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Cat laying in litterbox after flea bath

December 10th, 2005, 08:09 PM
Since my dog brought in some fleas, I decided to purchase Zodiac conditioning shampoo. It works on both dogs and cats. I bathed my cat 2 nights ago, and immediately upon setting her on the floor, she became motionless. She was alert, mind you, but she just layed there and let me dry her.

The next day (Yesterday), I discovered her laying in her litterbox. She leaves it to eat, drink, and visit me, but always returns. This has never been an issue before. I started reading about adverse reactions to flea treatments online, and noone seemed to have the same reaction. There were alot of scary things posted though, so I called the number on the bottle about 40 minutes ago.

The ASPCA vet I spoke to didn't seem concerned. She seems to think it is a social thing. She thinks Spook got traumatized. However, My AC was broke off and on all this summer, and Spook was wet down in the sink several times to help keep her cool. (She is a long haired cat) I am very concerned, but other than laying in the litterbox she is acting normal. Being a young Army couple, my husband and I are afraid of another huge vet bill. (My horse just coliced for the first time in 7 years of me owning him... $600 later, he is in full recovery)

Has anyone ever heard of anything like the issue Spook is having? I have an emergency vet here, but I do not feel it is an emergency. I know something is going on, but I don't understand why. Why would she act normal, playing, purring, eating, and drinking, just to return to lay in the litterbox?

Any ideas, thoughts, and suggestions would be most appreciated.

December 10th, 2005, 08:37 PM
I have several boxes scattered about my apartment and my cats love them. I line them with an old towel or a cheap cotton rug. Get your cat another box, cut it down so she can see over the sides (not too big, they like to be cosy) and see if you can persuade her to make the switch.
Still, it is strange that she would lie where she pees. Keep a close eye on her and if anything else comes up, if she stops eating or playing or displays any other unusual behaviour, off to the vet.

Lucky Rescue
December 10th, 2005, 10:42 PM
Many over the counter (non-prescription) flea meds and soaps can be toxic to cats and kittens.

For flea control, I highly recommend seeing your vet. It's always a lot cheaper in the end!

The only time I see cats lying in a litterbox is at adoption events, where they are stressed.

December 10th, 2005, 11:48 PM
My kitten, Toad, has had severe rhino and she did that about two weeks ago. The vet said that it is a behavioural thing because when they are sick they go and hide in the litterbox to cover the smell of infection so that predators won't find them. This is why you may see a dog rolling in anything nasty; they aren't necessarily sick, they are masking their own scent. Maybe Spook was afraid of being "noticed" now that he smelled different after his bath and is trying to get himself normalized. Sounds nuts, but it makes sense.

December 11th, 2005, 07:33 AM
Pre Advantage,many years ago(about 20)when treating for fleas with spray,bath or powder etc was the of my cats,literally went in to a seizure after treatment,rolled herself in the litterbox.
Today,there are many better alternatives,but all flea-products are iffy...
I am hoping once the smell subsides,your cat will be back to normal:fingerscr

December 11th, 2005, 02:03 PM
JamieW, That your cat is otherwise actng normally... eating drinking and playing is a good sign, yet it seems that there must be some connection.

As the others have said, I think monitoring her closely for any other unusual behaviours would be the best course of action... and of course consult the vet if something shows up.

The over the counter fleas meds can indeed result in adverse side effects to many cats....from minor to fatal. I used to use these too... in the days before the new products on the market.

Chico - are there dangers associated with the vet-dispensed flea meds such as Advantage, Revolution, etc? :confused:
I always thought that, adminstered according to directions, these were completely safe.. and have never had any concerns about toxicity to my pets .

December 11th, 2005, 03:36 PM
Shamrock,I've heard so many different things regarding Advantage and Revolution,but I find no alternative since my cats are outside with me in the summer.
However,I use only half of what is in the tube,the other half for next month.
It is after all a pesticide we put on our cats..and I only use it June-August.
I had a flea-infestation once with my earlier cats and dog and I don't ever want that again,horrible for the animals and us.

