i got a call yesterday...(sigh...CARES is giving out my private cell phone number again.) anyway....12 or 14 yr old cat (i can't actually remember which)..has always been extremely shy but was bonded with another cat who passed away a few months ago. now this anxious cat is peeing/pooping in the house and hissing and growling at the kids. this cat apparently pretty much lives under the parents bed but when she is out she is a problem.
i suspect many years ago these folks got themselves a feral kitten and did not know what that meant. in any case 12 or 14 years later, they still have a cat who feels usafe and the world is a threat...and that cat just lost her only friend.
their assumption is these problems she is now displaying are behavioral since they started with their other cats death...and maybe they are correct. but that cat has not been to the vet and needs a good exam and bloodwork to rule out underlying illness first...that is always the very first step.
then i asked...where is her cat box?..it is downstairs in a three level house. so every time this stressed out anxious cat has to relieve herself, she has to travel a great distance when she is nervous and afraid. i asked if a cat box couldn't be placed closer to where she hangs out and i am told no because of how the house is laid out. well...a cat box only takes up couple of feet of space so i know it can come closer to her..and i also now know that her family need the cat box to be invisible..so i suggest getting an open shallow tray and putting it under the bed with the cat.
so here is how we left it..this cat is to go into the vet for a full check up..her litter box, food and water bowls are to go under the bed with her, the door to the parents bedroom is to be kept closed and the kids are to stay out of there.
now this cat's physical and emotional needs are respectfully and realistically being met..if in a couple of weeks she is still pooping and peeing inappropriately, they can call me back.
i truly hope she settles and feels safe in her world again.