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Crate Training My Cat

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Not Jackson Galaxy, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    I have posted threads before and have tried everything: Feliway, Zylkene, Cystease, Play, multiple litter trays, cat attract, Royal Canin Calm food, Pet remedy, scratching posts and boxes, you name it i've bought it. Of course i've been to the vet multiple times also and no physical causes have been found.

    So I have decided to try crate training using guidance from here http://www.ourcompanions.org/pdf/OC Crate Training for Your Cat.pdf and the lovely Sunny who posted her crate training experience here About To Start Crate Training For My Extremely Litter Box Averse Cat.

    I will do a daily update like Sunny did in case it helps anyone in the future. Fingers crossed!

    Day 1.
    While I was setting up the crate, putting her food and water in first, I spilled some on the floor, slipped and fell backwards squarely into a litter box behind me! Lovely start. A change of clothes later and at 9.30am I put her in the crate. She did some deeply unimpressed wailing. I had put the litter box at the front of the crate, her bed behind it and her food and water behind that, thinking she'd want her food farthest away from the tray but I soon found that she sat in her food bowl as she clearly wanted to sit at the very rear of the crate... So I moved the bed and the food/ water bowls to the back of the crate, next to each other on the left and right of the crate and she settled in her bed. By 9pm, she does not appear to have used the litter box but she has thrown litter everywhere. I let her out while I cleaned it up and put her back in.
     
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  2. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I'm sorry that you're still having litter box avoidance issues. Hopefully you and your cat will have success with the crate training. Documenting it, will definitely be beneficial, as there isn't much to be found on the topic.

    Good luck. :goodluck: Hope you manage to stay out of the litter box on day 2. ;)
     

  3. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Good idea on the daily updates, for helping others but it'll also be a good reliable way for you to be able to look back and document what happened, what day, etc. and keep track of progress.
    Also, I had to laugh a little at falling back squarely into the litter box. Are you sure we're not related? ;)
     
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  4. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Yeah, not my finest moment! My husband had to come and vacuum me as well as the rest of the room because litter went everywhere. :lol:

    I have felt like the most guilty, rubbish cat mummy ever today. I have hated her being stuck in the crate so much.

    Day 2
    Revenge of the kitty! We put her in a crate in the ensuite to our bedroom. So she cried constantly from 4.30am onwards. Well played. Humans: 1 Cat: 1
    She hadn't eliminated at all overnight which is quite a worryingly long time from 9.30am yesterday to 7am this morning. By the time I had got back from work she had weed in the litter box though. No no.2 as yet so I hope she's ok. She always preferred using a different box for wee and poo but she's not got the option here. I let her out for a bit while I did the necessary. Tray cleaned, food and water refreshed and she's quiet for now....
     

  5. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Peeing was her problem, so that's great that she peed in the litter box, right?

    Does she normally poo every day? Maybe you could put a 2nd litter box in the ensuite for when you let her out to clean the crate and refill the food/water dishes. You don't want her to end up constipated from holding it too long.
     

  6. sunny578

    sunny578 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 25, 2017
    Good luck! Some days, my cat only urinates once a day. That's a great idea re: 2nd box! Constipation can lead to inappropriate urinating too (at least in Tiny.) Keep us posted!
     

  7. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    I am officially worried now. She hasn't had a poo overnight either. She does normally poo everyday and now we're on the morning of day 3!!! Should I call the vet? Google desperately? Her normal poo box is in the ensuite in it's usual place.
     

  8. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Well Day 3
    This morning she had done a wee overnight in the litter tray so that is good.
    I am worried about the fact that she hasn't done a poo now.
    I am also letting her out a little bit. Only in the adjoining bedroom for 20 mins - an hour or so at a time, under supervision so I know that she isn't going to wee anywhere she shouldn't. She ate wet food overnight and i've given her some more now so hopefully she'll eat that too (she doesn't always want wet food two days running - princess!).
     

