What is cat therapy?

Cats are highly sensitive animals. They can become traumatised when something bad happens to them or their living conditions change drastically. The vets at Maxi Zoo explain how one can recognise a trauma and give some tips on therapy.

Charlie the cat

Charlie the cat was always disposed to playfulness and was cuddled a great deal. During the day she never wandered from the side of her young mistress once she’d returned from prolonged roaming. When Charlie was around nine months old, her mistress had to move. Not only was Charlie suddenly no longer allowed out, she was also spayed. All at once the cat’s behaviour changed tremendously: she became withdrawn, hardly let anyone rub her and avoided any kind of contact with people and the other cats alike. The owner initially put this unusual behaviour down to the spaying. However, after three weeks Charlie developed serious bronchitis. The vet diagnosed that that cat had suffered a trauma due to the move and being sterilised.

Don’t wait too long

The medical definition of a trauma is “a serious mental shock which has not been worked through is suppressed from the consciousness and leads to physical under achievement”. It first becomes noticeable either immediately or not until several weeks later. Therefore it’s difficult to find out what triggered it. If a cat suddenly becomes shy, aggressive or unclean and refuses food, then action has to be taken. The range of triggers is considerable. Sterilisation, new family members or a move, stress with another cat or just maltreatment can be the cause. To establish what the cat is lacking requires thorough discussion with an expert, e.g. a vet or an alternative practitioner. By asking questions of the owner, it can be clarified what triggered the trauma as many people only remember everything the cat experienced after detailed discussions.


Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts