Cat suddenly scared of house

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Ruthmart
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Cat suddenly scared of house

Post by Ruthmart » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:20 am

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping for some advice about my rescue cat, Rocky, who I adopted six months ago. He is a super friendly 4 year old former stray who settled in really well but he has had a rough month. His partner in crime who we adopted at the same time sadly passed away a month ago - she was very ill and we have since discovered that they both also tested positive for FIV and coronavirus.

Shortly after she was euthanised we discovered he had severe gingivostomatitis and he stopped eating due to the pain in his mouth. Several trips to the vet later, he had two teeth extracted. He seemed to recover well and is now eating normally. However almost a week ago he suddenly freaked out in the kitchen - seemingly at nothing - and is now afraid of that room. Unfortuately that room is the entry into the house, the place where he eats and sleeps (when he isn't curled up with us). At first he dashed through the room at lightning speed to get in and out of the house but for the past two days he has refused to come inside at all which means that he is staying outside all night. He will only eat outside and won't come within a few metres of the kitchen/back door. He won't be coaxed inside even with food and if I try to pick him up to bring him inside he gets agitated and I don't want to stress him any further given his FIV status and the tough time he's had lately.

As a former stray he is pretty streetwise and also doesn't really wander beyond our garden but I'm not happy with him staying out all night - he is neutered but I think there are other cats around who might pick a fight and this morning he appeared with a nasty scratch on a nose.

No idea what spooked him - I did wonder if maybe an insect bit him. No evidence of fleas and he is up to date with quality flea treatments but I've sprayed the house with indorex just in case.

Has anyone experienced anything similar and do they have any advice? I will try to bring him in again tonight as I don't want him getting into scraps after dark but he is a big cat and he does tend to get very upset if he is manhandled against his will!

Many thanks

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Alice
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Re: Cat suddenly scared of house

Post by Alice » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:57 pm

I've never heard of anything like this. You obviously need to be able to get him into the house by some means. Is there really no other door which you can open for him? How would you escape in an emergency? If not, could you open a ground floor window wide enough to 'post' him through or where there is, or can be made, something he can climb onto and come in without the stress of you picking him up??
When he's in I'd try putting tempting food treats, a bit of tuna, chicken, etc just inside the kitchen to help him see that it's not a bad place.

Best of luck. Keep us posted.

Ruthmart
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Re: Cat suddenly scared of house

Post by Ruthmart » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:14 pm

Unfortunately we live in a terraced house and we have patio doors out onto the garden so there aren't any other windows or doors he can come through. He doesn't go around the front of the house (which is usually a good thing as we live on a fairly busy road) and at the moment he just doesn't want to come inside.

Even with his favourite food he is reluctant to come close to the house and will only eat at a certain distance. It really is bizarre behaviour, he seems so afraid. It seemed to come out of nowhere but something must have really startled him. I've just ordered a Feliway diffuser for the kitchen to see if that might help and some calming cat treats as well. Fingers crossed!

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fjm
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Re: Cat suddenly scared of house

Post by fjm » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:49 pm

Could he have been stung or bitten? It might explain the sudden fear, although knowing what caused it may not help with overcoming it. I think I would try feeding him inside a big open box, set at his comfort distance from the house, and move it an inch or two closer at every meal or session with treats. If he becomes wary slow down the moving. Making him a temporary abode outside by putting a sheet of something waterproof over a big dog crate and putting a comfy bed etc in there might be an option, if he would consent to spend the nights there.

Ruthmart
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Re: Cat suddenly scared of house

Post by Ruthmart » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:05 pm

Yes I do think that’s probably what happened - he may well have been stung or got bitten. Unfortunately we have had lots of flies and bees coming in from the garden at the moment.

I managed to get him in tonight with a bit of a struggle and a few minor scratches to show for it but I feel much better having him inside especially after he had somehow obtained a nasty scratch when he stayed out last night. I wonder if I should even try to keep him in for a few days with a feliway diffuser and see how he fares before letting him outside again.

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