Cat returned from vet, other cat freaking out

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Inki
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Cat returned from vet, other cat freaking out

Post by Inki » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:33 am

One cat had dental surgery yesterday. Brought him home late afternoon & he’s fine. But my 2nd cat skirted him warily, hissed, ran away. They’re around 9 years old and always together: this is new behaviour. The 2nd cat won’t eat, even when I’ve removed 1st cat from the room. Licks the surface of the food for 2 seconds then runs away. Major hissing at 1st cat. Now gone outside, disappeared. Doesn’t respond when I call. I’m afraid he won’t come home at all! What can I do?

Mollycat
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Re: Cat returned from vet, other cat freaking out

Post by Mollycat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:17 am

Unfortunately this is very common, even with cats who have been together all their lives. Don't let it escalate as it can quickly do real lasting damage to their relationship. Separate the cats if you can in different parts of the house and go through the steps of introducing cats for the first time so that the other cat will accept him again.

Your cat who went to the vets has not only the smell of the vets but the meds and surgical cleaning products. Strong and unpleasant odours that also mask his own and the 'family' smells for some time. Some people say the other cat doesn't recognise the cat who has been away - I believe it's fairer to say doesn't recognise him as part of the family because of the strange smells.

I have two cats, if I remove the boy from the house for any longer than about an hour I know there's going to be trouble. If I remove the girl from the house for 2 weeks as I had to recently, there is no issue at all. The girl is extremely territorial, nervous and protective of her personal scent. She toelrates the boy because he was already here when she arrived.

I would recommend PetRemedy spray and plug-in, rather than Feliway which I don't find all that effective. A mild sedative might help initially, talk to your vet about that. Restrict the one who has been for dental work to one room, he should be kept quiet for a day or two anyway after anaesthesia. There are great step by step guides on the internet about introducing two cats, much better than I could explain.

Best of luck, I'm sure he will come home, he just had a bit of a shock and should be fine if you handle things from here.

Inki
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Re: Cat returned from vet, other cat freaking out

Post by Inki » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:42 am

Thank you, Mollycat. Yes, the returning cat did have major new smell on him, but I was surprised the other cat couldn't SEE that he was family! Not had this reaction in the past, despite frequent vet visits - although this was the only time for surgery & very strong meds smell. Thanks for the advice & reassurance. The cat that's freaking out came back and allowed me to spoon feed him and take him upstairs, having shut the other one away. They're both indoors now, sleeping in different rooms, and I've bought PetRemedy.

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