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Help...I think my cat is depressed!!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm new here. And I'm so grateful that there is place for me to go to regarding my 8 year old cat, Tigger.
We adopted Tigger when she was a year old. She has been the best cat I've ever had. She's affectionate, but not overly affectionate, she's super smart, and loves people. Especially, myself. She loves my two teenagers also.
She is a indoor cat but does love to explore in the summer.
Here is my problem. We have recently moved into a new house. And Tigger seems like she's not crazy about our new move.
She use to sleep and take her naps in my kids rooms.Tigger has a teddy bear on each of my kids beds. She likes to knead the bears stomach and then falls asleep on the bear. She always use to take turns from each of my kids rooms. It always seemed that she would sleep in my sons room for a week and then move to my daughters the next week. She never took favorites. And that's why we love her so much. But she hardly goes into their new rooms now.
She seems to want to spend time in our crawl space (basement) where we've trained her to use a kitty door to get to her kitty box. She got use to the kitty door within hours. She's using her kitty litter without any problems. But she goes down in the crawl space and cries for a few minutes. And she doesn't want to leave this space. This meow is something I've never heard from her.
When we noticed that she liked this area, we gave her a carpet for comfort. And it's right next to the furnace. Which I think she likes, because of the warmth.
She also likes to sleep in different hiding spots in the crawl space too.
I recently brought some of her toys down there.
But she's making me feel so worried. She's just not herself. I know it can be traumatic for pets to get use to a new house. But it's going on two months, since we've moved here.
I hate seeing her this way. I bring her out of her crawl space, and give her lots of affection. I bring her to bed with me but she leaves right away to go to her space again. She does this with my kids too.
Her eating habits haven't changed, thank God!!!
What should I do? I hate hearing her cry and being so alone.
Should I bring her to the vet?
I just want my old Tigger back!!!
Many many thanks.
Sorry this is so long.
post #2 of 6
The longer you let her live down there, the longer she'll stay at it. Start by moving her box out of wherever it is (everyone's got boxes all over and everyone else understands - I don't think it's necessary to stash it quite so remotely), and close that kitty door. Move the box gradually closer to the stairs and and one day bring it up to wherever you decide to keep it (otherwise she'll continue living down there). Bring her up and show it to her - make sure there's some privacy and whatever favorite 'blankie' or something nearby - and you'll then have to close the door to downstairs til she adapts to the new location and is comfortable upstairs (days/weeks) or else she'll still go down there and possibly mess up the floor somewhere. I'd also give her a treat IMMEDiately on seeing her use the box upstairs the first time or two (once she's finished).
post #3 of 6
There is a product available called Feliaway at vets and some pet stores (it's often cheaper at pet stores if you can find it). It is a plug-in diffuser that emits some kind-of synthetic phernome that calms cats. It supposedly can help with urination behavioural issues, as well as dramatic changes like a new house or a new cat.

You could buy one and experiment by plugging it in in different areas of the house. It works better in smaller spaces, not open-concept.

I have one that I bought for a urination issue. Unfortunately, my house is gutted/open concept with very high ceilings, so it's hard to say if it's effective. I do know that it doesn't make them crazy or addicted. I was worried about this before I tried it out. I worried that the cats would spend all their time next to the diffuser. Nothing like this happened.

This would be worth your while, I think. It's a bit expensive (about $55 for the diffuser and refill, $30 for the refill approx.) but may help.

What about giving Tigger some catnip once and a while? There is a catnip spray on the market that I use to refresh old cat toys. One of my cats loves it. It makes him all calm and dreamy. The catnip may serve to distract Tigger for a bit and help him forget his worries!

Is Tigger and indoor or outdoor cat? If he's outdoor, try not to let him out until he has totally adjusted. Some cats will try to find their way back to your old house. My childhood cat did this when my parents moved. He actually could find the old house and they would get calls from our old neighbours asking us to come get him.

Good luck with Tigger and your new place.
post #4 of 6
Definitely try Feliway. I would set up Tigger in one room after using the Feliway spray. Put everything she needs in this room. It would be ideal if someone sleeps in this room and is willing to deal with the litterbox and all the nightly cat sounds. When she gets comfrotable with this leave the door cracked. Make sure to limit the areas of the house she can explore and spray the Feliway in the areas she will have access to. I have found that cats can get overwhelmed with a new place. By restricting her territory and only expanding it as she seems calm and confident you can help ease the transition. Make sure not to pet or comfort her if she is fearful, as this will only reinforce her response. Instead try engaging in normal conversation with another family member. Each time we have moved we use the Feliway and put them in our bedroom for at least the first night. When the new sounds and smells frighten or startle them we are there being calm and non reactive to reassure them. My cats usually adapt quickly. The first move is usually the worse. Has your family moved with Tigger before?
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. I will try the spray if she gets worse.
She is having a good day today. She is spending all her time in the family room with my husband and son, as they are watching sports all day. She's had her naps on the couch next to my husband. And she hasn't gone in the crawl space and cried today. Maybe she's on her way to being herself again.
Thanks again.
post #6 of 6
That's terrific! I hope she is finally getting used to her new home. Just remember that this kind of response can occur any time you move or make changes in the home or family. How strongly your cat reacts depends on their personality. Just keep the tips you've received in mind for the next time.
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