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Poppy

Discussion in 'Cats S.O.S' started by poppy2507, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Poppy's story: SPCA shelter cat, female, spayed, almost 5 years old, declawed by original owner. Original owner (OO) died, wife dumped my new girl at SPCA, saying she couldn't handle her because Poppy was distraught at losing owner, and anxious bigtime when wife went out and left Poppy alone. OO apparently "rough-housed" with Poppy, lots of hand rough play. Poppy was adopted out but was returned to SPCA after 5 weeks: eliminating outside litterbox, extreme timidity, wouldn't allow herself to be picked up. Bit adoptive owner who tried to force cuddling on cat. Adoptive owner phoned SPCA to say not to adopt her out again, the morning I happened to visit to adopt. I took Poppy home BECAUSE of her story.

    Per SPCA, no medical issues other than constipation. I have her on a 1-month "foster to adopt" but am determined she will not be returned to the shelter. She is home for good with me.

    She is eating well, is on Restoralax in food re the constipation, so I hope that issue will resolve in a day or two.

    Need any / all advice re litterbox re-training, gentling her along to get her out of hiding spots she has found in my apartment. Any books / articles / etc. that I might find helpful? I know it will take a very long time to earn Poppy's trust. I suspect past abuse, so she is awfully fearful just now. Am prepared for a long-term commitment. Just don't know where to start.

    Many thanks for any and all advice.
     

  2. whaler

    whaler TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Dec 23, 2012
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    i would recommend that you read through some of the threads in the "caring for strays and ferals" section that pertain to socialization of a feral cat. since the biggest issue with a feral is them learning to not be fearful of humans some of the tips/tricks may be of use to you.

    if you haven't already tried, i would give both feliway and rescue remedy a shot. they certainly can be of benefit for helping reduce some of the stress that she is feeling.

    even though the SPCA said that she has no medical issues it might not be a bad idea to get her checked out by another vet just to be safe. also, if there are any vets in your area that have an interest in, or specialize in, behavioral issues a visit to them would not be a bad idea.
     

  3. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Many thanks for responding. I've now ordered Feliway and will try that. Also, will read threads re ferals. I've always had cats in my home, but this is my first experience with a "scaredy-cat" so I will go slow with her, and hope to end up with a secure, loving companion, as I suspect she might be in there. Once I get "in there" with her. I also have some Rescue Remedy, and will try that with her, too.

    Thanks again for the reply.
     

  4. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

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    Bless you for taking this little girl! 

    If she is not using her litterbox, you might try using Cat Attract litter.  Also, harp music is supposed to help cats relax, so you could try playing a CD with harp music for her. 

    Do you have other cats in the household right now?  If so, you may have an issue integrating her since she will feel totally defenseless without claws.  Let us know if you need resources for integrating cats with other cats. 

    I would think the best thing to do is not to push yourself at her, but perhaps go into her room and clean her box and  feed and water her and talk to her very softly, then just sit on the floor very still and maybe read a book or otherwise entertain yourself and see what she does.  She may eventually peek out from under the bed (or wherever she may be hiding), and as time goes on she may start to approach you.  Just let HER come to you on her terms.  This could take days for her to even let you see her.  She DOES have a place to hide, doesn't she?  If not, she needs one to feel safe.  Could be under a bed, in a box,  something like that. 
     

  5. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    43
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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Poppy updated as of Sunday evening (brought her home on Thursday)...quiet home. No other pets. Poppy is now successfully using the litterbox and not soiling anywhere outside the box. First hurdle cleared.

    Poppy has the run of the apartment, and so far has chosen to hide most often between the back of the sofa and the wall in the living-room. She spends a lot of time there. Her food and water dishes are placed within view, just outside her hiding space. No problem with eating - she happily finishes off a dish of whatever food she is given.

    She has ventured from her hiding space to snooze on the recliner with me in the room watching TV, spent a snooze time on my bed after I put clean sheets there, and tolerates being petted for a few seconds at a time. Even tolerated a gentle brushing for a few seconds. She won't be picked up - I've tried this twice, when she was relaxed, and she immediately wanted away, so I let her go. She has these big, beautiful eyes that she turns on me to let me know whe wants fed. Heard the alarm this morning and bounced onto my bed to let me know it was breakfast time, but wouldn't wait to be petted, just quickly led me to the kitchen.

