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What to do about a bad kitty?

  1. #1

    Unhappy What to do about a bad kitty?

    Hello! I came here because I have nowhere left to turn. My kitty, Happy, was born November 7th, 2017. I adopted her when she was just over 12 weeks old. She was a wild stray, who was pretty ill and later discovered she had chlamydia.



    I didn't mind, because she was super friendly and I instantly fell in love with her. But, despite how much I loved her she's always been... well, kind of dumb. I thought this may have been due to her illness as a baby. I mean, she constantly fell over from bad balance, meowed persistently, and clawed at everything.

    She even pees on the carpet. I'm always been against declawing cats, but she's tested my patience to the point where I've actually considered it. Her energy is otherworldly. While she has calmed down a TINY bit in comparison, her dumb and bad behaviors have only gotten worst.

    She scratches and kneads everything. Including the couch, door frame, the door when she wants in, TV stand, and the TV screen itself. I've gotten her more toys/scratching posts, including a ginormous cat tower, and my new apartment even has fun window sills that she enjoys lounging on.

    Another fun thing... she refuses to drink from her own water bowl. She wants to drink from everyone's cups besides her own. I have gone through many different water bowls with no results. I'm not sure why she pees on the carpet.

    I keep her litter very clean. I use Pretty Litter. I've tried other litters but it's the same result, so I've gone back to Pretty Litter, since she is more prone to illness because of her chlamydia and Pretty Litter detects some illnesses. I've tried positive reinforcement, ignoring her when she's bad, using loud noises, isolating her in a room when she's bad, etc etc. Nearly everything I've read online I've tried.

    I'm just so frustrated after tonight where she literally peed on the carpet a foot away from me. I just don't think she can learn. When she's not acting out she's so lovey and silly and the most personable cat I've ever had. I love her so much and she's named after my Great Grandmother, who passed away shortly before I adopted her. But she has caused me more stress than I can deal with at this time, as I have college to finish and get drained with having to deal with her.

    I don't want to put her up for adoption, as I'm sure her bad behaviors won't get her adopted and she'll end up being put down. Another thing is she gets these episodes where she's enraged for seemingly no reason. She turns "jackal-y" and then attacks someone pretty ruthlessly. Please help if you can! I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep my baby.

  2. #2
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    First of all has she been checked for a UTI? that will make them pee outside the litter box. If she has no infection then its time for some behavior modification. Don't declaw her, that can cause more problems than it solves. You can get "soft paws" and put it on her nails. These are like a soft plastic that goes over the nails. Get a water fountain for her to drink out of, lots of cats, mine included, will only drink running water, they drink as the water comes down the filter before going into the bowl, they never drink out of the bowl. They will all have their spells where they have what I call the "zoomies" where they run around and attack shadows. If she bites you tap her on the nose and say "no bite" she'll get the message.

    Is she spayed? Spaying will calm her down, and whether you know it or not females can spray. Plus if she isn't spayed by now she could come into heat at any time and will come into heat every two weeks until she is bred, so if she isn't already have that done asap.

    I had an apt to have my bengal kitten spayed at five months and she came into heat the week before, so especially if you have a male cat, neutered or not, it will make her come into heat earlier. I have two bengals and a siamese mix rescue, nothing is more active than a bengal.

    Make sure you are feeding a high quality grain free food, I feed Halo dry and natural balance packets wet. If she doesn't drink a lot you should be feeding wet food, dry food will cause crystals and that could mean surgery. You can feed strictly wet food if you want, I feed wet but have a bowl of dry out for them at ll times.

    My cats hated the litter you are using, I use fresh step and have no issues. She may not like the litter. You can also put some real dirt on top of the litter, that may entice her to use the box.

    Hope things work out for you. It would be a shame to get rid of her for problems that are solvable.

    You can also get double sided tape, put that on things you don't want her to scratch, she will not like the feel of the sticky tape on her feet and she will leave it alone
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Welcome to the forum, HK. Thank you for posting.

