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Cat Litter Issue

I do feel a little silly for asking about this, but here we go...

So, about one month ago we adopted a little kitten, she is now 3months and a bit old. Been having her inside for the most part with some occasional walks outside to get her used to being outside, as she is an outdoor breed and will eventually be allowed to walk freely in or out. For as long as she is for now indoors, we've gotten her used to using the litter box, one of them with a small hatch to get inside, which she is good at using. BUT, whenever she decides to to curl one down, it f*cking reeks, it smells quite bad. I've had other cats before and none of them have smelt like this... Obviously we get rid of the shit asap, but then also clean her with a wet cloth so that she run around smelling equally bad and to teach her to was herself.

We're not feeding her anything unusual, she mainly eats this dry food(which was quite expensive) https://www.specific-diets.co.uk/cat/everyday-diets/kitten-fpd-gb. Furthermore, we're using some silicon cat sand, as that was what we got recommended.

Edit: Forgot to add an essential part to this!

This is the litterbox in use;

She tries to dig her shit down, but instead of digging it down into the sand or put sand over it, shes just scratching the sides of the cat litter box. Also after going out of the litter box, shes wiping her paws on the floor. But yeah, the scratching of the box inside is very loud and doesnt seem normal either. Is the box too small for her? Or could this be related to the sand of choice?

So, anyone got any tips or tricks here? Is this normal-ish? Obviously shit smells... but this seems almost out of the ordinary... Does the type of cat sand matter a lot?

Orionza ,
@Orionza@lemmy.world avatar

It could be the food. I had my cats on Friskies. We changed to Meow Mix and their poo suddenly stinks so badly. They also have been barfing kind of frequently now. We just got them a bag of Friskies again today, and we should be back to normal poo shortly 😂💩 which also smells when they poop and run (not covering) but definitely a lot lighter smelling.

If you try different foods (wet too) and it's still not working out, especially poo sticking to the bottom, a little vet visit might be good.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Yeah will have to try some different varieties of food, thanks for your input 🌻

EssentialCoffee ,

Sounds like your cat is having digestive issues with their cat food. Switch to a different food.

CheesyGordita ,

Fortiflora helped our cat. That and in time he learned how to cover his poops better. Sometimes kittens are derps

dr_jekell ,
@dr_jekell@lemmy.world avatar

I have a 1 year old Tonkinese cat. When she was younger she was known for her toxic flatulence (I swear that she knocked out a golden retriever with her farts).

But after changing her food to Fussy Cat grainfree dry biscuits along with Fussy Cat raw beef mince the farts have disappeared.

The smelly poops may be from her gut not liking the food, I would suggest getting small bags in a few different reputable brands and see what she goes for and try giving a quality pet raw meat as a soft food replacement.

As for the litter it may be too fine for it to cover up everything to her liking, I have used clay litter for years with several cats without issue.

And lastly the tray may not allow enough digging room to cover things. I have used trays with removable raised lips like this one with good results. If you are wanting it enclosed you can get furniture that holds the tray and accessories out of sight but easily accessible for cleaning.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Thanks for this!

christian ,
@christian@lemmy.ml avatar

We had a cat a while back with horrible flatulence among other stomach problems for a couple years. He was kind of a dumbass and at one point he ate some bristles off of the broom, caught him chewing on it and didn't realize he had actually swallowed anything. A tiny bit after I had taken it away from him he coughs up the bristles with a tapeworm tangled in there.

I swear we did like a million stool samples the first couple years we had him that showed no parasites. We had just brought in two of them a couple weeks apart in the past month when that happened. My wife took a photo of the worm, we went straight to the vet and he got medication that solved all his issues essentially overnight. For the record, if this ever happens to you, the vet we saw suggests putting the worm in water to preserve it and bring it in, rather than just snapping a photo and trying to get the thing as far away from your household as possible immediately afterwards.

I think "Thank god our cat ate that broom" is a phrase not used very often outside of our household.

Orionza ,
@Orionza@lemmy.world avatar

Wow that was interesting. Thank you for sharing.

QualifiedKitten ,

Her poops shouldn't smell like roses, but the smell shouldn't be so terrible that you can smell it from the next room either.
Are her poops solid? If they're not, definitely talk to your vet, as she could be sick, and diarrhea is especially dangerous in kittens.
Assuming it's not a medical issue, looking at the ingredients of that food, I think you might find the smell improves if you try a different food. One of my cats has a very sensitive stomach, and my vet said that ingredients such as fish, beef, lamb, corn (maize), soy, and wheat are frequent triggers for cats. I see that the first three ingredients of that food are on that list. For proteins, poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) or rabbit tend to be well accepted. I've had to switch my cats to 100% wet food, but my vet previously suggested Dr. Elsey's chicken kibble, and they both liked it.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Luckily not a diarrhea issue, but thanks for the suggestions :)

LowtierComputer ,

My current youngest cat had very very smelly poops. If you feel it's truly unusual bad, get your kitten tested. Ours had a sort of fungal infection.

Also What do you mean by silicon stand?

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Ah my bad, that's a typo. I meant Silicon Sand

LowtierComputer ,

Also some cats are just really bad at covering up their work with kitty litter. My last cat would drum for 30 minutes after pooping.

HeyThisIsntTheYMCA ,
@HeyThisIsntTheYMCA@lemmy.world avatar

Our cat did that with the manual scoop, but we got an electric scoop for the other one with kidney issues and she stopped playing in the litter. One of those unexpected positives.

QualifiedKitten ,

And at the opposite end of the spectrum, there's cats who intentionally don't cover it, as a way of marking territory. One of mine has a lot of "dominant" tendencies, including a habit of not even trying to cover his poops.

doublenut ,

I had a similar issue with a cat except 70% or his poops were also liquid.

