New Here With Newly Adopted Adult Cat, Frankie

tobyo

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Greetings. I'm new here and could use some advice. We adopted 3.5 year old Frankie on 10/5/18 from the humane society. He was so cute and hubby, daughter and I took an instant liking to him and adopted him pretty much on the spot after visiting with him for 5 minutes. The information said that the previous family brought him back because he was having accidents but that he hadn't had any while at the humane society.

It's been rocky since we brought him home. We had one box in the basement and another on our main floor. His second morning with us he peed and pooped on my favorite chair. I wondered if the boxes we had (that several previous cats had used) were too small. He's very long and weighs 16 lbs but is only slightly overweight. It seemed he liked the bigger box that I got him as he used it successfully for nearly 4 days. Then we took him to our vet the next day as that is what the humane society advised. I think we traumatized him by putting him in a carrier. My guess is that he associated that with being brought back to the humane society as we are his third family. Previous family only had him 1.5 years. After the vet visit last weekend he was pooping while racing around the house for several days but peeing in the box. His fecal sample came back negative, btw. But I should point out that he had giardia when he arrived at the humane society and he was treated for that. I wondered if he had that parasite at his previous home and those people just decided not to deal with his litter box issues instead of finding out if he had a medical issue.

Hubby then brought one of the boxes into the kitchen so that he didn't have far to go after he ate/drank. That was last Thursday and he successfully used that box as well as the one in the basement!!! Until last night.

The only thing that was different about yesterday is that we had our chimney inspected/cleaned and hubby said that Frankie hung out in the living room with the chimney guy while he worked. When I got home I found a poop in the box in the basement so yay!!!

Enter last night about 11:30 pm......when he was racing through the house again. He darted onto my bed and since I still don't trust him completely I caught him peeing and then found a couple of poops on the bed as well as a couple on the floor in his path. I stripped the bed and slept on the couch :(

We had been advised(by the humane society's behavior people) to isolate him in one room of our house and then slowly introduce him to the rest of the house. Except that the day after I got this advice was when he started using the box regularly so we decided to not isolate him. We also started giving him treats after he used the box(per the behavior guy) so we felt so much better about adopting Frankie!!!

Until last night. Was he upset about the fact that a stranger was in our house and that's why he lost control? Do we start over and isolate him in a room? It's not even been three weeks and I'm exhausted. :( But he's such a sweetheart and very loving........when he's not defecating/peeing outside his box........

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 
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tobyo

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Note: I forgot to say that I got him a bigger box and that's the one he used until we took him to the vet. It now sits in the corner of the dining room, unused. He seems to prefer Tidy Cat un-clumping type of litter. Prior to last Thursday he had mostly used the bigger box that contained clumping type of litter.
 

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Hi!
The parts that got my attention were that he seems to get the zoomies first and then does his business (which is kind of backwards from most cats :) but not important if the vet didn't detect any health issues), and that he didn't have any box misses at the Society.
Was he in a cage there, or was he roaming? It sounds as though when he gets overexcited, good or bad, he forgets his manners.

I'd try this, take their advice and contain him, temporarily, with plastic covers on anything you can't move out, and puppy pee pads on the floor along with litter boxes. Try a couple different litters, including one called Cat Attract (some people scatter some on top of other litter to offset the cost, but it might be up to your cat as to what he wants...)
Keep him in until he seems to be consistent with using the boxes, and then test to see if he's ok being in the rest of the house. This might take more than one containment.
Also, for when you know something unusual will take place, try playing music for him to try and help him keep from getting emotionally overstimulated. Also try some regular, good long play sessions where he gets a bit worn out.
 
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Hi. If there are no health issues, then it sounds like stress based on the timing of these 'events'. Even if he hung around the chimney guy, it might not be because he was comfortable with him, but rather 'keeping an eye on him'.

And, if he generally doesn't 'race' around the house first before the times he uses a litter box, is it possible he is far enough away from one that he just goes where ever he ends up instead - given some added stress factor?

