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Vet Sarah explains why cats may not like loud noises, what to do if you find a cyst on your cat and how to deal with your cat's sensitive tummy.

Concerned about your cat's health? This week, Cats Protection vet Sarah hosted a live Q&A on Facebook to answer some of your questions.

If you missed it, here's a roundup:


Why does a change in food give my cat a funny tummy?

We have four cats, but one of them (he's a boy) has a rather sensitive tummy. Any change in food or temperature can make his stool soft or running and there's rarely some blood in in it too. Is it normal as he doesn't do this all the time?

It would be worth checking this with your vet so that they can examine him and comment more specifically for him. However, many cats have a sensitive bowel and what you are describing sounds like colitis. Usually cats with this condition are still well in themselves and happy to eat, but may have occasional soft stools with perhaps a bit of fresh blood there. Diet changes and stress can be a cause of flare ups. For more info, check out our advice leaflet on digestive disorders here.


My cat is terrified of any noise and runs away. How can I help him calm down?

Kittens have a 'socialisation period' which lasts from two to eight weeks of age. During this time their brains are undergoing a lot of development and they decide what is 'safe' and 'not safe'. If your cat has not experienced certain sounds or sudden noises during his socialisation period, then it is likely he will always react initially with some degree of fear. It is important to give him all the space he needs, and always give him the option of being able to run and hide if he feels scared. If he is feeling stressed, then these tips can help too:

grey cat with green eyes


My cat has got a cyst near his shoulder. Will he need an operation to remove it?

It is growing and moving from left to right. We checked it before but have been told it is not harmful. Our cat is 10 and had cancer two years ago.  I’m hesitant to have it checked out because of the fear of an operation. Is there any advice on what to do with the cyst or can it be removed without an operation?

I can understand your concerns and the idea of an operation can be scary. I would encourage you to talk to your vet, as there may be many different options for treatment and not necessarily just surgery. As an aside, general anesthetics are generally very safe for cats nowadays. Modern drugs and monitoring machines mean that anesthetic complications are less and less common. Please check out our leaflet ‘You and your vet’ - there are lots of tips on how to make the experience as stress-free as possible.


Why does my kitten sleep with her eyes open?

I adopted a kitten from Cats Protection three weeks ago. She is such a cutie and we love her! I was just wondering why she sleeps with her eyes slightly open and almost boss-eyed? Sometimes she even shakes her head too.

Thank you so much for giving a CP cat a home!;) It looks like when she is asleep, her eyelids are slightly open (this is pretty normal) and you can just about see her third eyelids coming across (again, this is normal). Cats have a third eyelid in each eye which looks white when it is across the eye. The third eyelid gives a bit of extra protection to the eye. The head shaking might be worth a vet check however – it could be parasites or a problem with the inner ears for example. Make sure you are up to date with flea control.

tabby cat looking up


There are a number of cats in our area who scavenge from bins. They do belong to a neighbour - should we be worried about them?

Ours are definitely well-fed and never scavenge from bins so we were concerned it may be a care issue.

Some cats are particularly food motivated and will look for food even if they are well-fed. Cats Protection would recommend using bins with a secure lid, to try and prevent cats from scavenging for them. Cats (like people) can get food poisoning and there may be other stuff in the bins that perhaps won't go down too well if eaten either!


For more advice about looking after your cat, head to the help and advice section of our website.

If you do have any concerns about your cat's health, please consult your vet. 

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