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Dealing with Stress in Cats

In dealing with stress in cats it took me a while to work out why my beautiful ginger kitty (adult cat really) was spraying in the house. He was five years old and spayed. He had never done anything like this before. Fortunately because he was spayed his urine wasn’t as strong as what it could have been.  That doesn’t mean to say that it didn’t smell.

I was advised it was due to stress.  Of course I sought the advice of professionals at Ringwood Vet Clinic and followed the rules. I used a special cleaner to deodorise the urine and I also used the plugin feremones to calm him down. Whilst these things worked to a degree it obviously didn’t alert me to what was the cause of the problem.

My poor little darling was definitely suffering. It so happened that he was due for his vaccination around this time so I thought it would be a good time to discuss his stress in person with Kim from Ringwood Vet Clinic.  By the time his appointment was due he had sores under his chin and was scratching incessantly. I was advised that all these things are due to stress.

One by one we worked through his problems. The sores under his chin we called ‘cat acne’ and this is due to stress. They looked just like acne too and were infected, the poor darling.  Secondly I noticed that he had ripped one of his claws right down and it was bleeding. Not sure if this was stress related but it ran the risk of being infected.

Dealing with Stress in Cats

I can’t stop scratching!!


Thirdly he was just scratching non stop.  It could’ve been stress or fleas, but upon closer inspection he appeared to not having any fleas.  He had been eating supermarket bought biscuits so I switched his diet to something that was specifically formulated to be hypoallergenic.

Anyway, a good shot of antibiotics would clear up his infections and home we came.  It’s probably been 2-3 weeks since that trip to the vet and Rudy has calmed right down. I’m still using the feremone emitting device. His chin and claw have completely cleared up, which I think was contributing to his stress and his scratching has calmed down. He has always been an ‘itchy’ cat but definitely looking a whole lot better.


My husband and I were trying to work out what was it that caused the stress to begin with. Around about the same time as the spraying started we had new neighbours move in next door. They brought with them a little dog. We didn’t think much of it at the time because the previous occupants also had a little dog. However, within a couple of weeks of the little dog arriving another dog arrived.

This time it was a much bigger doberman cross puppy.

Needless to say I think I was actually the one that started stressing about it first. No, I did not spray around the house.  We’re not positive but we’re quite sure that the amount of upheaval was causing the stress and the ultimate back breaker was the doberman puppy. The only thing I’m not sure of is was it the puppy directly causing the stress or did Rudy pick up on my stress?

Either way we’re sure it was that doberman cross puppy dog because as it turns out they were only minding it for family for a few weeks and the dog has been returned to it’s owner. The cute little dog is still there but doesn’t cause any problems at all.

I'm happy again

I’m happy again






…and Rudy seems to be back to his normal self. 🙂

Why is kitty spraying in my house?

Why is kitty spraying in my house?

My beautiful ginger kitty is 5 years old. He still behaves like a kitten though, which I think is totally delightful. Lately we’ve been having a few little problems.  Just the other day I was sitting in my recliner with my feet up. Rudy (my kitty’s name) wandered over , took a sniff of my slipper socks and then proceeded to spray  me.  Yes, you read that correctly, he sprayed urine on my foot.  It took me a couple of minutes for the action to register on my brain.  I looked at him and said ‘did you just do what I thought you did?, to which of course he did not reply.  My husband thought it was hilarious.

Why is kitty spraying in my house?

Kitty Rudy

Why is kitty spraying in my house? Unfortunately this was the start of a little problem.  I was most concerned because I’ve had him for five years and never ever had he sprayed in the house. He was desexed at the age of 6 months and spraying had never been a problem. In fact he hadn’t even been spraying in the garden up until quite recently.  I wasn’t sure what the problem was but I had an idea.  I was hoping that this was just a one off that it had to do with the fact that I hadn’t worn ‘those slipper socks’ for a long time and the smell was alien to him.  Alas, it was not to be.

To make the situation worse my husband and I were going on a little holiday and would be away for ten days. Friends of ours came to housesit but they both work and goodness knows what happened while we were away.  Let me correct that, I know the results of what happened I just don’t know the events leading up to it.

After ten relaxing days in Hawaii I came home to find not one, but three separate areas of the house that had been lovingly marked by Kitty Rudy.

This was a serious problem!  I did not want the smell of cat wee in my house and also I was very concerned for Rudy as he had never done this before.  The only thing to do in this case is consult a professional.

I rang Ringwood Veterinary Clinic and asked them the burning question ‘Why is kitty spraying in my house?’

