Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

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Anna
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Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby Anna » 10 Mar 2014, 22:05

I have two cats, a male and a female (they're brother and sister). The female has been quite a 'scaredy cat' since we got her as a kitten. (When she was a kitten she enjoyed climbing trees a lot but I see that perhaps the weight has prevented her from continuing with this. Initially we free fed them but she became obese and we have since started monitoring their diet. Unfortunately she's still obese which is something we're working on.)

The point that we are facing with her at the moment though is that she doesn't want to go outside at all. It started becoming 'worse' last year and at new years with all the fireworks going of she went into a complete state of panic for several days. Since then she has basically refused to go outside. There are also quite a few other cats in our neighborhood and I see that she might be at the very bottom of the hierarchy between the cats, while our male cat is quite far at the top and isn't scared towards going outside.

We live on the 4. floor so we have to go with them when they want to go out and she has no problem using the stairs or elevator. But as soon as I open our front door, she walks out as though she wants to go out, but then quickly retreats back into the apartment and often crawls under the bed. I have tried testing carrying her outside(she accepts this) but as soon as I open the door to the apartment building she immediately goes back in or sits and waits for me outside the door. Yesterday I tested walking with them which is something I did for a year every day when they were kittens. We have a wooded area outside our building where I can walk with them and it is something they enjoy a lot as we can go and explore together. But as soon as I started walking back she immediately followed me into the house.

So what I am seeing is that she has some form of anxiety or trauma/phobia experience towards going outside, either because of the fireworks at new years or because of fear that the other cats that might beat her up lol.

We have a competent animal homeopath in the area so I will give her a call - but does anyone have experience with using homeopathic support for animals with anxiety/trauma conditions?



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hilda rac
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby hilda rac » 11 Mar 2014, 07:00

I wonder whether she'd be this 'scared' to go outside if she had the option of returning to the safety of home at her own will... because if I understand correctly, you have to walk her all the way out, and she cannot get back inside on her own, yes? Perhaps she's not as much traumatised as she is wary. And also, if she likes to stay inside despite having the chance to go out, why be bothered by that? Maybe you fear that she's missing out on 'cat life', while she doesn't, lol.



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Anna
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby Anna » 11 Mar 2014, 07:51

I wonder whether she'd be this 'scared' to go outside if she had the option of returning to the safety of home at her own will... because if I understand correctly, you have to walk her all the way out, and she cannot get back inside on her own, yes? Perhaps she's not as much traumatised as she is wary. And also, if she likes to stay inside despite having the chance to go out, why be bothered by that? Maybe you fear that she's missing out on 'cat life', while she doesn't, lol.
Yes my plan is to try and see if we can move somewhere where the cats can more easily go out next time we move.

Also - she has had no problem going out in the past and would literally jump out the front door. So something has triggered it.

The tricky thing with animals is that we can't directly ask them what they want, so I don't know why she doesn't want to go out. If it was simply a commonsensical preference then I would definitely say 'what the hell?'' and she also does stay inside every day now. But the thing is that from what I have observed there's something 'off' about it. As I explained she's been a very nervous cat from the beginning and then with the weight gain became more inactive. So it looks to me like she wants to go outside but something inside of her is holding her back, like a trauma or a fear.



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KellyPosey
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby KellyPosey » 11 Mar 2014, 09:23

I was caring for a cat just recently for about a year. She would go outside. There was a big orange cat that would terrorize her though, and we're pretty sure that a big abscess that she got on her rump is from being bitten by this cat. So she liked to outside if we were outside, and then come back in when we did. We also had a cat pole for her in the house which she really enjoyed going crazy on. She was cool with this arrangement and sometimes didn't care to go outside at all. Depending on the area it can be quite consequential to go outside and they can prefer to remain inside. So maybe there are neighborhood cats that terrorize her, in which case it's better to remain inside than to get terrorized and possibly wind up with a nasty abscess, which we had treated at the vet for $360 and she had to take medicines daily and have a cone on her head for like two weeks and couldn't lick herself and was not pleasant and when the abscess was large and swollen it was difficult for her to move/jump around.

If she doesn't want to go outside, I wouldn't try to force the point as that would probably lead to more resistance like feeling pressured, but if the point is let go, she may change her mind about it, so we could be adding to the anxiety in trying to treat the situation. Like when we first got the cat pole we were all excited for her to climb on it, but she was like really resistant and I am guessing because we wanted her to do it trying to show her she could use it, instead of realizing that she will find it on her own in her own time, and she sure did and then she was like a wild monkey on it.

On the last 4th of July, the cat was outside, and she got so freaked out by the fireworks she didn't come back for a day. Maybe we shouldn't so carelessly make loud explosions in the air, I mean, the cat is really showing us how we should be reacting, like rather questioning 'what the fuck is going on?' that there are these loud explosions going on. Who are we to just blow shit up without any regard for the effect on other beings/nature and even ourselves. I just imagine for people who live in war-torn places, I would not be cool with hearing explosions going off, I mean probably for so many places in the world that would not be cool, but it's not a problem for the elite US or such countries where we manage to keep war out of our country because we're essentially the bullies who bring war elsewhere. Anyway, that's going off-topic.

I would say her fatness is potentially also a factor because then you are not so agile to defend yourself from the bully cats out there. So I would say, if she does not want to go outside she doesn't need to. She can get exercise inside with a cool pole if you can get one, we have them here for like $40 one that goes to the ceiling, so she can be inside where it's secure.



