This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Complete change in cat behaviour - help!(13 Posts)
Our 11 year girl(spayed) seems to have undergone a complete reversal in behaviours. She was a sleep all day , out all night cat. In fact in Summer she wouldn't come in at all and slept on the shed roof in the sun and demand to be fed outdoors. Now she wont go out. About once a day she will eventually go out after a lot of palaver...only to poo I think then straight back ! Minutes she out. She was never a lap cat or participant cuddly, aloof and independent..now she wont leave my daughter alone .She follows her around wanting her to come and be upstairs (dog free zone) so she can sit on her. In fact she will even come into the rooms where the dog is to find her ! She hasn't done this in 7years . She used to be an extremely fussy and minimal eater..now it's a constant demand but not being eaten .
Sorry if that's long, I wanted to illustrate some key contrasting behaviours.
We've been to vet and blood tests are ok. Vet says she is extremely healthy and fit.
I guess I want to know if anyone has experienced similar. She is almost constantly demanding something from us ... but we cant seem to fulfill what she wants . She's doing this at night too. I swear I slept more with my babies! Any help?
Could she be losing her sight or hearing? That would make her less confident to be on her own. Or possibly dementia.
How long ago was she spayed? It could be hormonal, e.g. ovarian remnant syndrome. Or something outside could have scared her.
How old is your daughter? Could anyone in the household be pregnant?
Is it definitely your cat?
😂she is definitely our cat . She was spayed in her first year, at the age the vet recommended- so probably 10 years ago now.
My daughter is definitely not pregnant.
I did wonder about dementia and mentioned to the vet but she didn't seem to interested in that and kind of dismissed it.
If it is dementia- is there medication ?
She does sound a bit like my cat as she got older. Was always aloof and independent. Now wants to sit on my knee and follows me round the house all day.
You cat sounds a bit young to have dementia. Re the eating - did she have her thyroid checked. As other folk have said I found that my cat didn’t feel safe outside when her eyesight and hearing weren’t so good as she got older
I had a hostile and unfriendly kitten that became virtually a house cat that wanted to always be with you preferably on your lap! Not overnight though.
I wonder if something outside has spooked your cat.
Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Yes, I paid nearly 200 quid so I think the blood tests covered thyroid too.
There's nothing outside we can fathom would scare her. It's a quiet isolated street and no new cars etc.She's queen of the street usually.
I've watched carefully regarding
eyes/ears as I hadn't thought of that , but I really don't think there's anything wrong. She turned at the shaking of Dreamies packet 😂
She has had me up and down out of bed since 5.15 am . It's very wearing.
This happened with my niece's cat. He was an outside, aloof boy for many years, but as he aged he became much more affectionate. There was nothing medically wrong with him, he suddenly just wanted to live his life differently.
You've had him checked by the vet, so I'd say he's either been spooked by something or someone and now wants to be close to his family, or he's just ready for a change of life. Does he get any playtime with you? Regular play gives them a structure to their day. Try to ignore him when he disturbs you in the middle of the night. I've started to do this with my old cat, who likes to whack me round the head in the wee hours. I bury myself under the duvet, so he can't get to me, and he soon gives up😹
Thanks everyone. Sorry for typos.
That's interesting Want2. I have the feeling we wont get answers unless this develops slowly into something more , which we hope not.
Maybe Winter has just triggered a desire for a different life.
The night waking we shall see 😂😂she has many strategies that she is happy to implement to ensure slave cooperation! I'll try not to reinforce .
Has she been wormed recently?
Have you tried feliway? Can you give her bedding that smells like you or your daughter to help her settle at night?
Do you know if she hunted when she went out at night? If she did, she’s probably missing that. Playing with her will provide an outlet for her hunting instinct and may help her to sleep better at night. Does she have any food toys?
Have you tried giving her high value treats when she voluntarily goes outside, to give her a positive association of being outside (just in case something has spooked her)?
Maybe she's cold?
Its been bloody chilly lately!
Cats do tend to become more snuggly as they age.
When did this new behaviour start?
I wonder if she's suddenly realised she loves having you all home so much due to lockdown!
As to nighttime disturbance...shut your door?
If all else fails, a hiss can get the message across you wish to be left alone to sleep.
Can you leave toys out for her to play with at night? It might be that she's still being nocturnal but doesn't want to go out atm.
I do think a lot of her "come feed me" behaviours are thwarted "let me out".As both would have resulted in us being led to the top landing. I think I realise this but she doesn't. She doesn't head down the staircase as her signal to want out...she just circles the landing , around the food area.
She's never been a toy player as she was outdoorsy all her life and when she was in, she was in to eat and sleep. None of your interactive nonsense😂.
We would be off to work and school then anyway and she liked her peace. My Mum came to house for school nursery childcare but she would ignore any daytime adults etc. I could try toys, although I have a feeling she'll just stare them distainfully. 😂like other ignored Christmas gifts.
She is pretty much an upstairs cat (her choice) as she has traditionally avoided the dog (innocent of any aggression). When she wants out she has relied on the same signals and her leading us to the request. We are pretty well trained. I guess her instincts are signalling outside time , but it's just not happening the way it used to.
We have wormed her regularly as she was outdoors so much.
The high value treats is a good idea. We have resorted to enticing her from her position halfway up the stairs ,down to the front door with prawns... or shaking Temptations box which was an old trigger.
Thank you again for all your suggestions. She is a feisty lass if you even try to "encourage her" downstairs towards the door.
She will shred carpets or flooring at the foot of a locked door so we can't enclose her( had replace a linoleum floor in bathroom when trying to contain her for an operation next day)
She doesn't seem stressed when actually outside. Her demeanour seems normal and relaxed- sauntering , grooming on windowsill etc , but she's out for only minutes .
I'm going to apologise as I feel I am refuting every suggestion- trying not to be an askhole honestly. I think it may well be a combination of suggested things : old age , Winter and some anxiety that's been reinforced about going outdoors.
Whatever the work conditions, we remain, as ever, her loyal servants.
Whatever the work conditions, we remain, as ever, her loyal servants.
And thats the only thing that matters!
Please login first.