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Old 01-17-2013, 10:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=doodlebug;917402]Is he neutered?



Litterbox avoidance after declawing is not a psychological issue, it's physical. Their feet hurt, so they won't go in.

QUOTE]

I did adopt a cat, Maddie from the SPCA here with litter box issues, and yes she was declawed. The VERY LARGE sign said "litter box issues, doesn't like to be chased, doesn't like to have her tail pulled". I gave her a chance - a quiet home, no kids, no dogs and she has been absolutely perfect for 7+ years. Her issues were not because she was declawed.

I have a 10 out of 10 average of having declawed cats with NO issues. Many of my friends also have cats that were declawed as kittens with no issues. If that is not indicative I don't know what its. I don't like the insistance on the sweeping generalization that declawed cats have litter box issues. I think the cat in question in this thread has something ELSE troubling it...has anyone mentioned children in the home?????
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Cat going to the bathroom everywhere.

No young children in the home. My son is 16 almost 17 and he's it.

Yes my cat is neutered.


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Old 01-17-2013, 11:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I am not going to debate the issue about declawing or not declawing. It is what it is at this point. I simply wanted some help as far as him not going in the box.
Let's just agree to disagree on that issue.
Acknowledging the declawing as a potential cause of the issue impacts the suggestions for resolving it. If he was not declawed, I would suggest isolating him to a small area (bathroom is a good option) with food, toys and litterbox until he uses it consistently. Absolutely not letting him out and it may take weeks. Then giving him a larger, but still contained, area (bedroom? kitchen?)...if he regresses, back to the bathroom.

But with declawing in play, trying the pee pads (or I think someone suggest shredded newspaper), basically soft stuff is well worth it before putting him through the other process which is hard on him and you. Putting some of his urine on the pee pads will help give him the idea. You can blot up his latest deposit with the pad before putting it in the box.

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I don't like the insistance on the sweeping generalization that declawed cats have litter box issues.
It's not a sweeping generalization. As the studies I posted indicated it's a percentage of cats. The numbers weren't consistent across the studies, but were significant enough that it has to be a real consideration when a cat has issues and urinary infection/crystals and so many other things have been ruled out. It makes no sense to me to give absolutely no credence to the possibility that this is declaw related.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #24 (permalink)
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.....

<snip>....

It's not a sweeping generalization. As the studies I posted indicated it's a percentage of cats. The numbers weren't consistent across the studies, but were significant enough that it has to be a real consideration when a cat has issues and urinary infection/crystals and so many other things have been ruled out. It makes no sense to me to give absolutely no credence to the possibility that this is declaw related.
In addition, as we have seen here, there are many who refuse to admit any correlation between de-clawing and litter box problems. This then means that the percentages err on the low side of accurate.

I'm glad the OP loves the cat and says she will not ever give him up. But she is not helping him by refusing to accept that the declaw may be at the base of his problems.

If you want to help your cat, you need to accept that this may very well be his issue. This way, you can take steps, based on his disability, to help him. But first, you need to accept that his disability is very likely the root of the problem.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:52 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't like the insistance on the sweeping generalization that declawed cats have litter box issues.

It's not a generalization. It's scientifically proven and supported by statistics. and they did not screen 10 cats like you, but hundreds or thousands of them. your 10 cats or even 20 is not significantly large group of subjects to draw any conclusions. you just have been lucky your cats dont have any issues after declawing. and that's all.

I have a friend who declawed her cat and it scarred that cat physically and mentally for life. she regrets that declawing procedure to this day, her cat is in pain to this day and declawing happened more than 10 years ago.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #26 (permalink)
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In addition, as we have seen here, there are many who refuse to admit any correlation between de-clawing and litter box problems. This then means that the percentages err on the low side of accurate.

I'm glad the OP loves the cat and says she will not ever give him up. But she is not helping him by refusing to accept that the declaw may be at the base of his problems.

If you want to help your cat, you need to accept that this may very well be his issue. This way, you can take steps, based on his disability, to help him. But first, you need to accept that his disability is very likely the root of the problem.
could not state it any better.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I am not refusing to believe anything. I just have my feeling and you have yours.
He is declawed and there is nothing I, you or anyone else can do to change that!
I am just simply asking to drop the declaw subject because at this point, it can not be changed.

I have tried yesterday's news already and neither one of my cats liked it. I have also done the news paper ripped up and they would not go in that either.

I am going to make another vet appt and see if she can run more test and X-rays to make sure it's not medical.

Thanks for the other advice.


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Old 01-17-2013, 01:40 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I am not refusing to believe anything. I just have my feeling and you have yours.
He is declawed and there is nothing I, you or anyone else can do to change that!
I am just simply asking to drop the declaw subject because at this point, it can not be changed.

I have tried yesterday's news already and neither one of my cats liked it. I have also done the news paper ripped up and they would not go in that either.

I am going to make another vet appt and see if she can run more test and X-rays to make sure it's not medical.

Thanks for the other advice.


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While I agree that declawing might be part of the issue I'm going to leave that alone since the OP is right and even if it is one of the causes it can't be changed.

However, something else stood out to me.

