Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Cat Pooey Crisis of 2012

OK internet family.

I come to you tonight, hat in hand and humbled to present to you my tale of cat parenting woe hoping someone will be able to help me figure out what to do with this despicable cat habit Vinny has decided to pick up.

First, a bit of history.

When Vinny first came to us, an older (3-ish years old) rescue, he was a very sick little punkin'. He'd had his nip/tuck done just before we brought him home and he also had kennel cough. We, of course, were helicopter parents from the get go, hovering over him, trying to make him not be sick and to stop drooling massive amounts of cat saliva over everything...namely me.

After a couple of days, he'd yet to go poo - possibly a side effect of the anesthesia - and his drooling was out of control, so, because we are THOSE people, we bundled him up and rushed him off to the doctor to make sure he wasn't dying. While he was there, a vet tech stuck her finger up his bum (just like Uma Thurman did to that poor turtle in The Truth About Cats and Dogs) and palpated his bowel.

When we got him home, I placed the cat carrier carefully on my bed, opened the door, and watched as he came barreling out and immediately did a dook...right on my comforter. That was four years ago.

Until recently though, his bowel behavior, aside from that episode and a couple of other extreme circumstances, has been exemplary.

But then? Defcon happened. While I was at Defcon in Las Vegas a few months ago, Vinny got anxious and upset. I was out of town for several days and one night Lex was out until a gawd awful hour of the night. The next day, the two of them were playing and Vinny got so worked up, he raced toward my bedroom and, before Lex could stop him, did some unsavory business right where I would lay if I were home.

Since then, he's done it a half dozen times...all while I'm home after an absence of just a few hours and especially when Lex has been gone at the same time too. It's always Cat Pooey. Never pee...which is a small miracle I suppose. But he always ALWAYS does it when I'm in the room and not during my absence for me to find later...like when I'm crawling into bed. Again with the small miracles.

It's clear he's upset with me. It's clear he's expressing some kind of anxiety or displeasure at being left alone. But he's never displayed this kind of behavior in the past when I've been absent for several days. I've taken a number of trips that have extended far beyond a few hours or 5 days as the case was with Defcon and he's always been just fine...perhaps a little needy upon return but otherwise great!


A) Why now?

and, more importantly,

B) How can I get him to STAHP?!

I know the usual tricks...laying pieces of aluminum foil over the area I don't want him to go (cats abhor aluminum foil) or spraying it down with some kind of olfactory putrification he can't stand but I can't smell. 

But here's the ultimate problem...my bed is his sanctuary. He LOVES my bed. He especially loves my bed when I am in it and it's snuggle time which is every single night just after lights out. I don't want to ban him from his most favorite spot in the entire Grotto. I don't want to deny him his special love time (it's not like that so get your minds out of the creepy gutter) either.

I just want him to stop pooping in the place I sleep!

So...here I am. Admitting I have somehow failed as a fur parent and am in desperate need of advice. How can I get my cat to understand I will be back to love on him ASAP so he really ought to stop pooping where his love lies?







The perp returns to the scene of the crime.
A desperate mother


Anonymous said...

Amyjeen here - it may be that he is having some type of litter box /pain relation issue and is trying to show you something is up.
My Lucy cat never went outside of the litter box until one day she came right up to me and pee's right on the floor while looking at me. Turns out, she had a UTI.
maybe learned behavior? try squirting him when he poo's anywhere outside the box.
Or, your cat has turned into an asshole.

Just Jane said...

Oh! Good thinking, Amyjeen! I'll try the spray bottle. He is a HATER of the water-like substance.

Gaelyn said...

Spray bottle always worked with my cats to change behavior. Good luck with this pooy problem.

Foolishboy said...

Yeah, what Amyjeen said. Feline behaviorist will tell you that cats don't actually engage in inappropriate litter pan behavior for emotional reasons. I say there's always an exception for every rule, but it does seem to hold true.

Try changing the litter, since it's the easiest answer. Cat's sometimes end up with issues that make them sensitive to the feel of certain kinds of litter, then if that doesn't help, you might want to get him to a vet for a check up.

Avoid clay. True is, almost all cats would prefer something other than hard pokey-clay.

Graciewilde said...

I wish I had some ideas for you. George and LuLu (resident kitties) mostly seem to behave in that respect. Now the dogs? No pooping issues but the older one has to be watched carefully for bladder issues. Ugh.

Asphodel said...

Spray bottle has been replaced by canned air in my house. They hate that noise.

Frances D said...

I absolutely love Vinny - that photo of him peering over the computer screen is among my favorite photos. My daughter adopted an oldish 6 plus years bulldog Chelsea, and whenever they went to the vet she immediately began pooping and peeing everywhere. I think Chelsea went to the vet right after her original owner was hospitalized, or she had a traumatic/painful event at a vet. Vinny may fear any "disappearances" might be permanent. Give him a big hug for me.

Unknown said...

Add a little apple cider vinegar to that spray bottle. Not too much, just enough to make the message that much stronger.
Change your litter brand and possibly relocate your litter box.
Lastly, get some kitty happy pheromones. You can get them at the vet and they go in a plug-in air freshener of a kind. They calm him down. I had to use them on Chiron when I brought Darla home. Eventually he stopped peeing on her.

NGS said...

No idea how to help (do you know how to make my kitty stop biting me?!), but Vinny is SOOOO handsome.