I think Frankie is a very photogenic cat and this picture proves my point. Do you agree?
Recently, friends of ours lost both their cats not too far apart from each other. After a short break, they decided to adopt a kitten named Carter. A couple of weekends ago they went away and needed a cat sitter. My wife immediately volunteered, even though she was going to be out of town, at least for the first visit. That meant it was my job to take care of the little fellow.
It turns out Carter is a very affectionate kitten with a loud purr and it was a pleasure to spend a little time with him.
He seemed to take to me like he knew me his entire life.
Very few cats can be so intimate with a stranger. It is one of the appealing qualities Chris had that made me want to adopt him.
How common is this? Do you have a cat that likes strangers?
Our cat Puck has been peeing on the floor for the past several weeks now in addition to the pooping on the floor that has been going on for a couple of years. Regular readers know that he developed a bladder infection that started the problem but after getting better, the peeing continued.
The vet put Puck on Prozac a couple of weeks ago but getting him to take it has been hard. I don’t want to add to his stress by shoving it down his throat so I put it in his food. Unfortunately, he eats only half of his food, or less, when there is a crushed up pill in it. It is actually only a half of a very small pill so it surprises me that he even notices it. Putting it in tuna helps but giving cats tuna every day is not healthy.
Tuesday evening I noticed a couple of half-dollar size spots of pee on the floor and knew Puck’s bladder issue had returned. We made an appointment for the vet this morning but I have to be at work so my wife will be taking him in. Hopefully, if we get his bladder problem resolved he will start using the box again.
It has been over a week now and Puck is still pooping and peeing outside the litter box. If you haven’t read the first part of this story, you can see it here.
It a nutshell, Puck had crystals in his urine which probably made it painful to pee. It is possible he associated that pain with the litter box but if that is the case, why did he not associate the pain with peeing on the floor? The pooping on the floor has been an ongoing issue but the peeing is new and a much bigger problem because our laminate floors are already swelling at the seams where he has peed.
We started feeding Puck a special canned food the vet sold us from Science Diet. I have read many articles about how prescription diets are not good for your pet and I heard bad things about Science Diet but the vet said this would help acidify the urine and break up the crystals. If it did that one thing, it would be worth trying.
We also bought a package of pee pads that I spread around the house, especially in areas where he has already peed.
This past week has been filled with ups and downs. One day he would go 24 hours without peeing or pooping anywhere outside the box. The next day he would do both. I tried moving one of the litter boxes across the room. I thought maybe he might have suddenly developed a problem with the boxes’ location.
That didn’t work, so I moved it back.
One day he pooped next to the couch and peed on a pillow that was on the couch. He didn’t pee on the couch because I covered it with toys. I didn’t consider the pillow.
My wife said if he didn’t stop peeing on the floor he would find himself in a new home. She then suggested we might have to put him on Prozac because that is what her sister said might help. I said no to both. I understand Prozac might help but any long term medication is bad for the health of any cat . . . and person. I thought maybe a calming collar might be an alternative.
I read some articles online that offered some suggestions. I already tried most of them but a couple I did not know about.
I did not know that cats prefer one to two inches of litter. I usually fill it higher because it is easier to scoop if it is not stuck to the bottom. Apparently, some cats don’t like it when it is too deep. I didn’t think this was the problem since Puck never had a problem with it before but I thought every little bit counts.
A few posts said the litter should be far from their food and water but one post said it should be close. I decided far was the better choice. Our boxes are eight to nine feet from the food, Not close but no far either.
I also read the boxes should be spread out around the house and that they should be relatively private with an escape route in at least two directions. We put our boxes in one place because that is what ultimately stopped Chris from pooping on the floor. If one box was not to his liking, he could use the one next to it instead of the floor.
Rose and I went to Petco on Saturday and purchased another litter box and a calming collar, along with various other things. I put the box near Rose’s chair but on the other side of the end table. I then pulled the table out a little to offer an escape route in that direction.
I then put the calming collar on Puck, which wasn’t easy. In addition, there was a big mess of white, flaky stuff that fell off the collar while I struggled with it.
I was very hopeful when I went to bed and was happy to see that everything was normal when I woke up. It didn’t stay that way. About and hour later I smelled pee and found pee next to the chair, half on the pee pad and half off, where it could get under the pad and have no chance of drying It was the third time that has happened since I bought the pads. I also found poop behind Rose’s chair. It looked like Puck pulled the pad away from the wall far enough so he could poop directly on the floor. Why does he have to make things so difficult for me?
I moved the litter box behind the chair to see if that makes a difference.
We are planning on buying some cranberry supplements today but other than that, I don’t know what else to do.
Thursday evening I got home from work just before my wife and I helped her bring some of her stuff in the house. I had her bag with her laptop and other stuff as well as her lunch bag. I set the laptop bag on our bed and as I was walking out of our bedroom I noticed water on the floor. The water looked clear so I thought I spilled her Yeti cup but it was empty. Of course, it could have been empty because I spilled it.
The water looked clear so I thought I spilled her Yeti cup but it was empty. Of course, it could have been empty because I spilled it. I wiped up the water and smelled it but didn’t smell anything so it remained a mystery.
