Adopted an adult stray

Sarthur2

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All advice offered is ALWAYS in the best interests of the cats, and based on prior experience.
 
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anticus

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Midnight is still unhappy that he's not the center of attention any longer and we will still be able to take him in for neutering & vaccinations - and maybe a bath.
 
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anticus

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This has been a hard week. Pumpkin went into heat on Friday so we have been letting Midnight outside at night when we can't watch him. However I learned of an imminent threat yesterday so we've confined him to our utility room, a 12x6 space with a window. It is not part of our heating/cooling system, but luckily we have moved into a very temperate period. He has plenty of food and fresh water, a litter box, toys, boxes to explore, and a 5 ft cat tree by the window. But he hates it. He hates being confined. He yowls all the time. When I try to talk to him he recoils. I am going to try to sneak into his room and work from there for a while today so he won't feel alone but I suspect he will just try other means to escape.

Fortunately our vet compassionately agreed to neuter him tomorrow, so there is only one more day of this. It is tremendously emotionally taxing. And mentally as well, trying to figure out the logistics of everything, trying to engage with Pumpkin, and introducing the kittens to the litter box.
 
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Talien

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Just remember it can take upwards of a week for everything to get out of his system after being neutered, so you'll still need to keep them separated just to be safe.
 

Sarthur2

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What a relief to know that Midnight will be neutered tomorrow. Poor guy does not understand why he is being locked up.

How old are the kittens? They will not use the litter box until they begin eating soft foods.
 

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Just remember it can take upwards of a week for everything to get out of his system after being neutered, so you'll still need to keep them separated just to be safe.
:yeah:
In most cases it probably is only a week, but I've heard of credible cases of males remaining fertile for up to 3-4 weeks (sperm hiding in the tubes), so keeping them separate for a month after neutering him is safest.

I'm glad the vet was able to get him in sooner! It would have been a miserable month otherwise. I'm sure he'll settle down a lot and be happier after his hormones clear out.
 
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anticus

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Just remember it can take upwards of a week for everything to get out of his system after being neutered, so you'll still need to keep them separated just to be safe.
Thanks Talien Talien - I hadn't thought of that. He will be recovering for a while, and I hope Pumpkin will be out of heat once he is recovered.
Sarthur2 Sarthur2 - He doesn't know why he is confined and it makes me heartsick. I have been spending time in there with him, giving him a few pets (his choice) and explaining why he can't be outside or inside and that everything will be different tomorrow,.

The kittens are 3 weeks old. I have read in multiple sources to start litter box training at 3 week. Now I'm confused. Again.
 

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I hope Pumpkin will be out of heat once he is recovered.
I wouldn't count on that. . .female cats can still be fertile even when not actively calling. I'd keep them separated for the full month, but he can at least go outside after recovering (if you intend to continue letting him go outside).

Just provide a shallow litter pan and mama will take care of litter training. But, yeah, usually kittens don't start using a litterbox until they're eating solid food. This can be as early as 3 weeks with bottle babies, but mother-raised kittens usually take longer.
 
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anticus

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Thanks W Willowy - Midnight is not going outdoors unsupervised again. Keeping them separated for a month while dealing with 3-8 week old kittens is going to be really challenging. Urg.
 
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anticus

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She has her kittens to care for. They're only 3 weeks old. Before she went in heat, he was happy to stay away from her, so hopefully that attitude prevails until the next month.
 

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You might find this video helpful for litter training:


Sperm usually die out within a couple of weeks, but 4 weeks are more of a guarantee, and you’ll see Midnight calm down more and more over the next 2-3 months as his testosterone diminishes. I think I posted about this already on one of your threads. He won’t need to stay locked in that room, but he doesn’t really need to socialize with the kittens until they are about 6 weeks old anyway and eating soft foods.

I know you’re having a tough time right now, but it will get less stressful once they can all safely mingle. Hang in there!
 

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Just to add, when my kittens were about 4-5 weeks old and beginning to eat soft foods, I started putting them in a shallow pan before and after meals, and I took their little front paws and showed them how to dig. They all caught on very quickly! I don’t recall many accidents at all, though they can happen and it’s okay.
 
