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I am a rotten mommy...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
...because I have to cage my kitten!!

When we found Lily, she was in tough shape. After a thorough exam by the vet, she determined she was fine. Lily began limping a short while after we got her. It wasn't enough to have me concerned(she only limped once in a while, I though I was seeing things). Well, it turns out she suffered an injury when she was really young. The vet thinks that maybe her back legs were squashed somehow when she was a matter of days old. Her knee caps aren't right(they are almost curved??). We have to keep her from jumping. This has proven to be much more difficult than I anticipated.
How can I keep her from jumping on kitchen chairs, reclincers, the couch, etc?
I bought a dog crate yesterday. I put the divider one level up(if that makes sense) after I checked with the vet. She has a litter pan in the crate, blankets, & a "buster cube" I bought from Target. She has toys, food, & water as well. I put her in it alone, & Twitch started picking on her through the bars. It was like she was saying "HA HA! I am out here & you are caged in there!" What a snot! So, I put Twitch in it with her, & now they are both telling me off.

<<Excuse me a moment, I need to go let Twitch out.>>

I hate to listen to Lily crying in there, but what else can I do? I put some Command Hooks(if you know what they are) on the walls all over the house. I bought a harness(it barely fits, there are long ends left over) & a 6 foot leash. I tie her to the walls as I move from room to room whenever I can. She would be here with me right now, but hasn't used the bathroom yet this morning.

Eventually, Lily might need surgery on both legs. I am trying to prevent that by keeping her from jumping, but I hate to see her miserable. I am wishing that I had bought a bigger crate with two doors. Then as she grows I could have connected two crates using the doors(I am very creative ). I hate to think of how big she is going to get. The crate is big enough for 70 lb. dogs. At night, she has the run of my bedroom. The only place she can jump is up on my bed. After she settles into bed, she doesn't move until morning(I know because she sleeps tucked tight against me). Both kitties have been playing quite a bit at night. All Lily wants to do is sleep during the day, but she stills objects to the crate very loudly. I have been giving her canned food in the crate as a special treat. I covered it with a blanket as well. I put the Gerbil cage in front of the door so she has some entertainment(she L-O-V-E-S those Gerbils).

Lily could have to be caged, contained, crated, tied up, etc. until she is a year old. The vet won't even consider surgery until then. She is going to be spayed soon. It will have to be two seperate surgeries a month apart. I really don't want to have to put Lily through thrre surgeries. One is enough.

If you have any suggestions, Lily would really appreciate them. She has been miserable all morning. I let her out to watch her run, but she is a kitten & keeps jumping. She will have to be on a leash every time I let her out now. If I put her in my bedroom during the day, she leaves me a gift on my pillow to let me know how she feels.
post #2 of 15
Hmmmm I have some ideas....

Firstly, when she's out, you could watch her and squirt her with a spray bottle everytime she even thinks about jumping on a chair. This completely cured my cat of EVER wanting to go on the table. But he may just be special.

Another thing you could try, although you have to be careful with would be to set mouse traps on the chairs, we have had to do that to keep my dog off the furniture in the past. It might startle her, it might not when they snap, so it may not work.

That is all I can really think of. Ask the vet. I think they are asking you to do something really silly. It's a CAT. They aren't like dogs, they aren't happy being locked up. I just think it's silly for you to have to do this until she's a year old. Not just for her sake, but for yours as well. So I would talk to the vet and see what it is he expects you to do.

I also have to agree with not doing a million surgeries on her. I don't understand why they can't do both and get it over and done with. Perhaps a second oppinion is in order?
post #3 of 15
Try taking some marbles and placing them in a metal can, like an old soup can. Each time you spot her prior to jumping, then shake the can. Obviously it'll create a noise that she will get distracted with.
Or get her in the habit of being picked up. I know its not in her nature and will be difficult, but if she's looking to get on the bed or on the sofa with you, just pick her up instead.
post #4 of 15
That is a really tough situation. I can't imagine having to keep a kitten from jumping. In my experience cats just dislike being caged in general. It doesn't matter that they don't move from a spot all day long until they are confined to the spot, then they take issue. Perhaps there is way to train her to not leave messes in the bedroom during the day. Maybe on days when you are home most of the day you can stay in there with her as much as possible. In time she may become accustomed to being restricted to that room and not leave a mess.

