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Old May 18th, 2009, 09:26 AM
TCM75 TCM75 is offline
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Unhappy At my wits end!

Hi everyone, I'm new here.

I'm having an issue with my cat, Lily, and I'm out of options and ideas. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I'll try to keep this as short as possible...thanks in advance for reading.

My husband and I adopted Lily when she was 7 weeks old. She's a ginger. She is now 4 years old. She does NOT get along well with our other cat, the dog, and my husband. She likes me, however.

The other cat and dog are not new additions to the house. The dog is almost 11, and we adopted the other cat when Lily was a year old. The dog has adapted well to the cats. Lily, though, was never completely fond of the other cat, but tolerated him. It seems that over the last 18 months she has decided that she has had enough, and lunges, growls and hisses at him constantly.

On top of her being generally miserable all the time, - or so it seems - Lily has also started to poop all over the house - lovely!

It started 18 months ago. Out of the blue. I figured there was something medically wrong with her, so we took her to the vet. They found that she had a rare dental disease, which might have been a reason for her not using the litter box. They recommended we have her teeth removed - except the canines - to make her feel better and possibly solve the problem. We went ahead and had the surgery done, but it hasn't helped her behaviour. She has no issues eating - even dry food.

Other things:

- I have 3 litter boxes, cleaned daily, scrubbed monthly. They are in the basement, spaced far apart, not in a high-traffic area, quiet, in a place where the dog will not go.
- I have tried every kind of litter on the market. Seriously.
- There have been no new changes in the house whatsoever. We haven't moved, no new furniture, no new pets, visitors, additions to the family...the furniture hasn't even been rearranged.
- I buy holistic, all-natural wet & dry food for the cats. She loves to eat, the vet approved the selection of food, said it would be good for her digestive system...if that was the problem. (doesn't appear to be)
- She has been checked out at 3 different vet hospitals, and all say she is healthy. All test results come back clean.
- I know it's not the other cat for numerous reasons. Most obvious proof is because we've caught her in the act.
- She poops in very random places. Area rugs, hardwoord floors, tile floor, carpeting...she has no specific spot in the house that she chooses to go.
- She goes once or twice a day. I usually wake up to a new pile somewhere in the house.
- She appears to be peeing in the litter box, although the den has started to smell like cat pee only very recently. ugh
- There are stray cats in my neighbourhood. There are 3 cats that roam around the street in front of my house. She doesn't seem fazed by them. Intersted, but not stressed.

My husband and I would like to start a family fairly soon, and it's well known that pregnant women shouldn't clean litter boxes. I'm almost certain that poop lying around in random areas of the house wouldn't be all that healthy either.

As you can probably tell, I'm at my wits end. I want Lily to be happy, but this can't continue any longer.

Is there something you can think of that I should try that might help? We have put up with this behaviour for a long time now, and we're both ready for a solution.

And there you have it.
If you made it all the way to the end, Thank you!!!

Last edited by TCM75; May 18th, 2009 at 09:31 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Sorry that you're going through this. 18 months is a long time to live like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCM75 View Post
- I have 3 litter boxes, cleaned daily, scrubbed monthly. They are in the basement, spaced far apart, not in a high-traffic area, quiet, in a place where the dog will not go.
Are the boxes covered or un-covered? Are they near a furnace or washing machine? (Sometimes the noise of the spin cycle or the furnace kicking in can scare a cat in mid-poop and they forever associate the two),



Quote:
Originally Posted by TCM75 View Post
- I know it's not the other cat for numerous reasons. Most obvious proof is because we've caught her in the act.
What do you do when you catch her in the act?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TCM75 View Post
- She poops in very random places. Area rugs, hardwoord floors, tile floor, carpeting...she has no specific spot in the house that she chooses to go.
Does Lily ever go poop in the box or does she poop elsewhere every single time?

From your description so far and the timing of events, it does seem to me that Lily is stressed about something, most likely linked to the relationship with the other cat. It's possible that the pain of having had stomatitis caused her to re-direct that stress towards the cat, which has seriously soured their ability to get along.

Couple suggestions: try to find some Feliway diffusers and put them in the rooms the cats hang out in most. Also, you might need to reintroduce the cats. Can you keep Lily in a separate room for a while with her food and litter? I'm betting that if you were to do that, she'd start using the box again. Then slowly, starting with a scent exchange and keeping things positive, get the 2 cats used to each others presence. Here is some info on how to do that: http://www.catsinternational.org/art...roduction.html

