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rescued feral wont use litter box...? help? :(

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi All, its me again, I think I must be the queen of "the lady with the cats with the litter box and peeing all over the place" problems .

This time I have quite a heart warming story that now has a strange little complication.

I work in a garment manufacturing company thats adjacent (we share the same parking lot) with a produce company. 3 years ago they had a rat problem and brought in 2 cats (male and female,,,,why, I dont know, I thought an exterminator might do a better job). anyway
long story short.

those 2 cats became 10 cats, and then some left, some died, some kittens we assume were shipped off on accident (if hiding in crates), etc etc. either way, now we had 4 cats from the 3rd generation (we call them Nathan, Esther, and Natalie). Esther and Natalie recently had a litter of 6 each. All died except for 2. Esther had a dark gray kitten left named Nami and Natalie a light gray/white tuxedo named Amu.

Anyway, so my coworker has been for the past 3 years feeding, watering, and cleaning up after these cats since the produce company pretty much brought them in and when the "economy started to slow down" stopped taking care of them.

All of the cats , generation after generation have been pretty nice towards us but we haven't been able to touch any of them since they'd run away or freak out.

Now Nami, the dark gray, whos about now 4 months old about 3 weeks ago started being REALLY friendly, Purring and letting us pick her up and pet her. etc etc. ... 2 weeks ago we find her limping.
We didnt know what was wrong , but anyway, long story short. My best friend moved into a new home and told me she was looking to adopt a kitten. SO I TOLD HER I HAD THE PERFECT KITTEN FOR YOU!!.

anyway. so I picked up Nami last weekend, took her to get groomed (which she didnt even complain she's the worlds MOST PERFECT KITTEN). -- then took her to the vet the next day. I explained to the vet her situation that shes a stray that just happens to be super domesticated and beyond sweet and wanted nothing but being pet and held. the vet told me he would do an xray to try to figure out what happened w/ her limp.

the next day I pick her up ( I had her spayed, all her shots, got her ears cleaned, etcetc) --- and got a clean bill of health, MINUS THE LIMP.
APPARENTLY--- someone KICKED her or used a blunt force of some short and shattered her hip, the bone that connects her femur to her hip was completely gone, so it means only a strong impact could've shattered/dissolved it. The vet says with proper rest and diet, etc etc, she may be able to walk normally again one day but it wont be soon. For now she has to build up strength in her left leg.
she's 4 months and only about 3.5 pounds, she's really underweight

anyway she's now with my best friend and her roommate who couldn't love her more.


She's not using the litter box....

she's peeing on plastic???
At first we thought, maybe since she's got that messed up hip she can't get to the litter box on time because she's young, and for the first time had all the food and water she wants and maybe overfed herself?
the first night (this is kind of gross)-- but she had a lot to eat and began walkin towards her food again and what seemed like she needed to fart?? a bit of poo came out?? but she didnt seem to realize what she did...
yesterday I suggested they keep her in the bathroom w/ food and water/ litter.
they work from 8am to about 8pm yesterday, came home, and she held it in all day. the minute she got let out, she went straight for a heavy piece of plastic, and did a number 1 and 2...

does anyone have any suggestions?? we got additional litter boxes for her too...

could it be the litter? I mean she grew up in the streets so she never had the luxury of a litter box so maybe she doesnt know what it is? but how can u tell her to go on the litter box O_o?

I've love to hear any advice
I personally feel bad because my friends loooveee her, but I dont want to have adopted out to them something that isnt litter trained.

but besides that
she is
the CUTEST kitten, the sweetest, cuddliest, nicest, everr!!! its INNNSAAANEEE shes feral ----

on another note

does anyone know how I can pursue a possible animal cruelty thing against this produce company? MY only fear is they wll come and take the cats. they're not very kind so I dont know if anyone would adopt them its really sad situation we have.
post #2 of 10
Sounds like she has other damage due to the abuse, which is common. It could be that they beat her while she was in the litter box or perhaps peeing besides it? That often sets people off. I would give her two litter pans steer away from anything scented, just use plain clay litter and give it some time. Any change in food is going to result in diarrhea so food changes should be gradual and overfeeding avoided. Instead of feeding large amounts, feed small portions several times a day. Again, suspect she may be having problems holding her stool and urine (common for blunt force trauma type injuries) Put the litter pans on top of a big sheet of plastic and set your mind up to mopping up her mistakes.
post #3 of 10
could it be the litter? I mean she grew up in the streets so she never had the luxury of a litter box so maybe she doesnt know what it is? but how can u tell her to go on the litter box

