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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2535
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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We adopted two cats a week ago today. They are persian brother

Resolved Question:

We adopted two cats a week ago today. They are persian brother and sister. They have been in foster care for a few months before coming home to us. They are 10 years old.
We put them in one room to start with for a day or so and then allowed them to roam round the house. However, one if not both of them (we dont see them doing it) have starting pooing outside of the litter tray.
We put them back in their bedroom at night (which they seem happy with and dont try and leave) and they always poo in their litter in there but when we allow them to look round the house they have not used litter tray even when there is one close by.
We now have 5 litter trays (3 in their bedroom) and one per room they have pooed in (bathroom and living room) We are feeding them the same food as they ate at the foster carers home and we have purchased feliway 3 days ago which is plugged in their bedroom.
We thought they might be overwhelmed so we popped them back in their bedroom for a couple of days (with feliway plugged in) and they used their tray but the second we let them out the room again one pooed in the living room.
THey seem calm and not on edge, they come to us willingly for cuddles and they enjoy us stroking us. However they dont seem needy and look very relaxed in the new environment.
As well as trays (with 2 different litters to tray and they seem to like both) we have puppy pads lying about but they dont use these.
Weeing is not a problem at all and like I said they are happy to use the litter in their bedroom but as soon as they get to see the rest of the house one or not both of them are pooing outside the box.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your questions about Lily and Kirby.

Dr. Jo :

I'm sorry you're facing this difficult and frustrating situation, but glad you are looking for the information you need.

Dr. Jo :

Lily and Kirby are lucky to have found you, and I'm glad you're committed to providing for their needs in this foster situation.

Dr. Jo :

You're off to a good start by having several litterboxes and by using Feliway.

Dr. Jo :

These things all can help.

Dr. Jo :

I'd be hopeful that you will see a resolution to this problem if you simply give them more time restricted to just the bedroom when they are not being supervised. Please rest assured this is not cruel. It is actually a comfort to them to keep their environment small and controlled while they adapt.

Dr. Jo :

Then I'd suggest being more gradual with allowing access to the rest of the house. Take a full week where they only have access to the bedroom when unsupervised.

Dr. Jo :

Then add only ONE room at a time, taking a full week at each step.

Dr. Jo :

Go back a step if you find evidence of an accident.

Dr. Jo :

You may also want to experiment with different types of litter. They may have an aversion to something you are using.

Dr. Jo :

It would also be wise to make sure there are no medical problems behind all of this. Both cats are old enough to be candidates for hyperthyroidism, and that can contribute to stool accidents happening outside the litterbox.

Dr. Jo :

I see you are now online.

Dr. Jo :

I want to be as helpful as possible and am happy to keep discussing this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.

Dr. Jo :

To join the conversation, please type in whatever you want to say, then click REPLY.

Dr. Jo :

Again, I am really glad these two cats were lucky enough to land with you. It sounds as if you are doing your very best to be patient with them and provide them with everything they need.

Customer:

So we should do a week from today in the one room?

Dr. Jo :

I don't know if you're familiar with the Cornell Feline Health Center, but they have some helpful recommendations, too.

Dr. Jo :

Right.

Customer:

Thanks we love them very much, its good to hear its not cruel leaving them in one room

Dr. Jo :

I would back up and start over with a full week in just the one room.

Customer:

Great we will do that

Dr. Jo :

By all means, spend as much time in that room with them as you are able.

Dr. Jo :

And they can certainly be out in the rest of the house as long as you are supervising them closely enough to make sure accidents don't happen.

Customer:

yes we do go in all the time and they do seem very relaxed, which probably gave us the false sense of security with them

Dr. Jo :

We all know what it looks like when a cat is getting ready to have a BM. If you see that occurring outside the box, scoop up the cat and carry it to the closest box.

Customer:

great, so we can let them downstairs with us when we are downstairs with them?

Dr. Jo :

Yes.

Customer:

Great, yes it does seem to be when we arent there

Customer:

even if I am just in another room but we will make sure we are always with them

Dr. Jo :

You just have to be extra vigilant when they are out.

Dr. Jo :

Right.

