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Linda Simon
Linda Simon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 797
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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I’ve had my reformed ct for 10 yrs and she’s about 13.

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I’ve had my reformed ct for 10 yrs and she’s about 13. Always been a ‘nervy’ cat but very loving to me whilst not taking to other people. She would sleep on my knee every evening stay in overnight and in and out on and off during the day. For the last 2/3 months she spends all the time outside and when she comes in for her food she RUNS in and once eaten RUNS out. I hear her come in about midnight when again she RUNS to her food and then runs out after eating running in again for her breakfast. She doesn’t go far away when out as I see her lying on the roof or various parts of the large garden. When she is in the kitchen waiting for her food I can scoop her up and give her a kiss and she’s fine still with that. I had put it down to a ‘summer’ thing but it’s the fact she runs in the house each time and straight out.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know if the cat will be able to digest that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Tiggy. Sorry that was sent before I’d finished!
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cat?
Customer: she actually seems to be eating more now as she is a fussy eater . I don’t feel I could make an appointment for her as she wouldn’t be around for her appointment! She still comes and greets me when I drive home but doesn’t come in the house. Thank you. Trisha udall

Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few minutes as I type my response

I'm sorry to hear you are having this issue with Tiggy, which must be a little unsettling.

It is very true that 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, I appreciate in your case that it is more the change in behaviour that is causing concern rather than the behaviour itself.
As she is now a senior lady, the first thing I would want to do would be to ensure she has had a recent health check. At her age, we can start to see the development of many health issues that can cause altered behaviour. Often, these conditions are tricky for owners to pick up on. This can include sore teeth (periodontal disease), the beginning of osteoarthritis (joint disease), cognitive disorders (such as feline dementia), hormonal conditions (such as hyperthyroidism, which can cause increased appetite) and renal disease. A vet can assess Tiggy and give her a nose to tail check. At her age, it may also be worth running some simple blood and urine work and checking her blood pressure to ensure it is not raised.

Given that the running can be associate with food, I would be especially keen to ensure all is ok in her mouth; checking for any gingivitis, resorptive lesions, decayed teeth, ulcers, masses etc.

You mention you may struggle to make an appointment for her, so would perhaps benefit from a vet clinic near you that does walk-in appointments? Alternatively, schedule the appointment for after a meal time and ensure doors are kept closed when she is eating!

While my priority would be to check for health issues, there are other things to consider.

Have there been any changes within the home that make her less likely to want to spend time there? 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.
To try to encourage her spending more time indoors, there are a few things we can try.
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, ***** *****

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Thank you for the kind accept and please feel free to ask any further questions you may have.