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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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We took in a 8 week old female feral kitten about 2 and a half

Customer Question

We took in a 8 week old female feral kitten about 2 and a half years ago. We already had an older female cat of about 11 years of age but after the initial `getting to know one another`period they got along fine. Mitzi, the younger one, was always snuggling up to Molly and following her around and occasionally trying to play with her. Unfortunately Molly had a heart problem and although on medication she used to get very out of breath and so did not really involve herself in any play with Mitzi although she still used to clean each other and sleep together. Molly passed away about 3 weeks ago and although outwardly Mitzi seems the same she has gone from urinating on the pedal bin next to the litter tray once every couple of months to every morning when I get up for work. We have 2 covered litter trays and apart from the usual stools all of her urination seems to take place in the same place. We have used feliway, plug-ins and spray, almost constantly since she was a young kitten but this does not seem to work anymore. We have tried taking the covers off the litter trays, cleaning the bin and the surrounding area with just a little soap and water and playing with her a lot more but to no avail. We also let her outside whenever we are home but she has never gone further than the garden. We have an average sized kitchen area that she sleeps in when I am at work or in bed but apart from that she can go were she pleases. Is she just stressed with Molly not being there or could their be an underlying problem that I am missing? Any help would be very appreciated! Richard...
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi Richard, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. First of all I am so sorry for your loss of Molly. I'm sure in a way Mitzi has also felt the stress of her loss. You are doing all of the right things for Mitzi. . .playing with her and giving her lots of love. . .but the stress of Molly's loss may have started a FLUTD in Mitzi. These letters stand for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, and one of the main causes of this seems to be stress.

Dr. Barbara :

Also, being in the states, I'm not familiar with the term "pedal bin"? If you mean a garbage can, then if you can, I would recommend removing it and cleaning the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleanser so that you are also eliminating any odor that Mitzi can detect.

Dr. Barbara :

I also recommend that you have her checked for FLUTD to make sure she doesn't have a medical problem. I really appreciate the fact that you have altered the litter trays for her, but if she was used to a covered litter tray with a certain kind of litter, then I would stick to that. The fact that she does defecate normally in the litter trays that are available, means that her problem is not litter aversion.

Dr. Barbara :

I'd have her checked out medically, and if all is well, then your vet may recommend using an oral anti-depressant temporarily to help Mitzi through her grieving.

Dr. Barbara :

Ultimately, to "retrain" Mitzi to using the litter for urination, you may need to confine her to a bathroom (or other small room) without and "pedal bins" but with her litter (s). . .you could put both a covered and uncovered litter to see what she would prefer.

Dr. Barbara :

I hope you find these suggestions helpful. If you have any further questions or concerns just let me know.

Dr. Barbara :

Dr. Barbara

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