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Unread 09-07-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default New here and need lots of advice please!

This is Jasmine:



I don't know what breed she is because she came from the shelter. She is about a year and a half old. She is a wonderful amazingly loving kitty and we love her to death. The problem is that she recently has had a problem using her litter box. I took her to the vet and she is totally healthy, although she did pick up herpes at the shelter and that recurs occasionally. We haven't changed litters or moved her box or anything. There haven't been any major changes in our house that I would think would be upsetting her. She eats Eagle Pack hairball formula. Anyone have any ideas how we can get her back to her litter box?

Secondly, we are thinking of getting a new kitten. This is the guy I am looking at: FREE ADORABLE 8 WEEK OLD KITTENS

I don't know a lot about cats so I have a lot of questions about getting a new kitten. Is it good to have a male and a female together (both altered of course)? What is the best way to introduce a new kitten to Jazz? Will having a new kitten make our litter box problems worse? Should they each have their own litter box?

Jazmine hasn't been around other cats, except at the shelter and then she had her own cage so was separated. She has been around dogs and she loves to play with dogs. The main reason we are thinking of a new kitten is for a playmate for Jazz. She is a very playful cat and I would love for her to have a buddy.

Any advice appreciated!!!
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Unread 09-07-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Hello!

She's very pretty!


I am new here too, but I have had cats since I can remember. I used to have a stray cat colony when I was young, and my aunt has a cat rescue. In my experience the male/female thing hasnt really mattered in altered cats. I've had/seen females react very negatively to both male or female kittens, and I've seen the opposite happen where the older female cat took very well to them. I think it depends on the individual cats' personality moreso than the gender. When you first introduce them, Jasmine probably wont like the kitten. Hissing, growling and swatting are normal reactions that should go away over time. But watch out for changes in litterbox behavior, lack of eating or drinking, or very violent attacks on the kitten.

People have different opinions on how to introduce a kitten. I believe the best(most common?) way is really to give a the kitten it's own room, where it has it's own litter pan, food bowls and toys. Let them interact through the door for a couple of days, and if Jasmine is responding well, open the door and supervise their face to face interactions, as long as Jasmine is not freaking out, let the kitten run free in the house while you are there. If you leave, keep the kitten in the room until they warm up to eachother enough to be unsupervised. Make sure to give Jasmine more attention than the kitten, too! The process can take a while.


However, I wouldnt try getting a new kitten until you get her litterbox problems resolved. First and foremost, you need to make sure that anything she goes to the bathroom on outside of the litterbox gets washed really good, and that there is no lingering smell. Throw it out if you can, put it in the washer numerous times, use sprays, flip cushions/mattresses, or deep clean the carpet. The smell might make her want to go in that spot again. Make sure you clean the litterpan daily, cats can be finicky sometimes with dirty littler boxes.

I dont know anything about feline herpes though, but I imagine it might cause urinary problems, did you ask your vet if herpes could cause litterbox issues?. It's strange that she is having this problem without it being health related, no change in enviroment, and being so young. I'd say try getting a second vet's opinion. Or hopefully someone else here can help you better with that.



Hope this helps.
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Unread 09-08-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice! In cats, herpes presents as an upper respiratory infection. Her eyes get goopy and she sneezes and coughs, so it is not anything like a human herpes infection. She has not had a recurrence in a couple of months, so I can't imagine that having anything to do with her litterbox problems. I just can't figure out what her problem is.

We have been closing her in a small area with her litterbox and she will use it then, but after a couple days when we give her the run of the house again, she goes right back to peeing on the floor. And it's weird because she is peeing on the kitchen tile and places like that, where we clean it and the smell does not soak in.
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Unread 09-08-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Do you have a picture with her tail as well? It could be a mix of Maine Coon, Siberian or Norwegian Forest cat. It's probably not PB though, unless the previous owner found her cheap at a Backyard breeder. Thinking about it, that could be possible.

She looks a lot like this Norwegian forest cat here, don't you think?


I agree with Tankgirl that they all have different personalities and may react differently. But according to the book I have, an older female and a male kitten is a good combination. Of course it may take some time before they adjust though and there may be some hissing in the beginning.

Goodluck!
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Unread 09-08-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, that does look like her! Here is my favorite pic of her tail. She can make herself sooo flat it cracks me up! The shelter said she was Maine Coon but she is pretty small - about 8lbs.

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Unread 09-08-2009   #6 (permalink)
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That picture cracked me up too! LOL

She could still be a Maine Coon mix, she's kind of small and doesn't have the lynx tips and the tail isn't as large as they usually are. Norwegian Forest cats are slightly smaller than Maine Coons, they also have tufts between their toes. So she could be a NFC too.

Siberians, Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats do look a lot like each other though, but still differ.

But no matter which breed she may belong to, she is a very gorgeous girl!

Your girl looks a bit like my Maine Coon girl btw, but she is a big girl and heavy to carry around. You can see pictures of her on my profile album if you're curious.
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Unread 09-08-2009   #7 (permalink)
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about the pee on the tile floor. Unless you are using an enzyme cleaner, she can still smell it. You've got to use a special cleaner like nature miracle or stink away, something specially formulated for cat urine smells.

Do you keep her litter box clean? Scoop at least once a day (better twice) and dump and scrub every week?

some cats prefer a choice of box, and use one to pee and one to poop. I recommend you get another litter box. You can try them side by side or put one in another area.

Try to figure out if there has been any stress in Jasmine's life. Something you wouldn't even notice might be causing her stress.

A feliway plug in diffuser or two can help with this problem, too.

Don't bring in a new kitten until you are sure the litter box issues have been solved.

Did your vet do a urinalysis on Jasmine? It takes a urine check for bacteria and crystals to be sure if the problem is medical or not.

About the herpes (to other poster: feline herpes is an upper respiratory virus) Ask your vet about putting Jasmine on l-lysine supplement to control the flare ups.

A prescription is not needed, but you should always check with your vet before giving your cat something new. L-lysine is an amino acid that helps boost the immune system, and control herpes virus, doesn't cure it, there is no cure, but controls it better.
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Unread 09-08-2009   #8 (permalink)
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PS Thank you for adopting from a shelter. Jasmine is BEAUTIFUL!!!
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Unread 09-09-2009   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the advice! I do use Nature's Miracle to clean up when she goes outside of the litter box and we do keep her box very clean. I will get a 2nd box and see if that helps. I don't know if this matters but she has never buried anything after she goes. She goes and then she scratches around on the outside of the box, but not inside it to bury anything.

Yes, the vet did a urinalysis and we do give Jazz Lysine when she has a flareup, which tends to lessen the severity, but we don't give it to her regularly as a preventative. I will ask the vet about that.
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My Tolly (herpes eyes, seizure disorder) has been on l-lysine for 8 years now. He almost never has a flare up anymore, it's been a couple years since any flare up at all, and it's been even longer since the flare up went into secondary infection (when antibiotics are needed).

Lots of scratching, but not burying, is not that uncommon. Make sure the boxes are big enough for her, too. Some cats need lots of room.

I use these rubbermaid(tm) tubs:

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