    I have high hopes for Poppy. She seems quite content to be here. The only thing odd is that she doesn't meow at all, doesn't play, seems to not know what play is, and doesn't purr yet. No voice at all from our Poppy.

    She has a cute trick: she flops down on the floor, squirms around as if to say "This is Poppy being cute!" and is willing to have a few seconds belly rub before dashing off. I think it will take a long time to persuade her to come to me, longer still to get her to stay with me any length of time ...but who knows? I might just have a lap cat here, once she is past her fears.
     

  6. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

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    Arizona
    OMG, if she is already showing you her belly, you have been accepted [​IMG][​IMG]   But you must face it, she may NEVER want to be held.  My Callie is that way.  We've adopted her 12 years ago, and she absolutelly adores my husband, loves, loves, loves to be petted (by HIM only), but if he dares to pick her up, she still freezes and acts as if the world has come to an end [​IMG].  And only this year has she started to climb onto his lap, and still doesn't stay there but for just a minute or two. 

    Even if she never turns into a cuddler, she still should be great company!  I love when they do that "look at me, I'm so cute" routine [​IMG]
     

  7. feralvr

    feralvr TCS Member Veteran

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Northwest Indiana
    Sounds to me that Poppy was mistreated in the past and stressed over all of the life changes. That is why she developed so much fear and stopped using the litter box. She just need loads of love and patience which you are giving her. She is already showing you signs that she is trusting you, slowly coming out of her shell. Keep up the good work. Love will win her heart completely. The fact that you have no other pets and your home is peaceful will surely help her to get her bearings more quickly. Thank you for being committed to Poppy!! She sounds very dear. :heart3:
     

  8. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    43
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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Poppy continues to come a little more out of her shell every day. Today when I came back from grocery shopping she ventured out to sniff at the bags of groceries I'd set on the floor just inside the door. A bit later, she did her "look how cute I am" routine, welcomed a good long pet and chat from me. I haven't tried to pick her up again yet, thought I would wait for a few more approaches from her.

    I don't think I have worries now re the constipation problem SPCA cautioned me about. She unfortunately uses the litterbox only for water, not for solid waste. She had "pooped" once in the litterbox on Sunday, but this morning's deposit (early morning, before I was up) was in the middle of the living-room rug. Give her points for not trying to hide it - it was in plain sight. Guess I have some re-training to do on that score. Any suggestions?

    I've ordered the Feliway diffuser and thought when it comes I will plug it in to make the living-room off-limits to litterbox behaviour. But on the other hand, I have an enclosed balcony (screened windows across the balcony) so Poppy is safe to go out to the balcony if she wants, and she has explored it already, to catch the breeze from the windows. Don't want to be finding soiled carpet anywhere out there, either.

    One of the reasons she was returned from her 5-week "adoptive home" was said to be defecating outside the box. I wouldn't return her (for that, or for any reason - she's here to stay). But I'm open to advice re how to get her to use the litterbox appropriately, instead of anywhere else in my apartment. I just cleaned up the mess this morning, didn't yell at her or otherwise draw attention to it. I vaguely remember from college behaviourism training that you eliminate an undesirable behaviour by ignoring it when it happens. Does that work with cats, too?

    I am convinced this is not a medical issue. Poppy is perfectly healthy. I am guessing a learned response to stress, and hoping time in a quiet home where she is very welcome to be, will ease the stress reaction. Anything more I should be doing?
     

  9. GoldyCat

    GoldyCat Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You could try Cat Attract litter. It's expensive, but you don't need to fill the entire box with it. Just add a layer on top of the regular litter. How many litter boxes do you have? Some cats don't like to pee and poop in the same box. I also have a litter box in my enclosed patio. No carpeting out there, but it keeps the poop off the flagstones.
     

  10. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Arizona
    You might find this thread helpful.  It's concerning pooping outside the litterbox.  http://www.thecatsite.com/t/19767/inappropriate-poop-problems-answered

    I'm thinking since she has had constipation issues in the past, she may very well associate pain from that with the litter box.  Hopefully the above link will help you with how to resolve that.  (see post #3 within that thread). 

