I Think My 10 Year Old Cat is Losing Her Mind

My cat Trixie is roughly 10 years old. We got her at a shelter, and they estimated her age. Anyway, she has always been a sweet, very clean, loveable kitty. My husband passed away a year ago. He was very affectionate with both the cats.

In the last couple of months her behavior has changed drastically. First, she started laying in my houseplants. I moved plants around and covered the tops of plant pots to stop this. Then I discovered that she had pooped in my big floor plant, and urinated on the rug underneath it. I took care of all that mess, duck taped the top of the pots so she cant get in them, got rid of the rug, and scrubbed it all clean.

For the last week she has been staying downstairs, just laying in the corner all day. When I get home from work she is still in the same spot. She is still very vocal when I come near her, and still loves to be petted. Yesterday I carried her upstairs to make sure she ate something and had some water. When she was through she was just relaxing in the kitchen. All of a sudden I heard her yowling. It was an unusual cry, as I said she has always been very vocal.

When I turned around, she was kind of freaking out, trying to get off the counter but going into the wall instead. I picked her up and was walking across the kitchen and she urinated right across the kitchen floor, while she was in my arms. This morning I got up and she had pooped on my kitchen counter!!! After I cleaned it all up again, I found her back down stairs in the corner.

Her catbox is clean, in fact it doesn't look like she is using it at all. She is not eating unless I carry her upstairs and put her face right in the dish.

What is going on????
Thanks very much.

Reply from Liz (Editor): I'm sorry to hear you're having these problems, hopefully I can give you some help on what to do.

If this behavior had started right after your husband had passed away, I'd have thought the stress of that would most likely be the cause. However, as it was a year ago and this behavior only started a couple of months ago, I think it's unlikely to be the cause.

Did anything happen or change a couple of months ago when this behavior started - i.e. something that may have upset her? She's displaying some signs of cat stress. The link below takes you to a page which talks in detail about cat stress:

Recognizing Cat Stress and Dealing with a Stressed Out cat

I would definitely recommend taking her to the vet. From what you've told me, her behavior is going beyond what would be a bad case of cat stress, and the root cause of her behavior may well be an illness. You could find that her age was underestimated and that she's a lot older than you thought. If it is an illness that's causing her behavioral problems and her lack of appetite, the sooner it can be diagnosed and treated, the better.

Best of luck - I hope you manage to find out what's causing this.

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