Have you spoken with another vet for a second opinion on whether you can have surgery earlier?
post #5 of 15
That is so, so sad. I bet it's just eating you up inside! Maybe you could get those kitty walk things and put them throughout your house, so the kitten can walk through but not need to jump. It would be better than a cage at least.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
The vet wants to wait until Lily is done growing to do the surgery. If the surgery is done too soon, it could wreck her back legs to the point that she can't use them. You can't really do both legs in one surgery. Then she wouldn't be able to use them at all. I don't want to wait that long to have Lily spayed. (I asked the other vet I called about this, too.)

I called the only other vet in our area that I trust, & he has never done anything like this & is not comfortable doing it. The vet we go to is an excellent vet. There are people who drive 5 hours to have her do surgery. I cannot sing enough praises about her. She is the one who saved Twitch's life.

I am home all day(taking a semester off college), so I have Lily out frequently. She is sleeping in my lap right now. She woke up earlier while in her crate, never complained, & began to play with a toy. She is getting used to the idea of being caged(how sad is that? ). Hopefully, I can have her out a lot now. She is learning to walk wonderully on a leash. She loves to be picked up & held, so that helps a lot. Her favorite place to sleep is in a person's lap.

I got some 16 gage wire(3 feet high) & made a open pen outside of the front of the crate. Now at least she has a bigger area. She has gotten tons of canned food. I think Twitch is getting jealous. I let both kitties run around & play. So far, she hasn't jumped much. I know that a spray bottle works because we already have half a dozen spread around the house. I will have to try the can of rocks idea as well. The mouse traps won't work because Twitch doesn't understand them. We used some when Twitch was little & she ended up walking around with a mouse trap on her tail & one on her whiskers. She would probably end up hurting herself on them.

We have one corner of the house that was a plant corner, now it is a kitty corner. It is linoleum. There is a window they can see out of with a perch in front on it. The door leading ot our deck is there & they can see out of the window in the door. There are Gerbils there & a fishbowl there as well. I am looking into buying a fence to put around it. I think I can get some wire from the Fleet & Farm near here, & my dad can help me make a good fence. I know that some online stores carry fecing for puppies. Anyone ever tried that for a cat? Lily was on a leash in this corner for a few days & she never complained. It is her favorite spot in the house. I think if I can pen her up there(if she doesn't climb the fence) she will be happy. This corner is half as big as my bedroom, but still has ample room to run & paly. With enough toys, she could be happy there for hours!

I want to buy some kittywalks, but it would get expensive. We have some corn tunnels that we could use. I think she can still fit through the bars in those, though. She is skinny for her age, but she has long legs & a long body. She has yet to fill out.

One of my concerns is how much will it cost to contain Lily. I love her very much, yet I don't want to buy tons of fencing only to not use it later. My mom thinks it will look trashy if we have fencing around the kitty corner, but she is all for it! She is willing to do whatever necessary to help Lily. Dad isn't a cat person, so we will leave him out of this. He will be very gung-ho(sp?) about it if I ask him to help build a fence, though.
post #7 of 15
What a dilemma! How about a call to the vets office for more ideas on how to keep her from jumping?

If she is only crated part of the day, it is not cruel. Just like putting braces on a disabled child-they may not understand, but if it means she will have less pain in the long run, and have strong healthy legs, it will be worth her being a little unhappy for now.

And you are a very loving, caring meowmie!
post #8 of 15
It's so wonderful that you're going to such great lengths to make your kitty happy and healthy!
Maybe you could get a small harness and put it on her? I have one for my cats and when I put them on it all they do is crawl around on their bellies. Perhaps that would help her not jump (my cats won't even try, it seems uncomfortable for them to), but she could get used to it enough to wear it during the day?
post #9 of 15
I would get a second opinion from a board certified veterinary surgeon. Caging a kitten for a year is very extreme and there is probably a better option out there.
post #10 of 15
just a little trick to keep her off of furniture, tables, counters, etc....

lay aluminum foil on all surfaces that you don't want her on. for some reason, cats don't like the feel/sound of it, and steer clear.

lots of luck to all of you!
post #11 of 15
Could you maybe give her the run of a room where there is no furniture??

