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My f3 kitten has behavioral problems and urinates on couches

#1
Hey guys,

It's been a little over 3 weeks that i welcomed my new f3 boy kaïko into my house. He is now 6 months old and is neutered.
Even though there has been improvment in his adaptation to me and my appartment, certain behaviors tell me that there might be something wrong with him.

It only took a couple of days before Kaiko let me pet him. When i work him long enough, he lets me pet his head, cheeks, chin, paws, belly without any problems. He would close his eyes and feel completely relaxed and wouldn't fear anything from me. However, as soon as i leave the house or have a couple of hours without interacting with him, he would always hide in his bed and feel threatened by my presence once i try to approach him. most often than not, he will growl and hiss at me. Since i want to discourage such behaviors, i try to calm him down and make my way to pet him slowly. At this point he would just accept my hand and let me pet him. By now, I thought that he would have understood that i'm not a threat to him. However, he still backs off and avoids proximity At all costs. We can play for hours, fall asleep together in his bed at night, but he still wouldn't approach me by himslef. I was told that the best way to tame a cat is to hold him and have him feel your warmth and heart beat for a while. When i tried to grab him, he completely freaked out and bit me. I then grabbed him by the neck and forced him to calm down while holding him. It seemed to work as he stopped fighting and stood quiet for a good 10 minutes. However, when i put him down, he ran to the bathroom (his bunker) and stayed there for the rest of the evening..

On top of that, i have another major issue with Kaiko. He has been peeing on the couches since day one he arrived at the appartment. He poops in his litter box and often pees in there too, but i always have a pee on the couch every day. I cleaned the urine with vinegar and enzyme cleanser, i've been putting plastic and aluminum foil on the couches, used repelant, moved the litterbox directly on the couch, but nothing seems to be working. (Or it works until he finds a window of opportunity!)

The breeder tells me that he never had such behaviors back at the cattery.. I knew he was a shy kitten, but he wasn't as "wild" as he is right now. It feels like he is very stressed, but i have a hard time finding what i'm doing wrong (since i'm doing everything to bring him comfort). I adopted him right after his big surgery (neutering + declawing) and this, mixed with the rehoming process, might have traumatized him more deeply than i thought.

Any how, i would like to know if other people experienced such phase when taming their savannah, and what are the tricks to growing a healthy relationship with him. I would also appreciate any advice with the pee problem, since i'm starting to be low in alternative solutions.

Thanks very much in advance for your help ;)
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#2
First off, I would never recommend someone force a kitten or cat to be held when it so clearly is afraid of close human touch. I would recommend you start from scratch. Put Kaiko in a small room such as a bathroom or bedroom with water and litterbox. Bring him food 2-3 times a day and remove it when you leave. Stay with him in the room as much as possible - bring your computer or book in with you, sit on the floor and read aloud from time to time without reaching out to him or making eye contact.

After the first 24-48 hours bring a wand toy in with you - again sit on the floor with your computer or book and pretend to ignore him, but swish the wand toy on the floor from time to time. If he becomes engaged with the wand toy you can play with him a bit more... run it across your legs so he chooses to make physical contact with you. Find a favorite treat for him (Halo freeze dried chicken treats are a hit around here) and give him a treat when you enter the room and when you leave. If he doesn't take it from your hand it's okay to put it on the floor near you... gradually move it closer each time you leave it out.

I would keep him in a small confined area until he becomes much more comfortable with you - whether this be a week, a month, or longer. Once he has run of the house he also has the ability to run from you again and you will be back to square one.

As for the couch - if you purchased the enzyme cleaner from your local pet store I doubt it is strong enough to really do the trick. You need something like Anti-Icky-Poo or Unique Distributors - and follow the directions completely. You might have to take the couch (or cushions if they're removable) outside and soak them completely through with the enzyme cleaner. Once you're sure the last remnants of urine are removed purchase a waterproof tarp to put over the couch - if you have a wood frame you can you the typical bungee tie downs to secure it, if not you might need long bungee cords to secure it on. Spray the tarp daily with the enzyme cleaner or a cat repellent.

I don't think any of these issues are insurmountable, and think eventually Kaiko will start to warm up to you, He may never be a lap cat, greet you at the door, or follow you everywhere you go but I do believe he will eventually for a bond with you - on his own terms. Feel blessed for what he is able to give you, and rejoice in the baby steps. Please keep us posted on his progress!
 
D

DocMac

Guest
#3
First off, I would never recommend someone force a kitten or cat to be held when it so clearly is afraid of close human touch. I would recommend you start from scratch. Put Kaiko in a small room such as a bathroom or bedroom with water and litterbox. Bring him food 2-3 times a day and remove it when you leave. Stay with him in the room as much as possible - bring your computer or book in with you, sit on the floor and read aloud from time to time without reaching out to him or making eye contact.

