My Ragdoll Lulu was Ragdoll of the Month last January.
We have a slight behavioral problem happening in our house with Lulu at the moment. I was wondering if you could help me out by possibly posting this as a reader help question via the facebook page or giving me your own expertise on the matter. Any help at all would be appreciated.
I have given you as much information as possible and I do apologize in advance for this lengthy email. Up until 6 months ago I was living at home with my parents. I had a small unit/apartment out in the backyard while my parents lived in the main residence.
I brought Lulu home when she was around 3 months. Lulu, from the beginning, has always been a very gregarious, friendly and easy going cat. She has never bitten or scratched me even whilst I was bathing her, she always love to be around us, she is even taken to sleeping with the dog in his bed when he comes in of a evening for a few hours. She is active, eats well and is often purring and shows all of us in the house constant signs of affection. She has always been a clingy cat, if I left the room for a few minutes, she would cry out until I came back in.
She, like all of cats we have owned, is an indoor cat. She adapted pretty quickly to life in my unit – which comprised of a large living area with bed and a separate bathroom with her food and water and large covered litter tray. She would spend most nights in with me and if I was working from home in the day, she would usually be in the room with me. When she wasn’t in with me, she would be in the house with my parents and their elderly cat Shany, our beloved cat who is sadly no longer with us. Shany was primarily my mother’s cat and didn’t take too well to an addition of a kitten into the household, but mainly kept to herself and there wasn’t too much of an issue there. When I was out of the house, Lulu would always be put in the main house with Shany and my father who is retired, so she was always around another animal or person. I would also take her into the main residence with me if I was spending time in there, I would never leave her alone in the unit as I didn’t want her to feel isolated in the small space. She had access to clean litter and food and water in the main residence (shared with Shany) and spent a lot of time in there and was very comfortable and enjoyed being in the house.
Lulu was also quite familiar with the backyard and would know her way from the unit to the main entrance and I allowed her to often walk independently from one dwelling to another, although she was always supervised.
As mentioned previously, last June, I moved from Australia to the UK. Knowing the Lulu was in good hands (she is very fond of both my parents) I was confident she would be okay and would receive more than enough love and care. Of course, it broke my heart to leave her behind, and she is in my thoughts every day, but my mum keeps me updated with photos and videos every day which makes separation much easier.
About a week and a half after I arrived in the UK, Shany passed away. Of course my mum was very upset but Lulu helped her get through this difficult time. Within a week or two, my mother talked about getting another cat. Even though she felt it was quite soon after Shany leaving us, she thought it would be a good idea to get Lulu a friend. Lulu and Shany hadn’t been friends, due to the age difference, although that didn’t stop Lulu from trying! My mum soon came across a 3 year old Tonkinese female who needed to be re-homed due to a family moving. My mum felt like this cat would be a perfect addition to the family and soon Lotus was adopted by my parents. Lulu and Lotus where born only a year apart and soon became fast friends – everything seemed to be perfect. My mum would send me pictures and videos of the two of them playing together and one was not seen without the other.
A few weeks ago, my mum discovered a strange odor emitting from underneath the bed in her room. My mum always keeps he house very clean, so this was a surprise. She soon discovered a large spot of urine under the bed on the carpet. Since then, she has spotted Lulu several times, urinating in the same spot, even after she called a carpet cleaner in. Lulu seems to be urinating quite often in the bedroom, even in front of my mum. My mum has taken her to the vet and will be returning tomorrow to take a urine sample. My mum thinks she may be trying to mark her territory and according the carpet cleaner, the stain that Lulu has left has been there for quite awhile. My mum has now blocked off access to under the bed. Lulu never urinated in the house when I was living there and we may think it’s a combination of me moving away, an addition of a new pet into the household and the death of a former pet. Her behaviour is quite contradictory as she seems very happy and is very active.
Re housing Lulu is definitely not an option as this is her forever home. My mum is strongly considering ripping up the carpet and putting in floorboards. She is currently trialling closing the cats into the laundry of a nighttime where they have access to their beds and litter trays and food. My mum did not want to isolate Lulu in the laundry so felt it would be best to put both cats in together. Before this, they slept on the bed of a nighttime with my parents. She is also closing off the bedrooms during the day – the rest of the house bar the three bedrooms have floorboards or tiles, so if Lulu urinates in any of these rooms, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
I am feeling very guilty as, I feel like I have partially created this situation for her. We are all very worried about Lulu. Any help at all would be fantastic. I appreciate this is a lengthy email and it wasn’t my intention to take up too much of your time, it’s just I know that if anybody will understand it would be you, as your share the same level of love an adoration for your beautiful cats as we do!
Thank you so much in advance.
I have suggested that Rebecca check out the following posts on Floppycats:
But I also wanted to see if anyone had additional feedback for Rebecca and her mom!