That's not a bed, it's a litterbox, Albert! A cry for help

My cat Albert has taken to sleeping in the litterbox, and it’s starting to be a problem.

Background: He’s been diagnosed with depression. Yes, it sounds strange, but after my husband died, Albert became Slumpbert. He would just lie around, looking pathetic. A couple of vet trips later, he had a diagnosis of perfect health other than potential depression. He’s had good days/weeks/months since then, but bad ones, too. And this seems to be one of the bad ones.

So, he’s taken to sleeping in the litterbox. In addition to it just being gross, the other cats don’t like it at all and are starting to avoid the litterbox area, which is problematic. I tried putting a clean, empty litterbox in there, hoping to tempt Albert in and gradually move it out into the kitchen, but he likes the dirty ones! headdesk

ETA: Further background: I’ve had to put two cats to sleep in the past two weeks. I have no idea if that is having an impact on him at all.

And an update: Now Cuthbert is sleeping in the clean, empty litterbox next to Albert and his dirty one. GAH.

My condolences. Sounds like you have had some really rough times there. Have you tried the Feliway sprays/ plug ins? They have “Happy cat” pheromones and may help the poor little guy out.

Poor little guy. :frowning:

I don’t know much about cat psychology, but it wouldn’t surprise me if part of his reaction is because you had to put down two of his housemates, especially given his reaction to your husband’s death. I don’t know what you could do to help him through it, though.

A friend of mine, when her older dog died, found herself acquiring two puppies to keep the remaining dog happy. It did seem to work. Are Albert and Cuthbert good with other cats?

I have three cats: Albert, Bertram, and Cuthbert. This is actually down from a high of 11 years ago when my husband and I were involved in cat rescue. Down from 6 just since the beginning of 2010. So, there’s been a lot of change around here.

I can definitely try Feliway. I used it a few years ago when there was a squabbling problem between three cats. I’m not sure if it really worked for that, but I haven’t tried it for Albert’s depression. I also haven’t tried medicating him, since he’s still been eating and drinking and affectionate, but maybe that’s the next step. I’d love to find an environmental solution, though.

I know cat adjustment takes quite awhile when there’s any change. It sounds like cuthbert is keeping him company maybe?

I’ve only got one cat, so this is all guesswork.

I can think of three things that might help:

  1. Consult a vet who specializes in cat behavior. Your own vet could probably give you a referral.

  2. Sometimes a small dose of antidepressant is indicated (this would be a good thing to discuss with the cat behavior specialist).

  3. Lots of love, quality time and TLC. He’s mourning and needs comfort.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself too! I can’t imagine how painful it must be having recently lost a husband, and now two beloved pets. {{{{{hugs}}}}}