HomeCat HealthCat FleaFirst hand experience that anxiety can cause overgrooming in cats


First hand experience that anxiety can cause overgrooming in cats — 29 Comments

  1. Pingback:Thoughts on Displacement Behavior | Childhood Obesity News

  2. I used to leave my bedroom window open for Tippy and she would come in and out via the top of the railing on the deck above the garage. Until one night a big brown bat came in via that window. After that I put the screen in the window at night.

    • Your bat reminded me of years ago, our late mam, Babz and I were standing outside our door watching a bat go round and round the trees as we rarely saw one, when it suddenly dived at us lol we got in a bottleneck trying to get back in through the door lol

      • This bat had landed on my bed and I got up during the night to throw on another blanket and actually covered him up. I even saw him in my sleep dazed state and I thought he was a brown sock. (I had a very messy room.) In the morning I pulled the quilt off and there he was. He had big teeth and he hissed at me. I should have covered him up again but I screamed and ran out. By the time I could get help he was flying around the room. I was told that I should have left him covered because then they could have gotten him out alive. As it was he ended up being killed during the efforts to expel him. His fur had been so beautiful, a deep brown and he was huge. They threw him out back by the wood pile and I noticed that after he died his fur wasn’t so luxurious anymore and he wasn’t so beautiful as he had been. I felt really bad that I had not thought to throw the blanket back over him. I’m still amazed I didn’t end up getting bitten by him during the night, and I’m grateful for that, but to this day I feel terrible that he ended up being killed. It was my fault, all the way around.

  3. No, I think Rose lives in the UK. I live in the USA.
    Wow, that’s a great story about the skunk spraying in the dryer vent. Eeeewww! Even with my limited sense of smell I can smell skunk. You could be right that skunks are why you don’t see many cat flaps around here.

      • Not true, Michael. You have hedgehogs. I wish we has hedgehogs. You also have badgers, don’t you? Go Bucky! (University of Wisconsin’s football team’s mascot is Bucky Badger.) Do you have opossums? We have those even though they don’t do well this far north. We’ll trade you our opossums for some hedgehogs. Actually not sure hedgehogs would like the cold too much either. Monty is not a fan of winter. He goes out, but not for very long. He has a very loud meow which means, “I’m very cold, let me in NOW!”

        • True, I was being a bit basic. We have badgers and hedgehogs. I never see these animals. I have only seen a hedgehog about twice in the wild years ago and I have never seen a badger in the wild. I only see urban foxes, squirrels and birds. Oh, and a little rat that runs across a building site across the road…Sweet thing he is.

          • I’ve never seen a badger in the wild either. Probably a good thing. We were taught as kids if we ever saw one to just leave him alone. They are small but fierce and will fight to the death to protect what is theirs. This is why a badger is a better team mascot than a beaver. I always have to laugh at the Reedsburg Beavers (my dad’s alma mater). I have seen several beavers in the wild, one right in the city near a creek which runs through a city park.

            • I’m pleased you have never seen a badger in the wild. Makes me feel better 😉 They must be very secretive. They are noctural aren’t they? Must help to avoid the dreaded people with rifles.

          • We have hedgehogs, they are hibernating in the bushes on the edge of our garden at present. But it was a bad year for them last year with being so wet and we took 2 underweight Autumn babies to the hedgehog carer who does a wonderful job, sadly one died. They can’t survive hibernation if under a certain weight.
            The cats totally ignore them when they come out, they are very clever to know they are spikey. When we first moved here we heard terrible screams in the night, we thought someone was being murdered, we had never heard hedgehogs mating before!!!!!OUCH those spikes lol

          • Marion of our local Cats Protection saw the hunt out with all the pack of dogs after a poor fox, when she was feeding ferals last week, even though it’s illegal. Thankfully the fox got away yayyyyyy
            The trouble is young people are needed for sabateuring as it’s too risky for us older people, but they think with it being banned there’s no need to worry.
            It doesn’t matter which way we turn there’s animal abuse going on and we can’t keep up with fighting it all.

