Cat just got back from Vet - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Cat just got back from Vet

All right, my cat Moose just got back from the vet. He had an overnight stay. I've had both my cats, Crystal and Moose, since they were 8 weeks old. NOw they are 3. They are brother and sister and have never been apart before. I'd say their general behavior towards each other is typically good. Moose is bigger and sometimes he plays too rough with Crystal and she hisses at him. They don't cuddle or anything (not since they were kittens) but they do chase and play-wrestle with each other almost everyday.

However, since Moose got back from the vet, Crystal is just staring at him like he's an impostor (that sounds silly but it is the best way to explain). She is sniffing him a lot (not licking him or anything just smelling him) and Moose is generally just ignoring her. Which is a little weird, usually when she is sniffing after him too much he gets annoyed and bats his paw at her. Anyway, it's been a few hours now and it's just getting worse. Now she is still sniffing at him a lot but she is also hissing quite a bit when he is around her. Actually, the hissing is getting much worse. She is making the low throat growls as well. It's really scaring me a bit. Usually, Moose is the aggressive one. In fact, Crystal (unless she is defending herself) is never the aggressor. Moose is pretty much just ignoring her right now.
This is totally bizarre behavior and, yes, I realize that Moose probably has a vet smell on him so it may cause this but it's still making me worry. Can anyone offer advice or help here? She's acting like she has never seen him before.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 10:16 PM
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I'm seeing the same thing with my other two cats now that Sophie is back from having surgery. They hiss and act like she's a total stranger. I do believe she is carrying some "bad smells" on her that the other two don't like, and that's probably the same thing you're seeing with Moose.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 10:24 PM
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It's quite common. Some people put a drop of vanilla on the back of all the cats' necks. Take a towel and rub it on all the cats a few times so they smell the same. Things should get back to normal in a day or so.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 10:45 PM
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That happens every time I take one of my girls to the vet. In fact, whenever possible, I now always take them to the vet together, to avoid that very problem.

It happened three times in the past 18 months, each time Muffs went to the vet and, when she came home, Abby sniffed her and hissed. It's almost like Abby was saying "You're not the REAL Muffs. You don't smell like Muffs. You're an imposter Muffs, and I don't like you!"

When it happens, I try to distract Abby as much as possible and to play with the two of them as much as I can. I separate them overnight and when I'm at work. I also keep a coin can handy and shake it behind my back if I think things are escalating too far. I tried the vanilla trick, but it didn't work for me...still it might work for you, so it's worth a shot. Each time, the hissing continued for a few days, but thereafter they were back to normal again, cuddling together and grooming each other. So, not to worry, this too shall pass.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 12:44 AM
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I agree with the towel method, especially rub around the scent glands around the mouth and then rub in the other cat's head. Also instead of vanilla, smear a little butter on the top of each head. This will entice them more to lick it off than the vanilla. This "I don't know who you are" happens when my cats go to the vet too. It just proves that cats go more by scent than by sight.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 09:22 AM
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Wow glad you brought this up, when Max when to the hospital and stayed 2 noghts there the same thing happened. Cleo just stared at him and growled and hissed if he came near. Now that I'm taking Zeus to get fixed next month I will try to do the thing with the towel.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 02:33 PM
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My Loki and Layla (siblings) did the same thing when we brought them both home from the vet after both of them were spayed/neutered at the same time. They both acted as if they had never seen each other before. I never thought about the smells. We thought they were hissing at each other because they were both wearing the cones. But, later, I wondered if it was because they weren't feeling good and were actually warning each other to stay away and leave them alone for a while. Anyway, it didn't last, so I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 02:43 PM
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When one of my parents' indoor cats got out, they acted like that. Our vet told us to take a vinegar solution, soak a towel, and wet them both with it. It obliterates the smell and encourages them to groom each other and reinforce their previous bonding. That was a very long time ago though so now that I'm thinking of it, I'm not sure vinegar is the best choice as I thought it's used as deterrent sometimes. Anyway, something like that. It happened twice, once with each cat and the method worked.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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A friend of mine told me that his vet told him to spritz a lot of cologne or perfume on them (!) Maybe I am overprotective but I am not wild about putting chemicals on my kitties.
Anyway, I tried the butter and I rubbed them with a towel. I don't know, not much seems to be working. I got some mint scented cat cleaning wipes from Petsmart today and I rubbed them both with it. I'm not sure if it's working exactly but Crystal hasn't hissed at him since (of course it's only been an hour). It kinda breaks my heart to see them like this although I'm very surprise Moose is taking it so well. Usually he is the one who plays too rough and I expected him to get defensive with Crystal hissing but he has basically ignored it and let her keep her distance. It's very strange. You don't suppose this is a permanent switch, do you? From the one who is docile and the one who is more aggressive? I'm probably just overattentive.
It also seems to me that they are eating more, they aren't huge eaters (they are an extremely healthy weight, I don't really have to monitor their food) but for the past day they have been eating quite noticeably more. Do cats do things like this under stress?
Anyway, I guess the general opinion is to wait it out- it just takes a couple of days? I hope everything is back to normal and they play together again.
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