I absolutely HATE to side with the idea of confining him, but it might the best option at this point. Just make sure he has food, water, litterbox(es), and toys/things to keep him busy in the confinement area - and that all of you spend plenty of time with him.
 

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tobyo

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Hi!
The parts that got my attention were that he seems to get the zoomies first and then does his business (which is kind of backwards from most cats :) but not important if the vet didn't detect any health issues), and that he didn't have any box misses at the Society.
Was he in a cage there, or was he roaming? It sounds as though when he gets overexcited, good or bad, he forgets his manners.

I'd try this, take their advice and contain him, temporarily, with plastic covers on anything you can't move out, and puppy pee pads on the floor along with litter boxes. Try a couple different litters, including one called Cat Attract (some people scatter some on top of other litter to offset the cost, but it might be up to your cat as to what he wants...)
Keep him in until he seems to be consistent with using the boxes, and then test to see if he's ok being in the rest of the house. This might take more than one containment.
Also, for when you know something unusual will take place, try playing music for him to try and help him keep from getting emotionally overstimulated. Also try some regular, good long play sessions where he gets a bit worn out.
Well he is backwards from all my previous cats. I've never had a cat NOT meow all the way to the vet. Frankie does this and also on the ride home. not one peep!! I've never had a cat hop out of the carrier once at the vet. Yep, Frankie did this. Finally, I've never had a cat NOT want to get back into the carrier to go home. Frankie did this too!! So, he is just plain not normal.

I have hubby to contend with regarding isolating him. He was ready to do that once the behavior guy said to do it (along with others that advised this, along with what I have read) but the very next day was when Frankie decided to use the litter box in the kitchen.

I did get that cat attract litter and he used it maybe twice. He's been using the Tidy Cat boxes since hubby moved one into the kitchen. Thanks so much for your reply.
 
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tobyo

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Hi. If there are no health issues, then it sounds like stress based on the timing of these 'events'. Even if he hung around the chimney guy, it might not be because he was comfortable with him, but rather 'keeping an eye on him'.

And, if he generally doesn't 'race' around the house first before the times he uses a litter box, is it possible he is far enough away from one that he just goes where ever he ends up instead - given some added stress factor?

I absolutely HATE to side with the idea of confining him, but it might the best option at this point. Just make sure he has food, water, litterbox(es), and toys/things to keep him busy in the confinement area - and that all of you spend plenty of time with him.
ah, "keeping an eye on him". I think you're probably right about that! And you could be onto something about the added stress factor and just going wherever when he's too far from a box. Could be, could be.

yea, hubby's not a big fan of the isolation and I shared this post with him so he could read the replies too. Thanks so much for your reply.
 
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After the vet visit last weekend he was pooping while racing around the house for several days but peeing in the box.
Even though his exam came back clear this sentence sounds physical rather than medical. Is the poop coming out as he runs? My first thought is constipation/stool too hard. If it is this, vet stress could have made it temporarily worse.

Does he eat wet food? If not I'd try adding it to his diet. Cats get most of their fluid intake from food.
 
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tobyo

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Even though his exam came back clear this sentence sounds physical rather than medical. Is the poop coming out as he runs? My first thought is constipation/stool too hard. If it is this, vet stress could have made it temporarily worse.

Does he eat wet food? If not I'd try adding it to his diet. Cats get most of their fluid intake from food.
yes, the poop comes out when he runs. the poop I cleaned up last night and this morning were softer than normal. I'd say his poops are not too hard and he's not constipated. He's been pooping at least once/day since we got him (save the two days he slept right after we brought him home....right, he did not move for nearly 48 hours!). He does get wet food, twice a day. Since he's slightly overweight, I added wet food since those are less calories.

someone else (not here) suggested that he might still have a parasite and that could be causing his pooping runs. but this was before last Thursday when he began to use the litter box successfully.....until last night. He does seem to be extremely sensitive considering what happened after the vet visit and now I am thinking more that the chimney guy upset him yesterday.

