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Hello From Norman And I! He’s New To Me And I’m New To This Site. We’ve Been Having Some Issues :(

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Gurtcats, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Gurtcats

    Gurtcats Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Mar 13, 2018
    Roughly around 3 weeks ago I adopted my first cat, Norman (10 months)! He lives with me and my boyfriend and my boyfriend’s 3 other cats (4 months, 10 months, and 12 months, all as sweet as can be!). I should mention there is also a very large dog living here too! We all fell in love with him within minutes of taking him into our shelter’s acquaintance room. He was social, playful, and very friendly with each of us. When we took him home, the other cats immediately came up to his crate to meet him and he was very curious to meet them as well. All seemed well until the eldest cat (freshly neutered) started quietly howling and fuzzing up his tail. He was a little stand-offish for a few days but now they cuddle together and seem to get along very well. The other two cats have loved Norman from day 1 and I find them all cuddling together quite often. Norman has even become fascinated with the dog and I’ve found them cuddling together as well.

    The real issue with Norman has been the litter boxes. The first night staying here, Norman peed in a corner on our living room floor. I knew he was probably just anxious with meeting all of these new animals so I just shrugged it off. We tried keeping him in a room by himself with two fresh litter boxes and his food nowhere near them but he kept meowing to get out to play with the other animals, so secluding him never really stuck.

    Over the next couple of days he started using the bathtub for both poo and pee. Worried a habit would form, I bought more litter boxes (total of 4) and filled them with different types of litter for little Norman to try. I even used cat attract in all of the litter boxes. Alas he would still only use the tub. I took him to the vet to see if he had any health issues, as I’d heard that UTI’s can make cats pee everywhere. The vet wasn’t able to test for UTIs but gave me what I need to collect a sample myself. The vet did however test and confirm that Norman is actually deaf! After the vet visit, I started to see less and less pee in the tub (Making it impossible to get a urine sample). After several days my boyfriend finally saw Norman get into one litter box, walk out, walk into another one, and take a small pee. Since then we have mysteriously seen even less and less messes in the bathtub. I never found any messes around the house so it seemed he was started to use the litter boxes!

    Sadly I wasn’t out of the woods yet though. Unfortunately we still get messes in the tub but, but more annoyingly, Norman periodically pees and poops right next to one of his two favorite litter boxes (usually poop). I try to keep the litter boxes as clean as I can but it doesn’t always seem to be enough. I’ve never even seen him poop in the litter box but have cleaned up several turds that look just like his so I assume he does use them (unless he has some secret hiding spot). What more can I do to make litterboxes a no-hassle habit for my baby?

  2. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Staff Member Forum Helper

    Feb 18, 2017
    Congratulations on your new kitty! You’re in for years of friendship, playfulness, affection, and love.

    I think that it’s really important that you get that urine sample. If you can’t do it at home, you could take him into the vet to have it done there, where it might be easier to collect in a more controlled environment.

    Have you mentioned to your vet that Norman is peeing in smaller volumes? I would be concerned about the possibility of a blockage, which is especially dangerous in male cats. Does he show any signs of pain or straining when urinating?
    maggiedemi purraised this.

  3. LizBethW

    LizBethW TCS Member Kitten

    Mar 12, 2018
    We have gotten urine samples at home (only put some packing peanuts in the box and had it in the morning) but our vet has also stuck a needle directly into the bladder and retrieved it when he didn’t want to wait. Therefore, I know it can be done at least at our vet’s office. Have you tried putting a box into the bathtub to see if he will use it there? Maybe let him stay in there overnight alone? Not as a punishment, just as a precaution of sorts. Perhaps something scared him while he was in another box and now he’s leery of going back. Just a thought. Knowing that he’s deaf just reminded me, our kitty who was with us 22 years started to poop on a rug in the foyer every night for her last couple of years. That was when she started going deaf. Maybe we did scare her one day at the box? From experience, can I advise you to make yourself known when you’re entering a room where he is? Knock on the door or take hard steps to make enough noise vibration to let him know you’re coming. I know ours jumped several times when she saw us before we figured it out. Good luck sweetie.

  4. Timmer

    Timmer TCS Member Super Cat

    Jan 10, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    Perhaps he was never properly litter box trained. We usually don't know the history of these shelter cats before they arrive. In fact, I was looking at the local shelter site yesterday and wondered what it meant under Housebroken: Unknown. So I called and they told me that when the cat was surrendered, the owner never said. It does not mean they are not litter box trained, they just don't know if they cat was.

    Anyway, maybe his deafness has something to do with it? I don't know. I do hope it works out for you!

  5. Brian007

    Brian007 Furmate and Famulus Top Cat

    Jan 13, 2017
    Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Maybe leave the bath plug in to see if you can collect a sample, you only need a small amount for the vet to do a dip stick test.

    Going to the toilet in the bath could be ok, if it were the only place outside the box he was going, as it's easy to clean.

    Clean (scrub) all the areas where he has gone outside the box with an enzyme cleaner. You can buy special enzyme urine cleaners from Amazon. Then, spray the cleaned areas with vinegar. Doing both of these things is extremely important to eliminate the scent-mark encouraging bacteria. He will continue to pee and poo in all areas not thoroughly cleaned in this way. And your other cats might join in too.

    If he's around when you find any poo next to his box, you could try lifting it and putting it in the litter (and covering it) momentarily whilst showing him what you're doing before cleaning it away. Just in case he's not cottoned on fully to what the litter box is meant for.

    Having four lively kittens sounds fun, albeit a handful.


  6. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 26, 2017
    Upstate NY
    Is he getting enough canned food every day? The small pees sound concerning.

  7. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

    Nov 25, 2013
    Hello and welcome to The Cat Site. :wave2:

    I too wonder if it has something to do with his deafness, and that possibly another cat accidentally startled him when he was using the litter box and now he's avoiding them.

    I know it sounds weird, but I wonder if he'd use the litter box, it you put it in the bathtub?

    Here's a few TCS articles on litterbox issues that may be helpful:
    Litterbox Problems? Here's Why You Should Call Your Vet
    How To Solve Litterbox Problems In Cats: The Ultimate Guide
    How To Remove Cat Urine Odor From Your Home

    As well, an article on The Deaf Cat

    Good luck.
    abyeb purraised this.

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