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My cat's scared...


Rose

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Hello - I'm hoping someone can give me some advice about my cat.  We have two cats, a female who's 12 (Tikka) and a boy (Pig) who'll be 5 on 1st May.  They are both very happy with their move to France and seemed to have settled in very well.  However, over the last few weeks Pig has started to act a bit strange.

Every so often he attacks Tikka for no reason... she'll wander in and he'll just jump on her... lots of meows and hisses and she runs off.  Other times I'll find them both cuddled up together on the chair... sometimes Tikka will even lick and clean Pig.  We've also noticed he's not as cuddly as he used to be.  We had him from birth... his mum was our cat... and he is usally the soppiest dopiest cat around.  Lately, he'll sit near us but doesn't seem to like being stroked or given too much attention.

The other worrying thing is that he seems affraid to go out.  So much so that he as taken to weeing in the bath!!!! [:-))] Whilst it's convenient to wash out it's a habit that I want to stop!!!  He wont go out alone now and the last few days I've actually had to go out and stay with him whilst he does his business... he looks very nervous and not too happy! 

I have noticed on our balcony that some mornings it looks like an animal has come and had wee and today we saw a dog wander into the garden and come onto the balcony... much to Pig's distress! 

I'm not really sure what we can do to stop other animals coming around at night and I'm loathed to put a litter tray down... any one had any expereince of this?  I'm also not sure if the changes in behaviour are related... but Pig is obviously nervous about something and just not himself...

All ideas welcome! [:D]

EDIT... both cat's have been 'done' [:$]

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It could be that Tikka has got friendly or rubbed up against the 'peeing guest' [:-))]!  Pig is probably feeling a bit pushed out and if the visitor happens to be another maybe older male cat then it could be that he's had a run in with him and got a fright.

 

 

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We did wonder if it was another cat... Tikka did get in a fight a few months ago with another cat and had a badly injured paw... but she doesn't seem bothered by it - she's quite happy going out... she's a tough old boot unless you rattle a bit of paper and then she runs a mile... we've cleaned the 'peeing spot' with water/bleach solution but don't know if that will just make our guest more determined to leave his mark! [blink] I guess it's possible that he's jealous... and after their spats Tikka always seems to go to him and give him a little kiss... poor piggy... maybe we just need to keep re-assuring him and going out with him until he feels more confident! 

I do feel a bit stupid standing in the garden talking to the cat whilst he does his business... my neighbour has driven past and caught us for the last two mornings... most probably thinks it's a quaint engish tradition!  [:D]

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[quote user="TWINKLE"]Yes - I can now confirm that you should never clean 'pipi de chat' with bleach - this attracts cats.  You can use fizzy water apparently.[/quote]

Great... I've bleached the bath, the bathroom floor and the 'pipi' place -  not sure if I should go to bed or start cleaning!!! I'm off to l'eclerc's in the morning for a bottle or two of the fizzy stuff!!! [8-)]

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Hi rose

I had a similar situation with my cat, in respect of the frightened to go outside, and going to the toilet inside thing.       My cat was badly attacked by something about a month after we moved to France (still no idea what) and was terrified.   He would go in his litter tray and he would go outside to the toilet but only if I stood next to him (not nice !).       We know he was attacked because of the injuries he sustained.

Of course I cannot say that your cat was also attacked, but his (sorry, I think it is a male, I cant recall) fear of going out and his sudden aggressiveness to your other cat suggests he may have been and has gone into scared, defensive mode.

Our cat did get over it, but it took some months for him to get his confidence back.   Even two years later he still tries to wait to go to the toilet until he sees me outside, then he will rush up to me and go next to where I am, but this could just be a rather unfortunate (not to mention unpleasant!) habit now.   We do now always keep him in the house after dark.

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Thanks Londoneye... sounds very much like this could have happened.  We had another 'present' in the bath this morning (yuck!) ... I really want to break him of this habit!

He was attacked when he was a tiny kitten - when a ginger tom came into our kitchen and tried to kill the kittens, he also attacked the mum too and gave her a nasty bite on the back... Pig was so badly injured and the vet wasn't sure if he would make it... he was only the size of your hand poor little thing.   He did recover of course and is now a great big chap but then it took a while to get him to go outside and we had to physically take him to the garden and crouch down beside him before he would go.  I wonder if he's had a scrap and it's brought back memories for him?  Do cats have this type of memory?

I think what we'll do is make sure we take him out last thing at night and try and rebuild his confidence... I'll also try the Fabreeze and pepper to discourage any other visitors.

I've also noticed that he has to lick himself before he goes... he 'assumes' the position and seems to take ages... the he'll have a lick (sorry!) and try again... do you think he could be having problems going?