    But, also be aware that it could be that because she is declawed, it could hurt her paws to dig in the litter [​IMG].  You might actually need to go with Yesterday News or some sort of litter like that that won't be irritating to her.  This may be a work in progress until you find out what is really the cause [​IMG]
     

  11. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    43
    3
    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    I've read the info at the link re Poppy's pooping challenge. Her litterbox is in a utility cupboard, the door of which is always open so she always has access to it. No problem with urination - it's consistently in the box in that cupboard. The litterbox is kept clean at all times. 

    I'm wondering about any pain from being de-clawed - first, she is almost 5 years old, and I'm assuming the original owner would have done the de-clawing years ago. I know it can sometimes result in permanent pain for a cat, but the way she bounces around here sometimes, I don't see pain being a consideration. Also, she uses the litterbox for urination and covers that nicely, so I am also assuming there is no pain from her scratching in the litter for that.

    I did set 2 boxes in the cupboard the other day, just in case she prefers 1 for pee and a separate one for poop, but removed the extra box when she seemed confused and reluctant to use either for peeing. Back again to appropriate use of the box for peeing, no confusion, and the cupboard really isn't big enough for two full-sized boxes anyway. Also, at SPCA she had only one box to do all of her business. They didn't provide separate facilities for pee and poop.

    She pooped again this morning, same spot on the living-room rug. I deodorized it on Sunday, when she did that, using white vinegar. I can toss the area rug to be sure the smell is gone (I can't smell anything), but that leaves my broadloom underneath. I'd rather re-train her from the rug than from expensive broadloom. Replacing broadloom is not an option.

    I thought to put out a second box somewhere else in the apartment... but where?? Everywhere else in the apartment is high traffic. And she is using the living-room rug only when I am not in that room. I could put the box on the balcony but she would have access only on days warm enough for me to leave the balcony door open. Canadian winter is not balcony-open weather! There is nowhere else in the living-room that she might use - she is beginning to flop down to nap in every corner of the living-room, feeling that "at home" in the whole room, I guess.

    The suggestion to put a second litter box exactly where she is pooping, to let her know it goes IN the box, would be great - if it were not in the middle of the living-room. The living-room is her first choice for hiding. And I don't want a smelly litterbox in the middle of the room. Poppy also eats there, as the kitchen is too busy for her. (This is a small apartment.) She is beginnig to feel safe in the living-room, beginning to come out from behind the sofa, and spend more time in the chair across from me. Today she followed me to the computer room and settled in a chair here while I spent a couple of hours on the computer.

    Still won't be picked up or held (maybe never will be, but I won't give up), but she is beginning to connect with me, beginning to trust she is safe with me, and even tolerates a brushing with the cat brush, as well as stroking, belly rubs, quiet talking, and ear scratches.

    If the association is with pain due to past constipation issues, why would she be pooping in the living-room instead of just outside the box, on the cool floor? And why would she have used the one litter tray provided at SPCA for both functions? Anyway, I will persist. I've tried 2 different kinds of litter, but some of the suggested litter is not available here (the Cat Attract, for one, I haven't found a Toronto store that carries it). And I can't afford to buy and throw out bag after bag of cat litter just "on spec." So far I'm using what I used with my pevious cat ("S'wheat", as well as what SPCA used in their cat cages.

    I've stopped the Restoralax. I had reduced it to half what SPCA was giving daily, and will see if her body takes over so a laxative is not needed. Maybe once she is calm and feels safe, and her system is not forced by the laxative, nature will kick in? What puzzles me the most is that when I first got her, just a week ago today, she did use the litterbox for both pee and for poop.

    I'm continuing to read whatever I can on the issue. Hope to resolve things positively. If I have to resort to a litterbox in the middle of the room, and inching it toward the cupboard down the hall, I will. But I'm not keen on that as a solution. Still ...
     

  12. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Arizona
    From what you say, it doesn't sound like it's an issue with her paws, since she digs and covers up her pee.  That's good [​IMG].  Do you have any "natural pet food" stores on your area?  They would be the ones who would more than likely see Cat Attract litter.  They sell it at Global Pet Food in Toronto.  Is there one of those near you? 

