How to Tell Of Your Cat Has OCD and What Treatment Should Be Chosen by Veterinarian
What do you know about obsessive-compulsive disorder in cats, in short form OCD? It is a behavioral disorder. Cats are more likely to act exaggeratedly and repeat the same actions over and over again. For example, licking the same area too thoroughly. If at the very beginning of the problem, so-called triggers are needed, which are the cause of strange behavior, then later they no longer are. Can cats have OCD if they are over 10 years old? Age has nothing to do with compulsive behavior. But some breeds are more prone to such a diagnosis, for example, Siamese. Let’s take a look at the causes, main symptoms, and possible treatments.
What Causes of a Cat OCD?
- Most often, it is the behavior of the owner that plays a major role in further compulsive behavior. In other words, some action of the host can become a trigger.
- Ignoring the problem and inadvertently encouraging cat OCD behaviors. For example, the owner reinforces it with attention or treats it to goodies.
- If the cat has experienced stress due to any changes in the environment. For example, moving to another apartment or house.
- Domestic cats may not be properly kept. For example, there is no place for games, frequent bans, shouting at home.
- Psychological problems, such as a mental disorder.
Cat OCD Symptoms
Pay attention to this subsection, because if you find any of these symptoms, you should take your pet to your veterinarian to find out the cause. By the way, it can have one or several signs of OCD in cats.
Pacing Back and Forth
Sometimes your cat can walk back and forth or in circles. From the outside, it looks like it is looking for something. In general, this is normal behavior. However, if it lasts continuously and for a long time, it may be a sign of stress. If you do not stop this behavior, then it can develop into OCD.
Cats often lick themselves, as they are clean animals. However, if this develops into so-called fanaticism, then it’s time to sound the alarm.
It is a common symptom of feline OCD. Cats don’t just meow. They do it when they want something or because of some worries. It’s a way to get your attention. However, if the cat meows out of concern, you should pay attention to this.
Non-Edible Items as a Food
Many cats tend to chew and eat tissue. According to one unconfirmed theory, if kittens were taken from their mothers at a too early age, then when they become older the OCD is not excluded.
A cat chasing its tail may seem harmless. However, look at how often your pet does it. After all, this behavior can become intrusive.
Researchers have doubts about whether such hunting is associated with hallucinations. Whatever the reason, cat obsession disorder may be the real one.
It also can be a reason. Some cats will run and chase non-existent things as if they were playing with another cat or non-existent toys. Similar to stimulation, this behavior can first be a response to a stressor and then become compulsive.
How to Diagnose OCD?
If you suspect that your pet’s behavior is no longer part of the cat’s natural eccentricity, it is best to contact your veterinarian immediately. A veterinary examination will help rule out the causes of physical illness. And prescribe the appropriate treatment. With OCD in cats, treatment is a necessity. Do not come up with a diagnosis, always contact your veterinarian for help.
How to Treat Cat OCD?
After visiting the veterinarian, he/she can recommend you:
- Reduce ambient pressure. Adjust your cat’s routine and make family events such as feeding, playing, exercising, and socializing more predictable.
- Avoid unpredictable events if possible. Topical repellents are usually ineffective with over-grooming.
- Do not allow the cat to go outside, as this can exacerbate the behavior.
- Try to release the cat before the behavior begins.
Your veterinarian can prescribe cat OCD medication and instruct you on how to use it. Try to ignore inappropriate behavior and discourage responses. Behavioral punishment increases the unpredictability of the cat’s environment and can increase fear and aggressive behavior. It can also ruin your relationship with your cat. Do not forget to take your cat to the veterinarian for a second examination. Your cat may not respond to the treatment plan. Don’t panic. Perhaps, it is better to change treatment. Before starting treatment, record the frequency of the behavior that occurs each week so that you can measure progress.
How to tell if your cat has OCD? Monitor your pet’s behavior to tell your veterinarian about possible symptoms. Only a specialist can accurately diagnose. Have you faced such a problem? Share in the comments. Do not forget to look into our heading Health, there you will find a lot of useful information. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you soon on the pages of our blog!
- If you would be a cat you would say Meow* (happy sound)
- If you would be a cat you would say HRR* (angry sound)