How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr L Simmon Your Own Question
Dr L Simmon
Dr L Simmon, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 795
Experience:  Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr L Simmon is online now

She refuses to come into the house during the day although

This answer was rated:

she refuses to come into the house during the day although she has lived with me for some years but comes in at night to feed. She is only yards away but when I open the door to let her in she runs away.
JA: What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: a femald
JA: Maybe I'm confused. I thought you had a problem with a pet. Is that correct?
Customer: a female cat almost 12 years old
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the cat?
Customer: she seemsc afraid to come in during the day and spends a lot of time under a car in the car porch
JA: Where does the cat seem to hurt?
Customer: She has been tested for heart etc. by my vet and has no physical problems like liver, kidneys etc.
JA: OK. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Hattie
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Hattie?
Customer: No, except she hates being picked up and going to the vet!
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few minutes as I type my response
The main question here is: Has Hattie always been like this since you have had her or has she changed?
If she has always been like this it is likely that this is her normal behaviour. Some cats are home bodies while others use our homes as hotels where they eat and sleep and see the outside world as where they belong.
However, if this is a new thing it may be that there is something going on. It's reassuring that the vet check was normal.
The first thing to consider would be any changes within the home that make her less likely to want to enter. These may not always be obvious. Things to consider would be any new pets, new people, different smells (cooking fumes, air fresheners etc), loud noises (people shouting, tv or radio on full blast), lack of personal space (children trying to stroke her or pick her up), having to share territory (with either people or animals) etc.
While it is impossible to change a cat's personality and if it is within her nature to prefer to be outdoors this may be best for her, there are some things to do.
First, I would not advise forcing her to stay inside as this will likely result in stress and behavioural issues and can even cause health issues such as cystitis.
What we need to do is to make the home environment the perfect safe space for a cat so she chooses to spend more time there.
As well as having her own bed, bowls, litter tray etc. she would ideally have her own cat tree, toys, interactive games, puzzle feeders etc.
She needs a designated zone where she is not bothered by anyone that she knows she can go to and relax without being looked at/stroked/picked up. This may be her bed in a quiet room in the house.
I would encourage the use of a Feliway adaptor within the home to release calming pheromones.
Ensure she is not being fed elsewhere and consider a collar that says 'do not feed me' if you are suspicious of the neighbours. Be sure to not feed her outside of the home.
With the recent warm weather; consider if inside is too hot for her, or if you have A/C or fans, if it may be too cold.
I do hope that this answer has been helpful and please do not forget to rate the service by selecting the stars at the top of the screen so I may be compensated for my time. Even after rating we can continue the conversation. All the best, ***** *****
I am unable to make phone calls at this time. If you would prefer talk over the phone rather than type please let me know as I can then opt out of this question in the hopes that there is another vet available who could discuss things with you over the phone; just let me know
Dr L Simmon and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you