  9. missy&spikesmom

    missy&spikesmom TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Hi! I am sorry you are having these litter box problems and I just want to tell you a story about my darling Little Bean Kitty. So, Little Bean began to hold her urine, then proceeded to begin holding her stool. I of course, took her to the Vet's. They did a Urine test and said "no infection". So then...….WHY is she holding her urine and stool? The Vet said he thought something was hurting. Either it hurt her to urinate and she was holding all pelvic muscles, OR it hurt her to poop and again, was holding all pelvic muscles. Eventually, he and his partners just were scratching their heads. So.....I took Little Bean to another set of Vets (well thought of, in my community). They went on the results of that 1st Urine test and decided Little Bean had Psychiatric problems/with high anxiety. So, they put her on kitty Prozac. That didn't work. Then, they put her on Phenobarbital. Then, she began vomiting and was SO, SO lethargic. Falling, in a stupor, weak, not eating...……… I was HORRIFIED. She seemed like she was getting more ill with each day and STILL only urinating after holding it for 2 --3 days and STILL holding her stool (EVEN after they put her on Miralax daily!)
    I was sick at heart and thought I will have to put her down as this had been going on for MONTHS! Then, one of the newer Vet partners saw her, and asked "What did her Urine test show?" as she was looking through her chart. I told her I had the urine checked at the other Vets and it was negative. She said, "Oh! We HAVE to check it right now. It should have been re-checked right away, because sometimes, it is a false negative. If the bacteria count is not high enough in the urine, (but is still growing) it can come back as "negative", but in truth, a Urinary Tract Infection is forming and in time, that bacteria count can be HUGELY high. So......they did do a urine test and low and behold!! My poor, poor Little Bean (who was almost dead by that day) had a HORRIFIC Urinary Tract Infection! At that point, almost untreatable, as she was almost Septic!!! This wonderful Vet got her on Antibiotics, Anti-nausea meds and and appetite Stimulant Med. And....long story--short, Little Bean recovered!
    I feel you need to know this, because what your kitty is doing, was what Little Bean began to do and here, the poor baby really was sick!!! It is not unusual for Urine tests to be wrong and then, we are left trying to figure out how to work with our ill cat's behaviors and not know they are very sick a that time! Now your kitty may indeed just have behavioral problems, but...…… again, maybe it is something like my kitty's problem?????
     
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  10. missy&spikesmom

    missy&spikesmom TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Oh, and I wanted to add, because Little Bean did this behavior for so many months before she was diagnosed with the terrible Urinary Tract Infection, she had become totally comfortable peeing any time and anywhere! She also was getting 1/2 teaspoon of Miralax per day and STILL holding her stool for about 5--6 days. This wonderful Vet told me I had to re-train Little Bean to use the litter box. So, several times per day, I would pick her up and bodily place her into her litter box and stand there to see if she would go. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. But after a few days, she decided "Oh! This is where I am supposed to go!" I got her on a routine of peeing in the morning (in her litter box) and every other day, I return her to the litter box about an hour after she is done eating her breakfast, and she will now poop every other day! WHEW!!!! Am I ever happy now!! ****Also, I changed her Miralax dose to 1/4 teaspoon and it is just enough of it, to help her have a bowel movement every other day now. The Vets told me I should not use the Hairball-stopper type of laxative stuff in a tube. It is fine for occasional hairball problems, but is not good on a regular basis. I am thinking Miralax isn't either. But, they all told me (when I have questioned them), the Miralax is not as harsh on them to use daily. So, since it does help her to be more comfortable and regular, this is what I am doing now. It doesn't cramp them, when they have a bowel movement using the Miralax. Sorry I wrote SO much, but wanted you to know, in case any of this info can help you!! Wishing you the best in all of this! (and you might possibly have to use something to get your little one to poop soon!)
     
