At my wits’ end ….

… which isn’t difficult when you have so few wits to start with.  Both cats are driving me insane lately and I really have no idea what to do to curb the behaviour.

I practice kitty-kat curfew. That means both cats locked in for the night before we go to bed. This is a practice I’ve always had and with rare exception it’s usually worked. The cats end up staying out one night every six months or so …  Well with Hemingway’s demise a few weeks ago I just don’t sleep if the cats are outside at night now.

Usually Abby spends most days outside but comes in for dinner, and then comes in on and off during the night and one of us will remember and shut the back door during one of her pop ins during the evening.  For the past three nights, she hasn’t shown up any later than 4pm in the afternoon.  She hasn’t shown up for dinner, we haven’t seen her during the evening, but she’s been waiting at the back door when we get up the next morning.  If she was a friendlier cat, I would suspect her of having a second home and spending the night elsewhere.  But she’s a very shy cat who does not let other people near her.  And this morning she hasn’t come home.  At all.

Trubs has been peeing in the kitchen.  I use clumping litter and mum’s bathroom gets quite steamy so the litter doesn’t stay fresh as long as it used to. Last week I bought some deodorizer for the tray, basically scented talcum powder and bicarb which I thought might help keep absorb some of the smells.  Trubs stopped using and started peeing in the kitchen.  I came down with a dose of the hives at the same time so it was a couple of days before I rectified the situation.

I completely washed out the litter tray, the bathroom, the kitchen floor, the kitchen cupboards, I used floor cleaner, vinegar and strong disinfectant in the kitchen.  The bathroom was cleaned and returned to normal (ie before the deodorizer).  This morning I awoke to cat pee and cat shit in the kitchen.

I picked the poop up and the cat, deposited them both in the litter tray and stared her down and she just calmly walked out of the tray and curled up on the lounge and went to sleep.  What do I do?

Trubs as an older cat, vomits regularly and I’ve trained her to try to vomit in the kitchen instead of on the carpet. I wonder if that is mixing the signals in her old head?  There’s no way mum will agree to a litter tray in the kitchen it’s just not sanitary to have cat poop in the kitchen.

Any suggestions to either issue?

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6 Responses to At my wits’ end ….

  1. Rosanne says:

    Been there and done that a few times. Go back to the kitchen floor and wash it down with dilute bleach. The disinfectant has a smell of ammonia to it and reinforces the area as one to pee on.

    Second, have a second litterbox if possible and swap them over daily so that the litter can air between usings. Let it stand outdoors if possible

    Also with her age, she may be getting well be getting confused but also I think the kidney problems are increasing. The random deposits can be a pretty clear sign – Harry was notorious as he got older and frailer. It’s not a lot of fun dealing with an aging cat.

    As for Miss Abby, she may well be more of a feral cat in the east than she was in Perth. She won’t be too far away but I do understand your fears, so close to Hemms loss.

  2. Julie Dollery says:

    There’s 3 different issues here so let’s break it down & address them as individual items
    1) The cat curfew
    2) The inappropriate toileting
    3) The vomiting

    1) Remember that Abby & Trubs have been through 2 big changes. A change in home & then the loss of Hemmingway. In particular, the loss of Hemmingway will have left a “scent-void” in the neighbourhood. There’s every chance that the local felines are rearranging the local boundaries & Abby is part of that. We saw it with Loki over here when Pi left us. It will take time for things to settle down. The best I can suggest is to “keep ’em lean & keep ’em keen”. Feed enough to keep them healthy, but enough so that Abby ALWAYS comes back for dinner. We’ve trained Loki that dinner is 7pm SHARP & he’s usually through the cat door within 15 minutes either side & the door gets locked after.

    2) Toilet habits. Again, there’s been changes & sometimes that’s the cause. I wouldn’t use bleach someone told me years ago that it freaks cats out. There’s a product called “unrineFree” that deodorises AND neutralises (I’ll send you a bottle). Try that according to the instructions, it can be used on ALL surfaces & I suggest you mop out both bathroom & kitchen as well as the litter trays. We needed to buy a brand new tray after Pi left. Skylla was fine, but Loki wasn’t happy with the old tray when he could smell Pi but not find him. There’s still a patch of carpet in the study that Pi used to mark that Loki rolls around in when he’s stressed, even after professional carpet cleaners, so don’t underestimate cat’s noses.

    3) Vomit. The only way I’ve EVER had success with vomit training is to hear the hacking BEFORE the big event & run to pick up the cat & head toward the door. 95% of the time, I ended up with a trail of vomit on floor & shoes, but Pi seemed to eventually get the idea that hacking meant “run to the door” & we eventually got him to the stage where he’d run to the door & then hurckle on the floor near the back door. Again, UrineFree says it works on ex-vomit areas to neutralise & break the pattern.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Mel says:

    Thanks for the answers Rosanne and Jules,

    1. Vomit – yep – we do the get as close to the kitchen as we can before hacking too. I’ve gotten to the point where I know she starts licking her lips a lot before she starts hacking so I can pick her up and move her at that point, so lots less vomit on shoes or trails along the carpet these days 🙂

    2. Good point on the cat noses. We have a new litter tray here; we didn’t bring the old ones over and Hemingway didn’t use one – she always went outside. So while we’ve been out today we’ve bought a completely new tray again and filled it with completely new litter so there should not be any taint of the deodoriser in the bathroom or the tray any longer.

    3. Hemingway was a predominantly outdoor cat who did have quite an extensive area of influence and there would be a void while the other cats argue over the turf. However Abby *always* answers me when I call. I have walked all over Hemms old turf this morning and called and called, no answer. We’ve also driven miles on every direction and no roadkill Abby and spoken to the local vets no lost and found.

    Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that someone has picked has picked her up or someone local has locked her inside in an attempt to rehome her. There are apparently common scenarios and she is a very pretty cat. If it is the latter, we will find her because we live in a very small town. If it is the former, we’ll never find her. There is a lot of holiday traffic that goes past here and apparently it is common for pretty dogs and cats to be taken by holiday makers.

    I’m hoping this is all a storm in a teacup and she’s been accidently locked in someone’s shed and will walk in the back door any minute ….

  4. Mel says:

    GOOD NEWS !!!!! GOOD NEWS !!!!!! GOOD NEWS !!!!!!

    Trubs is using the new new litter tray.

    Abby turned up five minutes ago for dinner. We have locked the doors and she is staying in for the night!

    All humans are relieved and happy ….

  5. Julie Dollery says:

    So thrilled on both counts. Here’s hoping it’s a turning point.

  6. kay jones says:

    Ok I know, last as usual. The only comment I can make is that if Delbert or Boris ever leave a “pressie” which I must admit is very unusual, I always wash the floor with a dilute solution of Jeyes fluid. This isn’t only a discinfectant but it also leaves a not unpleasant smell which tends to put them off from doing said thing again.

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