Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

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alexbeklevic
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Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

Post by alexbeklevic » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:11 am

My cat has been acting strangely since this morning. He keeps walking around in slow motion, sniffing everything. He has been getting freaked out by things left lying around the house that have always been there. He is acting like he is seeing hallucinations. He is an 1 year old indoor Scottish Fold and nothing different has happened since last night, when he was completely normal! He can not sleep very well. Every time he closes his eyes he acts like he hears something and opens his eyes immediately. I watched the videos about "hyperesthesia". He does not look like he has it. We tested his vision and he sees quite well. Any other ideas? I have seen a few people wrote about this exact same behaviour at the forums but none of them got the answer. Please help!

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Re: Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

Post by Mollycat » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:49 am

My guess is something has happened that he can smell and you can't. I have seen something similar twice in my 30 years of cats. The first was when I brought my cat from my mother's house where the cat lived to my house while my mother was away for a month, and then vacuumed the carpets - she became quite upset as she wasn't familiar with my house yet and the vacuum cleaner leaves everything smelling different, it really unsettled her. The second time was my current cat Molly, not long after I brought her home as a 6 year old very nervous rescue. One night she caught a sniff of something under the sofa and kept sniffing and was clearly scared. I spent the whole evening gradually moving the sofa, cleaning it and under it and spraying the whole lot with catnip spray, encouraging her to come out of hiding at every stage and sniff and carefully inspect every inch even inside the sofa until she was able to see for herself there was no danger and relax. Even now when I am cleaning, tidying or moving things around I stop regularly to let Molly inspect, she is just one of those cats that needs to know every detail, she even gets nervous if I let too many parcels or groceries into our home without her inspecting carefully first.

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Re: Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

Post by alexbeklevic » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:56 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:49 am
My guess is something has happened that he can smell and you can't. I have seen something similar twice in my 30 years of cats. The first was when I brought my cat from my mother's house where the cat lived to my house while my mother was away for a month, and then vacuumed the carpets - she became quite upset as she wasn't familiar with my house yet and the vacuum cleaner leaves everything smelling different, it really unsettled her. The second time was my current cat Molly, not long after I brought her home as a 6 year old very nervous rescue. One night she caught a sniff of something under the sofa and kept sniffing and was clearly scared. I spent the whole evening gradually moving the sofa, cleaning it and under it and spraying the whole lot with catnip spray, encouraging her to come out of hiding at every stage and sniff and carefully inspect every inch even inside the sofa until she was able to see for herself there was no danger and relax. Even now when I am cleaning, tidying or moving things around I stop regularly to let Molly inspect, she is just one of those cats that needs to know every detail, she even gets nervous if I let too many parcels or groceries into our home without her inspecting carefully first.
Thank you very much; we suspect he's afraid of something. We are trying to calm him down.

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Re: Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

Post by Mollycat » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:12 pm

All I can suggest is slowly work around the whole house with him to see if you can narrow down what or where the problem is for him, maybe doing a gentle clean as you go, but keep him involved to see if you can work out what his issue is. Is he still behaving like this now or has he calmed down through the day?

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Re: Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

Post by alexbeklevic » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:57 am

We realized that he was afraid while playing with the children. Somewhat healed. But he is still afraid of everything. He makes slow movements. He continues to sniff. He plays but not as much as before. We are very upset for him. Everyone at home is very calm towards him. But he seems to have lost confidence. What do you think we should do to reduce his fears, to gain self-confidence, to calm down and to return again? Stay safe and stay healthy to everyone!

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fjm
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Re: Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

Post by fjm » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:13 am

Was it something the children did, probably quite accidentally? When I had a cat suffering from anxiety (she became so stressed after my other cat died that she licked off much of her fur) the solution was anti-anxiety medication from the vet, plus keeping her in a small, safe area. To me it felt like imprisoning her, but to her it meant that she was protected from horrible surprises and could relax. Little by little, as her confidence returned, I opened up more rooms, until she once more had the run of the house and garden. Do you have a spare room you could make over to him for a while?

I would also make a rule that the children do not approach him, or pick him up - if they want to play they sit down and let him come to them. I can imagine that at this difficult time there may be a lot more going on at home - perhaps during the hours your cat is used to having the house to himself - with noise and games, and busyness. If he cannot have his own room, or won't settle there, having high places where he can watch the world while feeling safe may help - on top of the fridge freezer, perhaps, or a tall bookcase. Making those accessible and putting something soft there may encourage him to use them.

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Re: Please advise about strange acting and suddenly changing behaviour

Post by Mollycat » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:37 am

I hear you that everyone is being calm around him, but also everyone is upset for him. Really do try to accept that he is responding in a very normal cat way even if as humans we know there is no threat and it seems so unnecessary.

Cats are naturally solitary animals, and small and vulnerable. They know this, that's why wild cats are by nature timid and prefer to hide than face danger or the unknown if at all possible. These wild instincts are fully intact in our pets and resurface easily, more easily in some individuals than others. Every other pet and domesticated animal we have are herd or pack animals. Cats think completely differently to any other species we deal with. They don't put their trust in anyone to show them that something is safe, they have to experience it for themselves, and that is incredibly hard because one bad experience stays with them through dozens or hundreds of positive experiences. In other words, they only need to be spooked once in a given situation or place to be wary of it for weeks or years to come.

I would definitely make sure there is a quiet room, maybe quiet times, alone if that's possible right now but also with you and other family members in the room but sitting still and quiet and talking softly, at least until you can figure out the triggers and work on them specifically. Resist the temptation to cuddle or reassure him, but do encourage when he is more confident. And try not to feel anxious or worried or sorry for him - not showing it is not enough with animals, you really have to see the positives and feel secure, confident and calm, they are not fooled.

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