I was so upset with him this morning that I didn't talk to him, didn't feed him. I waited for hubby to get up and he fed him. And it seems Frankie noticed because he's getting back in the good graces with hubby since I left for work. He texted me that Frankie was sitting on his desk with him, which he has not done yet. By the time I get home I'll be feeling more like socializing with him.

thanks so much for your reply.
 
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I was attempting to add a photo of Frankie here in this thread but couldn't for some reason. Instead, I made my avatar Frankie.
 

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By the way, this isn't his fault. You're doing a good job, hang in there :), but he has no idea what it was that you were upset about this am.
Also, it isn't "isolation" to keep him and litter boxes in one room so that 1, cleanup of accidents is easier, and 2, he gets the idea more firmly into his head that the litter box is there just for him (have you gotten him all brand new ones-he can smell the other cats in those old boxes) and 3, it's temporary.

Whatever the reason, your description of his behavior is consistent where he gets emotionally over stimulated and forgets how to behave.
This is the one thing that could mean containing him with his boxes might not work, where he's calm in there because nothing is going on, then you let him out into the rest of the house, something exciting happens and he forgets himself again.

Maybe you can find a friend who he doesn't know to stop in for a visit, in his room and see what happens.
 
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tobyo

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By the way, this isn't his fault. You're doing a good job, hang in there :), but he has no idea what it was that you were upset about this am.
Also, it isn't "isolation" to keep him and litter boxes in one room so that 1, cleanup of accidents is easier, and 2, he gets the idea more firmly into his head that the litter box is there just for him (have you gotten him all brand new ones-he can smell the other cats in those old boxes) and 3, it's temporary.

Whatever the reason, your description of his behavior is consistent where he gets emotionally over stimulated and forgets how to behave.
This is the one thing that could mean containing him with his boxes might not work, where he's calm in there because nothing is going on, then you let him out into the rest of the house, something exciting happens and he forgets himself again.

Maybe you can find a friend who he doesn't know to stop in for a visit, in his room and see what happens.
I know it's not his fault and I feel like I made it worse by not talking to him this morning :( because the day went to hell. he pooped and peed all day long outside the box. thankfully I wasn't here any of those times but I did get to clean up his pee (first time peeing outside the box since morning #2, all the accidents have been pooping ones). there was a puddle on the dining room table.......oh boy.

thanks for your note, I really appreciate all the help and thoughts. I do!! Frankie is now in our "band room", where hubby and his band(s) used to jam but he goes to a friend's house now so the room is not used. slightly bigger than the main floor bedrooms in the basement.
I really do think the chimney guy freaked him out yesterday. and I made it worse by being mad at him :( I tried talking to him and he started to growl. then I sat with him in the band room and he is just not the cat he was before the chimney guy came.

so hubby agreed to isolate him and the band room didn't work: the door does not shut and he got out. now he's in the office and was clawing the door down but maybe now that I turned the light out he's calming down. gawd, I hope he doesn't destroy that room :(

this. is. hard.

thanks for listening......
 
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my daughter and I did get him to play for about 20 minutes in the band room. hopefully that's enough for him to poop out (bad choice of words!!). he did pee in the old lazy boy in the band room so I had to clean that up....

office is not going to work. last resort: basement bathroom. it's our biggest bathroom and has a door that latches......I'm exhausted :(
 
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tobyo

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he seems to have quieted down. I hope he didn't hurt himself :( I probably shouldn't check in on him again and rile him up, again. he was growling a lot today.
 

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If stress is the issue, all the changes can't be helping. So, you are likely to encounter additional issues each and every time you change his environment. You have to find a stable, quiet, even keeled environment where he he getting all the basics he needs AND a lot of attention. He needs slme stability, and the you can re-assess him and where to go from ther
 

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If stress is the issue, all the changes can't be helping. So, you are likely to encounter additional issues each and every time you change his environment. You have to find a stable, quiet, even keeled environment where he he getting all the basics he needs AND a lot of attention. He needs some stability, and the you can re-assess him and where to go from there.
 
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