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Toileting help needed please

(11 Posts)
MollyRedskirts Wed 23-Nov-16 09:54:52

I have two cats, both with access outside. No litter trays inside.

The first cat is male and the elder of the two. The second is female and an ex-stray we took in after being unable to trace her original owners or find a shelter place. We attempted to rehome her privately, but it didn't work out as she was stress toileting everywhere and she ended up coming back to us. That's the history. She's been back with us since last summer and was gone six weeks. In that house, there was a mix of litter trays and going outside.

Both cats have always gone outside to toilet, but ever since Bonfire Night, the female has decided that's not for her and she's picked the bath as her place to go. She'll cry to go outside, stay out for a while, then come right in and poo in the bath.

I am open to any suggestions on how best to deal with this! I know the answer is 'litter tray' but where? There isn't space in the bathroom for a tray, unless I find another place for our bathroom bin (which is a standard kitchen bin and large, on account of DC1's SEN and used for nappies). The landing outside the bathroom is too narrow for anything to be placed there.

Any ideas? I know I have to make somewhere more attractive than the bath, but I don't know how to go about it. I have a very mobile 13 month old baby too, so any trays need to be safely out of his range.

MollyRedskirts Wed 23-Nov-16 09:55:55

Sorry - when I say 'access outside', I mean if they ask, we let them out. We rent, so we can't install a cat flap.

TimeIhadaNameChange Wed 23-Nov-16 09:58:11

Could you get a covered litter tray and stand the bathroom bin on top?

Poor lass. Sounds as though she was scared by a firework on Bonfire Night. So pleased you're reacting to it so calmly, though. Hope you manage to sort something out soon.

MollyRedskirts Wed 23-Nov-16 10:07:26

That's a good idea, but the bathroom bin is too heavy. It really is a massive kitchen bin! If I get rid of it, it means going back to the days of DS leaving nappies everywhere, and I'm not sure that's an improvement on the cat poo!

I wonder if a covered litter tray placed IN the bath for a while would work? Then moving it next to the bath (and finding another place for the sodding bin) and maybe gradually moving it out of the bathroom to the kitchen where there is plenty of space?

She's a lovely little thing, but bless her, she comes with issues. I think she was scared by a firework, but has now decided it's just NICER to go inside the house. Bloody cats. grin

Toddlerteaplease Wed 23-Nov-16 10:16:36

My parents cat did this. They shut the bathroom door and it solved the problem. We also had a cat that started to do this it was the first sign that she had kidney failure. sad

SarahJ14 Wed 23-Nov-16 10:41:50

Firstly, are both your cats neutered? Unneutered cats can bring about a whole range of problems especially bad toilet habits.
Is there a chance she might feel intimidated by your other cat? Cats need to toilet in a place they feel safe and private, so maybe try putting a litter tray inside your bath until she gets the hang of it? And then slowly move it to somewhere more convenient. Which types of litter have you tried?
She may also be scent marking, which is common in multi cat houses due to stress.

Id also highly advise a visit to the vets, or at least a phone call. if shes finding it uncomfortable to poo she might be associating outdoors with pain. She could also have medical issues which will need to be

Also you can try pet remedy, the plug does AMAZING things to the cats ive had in. I work in rescue and have seen near on instant improvements with pet remedy. It really does help to calm them down. I had 2 cats at each others throats constantly, couple hours after switching one of these on and neither of them could be bothered to fight, a month later they were totally and utterly inseperable 😊

MollyRedskirts Wed 23-Nov-16 11:19:28

We actually have no idea if she's neutered, given that she was a stray. We had her shaved at the vets to check for surgical scars, but couldn't spot any. Our options then were to have an op to open her up and check (told it's not possible to check any other way), or wait and observe for any signs of her going into heat. We opted for the latter as we were advised the op would be extreme and possibly unnecessary. Our vets are the PDSA, if that makes any difference.

There have been no signs of her coming into season for the entire time we've had her. Our male cat has been ours since he was a kitten and has been neutered.

Generally, the two cats get on. There is the usual posturing and the occasional swipe, but I would say she is dominant. Our male cat is a big softy and doesn't really care. There were issues in the very beginning, but they were solved by feeding them at opposite ends of the kitchen, where each cat was out of sight of the other.

I haven't heard of Pet Remedy, so I'll look into that, thanks. We've used the Feliway spray and plug in before, but I didn't notice any difference in behaviour with either of them.

Vets is a good idea. I'm going to try and get an appointment for when DH is off work next week. She is quite a scabby cat too and I think she overgrooms occasionally and causes sores. That stops as soon as she's treated with Advantage, but starts up again a week before her next dose.

I'm really trying to do the best for her, but we don't have the money for a private vet for both cats (male is insured, but female isn't since we qualify for PDSA help) so any suggestions for things the PDSA should be investigating would be helpful. I haven't been too pleased with them, if I'm honest.

chemenger Wed 23-Nov-16 13:06:40

I would give the covered tray in the bath a go and then gradually moving it, but I would also suggest that if you have plenty of room in the kitchen you could just put it there and see what happens. If you use the poo from the bath to "scent" the litter she might just get the message and use it. She is trying to be clean by using the same spot all the time, you just need to make that an appropriate spot.

MollyRedskirts Mon 28-Nov-16 13:14:04

Update:

Vet thinks the toileting in the bath is stress related and isn't concerned about bladder or kidney infections as there's no other signs. We're to bring her back if she seems unwell.

She's had an injection of steroids and has a course of steroid tablets, as she has flea allergic dermatitis which is causing the scabbiness and overgrooming. We're switching over to Stronghold instead of Advantage and that, plus the steriods, will hopefully sort her out.

There's now a litter tray in our bath, which has been used a few times but not as frequently as the bath itself. She's started asking to go outside again (bloody cats! grin). The vet did recommend multiple trays, but DH shot that idea down. I know it'd be the perfect solution for the cats, but it's not ideal for us. It might sound terrible, but given that she was a stray, I'm aiming for 'good enough' rather than 'perfect' as her life now is infinitely better than it was!

She has forgiven us for abducting her and taking her to a strange place, and is strolling around outside sniffing things, making sure everything is still the same as it was before.

Thanks for all the help and advice, it's appreciated.

I've attached a pic of the scabby arsed git for your viewing pleasure.

TimeIhadaNameChange Mon 28-Nov-16 19:46:48

Isn't she a darling! Reminds me of my old cat would could often be found in a sink, waiting for a tap to be turned on.

If he doesn't use the tray then I suspect one would be ok. At least she's going in there / the bath than on the carpet!

Meemolly Tue 29-Nov-16 12:43:17

Oh she's beautiful! Good luck with her, you sound lovely and thoughtful. She is in a good home.

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