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Q&A: Why Is My Cat Acting Weird?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works with dogs, cats, exotics, and livestock.

If your cat has recently started displaying new behaviors, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

If your cat has recently started displaying new behaviors, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

Why Is My Cat Acting So Strange?

"Why does my cat walk up to me purring? And why does she stuff her face clear into the dog's ear hole and lie on his head?" —Charity

3 Common Reasons for Changes in Cat Behavior

This depends on whether your cat has been acting this way since she was a kitten or if these are new behaviors. If this behavior is something new, there are several possibilities for personality changes.

  • Illness: Cats hide their illnesses, but one thing we do see is increased vocalization. Your cat may also be lying on top of the dog so that she can feel warm.
  • Stress: The most common thing we hear when a cat is stressed is that they stop using the litter box, but hiding her face (if this is what she is doing in your dog's ear) is also a possibility.
  • Depression: This can be a sign of illness, but it may also be because a person has left the house, you have lost one of your other cats, or just because your cat is bored during the day and needs interactive toys to "play hunt". (Here are a few excellent food puzzles to consider.)
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If these behaviors are not something new, there is nothing to worry about. She is probably just purring because she wants attention, looking in your dog's ears to look for prey, and lying on your dog's head because she is comfortable.

Signs of Illness in Cats

Keep in mind that signs of illness in cats vary a lot depending on what is going on. Sometimes all you will notice is that a cat will walk around crying a lot, not usually purring as you describe. Are there other signs, though? Is she vomiting, or does she have loose stools? Has she lost weight? Is she eating more or less than normal?

If she is older (over 10), even if you think there are no other signs, it would be a good idea to take her to your veterinarian for bloodwork. Kidney disease and some other problems can be identified early, and you can make changes that will help your cat live a longer and better life.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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