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Multiple Issues with four cat household

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello I am a new member. My friend turned me on to this site as I am discouraged in my attempt to fix my cat's behavior/health problems. First let me introduce you to the family.

Shadow was adopted at a year old from a shelter. She is a now a four year old female and was spayed on the day of adoption. She has had diarrea and vomitting on and off for the past three years. I have taken her to the vet twice (two different opinions) and they tell me that she has food allergies. She is recently having another case of diarrea and is using the bathroom outside of the box frequently. I will be taking her to vet again ASAP for yet another opinion. I love her and don't want to get rid of her but my house is starting to smell. I moved from the last apartment that she deficated in and had to pay for new carpeting upon leaving. Now she is going in the basement on a ceramic floor and it's runny so some of the moisture is being absorbed in the floor and it stinks.

Dumpster is around four years old as well. I got him from a girl on the internet that posted she couldn't keep him because she was moving. He is a maine coon and I took him to the vet and got him neutered at about one year old. (when I received him). I think he has been abused because he refuses to use the litter box to deficate. He will only go on a smooth surface. He is very shy and skittish and because I fear that he has been abused I will not punish him. I try to encourage the correct behavior but have since given up and switched to a clear tray that I clean daily without litter. However if he pees in the tray he will not use the tray again until it's clean so it's a very heavy burden on me. I love him though and will allow this as a better option that giving him up to a less understanding home. He hides whenever children or new people come over so he's not very adaptable to new environments. In fact when I moved into my condo he found a hiding spot under the basement stairs and got stuck. I couldn't find him for a week, he didn't even cry. I called an exterminator to see if he was in the walls or attic and they couldn't find him. My boyfriends dad just happened to cut the boards from the stairs and found him stuck under there. We have boarded it up and he hasn't hidden like this since. He's also afraid of outside so I knew he didn't escape. He's afraid of plastic bag noise and hides when I clean up any cat's mess like he's going to be punished. It's so sad, but I am always telling him it's okay and pampering him.

Then there's Godzilla. I adopted him at four years old about three months ago. He's adjusted well, he's neutered and very well behaved. I think he was an outside cat so I do allow him outside for a few hours when he cries to get out. I think this was a bad idea though because now Shadow tries to dart out after him.

I also about a month ago took in a kitten that my friend could no longer keep because she found out she was pregnant. He is a male and he was adopted from a shelter I am not familiar with. He uses the litter box and will be taken to the vet shortly for all of his vacinnes and to be neutered. I am assuming that the shelter gave him his first set of shots before adopting him out, but have not been able to verify this or retain any records.

The cats all get along, other than the kitten can play too much and disturb my other cats at times, but nothing harmful.

What do you think I should try for Shadow, the upset stomach cat to stop using the basement floor as a defication spot?

Also how should I go about training Dumpster that it's ok to use a litter box when he's so emotionally fragile? (also cats don't seem to bother him just people he loves playing with the kitten and is Shadow's best friend).

Thanks for any ideas I have already read the posts about behavior problems and I am going to try the bathroom trick with Dumpster, though I fear he will only use the tub as a new smooth surface to "dump".
post #2 of 20
for both of your 'box-challenged' cats, you might try Cat Attract litter... i've heard good things about it.
for your possibly allergic cat - there's a cat food made with venison & green pea that's often good for allergic cats. it doesn't have the same ingredients as the more common foods. here's a link: [for the 1st one, you have to scroll down to find the flavor]
Natural Balance venison & green pea canned
Natural Balance venison & green pea dry
post #3 of 20
For the loose stools, I have used apple pectin with good results. Do they have separate boxes or do you have just one or two? May I ask what you are feeding him/them and have you tried to switch brands?
post #4 of 20
for your possibly allergic cat - there's a cat food made with venison & green pea that's often good for allergic cats. it doesn't have the same ingredients as the more common foods. here's a link: [for the 1st one, you have to scroll down to find the flavor]
Natural Balance venison & green pea canned
Natural Balance venison & green pea dry



Thanks for that suggestion. I just ran out and bought some for MY persian! He loves the taste! Hopefully it helps cure his ailments.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks I will check into both the litter and the food. What is apple pencin? Sorry I am not familiar with this.

I have had Shadow on both Science Diet Senitive Stomach dry food and Purina One Special Care Urinary Tract. I have three cat boxes. Dumpster doesn't use one he uses a tray. But I found that Shadow has been using the carpet, Dumpster's tray and even this morning she went pee in the bathtub. I guess the bathtub is the less of all evils because it's easy to clean but I thank you for your suggestions and WILL try anything to keep her healthy and happy.

