(Closed) What to do for extremely needy, anxious cat?

posted 1 week ago in Pets
Post # 2
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

Ah bee, I haven’t got much of an advice but  often times cats tend to tense up because of territory issues, does he have spaces to hang out in the house to keep him busy? Like a cat house or sth like that?

He’s just adorable though. 

Post # 3
1784 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

This might not help much but can you get a couple of your old, less used t-shirts, wear the heck out of them for a while before you leave and put them in your baby’s favorite spots or in his bed?  I think having your scent might calm him a little.

Post # 5
1762 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Following because I have the same issue 🙁 My poor baby is absolutely neurotic. 

Post # 5
36 posts

Hmm I think my big long comment got deleted. Dang! To make it a bit shorter: I have a SUPER sweet but needy drama queen cat. My main advice was to not be afraid to say “no” when you don’t want to hold him as mine will push to try to get her way and try to get on my lap constantly. You obviously are already giving him plenty of attention, so this isn’t a case of being ignored. Mine will keep trying to get on my lap repeatedly (or be by my head when I sleep – which I can’t stand) and I have to be firm about saying no. What I do is I put a nice cozy blanket next to me (you could put one on a chair or something when you’re at the desk) and move him on to it when you don’t want to hold him. Pet/praise him when he is on it to encourage him to be there instead. Keep moving him there and doing it until he stops trying to get onto you (as many times at it takes). It will probably take a while and be prepared to do it basically every time, but he will get it eventually or get annoyed and go pout.

As far as other things… I would just try to make sure there are other things they would really enjoy around. Do you have a cat climbing/scratching tree? My cat really loves sitting on top of hers and obviously scratching on it. Maybe a new toy he would like? I also just got mine a cat tunnel off Amazon that she uses just occasionally but since you have two cats they may enjoy playing in it together. Maybe play with him with a string toy/laser/whatever every evening (and/or morning) for even a few minutes to try see if some extra exercise helps him feel less anxious? Unfortunately, he’s probably always going to hate when you leave town but maybe after a few months of you being mostly there will ease his anxiety a bit.

Post # 6
853 posts
Busy bee

Is he still eating okay? Unless there are health issues (which it sounds like there arent), I would honestly go on your trip and continue to live your life. You clearly make sure your kitty is well cared for when you are away so that’s the main thing.

I get it – I have a similar situation with my cat. In the space of one month, our other cat died and we had a baby. It was a LOT and my cat turned into a maniac for like 6 months. She was always eating fine during that time, but she just became SO clingy and crazy…meowing nonstop, harrassing the baby, following me EVERYWHERE, including jumping in front of my feet every time I went down the stairs while holding our newborn. Ughh. But life went on…and she eventually settled down. So I would give the cat more time to adjust, but I also wouldn’t put off trips or anything since there are no actual medical issues.

Post # 8
61 posts
Worker bee

Maybe try designating “pet areas”? Like, you will give him the attention he wants, where you are willing to do it and when you are willing to do it.  And try to ignor and redirect the behavior when you are busy. Also, specific play time daily?  I’ve noticed that my cats have routines and respond to some cues I didn’t even try to establish.  For example, around 7 am, my cats will sit next to the door where they get fed. But they won’t linger around the kit jen because we never feed them there.  The youngest one has had a harder time getting used to personal space and me being busy, so I try to be as firm as possible whit my “no”.  
I’m guessing that the family friend would give that immediate gratification all the time, since it was a limited amount of time they spent together, but I don’t know…

These are my three terrors.  They are worth it though. 

Post # 9
9026 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I am going to disagree with you. Your cat is not perfectly healthy. Your cat has anxiety which is a very real condition. Constant stress and distress is not healthy. Your vet should be doing more to assist you. 

One of our cats has anxiety due to mistreatment in his early life. He is on medication to treat his anxiety and it helps.

Another one of our cats has thyroid issues and acts very much the same way you descibe your cat as acting when his levels are off. 

Have you thought about getting an animal behaviourist in? It really helped with our anxious cat.

strawberrysakura :  

Post # 11
58 posts
Worker bee

My cat’s vet suggested zylkene, which is an over the counter supplement. It’s used to help manage situational stress/anxiety. The vet said to just open the pill up and sprinkle it on her food.

Post # 12
406 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2020 - Windermere, Cumbria

I would recommend a pheromone spray! It worked wonders for my kitty’s separation anxiety.

Post # 13
691 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

My cat is a lot like this…we leave her for any reason, and when we come back, she’s super clingy. Same as yours, she’ll butt her way into my lap, throw herself against the bathroom door to come in, etc.

It may be reinforcing bad behavior, but we have found that if we give in, she bounces back to normal pretty quickly. Yes, it’s annoying, but I justify it as she’s unable to speak, clearly has some anxiety, and needs reassurance. Every time we leave and come back, her “clingy time” is less and less. Beyond that, it can take normal and healthy cats a long time to adjust to big changes, so if he’s eating well and your vet isn’t concerned, I’d just give it some more time. When we got our puppy, the cat spent over 6 months refusing to get on the floor. The puppy never did anything to her, but she was scared and mad and held a grudge. Then, it’s like a switch flipped, and she was totally normal. 

Also, OMG your kitty is so sweet. I’ve heard that orange boy cats are the dumbest, sweetest, and most loving of cats. We’re looking to get a kitten and I have my heart set on an orange boy cat. 

Post # 15
9365 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Oh, bee, I’m so sorry. Our sweet cat started getting massive anxiety once LO was born and started peeing in the hallway to his nursery. We brought her to the vet and he cleared her of any physical issues and gave us some tips that he suggested we try out before getting meds for her. I won’t go into the pee-related ones since it sounds like you don’t have to deal with that (lucky duck!), but for her anxiety, his main suggestions were Feliway, CBD treats, and more cuddles. None if it worked for her, unfortunately, so we’re planning on starting her on some anti-anxiety meds soon. I hope you find something that works!

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