Saturday, January 2, 2010

SUNSHINE's behavioral issues...

With SUNSHINE, it had been a real challenge since we first got to know her. She came in unexpectedly (at a time when I wasn't ready to accept a newcomer), she wasn't in the best of health (her ear, wound, fever, fleas) and also behavioral issues. It was chaotic, when it came to bathing (as she screamed and protested, but with all the fleas she was carrying around on her, bathing was on her 'must' list) and I don't even wanna elaborate with the hairdryer. An even more challenging behavior was that, although she was litter trained for whatever reason she urinated on my bed! She would definitely use the litter for poo'ing, and sometimes for pee'ing too.... and hence I couldn't really make out reasons for her peeing on my bed... It was really getting on my nerve as I never had that kind of problems with my first 2 cats (the Princess & the Mafia). I got some recommendation on this behavior at the time and I was working on that, until........ (as told in my earlier posts)... she was returned to her actual owner, and (after a looooooooong story) she was eventually back with us. (*sigh* & phew!)

So when she was back with us, she was then joining a family with 4 seniors. She was staying separately at first, had to clear her up with fleas, her ears, and then went for her 1st vaccination, only after that she was introduced with the 4 seniors.... She was lined up to be spayed after her 2nd vaccination, BUT she happened to be pregnant (as in, it happened before she joined us).

She was gradually getting along with the four cats, but problem was with litter. It was often that I came home to find her mess on the side of the litter box. Because none of the seniors ever do that before, the accusation fell on her and yes I later witnessed it. I recalled (from earlier recommendations) that it could be due her disliking sharing litter box with others or perhaps super-hygienic nature that she did not want to use, used litter. So from 2 litter boxes (which was suffice for the 4 seniors), it became 3, then it became 4, then it became 5, then it became 6, but still, even when there was still unused box, I would still find a mess exactly next to the boxes. I think I would've kept adding the number of litter boxes if it weren't for the new issue she was coming out with. She later developed some moody behavior, whereby she would just smack one of the others when they passed by her, which then initiated their regular fights. I thought this could be due to her pregnancy, and the feelings of being threated or whatsoever, so she then got her own room

I thought it was good that she had her own room (though I'd need to reintroduce her to the 4 seniors later). That way, I may not have problems with the litter box, as she wouldn't be sharing her box with the others, unfortunately that wasn't the case, she was still making mess, even when I left up to 4 boxes for her all alone! and another thing that worried me was that she meowed/screamed loudly as she wanted to roam around the living room... I was giving in to her, because I didn't want to have the neighbor complain on me.

So next was the new 4 baby kittens SUNSHINE got. Adorables with troubles. Lovely but naughty. Anyhow, all the while SUNSHINE was still with that litter problem, I came home every single day to find her mess next to the litter box. To ease the work a bit, I placed newspapers surrounding the box, and precisely her mess would fall on the paper and I'd clear that and replace the newspaper.

The thing that never occurred to me was the litter material that I was using on them.. I had been using either Feline Fresh wood pellets or Breeder's Celect newspaper pellet, both non-clumping. Thanks to my dear mother, she was sure that was the reason for this problem. So I switched SUNSHINE to
clumping sand litter, and tadaaaa!!! problem solved.

The kittens were growing big and naughty. They played with the litter and their room was sandy everyday, their water filled with the sand, but on the positive note, they were litter trained =). I didn't want them to keep on using clumping sand (1. because of the mess, 2. because it is costly, 3. because wood/paper based is safer, 4. because wood/paper based is easier to dispose), so I moved SUNSHINE into the living room (once the kittens started on kibbles) and have them meet up by night time when I was around that is if SUNSHINE decided if she wanted to do so =p

The kittens had been fine with the pellets (wood or paper) and SUNSHINE had been fine with her own box of clumping sand. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT....... haih, there's alway a 'but' with SUNSHINE, she urinates on my bed, my blanket, my pillows. SUNSHINE stays in the living room, but she can access into my room by pushing the door open (because the knob is broken and hence can't be closed properly). I have moved those 'high-risk' stuff into the cats' room, I now sleep in the cats room (which they don't seem to mind, as I serve as their playground). BUT (again another 'but' for SUNSHINE), her peeing has extended to cloth material....haiaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!! Now what!

As I cool myself down, I'd have to say, she has been one sweet cat, she's fond of people, she doesn't make mess, she doesn't eat up my papers, and she plays with only her toys. Her fleas are gone, her ears are better, she's ok with bathing (but not the dryer), she's no longer moody/agressive (as she was during pregnancy and when the kittens were much younger), and she's interested with making friends. Unfortunately the other cats don't like her so much. I'm guessing hard, that she could be releasing some odd smell to them (as she had been on heat on and off).

Soooooooo..... she's up to be spayed, which I hope is the solution to most if not all of the issues I'm facing with. She will be confined during her recovery, so I'm hoping to take that as an advantage to force her into using either wood/newspaper pellet. I hope she'll no longer pee on any cloth thingy around here. And I hope the other cats will start accepting her in with them. And yeah, I hope she grows beautiful healthy looking fur (I didn't mention that she's thin on fur, despite of suplements, could be due to the stress of being on heat). Here we go SUNSHINE!


Mac said...

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