It's such a shame as he really was so soppy... if you picked him up he would just flop like a toy and snuggle in... he loved attention and being cuddled.  The last few weeks he goes rigid and just tries to get away.  He's happy to sit beside us but not on us... and he doesn't like going out.

thanks for the advice - any other tips welcome [:)]

p.s. he is eating and drink well

 

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Very strange you should say that.   When our cat was a kitten in UK he was runt of litter (from Battersea found abandoned), and was never the most confident cat.   A few days after we started letting him out in the garden he was attacked by next door neighbours rescue cat, which although domestic had been feral for quite some time and was not high on the friendly stakes.   Anyway, our cat was going to the toilet when the attack happened, and although he wasn't injured, he was clearly a bit shaken up, and we had similar situation with the toilet thing and 'mummy' (!) having to go out with him for a while.     So, strange as it sounds, maybe they do have some kind of memory of those sorts of incidents and when it happens again they lose confidence big time.   Who knows - would be lovely to know what goes on in their heads though, wouldn't it ??
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My mother had a cat which used to roam about the neighbourhood during the night.   It often came back somewhat "roughed-up" after an expedition, but a couple of months ago it sufferred a really bad bite on its neck which was not immediately apparent (it was not a friendly cat for stroking), which turned into a huge ganglion on its shoulder.   Consequently the cat had to be put to sleep.

Mum was paranoid about what had done this to her moggy, blaming the neighbour's dog, someone else's tomcat etc., but after a subsequent cat was similarly mauled another neighbour staked out his garden shed and witnessed a huge brawl between a fox and some unfortunate pussycat over some leftovers dragged from a dustbin.   It was a fox that had been fighting with the local moggies after all.

Maybe this is the case with the scared cat?

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I think it's very difficult to figure out what's going on with cats. Another thing to consider is the cat gets some pain when it pees... hence it pees somewhere "safe" before the pain attacks it. That might also be why Pig attacks your other cat - a jab of pain is blamed on the nearest suspect. It might be worth having Pig checked for cystitis. As for the pee-ing inside, I'd be tempted to give in until summer and give him a litter tray. As you say, the bath is easy to manage but if he finds a new loo on a chair or in a corner on a rug or something, that would quickly become a problem.

Use a biological washing powder or something like the UK BioTex stain removal powder to deal with pee residue. There are proteins in pee and the bio washing powders break these proteins down. Anything ammonia-like (eg bleach) will reinforce a cat's desire to re-mark.

Edit:

I just re-read the bit where you say he goes rigid if you pick him up. I think you do need to get him checked over by a vet. If you exclude physical problems then you can consider psychotherapy. For Pig, I mean... [;-)]

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I was told to use biological washing powder to clean up where the pup had gone to the toilet in the house.  Apparently this is the only thing that gets rid of the scent.  However I agree with the other poster, get the cat checked out by the vet too.
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Hello Rose - I think poor Pig has got physical problems.......

I would be extremely worried if a lovely, 'flopsy', cuddly cat suddenly started acting in the way your - previously soppy - Pig is now doing.

I'm presuming he's been neutered - in which case one of the problems male cats have if they are neutered too soon is that their urinary system does not mature properly; if a cat subsequently develops crystals in its urine these crystals can build up or 'block' the urinary system over time - and you then have a poor cat that is in pain when weeing.  Your comments about him 'assume position...take ages..try again' - really are classic symptoms of urinary problems - please take him to Vet asap. The sitting close to you is a sign that he is in pain, and is desperately trying to get your attention, to understand why he's unhappy, and to help him feel better....

I don't want to frighten you, but if left unchecked that poor cat can eventually end up with a blocked urethea, a bloated bladder and failing kidneys - and it's an emergency situation. We had these troubles with a 3 year old rescue cat back in the UK - the poor cat was not well-treated by the vet and eventually he had a very distressing and painful end. I would always advise any owners of male kittens to delay having them 'sorted' for as long as possible.

Do please have Pig examined...after all if you can rule out any physical pain for his problems then it must be psychologial...and even more interesting to resolve.

But let us know what the vet says first.

Regards - Chessie

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[quote user="chessie"]
Do please have Pig examined...after all if you can rule out any physical pain for his problems then it must be psychologial...and even more interesting to resolve.
[/quote]

Thanks Chessie (and everyone for the posts).  I think we'll take Pig to the vet tomorrow just to be on the safe side.

My next question would be can anyone give me a few phrases in French that would help us explain to the vet what the problem is.  How would I say for example that ...

He sits down to go but takes ages and stops and licks himself on his 'bits' and tries again... or whilst he has started to wee in the house he hasn't poo'd... and that he is normally very friendly and soppy but he is now appears anxious and not as friendly... [:$]  or even try to explain the problem that Chessie has explained above or even cystitis...

Our French is okish but a few key phrases would help us enormously trying to explain this to our vet

thanks again for all the replies

 

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I haven't read all, but yes it looks like crystals. We've just had one doing that and I've been giving him Cysticat and he's getting better, but if it gets too bad they have to use a "sonde" to get through.

I would say "J'ai l'impression que mon chat a du mal à uriner.  Il a peut-être des calculs ou "grains de sable".  Il essaie souvent, n'y arrive pas et se leche."

The vet will soon see by feeling the bladder.  They call it "sand" sable or cristaux.  He will probably give something like Cysticat and antibiotics if it's not too bad.

Good luck, let us know.

 

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Hello Rose

Just one further thought about Pig weeing in the bath - if he does have urinary problems it might be that he finds the cold of the bath surface just eases his pain a little bit....the fact that it's only wee and not poo might be the answer - he's probably finding the litter tray just a bit 'rough' on what might be a very sore and painful part of his anatomy !!!

Do hope he gets proper treatment and is soon back to his 'cuddly' self.

Regards - chessie

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