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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:15 am
Posts: 34
Dear all,

I've been lurking about on this forum for a while now. I adopted an 8-year old cat several months ago named Cayce. He was a surrender from his previous home; the owners got a puppy and then one of them fell and couldn't take care of him anymore. Apparently they found him as a stray when he was a kitten. They told me he was a Bengal, which I sort of doubted at first, but we adopted him because he was beautiful and a super sweet, friendly, snuggly kitty. As I read this forum I think he almost definitely is one; he exhibits the majority of the behavior I've read about, has spots and short, shiny fur, a leopard-like face, black pads, very high back legs, and doesn't ever sit still. I've attached some pics below (including one for your amusement :wink: )

The transition, which started out smooth, has become less and less so. I'll go through everything below; please forgive me for the long post.

Cayce was described to me as a cat who just liked to cuddle with his humans and eat fresh catnip. He was an inside cat in a large house who sometimes escaped out the screen door to randomly get in fights with the random outside cat who invaded his territory. He didn't like toys and thought they were stupid.

Reality: He LOVES toys, especially a wand toy I bought for him. He always wants to play, ALWAYS. He is NOT content to simply cuddle, though he does like to cuddle (it's really cute, even when he takes up the entire bed :wink: ). We live in a one bedroom apartment which is very small and he always ALWAYS wants to be let out into the hallway area to explore (it's enclosed, no danger). He has run into my neighbors' cats once or twice - he never tried to fight them, seems to want to be friends (meowing, approaching to sniff their noses, no thick fur or anything), though they don't want to be friends with HIM, and they hissed and growled at him which made him run back into our apartment and cry :sad: I felt awful for him.

We took all of his belongings which consisted of a covered litterbox and food. I bought him a tall scratching post and a low one for the rug. He was scratching the rug at first but we seem to have trained him out of that with the new scratch posts. I bought him a ton of toys, all of which he likes. Things were going well; he immediately warmed up to both me and my boyfriend, used his box, etc. Day by day he got more and more rambunctious as he got more comfortable.

The trouble started the first time we let him outside in the hallways enclosure. He goes CRAZY to go out there and meows and seems to get depressed when we can't have the door open for him all the time. He needs company, too - if there isn't someone with him to observe what he's doing or play with him, he meows so loud I think all the neighbors can hear! (I just had to interrupt this post to go out to him.) I usually give in, but when I don't I get the feeling he gets sort of depressed.

I'm a doctoral student so I can spend a fair amount of time at home with him, though I do have to try to get work done! I had someone recommend putting colored squares of felt on the floor, which for some reason is supposed to be entertaining...has anyone tried it?

I'm worried that he's not entertained enough in my small apartment, and I'm wondering if it's leading to other, worse issues. Just recently, he peed in my suitcase. I assumed because it was the same size and shape as a litterbox, he thought he could do it. I put the suitcase away and took the top off the litterbox. Temporarily I left the top in the tub before moving it, and he peed in that. I still thought he did it because it was also shaped like a box when upside down. I took that away. Thought the problem was solved - until last night I saw him start to squat in a pile of my laundry. I shooed him away before he could do it and removed the pile. Later that night, he peed in my boyfriend's dirty laundry. This hasn't been every day - very sporadic, and he is still also peeing in the box - but I'm now officially very worried.

I JUST took him to the vet, too - he also has soft runny poo. The vet tested his poo and it came up negative, and he gave me a probiotic and suggested I gradually change his food (Fancy Feast, what his previous owners gave me) to a gluten free high protein food. I didn't mention the peeing because until last night I thought it was a one-time thing due to "mistaken litterbox shape identity." Should I take him back? Is this behavioral - related to him not getting enough attention/entertainment?

I've had cats before and even had to take care of very sick cats (my last beloved kitty passed away from a complication from HCM last April, and I still miss her terribly), but these issues are new to me and I'm really struggling. I'm sorry for the length of this, but it looks like there are some really experienced people here, and now that I'm 99.9% sure I have a Bengal, I could use your help.

Here are some pictures of Cayce:
Attachment:
cayce blanket.jpg
Attachment:
cayce leopard.jpg
Attachment:
cayce couch.jpg
Attachment:
cayce toy.jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:15 am
Posts: 34
Oops, I forgot to add a couple of things (I know...I write too much...)

I have started to change Cayce's litter from Companion, which came with him and seems super dusty, to World's Best Cat Litter. We did it gradually, and now his box is mostly World's Best. I wonder if he just doesn't like the new litter and today have tried to put a little of the old stuff back to see if it works.

I have also thought about adopting a second cat so Cayce has a companion to keep him entertained. With the peeing though I'm now not sure that's a good idea.

Thanks again for reading, folks - I sure could use help!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:39 pm
Posts: 314
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Congratulations on your new addition. Cayce is definitely a handsome lad.

