My senior cat is driving me crazy!

topic posted Tue, July 5, 2011 - 1:52 PM by  queenfluff
I have two cats. One is 16 (going on 17) bascially she has been a healthy cat most of her llife and no major problems. I got her from shelter when she was just 4 months old along with another cat who was 6months old. Her friend and life long companion, Fluff, died about a years ago - I had to have her put to sleep suddenly. My senior cat, Pean, has since than declined. She was always such a quite cat - not she yowls constantly! She yowls during the day and sleep at night (which seems to be opposite of what I read online).

I can tell she probably has hyperthyroid - she yowls almost all day, she paces back and forth, is very thin (although she has always been thin and small, she was the runt of a litter), doesn't seem to groom herself anymore.Not like her normal behavior. She doesn't seem to drink alot but she has always "splashed" her water out of the bowl all her life - it drives me crazy! I have to put the bowls on a rubber mat with high rims so the water doesn't get all over the floor. She splashes out more than she drinks which is hard because than my other cat (who is a bit younger and they do not get along) has not much left to drink for herself.

Anyhow, I just want to say that I can not afford to bring her to the vet - I am unemployed (with no unemployement insurance). and I haven't a dime to my name. My parents are paying for the cats food and litter. If I bring her to vet and they pay for it, she will be euthanized.

My questions was mostly about the food though. They have been eating the same dry food for many years. Now, they will only eat a small portion of it when I "top" it off - they have always eaten the entire bowl before as I have always free fed them and it worked out great. Now, they won't eat any "broken" pieces and now they won't even eat any whole ones unless they see me directly taking it out of the container I kept it in. Than they will eat a little from the top of the bowl but ignore the rest. What I end up doing (this is expensive food not the cheap supermarket stuff - Wysong Vitality) put the stuff they didn't eat back in the container and shaking it up so it mixing with the other stuff in there and re-feeding it out to them.

Why do they do this? Why all of a sudden are they so picky about the food? I understand that old cats eat less and habits change but the whole not eating whats in the bowl anymore is really weird. I can't afford to buy them tuna and sardines for everyday. Nor wet food. They have always ate the dry food. They never really like the canned wet cat food. (the older one esp.)

Am I going to have to switch to wet food? I don't think I will be able to afford it because what the older one likes is sardines and tuna - not the canned stuff esp. for cats.

I know she doesn't try to drive us crazy on purpose but it is really hard to take all her pacing and yowling all the day. My other cat is pretty quiet most of the time. I almost feel guilty for thinking maybe it is just her time to go. She now also keeps jumping up on counters and trying to get into the sink to lick the dishes - she has never done that before as I always trained her to stay on the floor. We have to put a wooden board over the kitchen sink to keep her out and normally keep the kitchen door closed (her food is not in the kitchen btw). It seems that she wants anything BUT her cat food.

What can I do??? I feel so stuck!!!
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  • Re: My senior cat is driving me crazy!

    Tue, July 5, 2011 - 2:31 PM
    I forgot to add too - she is peeing ALOT. She still uses the box but I can tell because I use Feline Pine and normally I only have to dump the whole box (extra large size) every other week - even before with the three cats, it did not get like it does now. It can't even go a week now and I can start smelling the pee and the "dust" is three times as much as normal. Feline Pine turns to dust when they urinate on it. So I can tell how much peeing is being done by how much dust in their.
    • Re: My senior cat is driving me crazy!

      Tue, July 5, 2011 - 9:09 PM
      Someone please correct me if I'm wrong -- but older cats can develop a kind of "dementia" (cat's Alzheimer's ?), and it is often built on their life habits -- either going to the extreme, or suddenly doing the complete opposite.
      My cats also only ate the "top off" of the dry food in the bowls, and wouldn't eat the older or broken bits. I solved this simply by putting out less food, until the bowl was actually empty. That way the dry cat food was always fresh.
      I have a "fisher cat", and have a special large water bowl for her in the shower, so she can splash to her heart's content. The other cats drank from it too, but the water was at least confined to the shower stall.
      • Re: My senior cat is driving me crazy!

        Thu, July 28, 2011 - 4:03 PM
        Thanks! Yes, could be - she is getting worse. She has stopped using the litter box (no I didn't change anything) in the last few weeks and is peeing on the carpets - it is terrible. She will poop on the floor too. Just started happening within the last two weeks. She paces back and forth to her water bowl constantly - even though she often does not drink from it (but will often splash all the water out of it). She rarely wants her food anymore - but now, she has started going after human food which she never did before. Tonight, she stole my mom's lasgne off her plate - she has NEVER done that before. She was always a picky eater - even with treats - she didn't like certain treats, moist foods except for tuna and sardines - I can not afford to feed her tuna and sardines every day. She has mostly been a free feed dry food eater as all my cats have been and it always was fine untl lately. She never use to jump up on the kitchen counters - as I trained her early not too - but now she is permanently camped out there - she wants to get at the dirty dishes in the sink - so we have to cover it with a board. - even than she tries to push the board away which is weird since she is so bony and small now.

        The peeing on the carpets is the worse - I tried the urine destroyer but it didn't work - She just repees in the same spot and there is no way I can keep trying to clean this every day. I think she is in renal failure. I hate to maek the decision to bring her in (or more afraid that the vet is going to judge me) but this isn't my house and I think my mom is getting upset at the peeing. (she tend to stick to one corner). I read that kidney failture isn't painful for the cat. She isn't lethgaric - you would think older cat , she would sleep all day but no - pace, yowl, try to steal human food. She does eat her regular food but not like she used too and she definatley pigs out on the tuna/sardines when I give it to her but I am thinking that she is probably definately at the end of her life.

        Oh, I tried putting out less of the dry but she still isn't interested in the bottom part. If I leave it out longer, she will eventually nibble on it but I feel like i am starving her. My other cat is like that too but she is healthy.

        I know my mom wants me to call the vet and make appt and I keep stalling because I feel guilty about it - my third cat had to euthanized unexpectedly last summer and it was so hard. I felt like a big traitor. But even if she goes to the vet, and there are treatments, I can't afford it.

        Will the vet be judgemental on me if I say I like she shoud be euthanized? I know I am not a vet but I have worked with cats before (and other animals) so I think I am right about what is happening to her. And yes, I think she has some kitty dementia too - or it is that her health problems are causing her to do this.

        Either way I don't think we can live with the peeing on the carpet, pooing on the carpet, yowling and pacing anymore. It is just so different from what she used to be like - slept all day like a normal kitty, used the box properly and ate her food. She has stopped grooming herself and her paws (which are white) are all dirty and the fur is getting yellowed - I tried to clean it but she yowls and puts up a fight.

        I think I know what I have to do - but of course it is such a hard decision.

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