Customer:

Great so for the next week they will be only in their bedroom or the living area when we are in it

Dr. Jo :

Correct.

Customer:

that would most likely be for an hour in the evening

Customer:

thats great

Dr. Jo :

And then use doors or whatever else is on hand to add on to their environment little by little.

Customer:

Lovely

Dr. Jo :

I'm so glad you're willing to be so patient with them. They sound like beautiful cats.

Customer:

They are, they are amazing and we love them so much already

Dr. Jo :

Here's a link to the Cornell website.

Dr. Jo :

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/health_resources/brochure_housesoiling.cfm

Customer:

thats great

Customer:

thank you

Dr. Jo :

That's wonderful to hear. The most important thing you can do at this early stage is spend as much time as possible in that bedroom with them, loving on them and showing them it's a secure and predictable environment.

Dr. Jo :

I *love* senior kitties.

Dr. Jo :

It's so wonderful you're giving them such a good home.

Dr. Jo :

Please do keep up the Feliway. I'm a big supporter of it.

Customer:

Thank you and we will do, we adopted our last cat at aged 15

Dr. Jo :

Also, those of us who know cats (like you seem to), know that they prioritize appearing calm and cool, even when they're stressed.

Dr. Jo :

So your efforts and helping them adapt smoothly will be greatly appreciated by them, even though they look calm and not on edge at this time. They still need the time to gradually adapat.

Dr. Jo :

*adapt.

Customer:

thank you

Dr. Jo :

Good for you! How long were able to have the 15-year-old.

Dr. Jo :

?

Customer:

I noticed since using feliway they spend time sitting together rather than apart

Customer:

18 months, she died 3 weeks ago

Dr. Jo :

Oh, I'm so sorry!

Customer:

we were going to wait but these 2 needed a home and we had one

Dr. Jo :

That had to be a heartbreaking loss.

Dr. Jo :

I hope these two will help you find peace in your grief.

Dr. Jo :

What a wonderful tribute and act of service in the honor of your recently deceased cat.

Dr. Jo :

What was her name?

Customer:

It was hard, she went downhill very fast and died the day before we were due to have her put to sleep, but she died in our arms

Customer:

Her name was Twinky

Dr. Jo :

Oh, my goodness. What a loss. I'm still so very glad you were able to share that time with Twinky.

Customer:

We were too, she was very angry and had been abused so giving her 18 months of a relaxed home with constant treats was lovely

Dr. Jo :

You were her angels.

Customer:

We were and now she is ours, she can look down on us as we look after our new babies

Dr. Jo :

Yes. :-)

Dr. Jo :

Do you have any information as to how these two ended up needed a new home?

Customer:

I think the owner got bored, she had them from birth and then just gave them up saying she didnt have time for them

Dr. Jo :

Oh, my. That's tragic.

Customer:

they were in foster care for 5 months but its hard to get people to take on older cats, especially 2 of them

Dr. Jo :

I don't see how people can feel that way about these beautiful animals.

Dr. Jo :

I'm sure karma will smile upon you for opening your home to them.

Customer:

I know, to have them from babies too! They make us happy too so we get that in return x

Dr. Jo :

This will be a wonderful period of time as you all get to know each other.

Customer:

Thank you and thank you for your excellent help

Dr. Jo :

Investigating thyroid disease is simple, by the way. Just a quick and easy blood test.

Dr. Jo :

You're welcome. It's my pleasure.

Customer:

great, we will take them for a check up soon anyway so we will ask them to do that

Dr. Jo :

It's satisfying for me to know there are people like you out there who are making a difference.

Customer:

Thanks

Dr. Jo :

Good. A thyroid test is usually part of a typical "senior profile" of blood tests for a cat.

Dr. Jo :

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Dr. Jo :

Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.

You may return to this page at any time to review the information and/or post more at no additional charge to you. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.

If you are satisfied with the information I've provided so far, I'll kindly ask you to rate my response on your way out of the chat, as this is the only way I am compensated for my time and effort.

If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.

Thank you for using our website.

Customer:

No that is it, I will let you know how we get on

Customer:

Thanks

Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2535
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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