Please return to the vet with Cayce and explain his inappropriate urination issue just to be sure to rule out any medical problem. If it's a urinary tract infection, it's a fairly easy fix with the right antibiotics. If it's crystal formation, a better food will certainly aid him in the long run as well.

As for the litter box issue itself, you might want to stick with an open box since Cayce appears to like that option. You can also encourage return to its reliable use with Cat Attract litter, at least until he gets himself back in order.

And, as for getting another kitty to keep him company, you might want to hold off on that for now... again, until he gets himself back in order.

Good luck with this fine boy. He is so fortunate to have found you.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:52 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:15 am
Posts: 34
Thanks for the advice, AzaBoy. You're right about the vet; the poor guy never sees the end of me (all the time with my previous cat for HCM, and now this will be time number three in two months with Cayce - first the checkup, then the poop, and now PEE). I feel like I should just live there. :sad:

I've never heard of Active Cat before. I will check it out.

Also, here is a very amusing camouflage picture for your entertainment :cool:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:15 am
Posts: 34
oops, I meant *cat attract* not Active Cat!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:39 pm
Posts: 314
Location: Las Cruces, NM
lizatrmbn wrote:
... and now this will be time number three in two months with Cayce - first the checkup, then the poop, and now PEE).


:cool: Here's hoping "Three's the charm!" :cool:

I don't know why but it always seems to go that way with my own tribe. :eek: Please keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4111
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
My $0.02 is that it really could be any of the things you mention. It could be a medical issue, or an issue about not liking his new litter, or a behavioral issue. The easiest thing to try though is to change his litter back to the dusty stuff, and make sure he has a large enough box (get the largest one possible). Then see if the problem doesn't go away.

Regardless of whether it's causing his peeing issue, I do think you should do some things to your apt to help him. From your description it sounds like he has a scratching post and toys only? If he doesn't have much room to run around in, you should at the very least do something for him with the vertical space. Get him a tall tree or two, make him some platforms up high on the wall, get some poles for him to climb etc. It won't solve his need to play, or desire to want to go out, but it will help get him some additional exercise, and make some more interesting play options for both of you, which may ultimately make him happier.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:01 pm
Posts: 761
Hi

You said above - "I JUST took him to the vet, too - he also has soft runny poo. The vet tested his poo and it came up negative, and he gave me a probiotic and suggested I gradually change his food (Fancy Feast, what his previous owners gave me) to a gluten free high protein food."


The tests for the poop - did you get a PCR test for Tritrichomonas Foetus (TF) done? Is the poop very smelly? Have you seen any blood/mucus on top of the poop? If the runny poop does not clear, you may want to go back to your vet to request this test.

As others have said in this thread, best to get the urinating problem checked just to be sure he doesn't have a UTI.

Please keep us updated

Lisa
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:15 am
Posts: 34
Thanks so much for weighing in, everyone! Lisalisa, yes, Cayce's vet did mention TF as a possibility. His poo IS very stinky. Because he (Cayce) has so many new things happening at once what with the move, and since he otherwise appears healthy, the vet wanted to try the food change first. He said if nothing has changed in the next month or two, I'll have to bring him in for the TF test.

I went to PetSmart today to look for a cat tree, but I think I'm going to try HomeGoods instead. I saw some taller ones there a while ago, and they were $100 as opposed to $200! I did buy a pot of fresh catnip, though :mrgreen:

I like the idea of making some vertical space options for him. What do you mean by poles? Can he really climb up a pole?? Does anyone have any pictures of their own vertical spaces I could see for ideas?

I also see that a lot of you walk your cats. Cayce is 8, which seems old to try leash-training him, but I'm not sure. He might really like to go outside, and if I could tire him out a little it might help! Do you think it's too late for him to learn? I don't want to mess up and lose him outside, or traumatize him!

The peeing has been so sporadic. I bought some neutralizer and sprayed the areas where he peed (hard because they were piles of clothes). His litter box is very big and deep - I don't think it could be deeper! He peed in it today, which is promising, but again, he's been in and out of it. If it happens yet again tonight I'm definitely calling the vet in the morning.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:01 pm
Posts: 761
I'm no vet but I wouldn't leave it a month or two before getting a PCR test for TF. If left for too long, TF can cause long-term problems such as colitis. Please pop a sample in to the vets asap and if it IS TF, you can get Cayce on the 14 day Ronidazole treatment.

Lisa
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:17 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8012
Sounds like Cayce is bored. He's gone from a large space to a much smaller space. Bengals are known to want company. Mine cries constantly for me to come and play with him. He rolls over on his back because he knows I'm a softy for an exposed, spotted belly. You might want to consider harness and leash training Cayce and taking him outside for a while each day. A new household is a huge change for both Cayce and you. I would definitely hold off on getting a second cat until you get his litter box issues taken care of. You might want to add a litter box to the mix--maybe hard to find the space, but it could help. He is a beautiful kitty cat and I'm sure with time and patience, he will become the perfect companion.


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