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A "Don't touch me!" cat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a 7 year old large male nuetered cat. Since he was young he has been an 'outside' cat; he only comes in to eat and sleep, and even then he sleeps at least 1/2 the time outside. We live in the city in an area of houses (not apartments) so he does his occasional hunting of rats & mice. Whenever I work outside he is 'always' at my feet, even running the lawnmower I have to tell him to move - he loves it when I visit him in 'his world'. Sounds like a nice friendly cat doesn't he. That is why I am concerned about him. He is very distant with expression towards us. He does come up & rub his face against us and 'lets' us pet him, but this is because he wants to eat. Any other time he pulls his face away when I want to scratch it or his back will arch toward the floor when he sees my hand coming toward his back for a stroke. After he has eaten he goes to the door to be let back out and to be petted is NOT on the agenda. He really hates it, especially if I push it too far; he'll turn & grab me with his teeth - not a bite, just grabbing telling me to stop bugging him.
I'm more concerned now because he has no tolerance or desire at any time now. Before he used to be 'friendly' at feeding time but not anymore.
Over the years he has had his share of minor scratches that always 'seem' to heal, but the way he is acting now, it appears that my touch hurts him; sometimes he meows when I touch him too much and he didn't do that before.
Does anyone know what is going on with my 'Farley' cat? It could be physical, he hasn't gone to the vet for... well, once since he was nuetered, but there wasn't a necessity to and there literally are no funds (I would have to borrow anything over $50). He does seem to have more odor in his breath then before, but with observation he cruches his dry food with the same gusto as before so I don't think he is feeling any pain from his teeth, although it is hard to tell for sure - a cat does have to eat I guess!
Anyway, why is Farley more distant and hates being touched?
I should mention the new cat we got 7 or 8 months ago. The cat is now about 9 months old and an exact replica of Farley (black, male). When they play they never get angry, they just wrestle for a few minutes maybe 2 times a week. Sometimes they sleep together but Farley is out most of the time. The new cat is the opposite of Farley so we are always petting him, but Farley is rarely around to see that.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, James
post #2 of 5
James. I know it sounds like money is really tight, but Farley does need a trip to the Vet! The smell form his breath is not usually normal and his change in attitiude and apparent pain when touching him, sound like a problem to me. I am no expert, but I think he needs some medical attention. You will get other responses to your question here. This cat owners on this board are wealth of knowledge. Good luck and make sure you let us know how you make out with the fella!
post #3 of 5

Did this change in behavior correspond with your getting the second cat? Some cats are very people-oriented and do not appreciate other kitties horning in on "their" people. My Sunday is one prime example. She can be sitting on my lap and very content, but if another cat just jumps up on the couch by us, she almost always gets very offended and leaves both my lap and the couch.

I also agree with Debra that a vet visit wouldn't be a bad idea if at all possible. Have you checked to see if your local animal shelter has a vet clinic available to the public? Thankfully, our local SPCA has a wonderful low-cost clinic that allowed our kitties to receive their necessary vet visits while I was still in school and we were broke. Their prices were wonderfully reasonable, and the staff was always very nice and caring.

Hope your Farley cat is back to normal soon!
post #4 of 5
I would have to agree with Deb, sounds like a trip to the vet is called for. It could possibly be that his breath is a problem. I wouldn't think Farley is old enough to have dental problems causing the odor.

As for the change in behavior towards you, it may be a result of another problem (whatever is going on with the odor). I sure hope you can find a way to have him checked.

He should be getting a rabies shot yearly if he is out so much. Most vets won't charge for the visit to give the shot and it is not very expensive (here it is $10).

Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

post #5 of 5
Yes, he needs to get to a vet. Behavior like that is a definate sign that something is wrong. The first problem is that he has not been to a vet. Cats who are outside are exposed to serious cat disease such as feline leukemia. When not vaccinated on a regular basis, there is lots of risk. There is also the problem of parasites they can get from eating rodents and birds. Outdoor cats whould be dewormed at least once a year. There is a list about a mile long of possible problems especially among outdoor kitty's. I do not mean to offend you in any way, but if you can't afford to care for the kitty you have now, why did you bring home another? I can't stress enough that outdoor cats need to see the vet minimum once a year. Not only is your baby at risk for several health problems, but he could potentially infect another cat with a disease if he contracts one.
With the teeth issue. Cats will eat dry food weather the teeth hurt or not. Usually they will just swallow a good portion whole. Bad breath can signal kidney problems as well. Please, make an appointment for a health check soon.
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