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My Cat Dusty,

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well I'm so glad to find this website.
My cat's original owner died 6 weeks ago. and she is 12 years old, a grey himalayan, green eyes not blue.
She started pooping outsite the box, right away, then in the box, then in the kitchen where her food is. and in my living room, on my carpet. I have wall to wall. I was shocked. I have her a little over 6 weeks, she loves to play and eat. But her past owner was home everyday. I work 5 days a week. She has been to the vet. all is well. but her hind leg gives out. the vet thinks she hurt herself, being alone for 3 weeks, in the house she lived before me. Her owner went to the hospital and died there. So Dusty was alone for 3 weeks. Her son said someone went to clean out the litter box. But when we went to pick her up. there was poop right next to the box. which I thought was strange. Cats are clean.
A cat behaviorist told me she was in mourning for her orginial owner. and that's why she is pooping out of her box. He told me to place her treats where she poops, and use Nature's Miracle now I have three plates in my tiny kitchen. but, Since reading all of your stories, I think the only solution to my problem is putting the litter box in the kitchen, since, she is always doing it there. I have a small apartment. my kitchen is very small. I hope this will make Dusty happy. (and of course me) she is a very sweet cat, not a mean bone in her body. I brush her every night. she just tolerates it.
and then I give her, her favorite treats. she likes to lick my hair and face, in the morning, and when I come home from work. I really love this cat, and I hope this works. I used to be a dog groomer many years ago, so that helps in the grooming area. Well plese wish my luck. Bye for now.
Sally Mary
post #2 of 8
Welcome to the site Sally Mary! Bless you for taking this kitty in, it has to be a difficult transition for her, and you are wonderful for being so patient with her.

I'm going to move this to the Behavior forum for you where our experts can perhaps give you suggestions talored to your specific situation.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. Your website is the best.
post #4 of 8
I feel so sorry for your poor kitty. The thought of her person dying and then her being left alone for 3 weeks is so very sad.

I have three suggestions for you.

First, often cats like to urinate in one place and poop in another. Many people with problems such as yours find that simply having a second box eliminates the problem.

Second, sometimes the cat accidently poops outside the box because the box is too small. In this case, simply replacing the current box with a larger box will solve the problem. Many people find that the rubbermaid under-bed storage containers (without lid of course) make excellent large litter boxes.

Third, sometimes the cat feels that the placement of the box is unsafe. Because urinating goes so fast, they will pee in the box, but because they have to sit and concentrate when pooping, they feel too vulnerable and so they poop in a safer place. Most cats prefer to have the box where there is a little privacy BUT where they can also see who is coming their way. So move the box to a place where the cat can see all around (no one can sneak up on him) while affording a little privacy (ex: a corner of a room with the box surrounded by plants - the cat can see, but the box and cat are pretty well hidden by the plants).

Finally, if this is a new behavior, it wouldn't hurt to have kitty checked by the vet. This happened once with my cat and it turned out that she had an irrated bowel. After a few meds, she was just fine and it never happened again.

Good luck with your kitty and BRAVO to you for adopting an old girl whose had such a rough last year of life.
post #5 of 8
I had a thought on your situation with Dusty. Do you know if it is the same type of litter that she had been using at her previous owners? The reason I ask is that if she were left alone and to her own devices with no one cleaning the litterbox regularly, she may associate the litter with this horrible part of her life and doesn't want to use it. Kitties sometimes have flawed logic. In addition to Renae's suggestions, perhaps you should try different litters or even types of litterboxes.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your suggestions. But, I already covered all of them. I have the large litter box. (2 of them) now I added two small ones. One is in the kitchen, since that's where she likes to poop the most.
I just can't understand why she would poop in the kitchen where her food is. Have you heard of this?

I also moved a large litter box to a more private area of my apartment. Now I have four litter boxes. I introduce them to her. I sit on the floor with her. She is too much, she watches me fill it up with the kitty litter, and then walks away, then she goes back later on to check it out, and smells every inch of it.
As I mentioned, I had taken her to the vet. I took her two days after I first picked her up. That was a checkup. I noticed her rear hind leg would just go from under her. The vet said she must have sprained her leg somehow, (he told me he hasn't seen her in six years) I had to give her pills for five days. No change. Then, I brought her back for blood tests. All was fine. I took her back for an x-ray of the leg. (a week and 1/2 apart of course) All was fine. But he did give me a medication to put on the ear. Not in the ear. It was a stronger anti-inflamatory. It looked like it was getting better. But now,I see her leg still will give way. I called him, and he suggested that he wrap her leg. I said lets wait, I would like for her to be able to lift her leg to finally go in the litter box. He thinks she in doing this for spite. What do you think?
This past Saturday, I brought her again just to have the hair shaved around her rear. I had noticed some poop their, and with all the hair she had, I thought, let's try this.
Belive me, I have read everything on the internet about what this could be. None of the info helped me. They only talk about urinating out of the box, not urinating in the box a pooping out.

Also, I purchased five kinds of litter, she urinated in all of them.
And she used both litter boxes to urinate in. But, pooped in the kitchen or the living room.
Last Friday morning I woke to find she pooped in the box. I thought great, it's over. She is normal. I spoke too soon, when I came home that night she pooped right in front of me. I was shocked. I'm thinking what if the original owner let her do this.
So, then I called this Animal behavorist on the radio, on Saturday, and he said, that she is in mourning her past owner,
and told me to put treats down where she pooped on a paper plate and use Nature's Miracle. Well, this morning she ate the treats out of the plate in the living room. it's been there for 3 days) I said oh this is just great. Now what? I sprayed it again with the nature's miracle. What I do is, I use two plates. I spray the bottom one and put another plate on top of it with her treats in it. So far, I now have three of them in the kitchen, since she pooped there. I can barely walk in my kitchen. It's very small. So, I put a small litter box in there because it's only 1 and 1/2 inch high. I did this to see if it's easier for her, since her hind leg is weak. The other two are big, they are in the same spots. Then I added one in the corner of my living room near a plant. Now, when I go home tonight, I wonder wonder, where she will poop next.
I would love to know how long the mourning process takes. If anyone has any other suggestions, I welcome them.
many thanks
post #7 of 8
If you ever watch a cat take a poop, you will notice that it takes quite a bit of balancing in an odd position on the back legs. Because her back leg collapses under her, my bet is that she simply cannot balance in litter while going poop. Try dumping out the litter in the box in the kitchen and putting a thin layer of shredded newspaper or a very thin layer of litter (thin enough where her hind feet will be on the bottom of the tray for support). Put the box where she can lean her body against the wall for extra support while she is doing her thing. My bet is that this is 100% due to her hurt leg -- not due to bad behavior!

Has your vet looked for nerve damage?
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I agree. I'll try the newspaper tonight. And yes, I asked the vet about nerve damage etc. He said no. (I was the one who asked for the blood work and x-ray)
Thank you, I'll let you know the outcome.
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