Loves the kitchen and rugs
by Cathy D.
My 15 year old male has recently (almost 3 weeks now), decided that he does not want to leave my kitchen.
I am at my wit's end because it's starting to really smell and I have never ever had that smell in my apartment.
All the throw rugs are picked up, the only rug left is the one under my oak table and chairs. He was using the counter where he spends his time and the bare floor.
He has pooped a few times in the kitchen also. I have his sister, and I have 2 litter boxes in my back room where they have always been from the day I brought them home. (I recently added the 2nd one about 7 months now because they weren't using the one, just around it).
He only comes into my very small bathroom because he likes to "help" me and loves the running water. Last Friday he peed on my oak table which now has a ruined spot on it. That now is covered in aluminum foil.
I have tried carrying him back into the living room and bedroom where he always slept, but he gets extremely agitated and squirms out of my arms. He has been to the vet who did a urinalysis and I am taking him back this evening for blood work.
I am at my wit's end - I just know I can't let him live in my kitchen. I moved one of the litter boxes in there this morning against my better judgement - I just don't want him to
get used to it being in there forever, because it won't be. Just want to see if he uses it.
I will need to pull up the bigger rug and discard it. Any suggestions on how to change the behavior of a senior cat would be appreciated. Thanks!My thoughts:
I'm sorry to hear that your cat is having trouble, Cathy. I'm glad to hear that he's being looked at and that urinalysis and blood work are being done.
Major shifts in behavior are sometimes a sign of a larger problem. If he doesn't want to leave the kitchen, and there is no obvious root cause (e.g. there's no fear stimulus), then that is a major behavioral shift.
At 15, I believe it's possible that he's developing dementia, or he may have some other ailment.
Moving the litter box into the kitchen is one of the steps that you'd normally take. That is, move the box to where he's going and see if he uses it, so I think that's a good idea.
If he uses it regularly, then you begin to move it, each day, inch-by-inch to a more acceptable location. Isolation retraining is obviously an option if that doesn't work.
My hesitation with isolation in this case is that if he's really attached to the kitchen for some reason, then you may be adding additional stress by moving him to another room. You'd have to try it and see.
I would ask your vet what he thinks about all of this and get a recommendation.
Please let us know how it goes.