Anyone with experience with cat diapers?

Chronicler

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My cat Ferrix has been urinating outside the litter box 2-3 times a day over the last week, and is honing in on things with my scent. The bed (I've gotten peed on while sleeping twice now) and the one spot I always sit on the couch are the two major offenders.

Before anyone asks: yes, it is a medical issue but there's nothing to be done. He's in palliative care at home for kidney cancer until I make the final call ): I tried all the usual things for improper elimination, got several new low-sided open litter boxes, using feliway, and extensively cleaning all sites with a heavy enzymatic cleaner etc but they're not really effective in this situation

I'm a little at my wit's end. I don't blame Ferrix at all, and it breaks my heart that he's specifically doing it on things with my scent, but I can't keep this up. I just looked into cat diapers, especially the male belly bands since he is still pooping normally. So much of the information I find is about dogs, and most of the diapers I can find are for dogs

So I was wondering if anyone had experience with diapers for cats, if small dog belly bands work okay, and any recommendations for brands and types. And if you've used it, how long did it take for your cat to get used to it?

Thanks for your time reading this
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. While you wait for some experienced members to respond, I tried searching this site for folks using belly bands. Many were going to try them, but I couldn't find any posts updating us on the results. I have heard the very small dogs one will work in many cases. I have also heard that you buy extra pads (of most any kind, including human ones) and cut them to size to add absorbency to the bands.

There is another option you might look into that is specifically for cats -
Cat Diaper Pull-ups Allow for Defecating in Litterbox (barkertime.com)
 
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Chronicler

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Thank you so much for looking into it!

I keep seeing the bands brought up in articles about cat diapers, but with very little elaboration. I haven't been able to find any blogs or even just a youtube video or picture of a cat using one. I am a bit unsure about how it physically works, as from pictures I've seen of it on dogs, I'm not sure if it would even cover the penis area on cats, which is why it'd be great to hear from someone who's tried!

The diaper you linked would be perfect, but the shipping time to where I live would take 2 weeks, and I'm not sure my couch would survive that long 😅 I might just order that anyways, and work with disposable diapers for now though!
 

sunny578

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any way to manage it by putting urine stations on your couch or bed? like a pee pad under some stuff that smells like you that you can easily wash?

Belly bands for dogs are tricky, and I would guess that they would be even more tricky with cats, but maybe not. Good luck. Such a hard time I know.
 

fionasmom

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I have a lot of experience with this, always on dogs, but the use of a belly band is the same on a male animal. Back story is GSDs with degenerative myelopathy who were never going to be able to control their bladder for the duration of their lives.

I would imagine that a small sized belly band would work. Even if it were too big, they are basically flat pieces of material, so you could probably alter it in some way so that it fit more snugly. Belly bands require a liner of some sort which are usually available from the company which sells them, or you can get human liners such as those put on the beds of incontinent people and cut them to size. A sanitary type pad or bladder leak pad may also work and could easily be cut to size. You may need to do a little bit of trial and error, but it should not cost that much.

One caution is that you have to change it enough, put in a dry liner, and maintain the skin under the pad or the cat will develop something like diaper rash. I put an ointment such as Aquaphor against my dogs' lower bellies and that worked perfectly. Take into account if your cat will lick something off ( as cats normally try to remove what they don't like by licking) and use something non toxic.

You will need to google dog belly bands and then check sizes. All belly bands are pretty much the same in how they work, and how they look. Only size varies.

Amazon.com : belly bands for small dogs

Look at what is on this page, including the disposable ones which would be less work if they are well made. Those could probably serve as the liner as well.

https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petco...7H-6XEsjkZX_iZvd3IAaArFbEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
 
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Chronicler

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I have a lot of experience with this, always on dogs, but the use of a belly band is the same on a male animal. Back story is GSDs with degenerative myelopathy who were never going to be able to control their bladder for the duration of their lives.

I would imagine that a small sized belly band would work. Even if it were too big, they are basically flat pieces of material, so you could probably alter it in some way so that it fit more snugly. Belly bands require a liner of some sort which are usually available from the company which sells them, or you can get human liners such as those put on the beds of incontinent people and cut them to size. A sanitary type pad or bladder leak pad may also work and could easily be cut to size. You may need to do a little bit of trial and error, but it should not cost that much.

One caution is that you have to change it enough, put in a dry liner, and maintain the skin under the pad or the cat will develop something like diaper rash. I put an ointment such as Aquaphor against my dogs' lower bellies and that worked perfectly. Take into account if your cat will lick something off ( as cats normally try to remove what they don't like by licking) and use something non toxic.

You will need to google dog belly bands and then check sizes. All belly bands are pretty much the same in how they work, and how they look. Only size varies.

Amazon.com : belly bands for small dogs

Look at what is on this page, including the disposable ones which would be less work if they are well made. Those could probably serve as the liner as well.

https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/so-phresh-comfort-dry-disposable-garment-liners-for-dogs-count-of-10-3184933?store_code=2139&mr:device=c&mr:adType=local&cm_mmc=PSH|GGL|SPP|SBU04|0|OB-SoPhresh|jqD1R6LLDDHBNUraervtJ1|58700007475749843|PRODUCT_GROUP|0|0|pla-1458238147638|129511755256|15105356550&gclid=Cj0KCQjworiXBhDJARIsAMuzAuxUzEtTX62nOPphkTztgihrNR1OjeZc8_ES7H-6XEsjkZX_iZvd3IAaArFbEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
Thanks so much for the insight! That's a great tip about the ointment

I'd love some more clarification on how the belly bands work, so it's great to have someone who has experience. The main thing I'm hung up on is that I'm still not sure how it functions on a cat. From what I understand, in male dogs the penis is lower down on their abdomen between the legs, and the belly band covers that. From my understanding of cats though, in males the penis is not far from just under the anus, so I'm not sure how the band would cover it

Please let me know if I am misunderstanding how the band works, or the physiology of either animals. I've never had a dog before!
 

fionasmom

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Belly Band for Cats Special Needs Manx Syndrome Incontinence - Etsy
ETA August 15-23, but I see your point about your location. This product is probably similar to the other suggested but is advertised as a belly band and not a diaper.