I will let you know!
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I forgot also I feed my other cats canned food. Whiskas.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
But I found that Shadow has been using the carpet, Dumpster's tray and even this morning she went pee in the bathtub.
Has she possibly got a urinary tract infection? That causes pain when peeing, and can cause them to go outside the litterbox.
As for a special food, I been trying for about 3 years now to find one that works for my Wiggies. He has a sensitive tummy and very runny, stinky poos. Currently I'm using science Diet hairball remedy which seems to be having a good effect. My vet said to mix MediCal high fibre kibble in with it to firm up the stools.
Quote:
Also how should I go about training Dumpster that it's ok to use a litter box when he's so emotionally fragile? (also cats don't seem to bother him just people he loves playing with the kitten and is Shadow's best friend).
I'm so glad to hear that he at least gets on well with his cat friends! Poor pumpkin. I don't know what to suggest about his box shyness. If he's going on the lid, maybe you could put down several so you're not constantly having to keep the one clean?
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks pushylady I think maybe she does have urinary tract problems because she was one Purina One Special Care Urinary Tract Care and didn't have so many problems. But now I put both that and the Science Diet out and she prefers the Science Diet. She only eats the Purina if the Science diet bowl is empty.

I am taking her to the vet tomorrow. I had to wait to get paid. But this morning she had mucus and blood in her stool and then a pile of watery stool next to it. She's been throwing up as well. Do you think I should just switch all of my cats to dry food. I don't think Dumpster will eat dry food. Should I feed him seperatly, in the basement perhaps?

Also has anyone heard bad things about Friskies can food? It's not Whiskas, I checked last night. I think the wet food may be the problem but Shadow tends to stay away from the wet food most of the time. She only eats a small portion.

Thanks again. I am picking up the different foods mentioned today and keeping my cats off of Friskies until I can find a solution.

Jenn
post #9 of 20
We have a cat with allergies, and the pea and venison is pretty much the only thing she can handle. I really suggest giving it a shot. The other cats in the house do well on it as well. Also, we found that giving her a higher quality brand of wet food and sticking to the same brand/flavour helped to settle her stomach, if we switch brands on her she gets the runs again.
I'm glad that you're taking her into the vet, we've recently had a behavioural peeer too, who also has a bladder infection. It's really best to investigate all of the avenues so that you can tick the possibilities off one by one.
If you can afford it, try to get some wet food that's better than friskies. Basically I try to get stuff with no or as little by products as possible, and I tend to avoid anything vague like "meat".
Much luck with the kittens, I'm sure youll work something out sooner rather than later.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I am taking all of the cats to the same vet within a week or two. Shadow first of course tomorrow. I am having all of thier vet records transfered to another doctor.

I am going to the pet store tonight to buy venison and pea cat food. I don't care about the cost, just my kitties health so if they all eat it I will buy it for them all from now on.

I am going to try the cat attract litter as well for Dumpster. He's one strange cat. It's like he doesn't like to get his feet touched by sand litter? I have to use puppy pads and a clear bird cage liner for him.

I will keep you all posted on my progress. This site has been wonderful and gives me more knowledge on possible solutions than my vet has. (which is why I am switching vets) My current vet hasn't helped one bit with Shadow or offered any suggestions.

Thanks Again everyone! I always had such low maintenance cats as I was growing up. These special needs cats are allowing me to realize that they need constant medical care and that I need to keep informed on all of the options to fix thier problems and maintain thier happiness. I would never give up on my babies! It's good to know that there are suggestions beyond "she has food allergies, try this food" 200 dollars and a vet bill later. The food they sell me at the vet doesn't work but yet they still keep trying to sell me on it.

I just wanted to thank you all for all the new ideas on how I can help my pets!
post #11 of 20
My cat had food allergies I think, he had loose stool. The vet gave him a course of steroids and I got purina one sensitive stomach food, and he has had firm bowells since. Iam so glad because he had loose stinky stool for aorun 6 months. I was amazed at how well the steroids worked. the same cat also has cystitis(crystals) and peed everywhere. I now give him carpon (an acidifier) twice a day and now he pees just fine in the box. It is so frustrating when your cats have bad box habits and intestinal problems. Getting these two things fixed have made such a difference. Fortunately my other two guys are box perfect. You can search for the carpon by doctor belfield and ask your doctor about the steroids. Once you rule out all illnesses, you can address behavior. there are many tricks and litters to try. It is great of you to want to get eveyone straightened out, and once you do, they will be even more of a pleasure to you. for the cat that poos on the smooth surface, perhaps you could buy a roll of heavy gage plastic and put down a few hunks a day, and throw away the used ones.
post #12 of 20
I just wanted to add a couple things here - Whiskas and Friskies are not very good foods. Sharky has listed in several threads about good quality foods to use. Also wet food diets are healthier than dry food diets. That's not to say you can't leave out a good quality dry food for free-feeding while us humans are away at work all day, but feeding wet morning and night is good.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Poor Shadow! I tried the Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea wet and dry food last night. She did eat and liked the taste but threw up almost immediately after her two feedings.

