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My Elderly Cat Has Become Obsessively Affectionate.

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#1 sylviepld



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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:17 PM

Hi there and TIA for any insight or advice you have for me.
I have an 18 yr old male (fixed) domestic longhair who has always been affectionate.  He would great anyone walking by the house and the whole neighborhood knew and loved him.  We call him 'Loverboy'.  In the last year or so he has started to show signs of his age and is now almost deaf.  He has become excessively affectionate and seeks out anyone to give him love to the point of appearing 'desperate'.  We can push him away gently over and over again and he just doesn't get it.  He also has the habit of rubbing his mouth against people's faces of hands and is especially fond of doing this to anything I have in my hands including my laptop, a book, a mug etc.  Again, I can push him away over and over again and he keeps coming back.  
He has always been especially close to me and sleeps with me almost all the time.  If there are any other cats in his path (I have 2 others) when he is trying to reach me he'll just walk right on top of them. Then I can't sleep because he's rubbing his mouth all over my face or my hands.  I have to hide my hands under the covers and block his access to my face!  He seems so neurotic.  Any ideas why his behavior has become so excessive?  Is there any way to stop him from doing this so much.
PS  I give him a lot of affection on a regular basis but he's starting to drive me nuts.

#2 bigbadbud


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:52 AM

I'm afraid that your cat :1luvu:  you

He is just getting old and yes all of mine have become more smoochy in their old age.  I learned to adjust somewhat - not much choice :unsure2:

#3 Warm Lap

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 08:36 AM

Maybe because he has lost his hearing, he is focusing more on touch, smell and taste for the stimulation he is missing. Old cats can get a bit of dementia.

#4 Lushbaby


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:30 AM

Maybe because he has lost his hearing, he is focusing more on touch, smell and taste for the stimulation he is missing. Old cats can get a bit of dementia.

I was also instantly thinking that maybe he has lost one of his senses, as opposed to his mind.

He may have lost his sense of smell or have dimming eyesight as well as loss of hearing & his rubbing may be a way of reassuring himself of things or making his scent on it so he can use it to guide him around.

At his amazing age its going to be one of those things that you accept & put up with no matter why he is doing it. Sadly he wont be doing it for too much longer will he ?

#5 Doreen


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:03 PM

It does sound like he is feeling a bit insecure and needs constant reassurance because he is losing some of his other senses. Hopefully once he realises that you are still there, and everything is still the same he may relax a bit more, like a cat who is previously sighted but then goes blind, it takes a while to adjust. Sending heaps of :luv: to your dear boy.

#6 Weegiemum


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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:08 PM

Yes it does sound like he is feeling a bit insecure.  You could try plug-in Feliway diffuser, and also try rubbing a few drops of Rescue Remedy on his ears and put a few drops in his water bowl as well.

#7 Poppi


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Posted 08 March 2014 - 12:47 PM

The two elderly cats that I have been slaves to (RIP my darlings) became heat seeking missiles.  One had a problem with her thyroid and I read that they feel the cold.  She loved to be cuddled, getting the warmth from my body.  If she was on the lounge she always had her blankie over her summer and winter.  Poppi did mark the edge of the breakfast bar where her food and water was.  When she went to the bridge it took me a long time to clean the brown mark from the breakfast bar and vacuum the black hair off the back of the curtains.

#8 MargOZ



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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:07 PM

My old girl became more affectionate as she got older and always wanted to be near me.  I think she liked the affection because her hearing and eyesight was going.  Nothing wrong with her nose though so maybe some senses overcompensate for the ones they lose.  Enjoy the affection while you can though as I miss my old girl like crazy xo

#9 Kicol


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:43 AM

I don't know whether this could be a 'close' symptom or pattern, but my girl acts a bit like that when she gets sleepy (she is acting like that now that she is older).  She wants to cuddle on my lap if I'm at the computer or if I'm knitting she gets entangled in the yarn, her attention seems narrowly focused, nothing will disuade her.  If I am at the computer, that's fine, or when reading, but if I'm knitting, it's dangerous for her, sometimes she just jumps unexpectedly - I worry that she may hurt herself with the pointed end of the kntting needles.   Maybe you can say that your cat's brain is getting a bit 'sleepy' in his old age, the focus is more narrow and he's becoming more inflexible as he ages, nothing you can do, I think.

#10 monty_dweezil


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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:12 PM

Awww, how cute. But I do understand that this can be a bit disturbing and inconvenient. Your cat is claiming you...rubbing you with his mouth, making sure you're still there if he can't hear or see or smell quite as well as before.


In the past, I've had experiences with some "overly affectionate" cats. One was a downstairs neighbour's cat at my old apartment building who loved coming up to visit me before I moved and got cats of my own. He was my adoptive son. He was SO clingy and when I'd come home from work and walk up the path, he'd literally not let me walk. I had to carry him upstairs for cuddles or else I'd just fall over him with each step. Once we were upstairs, as soon as I half sat down on the couch, he'd be on me. lol. If I got up, he'd follow. If I went to another room, he'd run after me crying in panic, "Where are you going, adoptive mother?!!?!? Don't leave meee!" 


And oh my god, trying to put him out so he could return to his home downstairs? SO DIFFICULT! I would carry him to the door, put him on the ground outside the door, and then...nope. Couldn't close the door as he was already back inside at my legs. The few times I did manage to get him out in less than 10 attempts, he'd sit there crying for AGES, even when I could hear his owner calling for him downstairs. 


But he was so beautiful. I used to find he would settle down when I would lay still with him in my arms firmly. Like, very firmly. No stroking. No moving. Just holding. Firmly. So he feels like he's in one of those thunder jacket vest things for nervous cats. lol.


I still miss him.

Edited by monty_dweezil, 28 January 2015 - 01:13 PM.


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