    Did you really soak the area where she pooped with vinegar.  If not, she may be still smelling it and think it's ok to poop there, if she can still smell it.  Remember, their smelling senses are much better than ours are [​IMG].   As to where to put the 2nd litterbox, we have one of ours in our bathtub!  and one in a closet, one in a different bathroom from the one in the tub, and I'm thinking about putting one under the parson's table and building a privacy screen to put in front of it so it's not open to prying eyes [​IMG].  But until you get this issue of inappropriate pooping resolved, you may need to put your 2nd box in the middle of your living room floor and slowly move it inch by inch to your desired spot.  It's better than having poop in the middle of the floor [​IMG]

    As far as stopping the Restoralax, I would keep a very close eye on her.  We had to have our [​IMG]Sven[​IMG] on it twice a day, every day, to keep him regular.  If we missed a dose, he would get constipated, just like that.  So...if you start to notice her straining at all, or just find little hard marble type poops, I would get her back on it again pretty quick.
     

  13. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    I got the Cat Attract litter, and the Cat Attractant, this morning. Bought two new litterboxes as well - thought I would start off fresh. Poppy decided upon a corner of the living-room as her preferred bathroom spot, so I've cleaned that thoroughly, and placed one litterbox with Cat Attract litter & Attractant there. Luckily it's an area behind a small table, so gives her privacy and also hides her litterbox from view. Fine with me for now, if she will use the litterbox in that corner.

    I put a second litterbox / Cat Attract & Attractant in the utility cupboard down the hall — my choice for cat bathroom, if she will use it. Either way, I'm hoping we're covered. Paws crossed.

    Poppy, except for the litterbox situation, is darn near perfect! She is developing into a real sweetheart. She tolerates being picked up and cuddled now, just for a few seconds. She may or may not ever be a lap cat, but however that works out, she likes being petted, likes being spoken to quietly, and has begun to talk. She has a very girlish "mew" but it's there. There was also some heavy breathing I took for purring a couple of times. My little girl is definitely coming along!

    Best of all, she now follows me from room to room, and settles in whatever room I am in for a while. She has taken to my "old" cat's bed in the den as if she always slept there. She is fascinated by the betta fish in my fish tank, also in the den, and watches him do his laps around the tank.

    If we can solve the litterbox challenge, I will have a 100% perfect cat. She is 99% of the way there. In any event, I will keep trying. Going back to SPCA is not an option, as I've often reminded her. Will post again re the success of Cat Attract. If this works ... paws crossed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013

  14. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

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    Hope those changes do the trick.  [​IMG].  She's so lucky you came along  [​IMG] (and I'm thinking YOU'RE lucky she came along too [​IMG] )
     

  15. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Absolutely! When I think of the widow who first turned Poppy in to SPCA when the husband died (Poppy's original owner) and then the woman who had her for 5 weeks, and gave her back to SPCA as "unadoptable"... well, all I can say to them is, "Thank you!" Without their rejection of Poppy, I would not have the lovely girl I suspect she will grow to be.

    I was so busy around the apartment for a while this afternoon, Poppy went to her "first days" sanctuary between the sofa back and the wall. When I realized she'd gone back into hiding, I made a cup of tea and sat down in the living-room. I told her life was peaceful again, so she could come out of hiding, and a few minutes later, out she came. She jumped onto the sofa, curled up, and promptly went to sleep.

    This little girl and I have come to an understanding, I think. If we can sort the litterbox thing, we're a lifelong pair.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013

  16. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    43
    3
    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    The new litter, "Cat Attract" plus the Attractant sprinkled on top, has resulted in Poppy using the litterbox consistently when she urinates, but she still goes into a "where do I poop?" helter-skelter panic. Last night she came 3 times into the bedroom, just a few steps inside the door, looked at me pleadingly, and left. I finally got the message she meant for me to follow her, and when I did, I found her "deposits" in the den. Luckily, this time on moppable floor and not on carpet.

    I quietly cleaned up and while I was doing that, Poppy crawled under a chair in the bedroom and just cowered there. I guess she was expecting screaming punishment for her misdeeds. Don't know - maybe that's what she knew in her last home(s). Things are different here, though. No yelling, no hitting cats, I told her. I went back to my reading, and after a few minutes Poppy jumped onto the bed and settled.

