2-2-18 Friday

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From Noelegy:

My Maggie cat went missing in November 2016. She liked to go out in our fenced backyard, and would always let us know when she wanted to come back in. Except one day she didn’t. She was microchipped, and I signed up with the PawBoost lost and found network.

I never expected to see her again, but we were reunited in December ’17. She was sixty miles from home, and declawed (front and back paws). I think when her personality changed because she was in pain, someone dumped her out into the country.

Of course I’m glad she’s back with me, but I’m furious at whoever did this to her. She’s clearly traumatized. I have to keep her separated from the other cats, and she will go in one instant from purring and letting me pet her, to hissing and biting.

I’m open to suggestions. Right now, I’m treating her like a litter of feral foster kittens I won over: gentle, consistent presence.

In my opinion you’re handling it perfectly. Keeping her separated and letting her have her own space, treating her like a brand new, feral kitty, is what I’d have recommended. You might try adding some Rescue Remedy to her regimen (I saw that you’ve added a Feliway diffuser to her room with good results.)

(Also, what an AMAZING story, that she was gone for over a year and came back to you. I hate that she was declawed, and god knows what she went through in that year, but thank god she’s back with you!)

Anyone have more suggestions? Please share!


From Jo:

I’m having a cat problem that I’m hoping you or someone reading your roundup can answer.

I have an indoor/outdoor cat (her name is Olive) and she has suddenly started pooping outside the little box. Luckily she still pees in the box, but poops just outside the boxes. I have started keeping the extra large rubber litter catchers under the boxes so she hits there, then I drag them outside to clean with the hose. I have 4 cats and 5 litter boxes in two rooms in my house. I’m not sure how old she is as someone dumped her and I took her in. She was an adult cat at that time – and that was 2008.

Previously I lived out in the country on 3 acres and she went in the woods there. I kept a litter box in the house but it was very seldom used by any of the cats. When I moved here in May 2016, all of the cats settled in nicely, I had the fence cat-proofed so they could still access the outside, and they all started using the litter boxes inside the house. To the degree that they would come in to go, then return to the yard.

Believe me I have tried different boxes, sizes of boxes, litter types and brands. I’m beside myself and don’t know if I should take her to the vet or what. Any suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

I said: I’d suggest a visit to the vet to start with. Given that you’ve tried changing litters and the types of boxes, that the behavior is relatively new, and her advanced age, it seems likely that it might be an arthritis issue and that squatting in the litter hurts her hips, knees, and/or back. If that’s so, there are supplements that you can try to give her some relief that the vet can direct you toward.

Also, if you haven’t already, you could try putting a disposable pee pad (like the kind they make for dogs) just outside the litter box. If she’ll go there, then that would make cleanup a whole lot easier while you’re getting the problem figured out!

(Jo made a vet appointment for Olive, and reported that she watched Olive get into the litter box and squat to pee with no problems.)

If you guys have thoughts on this, please chime in!


What former L&H kitten were you speculating might have had Khal for a daddy? I’d love to see a side-by-side. Depending on how long he was intact before Fred caught him, you know he must have made some pretty babies out there!


I think it was little Miss Privet.

Indeed it was Privet (who we called Floomp – which is now one of Khal’s nicknames, of course.)

Here we are with Daddy Khal on the left, and daughter Privet on the right.

I really think he must be her father, don’t you guys? I wonder just how many babies he was responsible for before we had him neutered!


Have you tried brushing Khal? I just love his look

Fred brushes him a couple of times a week, and Khal loooves it. I haven’t tried brushing him myself because Khal and I are still in the making-friends stage of our relationship.


Caught your lovely posting of Frankie – how is he doing?

Frankie is doing very well. He is currently getting Atopica twice a week, and it’s controlling the stomatitis. He yawns big all the time, with zero yelping or crying. He’s eating well, he’s playing, and he is one happy boy. I can’t believe he’s only been with us for a year – and in fact, I think at this time last year I was still hoping to find him a home. HA. I found him a home, all right!


Also, a huge THANK YOU for the Rescue Remedy idea! I have one cat (male, of course) who has anxiety and as a result tends to spray when he’s stressed. He *was* on a generic form of cat xanax, but recently had stopped accepting the crushed pill in his food after a couple of years with no issue. So, I stopped the pill and now put RR drops in the water bowls around the house and he’s totally calm. Perhaps even more so than when he was on the pill!

I’m so glad it’s helping! I really think that adding Rescue Remedy to the water helps keep our cats more relaxed and I highly recommend it to everyone!


“Whatchoo MEAN ‘child support’?”

We had some guys in the house the other day (the water heater died, and OY that’s a topic for another day, thank you) and coincidentally, Sheriff Mama (the lump in the middle of the bed) found it necessary to inspect the underside of Fred’s comforter. A sheriff’s job is just NEVER done.

Archie, on the other hand, gathered his toys and stayed under Fred’s desk for the duration of the morning.

Later, Alice watched a squirrel in the front yard. (Alice was watching squirrels from the screened porch the other day, forgot herself, and ran head-first into the screen. I shouldn’t have laughed, but even now when I think about her back end coming up off the ground as she hit the screen, I giggle.)

