumpling

    Dumpling PetForums VIP

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    It could just be down to still being a bit worried about fireworks, but if he continues to cat like this I would be inclined to speak to my vet. Not wanting to jump up on your lap/backing away from ypur touch could be an indicator of arthritic changes, a possibility as he's an older boy.

    I know you said he is having regular vets visits for a skin condition, but apart from a quick check of eyes/teeth/heart I know my vet wouldn't be looking for signs of things that I hadn't raised with them, if that makes sense?

    You could try some calming treatments like a pet remady plug in and some zylkene in his food, even if it doesn't solve the issue you are seeing, if he's a nervous chap it might help him feel a bit more confident in general.
     
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  3. Ralph's Mumma

    Ralph's Mumma PetForums Newbie

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    Hi @Dumpling, many thanks for responding to my query and for your suggestions.

    I have tried the Feliway and Pet Remedy plug ins - the Pet Remedy one really bothered him by seeming to aggravate his skin condition (he was scratching a grooming all night immediately after I plugged it in one evening), so I have stopped using these.

    Before diagnosing his flea allergy, the vet thought his skin condition could be stress related so prescribed him Calmex - he usually has a very good appetite but he would not eat any of his food after I put Calmex on it, so I stopped using this too. Are there any pill forms of calming treatments that you would recommend - preferably with natural ingredients? I will ask the vet about this too.

    The vet is due to call me next week with more results from his dermatological tests so I will raise this behavioural change with her, you have recommended, and ask if it could be age related such as arthritis. I am trying to avoid further vet visits as he gets very anxious in his carrier and travelling to the vet even though it is only a 5 min drive - sometimes I think the vet visits exacerbates any problems he has!
     
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  4. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    Hi and welcome you have obviously noticed a significant change in your kitty that concerns you. Just another opinion but I always feel that when cats are reluctant to come too close and are a bit detached is when they are not feeling too well. I wonder if it’s worth asking your vets to do full panel blood test just to see if there might be a physical/medical reason for his recent behaviour. I do hope he perks up soon.
     
  5. ExD

    ExD PetForums Senior

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    It is unnerving when cats stare at you but don't fret about it too much, don't try to outstare him as this is agressive cat behaviour, just look him straight in the eye and blink once, fairly slowly, then look away - this is a cat's way of saying 'hello friend' or so I'm told. I also think Soozi's blood test idea is your next step at the vet's.
    Hopefully its a bit of left over 'shell shock' from the fireworks (like post traumatic what's it) and will fade away with quiet love and care.
    He has a lot of baggage from his past, and something's spooked him so he's feeling a bit insecure just now - perhaps he trusted someone and they let him down so he's just a little unsure as to whether you are really as wonderful as you seem to be?
    (Sorry, I'm giving cats human reasoning abilities aren't I? Not a good idea really)
     
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  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I would be concerned about the shying away, sounds like he's in pain He may want to be with you but is afraid of being in more pain. I'd have him to the vet if it continues. If it is arthritis pain, there are things that can be done for him.

    I agree also about having blood work done. Ask for a full senior panel, including thyroid. Have the vet take a urine sample too.

    How are his litter box habits? Is he peeing and pooping normally? Is he on a wet diet?

    Regarding something to reduce stress, I like Rescue Remedy for pets. I find it very effective and it has no flavor or odor. Just four drops mixed in the wet food, or even rubbed on the ear flap or along the lips.

    I don't agree that this staring is aggressive behavior. My cats stare at me all the time, it's normal behavior for many cats. They love me and like to watch me, that is all.

    However cats also will stare to try to communicate. It's the staring and shying away and avoiding you combination that is cause for concern. It could be the fireworks stress, but pain is my first thought.
     
    #6 lorilu, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    Clairabella, stockwellcat. and Soozi like this.
  7. ExD

    ExD PetForums Senior

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    I take it your puzza cat's name is Ralph? How is he today?
    I was thinking it might be a good idea to get him to the vet's today or tomorrow to get him sorted out before the weekend especially if he isn't eating properly. Although cat's faces can be very expressive, they don't seem able to convey pain very well - in fact they can sometimes look quite sleepy and contented when in fact they're really just enduring quite severe pain.
    Its a couple of days since we heard from you, so I hope he's feeling better.
     
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  8. HappyKitty

    HappyKitty PetForums Member

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    If he's still not right, I agree a vet's appointment. My boy was acting out of character, and it was only when he started growling at me, I got him to the vet - luckily vet said I could take him in before next surgery. He had an infected lump with lots of pus and temperature. This wasn't obvious to me as an owner
     
    lorilu likes this.
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