    So ... this little girl consistently uses the litterbox for urination. No further worries there. There is a second box in case she needs separate boxes for separate functions, but she ignores the second box. I tried her without Restoralax to see if her body would take over natural functions without it. Have gone back to using it, but in smaller doses each day. I'm wondering if the Restoralax is hitting her, taking her by surprise, so she panics knowing she has to poop quick?

    The litterbox she uses is back in the hallway for now, and she has no problem finding it. She did sniff at it and pause at it on her "poop panic" run around the place, but ultimately didn't go back to it. When I cleaned up the den, I flushed most of the "deposit" but put a little bit in the litterbox, just to give her the idea that's where it's okay to do it. She did use the box again this morning, before I cleaned it out, so the example was there for her to find. I have no idea if cats think logically like people do...

    Do I just keep on with patience and making it a non-issue? I'm definitely not into yelling or hitting a cat for doing what comes naturally to the cat. I have no idea where the litterbox challenges started, or under what circumstances. She's clearly confused as to where it's okay to poop, and she is just as clearly scared when she knows she's done wrong. I don't add to that fear, assuming she was punished enough in the past.

    But I've no idea where to go from here. Do I just keep on with the patience? Is there something more I can be doing to let her know the litterbox is an okay place to do her business? Is Restoralax maybe part of the problem, in that it catches her off guard, makes the process of elimination too fast for her to properly and tidily attend to business as cats usually do?
     

  17. lorie d.

    lorie d. TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sep 2, 2001
    Upper Midwest (SE MN)
    I'm glad Poppy is adjusting well to her new home.  Regarding her litter box issues, the only thing I can think of to suggest is to try putting her fresh deposits in the litter box after you clean up her messes.  Maybe that help her learn where she should eliminate.  I was also wondering if you have discussed this issue with your vet?  Good luck with Poppy, and I'm looking forward to reading more updates about her.
     

  18. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks, Lorie. As mentioned in my earlier post, I did put part of Poppy's "deposit" into the litterbox, in the hope she would recognize the box as an acceptable place to do her business. Waiting to see what happens next time.

    I just wondered if there is something more I ought to try in the meantime. Or if the Restoralax is somehow partly to blame for her not using the box sometimes.

    Re vet care: Poppy is with me from SPCA on "foster to adopt" officially until Feb 21. Although from my point of view Poppy has found her "forever home" with me, she is still under SPCA care legally and officially, until I finalize the adoption and pay the fee for her, which I will be doing when the foster period is over.

    I can't take her to an external vet — and I think there is no medical issue that would justify this anyway. The litterbox behaviour is just that - behavioural. I'm sure of that. She has been assessed medically at SPCA, and doesn't demonstrate any medical issues at all.

    Being still officially SPCA "property," any vet care needed must be provided by SPCA. They are already aware of her litterbox issues, and in fact, told me all about her at the time I wanted to adopt her. It was these issues that made SPCA want me to foster before deciding to adopt. SPCA expected she would be returned to them, so they didn't want to do the paperwork for adoption and then have to take her back again. It was SPCA that gave me the Restoralax to give her, with instructions to continue it. While I can take her back to SPCA vets, they have no more info re litterbox issues than they have already given me. There are no other medical issues that would justify a vet visit, and again, until I officially adopt, she must be returned to SPCA vet care if anything arises.

    I did speak with SPCA's behavioural consultant at the time I picked her up, but nothing more was suggested re litterbox training. We also talked about Poppy's socialization issues, which are improving every day!

    She has been through a bit, for a 5-year-old cat. As mentioned in a previous post, her first owner died and she was taken to SPCA by owner's wife, who didn't want her. She was de-clawed by that first family. She was adopted out by SPCA, but that lasted only 5 weeks, and she was returned to SPCA as unadoptable. So, two rejections. There won't be a third - she's with me to stay. Just have to work past this one issue, and we're a lifelong pair, Poppy and me!

    I welcome any suggestions re litterbox remediation. I've read a lot online, talked to some friends who are owned by cats, and dredged my own lifelong cat experiences, but so far have not come up with any more ideas myself.
     

  19. GoldyCat

    GoldyCat Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Did they tell you why she was getting the restoralax or how long she'd been on it? I can see it being part of the problem, but without knowing her complete history it's hard to say. She might have been worse before. Can you talk to the official shelter vet to ask about stopping it or reducing the dose?
     

