Maine Coon With Anxiety!

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melissazastar

In Cats

My husband and I have 2 two-year-old Maine Coon cats with very big but polar opposite personalities. While one is unbelievably confident - introducing himself to large dogs, excited to go for walks on his leash, and even loves trips to the vet - his brother has always been a little scairdy cat. From the time he was a kitten he would dart under the sofa whenever a new person would come through the door (it would take between 5-10 visits for him to get used to any of our family members, friends, etc.), he is afraid of any unknown noise (more than is normal ... even for cats), and will growl at any dog or cat he sees passing by our third-floor apartment window (and runs from window to window to watch intently until the animal is out of sight). He's also very attached to both of us, although me in particular. If he doesn't know where I am in the apartment he will start making this heart-wrenching, long and low crying sound (sounds like a baby crying), is often very attached to my things (he sleeps on my slippers every night and will cry for hours if they aren't there for him), and always hides behind my legs when he's in a stressful situation like the vet.

With the exception of the crying, we have never considered these things particularly problematic, just part of his quirky personality. He's the sweetest cat we've ever owned, following us from room to room and snuggling up on the couch with us to watch TV most nights. ... That is, until this week! We have just moved from Florida to Rhode Island, and I spent three days driving the 20 plus hours with the cats. Our anxious kitty was (as expected) not so happy the first day, but then the next two slept the entire trip and was even purring. We have moved him before (just to a different apartment across town when we lived in Florida) and he had no trouble adjusting, but he seems to really traumatized by this move. It's a 3-bedroom house (much bigger than any of our apartments) and he is seeing hardwood floors for the first time (which also means there is more noise overall in the house: footsteps, etc.), but I can't imagine that these things alone could have him so freaked out. There are no other cats/dogs walking by the windows and far more "perching" spots to keep an eye on his "people" in each room, so I expected him to feel more secure not less. He has been hiding in the basement and one of the bathrooms and will cry until I go get him. When he used to cry in the apartment we would call back to him, he would follow the sound of our voices and come running over. Now he won't budge from the spot and waits for me to come get him. The minute he gets spooked by something he takes off back into hiding and immediately begins the crying again. And worst of all, this morning he peed on this reusable fabric shopping bag that was on the kitchen floor ... right in front of us! I guess he was crying for attention to my husband who didn't respond quickly enough. I have been keeping a close eye on both cats, so I know they've both been using the litter box regularly since we've been here and it's been cleaned each day. We brought all of his toys with us, as well as this blanket he likes from the apartment, his food dishes, etc., so he would feel comfortable, and we've been using the Feliway Spray to help with the transition but this hasn't seemed to do much. Could it be that without our furniture and other things there yet there aren't enough familiar smells/things?

Anyone have any insight? Given his history of anxiety I'm wondering if I should find a new vet here pronto and ask about anxiety medication. He just visited the vet in Florida for a full check up last week before we left and he is in good health. I'm also doubtful that this is caused by competition for territory with his more confident brother: they have been inseparable since kitten-hood and he seems to cling to his brother as much as to us.

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melissazastar

In Cats

Reply To: melissazastar

(Sorry here's the remainder of the post ... it got cut off!)od floors for the first time (which also means there is more noise overall in the house: footsteps, etc.), but I can't imagine that these things alone could have him so freaked out. There are no other cats/dogs walking by the windows and far more "perching" spots to keep an eye on his "people" in each room, so I expected him to feel more secure not less. He has been hiding in the basement and one of the bathrooms and will cry until I go get him. When he used to cry in the apartment we would call back to him, he would follow the sound of our voices and come running over. Now he won't budge from the spot and waits for me to come get him. The minute he gets spooked by something he takes off back into hiding and immediately begins the crying again. And worst of all, this morning he peed on this reusable fabric shopping bag that was on the kitchen floor ... right in front of us! I guess he was crying for attention to my husband who didn't respond quickly enough. I have been keeping a close eye on both cats, so I know they've both been using the litter box regularly since we've been here and it's been cleaned each day. We brought all of his toys with us, as well as this blanket he likes from the apartment, his food dishes, etc., so he would feel comfortable, and we've been using the Feliway Spray to help with the transition but this hasn't seemed to do much. Could it be that without our furniture and other things there yet there aren't enough familiar smells/things?


Anyone have any insight? Given his history of anxiety I'm wondering if I should find a new vet here pronto and ask about anxiety medication. He just visited the vet in Florida for a full check up last week before we left and he is in good health. I'm also doubtful that this is caused by competition for territory with his more confident brother: they have been inseparable since kitten-hood and he seems to cling to his brother as much as to us.

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