Early the next morning, around 3:30 or so, Rose got up to use the bathroom and let Puck in the bedroom on her return trip. Puck is fine in the bedroom, unlike Chris. He usually just sleeps at my feet. This particular morning he was a bit restless, moving from my feet to my head and eventually lying down somewhere in the middle, on top of my arm. Suddenly my had felt very hot and, in my half-awake state, I thought there was something wrong with Puck, like he was running a fever or something.
Then it hit me and I was fully awake instantaneously. I announced very loudly, “Puck is peeing on the bed!’ and then got up so fast I scared him away.
Now we had to get up and pull the sheets off the bed and wash them and put new sheets on. I also found more pee on our laminate floor. I wiped it up and this time I could smell it was pee.
Friday I came home to more pee on the floor and I even found poop on the living room floor, though I don’t remember when I found that. Puck’s problem has always been pooping outside the box, which we have not been able to stop, except briefly, for a couple of years. I was always grateful that he didn’t pee on the floor and the poop was always on the tile floor next to the box (except when he pooped on the couch).
Saturday morning I found pee on the floor in the living room. It was next to a table with a glass to that holds a large lamp. It was quite the pain to take it apart so I could clean the bottom of it.
I left a message on the Vet’s answering machine Friday evening to ask for a Saturday appointment. I called them just before they opened that morning and she said I could have an 8 a.m. appointment if I could get there in seven minutes. We walked through their doors at 8:00 exactly. Puck was not happy to be there and wouldn’t come out of his carrier.
The vet said they found some bacteria and crystals in his urine and gave him – you guessed it – steroids and antibiotics.
Some of you probably know that every time I bring a cat to the vet I make some kind of a joke about how I could be a vet if I only had steroids and antibiotics because all feline ailments are caused by a steroid and antibiotic deficiency. I joke about it but it is really kind of sad. We also got some Hills urinary canned for to try to help break up the crystals. Hopefully, that will help but nobody likes it much so perhaps not.
I cleaned one of the litter boxes later that day and put in fresh litter and put it in a different location. My thought was that he may be associating pain while peeing with the litter boxes and new litter and a new location might help. I also bought a refill for our Feliway plug in and plugged that in between the patio and living room.
It did help, at first. Puck peed in the box as soon as I poured the litter into it . . . then he peed on the floor two hours later.
I had a half-bottle of Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract that I bought for Pucks pooping problem. It didn’t work for that but I put it in the boxes with hopes it would work for pee. It didn’t.
Now we are going to have to lock all our cats on the patio while we are at work. I hate to do that but if pee stays on our laminate floor all day it will ruin it. Also, maybe close proximity to the litter boxes will help.
Update: This morning, shortly after this post published, I woke up to find pee on the floor in the living room. I then found something worse. Despite the obstacles we keep in his way, Puck pooped and peed on our sofa. We keep a cover on it for the poop but the pee soaks through.
Saturday is typically outside day for Chris and Frankie. I first take Frankie for a cat walk on his leash and harness and then I let Chris outside for some fresh air and grass.
Chris doesn’t require a harness because he generally stays close to home. I do watch him because he wanders off sometimes and I have to pick him up and bring him back. Mostly he just eats grass and relaxes.
I usually sit at our table outside and watch him. Sometimes he joins me at the table.
Sometimes I sit on the steps and he joins me there.
Other times he wanders to the back of the house and I have to uproot myself and follow him. I’ll sit on the blocks behind the shed and Chris will hang out with me there too.
I think we make a good team.
After my last post about the feral cat and kittens that have been coming to our house, I didn’t see them for about a week. I kept food out for them and some days it would be gone when I checked on it and some days it would still be there. We were never sure if the cats were eating it or some other animal was coming around until Wednesday evening when the mother cat and her two Siamese looking kittens showed up.
I wasn’t expecting them to be there when I walked outside to do laundry. I was surprised to see two kittens take off in opposite directions. One hid under my car and the other crawled under the home behind us and one over. That made me wonder if they were living there.
The mother stayed close and hissed and growled at me. Actually, it wasn’t really a growl. It was more of a low pitch sound that I sometimes hear from our cats when a strange cat comes around.
I decided to skip laundry for a while and went back inside. Soon, one kitten was back and I took these pictures through the window screen.
I then put a small can of wet food on a plate and brought it outside. The kitten ran away but the mom let me stay out there and take pictures while she ate. She does not seem afraid of me which makes me think she is not feral like her kittens. Even so, she is not overly friendly either.
I wanted her kittens to come back so I went in the house and waited. Sure enough, one of the kittens showed up.
I took this video which is a bit long but at 4:16 it skips ahead to a new can of food and a kitten eating it. I am unsure if it is the same kitten or if the timider of the two came back for a meal. Perhaps your eyes are better than mine. Also, my wife thinks the kitten’s belly shows signs that he or she has worms. I don’t know. Also, at 2:53, Frankie scares the kitten away by pulling himself up to the open window.
I called the TNVR place on Thursday morning but I am still waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, I have not seen the cats since Wednesday and I have only seen the food in the bowl get eaten twice since then, including some time last night. Maybe they are being fed somewhere else or maybe some days they feast on rabbit, which is plentiful around here.