Follow
Share

Mom lives in a memory care unit that allows pets as long as the resident can take care of it. Mom is not remembering to leave down water for the cat and is mixing kitty litter with food. This cat is like one of her children. She loves it so much. How do I do this? Do I tell her in advance or does the cat just come up missing one day? I cannot take the cat but I have found a good home for her. Help! Any ideas how to do this?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Wonderful to see a happy ending! My mother had a cat and desperately wanted another little dog but knew she couldn't manage it. When I moved to care for her for four years we adopted a minpin x jack who was constantly in her lap or by her side and even slept in her bed. My mother is now in a NH and the dog and cat now live with me, my old lab and 3 cats out in the country.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am so happy I found an awesome home for mom's cat. I know the cat gets spoiled with lots of attention. Mom's disease has progressed enough that I was able to divert her attention every time she asked about it.. I take my dog to visit her and she calls it her cat. I fretted over it so much but all worked out for the best for all concerned. Thanks!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hope the cat can get POA stat
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

aint no damn cat dumb enough to eat kitty litter. ask the AL to help mom watch after her cat. their care is supposed to be customized and flexible. the cat can drink out of the toilet and bum food from the other patients. the last think id do is remove that cat from the elder.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm in this same situation with my mom's cat. As her POA, it was possible to pay for someone to care for the cat while she was in rehab due to a broken hip recently for a while. However, the tally is now up to $1200 and I know she will need that money again soon. Sparky is a sweetheart and he was left alone several times over the past year before I became her POA. My mom's health issues have become lengthy and the rehab facility has said that they will not release her to go home because she now has dementia, vision problems, balance problems, and other. I know that it will hurt her for me to find the cat a good home but I also feel right in my heart that it is best for the cat too.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

jangirl - you have made the decision to rehome the kitty and you have done it already.

EXCELLENT! GOOD FOR YOU!!

I have directly or indirectly care taken 8 people with dementia and one person with ALS. I have also done volunteer animal welfare work (spaying/neutering, rescue, placement) for 40+ years. As the caregiver or POA in charge, I believe the hardest processes that you have to do involve things that take away the independence of the patient.

For me, those have been taking away the driving privilege, making decisions about what and when to do with pets and whether or not it's time for nursing home placement. At some point, when you MUST make those decisions, especially if you're making them out of love and concern for all involved, it is a bit torturous even when it is necessary. It ISN'T controlling, it is our responsibility. You hold off. until you have to do it, but when the time comes, as hard as it is, you MUST do what is right.

Just like allowing a dementia patient to drive past the time that they should which is a recipe for disaster, choosing to leave kitty in an environment where s/he could be harmed is inviting the injury or death of a living being. The need for your mother to have her kitty is trumped by the potential for injury to her kitty. If she were of sound mind, she would never want her kitty to be maintained in those circumstances.

Congratulations for your clarity and your quick action to take advantage of a beautiful rehoming situation. Keep with your story, your "theraputic lie" and eventually mom will forget depending upon how your moms condition continues to deteriorate, which is the only direction it can go in. If the nursing home has visiting therapy animals, that's great unless it triggers your moms concern about her own kitty.

Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, etc. You just keep on keeping on, doing the best for them under constantly changing circumstances.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

NO time to read all of these replies yet but how do you do it. you dont!!! Hire someone to go in to water and feed the cat for your poor Moms sake!!! That would be like taking a child away from her.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Letting the cat 'go missing' would add a lot of anxiety! Telling her that someone else needs a kitty and her cat is VISITING the other person would keep her from worrying so much about the cat. Every time she asks, you could say the cat is visiting and will be back soon. Maybe the new owner would let you borrow the cat sometimes to visit your mother!

Alternatively, you might do a fact check first. Is the situation really as bad as the nurse is telling you? If the nurse didn't want the cat in the first place, maybe she is exaggerating to get rid of him. Or maybe there is some misunderstanding. Do other residents have pets? What do they or their families say about such problems, or about that nurse? Maybe other families have already found someone to come in and take care of their pets every day, who could do your mother's cat too. Maybe they know some other staff person who would be more helpful than this nurse.