    I am confident you will not need to get Happy declawed or put up for adoptoin. Bioth "solutions" are selfish and can make other behavior problems worse.

    From your descriptions, I am guessing you never talked to the vet about her peeing on the carpet before messing around with different types of litter. A vet would manually get a urine sample from her bladder for a urinalysi. Has this ever been done and if so, what were the results?

    Scratching: Just buying a post will not teach a cat to use it. You have to put her front paws on it. Move her front legs the way cats do when they scratch. Have you ever received something and not known how to use it without a demostration?
    An inside cat is a safe cat.

  4. #4
    I don't think the judgmental assumptions are really necessary or helpful so I'm just going to ignore them. I take great care of my cat.

    Sorry, I wasn't very clear in my post. Of course I would never declaw my poor baby. I just meant that in moments of frustration it crossed my mind. I have tried soft paws but they always seem to fall off the same day I'm putting them on. Maybe I'm not doing it right and could ask my vet to help me out.

    I have talked to a vet about her peeing issue and have had a UTI check every time I've taken her to get her shots. She's never had one. Plus her Pretty Litter is supposed to change color if she has one and it never has. So I highly doubt that's the issue.

    I haven't thought of using a fountain bowl simply because she seems to only like to drink from me and her dad's cups. Without fail. She'll even drink from her water bowl if we pour some of the water from our cups into her bowl lol. But it's a temporary fix because she tends to go back to our cups pretty shortly after. But I'm willing to give it a try!

    I have tapped her on the nose/told her no when she bites and set her elsewhere/stopped playing with her so she knows I'm done playing. Again, it doesn't seem to work. I have thought about a spray bottle, but I feel weird about spray bottles and don't want her to grow to resent me. I don't know if either of you have an opinion on that method? Generally online it seems people disagree with that.

    She is spayed. I adopted her from a branch of the Humane Society and they spay/neuter all pets.

    I feed her Under the Sun food, which is grain free. I feed her in the morning and at night. At night I mix in the Applaws cat pouches in broth with the remainder of her morning food (usually about a fourth left) and she goes nuts over that. She really loves that Applaws stuff. And it has 3-4 ingredients max, which I really love.

    Yeah I thought she might hate the litter, which is why I switched to a few different things but her peeing didn't change so I wanted to stick with Pretty Litter to be able to monitor her health better. I will definitely try putting real dirt on top though! I should have mentioned, prior to my moving into this new apartment, she never peed on the carpet. I've lived here about six months. I thought it may have been a moving adjustment, but I feel it may be the thick carpet that entices her? Because I brought her to visit my parents for a month with her and she never peed on their carpets, which were really thin like my old place.

    I also really appreciate the double-sided tape recommendation! I will definitely try it out.

    I have done demonstrations on her scratching posts with her. I still do every time she's scratching what she's not supposed to. But, she still scratches at the couch (especially) and doors when she wants in. I used to let her into our room while we slept but she would be so hyperactive all night that I couldn't get enough sleep to concentrate in my classes.

    I appreciate the help. Trust me, I don't want to give her up for adoption. I love her a lot and she's the most unique kitty I've ever met. I'll do whatever it takes to keep her and ensure my sanity as well.

  5. #5
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    just a thought here, sounds like its stress that makes her loopy, Many years ago when I had my first bengal he was so bonded to me that when I left him alone he'd pull his hair out, I took him to the vet to make sure there was no bugs or as to why he pulled his hair out, my vet said stress and to get him a kitten. I got a kitten for him and that was the end of the problem. So maybe getting her a friend might be the answer to your problem. They do like their own kind to play with and with you gone to school all day she may be lonely. Just something to think about. if you do decide to get her a kitten friend I'll tell you how to introduce them so there will be no issues between them and I suggest you get a male if you get one.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  6. #6
    This is a thought I've had as well. She actually first grew up with two dogs for the first few months I had her and she loved them. And definitely expended a lot more of her energy, so was a lot more calm and less destructive. So my partner and I were going to get a puppy, as she definitely likes them and didn't have any issues adjusting to them. Plus we've been wanting a puppy for awhile. Literally was cuddling with them the first day she met them. They were pups from my friends who were over nearly daily. Unfortunately my new place doesn't allow visiting animals, but I do take her to see them sometimes. She doesn't mind cars so much or being in a different place and she has a great time. She sort of acts like a pup sometimes. Hopefully a friend will help her relax more. I've also read about CBD treats for cat being helpful so I may try that now that it's legal everywhere.