Khal (bottom middle of the picture) watching the biggest squirrel I’ve ever seen (on the tree.)

“I SUPPOSE that comforter passes inspection. I have to sit here and consider whether I need to issue a warning for the wrinkles in the sheets.”

Stefan is such a muffinhead.


2017: She’ll be 10 in April which is not by any means OLD, but it’s certainly oldER and technically she’s in the senior category now.
2016: Extreme Ears of Annoyance.
2015: I swear she must be half monkey.
2014: No entry.
2013: No entry.
2012: Giving me the side eye to see if I’m impressed (I’m not).
2011: How tiny IS Tiny Alice?
2010: M’Lynn the skittish.
2009: It wasn’t until after she put her glasses on that Samba realized she’d been whispering sweet nothings to a water bottle all evening long.
2008: No entry.
2007: Possibly if I stopped buying toys for the cats there wouldn’t be such an issue with them scattered everywhere, but I guess cat toys is my other illness.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



2-2-18 Friday — 30 Comments

  1. OMG – back after a year? that is wonderful but how horrible that someone declawed her. we suggest too – maybe a radio in the room to give her a little noise distraction and then just go in the room and sit with some high value treats and slowly let her come to you for them.

    • She has a radio, and a Feliway diffuser. I give her treats whenever I come in. She has A Thunder Shirt I haven’t been able to put on her yet. I think she would benefit from a calming collar, but she won’t let me put it on her. I think she had bad experiences with being grabbed or held against her will.

      Last night she was cuddling with me, and she still got startled and bit me.

      • Ok, I know this might sound wacky, but I follow Lil Bub the cat and her owner has sworn up and down this thing– http://www.assisianimalhealth.com/

        The assisi loop helps with inflammation and pain, which it certainly sounds like your baby is in… in addition to the loop, would you consider getting her on a low dose of pain killers or mild sedative? For her PTSD, it sounds like she will need lots of time to realize she is home and that you won’t hurt her 🙁 I’m sorry…

  2. Decades ago when we lived in Indiana (I know, that’s not where L&H is located) there were fox squirrels, significantly larger than the typical gray squirrel. Could that be what Khal was observing?

  3. Floompa? Floom-Paw?
    Oompa, Floompa, Floopity-Do
    If you have treats I’m coming to you!

  4. I love a thorough and contemplative Sheriff!

    Hm… it looks like Archie’s priority was to save all the good kickin’ toys.

    The muffinhead at the end melted me into a pile of goo. *bloorp*

  5. Out of curiosity, I zoomed in on Frankie’s mouth. It looks like he only has his fangs and 4 front teeth left, is that about right or does he have more?

    I’m aware that many cats get along just fine after having lost many of their teeth if they’re on a good quality canned food only diet, but could a cat actually do alright with zero teeth by just gumming the canned food or does the loss of all teeth (including fangs) present other challenges for their care?

    • My Harry (now sadly deceased but he made it to 18!) lost all his teeth over his life, due to resorption of the roots. At the end, he only had his front nibblers. The fangs went first, and then the molars, one or two at a time. He was a kibble kitty (his choice), though he would eat a tiny little dab of pate canned food. He ate kibble for his entire life. When he had molars, he would crunch up the kibble pieces, but after the molars were gone, he’d just pick up kibble pieces and swallow them whole. (They were small size so he could do this without choking). I think he used his nibbler teeth and his tongue to get the kibble into his mouth.

      The vet also told me that after their gums heal, they harden up a bit, and it doesn’t hurt them if they do “gum” the food. His worst problem seemed to be losing/dropping a lot of the kibbles, which meant more clean up for me. Which I was happy to do for him.

      • Thanks for replying, Joy. I’m sorry you lost Harry but 18 is definitely an achievement!

        I lost my three at ages 15, 18, and this last one who just passed recently was 25. I think the eldest benefited from me learning so much more about food/nutrition and care over the years.

        The one who passed at 15 was a kibble-eater that had all her teeth but still swallowed them whole, which I found odd. (I only knew because when she’d throw up, it’d come out the same way it had gone in.)

  6. Thank you for the side by side of Khal and beautiful Privet! I’d love to see what she looks like all grown up. But she must have her mother’s eyes. 😉

  7. For Jo – I also have a senior cat that suddenly stopped pooping in the litter box (but still peeing in the box). She will use the box occasionally, but mostly right outside of it. (She also poops elsewhere, but that’s another story. And she’s just shy of 19, so I’m fine with it- mostly because I have no carpets). My only suggestion is that, rather than using disposable pee pads, you get the washable ones (like the ones Robyn uses). It’ll save you money, they’re easy to clean, and if /when the poop problem resolves, you can still use them for other things. Like when you have a cat that likes to pee with her butt hanging out of the litter box. Or even no-cat things where you need something both waterproof on the bottom and absorbent on top.

  8. For Jo, I have a cat who started pooping outside the litter box after many years of no problems. Turns out she was being bullied by another cat. I separate them now. My boy cats in the back of the house together and my girl cat up front with me. It took awhile, but no more pooping on the rugs after she felt safe.

