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The litter tray

Help needed please with a "stressed" cat

22 replies

Meandthecat · 21/03/2014 20:00

Our 7 year old female cat who was a prolific hunter is now scared to go out. If I put her out she looks frightened to death and dashes back in through her flap.
She only ever had a tray overnight when we locked her in, now she has started to pee in bags left on floors, pulls bath towels into the bath to pee on and demands a tray if we are home.
The vet has started her on painkillers and some stress reducing medication to see if that helps.
It's only been a couple of days but if she continues like this I will be sharing her stress medication with her Grin
Any advice would be great, thank you.

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 21/03/2014 20:01

Very odd, new cat on the scene bullying her?

cozietoesie · 21/03/2014 20:22

Give her a tray (or two), fit a microchip cat flap so that she can feel safe inside (if it's not already a chip flap) and stick to a rigid routine. Poor girl sounds terrified so I'd also be thinking there's a new cat or two on the block.

(And get her some indoor toys to play with as well if she wants to stay inside for a bit.)

Is she neutered?

Meandthecat · 21/03/2014 20:37

Have not seen any other cats around in the garden. We do have foxes and rabbits. Fields along one side and at the bottom, neighbours the other with no pets.
She was a rescue cat having been abandoned sealed in a cardboard box and left on the side of the road, but we have had her three years and she has never shown any anxiety traits until about a month ago.
She is the most loving cat we've had and it's so upsetting to see our once confident cat like this.
Will leave her a tray out during the day so she doesn't have to go out.
DS home from uni tomorrow for a month so that might help her as she loves to be near someone when we are at home. She sits by me when I'm ironing or cooking or stays with the kids in their rooms rather than be alone asleep somewhere else.
Just hope the medication works.
Thanks for your replies.

OP posts:
Tigerstripes · 21/03/2014 20:44

She does sound scared of something outside. Her stress should reduce if she doesn't have to worry about going out to the toilet. Have you tried feliway?

Our cat was upset about another cat and started overgrooming. He was going almost bald in places. The vet recommended playing with him more to distract him from his feelings.

I hope she feels better.

Fluffycloudland77 · 21/03/2014 20:52

Is there a farm cat colony nearby? They are usually quite tough cats.

cozietoesie · 21/03/2014 20:54

And a country tom will range for miles and miles. (I forget how many miles their standard home range is but it's a lot.)

Meandthecat · 21/03/2014 21:07

She can only go out during the day as we lock her in when it gets dark. Have not seen any other cats around during the weekend when we are home. Maybe another cat comes visiting during the week. I just can't think of any other cats around, lots of dogs but no cats.
Even the sound of seagulls freaked her out when I physically put her out. I watched her from another room to see if she would leave the balcony and go down into the garden. She didn't Sad
She's cuddled up next to me so she's not stressed when she's with us.
I agree something has happened just wish I could sort it for her.
Although not coming home to birds, mice and other rodents has been a welcome change.

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 21/03/2014 21:10

Try a sure flap, it's always best to try the simplest options first.

HazeltheMcWitch · 21/03/2014 21:11

It could even be that another cat comes round at night and scents, and she smells the scent during the day. So she knows that her territory is being encroached by an unknown foe.

cozietoesie · 21/03/2014 21:15


I'd lay a wager that you have a mean new cat out there - and you wouldn't necessarily see it: they're not daft.

I'd get a chip flap and see how she gets on with that. (Sureflap is the one use by most posters and seems to work very well.) You even hear reports here of cats who have re-discovered their confidence and sit on the home side of the flap going 'Ya Boo Sucks' to any stranger cats who approach on the outside.

thehairybabysmum · 21/03/2014 21:36

Feliway, the pilgrim in atomiser one, worked well for our cat. Also if you put her out can you go out in the garden and potter, my cat (who is old and a bit nervy) is defo happier to be out when we are. It might help rebuild your cats confidence?

Meandthecat · 21/03/2014 21:39

Mmm ok, hadn't thought of a visitor at night. We have cleaned the door down incase it had a been sprayed. Will do it again.
We are about to change where her flap is, not ideal and will probably set her back! But it will be a good chance to look at flaps.
She doesn't have a collar so it will have to be one that doesn't need her to wear one.
Thanks for making me think....

OP posts:
cate16 · 21/03/2014 21:41

I have this with my cat - for some reason she is some kind of a 'babe magnet'.
The last time it happened I got up in the night and saw a big white male cat looking through our window at her........ we have never seen it in daylight.
Honestly I don't know how she does it- she is neutered, but she just seems to attract males. One (very old) actually moved in with us a few years ago and became her 'minder', while he was around she was fine with the others hanging around. Sadly he died and she's back to scardy cat again :(

cozietoesie · 21/03/2014 21:43

Microchip flaps read the chip inside them so no collar needed. Have a google on Sureflap and see what's on offer.

Meandthecat · 21/03/2014 21:43

Yes we have tried going out with her, will be better when it's warmer!
We end up with her looking out of the window out us Grin

OP posts:
Meandthecat · 26/03/2014 19:25

Quick update,

Have had a good couple of days, back to normal going out, bought us a butterfly back yesterday, seems happier.
Then tonight we have seen the other cat. Large fluffy black thing, never seen it before but she came in at great speed after the kids heard cat fighting noises. My poor little girl, back to square one.
You were all right, there is another cat. Mmm now what?

OP posts:
chemenger · 26/03/2014 19:35

Now you get a big water pistol and give the other cat a lesson he won't forget Smile. In the mean time let her stay in with a tray and don't force her to go out. Definitely get a chip cat flap in case it tries to come in.

Fluffycloudland77 · 26/03/2014 19:56

Where was the fight?

Meandthecat · 26/03/2014 20:18

Outside by the flap, we are going to be moving her flap soon, so a good time to get a microchip one but the other cat will still be around in the garden.
Have locked her in for the night she's cuddled up with me :-)

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 26/03/2014 20:23

Actually moving it might be the solution, if it means their paths don't cross.

cozietoesie · 26/03/2014 20:27

If she comes to know that the mean cat can't get at her, she'll start to relax inside (because she knows she's safe) and also, to a degree, outside (because she knows she can dash for cover.) It's always possible as well that with an ordinary flap at the moment, the black cat has been inside your house when you aren't around or alert and maybe even spraying/eating food - so removing the ability to get in will lessen his incentive to come round, particularly if he gets watered when he's at yours.

You can crack this one, I think.

Fluffycloudland77 · 26/03/2014 20:40

Try to remember mean cat is probably soppy cat at home & is loved.

No need to get the purdy out.

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