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At the beginning of this year, I had four cats (3yrs m, 9yrs f, 15yrs m, 18yrs f.) I adopted the youngest cat when he was 7 months old, the others had been with me since their respective infancies. The youngest was adjusting to the household, he was learning that the older cats did not always (...okay, EVER) want to wrassle and play with him, everyone had their place in the hierarchy, all four cats would sleep on my bed at night.

In February 2014, the middle two cats got very ill and had to be put down. I was left with the eldest and the youngest. There was a bit of depressed behavior over the sudden losses, but nothing destructive. The eldest didn't eat as much for a few days, and now she prefers to be fed 3-4 times a day, smaller meals.

The youngest sleeps on my bed every night, but the eldest won't ever go up there any more except briefly during the day. (She is able to get up there on her own - there are boxes that she and the other cat used for stairs, in the last three years.) When I pick her up and sit on the bed and give her a treat, she eats the treat...and jumps right down off the bed. Is there anything that I can do, to let her know that she's most definitely still welcome? I don't think she has too many years left in her, and I miss seeing her in the mornings. (She does come and sit right beside me when I'm working at the computer, so she's not avoiding me completely.)

  • I find that brushing with an undercoat brush them helps to add a highly positive impression to an event/experience, that they can extend just by continuing to stay in one place. – RBarryYoung Jul 3 '14 at 20:28
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It might be that the oldest cat is feeling the years a bit and doesn't feel able to jump up there. Do you have some platform or steps you can use as an aid?

If it is because of the presence of the young cat without the other two that causes the difference, maybe if you made a separate area on the bed that is easier to claim than the whole surface. You might put a low box or high sided cat bed and see if this 'barrier' makes her feel safer on the bed.

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  • Sorry, forgot to mention: there are a series of boxes that she can and does use to get up (I originally put them there for Cat #2, who was younger than she but developed a touch of arthritis a few years before he died.) So she can get up there. But she just...doesn't. I may try a modified "barrier" up there somewhere, see if she'll sit on the pillow if I give her a "fort". – user2505 Jul 3 '14 at 21:50
  • I agree with @Oldcat. At 18 a cat may or may not have problems with arthritis (it is very common at that age). Plus if just the young cat (who is annoying to the old cat) is up there that's another reason not to go up. You could give the old cat glucosamine to reduce arthritis pains, maybe hand carry the old cat up or the young cat down and groom and monitor both of them. Try to have them together but keep the young one from overly playing with the old one. – Dan S Jul 4 '14 at 17:23

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