December 11th, 2005, 03:49 PM
I also had a flea-infestation once, many years ago, Chico. WHAT a nightmare.
The thing about the products they had back then.. they didnt work.
I finally had to get professionals in.
I also use Advantage in the summer months. I have a dog, and like you, bring my cats into the yard in warm weather - when I am there to be with them.

December 11th, 2005, 03:57 PM
My vet says,there is no danger,but I do not always trust the vet I now have,she seems overly $$$-driven.
I know everyone needs to make money,but it's a feeling I have with her,unfortunately.
Someone told me once,fleas will live on dogs,but will jump to cats to feed,probably just a bunch of bull:cool:
When we had our infestation,I had a Collie/Shepard mix and two cats,my poor dog got full of sores and they were crawling all over the cats,absolutely awful..:yuck:

Lucky Rescue
December 11th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Personally, I never use fled meds as preventatives, but only when I actually see fleas.

Cats are not very tolerant of chemicals, and I don't like to treat them for something they don't have!

Petstore flea/worm meds are at best useless and at worst toxic. Anyone using them always has to end up going to the vet anyway, so spend more than they would had they gone to the vet right away as they should.

December 12th, 2005, 08:16 AM
Spook is still acting normal, other than the litterbox thing. At night, I pick her up and have her sleep in my room with me, just to get her out of it for a while. I have taken another litterbox and lined it with a fluffy towel, and she laid in that briefly in my room last night.

Now it seems to me that she is constipated. I finally caught her trying to "go," and she dropped one small piece of feces. I did find another of little pile on my living room floor, which is odd in itself. Neither of my cats deficate outside the box. My male will sometimes pee on my husbands army stuff, which I find funny, though it is a little wrong of me. :p Anyways, I am pretty positive that it was Spook's, due to the amount of hair I saw in it. (Spook is long-haired)

I think I am going to call the vet, now that it is monday, and see if there is something I can do for her at home. If she needs to go in though, I will make the appointment and be sure she is taken in. I just hate to stress her more by taking her to the vet if I can help her somehow....

Thank you for all of your help. The things I found about flea meds online were very frightening. I think that I will not be treating my animals myself anymore. I will let the vet handle it. Our vet is also the vet my parents have had for over 10 years, and they have never done us wrong. Wish Spook luck! I'd be lost if anything happened to my baby.

December 12th, 2005, 08:32 AM
Good luck Jamie and I'm so glad you've got a vet you trust :) Spook will be glad for it too!

December 12th, 2005, 09:06 AM
JamieW,you certainly seem to love your Spook and I am sure he will be ok.
We all make mistakes,I would never do anything intentionally that would harm my cats and I am sure neither would you.We have to inform ourselves and the Internet,especially this Forum is an excellent resource.
Good Luck with Spook:fingerscr

December 12th, 2005, 03:32 PM
I spoke to my vet a few minutes ago, and Spook has an appointment for 4:30 tomorrow. When I get off work, it's off to the clinic with her. The lady I spoke to didnt make it sound serious, so I am thinking that everything will be alright. I will post as soon as I know something. I just hope that if this happens to someone else in the future that they can find this thread and learn from it. I found NOTHING helpful when I searched the net for her problem! Actually, that is a lie. I have found this forum to be most informative and helpful. Thanks for the moral support everyone! See you tomorrow, hopefully with good news.

December 12th, 2005, 03:46 PM
JamieW, best wishes to you and Spook for tomorrow! Will be watching for your update, hope things will be fine.

December 13th, 2005, 04:03 PM
Today I found a small worm on Spook, just before leaving for the vet. As I thought after I found the worm, The vet thinks that worms are the culprit of the problem. Apparantly, she got them from the fleas I was trying to get rid of. A dose of advantage he applied should take care of that. She should be normal in a few days. :)

Thanks again for the support!

December 13th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Thank's for the update,that's great news...maybe now she'll find a more comfy place to sleep:thumbs up