Cat Problems – Feral Faye the indoor Feral Cat

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  • #1623682
    drag0nfeathers
    Participant

      Hi everyone… okay so I’m being faced with a problem as of lately. I have had this cat in my house now for just over 10 years. She is our *shiny pokemon* in a sense that even though she exists she is a very rare sight.

      About 10 years ago I caught a litter of three baby kittens in the Home Depot Garden Center. Haru, Ajani, and Faye and have had them all the way up until now. Haru and Ajani turned out fine and adjusted well to being normal, sociable, indoor cats. They are both a little skittish around strangers at first, but are big mooshes in general and are friendly once they are comfortable. Faye… I think I have TOUCHED that cat twice since she has been alive. Once they day I caught her and again the day we “TRIED” to get her spayed. She broke the cat carrier in two ripped both me and my boyfriend to pieces in the process. We tried to force it when she was a kitten to reinforce we aren’t going to hurt her, but it never worked out and she would just scream and practically seizure at the feeling of human touch. We tried to catch her once to Frontline her… yea… that didn’t happen either. I would describe it as trying to catch a bat flying around the house… She has ALWAYS been like this, but despite that she is friendly with the other cats, eats normally, and has (up until now) used the litter box normally so we kept her because otherwise, she would end up put to sleep because she cannot survive outside and is certainly not able to be placed in any home. At least in my house she had her family with her so she’s been with us this whole time with relatively little disturbance. Literally she stays in her bed 90% of the time (or cuddles with the other cats) and only roams to eat and use the box.

      SO… now we have a new trend. Nothing has changed. Our most recent addition is about a year old now so I don’t think she is the cause of this new behavior. She is suddenly peeing EVERYWHERE! Kitchen counters, the top of the fireplace, my arcade machine console, and this morning she decided to pee on my laptop on my desk… I don’t know why she is doing this.

      Sources say it’s either sickness or stress. You can’t get this cat in a carrier without a blow dart of tranquilizer so bringing her to the vet is a huge challenge and even if we did manage, we can’t administer medicine to her (if it’s a UTI or kidney issue). The other likely reason is stress. We’ve had someone lighting off fireworks nearly every day the past month and perhaps it’s finally taking it’s toll on her because she is very fearful of the sounds. That’s about the only change in her environment I can think of.

      Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions as to what I can try and do to stop this behavior? I was honestly thinking of bringing her to a feral cat colony caretaker but I feel horrible about even thinking about that but I cannot have her peeing all over everything in the house either. If the other animals in my house begin to mimic the behavior I am screwed because in total there are 7 cats in the household. It took a while just to narrow down who the culprit was but we’re about 99% sure it is her now. We caught her pretty much red handed when she peed on a loaf of bread the other day so we’re surmising it’s been her this whole time. We only have 1 other female and the urine on the males is pretty potent while this urine, while smelly, isn’t as bad as the boys.

      Under normal circumstances she would go to the vet, but at her age if I put her in a carrier I honestly think (assuming if we were even successful getting her in carrier by wrapping her in a sheet or something) she would stroke out and die from the stress. She is not the “will calm down in a minute” kind of cat. She will throw a tantrum until she is free (and you’re going to get torn up bad in the process)

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      #1623684
      Setsunawolf
      Participant

        Based on her age, my guess would be kidney issues. Can you lock her in a room by herself with an empty litter box? If she pees in the box you can take the Urine sample into the vet for a urinalysis. The test results there will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with. If her kidneys are failing they might be able to do something with diet. If it’s a simple UTI, there is an antibiotic injection that can be given to cats in-leu of daily pills. (The Antichrist-pee-king-cat, when being medicated, lives at my house.) the injectable meds cost a bit more but usually it’s one shot and done.
        I would try to collect the sample first and have the test run before trying to get her to vet. Less stress on the cat.
        You could also use URI-ease and see if that helps.

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        #1623685
        Megan
        Participant

          Good advice, setsuna. If it turns out not to be a kidney issue or UTI, hopefully it will stop when the fireworks do.

