Help! Obsessively territorial and spraying!

Stephanie HurstStephanie Hurst Member Posts: 1
edited 5 June, 2010 in Behavior & Training
Abby has always lived in a second floor apartment. Off the ground she would sit and chirp at birdies but there were no other cats. We moved into a new house a month ago. Two weeks ago Abby got her first look at the outdoor neighbor cat. She reared up, flipped out and sprayed. (I should also mention she is spayed.) Heck of a mess, cleaned it up thoroughly. Since this happened she is now OBSESSIVELY at a window in our house. Any window. All the time. She doesn\'t play anymore, she doesn\'t snuggle. She just looks for this cat and starts this pattern of territorial behavior. I can\'t leave her alone anymore out of fear that she\'ll ruin my furniture. She is now in a good size crate while I\'m at work. Any suggestions so that I and my cat can have our normal life back?

Comments

  • Stephanie JohnsonStephanie Johnson Member Posts: 556
    edited 5 June, 2010
    You have my sympathy! |:| Isabelle did the same thing when we moved in our house from an apartment. She immediately knew it was HER house and HOW DARE those neighborhood cats even think about setting paw in the yard?!? :-O She was so obsessed with a small window on the stairs (it sat at ground level as you went into the basement) that we had to cover it with a blind. I had no idea she was so OCD about anything until this all happened. Our solution may not be the most popular, but we tried EVERYTHING including Feliway plug ins (which did help a little, btw, but did not stop it), every cleanser known to man, distracting her when she saw cats, etc. We even replaced our entire basement carpet, pad and tack strips thinking the smell is what was making her \"go\" again. So in the end what we did was put her on amitriptyline (an anti-anxiety medication). She took a very low dose every day for about 8 months. We saw improvement after a month, and by 3 months it was under control. And by improvement I mean: less frantic concern over other cats (still veerrrry interested, but not psycho kitty), no more peeing outside the box, sleeping in the bed again, playing again, comfortable with doing something other than stalking the window. Initially there was some drowsiness with the medication, but we reduced her dose and it got better. Other than the daily fight to pill her, she had no problems tolerating it. We kept her on it for several more months to make sure she was going to maintain, and then slowly weaned her off. It\'s been over 3 years now and she has been an absolute perfect kitty. Now when she sees other cats she becomes very alert and twitches her tail, but that\'s about it. ;c; Oh, I should warn you - if she reacts this way to outdoor cats, do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt to bring another cat into the household. :-O
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