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Anna
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby Anna » 11 Mar 2014, 10:00

Cool Kelly. Yes we've got several scratching poles in the house, though that doesn't offer much exercise. The only alternative is for me to play with her. The weird thing is that she's wanted to go outside previously, which is why I see that it has become a 'trauma' of some sorts as it is also the same cats that are here now as when she still went outside. I don't pressure her at all though sometimes try and test it. So I see that the only solution is that I start walking with them again because that is something she likes, unfortunately I don't have time to do it very often.

Essentially I would like to see if there's a homeopathic remedy that can support her if it is a case of anxiety/trauma.



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sylvia
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby sylvia » 11 Mar 2014, 10:01

I do not have experience with homeopathy on cats, though seeing the effects on humans, I would say go for it.

We do have a female cat that was abandoned at birth and a very stressed cat her entire life (6 years), though we never pushed her to become more relaxed if that is possible anyways. Now after being together for 6 years we see lots of improvements in her behavior. When see wants to go outside she let me know and I open a door or window for her to go outside, I will then stay around to let her in, because going out can be from a few seconds up to hours in summer. A little leaf that is unexpectedly moving can be enough to scare the hell out of her and jump inside as if she escaped from this big monster.

In summer she's more relaxed with going outside and that is probably because our back door is open almost all day and she can go in and out as she pleases. We'd tried a cat door, but all cats were too afraid to use it, so it stayed open all day which had not much benefits for us when it comes to letting the cold into our house.

So there might be something going on with your cat Anna, that you cannot solve for her or with her and you might get a grip on it with homeopathy. On the other hand she also might be showing you or Viktor a point, like did something change within your behavior of going out into the world? Cats do watch your behavior and use that within their behavior in their world, so when you then watch their copied behavior you might think something is off with them, when actually they are showing you there is something off with you. A cool interview that illustrates this is the Cat Lover.

Let us know how it went at the homeopath.



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KellyPosey
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby KellyPosey » 11 Mar 2014, 10:35

The pole I am talking about is one that goes to the ceiling and has multiple levels that they can jump up and down so it is much like a tree. Our cat would dart across the floor and clamber up the pole fast as lightening so it was as much exercise as she would get outside. I don't know if you have those kind of poles where you are.

Animals are very physical oriented beings so their trauma is not usually like a mind/mental trauma but often an actual one that is related to something real/physical so if there is a real trauma out there for her then better to not go out there. Like on the farm for example there are real threats in nature so there is fencing all around. So if it's an actual trauma then the only thing to solve it would be to remove the point, which you usually can't do if it's for example bully cats and she can't match them in fighting, you can't remove those cats or make her able to fight them. Like the cat we cared for, she'd go outside with us for a few minutes because the bully cat wouldn't dare come when we were there. This was after many occasions, and it still happened sometimes, where she would be out by herself, and suddenly there would be this big ruckus of cat hissing and 'yelling' and the orange cat would have pinned her down and be biting her really nasty and we'd run to let her in the door and chase him away. So it was more practical for her to not go out or go out only with us. And so in this case, it was a real trauma and thus not one that would be fixed by a treatment for example, because the threat/danger is real/actual. But maybe it's not always the case in every cat/situation.

Also like with Sylvia in the summer we could leave the door open or a window and she'd go out more often since she could just come back in, but of course it also depends on your abode if it has a door to the outside or not is also a factor.



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Leila
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby Leila » 11 Mar 2014, 15:54

I would give it a go Anna, we use homeopathy when we introduce a new horse to the herd as this can be stressful and be a point of anxiety for the horse (though it seemed to merely assist taking the edge off). You could also get the animal homeopath to rule out any underlying physical problems that may cause her to not want to go out. You can always forgive yourself as the cat for the fear ;)



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Anna
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby Anna » 11 Mar 2014, 18:18

Sounds good everyone.

Kelly we do have a scratching tree or a 'condo' as it is called lol. I've also build walkways on the ceiling - but it is unfortunately only the male cat that uses them, which probably has to do with the female's weight issues.

I actually got a really cool insight into the life of cats through watching the documentary called the secret life of the cat. A group of scientists went into a neighbor hood with various equipment that made it possible for them to monitor the life of cats for a series of days. One of the things they found (to the surprise of the cats owner) was for example that cats will adjust their schedule due to the coming and goings of other cats. So one cat would for example go out every afternoon at 2 pm. The owner couldn't understand why but after observing the cats movements, it turned out that it had developed an 'alternating schedule' with another cat that it wasn't friendly with. So one cat would get the territory in the day time and the other would get it in the night time and so they had devised a way to share an area without creating conflict with each other. It's a very fascinating documentary. So I've considered this with our cats as well as I know that there's a cat that is above our female in the hierarchy that will bully her. This cat actually had kittens last year and wouldn't go out so much which meant that our cat would go out a lot more. We live on the 4. floor in an apartment building with many cats and dogs lol - so there is a lot of animal activity in the area. Though our cats have never come home with scratches or anything like that. I will try the homeopathy and self-forgiveness on behalf of the cat and will see how it goes.

Thanks!



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sylvia
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Re: Homeopathic remedy for anxious cat?

Postby sylvia » 11 Mar 2014, 18:37

Cool Anna, I did see that documentary as well. Really cool insights on how cat life takes place when the area is crowded with cats.




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