          Only other thing that comes to mind– do you have any neighborhood cats that might have recently started hanging out near your house that Faye might have somehow discovered are out there? My tabby is SUPER territorial, and even seeing the neighbor’s cat through the window when the silly thing strolls through my yard is enough to make her tag something.

          #1623690
          VS
          Participant

            Ive heard there are occasionally vets that are willing to do house calls, tho I can’t say I how costly (or prevalent) it might be. Can always ask around? Might be a long shot.

            If it’s stress, there is something that can help. It’s called “Rescue Remedy”, a holistic herbal liquid safe for children and animals (dogs and cats). I had it recommended to me by people who used it on both their kids and pets and ran it past their vets. I know Whole Foods carries it, used to be about $20 a tiny bottle and you add some drops to their food. I used it for my cat who had Alzheimers (I know, I was stunned a cat can have it too) and it gave him relief from the terror his life was becoming (enough that I could go to work without him wailing in terror because I was gone), buying him a couple extra years. Its a calming agent from what I gather.

            The other ideas sound really good too!

            #1623693
            Setsunawolf
            Participant

              My old vet in Indiana did house calls. It’s how I took care of my two semi-ferals. They have much in common with your kitty, except they like pets….at night….in the dark…after I am in bed and can’t easily get up to “catch” them. Although it did take Kasha about 5 years to warm up to my husband.
              I loved my vet in Indiana.

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              #1623698
              Terri
              Participant

                Having had several cats over my lifetime so far, including 3 that eventually had to be let go due to chronic kidney disease, I’d have to agree with the other posts that Faye’s problem is likely to be either an UTI or kidney disease. Has she lost weight, shown an increase of food and/or water intake?
                As for not being able to touch her, there is also a syndrome that’s neurological that causes the nerves to be overstimulated and the cat reacts like Faye. My mom had a cat like her; you couldn’t touch her w/o wearing welder’s gloves and throwing a blanket over her, and once you *did* catch her, she would scream, urinate and defecate all over the place. I’m serious about the welder’s gloves; she bit my ex-husband through a pair of regular leather work gloves and sunk her teeth to the gums. We took Zoë, (or Psycho Kitty, as I called her) every winter from New Year’s to late April while my parents were in FL, and every year my mom would tell me that if the cat got sick, take her to the vet and put her down, because medicating her was out of the question. She was declawed early on because she shredded my dad.
                There is also a cat litter out there that will change color if the cat using it is sick. I would suggest trying that if you can’t get her to pee in the empty box. Should it turn out to be an UTI, could you possibly have her stay at your vet’s place for the duration of medicating? I would catch her in a heavy blanket and hang on to her rather than attempting to get her in a crate.
                But I would definitely try to get her to the vet.

                #1623699
                Setsunawolf
                Participant

                  That’s interesting about the litter that changes color. I know there is an injectable antibiotic that can be given instead of a regular round because Yuki, my pee king, has to get it when he gets a UTI. He is literally the perfect cat in every regard except for peeing and the fact you can’t medicate him. He will literally flay the skin off you if you try to medicate him. My vet couldn’t even medicate him, it’s why he gets the injection instead. It’s just more expensive, but worth every penny.

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                  #1623701
                  Terri
                  Participant

                    The litter is made of some kind of resin, I believe. It turns red or blue depending on what the trouble is.
                    For the life of me, I can’t think of the name, but I’ve seen it advertised on Facebook.

                    #1623704
                    VS
                    Participant

                      Amazon has it. Not sure what’s the best kind tho. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYT9ZXK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_S3seFb7B93DN8

                      #1623734
                      Melody
                      Keymaster

                        In CA we had vets that had a way to deal with wild feral cats. After you catch them in a live trap, they had a way to anesthetize them in the trap without touching them, then do an exam…but the problem comes if the cat needs follow-up treatments…
                        You could put out a live trap in your house to catch her!

                        #1623737
                        sherry10151982
                        Participant

                          They also make this plug in pheromone that helps keep cats calm just like the liquid that you put in their food. They see it at PetSmart and you plug it into an outlet and it releases natural pheromones that are supposed to help cats de-stress.