  7. #7
    18880135_10209429929605351_4076070836487650762_o.jpg

    Here's lil Happy. She's a smaller cat, as she was the runt of her litter.

  8. #8
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    Hello and welcome. Your cat has some common behavioral problems that can be corrected and dealt with, and as already mentioned she may have some medical issues also. I don't think it's fair that you call her 'dumb', please rethink that way of referring to her, it's very negative for sure.

    If she was constantly falling over from bad balance and meowing persistently she may have had an inner ear imbalance or infection, or another similar condition. The persistent meowing might have been because she was experiencing pain, or discomfort. Is she still falling over and meowing a lot now? Had you ever mentioned that to the vet?

    I don't know about that cat litter at all, like Linda I've used Fresh Step for years and my cat is reliable in his box, never had urine problems with him.

    The tape that Linda mentioned is Sticky Paws brand, although there may be other brands out there, you should definitely try it if scratching is a problem. Declawing is very severe and abusive to cats, and should not even be considered IMO. If you've ever seen videos or articles about the surgery, you'll know what I mean, and the after effects can be very painful and devastating to the cat, changing their behavior and confidence.

    I have a tiny nail clipper and cut the tips of my cat's claws on my own every couple of weeks, but if you introduce the cat to the scratchers she should be using, and make it fun for her, she will start using them regularly. Throw a cover over your couch or chairs to limit any damage from scratching.

    I disagree with using loud noised to discipline her and locking her in a room. All you are doing is stressing her out and making the behavior worse. She need to be relaxed at home and not fearful and scared at all. The urination on the carpet might be a urinary tract infection or some other urinary issues, you have to make sure it's not medical because it does sound like it. Also, where is her litter box located? It should be in a place that is easy to get to and out of the noisy traffic areas of the house, so she can feel completely relaxed while using it. Does she ever have a bowel movement on the carpet, or is it only urine?

    You should take time every day and actively play with her so she can release some energy, a half hour to play with a wand feather type toy that you hang and tease her with so she can interact with it and chase it. When she actually starts panting, then you can put the toy away in a closet for the next play session. Does anyone else live with you that can play with her, is she friendly with other people?

    A couple of times a day my cat will get a little wild, when he does it I say he's wilding. He sucks his ears back, looks all around and darts around the house with big eyes. This is normal and usually only lasts around 5 minutes in early morning and late evening. If that's what she's doing, she's not 'enraged'....when you use labels like this it also affects the way you think about her, and that really needs to end.

    When she soils the carpet, just clean the spot well, when completely dry throw some baking soda on it and brush it into the fibers, then vacuum thoroughly. You can then spray it with a citrus scent like lemon juice and water, cats generally don't care for citrus. Please don't give up on her, with a little effort and work and your part you will see a positive change in her behavior. Stay calm with her, always be loving and positive, never yell, hit or punish.

    PS: Just saw your last post and photo, beautiful girl there!

  9. #9
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    you can also entice her to the scratching post by spraying it with catnip. Catnip doesn't affect all cats but its worth a try
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  10. #10
    Again, these holier-than-thou comments don't help anyone. I say "dumb" in a really affectionate way. Even me and my friends call each other dumb when we're joking around. I don't mean that I actually think she's stupid. I don't think about my cat in a negative way. I am simply frustrated that what I've tried is not working. Which are all things I've seen recommended online. And some by the vet.

