Trapped a stray! Plz Help with Socializing Winnie!

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Blue950

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After almost 2 months in my home, Winnie is finally letting me pet him!!!!
He has taken a HUGE liking to my dog, and comes over and rubs against him continuously during mealtimes. I was inching closer and closer, and finally, he allowed me to pet him while he rubbed up against my pup. At first just for a second, but now I can pet him for a couple minutes as long as the dog is there. (He’s still skittish and runs if I approach him normally).
I got him a collar and tag. :) He also got his vaccine boosters so he’s soooo ready for a forever family once he’s ready to trust!

He’s also yowling a lot less at night. (Woo).

However, I have been unable to move the litter box upstairs into the bathroom. If the litter box is moved too far from its current place in the living room, he is too scared to go upstairs (walk past my boyfriend or any other “scary” humans) so he will eliminate on the carpet, sink, or nearby blankets. I tried switching to a Breeze Box so at least the box is less stinky in the living room, but he won’t use it. Any suggestions, let me know. The constant pee smell is driving us crazy.
 

di and bob

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Get a good clumping litter. If yours stinks get a different brand, it DOES make a difference! I use Walmart's Scoop Away and it works great, when I switch my husband starts complaining, his nose is not 'nose blind', like mine.
 

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Worlds Best Cat Litter. Never smelled the pee again since I switched to that one.
 
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Blue950

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Update on Winnie. He has been making huge strides!
He is still scared of being touched when approached by people if the dog is not there, but I can pet him no prob if he’s leaning on the dog for protection. He’s also sitting near me most days when I work or watch TV, and follows me around the kitchen. :goldstar:

No more yowling at night!!!!!!! Just chirps when he’s communicating. :) And he’s now responding to wand toys and will play for a long time if I pull out the mouse wand toy.
His levels of comfort with physical touch by humans is still kind of sporadic, but there was one night he sat next to me on the couch, leaning against my feet!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven’t been able to replicate this yet, but it made me overjoyed! See the handsome boy in his collar in the picture!

Question - anyone have experience with cat UTIs? He started going more frequently and drinking more water, and a home test showed positive for leukocytes/white blood cells. Vet culture was negative, but those are massively inaccurate based on the technique used and type of bacteria. The fact that there are white blood cells in his urine show that he’s fighting some kind of infection. Anyone have any experience with figuring this out if it’s not immediately straightforward?
 

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daftcat75

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Handsome man!

That's adorable that he has an emotional support dog. 😻

I don't know if you can take him back to the vet. That may be too much stress. Maybe you can change his litter to one with plastic pellets (that color changing one for kidney health whose name is escaping me right now.) That would make it much easier to tip out a sample into a cup and take that down to the vet.

Otherwise, I would call the vet and say he's got all the signs and a home test to confirm it, how about an antibiotic prescription, and let's see if it all improves?
 

fionasmom

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Collecting a Urine Sample at Home - Feline Friendly Care

The litter might be Kit4Cat which is non absorbent and allows you to collect a specimen. The link gives another way to try if you don't want the litter. However, I agree that the vet needs to be involved with anything like a UTI if for no other reason than they are so uncomfortable and cats are so stoic.

The rest is great news! He is so cute and his affection for the dog is both funny and touching. He is making great progress and has definitely decided that you are his family.
 
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Blue950

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It’s been another month so i thought I’d give another update on Winnie!

I am absolutely amazed at his progress. He has decided he trusts us 80%, and walks around like he owns the place. A previous roadblock was that he trusted me but not my boyfriend yet, but in the past 2 weeks, he’s opened up to him, too.

He runs to the kitchen anytime there is possibility of food, loves his kitty fishing pole, rubs against our legs, lets me pick him up if I approach gently, and even occasionally sits in my lap for a few min, purring, during work. I almost cried with joy when he climbed onto the bed to cuddle with me (no dog that time!) the other night when I had a headache and was napping. HOW IS THIS THE SAME TERRIFIED, UNSOCIALIZED,HISSY STRAY WHO SHOWED UP ON MY PATIO IN JANUARY???
He has turned from a terrified, semi-feral, angry orange blob into a curious, affectionate, weird little cat goblin. 😍

He loves all our fosters. We currently have a dog foster and Winnie is trying his hardest to cuddle with her (supervised), even though she clearly wants to chase him and chomp him. Luckily, she’s missing most of her teeth and wants to play rather than make a meal of him. However, it’s so odd... he tries to cuddle, she tries to fit her mouth around his head, he treats it like a like head massage... finally he gets sick of her (gentle?) chomp attempts and swats at her with his claws, she whimpers and runs away.... 30 min later, they restart the cycle. (Note, they are always supervised and Winnie has a “safe house” to run into that she can’t enter, and I leave the leash on so I can grab it at any time if needed. But they’re more set on playing than hurting, so there’s not too much concern there).

We’re going to give it a few more months to gain that last 20% of his trust, but the original (tentative) plan was to TNR and socialize him until he can find a good family. However, we’ve grown quite fond of him and his weird dog-cuddling antics, so looking for a different home might slowly be turning into plan B.... We’ll see!
864D8718-1120-42FF-A3AE-D9993659A7CD.jpeg
 

fionasmom

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That is such a heartwarming story! He certainly thinks that he is home and maybe he is ;) As for the dog, I think it sounds safe and you are handling it the right way. Winnie would understand danger from a dog, and this dog's history might be that she was friendly with cats.
 
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