After maybe 2 years of trying stuff and vet appointments,
We got a non chicken based dry food (pretty sure he has a sensitivity to it) occasional scoop of pumpkin and goats milk to keep his gut in balance. All available at the pet store, or Amazon.

Been good for like 3 years now on the schedule.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Yeah vet said something about cats often being allergic to chicken actually! Glad to hear its better now <3

doublenut ,

Oh that's nice. We never had a vet tell us that. We ran into a random article on the internet and figured we outta at least give it a shot.

andthenthreemore ,
@andthenthreemore@startrek.website avatar

One of my cats does the same. My assumption is he was taken from the mother cat too young so never learned how to do things properly.

For the smell maybe try grain free food.

Rocketpoweredgorilla ,
@Rocketpoweredgorilla@lemmy.ca avatar

Like anime_ted said, it's likely her gut biome. One of the cats I took in (Moops) used to be able to kill a canary from a quarter mile away when he'd drop a load. You could always tell if it was him in the litter box no matter where you were in the house.

I think it took about 6 months to a year before the demons in his butt settled down and we could breathe easy again.

anime_ted ,

I have lived with many cats. Most were normal but one, when he was a kitten, could drop a deuce that would clear out a football stadium. Eye-watering bad. Etch the window glass bad. On top of that, he didn’t know how to cover his stuff. Raked the sides of the box, the wall next to the box, the floor outside the box, you name it, but never got near the actual poop. So it just sat there steaming until someone else went over to cover it for him or scoop.

Our vet told us it was related to diet and gut biome, and that he would probably grow out of it. We despaired for a while but he was right and eventually it got better. He’s about twelve years old now (the cat, not the vet) and still stinky but not nearly as bad as he used to be. Still hasn’t figured out how to cover his stuff though.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

This sounds very similar to our girl, thanks for sharing!

ViscloReader ,

the cat, not the vet

Why would someone think that XD

anime_ted ,

Sometimes my attempts at humor are, uh, odd

Robsadaisy ,

I thought it was funny-cute.

anime_ted ,

Oh, thank you!

tristan ,

My previous cat as a kitten could clear the entire house... It did get better over the years but was still pretty bad 19 years later lol

Daxter101 , (edited )

I have the same exact problem too, and if anyone has better explanations for it please tell me too, but, since my cat is 6 now, and this has been going on since she was a kitten, here's what I've noticed:

First things first, cats often (but not always) shit outside of the box as protest.

For mine, it most probably had to do with how clean she thought the sand was.

Mine was always this way when I also had that closed box, as well as when I was using silicone sand when she was still small, but without the box.

It's only recently, that I've gotten normal bentonite sand (clumping pee, easily fully removed), an open box (ventilation), and clean the sand almost always daily, that she has almost stopped. And when The Depression hits and I forget to clean it for 4 days or so, she does all the things mentioned, I'm assuming out of desperation, to make the bad smell go away.

Silicone sand needed to be fully replaced, and the box be thoroughly washed often, because it would at some point stop being able to contain the ammonia smell.

The closed box, I noticed, would both, contain and absorb bad smells itself, as well as incentivize me to not clean as often, since it didn't bother me when it would start smelling a bit 😐, but the cat had to be in a shut box, faintly smelling the ammonia for many many seconds.

Full disclosure, bentonite sand has a few studies correlating it with cat respiratory problems, probably due to the dust that cheap bentonite has packed in. I've decided that it's still probably for the best to buy bentonite with its dust filtered out(slightly more expensive), since it helps incredibly with cleanliness (if your cat has to groom unclean paws, that's going to strain her kidneys and liver probably).

Also, the sand is both extra useless weight, and makes cleaning harder, because it clumps worse. The more expensive brand, where they remove the dust, makes everything easier, and probably much healthier.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Thanks for sharing your experiences, some good to know things here!

itchick2014 ,

I used silica years ago and noted that it never hid the smell of poop. If you want something that masks it and don’t want to use clay, quality wood pellet litter can be good. Personally we use low tracking clay because it is what has worked best. I would mention it to the vet that the poop smells more potent than past cats. It could be health related as someone mentioned. Litter box choice? I don’t think matters for smell much. I have had several different designs over the years (no mechanical ones) and they all function about the same for smells.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Thanks for the suggestions! Will defo bring it up with the vet :)

eosph ,
@eosph@lemmy.remotelab.uk avatar

How deep is the litter? You may need a bit more in there for her or try swapping it out for something more absorbant like clumping litter. Our 4 year old still scratches on the side of litter tray every so often, it's most likely just cleaning bits of their paws.

Unfortunately cat shit really does stink, have you changed diet recently? We were told not to change diet too often as that upsets them ymmv. Once she starts going out properly she'll most likely end up going outside instead so that'll be a releaf. Our other 4-ish year rescue is so used to going outside she never uses the litter tray, our other 4 year old only uses it to wee in only (most likely a habit picked up while going through some rough cystitis patches), cats are just weird!

Vinny_93 ,

In the exact same situation here, but a few months ahead. I was told by a vet that a farting kitten is an indication something is wrong with the diet. Our little girl does both, being really smelly on the box and walking around passing gas. The farting got less over time.

Problem is we also have two older cats so we can't really get specialised food for one. We'd need special food for all three which can get really expensive.

We hope the problem will pass with time, maybe she needs to get used to the diet or something. Maybe at some point she'll prefer doing her business outside and we'll notice it less.

LunchEnjoyer OP ,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Thanks for the reply, yeah we're going back to the vet in a week or so to get the second vaccine for her and to get her chipped. So will ask the vet about this too, but wanted to hear about peoples experience too.

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