And more links to check out:
http://www.catsinternational.org/art...ats/index.html
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:53 AM
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I was going to suggest Feliway also, we've been having some luck here with it for our girl that doesn't like any of our other cats and insists on about 5 feet of personal space or freaks out. We've been using it about a year now and she's improved quite a bit, even comes on the bed with all the others for treats every morning and night.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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You have a cunundrum for sure.
First off - seven weeks is quite young to be taken from mom. That is when mom would be teaching a multitude of different things to the kittens. Including socialization and manners. Ideally 10 or 12 weeks is a much better time to adopt. That could be the beginning of all the trouble you are experiencing now.
There are many times when cats just simple do not accept other animals in their vicinity. Is there ways to fix it? Possibly. It takes a lot of patience and time.
You also said there were cats outside your home. While she may not seemed stressed it is possible her defecating in innapropriate places is her way of showing her stress.
You mentioned the only one she likes is you. Has your husband EVER shown aggression toward her? If he has she will remember. That will not make your situation any better.
I am including some sites that may prove helpful in your quest to find answers. Please do not give up on Lily. There are many things that can help including separation, medication, redirection.
Also, in all of this you never mentioned if she was spayed.
I am sure there will be others along who can offer other suggestions as well.

http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management
http://cfhs.ca/athome/cat_aggression/
http://cats.about.com/cs/behaviorali...ion_cats_2.htm

As for litter boxes and pregnancy - you have a better chance of contacting toxoplasma from undercooked meat than you do from a cat who is 100% a house cat with no contact with rodents, birds, etc. But it's a great excuse for getting out of litterbox duty for 9 months. It's one I took advantage of.

http://www.housekeepingchannel.com/a...and_the_Garden
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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The only thing I can add here is make sure you have cleaned the spots she's previously gone on with the proper cleaner. If she still smells even a little bit of her previous doings she will likely think it's okay to still go there. You need some sort of Enzymatic cleaner to make sure there is absolutely no scent. You might not smell it, but with their sense of smell, she likely still does.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancientgirl View Post
The only thing I can add here is make sure you have cleaned the spots she's previously gone on with the proper cleaner. If she still smells even a little bit of her previous doings she will likely think it's okay to still go there. You need some sort of Enzymatic cleaner to make sure there is absolutely no scent. You might not smell it, but with their sense of smell, she likely still does.
Thanks AG! I was going to add the recipe for the homemade cleaner but forgot. Thanks for the reminder.

1/4 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol may help to get rid of the smell so she doesn't smell where she has gone before.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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14+, no problem. I hope this works for her.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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You mention she doesn't "get along with" your husband. Is this longstanding or something fairly recent? Can you think of any incident that happened with your husband and the cat. For example, my hubby accidentally stepped on toes of one of my cats while going down stairs and yelled and swore at her at the time, and after that the cat ran from him and ignored him for 10 yrs! It was only after I finally convinced him that he had to start speaking sweetly to her instead of calling her "stupid cat!" all the time that she eventually came around to him and became very friendly. Does he speak crossly to her or in an exasperating mannner? Does he even try to be friendly to her, say, by petting or playing with her or feeding her treats or meals? Pooping inappropriately almost always indicates a stress reaction to something going on that's distressing the cat. She's been checked out, so it isn't a medical problem, but behavioural or mental.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 09:44 PM
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Any update on Lily's behaviour?
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 03:26 AM
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Khari Khari is offline
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Quote:
My husband and I adopted Lily when she was 7 weeks old. She's a ginger. She is now 4 years old. She does NOT get along well with our other cat, the dog, and my husband. She likes me, however.

The other cat and dog are not new additions to the house. The dog is almost 11, and we adopted the other cat when Lily was a year old. The dog has adapted well to the cats. Lily, though, was never completely fond of the other cat, but tolerated him. It seems that over the last 18 months she has decided that she has had enough, and lunges, growls and hisses at him constantly.
If it is stress realted as the other posters stated I think Feliway diffusers throughout the house would be a welcomed addition. And I think more than one is required. This may help calm her down a bit. Also, there is something called "Bach Pet Rescue Remedy" which is a stress reducer and may help calm her down http://www.bachflower.com/Pets.htm there are also other formula's that may work on your cat on this website for her particular situation. Here are a few other websites for you to check out for fa formula for your cats situation http://anaflora.com/essences/index.html, http://www.spiritessence.com/, http://www.copper-tree.ca/essences/index.html you could always contact one of these places to see which flower essences is best for your kitty. My sister uses a combination of Bach Pet Rescue remedy, Feliway diffusers (2 of them in a one bedroom apartment), and a flower essences formula called "spraying cat" and her cat that sprays has not sprayed on these formulas. She now is only using the feliway diffusers.

Quote:
On top of her being generally miserable all the time, - or so it seems - Lily has also started to poop all over the house - lovely!
Sorry to hear this....I know it is not fun to find poop around the house. I have been there with one of my kitties.:sad:

Are the stools generally hard or soft? Is she straining when she poops? Are they big or small? I know you said that the vets can not find anything wrong :sad: but has she been checked for constipation or a blockage? My long time vet was treating Lexus for enlarged anal glands (something you can also ask your vets about) everytime she was pooping outside of the litter box. This went on every couple of months for a couple of years. But when I finally took her to another vet he said the problem WAS NOT her anal glands it was that she had huge blockage (dry hard poop) and she was really constipated. Now after a roller coaster ride in the last 6-7 months she has been diagnosed with Megacolon which can be the outcome when constipation is left untreated for too long. This is something to consider....


