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UPDATE post #36 - Help please. Which is more humane? (stray cat) - Page 2

post #21 of 59

You could try putting dirt in the litter pan, or use it on the toilet to try to toilet train him. Just google how to toilet train a cat.

 

We brought in a male formerly-outdoor-only cat after he was shot by less than savory people. He's fine now and while a few times a year he does enjoy a foray alone, mostly he sticks to my back yard when we take all 4 cats outside, but often jumps the fence and sits in the neighbor's yard. I wish he still stayed in our yard like he did for years when we had our outings. He sets a bad example for the girl cats!

 

He does love it indoors though. We have a kitty condo and two cat trees with plenty of window space.

post #22 of 59

A few thoughts:

 

For traveling and adjustment in his new home I **highly** recommend Feliway spray and/or diffusers.  It's a pheromone and does wonders for stressed cats. :)

 

For your screendoor - check into pet screening.  We replaced regular screening on a screen door with pet screening (more durable, but still polyproplene) to keep our cat in my husband's home office and it's been wonderful at resisting scratching.

 

For the box, I would consider 2 things: 1. Confining him to one room until he gets the hang of the box to minimize him finding inappropriate places to do his business and 2. use the finest texture of litter you can find (usually clay clumping) so that it's very close to the "paw feel" of his current substrate (dirt).

post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

And YES!   A screen door is a great idea!  Of course, I'll build a frame to size when I get home, & I can install it in the bedroom doorway and use the wild animal safe screening, steel or whatever.  THANK YOU!


If you don't want to bother with this, I've had very good success with a Carlson extra-tall (38 inch) dog gate when I need to confine a cat. The one I'm borrowing has both a securable cat door at the bottom and a latch at the top so that you can swing it open rather than having to step over. Works a treat.

 

And kudos for caring.

post #24 of 59
Thread Starter 

Otto, great idea!  Here's one I just found that is pressure fitted into the doorway, I'm renting so I was worried about putting any holes in the door frame, so this one I'm linking may work.  Thanks for all of the ideas everyone, very helpful.  Maybe it shouldn't be, but this is a big commitment for me, there is a lot of adjustment going on in my mind, and also in my apartment, for my dog, budget, etc by taking in a cat.

 

http://www.dogkennels.com/dog-doors-&-gates/dog-gates/extratallswingclosesecuritygate.cfm#ReviewHeader

post #25 of 59

Is the cat a jumper?  I know some people have success with a babygate, but most of the cats I've met would look at that and laugh, then jump up and sit on top of it.

post #26 of 59
Thread Starter 

Yeah, that's my only hesitation with a gate... I'm not sure how high it can jump but it doesn't seem to be a very vertically interested cat.  It jumps up to sit in a window sill here that is around 30" from the floor.  Hasn't jumped on countertops or anything except the sill.  The gate I found is 42" and I could raise it with 2"x4"s or cinder blocks or something flush with the cat-side of the gate, if it jumps.  There will be probably trial and error stuff to deal with as I've never had a pet cat that was forced to stay indoors (except for leash walks).  He still won't use the box I got him and he was inside for almost 18hrs and held his pee.  I don't want to make him sick, so I put the harness on him and walked outside with him for him to pee.  He did, then wanted back inside.  I'll keep trying new ways to entice him to use the box, maybe he hates them as much as I do!  

 

* I'm looking forward to knowing it's gender so that I can stop referring to him/her as "it"!

post #27 of 59

I would so kill for a cat I could housetrain like my dogs - if he potties on lead already I'd run with it!

post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

Otto, great idea!  Here's one I just found that is pressure fitted into the doorway, I'm renting so I was worried about putting any holes in the door frame, so this one I'm linking may work.


