I'm hoping someone can give me some tips for a cat with anxiety. Maybe flower essences (specific remedy(s)?) Or anything else, really! I bought a feliway diffuser, which is due for a refill, but as it only is in one room of our 2400sqft house, not sure it did much anyway. I feel like his anxiety is the root of a domino effect of problems. To describe him, this is NOT just a "skittish" cat. Seriously, if cats could be diagnosed with human psychiatric disorders, he'd have several, I'm certain of it! lol. We got Zeus at, not sure, 9 or 10 weeks old was my estimate at the time. A couple had rescued some feral kittens, kept them inside "socializing" for a couple weeks, then found homes. I'm sure he missed the ideal window for human socialization. Still, he's a friendly, sweet, affectionate cat, loves my husband especially. He's prone to being "submissive" rather than running off, and is dead last on the cat hierarchy. He lives as though he thinks at any moment we are going to beat the crap out of him. He's terrified of anyone outside the family. The other cats are as well, but Dobby and Raven at least I don't think "naturally" are (they warm up to strangers given a bit of time) but I think they just "monkey see monkey do" since we've had him the longest. When he walks through the house, its always a low to the ground creep. He's prone to over grooming and occasionally is darn near bald on his belly/back of legs. (yuck) Anyway.. all these things, they're not the real problem. We can live with a shy kitty! He has terrible litter box habits, and is an indoor only cat. Of course his peeing on things leads to the others copying, and as you see in my sig, we have *4*. Dh is running the rug doctor in our basement right now :/ He's also, seriously, just the dumbest cat I've ever seen. Its almost painful.
We took him to the vet a couple years ago, and $100+ in tests revealed him fine, and just a "behavior problem" That's not to say something hasn't come up more recently. The inappropriate peeing problem comes and goes. I highly suspect he has some sort of urinary irritation due to not getting enough fluid. We're trying to GREATLY increase his canned food intake. But, problem is, every time I open a can, all the cats come running and he doesn't get any. He is too intimidated when the others are eating to take his share. Separate plates doesn't matter. We've tried putting him in a room with a closed door with his portion but he gets freaked out that he's locked up and just meows to get out. (we're certain he likes the food, that's not the issue) The only thing we can do is lock up the other 3 cats and let him eat alone in the normal spot. And with luck, no child will run into the kitchen... sigh.
So, I'm well aware of LOADS of things to do to help with the litter box issues (have several in various parts of the house, clean regularly, make sure they like the litter, dont use covered boxes, clean anywhere they've peed very well with nature's miracle/vinegar so the scent doesn't make them do it again, cat attract litter, etc) so what I'd really like is ideas to address the anxiety, since I think a more confident kitty will really get to the root and help turn around some habits around here.
First off, how is your kitty? Big hugs to all of you.
We have a skiddish, anxious kitty in our household of 4 inside cats. His name is Bster and he ended up coming inside after his companion (and I think mother) was shot and had to come inside due to her injuries. He sprays everything he can and sometimes me!! Yes, I have been peed upon because I did not properly address his needs. Crazy, I know. What stopped it for me was a loving, but firm hand. And chamomile tea. I brew up a batch with one tea bag and add it to his meals once or twice a day depending on his mood. I use the Feliway outlet dispenser but I'm not sure how much this works. I think that some cats are predisposed to anxiety disorders just like people. I've decided to set boundaries and just deal with some of it. Thankfully our other cats do not try to cover up Bster's spraying spots with their own marks. And he uses the litter box. I feel bad for him that he is shy and anxious and a little nuts but he is a loveable cat all the same.
Have you ever read the book "The Natural Cat" by Anitra Frazier? It gave me some helpful info. Also "Cat vs. Cat" by Pam Johnson-Bennett.