I suspect you're correct about this. Try using some regular dirt or sand - a layer on top of the litter will give her the idea. You can gradually decrease it as she learns what the litter is for. Its a bit messier but it does work to teach them.

Bless you for helping her...
post #4 of 10
It may hurt her to jump into the litter box, so I would start with something with very low sides, and then put a little litter but mainly dirt in it.

You have to go with what they're used to.
post #5 of 10
If you go the route of the dirt be sure it is organic potting soil- unless you are fond of bugs. Honestly though, plain clay litter is fine as long as you have two boxes.
post #6 of 10
With the two different companies you mentioned I am betting there is a good deal of plastic scrap laying around both inside and outside the two buildings, I am guessing she got in the habit of using them as her potty.
I would get a very low litter pan, as suggested given her injuries, and place a piece of plastic in it on top of the litter, not big enough to cover the entire inside, but enough to give her room to go on it. Praise the dickens out of her if she uses it, of course! Gradually put smaller and smaller pieces of plastic in the box. If she won't go in the box at all even with the plastic in it, you could put plastic down on the floor then move that closer and closer to the box and then eventually into the box itself.
Now onto the cats still living there. Is there any way at all you and your co-worker could chip in and capture the remaining cats and get them spayed and neutered? This cycle of breeding must be stopped for the good of all! Even if you can't find them homes and have to return them, they at least will not be producing more kittens to be born into a very dangerous environment.
post #7 of 10
That is sooooo sad about her injury - but thanks to you, she has a chance and a wonderful, love-filled life now.

Also, it is imperative that any place she has peed outside of the box be cleaned with an enzyme cleaner. Cats noses are far more sensitive than human noses. They're sold at pet stores, though those often need to be used several times to really work.

These look more expensive, but because they require fewer treatments to carpets or furniture or whatever tend to be more economical in the long run - as far as I know, they can only be purchased on line.

The one we use is Nok-Out: http://www.nok-out.com
The other is called Anti-Icky Poo: http://www.catfaeries.com

If you would like resources for low-cost spay/neuter, and thoughts on how to trap the cats, or info about how to search for rescues that may be able to help, PLEASE let us know! The kitties really ought to be spayed/neutered so no more homeless uncared for kittens will be born!
post #8 of 10
I would definitely recommend trying an all natural kitty litter, like World's Best Cat Litter which is made from corn. Also a low edged litter box, more like a tray, and line it with plastic since she seems to be attracted to that. It sounds like she has been traumatized but wants so much to do the right thing, it's all about helping her realize and learn what would normally be natural for her.
This is such a sad situation, thank you for saving this kitten. As far as criminal prosecution of animal abuse, unfortunately the cats that are there may be placed in extreme situations, possibly put down. But from what you have said, many more have died then lived from this inhumane, cruel living situation, and many more will if something is not done.
post #9 of 10
You can get Cat Attract litter which is supposed to encourage cats to want to pee in it. With ferals who don't know how to use a litter box, I put a few handfuls of dirt in the litter tray too, and that's usually enough to encourage them to start going.

Please do find a way to get all the cats spayed/neutered - it's not healthy or safe for them to keep on breeding There's a lot of resources in LA and if you give us the specific area, I'm sure we can find a group to help you out.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi All it sounds like your all right. I haven't been able to go to my friends house to check on her yet and maybe I should tonight... I will forward all these suggestions to her. but shes saying now shes gone in the closet, and gone behind the fridge
and ive already told them about the nature's miracle and enzyme cleansers and stuff to get the spots out
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