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How can we help our anxious cat?? so frustrated

post #1 of 4
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I have been researching our problem for ages now and we have tried all different pieces of advice. I am hoping someone out there might be able to help us further so here goes.

We adopted a kitten just over a year ago from a shelter - she was in a foster home and when we went to see her, the foster mom had to pry her out of a large cat cage where she was hiding. They named this little cat "Hisspit" cause she hissed at everyone. Not much was known about her - they claimed she had been born in the wild. Not even knowing her exact age although they guessed she was about 10-12 weeks. We fell in love with her and came back the next day to pick her up after the paperwork had been filed with the shelter. We brought "Gracie" home, to meet her siblings - 2 dogs (both small terriers) and a house bunny. For the first day she hissed a bit and kept her distance but by a couple days later she was the most affectionate loving little cat. She is strictly an indoor cat as we live by a very busy road and don't want anything to happen to her. She badly wants to go out and tries to slip out the door when we take the dogs out for walks.

As far as the other pets go, Gracie seems to love the dogs more than anything. They play together and sleep together. She even eats their food sometimes and they let her. Perhaps she thinks she is a dog, I don't know. But whenever we take the dogs for a walk, she is devastated. Anytime they are out of her site that it. She will sit by the front door and cry her heart out until we bring them back inside. She doesn't do this when we go out, only when the dogs are out of the house.

Gracie loves people but when anyone new comes over she runs away and hides for a little while but she is very curious and we will see her on the stairs peeking into the living room. She slowly will make her way into the room and then will let people touch her.

She is a great cat except for one thing. She pees on our bed. Or any bed for that matter - she will pee on the bed in the guest room as well. We keep all bedroom doors shut but she has a way of slipping in the bedroom door unnoticed if we go in and the door is open for just a second.
She has also peed in the dogs bed, on one of my sweatshirts, in one of my shoes, and on a towel that was left on the floor. Oh and she peed on our christmas tree skirt too. We just don't understand it. We have taken her to the vet and had all the tests done and he is fine. She has been spayed. We tried giving her a second litter box but she wouldn't use it. We have taken the dome off her box and put it on again and she prefers the dome. We keep her box very clean and have tried various litters. She uses her box and has no problems using it but this peeing still occurs.

I have heard it could be caused by an anxiety problem, but how do we find out for sure? Is there a natural homeopathic remedy we can give her to help calm her down? We feel really bad at closing her out of our room every night as she badly wants to be in there with us since the dogs sleep in there too. She sits outside our bedroom door crying each night and we feel awful but if we let her in, we risk her peeing on the bed yet again.

I have also heard of giving cats medication for this as well. We are open to suggestions.

post #2 of 4
A lot of people are against the idea of giving a cat anti depressants or anxiety meds. Personally, I'm not against it - particularly when the other alternatives have been exhausted. It sounds like you've done the right things - medical check, spay, extra litterbox, etc.

One thing that some people have had success with is Feliway. Have you looked into that? There's more info at this link.

I have a cat that takes Prozac. His problem wasn't the same as your kitty, but it did help him. It didn't make him tired or lazy. It just made him a little more sociable, more "at ease" with everything ...more like he was before his trouble started. A word of warning - most of those meds take about 6 weeks to start working. It was worth it for me.
post #3 of 4
I know this isnt what you were asking about, but as far as her desperate need to be outside, perhaps you could get her a harness and let her go for 'walks'? (if she can stand to wear the harness) then she wont feel left out, and she can enjoy the outisde world a bit?

Best of luck with her.

post #4 of 4
As Beandip said, you seem to be doing all the right things -- you're very resourceful! All I can add is what a friend told me a few weeks ago: that she had found a vet who uses both traditional and alternative methods, including herbal supplements, floral essence oils, even acupuncture... and that this vet had worked wonders for her cat. Maybe you can find one where you live, too.

I can vouch for Feliway in the "Comfort Zone" diffuser -- not the spray, which doesn't seem to have much effect. We use the diffuser constantly to help keep peace in our six-cat household.

Also, I have seen some success with Rescue Remedy, an essential oil blend widely used with cats, and with Beech tree oil -- both by Bach and available at health food stores. You can put these oils in drinking water, but they seem to have much more effect when massaged gently just inside the tip of the kitty's ear.

If anxiety is at the root of Gracie's problem, Prozac might well do the trick... but I'd try the herbal route first. Good luck with Gracie -- she sounds like a wonderful girl!
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