Previously social and active cat suddenly reserved and withdrawn

NEH97

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Hi all! This is my very first post, so I apologize if it's a bit long!

My girlfriend and I live in a one-bedroom apartment with three animals; two cats (brother and sister, both 1 year old, adopted together at 4 months), and a female puppy (4 months old). Since adoption, my male cat has been incredibly social and playful. He generally loves to sit in a lap whenever possible, starts purring like a Mack truck at the slightest touch, and constantly engages in play with myself and our other animals.

Over the last several weeks, however, his behavior has gradually become much more reserved and withdrawn from the rest of our household. This new behavior started about 3 weeks ago, when he began to sleep in odd corners of the apartment, such as on the hardwood floor in the kitchen between the cabinets. He is now spending much of his time sitting by the front door, either staring at the door intensely, or with his back turned to the door. He has also begun to only sleep in corners of rooms, usually wrapped up as if to protect his belly, and he has not been at all interested in play. In general, his behavior over the last several weeks has essentially been the exact opposite of his normal behavior for the last 8 months that we have owned him. Whereas he is usually very social and inquisitive, he is now withdrawing himself from social interaction.

Some other info: His eating, drinking, grooming, and bathroom habits have not changed. He still gets excited for meal times, uses the litter box exclusively, grooms normally, etc... He does not seem to be in pain, and shows no visible signs of illness (vomiting, diarrhea, excessive scratching). I have contacted his vet, but there is essentially nothing they would be able to tell me from a visit, since he shows not signs of physical ailments. Nothing has changed in our apartment, aside from the addition of a new puppy two months ago. He generally gets along great with the puppy, however, teasing her constantly, letting her lick him, cuddling up with her for naps, etc...

Sorry again for the long post! I am simply at a loss for why his behavior has changed so suddenly. This may be impossible to answer, but if anybody has any suggestions, or ideas as to why his behavior would change so suddenly, I would be incredibly appreciative!
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
3,375
Something could be scaring him in a neighboring apartment (smell of an animal, sound of construction). He could also be sick. Its very weird that your vet said there was no point to a visit since he seemed normal, because there are a lot of things a vet can pick up on that are hard for a cat owner spot. It could also be nothing. Cats change fast.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
1,830
Reaction score
2,804
Location
Los Angeles
I think that the previous response covered all that it could be and I agree that a trip to the vet is not the wrong thing to do. Was he okay with the puppy before this? I certainly have had cats change personality as they grow up with no other reason except that they are maturing.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

NEH97

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
I think that the previous response covered all that it could be and I agree that a trip to the vet is not the wrong thing to do. Was he okay with the puppy before this? I certainly have had cats change personality as they grow up with no other reason except that they are maturing.
Thank you for the reply! Yes, he has loved our puppy since we adopted her. What bothers me most about his behavior is that it has changed not only so suddenly, but so drastically as well. I will definitely be bringing him in this week, I do agree it's strange that the vet suggested there is no need for a visit.
 

Mamanyt1953

Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
23,439
Reaction score
36,860
Location
Havelock, North Carolina
Yeah, I'm really glad that you're bringing him in. Withdrawing is sometimes the first sign that a cat is in pain. And if it is body pain rather than stomach pain, his appetite might not change. PLEASE keep us updated on how he's doing!
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
11,229
Reaction score
13,147
Location
Nebraska, USA
I think the puppy is bothering him more than you think since it is a huge change in a cat's life and cats hate change. I take it they are both neutered since one year old is about the time males would want to get outside. It is also about the time cats mature enough to stop wanting to cuddle/interact so much with people. The puppy may have unintentionally hurt him somehow or is getting settled in and becoming more interested in interacting and this is more unsettling. The looking at the door, sleeping in corners, and withdrawing indicates he is trying to hide, to get away from something that happened. The puppy may be interfering with his free-range of the house and taking your attention away. These are all things he will overcome with time. He will accept the puppy as a family member, two months is definitely not long enough for a cat to accept another cat, much less a dog, which brings up instinctive nervousness. He is ACTING like he accepts the change because confidence portrays fearlessness, and cats do not want to show weakness of any kind, but as he accepted the puppy was a permanent addition it brought up new fears and uncertainties. He just needs more time.....
 
Top