    She is an incredibly vocal kitty and meows a lot. Maybe not as much as when she was a kitten, but still more than any other cat I've lived with. It's pretty incessant at times. And yes, she still falls off things. She likes to roll around on top of her cat tree and the fridge and falls off of them. Nearly daily. She never gets hurt though and it never discourages her, as she often goes right back to doing it.

    I have tried Fresh Step, along with other litters, but I'd be willing to try it again.

    And, as I said in my reply, I am not actually considering it. Simply in moments of frustrations it sounded nice. I'm not ignorant. I know how terrible declawing a cat, or any animal, is.

    I clip her nails frequently as well and in my previous reply I said how I've tried introducing her to her scratching posts and continue to do so.

    Loud noises and isolating her from bad behavior was an early method that I read about. It clearly didn't work so I don't do in anymore. Her litter box is in a good spot like that. It is mainly urine, although she has pooed once on the carpet. But that's it.

    Like I said before, I have talked to my vet about things and he has run tests. He did say that some cats are not as quick to learn. But she's over a year and a half old now and I've had her for awhile. He has said that some cats that are wild strays just sometimes remain feral/wild-like.

    I've tried to tire her out and play with her every day (and still do) but it's never ending and I tend to get tired out before she does. I live with my partner and we have pretty opposite schedules, so one of us is nearly always home with her and he plays with her a lot. She's an extremely sociable cat. She gets along with anyone and, when it's warmer out, she even walks up to people when we let her outside. She really does enjoy outdoors time. Although where we live now is on a pretty busy street so I don't feel comfortable letting her out much anymore.

    But yeah really not fair to tell me how I think about my cat because you have no clue how I think about my cat. I love her to death. And that's why I'm trying to figure out how to help her. It's my final semester of college and I'm taking my hardest classes so my mental energy is already low lately, which is why I'm more drained with having to constantly tend to my cat.

    I clean up after her peeing on the carpet well and have a citrus spray, since I read about that online.

    I would never abuse my cat, btw. And I am always loving. And she is very loving in return. But I'm not giving up on her, otherwise I would not have come here.

  11. #11
    Yeah she seems unaffected by catnip, as I've tried to entice her with that. Something odd: my partner manages a Pita Pit and she goes crazy over his work shirt when he gets home, much in the same way cats are affected by catnip lol. I'm not sure what it is, but we always put down his work shirt for her to have a blast with when he's home from work lol.

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  13. #13
    Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry I do not have any to add. Nice pic of your kitty!

  14. #14
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    If she was a stray you don't know what her lineage is, if the mother was a feral cat depending on how many generations of feral was in her background she could of retained some of the feral behaviors will carry over. Kittens from first generation feral are tamable which sounds like that is what she is. Anything past first generation feral can not be tamed. So her being lovable and social says she did not come from a feral colony.

    Try the double sided tape and the dirt in the litter box, it can't hurt and might even help. Does she like treats? If so you can get her some interactive puzzle toys. Put a treat in the toy and she has to find a way to get it out. That would keep her amused for a while. And also think about getting a cat companion for her.

    As far as her being vocal if she has any siamese or bengal in her background that could account for it, siamese and bengal are two very vocal breeds. Neither her or you can help where she came from or her genetics, so just keep working with her and I'm sure she'll come around. Good luck
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  15. #15
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    I think the comments here were meant to be helpful to you, not 'holier than thou', BTW I seem to have been typing my response before I read your last information in your last post, as I indicated when I PS'd the compliment on your cat photo. Also, we only know you by your words, which are sometimes not clear since we can't hear you speak, know you're kidding, or see your facial expressions...so we respond in a way we think is appropriate. People do foster a growing resentment toward their pets by giving them negative human attributes and names that fuels their intolerance to any problem behavior. This obviously isn't the case with you.

    Was there another cat living where you are now before you moved in, perhaps an unfixed male or female? Even if the carpet received a general cleaning, it may not have been treated for odor and urine, and that's what might be encouraging your cat to urinate there now.

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