“Can you help me with Cleo? She’s been jumping on the bed waking us up at 4 a.m. for the past several days. She’s also been walking around the house meowing loudly. What is going on?” I tuned into my friend’s cat. Cleo welcomed the opportunity to communicate and started by saying, “First, I don’t like my new food. Please bring back the old one.” Her real concern was the energy in the house; she found it extremely uncomfortable. To illustrate her point, Cleo showed me holiday activities with friends and family in and out and finally, her tipping point was the college fraternity party. It was too much testosterone for her!
I asked my friend if she had ever cleared the energy in her house. I suggested she do so by lighting a white candle in each room for a minimum of one hour then stating her intention. A simple declaration such as “I light this candle to clear this space. Please remove anything that doesn’t belong here,” removes old, stuck energy and changes everything.
I was surprised to receive a call just a few hours later. My friend had purchased the preferred cat food as requested and cleared her home. Cleo had stopped meowing, and all was well. Cleo was happy once again, and so was the sleep-deprived couple.
The adage “expect the unexpected” often rings true when talking with animals. We found an easy solution, but it’s important to keep in mind other possible causes behind night meowing, waking you up or any other suspicious new behaviors, especially in older cats. They could range from hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure and arthritis to hunger, wanting attention or to play or something entirely different such as in Cleo’s case.
“Why is my cat peeing outside her litter box?” It was a question I hear often, and I knew the answer could involve a myriad of reasons. Molly showed me her irritated bladder and responded her pain level was 8/10. She had been taken off pain medication after a couple of days after appearing to be okay. We often make decisions based on our perceptions or past experiences. Though well intended, it can be difficult for us to assess pain in animals; they are very often stoic and are in more pain than they show. As their caretaker, it’s important to look carefully at symptoms and changes or lack of changes in behavior and try not to make assumptions.
With Molly soon finding relief with pain medication, we moved to issues surrounding her litter box. Some cats associate their litter box with pain and refuse to use it after a urinary tract infection. Moving it to a new location or buying a new box often helps. Further questioning revealed Molly’s infection hadn’t cleared up, and she was unable to stop the abnormal, frequent passage of urine indicating another veterinary visit was necessary.
Other symptoms to watch for around litter box issues with cats are pain and straining to urinate, blood in the urine or any other behavior changes.
Other reasons cats may stop using their litter box may range from anger when a new animal is brought into the home, another change or mirroring something that needs to be addressed. Cats may also feel unsafe or vulnerable in a litter box with other animals around or need it to be cleaned more frequently.
“What is wrong with our cat?” The cat’s owners had him checked out medically, consulted with an animal behaviorist and didn’t know where to turn next. I was their last stop. This handsome male cat had followed his human to his home office daily, lying in the window as he worked. When the work day ended, he followed him back to the main living area then slept at the bottom of the bed. Now everything had changed. Not only did he refuse to go into the office with this man, he even left the room when he entered, and he no longer slept with the couple. They were baffled; what changed and why? This had been going on for some time.
When I communicated with this cat, I learned he was quite upset with the husband. He said he would no longer tolerate the way he spoke to his wife as it was disrespectful to her. He refused to be near him unless he changed his ways. The cat was doing his best to call attention to the issue and hold up a mirror for the relationship.
This man was in a position that required he make tough decisions. Somewhere along the line, he had forgotten to leave his work where it belonged and consider the opinions and feelings of others, especially his wife’s. He sounded like a tyrant to his beloved cat who said “enough is enough.”
I delivered the message and hoped that by voicing his concerns and demonstrating his displeasure, this cat was able to bring some much-needed changes in the relationship and return to his role of their beloved cat.
Uncharacteristic behaviors in animals can speak for themselves. If your animal exhibits an unusual behavior, pay attention and remember, things are not always what they seem. Research and ask questions; is this a physical or emotional issue or both? Is he trying to show me something? Get help, talk to your veterinarian, a behaviorist or animal communicator sooner than later.
Animals communicate when there is a need and they do their best to show us what that is. They are our helpers and teachers and come from a place of love and concern for us.