Yah, that's basically the same as the one I've got (also a pressure fit), but four inches taller and without the cat door at the bottom, which could be helpful if you're still trying to get the cat and dog to mingle--the cat can come and go from the room, but most dogs won't fit through. As for jumping up and over, I think the depth of the top rail is a consideration. My 10 year old can still do 35 inches from the floor to the counter pretty easily, but the motion is to land the front paws on the surface and then bring or pull the hindquarters up and plant the back feet. The gate I've got only has a 5/8-inch rail, and the vertical pickets don't offer any assistance, so it would be a really precarious maneuver; there's not enough room to stick the landing, as it were. With that 42-incher, I don't think you'd have any worries so long as it doesn't offer that intermediate perch.

post #29 of 59
Thread Starter 

I think if he can keep using the bathroom outside on walks, and having the box for when I'm not home to go walk with him, it could be great!  I tried pine, wheat, corn and clumping clay so far and altho he stayed for 2 seconds and sniffed the clay one, he typically jumps right out of the box when I put him into it.  I haven't tried putting some of his mess in the box, ugh, maybe later, if he starts messing in the house.  I don't know, he's fine with a harness and after watching videos on how to train your cat to wear a harness, I'm considering this a lucky situation that this guy is already fine with it.  I think I will just start trying to get him into a morning/night bathroom leash walk outside and maybe he'll just not think to do anything differently.  Feels like I'm torturing the poor cat having him hold his pee for so long, he's so relaxed that he does it, but its probably not comfortable.

 

I have another question.  His carrier should be here tomorrow.  His vet appt is Saturday.  If I take him to the vet in that carrier, is he going to be scared the whole flight trip, thinking he's on his way to the vet's office, when he's in that same carrier?  Should I put him on his leash & harness inside a pillow case or something other than his carrier for his upcoming trip to the vet?  It would be better to have him associating only positivity with his carrier, right?  My plan was to put some catnip in the carrier and leave it open for him to climb in, play in and sleep in before the flight, so it'd be a space of comfort to him.  Thoughts?  Another option besides a pillowcase is my neighbor's hardshell carrier, it's still a carrier but has a different smell and feel then his soft sided new one.

post #30 of 59

I've been following this thread.  I'm so amazed by your dedication to this cat.  I'm not a cat person either, but he really does sound like an incredible personality.  Eagerly awaiting your next update!!

post #31 of 59
Thread Starter 

Hi!  Thanks for your interest, it is kind of funny to me.  This whole thing has taken me by surprise, I've been living in my other city for over a year and as an adult, have never wanted a cat as a pet... so, I just wasn't expecting anything like this.  I cancelled his Saturday vet appt b'c I ended up having to be here for an inspection for the house, and I've decided to go with a vet who does house calls come to my house this week and check for parasites and see about vax's.  I prefer no vax, but he's going to live with my dog, so I want to be safe.  Next year after he's an indoor guy, I'll read more about skipping vax or minimal vax and go from there.  I do feel a dedication to this cat and he looks much better after just a few weeks of care and getting to sleep indoors and not having to be on high alert sleeping outside.  I'll read about how to post photos from my iPhone b'c he really is cute, sleeps in the craziest positions.

 

So far, he still hasn't used his litter box, despite me putting him in it every time he asks to go out to use the bathroom.  Right now, I'm going with his lead as far as letting him be on the harness and walking by him in the yard until he goes pee or poo.  I have tried attaching the leash but most times, I put the harness without the leash and walk next to him, to get him completely used to it.  The closing date has been pushed up a little, so we still have about a month here.  I think at this point, I'm letting go of the idea of finding another home for him, he seems to really like being with me.  And I enjoy being around him too!  I've woken up a few times this past week to find him sleeping next to me.  His carrier came and he's been napping in it a few times and the relaxing herbs arrived but I haven't tried them out on him yet.  I received the relaxing phermone collar as well, but haven't opened it.  I've been researching gates and ways to keep him confined to one room in my city apartment.  I have a few moving boxes stacked near a window here and he loves to lay up there and watch stuff outside.  He's up there most of his time.  Even when I open the front door and ask him if he wants to go out, he just stays on his window seat wagging his tail and looking at me, pretty funny.  I burnt popcorn the other day and he came running into the kitchen meowing very loudly, he's like a little alarm system, lol, he also has to go check out any noises that happen around the house, also pretty funny.  He really sort of dog-like in personality.  Or maybe cats are just like that, my cats that I had in my childhood didn't act like this one much at all.

