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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 576
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My cat has been acting weird,

Customer Question

My cat has been acting weird, i put food down for her and she follows me around until i pretend to put more food down, even though she hasnt eaten the first lot. she sits there just staring and i cant figure out what she is staring at. she has started going outside of her litter box, and has weed on the bed a couple of times. i have tried the feliway plug in which seemed to help for awhile as i had put it down to her being stressed. for the following reasons we moved flats, then me and my partner split, then i went from being at home all the time to being at work and being out the house 12 hours a day. she isnt drinking excessively and isnt weeing out of the litter box on a frequent enough basis to think it was any kidney or bladder problems.she is eating and drinking, has not had an upset stomach or sickness, plays and doesnt appear lethargic, it just seems to be her memory.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. Cats are very much creatures of habit and very environmentally dependant. . .dogs are more people centered, but cats are more environmentally centered.

Dr. Barbara :

I'm very glad to hear that she does seem to be fine physically. If I may, I'd like to ask a few questions. . .

Dr. Barbara :

How long have you now lived in your current flat? Does Jinty have the same litter and type of litter box that she has always used? Are her litter boxes easily accessible but in private locations? Are you offering her the same food as usual, and what is that food? Thanks for your answers!

Customer :

have lived in the flat since end of march 2013. yeah use the wood pellet litter that she is used to and the litter boxes are the same ones she has always had and are in the same location. no where private to put them but are on the landing which is where they were in the previous flat. she has complete dry food techni-cal senior and some meat a couple of times a week. she has weed on the bed twice in the last six months so isn't that frequent that she does it.

Dr. Barbara :

Thanks for your response. Regarding Jinty's food issue; since you do feed a dry food with wet food offered occasionally, I wonder if she was hoping for the canned food (or even a certain flavor of canned food). You do say she is staring at something. . .does she seem to be seeing OK otherwise?

Dr. Barbara :

Whenever a cat urinates out of the box, we do need to rule out a health issue. FUS (or feline urinary syndrome or cystitis) is usually caused by stress, but since this inappropriate urination has only occurred twice, perhaps there were 2 stressful incidences at the time she displayed this symptom?????

Customer :

she has had both meat and biscuit previously and then been on just dry for awhile normally put her on both when she needs to lose a bit of weight

Customer :

cant think of anything stressful and no idea when she weed in the bed as i dont sleep in it. Is only when i could smell cat in there.

Dr. Barbara :

Stress for cats can be new cats in or near Jinty's yard. Even if she doesn't run to a window, her excellent hearing and sense of smell would allow her to know they are there. . .just a thought. Is Jinty a totally indoor cat? Is she your only pet? If so, her following you at feeding time could just be her seeking your attention. In general, it is very important for you to enrich her indoor environment with a cat tree for climbing, scratching, and laying up high. It is also very important that you give her each day 20-30 minutes of active play time with you. . .having her chase a laser light or a toy on the end of a string and pole are two suggestions.

Dr. Barbara :

Since she has only used the bed for urination twice, this in itself may not be an issue. If this inappropriate urination continues, however, she definitely should be checked by your vet. Also, it would be important to remove any further opportunity for her to use the bed (or any coverings) for urination, as cats can get used to using cloth for their "litter" substrate.

Dr. Barbara :

Feliway definitely helps many cats by calming stress, even stress of which you are unaware. There are other drugs that your vet can use that are antidepressants, sedatives, or even pain relievers. Doesn't seem to me that these would be appropriate at all for Jinty.

Dr. Barbara :

So. . .I went off in this one direction! Am I even close to a true picture of Jinty's life style?

Dr. Barbara :

What I'm trying to say with all of this, is that cats will do what is necessary to fulfill their needs. . .food, water, our attention, exercise and entertainment; and to show displeasure with something, whether that is a physical or an emotional problem. All of our efforts are to provide what is necessary and to eliminate the problems.

Customer :

yeah jinty has been an indoor cat for the last 4 years. i have rabbits that are in the shed but she is the only pet inside, she didnt like her kittens once they were independant, so knew not to get any other pets. she only does the following me just after i put the food down, she has a mouse on a string over the door and a scratching post tree, and other toys. how do i remove the opportunity of her to go on the bed. as i think if i got rid of the bed, that would upset her.

Customer :

she doesn't meow which i find really odd after having a really talkative cat before who was very affectionate. where as Jinty is the complete opposite. she will avoid me most of the time, if im in the lounge she will be in the bedroom even though she has the complete run of the flat. she doesnt like to be stroked or picked up, she will be stroked on her terms only. if she decides she wants a stroke is normally when im on laptop ordering food shopping, then she likes to walk on the keyboard.

Dr. Barbara :

Your post makes me smile! Some cats (and especially females) can be far more independent than other cats (often males). Is Jinty by any chance a calico or tortoise shell cat? This fur coloring also seems to be associated with great independence!

Dr. Barbara :

I also smile, because almost all cats like to be right in the middle of what you are doing on a table. . .computers, writing letters or bills, etc. So in this way Jinty is very normal.

Dr. Barbara :

To avoid Jinty using the bed for urination, would you be able just to close the door to the room the bed is in? This is what I was envisioning.

Customer :

she is tortoise shell and white. yeah was just wondering if i shut her out of the bed room if that would stress her out as that is the room she prefers.

Customer :

had a tortoiseshell and white cat previously that turned nasty after she was spayed, and left home. she moved in with one of the neighbours.

Customer :

yeah male cats are definately friendlier then female cats.

Dr. Barbara :

Ah hah!!!! A tortie. . .so her independence is explained! This independence in my opinion also includes an attitude about food sometimes, so that may explain her insistence of having the type of food she wants when she wants it! You know the saying. . .Dogs think they're human, and Cats know they're God! She's controlling you. . .a little bit.

Dr. Barbara :

Closing her out of her favorite bedroom may increase her stress. . .probably would increase her stress. Does she have a litter box in the room she prefers?

Dr. Barbara :

I actually had a tortoise shell cat that moved to my neighbors's. My neighbor had fewer cats, and also had ferrets. . .maybe that was her preference!

Customer :

i tried putting a litter box in the bedroom but she didnt use it, guess she didnt like it being in there. weird how colour can affect the cats personality guess its similar to people then,

Dr. Barbara :

Good morning! I'd recommend that you do keep the litter box in "her" bedroom. She may just have the urge to urinate when in there and might use the litter box instead of your bed. . .hopefully. I don't know if the color of the cat affects their personality, but the color and certain personality traits should seem to correlate. It helps both us and the cat to realize that how they are behaving is "normal" for them.

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