View Full Version : My baby's change in behaviour

02-18-2001, 04:10 PM
My little baby Pesto is 15 months old, and we have had her for 10 of them. She is a very loving little girl, and until the last week or two she always wanted to be in the same room as her mom and dad. She isn't a lap cat, but she has tended to prefer to have us within her view.
However, over the last few weeks she has spent the majority of the day hiding in our bedroom closet while we are in the living room. I am a University student, so I am at home a lot studying, and this hasn't changed since we had her. She is usually willing to come out if we go and coax her out, but if we don't give her our undivided attention she retreats to the closet. Nothing has changed in our patterns of playing with her or paying attention to her. The only change is her dad's work schedule, but even then only his days off have changes.
I miss spending time with my baby! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif She is spending 90% of the day there. Does anyone have any idea what could be up with her?

Vi Co Bi
02-19-2001, 05:58 PM
If your cat has suddenly taken to hiding in a closet rather than spend time with her family, then the first thing to do is take her to the vet. This will rule out any physical reason for her wanting to hide; cats in the wild who are feeling poorly prefer to hide because it gives them a chance to rest and heal without much interruption. You didn't mention whether or not she was still eating and using her litter box. If you have noticed a decrease in either activity, a trip to the vet is very necessary. She might have developed a URI or UTI, she could have nibbled on a plant she shouldn't have, she might have gotten into the trash and had something disagree with her, or she could have decided to munch on something she should have - like a string or twist-tie - and it could be causing a bowel blockage.

Before looking for other causes, start there. Once physical problems are ruled out, then you can begin to tackle psychological problems (a much more difficult task, to be sure).

Things to consider:
Have you recently had a guest who might have upset your cat, or have you had workers/contractors in your home lately? Sometimes strangers can upset an insecure cat, or a cat can take such a dislike to someone for an unknown reason that the cat finds it difficult to recover. I always keep notes on people my cats don't like (they always know best).

Can your cat be engaged in play and does she still play as before? If she likes catnip, does she still like it and react the same? My cats have a brand loyalty - my homegrown or one special brand - and won't react to any others.

Anyway, if it's not physical, your battle is about 1/4 over. Good Luck!

02-19-2001, 07:36 PM
Thank you for taking the time to post a reply.
There hasn't been anything unusual happen lately that I can think of. Same food, same everything, no guests at all. She still plays when she comes out, but she hasn't really been coming out voluntarily.
I think that she just may have swallowed something she shouldn't have. She licks practically everything and has eaten a string before. (see: http://www.angelfire.com/80s/pestoswitzer/morepictures3.html )
Anyway, she has spent much of this evening with us, so I will give it a day or two and see how she is.
Thank you again.

02-21-2001, 01:14 PM
OK, pam-pesto, be warned. You're in deep yogurt if you don't follow up and let us know what happens!

02-21-2001, 01:33 PM
Deep yogurt, huh?
Well, we are currently conducting an experiment: we have closed the closet door so she can't get into it. Shortly after she tried to get into it, and discovered it was closed. SHe then spent about half an hour trying to get it open, but it is a giant door that runs along the whole wall so she had no luck. She decided to spend some time under the bed.
That was yesterday. Today the closet door is still closed, and she is sleeping out in the living room beside me while I work.
I think that maybe she was maybe just enjoying some peace and quiet. I don't really know. We think that maybe she was disrupted by her dad's work schedule change. For 15 months he had the same days off and the same shifts, and then all of a sudden his work switched his days off (twice) and his shifts start a little later. SO maybe she was upset. We will open the door in a few days and see if she hibernates there again.

Vi Co Bi
02-25-2001, 08:01 PM
I'm glad she seems to be doing better. Cats are creatures of habit in the extreme, way extreme in some cases. I've had cats who got upset when I'd move some furniture (just a chair or table, nothing major). Then, I've had cats who saw the rearranged furniture as an opportunity to get to new heights.

You'd previously posted that the change in her dad's work schedule was only a change in his days off, but later mentioned that his work schedule had changed several times lately. In our household, it seems more difficult for our cats to adjust to a change in schedule than us, especially if they never get into a new routine before it's changed again.

Now that Fuzzy works nights and I work days (and we have really weird schedules), our cats have found more time than ever to sleep and not get so overly tired from having to entertain us. At least we know to expect this and we can help make the trasition easier on them.

02-25-2001, 08:11 PM
His days off changed a few times over the last few weeks-- he had Sunday off, then had to work Mon and Tue then had Thu and Fri off and then worked 5 days and then had two off and then worked 3 and then had 2 off and then worked 5..... you get the picture. It used to be 5 on, two off, and always the same days. It might have thrown her off. But since we closed the closet door she has spent much more time with us. She spent most of today lying in front of the computer where I was working. I just worry about my little girl-- she is my first cat so I probably overreact to things.

Personal servant for Pesto