What is really going on about 'litter in the food dish'? There are brands of litter that are made of just recycled newspaper ('Good Mews' brand?) that would not hurt the cat if some were put in the food dish. Cats are good at eating just the bits of food they want and sorting out any trash. Is the cat really in any danger?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Whoops..I'm sorry. I didn't realize you'd found a solution until AFTER I sent you my thoughts. Good luck and blessings to all of you. Nancy
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I hope you'll think more on this. Older folks lose so much, and it seems a shame to take a much loved pet from them. Pets have been found to improve one's life, health, and take away loneliness. I've asked my children never to place me in a hospice or nursing home where I can't have my little dog, and I absolutely trust them to follow through with this. Even folks with dementia know when a loved one is missing, which adds to their frustration, tears, and acting out. I also hate the idea of "controlling" someone who has so little control over things in her/his life. Why not hide the kittly litter in a drawer or something, and have just one bowl for water. A teenager wouldn't charge much for putting new litter in the box and checking on the water every day, and would be extra company/stimulation for your mother. Just some thoughts from me, and I hope things work out for your mother, her cat, and you. Good luck.....Nancy
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you, everyone for your comments. I am so happy to report that mom's kitty is in a very loving home. I went with a "kind" lie and told mom that pest control was coming in to spray for ants and we had to remove "Molly" so that she was not around the insecticide. She seemed to be happy with that. She does at times ask about her cat and I just keep telling her the same story which seems to satisfy her. I also take my little dog Heidi over to see her often. I stressed so much about this but knew this was the right thing to do. Thanks again
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Opportunities to rehome a pet do not come up so easily. With the difficulties your mom is having in the caretaking of kitty, it is bad for the kitty and will only get worse.

When we discovered that my aunt, for whom I was all POA and executor, had alcohol dementia, she had 6 living pets. I was very firm with her that I had to take them to the vet. Sadly, 2 of them had to be euthanized but I was able to place the other 4. When she would ask about them, I just said they were at the vet. eventually she just stopped asking. There was no grieving or sadness and that was the best thing for my aunt, in addition to the animals having been properly taken care of.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

this question still pops up, guess I must unsubscribe, my fault. I will not say it any clearer, do all you can to save the cat with her, period, if you don't agree fine, but it is not your feelings or cat. Sometimes we love our animals so much that seeing them gone could be our demise.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Even if it is against the rules, maybe a center employee would be willing to fill a self feeder and change the litter for a personal gratuity. A caregiver or even a janitorial person.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Could the kitty come to visit from the new location? Would gradual be better than all at once? Very painful situation for you all I know. I hope it goes alright...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Captain! I'm shocked. What if someone did that to your trike? How would you feel then?

