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Spooked/Nervous behavior

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We've had our indoor cat for about 6weeks now(4.5months old) and he has settled into our apartment just fine. He is a normal curious, playful kitten and is fairly social to strangers who come in. The other night he was just walking around in one end of our living room and got spooked or something. I don't know if he saw something, smelled something, or what happend to him. Me and my friend were on either couch and didn't see anything. The only thing there is a couch, speaker, electrical cords, and a picture frame that was on the ground. I tried taking him to that area and he did everything he could to get away, including clawing, horrible meow, and biting. Now he seems nervous about approaching any objects, even things like shoes which he used to play with. He is also very distracted when playing or anything because he is so nervous. Its been a couple days and I carry him over there and he just meows and shakes and eventually tries to get away. He sniffs a lot when I have him in that area so I don't know if he is smelling something. I don't think he could have been shocked by one of the cords, me and my friend didn't see/hear anything only feet away. I don't know if he saw his reflection in the picture frame sitting on the floor, that has been there for several weeks. He doesn't pay attention to his reflection mirrors and doesn't seem to care. I am baffled about what could have/is spooking him and what to do to help. Nothing in that area has changed or is different since we adpoted him. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced something like this and what happend or how long it lasted. Thanks
post #2 of 7
He may be able to sense electricity better than we can, but apart from that, stop trying to make him go somewhere he doesn't want to be and is afraid of (whatever it is). You won't 'desensitize' him anytime soon that way, but you are setting him up to never want to go there again (even if all the stuff is moved out). Animals sense things we never can, and we should respect it rather than fighting it. But I know where you're coming from - frustrating isn't it!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Its not just that one area though. He is paranoid everywhere he goes and is constantly looking over his shoulder which interrupts everything he is doing including play, if we can get him to play. He went from following us around and getting into everything with a curious playful attitude to creeping around fearfuly and hesitating to go anywhere in the apartment in one instant. This cannot be from sensing electricity or things we can't. He has been fine the entire time we had him and wasn't even this nervous the second day we had him, and not a thing has changed.
post #4 of 7
Could something new (carpet? shampoo?) smell different to him? Or is there some noise insignificant to us but constant (even like the TV humming, squeeky shoes, or a neighbour doing something) that might be at fault? Did another cat live there before you did and for some reason the smell has just begun to surface somewhere? Reaching, I know, but...
post #5 of 7
OMG! I have a very similar problem with my cat. He is driving me nuts. From time to time something inanimate will spook him. His neurotic state of hyper alertness then lasts for a week or more. Once it was a pile of clothes on the floor (apparently), most recently it is Halloween decorations, specifically a skeleton. He jumps suddenly, sniffs everything, won't sleep in bed, sits humped up on the floor or on top of the kitchen cabinets. He appears to be hallucinating. No, he does not chew on house plants! Help!
post #6 of 7
The best suggestion I have is to get some Feliway diffusers running in a few rooms. That ought to help calm your kitten down.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yah, I've read about those feliway plug-ins/sprays. They seem to have great reviews, but I hesitate buying something like that when it has not been a problem up until now. Plus its only been a few days and he is slightly less spooked, but still walks around very cautiously and is easily frightened which makes him more paranoid for a while. I guess if all else fails in a few weeks that could be an alternative. I've just read that the behavior returns for most cats when its no longer being used and that can be an expensive fix at around $20 a month. I did (against other advice from my girlfriend and posts) ease him back into the area which sparked this whole behavior issue. He is much more relaxed than before. I pulled out the couch and made him walk behind it a few times and on each side. I even got him to chase and dive for his paper ball on and behind the couch. He is a little hesitant if he hasn't been there for a while, but not even close to his first reaction. I've had dogs my whole life so that is why I don't think like a normal cat person, luckily its kinda worked in this situation. I appreciate your time to reply to my post and I hope he does improve. Have a toilet training kit on the way, we'll see how that goes
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