          • Sorry to hear you don’t see the fox. I figured he was around still. I watched an old video I guess of him thinking about coming in. He did look pretty scraggly. It is good for the heart and soul to see wildlife doing what they do. I don’t think I could live in an urban area again.

            • I am proud to say I cured his mange by feeding him/her chicken laced with a medicine. Then a neighbor saw me with the fox. I was feeding by hand. Immediately after that moment I never saw him or her again. I was distraught. I think someone killed her/him. I hate that. I truly hate it. If I knew someone had killed her/him, I would hurt that person. I really would and don’t care about the consequences. I think she is dead. I think the fox was female. It makes me sad to think of her.

              • My god are you serious? That is terrible. And the neighbour – have you asked? I mean suspicions point obviously in that direction. Why would somebody not want a fox, especially one who is friendly with a person and apparently quite peaceful. I would be up in arms. I’d be storming over to the neighbour looking for answers in some underhanded way.

                • I could jump around but I have no proof and I won’t find it. I’ll just be branded a trouble maker who feeds foxes and likes cats (in other words he is crazy). The husband of the person who saw me with the fox is known to have regularly killed squirrels. A lot of people in the UK dislike foxes. I love them.

    • Yes I’m in the UK and met up with Ruth when she started the anti declaw troops to help educate about it and she introduced me to PoC.
      I don’t get on that much usually as I’ve a houseful of kids, rescue cats and dogs keeping me busy and happy.

  4. I think I echoed Kattaddorra’s sentiments on this one Michael, so you were right on both counts, but she said it first. That whole cat flap thing seems strange to us here in America. Most people don’t have them. When I was a kid our cat Tippy would ask to be let in by jumping up and hanging onto the screen door with her claws. You’d open the inner door and there she would be clinging to the screen on the window of the outer door. I think things were made better back then, because we never had to replace that screen. Monty pretty much destroyed the screen on our back patio door, climbing up it to ask to be let out. Jeff said today you have to pay extra for a pet friendly screen. In any case, cats let us know what they want.

    • LOL – my cat in Canada used to do the exact same thing on our screen door. When she was little there was her and her sister climbing on the screen and it was very funny. Like little spiders – they would go all the way up and then backwards down again. We never had a cat door in Canad which is why I made a tunnel from my bathroom window eventually. In Canada it was uncommon to see such cat flaps but here when you go to the pet shop for a start there are hundreds of them of all sorts and really alot of houses have them. But its true that in Europe we don’t have racoons or even worse, skunks, and the such who will come in through your cat flap eventually. We had a skunk spray in our dryer air tunnel where the air from the machine goes directly through a tube outside. For about a year it smelled when we used it of course. There are many less predators in Europe, both animal and human, so cats generally mostly are free to go in and out.

      Just to be clear – you are also Rose?

  5. Hi Micheal I’m glad you got Charlie’s problem resolved but I think you thanked the wrong Ruth I just read your first page and it was our very own Kattaddorra one.
    I’m lucky I don’t have problems with my cats being stressed but I suppose it’s because I’ve got quite a few and dogs and kids as well and we are all used to being a gang and we live where they can go out without worries.

  6. I’m glad Charlie is OK now, sometimes you just have to accept you can’t help all cats as you need to put your own first, although it does make you feel really bad.

  7. Great Michael, well done. I know it must be hard not to let the strays in. Do you leave them something to eat outside now? I would imagine that would be a good compromise. Are they infact strays? Afterall you do live in London and it’s hard to imagine homeless cats in that city- anywhere near the center at least.

    • I call them “strays” but they have homes. “Straying cats” is probably better. One of the tabbies would stay here if given a chance. And the grey cat probably wants a new home too. I do feed them outside and I am not sure if I should! Difficult. I just wanted to pass on the experience as it may help others. There seems to be quite a lot of wandering, time share cats in central London. This may be the preferred lifestyle for some cats. It reminds me of Morocco and places like that where cats share people and don’t have fixed homes.

      I am very grateful to the regulars at PoC for encouraging me to take a fairly drastic step as it did alter our habits quite a lot.

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