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"Asterix" - Cat with Anxiety Attacks

Photo of Asterix

It is often stated that pets are very like their owners and over the years I have been quite startled as to the number of occasions when this has appeared to be true.

I am however quite concerned that anyone should notice that I myself might be displaying any characteristics of my 18year old cat Asterix for he appears to be showing mild symptoms of senility (My colleagues may beg to differ on this point!).

Over the last few months he has taken to prowling around the house making very loud howling noises for no apparent reason.

I am quite convinced his hearing is significantly impaired for if he were to appreciate the bloodcurdling noises emanating from his throat I am quite sure he would stop!

It has also been apparent that his visual awareness has also become more limited and given his years it is not at all surprising.

I have decided that his noisy efforts to communicate vocally are in someway fuelled by his other failing senses. This appreciation of his fading faculties lends him to be more anxious than he once was and as such his vocalisations help him to know that he is still alive and well!

Consequently, I have been using a feline pheromone plug in diffuser to try and ease any anxiety further. Pheromones are naturally occurring scents which provide a calming influence and a feeling of security.............really a case of aromatherapy for cats! For whilst their other senses may dull with age their sense of smell remains much more acute than our own. Providing this atmosphere of familiarisation does appear to be very successful in the treatment of feline anxiety and has now been used extensively where cats are known to be stressed, e.g. travelling, other cats invading their territory and moving to a new home.

Whilst I remain optimistic of improving Asterix's sense of well being I have yet to come across a plug in diffuser for myself which creates an aroma of malt whisky!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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