Visitors would like more cat behavior information. This a behavior question from the Catster site. At time of this post there are no answers. This person kept two cats who were brothers for their entire lives. When they reached 17 years of age the owner had to put one of them to sleep. The other has meowed incessantly ever since and has diarrhea. The owners are being driven mad with it. What can she do and what is going on?
ANSWER. This is my answer based more or less on gut feel without reference to books. Comments welcome.
The brothers were very close. They were both old at the time of the death of one of them. There is no doubt in my mind that the surviving cat has suffered a knock back. He is bereft at the loss of his brother and confused. He is probably suffering from a type of separation anxiety, a well documented health problem.
He is calling out. This is probably a call to his lost brother and as a sign as general distress.
His age (17 years) may also be compounding the problem. There may be a certain amount of confusion at the loss of his brother. It may have brought on some dementia or he may have already been suffering from a mild form of dementia.
Dementia would compound the confusion he is feeling at the loss of his brother. This is why he is crying out. Cats with dementia tend to call out at nighttime. They are probably looking for company and guidance.
We should be in no doubt that cats can form close relationships. There is ample evidence of it. As cats also have emotions the loss of a close friend can cause distress and confusion.
This has lead to constant calling out. This old cat also has diarrhea. This may be due to a change in diet.
Cats can experience “emotional diarrhea” when excited or stressed. This is similar to humans.
I would say the diarrhea backs up the diagnosis that the surviving brother is suffering emotionally due to the loss of his brother with whom he has lived all his life.
Does anyone have anything to add to my answer or to correct perhaps?