                          They also make antibiotics that you can add to their food. And you said that you tried to frontline her; they make flea medicine to add to food as well.

                          She seems like a handful right now; she most likely is having kidney issues or is in heat and is stressed because there is a Tom outside that she’s spotted.

                          It must be hard to not be able to pet or snuggle with her; I don’t think being in a feral cat colony would be good for her unless it’s completely enclosed to where she can go outside, but there would be no chance of her getting out or things getting in.

                          I hope you can find a solution and that she can get back to feeling like herself and that the house can become harmonious again😊

                          #1623751
                          drag0nfeathers
                          Participant

                            Thank you very much for the feedback everyone. I already ordered the Rescue Remedy from Chewy a few days ago and some drops that are made to use in the cats bedding and things like that that are supposed to help calm their anxiety.

                            The litter you are thinking of is Pretty Litter. I thought of that but I also thought that I have 7 cats and it would be a long shot to “catch” her in the act. If I quarantine her to a room I doubt she would even use it and if anything I will probably exacerbate the behavior is if is indeed stress related. Last time we locked her in a room was to try and get some frontline on her and we tore apart the room trying just to FIND her… finally we looked up and she legit was in the corner of the wall and ceiling hanging from the crown molding and stuffed into the corner like a bat. She literally defied gravity… the way Terri explained her mother’s cats behavior is very similar. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had some kind of neurological issue. Her entire life her eyes have has this constant rapid movement. I can only describe it as if she was reading a newspaper very quickly. It’s always been like this. She can’t seem to see very well when we throw her treats even if they are by her feet but she can see movement and shadows at the very least because she can see… I just don’t think she can see clearly. I imagine her vision must be a blur and that only adds to her fear factor.

                            We put a new litter box right near her “safe area” and we’ll see if that helps. My other cats have a habit of taking over every new box I introduce but we have so many already I don’t think it’s going to help. For now I sprinkled catnip on her bed until the other stuff arrives. It rained yesterday, no fireworks and no pee…. so… I dunno.

                            Her weight is good, appetite is normal. Other than this new behavior itself she doesn’t seem to be any different. I’ll try and get through the weekend and see if the remedy helps. If she has to go to the vet she’s going to need to be tranquilized somehow LOL.

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                            #1623770
                            Setsunawolf
                            Participant

                              Check with your vet. They might be able to give you a tranquilizer you can dose her with before brining her in.
                              The rapid eye movement is a condition. I have a friend who has it.

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                              #1623775
                              VS
                              Participant

                                I never got Jello diagnosed officially with Alzheimers. I’d gone to 5 vets about him peeing in front of his box but only at night and how he literally ran into the other cat twice coming around the corner like he couldn’t change his path, and how he followed me into the kitchen once then wailed that he was lost when I stepped back out of it only to be fine once I stepped back in. All vets could tell me was that physically he was healthy and a bit fat. My breakthrough was picking up a book at the petstore about behavior and the first line said it all…

                                Cats can have all the same mental illnesses that people do.

                                He was sundowning, that’s why the odd night behavior. He was starting to have dementia. He was behaving like some of my elderly patients with Alzheimers, and as time went on and it progressed it only became more obvious.

                                Long story short: if you think your cat might have a mental illness, you can be very right! If Setsuna’s friend can have it, so can your furry loved one. I hope remedy works for you, and at least buys you time like it did for us. I wonder if she’s possibly developing dementia (on top of her eye issue) like Jello did, because anything new and unusual (even routine changes or moving furniture) would cause difficulty or immediate fear in such a case (except the drops, luckily), and that gets worse as they age. The drops didn’t work indefinitely for him either, he built a tolerance to it or worsened fast, I’m not sure which. But some dementias can be pretty stable for a while, so who knows?

                                #1623778
                                VS
                                Participant

                                  Pardon, Setsuna, I just realized you meant your friend only has an eye condition not dementia. My apologies.

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