Canadian Made Dog Diapers
Jack and Jill Belly Bands for Male Dogs | Canadian Pet Connection
I wonder if these people could be of help or expedite shipping if you want to try a belly band. They advertise for dogs, but if you call and ask about the smallest size they may be able to guide you or even make a suggestion. I believe both of these links sell the same product. Some companies who work with handicapped pets will expedite shipping.

As for a belly band working on a cat, it may be something that is best tried with an inexpensive product such as one of the disposable liners which might still be useful if you have to use an altered traditional product or diaper. The use of a full diaper will cause a big mess with pooping, even if the stool is well formed and normal. If you can only get a diaper style to work, see if cutting the back in some way to allow for pooping is possible.

Caring for an Incontinent Cat
This discusses various aspects of having an incontinent cat and contains a caution about traditional diapers about half way down.
 
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Chronicler

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Thank you so much for the links, and the guide helps!

I definitely wasn't planning to keep him in a diaper 24/7 if I can avoid it, and anything that can also let him, poop will be ideal. I have a large playpen that can fit his food bowls, water fountain, a large litter box and a cat bed with room to spare, so the plan is to keep him in there overnight or if I will be gone for longer periods. I'll also be trying the earlier suggestion to make pee stations with pee pads.
 

fionasmom

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I am sorry that you are facing this with your Ferrix and it is easy to tell that you are taking excellent care of him in every respect. Please let us know how this turn out, and what works, or what is available. And please let us know how he is doing.:hugs:
 
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Chronicler

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I did a local pet store run today! I grabbed some disposable diapers and pee pads for now. I placed pee pads on some of his most frequent problem spots and the good news is he went on one! I'm leaving the soiled pee pad for an hour or two before I change it so that the scent stays a bit, and I gave him a treat immediately. Hopefully he'll keeping going in that one spot

I've put in orders for some different reusable diaper options online, but for now while things are shipping I think the plan is to use the playpen when I'm asleep/not home, use the diaper when I'm home but unable to keep constant watch over him (like while I'm working) so I can change the diaper and wash him ASAP when needed, and if I'm able to watch him like while we hang on the couch together I'll just make sure to always have a pee pad on hand ready to put under him if he needs to go.

If he consistent goes on the pee pads, I might be able to retire the diaper idea entirely. I'll adjust everything as I go depending on how he responds

I also got pet-safe wipes, as I've noticed he dribbles a bit after going and it gets on his hind legs, which he doesn't groom anymore.
 

fionasmom

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This may work out! I did something similar with a wonderful, elderly diabetic cat who was heavy and had neuropathy. Using a litter box, even one with an entire side cut out, was out of the question. I made two flat beds for her in a room without carpeting, including a heating pad in the winter, and she loved to lie on them. Once I figured this out, I started to put a pee pad on each bed and she "trained" herself to move from the soiled one to the clean one where she would wait for me to change the pad. It was remarkably manageable.

Stella's body shape, combined with the neuropathy, made diapers impossible as they just dragged off of her. I would have needed the type with suspenders on the front. She took frequent rear end baths in a sink.

Please let us know how you do....you may have solved this for Ferrix.
 
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Chronicler

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The last week was stressful because this was all happening while I was still working fulltime, and I didn't sleep for 2 nights over the week because I had to get up in the middle of the night to do laundry and wash myself of cat urine. I think it being the weekend has helped tremendously since I could fully focus on him the last two days

Since yesterday he's peed on the pee pad right by the couch consistently. I placed a shallow open litter box on the carpet in the middle of the living room as well, and he's used that a few times too. I've given him treats and praise, and helped clean him up every time he's used either and I think he's got the idea. He's a very smart kitty

I'll have to continue seeing how things go when I'm back to work tomorrow and can't watch him constantly, but I'm feeling a lot better with different tools and options spelled out. Thank you to everyone who's given suggestions and shown support. I have an anxiety disorder so this has been a really intense time for me, and it's extremely useful to get other people's opinions and expertise

In the long run, I know this has also just added to my own knowledge of cat care and I will be better prepared for similar situations in the future with my own future cats or fosters
 

fionasmom

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I got the idea that my Stella liked the pee pads and the convenience of them, so Ferrix may be just fine with this new system, despite all the worry.

With my last GSD, I did laundry every morning at 5 before I went to work, so I understand the stress of middle of the night blanket washing.

Please let us know how this all plays out and remember we are here if you need anything.
 
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Chronicler

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Thank you for all the help

Unfortunately Ferrix declined very sharply this morning. I was hoping for another several weeks with him, and even just a few days ago he seemed to be doing very well. I just talked to the vet and I made the call. I have a few hours left with him before we take him over the bridge
 

fionasmom

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I am so sorry and shocked to read this! Please remember that we are here to help and support you during this time. Let us know how you are whenever you feel like posting.

The fact that you had arranged palliative care for Ferrix and were continuing to search for options that would make his life easier is a testimony to the care that you gave him during his lifetime.
 
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