Lo asked in PetsCats · 1 week ago

Lost cat has changed his behaviour ?

My male tabby cat Rainy disappeared for almost a full year before miraculously returning home, which of course I was delighted about. However since his return three months ago his behaviour has changed significantly, He used to be so friendly and playful, he loved being held and tummy rubs but now he seems quite angry and distanced, he growls a lot even when He’s alone in a room and even sometimes lashes out (clawing or lightly biting my hand) if I get to close, he also no longer cares for my other cat Figaro who he used to love.

Occasionally his behaviour softens and he approaches for strokes and tummy rubs but this is rare and he is mostly aggressive. 

I worry that his time away was scary and stressful and that he having trouble adjusting back home. Is there anything I can do to help him adjust or will this personality change be permanent? 

10 Answers

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  • 1 week ago

    A cat disappearing for a year is pretty unlikely unless someone was keeping him indoors.  Your cat is likely DEAD and this isn't even your cat.

    I know you want to live the fantasy that your cat miraculously beat the odds and found its way home like a Disney movie.  But that didn't happen. 

    Give this cat up to a no-kill shelter.  It's just a stray or someone else's lost pet that you're selfishly holding hostage.

  • jean
    Lv 4
    1 week ago

    get him a check up at the vet, he may be in pain or have some health issue. U could get him Feliway which is a plug in device that emits a smell that improves the cats mood

  • Anonymous
    1 week ago

    Probably not even the same cat. Just looks like the one you neglected a year ago.

  • 1 week ago

    Of course it was stressful. It was a year. He is not the same cat anymore.

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  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    You were lucky you found him after a year.  Yes the experience on his own probably caused all the changes you see.  I suggest you get him to the vet for a complete physical and see if there may be something wrong with him other then just behavior issues.  Also if he's not neutered, get him done right away.

  • 1 week ago

    He probably got tougher from being gone for so long, if you stay around him more often maybe he'll go back to how he was before.

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    Is this cat neutered, if not then that is likely the reason he disappeared and why he is behaving like he is....... as he has got used to fightiing other cats to mate.and he will disappear again as and when he wants to mate... likely he returned as he lost fights...if he is neutered then often a cat will disappear if they are accidently locked in someone garage/shed or they find a new home where they are getting more than they did at home ( whatever that is) I had a neutered male who visited other homes and decided to stay in one, had to look and found him and brought him back....he never stopped visiting other people as they fed him... but some people are not so kind to cats, will set their dogs on them, throw things at them, so this may have happened to him...so it may have affected him, not being petted for a while means he gets over stimulated when you do it and so they growl/bite...so use a toy on a stick to play, that way your hands are safe and once you think you can start to pet him, use a gloved hand that way he will bite/scratch the glove and you can easily slip your hand out

  • 1 week ago

    Lots of possible explanations. How old was the cat when he disappeared? Cats can change considerably in the time between 18 months old and 3 years. Male cats become fully adult in that time, and a sweet little kitten can turn into a mean old cat. Has he been neutered? If not, the disappearance stops being a mystery, and his behaviour now even less so. 

  • Shay
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    My first thought is - are you SURE this was your cat and not just a cat with very similar markings?

    Next, cats can have a stressful experience when they are lost, especially for a long time.  Just be gentle and never force the cat to do something it doesn't want.  Most cats actually don't like tummy rubs and it often takes a lot of trust for a cat to allow the tummy to be rubbed without attacking.  The cat needs time to remember that he can trust you.

    A cat that has been lost for a year may have been with someone else or might have just been living out of garbage cans with no one taking care of him.  Either way, it has left the cat a little feral.  

    Buy the cat some treats and hand feed the treats often - especially anytime the cat is showing calm behaviors.  Whenever the cat growls or acts out, give the cat a little space.  You can try to help encourage the cat to be more social by sitting on the floor with a toy and the cat treats and try to call the cat over to play.  Offer a treat and then try to encourage playing with the toy.  Interchange between play and treats with occasional pets.  Avoid the tummy completely until the cat offers to roll over and allow it.  

    As for your other cat, they have been apart long enough that it is like they never knew each other.  They will need time to accept each other again.  

  • Audrey
    Lv 4
    1 week ago

    It's gonna take a truckload of patience. He obviously was abused terribly while he was lost.  It can be done, however. Just keep on loving him. ❤

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