After the first 24-48 hours bring a wand toy in with you - again sit on the floor with your computer or book and pretend to ignore him, but swish the wand toy on the floor from time to time. If he becomes engaged with the wand toy you can play with him a bit more... run it across your legs so he chooses to make physical contact with you. Find a favorite treat for him (Halo freeze dried chicken treats are a hit around here) and give him a treat when you enter the room and when you leave. If he doesn't take it from your hand it's okay to put it on the floor near you... gradually move it closer each time you leave it out.

I would keep him in a small confined area until he becomes much more comfortable with you - whether this be a week, a month, or longer. Once he has run of the house he also has the ability to run from you again and you will be back to square one.

As for the couch - if you purchased the enzyme cleaner from your local pet store I doubt it is strong enough to really do the trick. You need something like Anti-Icky-Poo or Unique Distributors - and follow the directions completely. You might have to take the couch (or cushions if they're removable) outside and soak them completely through with the enzyme cleaner. Once you're sure the last remnants of urine are removed purchase a waterproof tarp to put over the couch - if you have a wood frame you can you the typical bungee tie downs to secure it, if not you might need long bungee cords to secure it on. Spray the tarp daily with the enzyme cleaner or a cat repellent.

I don't think any of these issues are insurmountable, and think eventually Kaiko will start to warm up to you, He may never be a lap cat, greet you at the door, or follow you everywhere you go but I do believe he will eventually for a bond with you - on his own terms. Feel blessed for what he is able to give you, and rejoice in the baby steps. Please keep us posted on his progress!
and his toes (or lack thereof) may be hurting in the litterbox.
 

Samber

Savannah Super Cat
#4
try a different litter cause like docmac siad it may be hurt since you had him declawed. maybe try kitten attract litter. idk if its soft for declawed cats since i never had one. you may want to do some google searches for litter that is soft for declawed cats.

sorry but it really bothers me when i hear a cat was declawed. now you have a urination couch issue instead of a scratching the couch issue. declawing cats is known to cause potty issues for cats.

as for your bonding issue, i think patti gave some great advice.
 
T

tkymasters

Guest
#5
There's just something about plastics... They love to pee on it.

Sorry to say, but the sofa cushion is done.. he will continue to pee on it as long as he can smell a little pee. My suggestion with the cushion.. If you can unzip the cushion, then do it.. I found that the odor removing soap for deer hunting does a great job of destroying the enzymes. Big garbage can, deer soap, water and cushion.. agitate, soak for an hour, rinse, and repeat with the deer soap, water, agitate and soak. This time at the end of the soak, use a little Downy, agitate, and rinse thoroughly. Wring out as much as you can and hang dry.

My wife left a plastic bag on the couch once. She will never again. Smell was gone, and the cushion was never soiled again.
 
D

DocMac

Guest
#6
I know we don't realize how great the sense of smell is for our Savannahs? The can smell when we pull into the driveway with the raw meat to grind. There they ALL sit on the cat tree where they can view our back door and watch us carry in the bags. When we come home otherwise, Bambi watches us, but the rest are too busy snooping around, napping somewhere in the sun, or trying to open their toy locker (yes, LOCKER!). But that meat smell FROM THE DRIVEWAY, gets them.

Just imagine how strong urine is to them! Have you ever used an outhouse? Bringing up my West Virginia roots, where people still have no indoor plumbing, I can only imagine a whole house full of confusing odors. Thank goodness for the enzyme cleaner.
 
#7
grabbing at a kitten is not a good practice. they instinctively will cringe, crouch or run away. He may also do better with two litter boxes. I had a girl that would pee in one and poop in the other but if she didnt have two boxes would poop on the floor, bed or wherever.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#8
There's just something about plastics... They love to pee on it.

Sorry to say, but the sofa cushion is done.. he will continue to pee on it as long as he can smell a little pee. My suggestion with the cushion.. If you can unzip the cushion, then do it.. I found that the odor removing soap for deer hunting does a great job of destroying the enzymes. Big garbage can, deer soap, water and cushion.. agitate, soak for an hour, rinse, and repeat with the deer soap, water, agitate and soak. This time at the end of the soak, use a little Downy, agitate, and rinse thoroughly. Wring out as much as you can and hang dry.

My wife left a plastic bag on the couch once. She will never again. Smell was gone, and the cushion was never soiled again.
Can you explain the odor removing soap? Where do you get it? What is the name of it? Thanks
 
D

DocMac

Guest
#9
Walmart or Tractor Supply carry it here as well as little stores where you check in your "kills",