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anticus

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Thank you for the compassion, encouragement, and wisdom. I know it will all work out. I hate seeing them suffer. He is getting an amazing late dinner around 9pm then nothing but water. He did accept my head bunt today and allowed me to pet his head and cheeks. So maybe he understood my explanation of why he has to be confined. It wouldn't surprise me recalling the amazing things he's done.

This might be gross, but here goes: Midnight uses his litter box, then scoops 1/2 the litter onto the floor, including his poops. And I'm pretty sure he's doing it on purpose. He watched me clean the box this morning then hopped right back into it for more poops. Then he scooped it out. Seriously, he's like an NFL long snapper - he propels it back and upward with astounding skill.

Humor aside, I don't know how I will deal with this once he returns to the house. I cannot clean up 1/2 a box of litter from the floor several times a day. I have read that cats feel trapped in enclosed boxes - and this makes sense - but I seriously don't know what I'm going to do.

As for the kittens' litter box, I'm using the cardboard tray some canned food is packaged in for them to learn in. I got that from the Kitten Lady. I can't find a shallow box. When you say a shallow pan, what exactly is it?
 

Sarthur2

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Midnight has gone rogue! Try putting doggie pee pads all around his pan. It will ease clean up. You can also verbally tell him what a great job he did then physically remove him from the pan before he makes the huge mess. I have a cat who still tries to do this but I stop it before it can happen.

Look online for kitten litter pans. They sell them at various places. Here is an example:

Great Choice® Disposable Pan - Non-Clumping, Multi-Cat | cat Litter Boxes | PetSmart

Or this:

https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/marshall-pet-products-small-animal-high-back-litter-pan-2125624?cm_mmc=PSH-_-GGL-_-CAL-_-PME-_-PET-_-AQU-_-0-_-PM_GGL_FY20_SBU05_SH13_SmallAnimalBird&ReptileSupplies_SmallAnimalSupplies_PLA-SMRT-_-0-_-0&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgsqw3P6h8AIVkzY4Ch3ufgHqEAQYFyABEgKAAPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

The kittens will manage a full size adult pan by 8 weeks anyway, so the cardboard trays are fine for now. You’ll still want pee pads around them though.

You’ll get through this with Midnight. Do you have an enclosed porch or sunroom he can hang out in?
 

Sarthur2

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I also found a small litter pan at Walmart on the shelf. And, Midnight’s neuter is literally a ten-minute procedure. He’ll come home with his feelings hurt but feel fine other than licking his private area for a few days. Neuters are a piece of cake compared to a spay!
 
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anticus

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Thank you again Sarthur2 Sarthur2 - I bought pee pads today in preparation! I'm not kidding when I say Midnight tosses 1/2 the litter out. He's a jerk but I love him. If I remove him before he starts to bury won't it mess him up mentally?

IMG_0756.JPG


We have an amazing screened in front porch - but the kittens are in the parlor on the other side of it and I didn't want his yowling to disturb them or Pumpkin.

IMG_0175.JPG

Not its full glory but a cute pic of Pumpkin. Our porch is as wide as our house and screened in. She spent the night on that bench. Just that one night. It seems so long ago but was mid February. 4 weeks after this she slept outside for the last time.
 
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Talien

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Thank you again Sarthur2 Sarthur2 - I bought pee pads today in preparation! I'm not kidding when I say Midnight tosses 1/2 the litter out. He's a jerk but I love him. If I remove him before he starts to bury won't it mess him up mentally?

View attachment 378208
It looks like you are putting too much litter in the box, even with so much kicked out it looks at least half full. Tr only filling it about halfway and see how it goes.

If that doesn't work one other thing you could try is getting a tall tote (around 18-24 inches should be good) and cut a hole in one side about halfway up and use that as a litterbox. He'd have a really hard time kicking the litter out of that.
 
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anticus

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Thank you! It's the same amount of litter I use for Pumpkin, but she is dainty and careful. He's a jerkface who did that on purpose. :)
 
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