crank clang whir bang bang pow bang. The sound of a trike in a garbage disposal.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Personally, I'd opt for a 'kind lie' .. "I'm so sorry mom, we found her curled up in the closet. She's gone." Let her cry and know that eventually her dementia would aid in her forgetfulness .. and THEN bring in the visiting pets for elders program.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Could you tell a little lie and tell your mum that some of the staff members have asthma and the cat is causing them to wheeze and have attacks? Tell her you found a loving home for her cat but that it can't stay at the care home anymore. I know it's hard, a year ago I had to have the mobile vet come and get my mum's cat and put it to sleep while my mum was in the hospital, the cat was 22 and my mum could no longer care for it. I talked to my mum about it before I did it. Now I am mum's live-in-caregiver and she constantly talks about wanting another cat. The answer is NO. I really do have asthma and not only that, she can't take care of herself so guess who would be looking after the cat? It's a very difficult choice to make. I truly understand your dilemma.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Jangirl, not to heap too many options on you, but if finances allow, there are automatic waterers (cheap) , auto-feeders , and even auto litter boxes. I dunno how many good, high spots your mom's room has, or if you're able to climb ladders yourself. You do what you need to do. I'd love to think your mom could somehow keep her friend. But if she can't, how great that you were able to find Kitty a home. You're doing good, Jangirl.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Jangirl, I am a cat-lover but if u think the cat would be better off with someone else then go for it. I would just let her know easily as possible that, a friend of yours was n need of a kitty n... I am pretty sure if your mom is mixing up the wrong stuff that she will forget about the kitty after awhile. She may ask every now n then n u can just re-assure her that she is being loved n sends her to love to her. I would NOT tell her that she is missing for your mom may go wandering off to search for the kitty. It be nice if u could buy one of those self feeders n water for the cat. However, then u have the litter box too. If u could hire someone to come in n check on them that would be even better for the both of them. However, u only know your situation n what is best for your mom's cat's health. Good luck on what ever u choose.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well, Jangirl, you know your Mom's circumstances and behaviors better than anybody. Yes this is a tough decision, but I am inclined to agree with you. The only other thing I can think of is to inquire about some organization that takes pets to visit people in NH and AL facilities. I don't know the names of any of them, but maybe google 'visiting pets' on the internet? The residents usually love such visits and it is therapeutic and calming to them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you so much for your thoughts on this. Mom's kitty is a grazer and eats a little at a time all day. Feeding her once a day would not work so well and then we have the water issue. someone could come in and put water down but mom could take it up again. Oh geez I dont want to do it but I think I must. It is so hard around here to find someone to take a kitty(one that will really love her and play with her) I hate to loose this opportunity. So should I be honest with mom or just say that we found a new home for her. I'm torn with what to tell her. Guess there is no easy way
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Oh dear, this is so close to my heart. I personally would do everything to keep the cat with her, I would be devastated, dementia or not, forget or not. My mother with dementia always looks for her ring and picture of my dad. She knows it is missing, goes nuts looking for them, forgets and remembers. It would be a torture for me if she feels like I do about my cat. I moved heaven and earth to get my 12 year old cat from US to Ireland, the poor cat went through hell only to come into another ring of it here. I think what Jean suggested is just what I had thought. Find someone to come in and take care of the cat, put the food in a spot only the cat can get to and try if you can and work it out for her. This is all she really has left that makes her feel comfort. Just my take, you do what you must do.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I so feel for you and your Mom, and can really relate to this ... not here yet with my Dad, but he and I both know the time will come eventually.

First, I love Jeanne's suggestion. And orangeblossom is spot on: from what I've read of other people's experiences, ideally, don't store either the food or the cat litter where your Mom can see or fixate on it. This may not work indefinitely (for example, my Dad already can't seem to keep from continuing to add water bowls to the bathroom floor for his cats until there are 20 or 30 there, and no amount of my gently suggesting that 2 cats don't really need 30 bowls of water will convince him of this) ... but it might help at least to prolong the time she gets to spend with the cat that makes her happy in a way that is safe for them both.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

IlikeJeanne's suggestion a lot. Perhaps if someone (like the above mentioned student volunteer) went in to feed the cat after school, and then the nurse or an aide just removed the food dish in the evening? I would suggest storing the bag of food elsewhere. They could also put a note on the wall above the water bowl "Cat has already been fed today" so your Mom would not worry about that.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

What a hard situation!

Would it be possible to hire someone, possibly a high school student or two, to go in once a day and tend to the cat? Or might Mom do things (like add litter to the food dish) that would put the cat at risk?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sympathy to you, your mother, and the cat.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Oh my god poor you! I love my cat to bits but you are doing the right thing and so happy you found a home for him! I live with my mum who may have dementia the nurse who called was not to happy about a cat here as a danger to my mum gosh hes my baby if i was ever told to find him a home because of my mum id rather leave. I think just Bite the Bullet hes not been cared for and remember your old mum would NEVER have let this happen to him hes going to a good home thats all you can do. Of course this will be distressing for her but she will cope OR forget? you have no choice you have to think of the animals welfare and keep telling yourself that this is what she would have done in same situation! Hugs just melt when animals are too suffering this awful illness. Be strong and just do it and yes maybe say he went missing she will be distressed for a time but what can you do maybe ask a nurse or doc? is it easier to lie and keep saying oh hes around somewhere? Its a very tough one good luck. Im sure others here have had to do this and will advise.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.