Cats behavior changed after going out

by Dave Bridge
(Santa Cruz CA)

I have a very mellow 7 yr old male cat,Because of the restriction where I live he is supposed to stay indoors.However when it is dark I let him out.Usually he stays out 1/2 hr.Recently he stayed out hours.When he finally did show up at the window I decided to make him wait 1/2 hr.Well he took off and did not come back for 3 days.I was worried stiff because we have coyotes.He looked sick,hardly able to walk,the first thing he did was shit on my carpet.He has since recovered but wishes to be alone in a closet,except to come out for food.Do you understand this behavior??????????.Incidentally my cat will only eat "Science Diet" period.Come to find out he likes olive oil.Thank You, I wii buy you book,Dave

Answer from Kate
Hi Dave
yes I do understand this behavior. basically his experience outside has frightened him, it must have been very overwhelming for him as he isn't used to having to fend for himself for that period of time.

i wouldn't worry too much at this stage. give him time to get over it himself and to find his confidence again.

gradually try to coax him out of the cupboard with some toys, sit with him for awhile to help him calm down. but do not rush him, let him find his confidence again by himself.

If he is still the same in a week or so you may want to think about giving him something to help him relax. see this page for more on this but leave this as the last resort, he should be able to get over it himself.

best wishes Kate

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