Looking for cat advice please.

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LittleBrownFrog
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Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LittleBrownFrog »

Sebastian is about five years old, has been with us since he was a kitten, and is very much loved by us all. He has been a wanderer for all of his adult life - often vanishing for a couple of months, and then reappearing, lean & sleek looking, usually riddled with fleas & looking as though he's been living rough. I know that he has a fairly large territory, having seen him up to 3 miles away from home in one direction, and a mile away in the other. We usually shut him in long enough to de-flea him, check him over & then take him to the vet if it seems necessary. Our vet is used to us calling & bringing him in at short notice for an MOT.

Since we moved (only about 1/4 mile away from our previous house) he has been a nuisance. He spent the first week in the cattery, then we brought him home, kept him shut in for a week. He was miserable for the whole time, prowling round the doors and windows and wailing to be let out. Since being let out, he keeps taking off, but rather than just wandering as we are used to, he is taking himself to a house about half-way between here and our old home, and making a nuisance of himself. He scratches at their door to be let in, hangs around in their garden. The lady there is not encouraging him at all, he's always ravenous when we go to pick him up, so I'm confident that he isn't being fed. This time around it's been a week, he spends most of his time in their garden, but wanders off for half a day here and there. She's been ignoring him, but was worried today because he was covered in oil & looking sorry for himself, so she shut him in & rang us to come and get him.
I know that cats will do their own thing, and that there is little we can do to change that. Just wondering if anyone has any bright ideas as to how to convince him that this is home. He's shut in again at the moment, but I don't know what to do for the best really. Our other cat is completely happy and settled here now.

Editing to add that he's got two very prominent 'odd-feeling' ribs on one side, so we will be taking him to the vet tomorrow to get checked over - although he doesn't seem to be in any pain.
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wendy
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by wendy »

I know nothing about cats as such.
But just a question is he neutered ?
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LittleBrownFrog
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LittleBrownFrog »

Yes, he was neutered at 6 months old.
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by wendy »

Strange then innit ?
I hope someone can help you out.
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Annie
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by Annie »

LBF , I read your post an hour ago and couldn't think of a thing to suggest and sorry but I still can't. I would be a wreck if I had a cat with the wanderlust and I think you do well to allow Sebastian to be his self . Cats are a law unto themselves , though most seem to prefer a warm bed as the nights draw in and get colder, what can you do, if you lock him in he becomes unhappy and I suppose thats almost a form of cruelty (dont take me wrong I know you had to keep him in when you 1st moved) but on the other hand he doesn't appear to be totally happy wandering. Could he be a bit disorientated do you think ?
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LittleBrownFrog
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LittleBrownFrog »

Disorientated? Maybe ... I'm not aware that he ever came this far along the road when we lived in the old house - he tended to head out of town & up over the carn, or stalk the back streets. We used to see him from time to time though, even when he was wandering- he would pass through the garden sometimes, or we would know that he had been in overnight to eat. As far as I can tell, since we've moved, once he's gone, he doesn't come anywhere near the house until we go and collect him.
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LisaB »

Just wondering LBF, does your other cat make him feel unwelcome at all? Is it possible he doesn't feel like your house is his territory?
I'm not sure why he'd be going to someone else's house though, unless he did possible sneak some food there or something :?
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LittleBrownFrog »

He & the other cat get on OK. Seamus is older (12 now), and mostly just keeps himself to himself. There was never any territorial kind of behaviour, even when Seamus was younger, so I don't think it's that.

I'm positive he isn't eating at this lady's house - she is adamant that he doesn't let him in - she has recently adopted an elderly high-needs cat, so their house is on lock-down & they don't let him in at all. Even when we go to collect him, they haven't fed him, just shut him in the conservatory.
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LisaB »

LittleBrownFrog wrote:He & the other cat get on OK. Seamus is older (12 now), and mostly just keeps himself to himself. There was never any territorial kind of behaviour, even when Seamus was younger, so I don't think it's that.

I'm positive he isn't eating at this lady's house - she is adamant that he doesn't let him in - she has recently adopted an elderly high-needs cat, so their house is on lock-down & they don't let him in at all. Even when we go to collect him, they haven't fed him, just shut him in the conservatory.


It sounds quite bizarre!
Our Tom used to be a bit of a wanderer (only for a few days at a time though) when we took Moomin in, lasted for quite a while but as he's gotten older (he's 12 too) he's much more settled and spends most of the time in the house.


I didn't mean she was personally feeding him, you know maybe he's just found something in the garden and keeps going back or something? There's got to be something about this house he likes otherwise I don't see why he'd keep going back {warn}

Have you ever tried them air freshener things that you use to settle cats on bonfire night etc? Wondering if it's worthwhile plugging one in and keeping him inside for another week or two to see if it settles him, so staying inside doesnt seem so bad? and with lots of treats, playtime, fuss etc :?
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LittleBrownFrog
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LittleBrownFrog »

The pheromone plug-in things? We've been down that route before (our vet was part of the research & development team for them) - our vet swears by them, but we didn't notice any difference. It might be worth a try again though - I'll get a refill when I take him to the vet tomorrow.
"Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder..." Thoreau.
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by julie62 »

How odd - I could understand it if he was going to your old house but he isn't :? Cats are such contrary creatures. All I could think was maybe you need to keep him confined indoors for a bit longer in the hope he'll realise that's home, but you've no guarantee it would work and he'll probably drive you bonkers. Hope you manage to resolve it soon.
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LisaB »

LittleBrownFrog wrote:The pheromone plug-in things? We've been down that route before (our vet was part of the research & development team for them) - our vet swears by them, but we didn't notice any difference. It might be worth a try again though - I'll get a refill when I take him to the vet tomorrow.




Yes that's the one! I couldn't remember the name :oops: :oops:
I think you have to plug them in a week in advance though, don't you? Might be a bit difficult to plan for with a wandering cat!
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by bluebell »

There are a couple of the plug ins for cats. The Feliway plug in has been around for years, I've had good reports about this. There is another new one called Pet Remedy, at work and just found one of these there website is www.petremedy.co.uk.

If your cat is anxious or stressing about anything (which I appreciate - he may not) but just a thought there is a tablet called zylkene which isn't prescription, it is a natural product and I've heard good results of this on both dogs and cats as very calming. Made by Schering-Plough Animal Health - blurb on box of tablets says "Zylkene favours smooth and rapid adaptation to changing situations. No side effects have been associated with the use of Zylkene. it ca be used for short periods or continuously if necessary". Ooh, its a capsule and can be sprinkled on top of food.

Just to add - I work at a vets - I'm not on commission or anything daft like that. :oops:

Hope this helps. )t'
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LittleBrownFrog
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by LittleBrownFrog »

Thank you Bluebell - I've just looked it up.
I'm not sure that he is stressed as such - although he does find it stressful to be shut in, so if that's what we are going to have to do, then the Zylkene might be helpful. I will print off the website blurb & take it in for the vet to see this afternoon & ask what he thinks.
It's the Feliway plug-in that we have used before - we kept it up for about six months, but I wasn't convinced that it was doing anything. Again though, I shall chat to the vet about it.
It's such a worry at the moment. We were planning to get a dog next year, but I can't contemplate that until we can get him a bit more settled.
"Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder..." Thoreau.
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Re: Looking for cat advice please.

Post by Homemade »

Not much help for a determined stay away like yours I'm afraid but the traditional thing to do with cats when you moved house was to "Butter their paws"
Quite literally that, the first time you let them out at a new house rub a little butter on each forepaw. They stop to lick it off and means they don't just rush straight out and get lost.
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