You've had this cat since he was 2 weeks old, right? And he's had litter box problems the WHOLE time? I think he was never properly trained to use the litter box, and that would have caused him to build up the habit before he would have been declawed (which wouldn't have helped the issue...just to be clear).

Essentially you have a 2 year old cat who has never been 'potty trained'. Unfortunately now he's two and you have two years worth of behavior to change...so it won't be easy but I do see it as possible if you are truly dedicated to changing his behavior.

Start by putting him on one small room with a litter box, I'd pick a bathroom, or somewhere else with a solid floor. He needs to stay in there 24/7 for the first while. I'd start with 2 weeks. Yes, that's not optimal for him, but neither is being taken to the shelter and losing his family (or even just having your hubby always be mad at him), so it's harsh but IMO necessary.

Give him everything he needs in this room. A nice big litter box (try different types of litter, maybe something you wouldn't have thought about before), a scratch post, toys, a bed, food and water. Make sure you and your family spend some time in there with him so he isn't too lonely...but don't let him out AT ALL to begin with.

He will hopefully start using the box 100% of the time. If he doesn't the next step would be an extra large dog crate, but I like to try the bathroom first. If he does start using the box all the time then wait for at least a week, two would be better, of him using only the box. this will help him build up the habit of using the box, something he's never had.

While he's confined do a serious clean of your carpets. Ideally you would get them steam cleaned with a pet specific cleaner, then use a black light to spot clean specific areas which will need more attention. You can buy pet specific products at PetSmart, look for something enzymatic.

Once he's been using the box reliably you can start expanding his territory WHILE YOU ARE HOME AND WATCHING. You can't go from being confined and using the box to roaming the whole house without supervision right away, that's way too big of a step. Pick one room, with a door, to move him up to. If you have a room he's never peed in that's the best choice. (No kid's bedrooms, ideally no bedrooms, but realistically it might not be a choice. Hard flooring would be my preference too, but if it's not an option then make sure that that room has been cleaned thoroughly!)

Move him and all his stuff into that room for a month. If he stays using the box 100% for a whole month (Again, we're fighting against a whole lifetime of bad habits, he needs to build good habits for this to work.) then you can start letting him out while you're watching very carefully.

I went through this with one of my boys, I would put him in his litter box and wait until he had at least sniffed around and maybe dug a bit. If he peed then I'd praise him, once he was done, and we'd go explore the house. if he didn't pee I would watch him like a hawk, and no praise.

Stick within a few feet of him while he wanders about, don't be distracted. If you see him start to squat, or intensely smelling an area where you know he had peed before pick him up and take him straight to his box! The goal is to teach him that his box is the only appropriate place to go. Don't ever punish him, I don't care if he squats on your lap. Don't yell at him, or anything. He doesn't know any better yet (as evidenced by him peeing all over your house...) You're only reaction if he makes a mistake is to calmly pick him up and put him back in his room, no more wandering for a week.

Every time you put him back in his room go back through your home thoroughly, especially check any areas he's peed in before. I can say 'pay attention' as many times as I want, but realistically if your phone rings you'll answer it, or w/e. So once he's put away check to make sure he was accident free. Once he's gone a month or more with no accidents you can start leaving him with less supervision, so leave him out while you watch TV or read a book, cook dinner, ect.

When you get to this last point there needs to be a LOT of litter boxes. I know that this is no fun, your husband might not like it, your friends like think it's weird...but I'll be very clear about this. Would you rather have a litter box in every room for a while, or have your cat peeing on everything? That's pretty much the choices. To help your cat successfully learn to use the box again he needs to have one readily available at all times, if he needs to run through the whole house to use the box he'll simply go back to his habit of peeing on the floor since it's easier. if the box is in the room he's much more likely to make the right choice.

At this point he still needs to be put away when you are out, sleeping, or very busy. TBH you might never get to the point where he can always freely wander your home, but if you confine him with his box you have a much better chance of keeping him from peeing any more.

The last step is to have every person who lives in your (excluding kids too young to help out) home read this and understand it. If they aren't willing to help you out then your cat can only be let out of his room (when you get to that stage) when YOU are personally watching him.

Yes, this is a lot of work. Yes, it seems weird. Yes, most people don't try this with their cats...It helped my two boys stop marking all over my house. It worked great for us, and it took time...but we got to keep our cats and we don't fight about what to do about cat pee all over our home. If you are careful, if you are diligent, it will at least improve things.

One last note...I honestly do think that him being declawed didn't help the situation. As a baby he never learned good litter box behavior from his mother, which means he was always more likely to have developed bad habits. The declawing might have been what pushed him over that ledge...but it can't be fixed.

OP I hope you will read all of this...novel (sorry about that BTW), but I also hope you'll think about not declawing your next cat. No one can say "For sure declawing is what caused this behavior." But that doesn't mean that you can prove it didn't either.

I hope you'll stick around, and I'd love to see some pictures of your cats
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:10 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Thank you for your novel LOL! I did read it all, and I am going to give it a try and see how it works. I will start with the bathroom. Thanks for your advice.
I will post in a few months and let you know how things turn out.



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Old 01-17-2013, 04:19 PM   #30 (permalink)
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You don't have to vanish until then! Stick around and chat about your kitties I hope it does work for you!
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