Quote:
She has no issues eating.
Same with Lexus - even when she has been at her worse constipation she still loves to eat.....

Quote:
- I have tried every kind of litter on the market. Seriously.
Have you tried putting newspaper or puppy training pads in one of the litterboxes or beside it atleast? She may need something softer to poop on. Her bum may be hurting....Some cats do not like to poop on litter as it upsets their bum...just a thought!


Quote:
- I buy holistic, all-natural wet & dry food for the cats. She loves to eat, the vet approved the selection of food, said it would be good for her digestive system...if that was the problem. (doesn't appear to be)
-

What is it that you are feeding her? Just b/c it is holistic does not mean it is good for her. Dry cat food does not have much moisture to it so this could be contributing to her problems. Check out this website for more info http://www.catinfo.org/. An all wet diet is much more preferrable. Is the food high in fibre? Some cats have the opposite effect from fibre - constipation. Lexus needs to be on a low fibre diet or else she has constipation problems. I know many other cats with the same problems. Does the food you are feeding have alot of grains and fillers and not much meat in the first 4 ingredients? This could be contributing to the problem.



Quote:
- She poops in very random places. Area rugs, hardwoord floors, tile floor, carpeting...she has no specific spot in the house that she chooses to go.
Same with Lexus....she even did it on my bed

Quote:
- There are stray cats in my neighbourhood. There are 3 cats that roam around the street in front of my house. She doesn't seem fazed by them. Intersted, but not stressed.
This may be a factor in the equation. She may be taking her aggression out on the other animals and hubby. This can be very common. We think that my sisters cat would spray due to neighborhood cats as well. Some cats can be VERY territorial.

Quote:
My husband and I would like to start a family fairly soon, and it's well known that pregnant women shouldn't clean litter boxes.
Well, you have two cats so someone is going to have to do it regardless

Quote:
As you can probably tell, I'm at my wits end. I want Lily to be happy, but this can't continue any longer.
And it is great that you are trying to find a solution. I think we have given you some good advice to start with. I hope you can find a solution. It may take sometime but patience is key especially if she is really stressed.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:09 AM
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Tundra_Queen Tundra_Queen is offline
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Hi

Do u have a cat tree? She may need to have u her space up high to get away from the other cats. The more cats u have the more vertical spaces they need as cats are very territorial.

Also the cats outside might be stressing her. Try putting paper along the bottom of the window she is seeing them out and see if that works. Though she has gotten into a habit of messing outside her box it may take a while more to fix it.

could u move one of the boxes upstairs instead of them all being in the basement?

Maybe she is the type of cat that likes one box for pee and one box for poop. And if the boxes have pee in them she will find another place to go? So cleaning them more often might help.

Sorry but that is all I can think of. I sure hope u can figure out what is bothering her.

Debbie
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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lUvMyLaB<3 lUvMyLaB<3 is offline
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It could be food related, The only possibility that I can think of that others have not touched on yet is, she could be constipated, or have some trouble with her anal glands, or fissures from pooping, These things can cause pain when the cat poops, and they will associate that pain with the litter box. The reason that makes me think that is that she pees in the litter box so I don't think it has anything to do with the box or the litter, it is something with the poop. She might think that going poop in the litter box hurts, that would be why she is not going poop in the same place all the time, something cats do like to do, it hurts and so she is trying to find somewhere that will make it not hurt.

This does sound likely to me, does she strain when she poops? Has she been dewormed? I would check into everything poop related with her, and try and get her back to some softer healthy poops. I would also only feed her canned food so you can up her moisture to help her poops get softer.

Kudos to you for trying everything for your cat, it is something that is so frusterating, I know I have been through it too, my cat was forever scarred by the spin cycle, and it took a long time to figure out what the matter was. Your cat loves you I am sure for how much you will put up with to try and help her, and everything you have done, I hope you can find a solution, good luck!
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Old June 16th, 2009, 06:07 AM
Tammybreyer Tammybreyer is offline
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Poop suggestion

Hello folks, Im new here. I had the same type thing happen and I fixed it! I had a 5 year old Siamese/ragdoll (polydactyl) and a timid 3 year old orange tabby. We adopted a 16 week old Siamese kitten. They all got along famously well...no probs for 3 months, then the kitten began peeing and occaisionally pooping in the house!! No changes at all in the house....really weird. I have 3 litterboxes, one automatic, one Breeze and a feline pine box, all in the quiet basement and all uncovered. I caught the kitten in the act and scolded him....didnt work. I went to Petsmart and purchased a good sized dog kennel and out the kitten, water, food a couple of toys and his litterbox inside. He had a choice, poop in the box or where he slept. Guess where he pooped?? LOL. It was heartbreaking as he would scream and wail (he IS a siamese) and it took 2 weeks, but he is cured. Thank God!!
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