Cats hissing at each other after going to vet

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


I hate everyone- but Mom
Purred: Fri Aug 5, '11 8:31am PST 
Hi all. Pickles had a dental wednesday, and was at the vet for 6 hours or so. Since she's been home, Cinders (who literally never hisses or gets upset) has been hissing at her sister, and avoiding her like the plague. She won't eat next to her, without making both of them hiss. Cinders is staying to herself in the bedroom, while Pickles has been staying downstairs. It's Friday, and I'm worried about this. They aren't attacking each other or anything like that. Luckily I have 3 stories that they can keep away from one another. Any advice? Thanks guys.kitty


Don't pet, play!
Purred: Fri Aug 5, '11 9:22am PST 
Emily's mom here. A friend of mine had this happen. She even found a name for it...."non-recognition agression." The theory is that since cats use smell so strongly to recognize each other, she doesn't recognize the cat with vet smells. I've read you can put a dab of vanilla behind each of their ears so they smell alike. I've never tried that though. You could also just rub each with a sock to transfer their scents to each other. I bet even if you do nothing, they'll get over it in a few days. My friend's cats did.

Since my friend's experience, I've been rubbing each cat down with a sock before vet visits. Then when the vet-smelly cat gets home, I rub them down with the sock that has familiar cat smell on it before they see their cat buddies. Seems to work well.

Orange Ruffy

The Baboo Kitty- has Spoken!
Purred: Fri Aug 5, '11 12:02pm PST 
Somecat here said it best-they have VO (Vet Odor!)
Our cats always hiss and sometimes smack the cat thats just returned. They smell funny.
We have rub them all with catnip and put down a meal for them. We find this establish's as much normalcy as can ever be in our house.


I hate everyone- but Mom
Purred: Sun Aug 7, '11 5:26pm PST 
Hi Everyone. Thanks for the great responses. While we are getting through the vet odor problem, we now have a new issue....

Pickles isn't eating. I've been through this before when she had 4 bladder stones removed. She tried and ate some Thursday (dental was Wed.) and some Friday, but Saturday no dice. I called the vet, because it had been about 12 hours with no food intake, and I know about Fatty Liver Disease.....Anyways, the vet gave me new pain meds because pain leads to a lot of irregular behavior in cats, so now we're doing Gaba for pain, a Fentanlyl (spelling?) patch and Batryl for antibiotic. Well still no eating. I've taken to spoon forcing wet food down her throat. Granted it's not her urinary kibble that she loves, but she has to get something....I can't believe she's letting me, as she's very temperamental. She's just not herself. Very jittery, not sleeping much, acting dazed, and not sleeping in her normal spots. But she IS out in the open with us, not hiding at least. She's acting very lovey, and pretends to want to eat, running to her dish, tries to chew, and spits them out. I'm just glad she's not like last time, when she was lethargic and vomiting foamy pink stuff. Tomorrow I call the vet first thing, and I'm hoping she'll let me try the leftover appetite stimulant I have from last time. It worked like a charm. 20 minutes after taking, down she ran looking for food. Wish my girl luck! Sorry about the rambling.... hug

Finnegan (Finney)

I am a- CARNIVORE! Not a- Cornivore!
Purred: Mon Aug 8, '11 8:56am PST 
Oh be careful with that Fentanyl patch. It's got some serious warnings on it from the FDA and I've actually seen kitties get some serious side effects, especially if the kitty is having liver issues! What about Buprenex? That's a safer one. Anyways, as far as the vet smell, Lacey did that to me for 4 days after I came home from the vet the first time. Jeez! It was horrible. My mom took a towel and rubbed it all over her and then on me and vice versa to get each others smells back on each other.

As far as not eating, I'm wondering if the stress of the hissing is adding to that and the heat also.


I hate everyone- but Mom
Purred: Tue Aug 9, '11 3:38pm PST 
Hi. Well at least the Fentnyl patch comes off tomorrow. As far as other pain meds like you mentioned, it's probably because of the laundry list of drugs she's on right now. Our vet is really good and is a cat specialist. She really cares about the kitties! We're working through the smell so that seems to be improving. The eating has done a 180 since yesterday. She's been ravenous after the appetite stimulant, and is now sleeping in some of her familiar spots. I think there's improvement! I'm just glad I spoon fed those days prior to the stimulant. She wasn't impressed with me, but it kept her from being on the verge unlike last time when she was close to Fatty Liver Disease. Thanks for the help. If it seems you're missing info check in Cat Health, as I've reposted it there. way to go


Even the sun- loves me.
Purred: Tue Aug 9, '11 9:21pm PST 
I have this trick that I do when I bring in a new cat or a cat(s) back from the vet. I bump each cats nose with a cotton ball tipped with vanilla. That way they all "smell" the same. Works for us.

Hey, I never said I was normal. big grin