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Schizo cat!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Please help. I have two cats, Phoebe and Cassie. I believe they are sisters (I got them from the same shelter, they were in the same cage, the vet says they're the same age - 6 years old).

Periodically Phoebe will go through periods where she doesn't seem to recognize her sister. She growls and hisses at Cassie, and swats at her if she comes anywhere near her. Since it's a small apartment, this tends to happen rather often.

Last night, I was patting Cassie when Phoebe wandered by. Phoebe hunkered down in "angry" mode, so I reached out to her to show her that it was ok and that I wanted to rub her ears -- the way I have every day for the past 6 years. And she hissed at ME!

This has been going on since at least last Sunday. (I was away Saturday and Sunday; they had plenty of food, water, and litter in their box.) In the past, when I've asked the vet about this, she's said that something must have happened to aggravate or frighten Phoebe enough to make her feel threatened, to make her "lose her cool." But I can't think of what it might have been. And I don't know how to get her to snap out of it.

Does anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks much!
post #2 of 7
I don't think your cat was hissing at you , she only smelled the other cats scend (sp) on your hand and was hissing at that .
You can try to put some vanilla extract on both cats gin and back so they will smell the same way . You also can buy feliway plug-in , that will calm the cats down . And see what happens .
post #3 of 7
We have had several people who were experiencing the same problem. What they found was that the cat who was being hissed at was sick. The angry cat smelled a different smell due to the other cat's illness and interpreted this as there being a stranger cat in the house. In one case the sick cat had a slight upper respiratory infection and in the other case the sick cat had a mild urinary tract infection. In both cases, the two cats became buddies again once the sick cat was treated with antibiotics.

Could this be going on with your cats?
post #4 of 7
yep! I completely agree. The cat getting hissed at needs to go to the vet.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Cat #2, Cassie, appears to be perfectly healthy. Her appetite is good, her coat is normal, she doesn't mind being picked up. She plays with her toys, she mooches for goodies as much as always. (Brewer's Yeast w/Garlic being the normal treat.)

I tried putting the dab of vanilla extract on both cats' chins and tails as was suggested yesterday. This was a complete failure. The hissing seems to be triggered visually, not by scent.

Phoebe usually has these "hissy fits" right after a visit to the vet. The vet suggested that it was the trauma of the visit that causes her to 'snap,' as it were. The first time she did this, it was after I had taken her outside to show her to a neighbor's little girl. I held Phoebe the whole time, but she wasn't used to being outside. (Both cats live inside full time.)

So I don't think it's a matter of Cassie being sick. It's triggered by an event.

Sometimes Phoebe "forgets" her anger for a minute or two and goes back to playing with Cassie as normal. But then she will turn around and start the growling and hissing again.

It's very perplexing.
post #6 of 7
I guess my mind was not working when I reply . Ye the other cat could have a health issue . I would go and let her ck out by the vet .
post #7 of 7
I will never in a million years pretend to understand the feline mind. As if anybody could!

This morning when I first got up, Phoebe was growling and hissing at Cassie as before. Then, as I was getting dressed, they came galloping into the room at full speed and began to tussle like kittens. Cassie chased Phoebe out of the room.

Not much later, I saw Phoebe grooming Cassie. They have played intermittently all morning, and now are sleeping not far from each other. I haven't heard a growl or hiss in hours.

So for the moment, all seems to be well. I think it's because I was going to call the vet today. This is very close to the same principle as the Law of Small Appliance Repair: It can be completely useless until you take it into the shop, at which point it will work perfectly. The cat can be behaving terribly, moaning, growling, hissing, whatever; but as soon as it gets to the vet, it is perfectly normal.


Thanks for all the good wishes. I'll be back if this recurs!

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