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Bizarre Litterbox/Grooming Behavior

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Our cat Monte has started displaying a few new behaviors that have us a bit concerned. We WILL be discussing this with our vet to rule out medical problems. I am just wondering if anyone reading this post has had similar problems, or can offer behavioral tips.

1. He digs in the litterbox for a VERY extended period of time; he will literally dig and dig and dig in the box for 5 full minutes (or longer). It would be one thing if he actually accomplished anything (say, covering his messes), but after all of the digging he leaves his messes uncovered. Sometimes he gets a really funny look on his face while he is digging (and only while he is digging) -- his eyes glaze and his tongue is barely extended -- he almost looks drugged. It's rather strange.

2. He has stopped cleaning his hindquarters thoroughly. He often lets little globs of excrement harden back there. He hasn't given up grooming completely -- the rest of his grooming is pretty much fine except...

3. He has started pulling the hair out of his tail in clumps. We haven't noticed any new clumps in a few days, but over the course of about two days he picked a portion of his tail clean of hair.

4. He has an obsession with being in any place our female cat has just been:
- She hangs out in the tent, he hangs out there as soon as she leaves.
- She naps ona rug in the sun, he lies on the rug when she leaves.
- She jumps up on a bookshelf, he'll jump up the same way after she jumps down.
I have even seen him imitate a whole series of movements: (up onto the dresser from this end, over the TV, onto...), all after she leaves!

This has been going on for a long time:
5. He stalks our female cat if he sees or hears her in any of the litterboxes.

About the broader circumstances:
We offer both covered and uncovered litterboxes. There is a box in every room of the house that is large enough to accomodate one. We have had the same "drugged" behavior with various types of litters -- clumping clay, silica crystals, etc.

Both cats have been altered, and we are running a Feliway pheremone diffuser at all times. Our female cat was very sick in the past, but is now quite healthy. She has a corrective procedure 3 months ago and has steadily improved ever since. They are in a period of adjustment since she has had a change in personality (and territory) since her health has improved -- she is less scared, more assertive, and she leaves our bedroom regularly (she never used to leave except to beg for food). They each have their own food bowls (in different rooms). He chases and corners her every couple of days, and she growls and hisses back. Strangely enough, they both can sleep peacefully together on our bed at night.

post #2 of 2
I believe a vet call is appropriate in this situation. To many odd things going on at once. Good luck at the vet, please let us know what he says.

About not keeping his rear end clean, that could be an overweight issue, if the cat is long haired, the feces could just be getting stuck and the hair needs to be clipped back there, or it could be the food. Hard to say, again a vet would be the best bet. I would also ask for a parasite check- pulling out clumps of hair is sometimes a response to pain or an allergy or parasitic invasion.
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