Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Anyone who has ever met me knows I love my kitties, but I am sorely challenged right now by Montana (aka Tana).

She is an indoor cat and has been so for the 8 years we have had her. She is FIV positive, deaf and declawed. She can be incredibly sweet despite her ferral nature and she will bite if provoked. Recently she's been diagnosed with hyper thyroid and has started meds.

She's never been perfect about using her litter box, but Tana is frustrated that she hasn't been able to go on our screened porch. This is her outside and in her world, she is Queen of her porch. We just were able to get to power washing it this weekend and we let her out yesterday and today. However, she's been expressing her displeasure at not being able to go out every time she wants by peeing on everything. I've reached my limit on this...tonight she really went too far and peed on the kitchen table where we eat our meals every day. She's peed on Kelsey's bean bag chair, on our clothes, on anything I leave on my counters...and I am sick to death of smelling it/finding it unexpectedly. I am a clean person and I like a clean house and in addition to the peeing, she's been pulling out clumps of her hair and leaving them all over the house. She has serious bald spots. I could put up with this if this were all...but the peeing is killing me!

How do I balance this to make life sane for my family and keep her? Tomorrow I am calling my vet and we have to have an option....Kelsey's 3rd birthday party is in less than 2 months and I cannot invite people to my home and have Tana acting as she's doing right now.

Cheyenne has always been the best cat on the planet...not ever a pee problem, doesn't bite, is incredibly affectionate/tolerate and likes people...all told a dream cat. Jazz was always great too, once we cured his urinary tract problems. (Tana doesn't have this issue....she's fine except for the hyper thryoid and the FIV and is healthy and has been for all her life...we take exceptional care of her)

I'm frustrated and torn and upset....I don't want Tana put down and I don't want to continue as we are...I need a solution and quickly. Right now I am so sorry I said we'd take her....this is challenging!


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Anonymous said...

I am not a cat behavior expert, but there are resources out there and I hope you find them helpful.

I think that going to vet is a good idea. Find out if it is a medical issue first. The hair pulling sounds like it could be either an illness or a stress issue, especially if this is new. It seems like something might have changed and maybe she isn't handling this well. If there is an underlying cause which is addressable you might be able to restore peace and harmony at home. I also can't help but wonder if she is having some urinary incontinence (old age or complication of the FIV). We had some pets who were wonderful their whole lives, but towards the end they would go to the bathroom in unacceptable places. Unfortunately sometimes this is what happens as pets (and people) age. There were plenty of times that I was really tired of dealing with urine and diarrhea, but it is part of being a responsible owner. Those pets passed (old age/cancer), and I would give anything to have them back even on the bad days.

I heard that it is not uncommon for declawed cats to have issues with litter boxes. From what I understand sometimes the pieces of litter can get into or irritate the paw. So using the litterbox can be uncomfortable. This may not be the issue since she used the box for a long time, but it might be worth trying a different type of liter to see if that helps. I have co-worker who uses a wood based litter. I think it is cedar or pine. It might be worth trying to see if that helps.

I would encourage to you look for a cat behaviorist or some resources. Sometimes having a professional evaluate things really helps and they can make suggestions. You can ask your vet for suggestions. You might also consider contacting a cat rescues group. The people who run those are often REALLY knowledgeable and experienced at dealing with all kinds of issues. They might have some suggestions about what you can try. I did a quick Google search and there are a lot of resources on the internet. It might be worth scanning those. Here is a site that has some options from a variety of sources: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/litterboxhelp.html. I don't know anything about the site. It just came up on my search. Here is another from an SPCA : http://www.sspca.org/Cats/LitterboxProblems.html.

I hope you are able to find a way to address the problem or find her a new home.

Best of luck! Behavior problems take an amazing amount of time and patients, but I am sure you are up to the challenge.

PIPO said...

You are in a very difficult position and I'm sorry.

I would go with the advice of a vet you trust.

MKBookWorks said...

Kitty anti-anxiety meds... xanax for cats.. seriously! My sisters cat was dx and tx with kitty meds after displaying the same behaviors...