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  11. sunny578

    sunny578 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 25, 2017
    Sorry--did not read all the responses but--Could you try giving her some more time outside of the crate with a second litter box for #2? She might need a second box for that and some time/privacy. Does she seem stressed out in there? Another option is to try keeping her in the crate for a chunk of time, and then after she urinates letting her out for a chunk of time. Like, maybe she has her crate time when you are at work, but then she is out at night, or at least all evening. I'm not sure what an ensuite is--is there a door, so you could shut her in there with a second litter box for #2?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  12. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Thank you everyone. Sorry sunny, an ensuite is just a small bathroom that adjoins the bedroom. The problem with shutting her in this room is her tendency to pee on the floor which is what i'm trying to train her out of. Hopefully, we've turned a corner though...

    Day 4
    Good news - she had done a no.1 & and no.2 overnight! Very well buried too which she never usually does. I feel less worried now. This constipation was unusual and i'm hoping that it was just due to the changes. I am giving her as much wet food as she will eat and I am letting her out for most of the evening (without access to the ensuite in case she wees on the floor as is her wont) but i'll put her back in overnight.
     
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  13. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Oh, and I updated too soon because she's done another 1 & 2 in the box this evening :lol:

    I'm happy with how this is going. I just hope that it will continue once the training is over and she has free range again. I am very sceptical about the front door. She has always been territorial about that and has always wanted to pee there.

    I think my plan once this training is over is to put Cystease in her food frequently to try to prevent any more pain based tray avoidance, but I don't know what I can do from discouraging her from weeing by the front door. She already has a litter box she's never used there, a vertical and horizontal scratching post and a feliway plug in.
     
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  14. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Days 5 and 6
    Well everything is going smoothly! She seems to have got used to the crate and even took her time leaving when I let her out this morning. She is regular and consistently using her litter tray.
     
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  15. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Day 7
    Disappointing start to the day...I let her out in the ensuite/ bedroom while I was having a little lie in and she peed in the bath. I immediately put her back in the crate. We'll push on and hope that another week helps her progress more.
     

  16. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I guess if it was going to be easy, you wouldn't have gotten to the point of crate training. :sigh: Fingers crossed for better days. :crossfingers:
     

  17. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Thanks rubysmama :bawling: I feel so so horrible for keeping her in the small crate though. Especially as i'm watching My Cat from Hell this afternoon and Jackson Galaxy is talking about how confining a cat to a tiny territory spells trouble.

    I decided to let her have some access to the garden today. So I opened the crate door and waited for her to leave but she didn't bloody move! I had to pick her up and carry her outside. She spent 15-20 minutes outside before she wanted to go back up to the bedroom so I put her back in the crate as I wasn't panning on supervising her in the bedroom this early in the day. She's not crying at all anymore, even when she sees me.

    I'm wondering about going back to the vets again. It would be the third or fourth time though about this and they'd have to sedate her to do scans. :eek: I guess I could ask for cat prozac, although that might help with the peeing by the door territorial looking thing, i'm not sure it fits for the peeing in the bath/on smooth surfaces which seems to me an indication of pain?
     

  18. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Days 8-10
    All plain sailing. She's using the box as she should at least. She does not yet have access to previous problem areas because when she's not in her crate, I keep her in the bedroom which has always been a 'safe zone' for her.
     
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  19. sunny578

    sunny578 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Apr 25, 2017
    How's it going over there? I hope still good! Have you tried feeding her by the front door or using cat nip?

    I have never heard of Cystease! I am going to check it out!
     
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  20. Not Jackson Galaxy

    Not Jackson Galaxy Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 3, 2018
    Hi Sunny, thanks for asking. It's going ok, but I haven't given her much access to the bathroom. When I let her out of the crate, she goes out into the bedroom and I tend to close the door to the bathroom. She's never peed in the bedroom. So I am a bit worried about whether she has made any changes in the bathroom

    Also, this week we started having building work done in the house. It should be completed this week so I'm not giving her access beyond the bedroom until that is done to try and avoid upsetting her. Good idea about putting food or catnip by the front door. I'll try it.
     
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