The answer was fairly straightforward and unfortunately not what I wanted to hear. Rudy was stressed. It is quite likely that when I’m not at home the neighbours cat comes to visit, eats Rudy’s food, sprays in my house and beats up my baby. Great! Not only is Rudy spraying in the house but now it looks like the neighbours cat is too.

Soon we’ll have all the cats in the neighbourhood coming over for a painting party!


Why is kitty spraying in my house?

This is my recliner now!

Why is kitty spraying in my house? Well now that we know the answer, how do we address it? According to Dr Kim Mizzi there are a number of ways in which we can deal with the situation.

Firstly how do we stop other cats entering the premises. There are quite a number sophisticated cat flaps on the market that allow only your cat to enter the premises. This is achieved by putting a special collar on your cat.

Secondly, how do we alleviate the stress in Rudy?  There is another product on the market that you plug into the wall and when switched on it emits certain pheromones into the atmosphere.  These pheromones are designed to make your cat feel calm and secure. This product can also be purchased from Ringwood Veterinary Clinic.

Lastly and always, if you are not doing this, you must keep your cat in at night. Rudy has always been kept in at night so this wasn’t a problem.

Since speaking with Kim I decided to purchase the product called Feliway that emits pheromones. I plugged it into the living area near the back entrance where Rudy’s cat door is and waited. I don’t know why I was expecting a visual. For all intents and purposes it might not be doing anything, but I have to say, it’s working. Rudy is no longer hiding in the corner in the attic (yes, when I returned from Hawaii that’s where I found him and that’s where he would hide during the day).

I’ve noticed that he is still spraying in the garden but has definitely stopped spraying in the house and it’s been four days since I plugged the device in.  He has even gone back to sleeping in his favourite sport which is on the window sill by the back door.

I'm happy again

I’m happy again

So the answer to Why is kitty spraying in my house? was relatively simple and not that difficult to resolve either. For more information on Feliway contact Ringwood Veterinary Clinic or go to the Feliway website and read their reviews. Totally worth it!


Vaccinating your pets – Why you must read this story

If you think that vaccinating your pets isn’t a priority then keep reading…

It was supposed to be a lovely long weekend away with friends on the northern coast of NSW.

Only a six hour drive from Sydney we were due to arrive at Coffs Harbour around 3.30 that afternoon. On the approach we rang our friends to let them know we would be arriving soon. That’s when we discovered that the family dog wasn’t feeling too good. There had been a recent poisoning of the neighbours dog and they suspected the same thing had happened again.

Coffs harbour


My sister is a vet and the owner of the Ringwood Veterinary Clinic in Melbourne.  I asked them if they would like me to phone her and describe the dogs symptoms just to see if we could get an idea of what we were dealing with.


The Dog…

Name – Tikka

Age – 15 months

Breed – Doberman cross

Weight – Approx. 25kg

tikka and kerby

Tikka on left, two days prior to her illness


The Symptoms…

Continuous vomiting from the night before

Vomiting only occurring when she moved, otherwise she just slept

Vomit was mostly clear however the most recent one had blood in it

At midday was wagging her tail and had a drink of water

Suspected poisoning with glass bait


The conversation…

After speaking with my sister I realised there was one very important question I’d forgotten to ask the owner.



…& the verdict.

The symptoms you are describing sound like parvovirus.  That dog is dying and needs urgent medical attention!

This statement certainly got our attention and we began a series of phone calls to the local vets in Coffs Harbour.  As it happened there had been 11 diagnosed cases of parvovirus in the past three weeks.


What is parvovirus?

Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can live in the environment for up to 10 years. It attacks the gastrointestinal tract and is transferable through dogs. Your dog will suffer immensely even with treatment, showing signs of blood in vomiting and diarrhoea.

If you take your dog out for a walk and it eats grass that is contaminated by parvo then your dog will start to show signs of the virus within 7-10 days.

Puppies are highly susceptible to this virus and if left untreated will most likely die, mainly of dehydration within 1-2 days.

All of this can be avoided by vaccinating your pets.


At the local vet clinic we were advised that

  • the dog must not enter the premises.
  • We must not enter the premises.
  • Our clothing has been contaminated.
  • We need to disinfect all items that have been in contact with the dog and its environment.


 Unfortunately the swab test at the local vet confirmed that Tikka did indeed have parvovirus.

The owners of Tikka faced a difficult decision. As she was a puppy, even with treatment she only had a 40% chance of survival and she would be in extreme pain. In this particular situation Tikka’s owners chose to have her euthanased.


Vaccinating your pets is a simple procedure that takes up no more time than a standard consultation. Call us to make an appointment today.