How to Calm a Hissy Cat

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Hello. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys, from the Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. I’m here today to answer a question posted on the Pets Best Facebook page.
Yolanda says “I have a 16 year old cat. She shows no signs of slowing down. She’s been kind of high anxiety her entire life, and she doesn’t let anyone hold her, pet her or pick her up but me. Even then I can only do so for a few minutes before she gets hiss-y. I’ve tried the pheromone plug-in, the collar which she scratched and she didn’t like. Is it too late for her to learn to relax and be nice ?”
Well, unfortunately at 16 years of age it’s pretty unlikely that she is going to change her personality. But it’s always a good idea to try to reduce the stress to her. Stress can certainly exacerbate any quirky behaviors and problems like that.
Generally, one of my favorite products is the plug-in pheromone so I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t really help your kitty cat. Another product that I’ll sometimes use is a homeopathic product called Rescue Remedy. It’s just a flower therapy that again it’s supposed to help cats relax.
About the best thing that I can recommend and specially this is something that anybody with a young cat wants to work on is really good social interactions and good positive reinforcement. So when kitties are young in particular, it’s best to try to introduce them to a lot of different scenarios.
Have people over. Have kids over, dogs if possible. You want to try to have the cats have positive associations with these types of situations; so that it’ll be a positive outcome and then later on in life your cat will be more likely to accept things like that.
So it might be a little too late for your 16 year old at this point but for all the people with the kittens and the young cats, it’s definitely the time to get started on it. Feel free to send your cat health questions into the Pets’ Best Facebook page, and I’ll answer them next time.

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