For the past year my 20 year old daughter has lived with my mother in law while she is going to college. She has her cat with her, a male tuxedo. He was very sweet and loving when he went to stay with her. My MIL is not a cat person. She is one of those people with an immaculate house and she cares more about her possessions than she does any other living thing. She claims to love the cat, but I don't buy it. 6 years ago, she wanted to take in Taffy, my cat that we took in as a stray, because he did not get along with Beep, but she wanted to declaw him. All 4 paws. And I said "over my dead body" and then proceeded to tell her how awful a 4 paw declaw was, so anyway, this just goes to how she really feels about cats in my opinion. She likes them, as long as they sit quietly and don't act like a cat in any way, shape or form.
Well, Boots, I noticed several months ago started acting weird. He would hiss or growl at me as I approached him. He had never done this before. She told me that he cousin was over one day and saw him on the counter and literally threw him off the counter, not knowing that it was the place they fed him, because she has a dog, so I attributed it to that, maybe he was traumatized from the jerk cousin and what he did. Cousin lives far away, has not been back, this was months ago. He has gotten more fearful. On Thanksgiving day, Boots was limping and we looked at his paw, it was bruised. She said that maybe he had been near the stove and burned it, but that would not look like a bruise, I would not think. She mentioned that she may have accidently stepped on him a few days before. The next day he was not limping. But she acted strange the entire day, my MIL, like she was mad at the world and she was just "off".
I went to check on Boots yesterday, my daughter was working a long shift and my MIL was away for the weekend, and he won't even come up to me any longer. I sat on the floor near him and talked quietly to him and told him he was ok, and he didn't hiss or growl anymore...although he initially did when I walked in.
I just have this awful feeling that she is being abusive to him. I have ZERO proof of it. But I know what a shallow, awful person she is and how she cares about herself, and her possessions WAY more than people and certainly more than cats. My daughter is moving out (90% sure) by the end of the month, moving in with friends who love her cat, and are good people, huge animal loving people. I am going to tell her to just keep Boots in her room during the day while she is away, to not cause any problems with MIL. And keep his litter box scrupulously clean and give her nothing to stress over. Like I said, I don't know that she is doing this, I just know what kind of a person she is, and I believe she would. I believe she is unstable, and is stressed over things in her life, and she could be taking it out on him. I pray to God that I am wrong.
She has not taken him to the vet. He eats only canned food and he is peeing and pooping normally and no litter box accidents.
I have to ask, would him acting this way be a sign of abuse? And anyone who knows for sure that a cat has been abused, can you please tell me some signs? For one thing that stumps me, and my daughter, Boots does not growl or hiss at her. She acts like this doting, loving grandma when people are around, and acts like she just loves him, but I don't know if I buy it. Because then she complains about the litter box being disgusting. She makes my daughter use a Breeze litter box, because she won't have litter tracking in her house, and he is a BIG cat, so he has BIG pees, and the litter box gets disgusting smelling if you don't literally hose it out once a week and change the pellets, which are supposed to last a month, but it rarely does for her. Breezes do ZERO for odor control, so I think this is the main issue that ticks my MIL off, even though she refuses to let her use tidy cat or any other traditinoal type of litter because God forbid he get litter on the floor. And this woman literally vacuums her floor and mops it daily, so I think she could keep up on the stray litter tracking, but she refuses to let her have anything other than the Breeze.
I pray I am wrong. I pray my daughter is able to get out of here by the end of the month. I told her to do everything she can to keep his litter box immaculate and don't make any messes, and consider leaving him in her room to not cause any problems with this woman. I just don't trust her. If you met her, you'd think she was the most pleasant person in the world, but she is 100% fake. She would stab you in the heart for a dollar, and she would (and has) screw over her own children and family for money. I did not want my daughter to live with her, but it was her own decision.
I just want to really know, if someone is familiar with abuse signs in cats, would the cat likely be hissing and growling at her if she were hurting him? I just keep thinking she may be doing things to him without him knowing it is her. And she feeds him usually, because my daughter is at work or school, so he knows she is the food source.
I hope I'm wrong. I just feel like I have pretty good instincts and I'm feeling this is a real possibilty , that she is hurting him
If I told any of my family members, they would say I'm crazy, so maybe I am. I actually hope that I am.