  9. For Jo, if it is an arthritis problem, then some daily painkiller may help. I had two elder cats who wouldn’t always go in the box and once they were started on a painkiller (gabapentin) it made a big difference. They had always been squatting to pee but poop was more of an issue. Also make sure that her poop is softer else it could be that constipation is part of the issue.

  10. The question that immediately leaps to my mind is why didn’t the vet who did the claw removal check her for her microchip. They should automatically do this no matter what the person has to say. I am infuriated. Both of my cats are microchipped and are not allowed outside. But things do happen,. This gives me a pain in my stomach to think of my babies lost and then operated on.

  11. For Jo. My very small old female cat started peeing in the litter box and pooping elsewhere two years ago. My mousepad was her favorite place. She has never gone back to pooping in the litter box. Two months ago I confined her to one bedroom with her own box, away from my two big male cats. She loves it in there, but she still won’t poop in the litter box. I don’t like that, but I’ve decided that’s just the way it will probably be. There were 14 good years, now it will just be more of a challenge to keep her. I’m 71, I understand how things change.

    • Thanks Janice. I’m 73 so I’m also well aware of how things change! I spoke with the vet about Olive and he says it’s probably a behavior issue. She has started going after one of my other cats, so I’m hoping she’s just mad at him and will get over it. She’s never been an overly friendly cat anyway.

  12. This is for Robin. I wrote a couple of years ago about Wesley. He was abandoned here as a kitten and I bottle raised him. He has been the most difficult cat I’ve ever had. He’s totally a house cat. For at least two years he either bit or scratched me every day of his life. He fears nothing, he isn’t wild, he wasn’t mad. He knew better, he’d bite and then run. My son loves cats and they love him. Wesley would meet him at the door with his tail swishing, ready to attack. At other times the cat would come sit on my lap and purr contentedly. The other cats disliked him. It went on like this for 4 years. Then my son and his girlfriend moved in with me. After two years the girlfriend asked if she could get a puppy. She did. Wesley loves the puppy. He plays with her, he swats toys around and chases them with her. She chases him and grabs his tail. All he does is bop her on the head with his claws tucked in. If she’s outside and needs to get back in, he runs and finds someone to open the door. He treats her so much better than he’s ever treated any of us, or any of our other cats. There were days in the past when Wesley would go through the kitchen, open all the cabinet doors, and toss things onto the floor. I had thought, “I should get a Jack Russell to sic on that danged cat.” He probably would have loved it.

  13. For Noelegy

    I would recommend getting the kitty into a vet to have the paws checked to see if there are any bone fragments in them. Arthritis is also an issue with declawed cats, so checking the hips and joints to see if they are okay too would also give you more info.

    Your kitty probably has some PTSD. Talking to your vet about mood stabilizers might be warranted if there is no obvious pain going on in the feet (fragments) or joints (arthritis)

    I have just started several of my cats on CBD oil made from marijuana. I am not a fan of MJ, but I had heard so many positive things about CBD and I had two cats who were suffering despite being “medicated” for their issues. Eli for paranoia and Muffin for arthritis. Both have had improvement on it. It is legal in all fifty states even if THC is not.

    • Thank you! I will look into this. She kneads the air when she’s happy, but won’t let me touch her paws. I can’t believe the back paws were done, too.

      I have CBD oil. What sort of dosage should I use? She weighs about 8 pounds.

  14. Ugggh. So sorry Noelegy, about your kitty that came home scarred for life. I think it’s criminal on the part of the Vet who de-clawed her.

    I suspect the Vet who either did not scan Maggie for a chip, or chose to not follow up on her reported lost status probably did a hatchet job on her poor paws. A trip to a sympathetic Vet for X-rays to determine if there is any reconstructive surgery to help with her pain. I think you are doing the best you can with a very sad situation.

    Sorry for the rant Robyn, I know L&H is meant to be a happy place devoid of potentially charged subjects. I just want Noelegy to know there might be some hope for less pain with the right Vet, and reconstructive surgery

  15. My older girl started pooping outside the box when she developed bladder stones. Surgery (actually two over 18 months, yuck) fixed her right up, and now she is on special food and hasn’t had another problem with stones or the box. I tried Cat Attract too, so that might have helped!

  16. For Noelegy:

    Has Maggie been to the vet since you got her back? I would suggest talking to your vet about doing x-rays of her paws. Not to only is declawing absolutely aweful, the procedure is often botched and cats can be left with bone fragments or claws regrowing inside the foot. X-rays are the best way to determine if the horrible procedure was at least completed properly. I know that there are several non-profits around the US to cover corrective surgery for declawed cats.

  17. I second what others have suggested about taking Maggie to the vet. My mother adopted a declawed cat who the shelter said was “grumpy.” Turns out she had a recurring infection at the surgery site and was put on antibiotics which FINALLY put her out of pain.

  18. For Noelegy: My nearly 16 year old cat sometimes pees over the side of the litter pan. I discovered by chance that she does this if I have the litter too deep. She always pees by the edge but poops in the middle.

    I use a piece of plastic carpet protector for hallways. It needs to be heavyweight… like what a home supply store would sell.