I guess I can rule out food allergies. I can believe my old vet didn't even try to further investigate. I read the back of the bag for Natural Balance and there isn't anything in it that cats are typically allergic to. She MUST have intestinal problems!! I hope the new vet can help!

I will keep you posted. Oh and she likes the Cat attract litter. Dumpster actually jumped in the box yesterday but he quickly jumped out. But hey that's a start with him.

I am keeping the two new cats in the basement to try and minimize stress on Shadow right now. I alos don't want the new cats using her box that I just bought so that she feels more comfortable using it. She still has diahrrea and blood in her stool.

Any further Ideas? I will have to try some carpon as well. The vet is waiting on my vaccination records to transfer over so I should have Shadow into she the doctor by the weekend.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I just wanted to add a couple things here - Whiskas and Friskies are not very good foods. Sharky has listed in several threads about good quality foods to use. Also wet food diets are healthier than dry food diets. That's not to say you can't leave out a good quality dry food for free-feeding while us humans are away at work all day, but feeding wet morning and night is good.
if money is an issue, you can get Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul dry food for less than the Science Diet, & it's a much better food. i just bought a bag yesterday at my local feed store, & it was $23 for 18 pounds. the wet Meow Mix pouches & tubs are better than the Friskies or Whiskas of the supermarket brands.
post #15 of 20
I wonder if it would help to put a Feliway plugin in the room with the litter boxes? Maybe it would help Dumpster feel more comfortable with using the litter.

For Shadow, a very simple, bland diet might help her tummy settle down. If she were my cat, I would try a temporary diet of baby food chicken or turkey with a little rice cereal mixed in, and an acidophilus supplement to add good bacteria that will help her digestion. If that works, you could then try gradually introducing a good quality cat food.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks momto3cats I will try that as well, although she doesn't tend to like tuna fish or any people food. I think I tried the chicken broth and rice before and she didn't touch it, but I will look into it more. I am calling the vet right now to get a sooner appointment, hopefully today!

Also the cost isn't really an issue on cat food. I just hope to find something that she can eat. I want her healthy no matter the cost. I am single and so my grocery bill always includes cat supplies more so than human food! LOL
post #17 of 20
I would definitely dry adding the acidophilus into Shadow's diet, that will promote good bacteria in his gut and has worked wonders in their tummy. I'm surprised your vet before didn't try that. You can get it at any health food store in capsules, you can then break that up and mix it in with some chicken or turkey baby food (no onions) or you could cook a plain chicken boob and cut that up...it would be very bland for the tummy.

I might also suggest trying to get a little bit of pumpkin (can firm up stools...since high in fibre) or a little bit of plain yogurt (acidophilus bacteria in the yogurt) to try and help with the tummy. If you've ruled out food allergies then this would be the best bet.

If there is still a chance it's a food allergy then you may have to look for a raw diet and try out the different meat options to rule out what he's allergic too.

Best of luck with your babies....

(PS...we love to see kitty pictures!!)
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok so I am still clueless and to why my poor Shadow is sick. I went to the vet yesterday and they did X-rays. Her intestine walls are thick which means they are inflammed. The Dr. did not find any parasites in her fecal sample and gave her a shot of cortisone to reduce swelling. He said that it may be coccilla (sp?) so he gave her antibiotics and he also gave her something else I believe for the swelling. I will have to tell you when I talk to my boyfriend as I didn't bring the medication to work and I forgot the name. He switched her to a prescription diet of z/d and said that she may have irritable bowel syndrom. Has anyone had similar symptoms and diagnosis for thier cats? My dr. said that we would try this and if she is still sick then he's going to test her blood to make sure all her vital organs are healthy.

Also how do I post pictures? I would love to share!

Thanks for your support!
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkitty View Post
Also how do I post pictures? I would love to share!

Thanks for your support!
i'm glad you've got something for her that may help.
to post pix - open a free account at Photobucket. then upload pix there. after uploading, copy & paste the code that looks like this: [I MG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v383/laureen227/signatures/laureen27-1-by-anakat.jpg[/IMG]
[space added so you can see the code] the last part will look different, but it will begin with the IMG part.
pictures need to fit in the space, so they usually have to be made smaller than what your camera takes. you can resize using a paint program before uploading [which is what i do] or you can resize using the resizing tools at photobucket.
post #20 of 20
Have they tested Shadow for IBD? I've not experienced that in my household, but understand that cats with chronic diarreha often have IBD.

And glad to hear you bought Cat Attract - I've used that in the past to curb litter box problems. It smells very earthy. If Dumpster was attracted by the smell, perhaps try some dirt in a pan. If he takes to that, slowly mix in a little bit of litter/cat attract mixture.
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