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My cat behavior has changed after he lost his other cat friends

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

I had 3 Siamese cats, one cat was 14-years-old and he died suddenly in February then my youngest Siamese just died last month of kidney failure. My remaining Siamese is 11-years-old and has been in fine health, however, since last month he cries most of the night and during the day. Wherever I am is where he wants to be. All night he climbs over me to the point where I cannot sleep. I was out of town for 1 week and my husband said he never cried and he only saw him for feeding. I'm back and so is the odd behavior. When all 3 were alive, they were always together. How long can I expect this to continue and is there something that I can do to help him? Incidentally, the most recent death was a female and this cat is a male. He was always (at least 4 x's/day) mounting the female. All the cats are fixed. Can this be the reason for his crying, no one to mount? Or is he just missing the latest cat?

Gigi Gotfried


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Sorry to hear about you losing your two cats to kidney failure. That is very sad. Your remaining cat sounds like he is having some behavioral changes. The first question is are the changes due to the loss of another cat or is there an underlying medical problem?

I always like to make sure that there is no underlying medical problem and not assume that the behavior change is solely behavioral. So, you may want to take this cat in for a "check-up". If everything is okay, then you can assume the behavior change is truly behavioral.

It is hard to know if his behavior changes are due to just missing them or no one to mount. You have some options that include getting a new kitten and/or making sure that your cat has plenty of toys and play time. Enrich his environment to make sure he is getting plenty of stimulation. Spend extra time with some play time that is interactive by either using a feather-flyer type toy, tossing a mouse, or a laser pointer to get your cat to play and be engaged. It may help take your cat's mind of the loss of his partners.

An article that might be useful is Selecting the Best Toys For Your Cat and Your Cat's Grief.

Best of luck!


Dr. Jon



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