  20. poppy2507

    poppy2507 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jan 26, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    SPCA showed me all the records they had for Poppy. I'm sure they weren't holding back any info. Verbally, I was told Poppy would be on Restoralax "for the rest of her life," and the instructions on the container they gave me say to give 1/4 tsp morning and night "until otherwise directed." In the absence of any clear medical condition, I can't imagine why any animal would be put on a laxative for life. I didn't see, in the records, any vet's determination that Poppy medically requires any intervention at all. Just verbal instruction from the tech who did the paperwork for the foster.

    Observing Poppy, I see she is not straining or struggling with elimination, and I have already reduced the amount of Restoralax on my own, or there have been days I haven't given any at all. I was told to "monitor for constipation" but don't truly feel she has a problem with it. Perhaps in stressful circumstances it might have been an issue, but Poppy has been with me for 2 weeks now, and gets more relaxed and more "at home" each day. She's marked her territory in my apartment, as cats do. She's clearly decided she belongs here, and this place belongs to her.

    Last night I re-read the paperwork SPCA gave me when I brought Poppy home on "foster." It was the previous "adoptive home" that returned Poppy to SPCA for two reasons: "defecating outside the box due to constipation" and "petting aggression - not being cuddly - not responding well to being touched." What I was told verbally was that the previous adoptive Mom was "uptight and nervous, and complained she wanted a cat to respond to her and be cuddled" - whether the cat felt comfortable with such affection or not. I'm thinking Poppy didn't have a chance or proper encouragement to warm up to the adoptive person in her own time. Maybe Poppy was pushed too far too fast.

    I've had questions about Poppy's so-called aggression - I haven't seen any so far. Timidity, yes. She's scared of her own shadow. Went into hiding when she first got here, but has come out incredibly well since. A cat frightened of people and frightened of the consequence of pooping outside the box, yes. A cat ready to welcome petting and stroking and soft words - but wary of these - definitely, but her comfort level is increasing daily. I was able to pick her up and hold her last night with no struggle to get away on her part. She doesn't purr yet, but has "marked me" as her person, by licking me, and brushing up against my legs, and following me room to room. I'm going slowly with petting and physical touch, and it seems to be paying off.

    More and more, I see a cat that in her first days with me showed evidence of rejection and previous abuse - either being yelled at for not measuring up (not being "cuddly" enough), or being hit with a mop (I will not easily forget Poppy's panic to scramble into hiding when I got out a mop to tidy up her first mess).

    I think SPCA's vet ordered Restoralax based on the adoptive person's reasons for returning her to SPCA. The "aggression" reason is not holding water, so I now also suspect the claim of "constipation" might be wrong, too. I'm wondering if SPCA responded to a claim of constipation and that claim was based on poor info from the previous adoptive person.

    Also, at SPCA she was caged with no chance for normal exercise or activity level. The litter tray was inches away from her "bed" and her food. Small wonder she didn't want to pee / poop inches away from where she had to sleep and eat. Not a true test, in my view, of her behaviour and personality.

    I've decided to end the fostering situation and adopt early, and then I can legally / officially make decisions for Poppy. I'll go this week to SPCA to finalize the adoption, she will no longer be under SPCA's direction or authority, and I will feel more comfortable stopping the Restoralax completely to see if Poppy's body will just go back to its own direction.

    I don't know if it is the Restoralax working harshly in her body, or too quickly for her to make it to the litterbox, but I will just have to see, once she is my responsibility alone. SPCA has given me all the info they have, and my thinking now is that I know more about her than they do, because I've had 1-1 observation of her for 2 weeks while she has been moving about more, eating well, and feeling more at home.

    If she shows need for laxative help, I will try to work out something more gentle or slow-acting (don't know enough yet about cat laxatives to know what might be better than Restoralax), but I'm wondering if the "constipation" problem is more stress-related than anything physical, and if reduction in stress and an increase in physical activity (run of an apartment 24/7 rather than being caged 24/7) will result in a more relaxed and naturally-functioning cat.

    I know cat behaviour can change as a result of her being de-clawed (by the original owner) and losing her feeling of being able to defend herself, so I'm also factoring that into the whole picture. Will post re how things go over time, and I appreciate help to date.
     

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