My mom is 84 yrs. old in declining health. She has arthritis, asthma, hard of hearing, bad eyesight, slow shuffling walk, high blood pressure etc. etc. She cannot even open a can of tuna or turn a bottle cap. My niece wants to give her a cat. My mom wants to keep it in her bedroom. My mom cannot even take care of herself. I am my mother's legal caregiver. Do I have the right to refuse this cat into the house?
Yes, you have every right to decline the offer. Tell your niece it was sweet of her to offer but there's just no way it can work. It's really, really unfair to the cat to keep it locked up in a bedroom. Cats need room to walk around and explore. Not to mention that your mom will eventually find it to be a burden, which is also not fair to the cat.
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Just politely tell her the cat is inconvenient. If your Mom forgets to give the cat water, the cat could even go to the toilet itself to get water. The cat will get used to the toilet and the sink eventually if it is not well-trained to be fed water and food in the right place.
A cat is smart enough to help itself in the house and you don't want that.
Maybe the niece can show your Mom the cat when she visits. Having pet around by the visitors is not the same as having a pet in the house. This way everyone can be happy.