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Down No More?

ZahrasHuman

Savannah Super Cat
#1
Hi All,
I am a proud new member with a tiny problem I would like to bring to experts here. My 20 weeks old kitten has been an absolute joy....seriously she is a total lap cat just happy to be pet all day not too hyper not too loud, eating great, and her litter habits were perfect. I say were because since the move from my boyfriend's apartment in LA to my apartment in Chicago, she has suddenly begun using my bed as the bathroom. It is not consistent, and I think it is a combination of "missing her daddy anxiety," getting a feel for a new home, and the down comforter and duck feather bed that I had. I read that kittens can confuse the feeling of down for their litter. I have just removed these down items but I am wondering if and how I can reintroduce them. She is an older kitten, should the "down confusion" be a problem at her age? I am really hoping that I have solved this problem with thorough washing "nature's miracle," additional litter pans, and the removal of down, but I would appreciate anyone's insight. I should mention she has gone from having me 24/7 to me being back at work as well so there are a lot of changes for her. Thanks!
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
Well you can go through the ritual of using a tarp on the bed to discourage the peeing and washing the down with Anti Icky Poo (Nature's Miracle doesn't quite do the job) but there are great synthetic alternatives to down and I'd choose that option. Down has long been an attractant to cats, be they adults or kittens and she may be choosing the down out of preference rather than confusion.

The stress of a new place, an absent daddy, and a new daily schedule (you not being there all the time) is certainly enough to cause a temporary issue with inappropriate peeing. To help her adjust, make sure you give her loads of attention and play time when you are home; maybe keep the tv or radio on when you're gone; try Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter for a little while; be sure the litter box is kept clean; perhaps change the location of the box; and try keeping her confined in a room with her litter box and toys for a couple weeks.

You might also take her in for a checkup. Stress can cause urinary tract infections.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#3
Agree with everything Deborah has said...you may also want to add an extra litterbox or two until she becomes more familiar with her surroundings.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Agreed with Deborah and Patti... remember that it is worth a little inconvenience and work right now to save a lot of work and trouble later on in life. Starting a kitten right sets you up to have the perfect pet for years to come :)
 

ZahrasHuman

Savannah Super Cat
#5
Thanks guys I am going to see how things go without the down comforter and duck feather bed. She had no incidents since I removed them last night. I have had her for three weeks now, and like I said she had perfect litter habits up to this point. My boyfriend has a synthetic comforter. I'm hoping she just has a thing for down. I will keep you posted.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#6
Good luck! Be grateful you don't have a spite pee-er like I do. When I come back from an absence of 3 days or more, one of my SVs pees in the kitchen stove exhaust vent. We have a downdraft vent and he'll get up there, look me in the eye, have a go and trot off satisfied that he has taught me a lesson about leaving him.
 

ZahrasHuman

Savannah Super Cat
#7
Oh no! I was worried for a little bit that I might have a spite pee-er truth be told :) The night we got in at 3 AM After a 9 hour airport/plane ordeal, she leaped on to the bed, pranced all over it, looked right at me and started peeing. I thought this was revenge for bringing her to the frozen tundra after her life in California ;) Now after speaking to everyone I think she really just may love the down . At least I hope that is all it is. I would hate to give her another confinement so soon.....
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#8
After flying with a kitty, the first thing I do when reaching our destination is to place kitty in a litterbox. Did you make sure your kitten was aware of the litterbox and keep her in a smaller space on arrival so that she would remember where it was?

Of course, she might just be like a child that when excited forgets until too late that they have to pee... and the down felt just right as a substitute...
 

Lesley

Site Supporter
#9
I have had problems with down, not just SVs either. That may be something she just can't help. BUT. You did have a major change, so I wouldn't rule out down yet. Remove the down and give her some time to adjust. Good luck!
 

ZahrasHuman

Savannah Super Cat
#10
@Brigitte Cowell, thanks for the further inquiry. The first thing I did was introduce her to the litter box. It was shortly after that she attempted to pee in the bed. I caught her, scruffed her, and placed her in the litter again. Ten minutes later in the dark she peed in the bed, and then pooped in the litter box. She was all over the place. There has been no incident today, she is using her box. I made it a point to spend some extra time at home, and her cat tree and several new toys arrived so I played her to exhaustion :D. @ Lesley If I can get a couple of solid weeks of good litter habits, I may try to at least bring back my feather bed :)