 

That's what's been going on for this little guy so far, I'll keep updating as we go and I'm most nervous about how he'll do traveling and adjusting to a city apartment.  Hopefully it will all just fall into place like it has so far!  I'm still very appreciative of ideas and suggestions if anyone has anything else to share with me.  :)   Thanks to everyone who shared ideas already.

post #32 of 59

If you can take him I would totally encourgae you to! I'm totally a dog person to! I have 5, but I also have 2 cats that I didn't really want either. One was from a litter of feral kittens that a lady found in a barn and no shelter would take them. So I did and taught them all to trust people, then kept one! He is now an indoor only cat and gets totaly freaked out when he's outside!! 

 

Also my first cat (that passed away) was a leash walker! Your cat sounds like he just might be laid back enough to do it. I had a HUGE long haired black cat that I walked around my neighborhood on a leash... let me tell you its nothing like a dog (cats don't just walk straight down the side walk) lol! But if they are up for it its fun!! 

post #33 of 59
Thread Starter 

So, the cat has decided that slipping free from the harness is a neat trick.  I finally attached the leash and that seems to freak him out, so he backs up and slips out of the harness.  I had been using a small dog harness b'c people on a cat site recommended that.  It kind of fit him in a strange way, so maybe thats why he can slip out of it.  I ordered and just received the cat Walking Jacket and also got a cat's Gentle Leader Follow Me Kitty or something cat harness with a lightweight bungee style leash.  I feel ridiculous, but I am pretty afraid that if the cat escapes, either my apartment or his leash while walking outside, it could be really dangerous for him in my other city.  And, to leave him here seems terrible as well.  Still conflicted.  He digs his carrier, naps in it sometimes.

 

He's peed in the catbox during the night twice so far, so that's progress!  Never a mess outside of his box in the house.  He always goes to the door and meows to go pee or poo, then comes back within 20 mins or so.

 

I used Frontline + on him on March 7th, but I still notice a random flea, I've not been able to pick them out, his fur is too thick.  Its also too thick and soft for the flea comb to get to the fles, then the flea disappears into his undercoat.  Any ideas on what else I can use?  I have some cedar and some peppermint oils here and have read about people using them (diluted) to treat fleas.  The cat seems to hate the scent tho, anyone have experience with this?  Or other ideas?

 

Oh, one other thing... I had to cancel his last vet appt b'c of an unexpected meeting, I have a mobile vet coming to check him out this Friday morning.  I'm still unsure of it's gender!  I'll post again after the vet appt.

post #34 of 59

You can google gender online and sex the cat pretty easily if it is an adult. I don't think it is THAT difficult, unless you are dealing with a young kitten. There IS a difference, just google it until you feel you can tell the pics apart and then take a look under the hood of your cat friend.

 

As far as the fur--use a Furminator brush. It WILL get out the excess fur and fleas. It is expensive, about 20 or 30 dollars, and worth EVERY penny.

 

As far as the leash just keep trying. It takes time. I leash trained my cats and it took over a month and one of them refused to walk normally. She walks swayback as though a small person is sitting on her back! It is her form of protest against the leash.

 

post #35 of 59
Thread Starter 

Thanks heartmama, yeah, I can't really see any sort of genetalia at all, he/she has a really thick undercoat but sleeps on his back and there is nothing visible but tons of fur.  My guess was a neutered male or a female.  The reason I was thinking male is that my neighbor who has a bazillion cats said he is 99% sure its a neutered male... but, I don't remember what my male cats looked like from childhood.  I know with my male and female dogs, the difference is very obvious.  Hopefully if its female, the vet can tell me if she's been spayed already.  My guess would be that she is, considering that it was living outdoors for about a year and doesn't seem pregnant.

 

The furminator looks great and several people on cat sites recommended that too.  It is very pricey but with all of this fur, I'm masking taping everything a few times per day, along with regular brushing and there are still little hair balls floating across the floor daily!  Crazy amount of hair on the guy/girl.

 

Well, thx again for the help.  I'll update on Friday.

 

Oh, another question.  I was reading that its not a good idea to feed all dry food b'c it makes the cat dehydrated and need more water but can eventually lead to kidney issues.  And that feeding too much wet food can lead to dental issues and also weight issues.  SO, I bought some hormone free chicken thighs in an attempt to add some to the dry that I've been feeding it.  But he doesn't like it.  I tried drizzling it with tuna juice b'c I'd read that giving tuna meat is also not good and can lead to other health problems but that chicken thigh meat is good for cats and you can use tuna juice to help them eat the chicken meat.  I tried raw and then cooked, he doesn't like it.  What can I do to get him to eat some chicken meat along with it's dry food?  Ideas?  I would love to go all raw diet but I don't think that would fly with this cat, not yet anyway.

