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Duncan update

Okay! I just got back from the laundromat, where I washed the duvet in a super-industrial front-loading washing machine which only takes quarters – eighteen of them.

Duncan went to the vet yesterday and she believes, as most of you do, that his peeing on clothing and the bed is a reaction to GC and TD (The Dog). She recommended letting Duncan get used to GC first before re-introducing TD very slowly and gently.

She also recommended Feliway, which is a kitty aromatherapy product, and she gave me some cleaning tips (ie never clean up cat pee with bleach or ammonia-based products or vinegar, because those products will remind the cat of pee and make him want to compete with them by peeing on them). (Cats are so complicated.)

The vet sent Duncan down to the basement with Jessica, the vet tech, to get a urine sample, so she could rule out urinary tract infections and crystals in the urine, which are both common causes of inappropriate urination in cats.

Jessica returned empty-handed several minutes later and said “I can’t get my hand around it.” I have no idea how they collect urine from cats, but this statement gave me pause.

So the vet went down to the basement to see if she would have better luck. She returned with Duncan but no urine sample. “I couldn’t get it,” she said, “because he’s too fat.”

How rude is that??

Duncan on the scalesShe then weighed Duncan, who has gained almost a pound since January*, and declared that he Must Lose Weight. Expensive diet foods were discussed and caloric calculations were made. I decided that we would tackle the diet after we’ve solved the other problem. First things first.

I was sent home with instructions to collect the urine sample myself. The method? Empty the litterbox. Wash it. Dry it. Sprinkle two little containers of non-absorbent kitty litter (provided by the vet) in the litterbox. In the morning, pour the urine into an empty container (provided) and deliver it to the vet. This method of couse depends on the cat’s willingness to use the facilities rather than the bed, and fortunately Duncan cooperated. The sample is being analyzed as we speak. I should know more before the day is out. (Remember when I had to collect a urine sample from my dog, Sam? That was a completely different procedure.)

Meanwhile, Duncan has not peed anywhere else that he oughtn’t. I keep my bedroom door closed during the day so he won’t be tempted. (The bedroom was the scene of the crime in both cases.)

I have no choice but to solve this problem as quickly as possible because I can’t live with the smell of cat pee everywhere, and I can’t live without Duncan.

Your comments, by the way, were so insightful and interesting. And some of them were hilarious.

*9.38 kg = 20.6793 lb
OR 20 lb and 10.86 oz


16 comments to Duncan update

  • Your last few posts are being added to the reasons why my next pet will be a hamster.

    …a 44lb cat was recently rescued in New Jersey and the animal shelter people named him Captain Chunk… then, a few days later, they realized it was a female. So Duncan should in no way be feeling alone because someone couldn’t find his junk.

    Here’s Princess Chunk:

  • Kay

    Good luck. My ginger boy still sometimes pees on the bed or the side of an armchair despite using Feliway (which generally is pretty effective). When he pees thought it is usually because he has not been allowed something that he wants or something he wants to do (such as bash his sister when she is sleeping peacefully).

    I keep thick cotton throws over the vunerable parts of the bed/chair so that they can just be thrown in a hot wash with biological powder to disolve any catty enzymes in the fabric.

  • XUP

    I still want to know what the vet people couldn’t get their hands around?? Because the method they gave you for collecting pee doesn’t involve any getting around of hands.

  • Gabriel – Princess Chunk doesn’t look that big – but what in God’s name is that between her legs??

    Kay – I’m amazed by how many cats out there are doing this sort of thing! Based on past experience, I thought it was uncommon. (Have you considered just letting him bash his sister?)

    XUP – I still don’t know that. The method they gave me was Plan B, since Plan A couldn’t be done because of the getting around of hands thing.

  • 300baud

    Garbiel, all pets above Sea Monkeys need careful attention to their health. I keep rats, and I see my vet far more often than I see my doctor.

  • Carmen

    Perhaps this is why Duncan ended at the HS in the first place….hum…

  • The thing they probably couldn’t get their hands around was likely his bladder. The few times I’ve had Tux into the vet’s, she’s told me she’s had problems finding his bladder becuase he too is a fat boy…. the rescue where Tux and Peno came from had a cat with a paralyzed back end (named Swiffer because of the way he dragged his but across the floor) and she had to help him “express” his bladder because of the paralysis. I believe they massage the bladder to make the cat want to pee…but from your vet’s statement… maybe they squeeze it like a lemon.
    The vet can never get Tux to pee, I always have to collect the sample at home. I’m glad you had an easy time of it… Tux only pees once a day (a very large amount once a day), and never when I’m home and able to take it to the vet before is spoils.. because yes, pee spoils… at least old pee is no good for testing. I also have to lock Tux in a room where the other two can’t get to his special litter. It’s not fun.
    Hope all goes well with Duncan, and I’m sure it will

  • Judi

    I don’t know if it is available in Canada, but I use Simple Solution to eliminate the stain AND the odor from cat accidents (actually they are usually “on purpose”) in my house. It comes in a gallon size too.

