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post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am worried that I may have to give my cat away. She's a year and a half, and since August she has been crazy. She and I had just moved to NYC and we were living here very happily for a few days, and then my boyfriend vacuumed. Since then she hides, and is terrified of my boyfriend. When she's not hiding (because she's eating) she hisses at him and cowers in the corner. I have to lure her out from under the bed just to get her to eat. I took her to the vet, who prescribed Prozac, but even that doesn't seem to be working. (it did for a few days, but now she's back to hiding and hissing) I feel terrible about giving her away, but maybe she'd be happier... Please post any suggestions and/or opinions on the matter. Thanks!
post #2 of 9
I would lean toward Bach's Flower remedies than the prozac. I would go with Aspen and do about 5 drops per day on her tongue and see if that makes a difference. If the vaccum cleaner has her terrified, get some catnip spray and spray it on the vacuum and see if that helps-
post #3 of 9
Poor kitty!

You'll need to put into place a long term behavior remodification plan. I don't think she will do ANY better in another home.

Did she live with your boyfriend prior to moving and was fine with him in the old house? If so, her fraidy cat behavior towards boyfriend has just become habit, along with the coincidental VERY big stress of moving. If she had no day to day experience with boyfriend before move, then she has simply developed very negative associations with him because of that first vacuum cleaning experience. In her kitty head, Boyfriend = Scary Vacuum . Every other memory she has is with this association.

A few suggestions:

1) Buy a Feliway plug-in immediately if you have not already http://www.petguys.com/-039079027910.html has really good prices.

2) Make a safe spot for kitty. Put plug-in nearby. If you have a spare room that you can close off, do so. In this Safe Spot, only nice things happen. Food, water, catnip, toys, petting by you, etc only things that she likes. No loud noises. No vacuuming. No dogs. No boyfriend.

Once kitty becomes comfortable in this set up. You begin to withdraw from the picture. Instead of you bringing food, your boyfriend brings food. EVERY interaction that boyfriend has with kitty should involve food or something that kitty likes. Boyfriend should never in her presence do anything that kitty is scared of.

Once kitty is ok with boyfriend bringing food, have boyfriend spend 5 minutes just sitting in the same room as kitty after putting the food down. He just sits. He can read or something but he shouldn't try to interact with kitty.

Then he should begin spending more and more time in this room, eventually putting food down closer and closer to where he is sitting so that kitty has to walk closer and closer to him in order to eat. She should do this on her own terms. He should never try to pick her up to get her to come to him.

Soon kitty will begin to associate boyfriend with good things and start to forget about the scary vacuum cleaning experience.

It will just take time. You can read more about this type of technique which is the same technique feral rescuers use to calm feral cats.

Good luck!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great advice, but we've tried that approach. The thing is she was fine for a few days. She let my boyfriend pet her (even her tummy), play with her, feed her, she purred, verything was back to normal. Something has set her off again, but we can't figure it out. No vacuuming, no loud noises, no visitors, nothing!!!! She even hates me now. As for Feliway and Herbal Remedies (Bach amoung others...) they've been tried, but they didn't help.
post #5 of 9

Have you recently changed shower gel, shampoo, perfume, etc?

Or maybe moved some furniture around?

Or brought home a scent from the outside world that she finds threatening? Or perhaps while vacuuming a scent was released and she now associates it with the entire apartment.

Keep trying the advice that was given you. Don't give up just because of one setback. Journeys are not always comfortable rides.
post #6 of 9
poor kitty
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
My kitty seems to be doing better! She is no longer hiding, nor is she hissing! After consulting all of you experts, and then some, I decided that she was just a bit neurotic, and I calmed down. She stopped hiding that very day! I guess she's mor in tune with my emotions than I realized!
post #8 of 9
They pick up our body energy quite quickly and respond to it. Deep breathing always helps to calm your down in a situation, and it ultimately will calm her down as well.
post #9 of 9
You'd be surprised how quickly they pick up on how we feel.

I've had Russell with me all day today because I have a severe headache and I'm not feeling to well. And Esper has taken short stints of checking up on me in between bird watching.
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