As promised, here’s an update on Murphy. Or the Smurph, as we call him.
I did a lot of reading about retraining cats to their litter box. After bringing Murphy home from the vet, he was still allowing the urges to take over and squatted whenever the urge hit. Went through almost a full can of carpet cleaner in the process. After reading what others had to say, the hubby and I started thinking he got used to urinating on a soft surface because the vet had him in a cage on a towel while the catheter was in.
The first two days he was home, we literally walked behind him, picking him up and taking him to the litter box as soon as he tried to squat. He ended up sequestered in the bathroom a few nights, which ended up for the best because the urinary tract canned food the vet gave us upset his stomach.
We also ended up having to throw away their cardboard box and washed all their toys because he had several accidents, and then a purposeful ‘visit’. So away went the box. I didn’t want to take the chance that he’d completely stop using the box, so we kept taking him into the litter and praising him like crazy when he went.
Some of the blogs I read online said that sometimes cats will fear the litter box because at the start of the infection, it was only a source of pain because of the pain generated by not urinating or possible burning sensation. I think this may have been the case for Murphy, but we did everything we could think of to avoid that. I’ve never praised a cat so much for using the litter box.
Though we didn’t have much luck with the canned food, he seems to hold down the urinary tract dry food just fine. We’re still planning to get them both on a mostly meaty canned food diet, but we may keep the dry for a while to make sure Murphy doesn’t get blocked again. Part of the reason he got blocked is because he didn’t drink much water. The formulated food is supposed to help make him drink more, therefore go more and help keep the struvite crystal formations to a minimum or non-existent. *fingerscrossed*
Once we got him back to going in the litter box 85% of the time when the urge hit, I went ahead and steam cleaned the carpets. While we’d cleaned every time an accident happened, I knew there was some of the smell left over that we couldn’t detect, but he could. So far, so good. He’d only had on incident of purposefully going somewhere other than the litter box and one accident. That one was caused by Charlie jumping on his stomach while trying to get him to play. He tried to get to the litter box but couldn’t get away from Charlie quick enough. I can’t fault him for that one.
Two Saturdays ago, Murphy finally started playing with Charlie. For me, that’s an indication that’s he feels he can control his bladder well enough to run and play. Indy 500 is only in the warm up laps, but we’re getting closer to a full blown race, which make me and the hubby smile.