  • Update: the vet just called and the urine sample’s fine. Yay. Nothing wrong with Duncan that a little therapy won’t fix.

    Carmen, it did occur to me that this might be the real reason Duncan was at the Humane Society – but I’ve lived with him for eight months without incident, so maybe it’s just how he deals with stressful situations.

    Valerie – it sounds like tux and duncan have much in common.

    Judi – I’ll take a look for Simple Solution tomorrow at PetSmart when I go to buy the cat aromatherapy diffuser. Thanks!

  • Payton

    My cat Penny does the same thing when she’s upset, and it’s never been a bladder problem (I take her to the vet every time, just in case).
    At one point when she decided to pee on my bed I was living in a bachelor suite. I couldn’t lock her out of the room since I had no door, so I had to buy a tarp and wrap it around the bed every time I left. She actually really liked it though, the same way cats seem to like to sit on plastic bags.
    Sometimes I wonder why we keep them around. Then she arrives for her morning cuddle and I forget about the problems.

  • Re

    You can do it! When we adopted Kitty he was a chubby 21 lbs. After a few months with us he was a portly 23 lbs. We put him on a diet and he is now a svelte 18 lbs. It took over a year but it is very noticeable.
    When he was overweight every time we went to the vet we got a big lecture. But when we finally got him down to 18 lbs. the vet did not even mention it. I had to ask the vet how much he weighed and whether it was okay.

  • susie

    Is Duncan nutered? This would be to his advantage if he is. Male cats often “create” stones which can block the urine coming down the uretha. Duncan may need a full work up to evaluate the cause of his urinating “problem”. There are foods which can aid in one cats’ urinary difficulities.

  • 9.38kg! Dude. Both my cats together don’t weigh that much! Good thing too since they are both a lot smaller than Duncan :0) Still, huge cat, although I wouldn’t have said he was overweight just by looking at him. His fur must hide a lot. *makes mental note to grow fluffy fur*

  • Tracy

    My cat, Grady, used to pee on our bed when he was jealous of our new cat – we used feliway and a litter called Cat Attract – he loves that litter so much – it has catnip or something in it – that I have to hide the new bags of it or he will tear them open just to get his paws in it –
    Natures Miracle was the cleaner we used to get rid of the smell – it uses enzymes to neutralize the urine. They say that if you can still smell it, you missed a spot.
    I hope those products are available in Canada. (I got them at PetSmart)
    BTW – he hasn’t peed on the bed in over a year.

  • Tracy

    one more thing – Grady only peed on the bed WHILE WE WERE IN IT. He usually targeted my boyfriend, Tom. I actually contacted a cat whisperer – based loosely on her questionable advice, we would cuddle Grady and say things like “Oh Grady! We’re so lucky you’re here! Our new cat is so lucky that you’re around!” And when we cuddled new cat we’d say “Oh new cat! (her name is actually Zoe) Isn’t Grady handsome? Dontcha just love Grady?”
    Somehow – because or despite our efforts – he seemed reassured of our affection and stopped doing it.
    Oh wait – he did pee once last spring, after I’d been out of town for 10 days – one can get a water resistant mattress pad, btw.

  • Arden

    Psychocat-from-Hell (as she’s known when we’re feeling warmly towards her), has a bad habit of whenever there’s ANYTHING she’s miffed about (her food’s empty, I’ve been out of the house too long, she finished off her water 10 minutes ago, she hasn’t had a chance to sit on my belly in a couple of days, etc.) has a terrible habit of peeing on the floor. She used to pee on the guest bed, but peed on it so thoroughly, we ended up having to toss it. (We had the plastic matress covers, but she scratched them up, so it leaked right through!)

    Feliway helped her a lot, and Simple solution, as mentioned, is superb. Using the plug-in Feliway in the bedroom, as well as spraying GC’s side of the bed with some spray Feliway afterwards should make a big difference!

    Best of luck!