 

The sore on it's face finally healed!  And the sore on his paw was gone within the first week of him being indoors here.  No new injuries or sore spots so thats great!  And his fur looks better, but that could be just from having food and water available and being brushed daily.  He's a neat cat.

 

I'll upload some photos later today.

 

post #36 of 59
Thread Starter 

It's a male cat!  Already neutered.  Around 2 years old, vet looked at his teeth.  14.8 pounds!!  (going on a little diet)  No feline AIDS, no parasites, no heart worms, no feline Leukemia.  He got a few vax's that the airline needs him to have in order to fly in-cabin with me.  He's still not wanting to use the catbox, always goes and site by the front door to go do his business, then wants right back in, runs playfully to the fron door to go back in, it's funny.  Still digging his carrier, takes naps in it occasionally.  He's not crazy about the Walking Jacket for cats, but doesn't mind the Gentle Lead Follow Me Kitty harness... still a little freaked out by the leash "following him" lol.

 

I'm going to see how he does with my dog who is already living in my other city, and see how he handles living with me in my apartment.  And if it doesn't seem good then I'll foster him until I can find a very good forever home for him.  At this point, he's so chill and it seems like he and the dog will be buds.  I feel like he'll probably stay with me for the rest of his life.

 

Thank you all for all of your help, suggestions and ideas!  I'll post again in a month or so and tell you how he handled the flight and how he's doing in his new city.

post #37 of 59
Thread Starter 


I never commented on your post, but thank you!  Very encouraging to read.  Your cats sound beautiful.  This cat is pretty large too.  He is doing well with trust but I can tell he's been scared before in his life.  He did great during the vet visit, didn't try to claw anyone or bite or run away, didn't even meow during the blood draw or fecal test!  He meowed once while we were waiting to finish the paperwork, lol.  I was pretty impressed, he seemed to know they were trying to help him, or something.  Cats.  Who knew?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8boarder15 View Post

If you can take him I would totally encourgae you to! I'm totally a dog person to! I have 5, but I also have 2 cats that I didn't really want either. One was from a litter of feral kittens that a lady found in a barn and no shelter would take them. So I did and taught them all to trust people, then kept one! He is now an indoor only cat and gets totaly freaked out when he's outside!! 

 

Also my first cat (that passed away) was a leash walker! Your cat sounds like he just might be laid back enough to do it. I had a HUGE long haired black cat that I walked around my neighborhood on a leash... let me tell you its nothing like a dog (cats don't just walk straight down the side walk) lol! But if they are up for it its fun!! 



 

post #38 of 59

What a fabulous update!  i'm so excited for you and your new cat.  Does he have a name yet?  Also, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is still waiting for pictures. ;)

post #39 of 59
Thread Starter 

*edited out photos for privacy... figured they've been up long enough  :)

 

Most of the photos I've snapped of him were with my phone, and I had some problems with sending them to my email, had to go back and reset some stuff... sorry the pictures were teasing you!  Here are a few, adorable isn't he?  He likes to lay on his back on the couch and watch the squirrels and birds up in the canopy of trees above our front yard.  Its pretty funny, he'll lay like that for a long time, with only his eyes following the animals and his tail wagging, so funny.  As you can see, he probably was a total indoor cat with his previous owner.

 

I had logged in here to say that he's been kind of weird today, hasn't moved at all from his bed and pooped for the first time ever in his box last night.  Could it be a reaction from the vax's??  His bed is a couple of moving boxes stacked by the window and he's been alert and watching the animals and everything but he just hasn't moved from there in about 5 hours, since I got up.  Hasn't gone for food or water.  Is he fine?


Edited by number572 - 4/18/11 at 9:45am
post #40 of 59

When I've had my cats vaxed, they are pretty sluggish for a couple of days. Keep an eye on him. They are stealthy drinkers--it's easy to miss mine at the water bowl!

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