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Ask Your Pet

by Jennifer Dickman

Dear Jennifer,

We live in an apartment that overlooks a wooded nature trail, with windows all along the back wall. My cat Amanda used to love staring out the windows and watching the birds, but since a stray cat came to the window a few months ago she’s been obsessed. She stares out the window 24/7 and if she sees a cat becomes hysterical and throws herself at the window making horrible shrieking noises. If we close the blinds she pushes them aside or tries to shred them. What can I do to help her?

Lois J.

Dear Lois,

You’re right – Amanda is definitely obsessed with guarding the windows. She told me that before the stray cat arrived she had already been feeling somewhat anxious and insecure. This was partially due to a change in your home environment and partially because she says you had begun spending less time with her. Amanda also complained that when you are with her you are paying less attention to her than you used to and are more focused on other things.

When the stray cat came along, it became a focal point for Amanda’s insecurity and anxiety. It’s as if all of those uncomfortable feelings were channeled into the need to guard her territory against this feline intruder. Adding to the mix, Amanda said that she constantly sees or senses the presence of the many birds and animals that inhabit the woods outside your home. Initially these creatures were merely a source of interest to her, but now Amanda sees them as additional threats she must guard against.

This constant state of hyper-alertness and stress is very unhealthy for Amanda. I explained to her that she is safe and that animals outside your home cannot get in and aren’t a threat to her. However, I think that Amanda’s obsession has become so ingrained that even a logical understanding of this will not halt the behavior. I recommend that you take her to a holistic veterinarian immediately, preferably one with experience with behavioral issues. If there isn’t a holistic vet in your area, I’d see a traditional one and then explore holistic options to supplement his or her care. Flower essences might be helpful for this problem. The Bach Flower remedy "White Chestnut" is excellent for obsessive fears and can be given along with other essences for anxiety. Green Hope Farm also makes an excellent anxiety blend for animals, that includes essences to address both guarding behavior and obsessive fears.

Another option that might be helpful is a phermone spray such as Feliway. And, though it may be unsightly, covering the bottom portion of the windows so that Amanda can’t see out is an option for forcibly changing her behavior. She may seem agitated by this at first, but should soon give up trying to see out and return to more of her normal routines. Best of luck in tackling this difficult problem!

Send your question along with your pet’s name, age, and a photo or brief description to Jennifer_Dickman@ymail.com or Jennifer Dickman, PO Box 782, Montgomeryville, PA 18936. Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Pet Reiki Specialist, Reiki Master-Teacher, and Intuitive Counselor. She is available for phone sessions worldwide, and teaches private Reiki certification students locally & through distance learning. Jennifer can be reached at 215.817.0833 or Jennifer_Dickman@ymail.com. www.JenniferDickman.com.

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