Traumatized Cat

by Connie
(Long Beach, Ca)

Two weeks ago we got two young puppies, but my cat Donte was scared to death of them. During the fourth of July weekend he ran off and we couldn't find him anywhere. When the fireworks were all over he finally returned but had been attack by we think a dog. The injuries were bad but not as bad as the trauma he went through. He has not come out of the back room since this has happened except for the Vet visit. What can I do to help him return to the once happy cat and not to be afraid of the puppies?
Your truly Connie

Dear Connie,

What a sad story. Donte is acting the way he is because he has been very traumatized. New puppies, being away from home, fireworks and other loud celebration activity, and then an attack from another animal.....that's a lot for a cat to cope with.

The best thing you can do for him is to not rush the introduction to the puppies. Don't rush him to leave the room and run all over the house. He needs time in a safe place all his own where he can recover and start to feel safe and secure again.

Let him have his own space with his things where the puppies can't get near him. Give him extra attention, toys, treats, love and reassurance.

He has to feel comfortable again even if it's just in a small space before he can venture out to face the "world" again because that world has changed and cats hate change.

Be patient. If it takes weeks or months, let him take his time and don't force him to be with the puppies until he lets you know he's ready. Just give him lots and lots of love and attention and help him feel loved and safe and comfortable again. It will come with your help and patience.

Good luck,
Dr. Neely

Return to Comments about Cat Behavior.