Hiding / Unrination - 8 month ongoing problem HELP~!!

MarcelMarechal

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I have a female indoor cat. I have had her going 7 years now. I used to live at a quiet dead end road neighbourhood for the last 5 years. 8 months ago I relocated to a new community for work. I live in a 2nd floor apartment, facing the road on the edge of a highway that connects into my community. There is a large amount of traffic and you can clearly hear it all day and night. It has been 8 months and my cat will simply just not get used to it. All she will do is hide in my room, in corners or underneath things. She will not go into the living room and use her box, she would rather poo and pee on my bed, in her carrier or on random items of my own personal clothing. I have had to move her food dishes and litter box to within close distance to the entry of her carrier in my room at the foot of my bed so that she will stop pooing, peeing around my room and on or in my bed. Things seemed to be going better for a while. I look after her well, Clean her box daily, I give her fresh water, wet food and dry food daily but all she does is hide. Her new trick is to hide under the covers on my bed but she stays under the covers for so long that she starts to dribble and leave piss spots all over the place under my blankets because she is too scared to go to the box in the day time. She has never been abused, she has always been treated with love and respect. Since coming here she acts like she has some mental health issues and has extreme paranoia. I miss my cat, I want my old cat back. It's almost been a year of this and no matter what I do, nothing will change.
 

ArtNJ

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I think you should talk to your vet about some medication to hopefully help her relax enough that you can coax her into using the full apartment. You should also add as many elevated spots and hidey holes as possible -- a couple of tall cat triees with those boxes the cats can hide in for example.

I had this concern living above one of the major avenues in Manhattan many years ago. Fire trucks and ambulances at all hours, plus the honking. Turns out I struggled vastly more than our cats, but cats, like people, are all different.
 

Jem

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Has she been to a vet yet? I would want to get a urine analysis/culture done to make sure she has not developed cystits (caused by stress) and subsequently a UTI or crystals.
Also it might be a good idea as A ArtNJ suggested, see about getting any medications or supplements that may help her overcome her fears. They may not be a permanent thing but just something to get her over the hump and calm her while you work with her.
I recently purchased whats called Zylkene, for my cat who has developed separation anxiety now that our lockdown is over and my husband and I are back to work after 3 months of being home all the time. I JUST got it, so unsure how it will do, but it is known to not have any side effects and does not cause drowsiness like other anxiety meds...perhaps ask your vet about that as well.
I would also consider playing relaxing music in your apartment while you're gone. There are apps and play lists specifically for cats. Furballsmom Furballsmom has the specific names of them, hopefully she sees this and will provide them to you. I used a cat relaxation CD when my boy developed cystitis during a bad bear season, poor guy was terrified of the bears coming up to our windows. It seemed to really help.
I would also make sure she has multiple cat trees and cozy spots around the apartment where she can feel secure. Perhaps even some cat tunnels.
Have you tried playing with her with a wand toy? Playtime helps to encourage more confidence in a cat, especially if followed by a small meal. It allows them to "act out" their instincts of stalking, catching and eating their prey.
You could also try Feliway plug-ins and sprays. They emit "happy pheromones" and can help with anxiety in cats.
Chamomile tea is a natural calming herb that is safe for cats. But only get the regular tea bags (with nothing else added) from the grocery store. You want the german chamomile as the english variety is toxic. Brew a cup, and let it cool and you can give her a teaspoon 2-3 times a day..perhaps that will help a bit until you can see a vet.
Any chance that there was a pet living in that apartment before you moved in? Maybe she's picking up on old scents and it scares her.
If she's sticking to your bed, it might be because it smells like you...maybe you could sleep in a t-shirt for a few days then place it somewhere else in the house...do this with several t-shirts and she may be more inclined to hang out in other areas that smell like you.
I hope some of these suggestions help your kitty...
 

FeebysOwner

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All of the above!!!
she is too scared to go to the box in the day time
Does this mean she comes out after dark? Perhaps, because you are home, and the traffic noises have quieted down? Would it help to keep the room fairly dark during the day as well, for now? Perhaps, if you have the space build her a 'cave' that she can hide in (along with the above recommendation for music to help drown out the noises, and putting some of your clothing inside it too) - one big enough to house her litter box and even possibly her food/water.

Things seemed to be going better for a while.
Can you explain this comment? Maybe it would help to give us all more to go on.
 
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