My Pokemon broke his leg from a fall shortly before he died. I didn't make him wear a collar because he ledt tha bandage alone, but he was a very "jumping" cat. So I took all the furmiture out of a room, and let him use that and the hall.
post #12 of 15
You might also try the stuff that you spray on your furniture that keeps cats off because they don't like the smell. I'm not sure what it's called, but I know that they have it at Petsmart.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Duh! I LOVE the cat repellant idea! That would probably be the best solution. I live in an area where there a 3 vets near me(within 30 mintues drive). I think the nearest surgeon is 3 hours away. If I am willing to drive 10 hours, I have a cousin who would do the surgery for me. I would have to do that twice, one trip for each leg. Her leg has to be splinted to ensure it heals correctly. She wouldn't get around very well with two splinted legs.

I have her in my bedroom when I am there. I hate to lock her in there all day. She would rather be in the crate near me than locked in my bedroom. She cries lees when in the crate. I moved the kitchen table & all chairs from the kitchen. It is an open room, so I cannot just let her loose, but I tied her up on a 30 foot leash. She got to run & play with Twitch for 3 or 4 hours(they mostly slept). I sat & read a book so I could watch them while they played. I don't want Lily to get tangled up.

I have a harness for her to wear, but it is too big. It fits, but the ends are way too long. She will wear it, but I have to wrap the ends around the harness so she doesn't chew them too bad.

I tried aluminum foil when she was digging up a plant when she first came to us. She didn't seem to mind it. I found her chasing it around the floor. I am going to try that until I can get some cat repellant.

I let Lily & Twitch play for several hours every day. She can run & jump a little. No more than one foot high jumps, though. Small jumps don't seem to do any harm to her legs. If she is sleeping, I remove her from the crate & lay her down by Twitch. She keeps running back into the crate, though. She seems to want to be in it. She moves her toys into in. She prefers the litter pan in the crate to the one outside of it(they are both exactly the same).

Avalon, the idea of using a hall made me think. I made two homemade baby gates(5 feet high) & put one at either end of the hall. They keep her in. I can't leave her there all day(between her & Twitch, they can knock the gates down), but it works great for playtime.

From all of the suggestions everyone has given me, I have worked out severl differnet places for Lily to be. She is never left alone(she is basking in all of the attention). Thank you so much! She probably would have spent most of her time in the crate without you suggestions!
post #14 of 15
I may have a solution for you but it will be a bit long winded.

Is her walking around a problem??

If not the i think the following step may work.

You said that you are home most of the day... So you'll need to start with ONE room.

Preferably the room you intend to spend the most time in during the day.
Clear as MUCH stuff out of it as possible. Just leave some basics like a few chairs, and maybe a table. Now what you need to do is... Get a whole bunch of cardboard and double sided tape. You basically will need to cover the cardboard in double sided tape and place it face up on ALL flat surfaces. And make sure that if she does jump up they won't slide off or fall off on top of her.

Keep her in here during the day for a few days until you see that she is NOT jumping anymore. Then move her into a different room and repeat the process... You are basically going to have to do this in each room of the house until she learns NOT to jump onto things. There was a lady on another forum who taught her extreme counter cruisers not to cruise using this method...

To be fair to her, you'll need to make alot of stuff available to her at ground level. Toys, beds, cushions etc.

It sounds like your family is being really supportive. And since you have two cats this method will train them both at once. And it is relatively cost effective.

What will happen if she keeps jumping? and are there any exercises that she can do to strengthen her knees???

You could also go for a japanese feel and have your mattress on the floor

Someone suggested that you get her used to being picked up and carried... That's an option too. Let me see if i can dig up any info for you on how clicker training might be able to help you.

Back soon
post #15 of 15
I just left a post at the cat clicker group on yahoo. Hopefully one of the members will have some ideas as to how you can use a clicker to train your cat.

My own cats learned to high five within days. It's very easy once you get started. Unfortunately i'm not an expert but a lot of people in the group are. I hope they can give you some direction.
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