Meet Tank, source of much joy and noxious odors

About a month ago we adopted a kitten.  Tank    When we adopted him he was only 3 weeks old and weighed about 12 ounces.  They had named him Tank and we thought name fit him perfectly because Tank has no fear.  Despite his size Tank can take down our 11 month old dog – who outweighs him by 20 pounds – and can climb anything.  I love him, boys love him and even my husband with allergies likes him.

Here is where things get hairy: Tank came to our house and immediately proceeded to go #2 on our off-white carpet.  We noticed that he had the most severe case of the kitty-trots.  The smell cannot be described by written word, you guys just have to experience it personally.  An emergency trip to the vet, tests and specially prepared meds for a small kitten,  prescription kitty food and a week later he still had the trots.  He started using his litter box but with emergency visits to our carpet.

So off we went to the vet again; an overnight stay, lab tests with clean results and a new perscription kitty food later back home we came.  The results are so so at best.  Mr. Tank should be named Mr. Skunk.   My sincere apologies for the way this post is going but I must tell you his gaseous excretions are constant and deadly.  Our carpet is a lost cause, he still has the trots and I am at a loss as to what to do and what to feed him.

I refuse to take Tank back to the shelter as we love him very much and Louis – our dog – has bonded with him as though Tank is one of his litter-mates.  But my sanity and my nose are suffering.  When we have people over you can hear us often say “that was not me!”   I smile while I type this but I assure you this is no joke.  If you are a cat owner and you happen to read this post please share your kitty-wisdom with me.   Many thanks for any suggestions you may have.  One final note on Tank, he is putting on weight and in general seems very healthy.  I leave you with a video of  Tank & Louis at play:

Click here to watch Tank & Louis at play

On a yarn related matter, watch out for a blog give-away next Monday.

19 thoughts on “Meet Tank, source of much joy and noxious odors

  1. oh my gosh! we got a pair of little girl pound kittehs in February (Bean and Waffle, a.k.a Dr. Evil and Awful) and Bean has the same stink issues, although she does confine it to the litter box. There is nothing apparently wrong with her, she’s been tested, but when you pick her up she toots the most vile gas and she does the most horrible things in the litter box!! Good luck, he’s very cute. :o )

  2. My parents had a kitten with a similar problem. When he missed the litter box, he’d use pretty much the same couple of spots throughout the house – behind the Christmas tree and behind the couch – so they just put extra litter boxes there. The trots got better after a few weeks, though the smell never did get much better. On the upside, it’s less noticeable to guests when only in the litter box :)
    It’s possible also that something in his food is disagreeing with him, or even that this is a side effect of having been weaned to young. You could try a different brand of food for a few days and see if that helps.
    Good luck!

  3. Cats often have bowel issues when their surroundings change. Things that I have tried with my cat with various amounts of success are 1: Have multiple litter boxes so that they don’t have to go all the way across the house when they need to go. 2: have a litter box close to where he eats, so after he eats he sees the box with a full tummy goes immediately, 3: Get an enzyme cleaner for your carpet, so that he doesn’t smell anything there to suggest that that location is a litter box.

    Best of luck!

  4. you might look for a pro-biotic. A small kitten like that who hasn’t had exposure to big cats may not have the beneficial gut flora that he needs. I think the pet store near the Admiral/California intersection has some stuff. It’s a food additive.

  5. Be thankful Tank isn’t a Manx! They often have problems of this type, especially since without the tail and muscles to go with it, their control is even worse. I hate to suggest it, but after my beloved Manx, Irish, passed away, I finally had to rip up the carpeting in the hallway, and I’m still planning to do the same in the living room. He had a litter box that he used, but the control wasn’t always there. I’d really consider removing that carpet as the smell will often draw them back to the offending spot(s), and you can’t win this battle.

    On a different note, that video was just adorable! Once Tank gets full-grown, Louis is going to have a huge battle on his paws to remain top dog. Have a marvelous time with those two!

  6. They are so sweet together! Tank is a perfect name. I adopted a little boy with the name of Hank. I hated the name at first but sure enough…Hank fit perfectly for his personality. 10 years later it still does!
    Anyway, kitty diarrhea can be a real mystery but if all his labs are clean then i would really question the prescription diet. There are so many better diets on the market now that contain higher quality sources then what one can get from your vet so my advice would be to do a good deal of research online. Cat physiology is very complex, so read read read about your choices. Don’t give up on Tank! He is very lucky to have found you guys.

  7. Poor Tank! I adopted my kitty, Lydia, when she was about 5 weeks old. When I brought her home, she had the runs for two months straight. She turned out to be perfectly healthy in every way, it was just caused by the adjustment. There was nothing I could do to fix that problem, but I could provide her with the tools she needed to be a “good kitty.” I ended up putting small litter boxes in every room of my apartment for her to run to when she had to go. That way, she didn’t have to go far when it was time. I had to show her the litter boxes about once every two hours so she’d remember they were there, but once she got the hang of it (took about 2 days), we didn’t have any more accidents.

    Pet stores usually carry high quality cleaning solutions specifically made for kitty accidents. I used to work at PetSmart, so I’ve pretty much tried them all. My favorite is Nature’s Miracle. It gets the stains and smell out, and it won’t damage your carpets (it works really well in my carpet shampooer).

    I hope that helps!

  8. I foster kittens year-round for my local shelter, so I deal those issues frequently and can totally related to your situation! And I can assure you that I’ve not had one yet, out of nearly 100, that has not eventually overcome the trots.

    I agree with the other comments on strategic litterbox placement — there are times when I have up to 6 or 7 litterboxes in my small apartment to make sure “problem areas” for particular kittens are covered. For now, you could start with a few of those disposable litterboxes sold at pet stores, and see if you are able to wean him off the need for those as he grows and hopefully overcomes his stinkiness.

    I’m also big on Nature’s Miracle — I always have plenty of that on hand. It definitely does away with the smell right way.

    The other cleaning tool I can’t live without is Bissell Spot Bot, which is a mini carpet cleaner that you place over a small stained area. I’ve never had a kitten mess (originating from either end of the feline digestive system) that that little thing hasn’t been able to make vanish.

    And another second for the pro-biotic — that is the first thing that shelter vets always prescribe for kittens with tummy troubles. The kind I’m using right now is Purina Fortiflora, which you can order on Amazon.

    And finally, if you are able to keep him gaining weight on just dry food instead of canned food and/or both, that may also help. Canned kitten food is extremely rich, and I’ve noticed that some brands seem more likely to induce tummy upset than others.

    Hope that helps. The stench that adorably tiny kittens can produce never fails to amaze me – no matter how many times I have one of my fosters hop up on my shoulder and belch directly in my ear. :-)

  9. Fulay,

    You might want to consider that Tank is allergic to grain based diets. Cats are obligate carnivores. Their systems really aren’t designed for the amount of grains that most manufacturers put in cat food today. You might want to hit up Petco and ask Suzanne if she has any suggestions for a grain-free kitten food for little Tank.

  10. I wonder if your kitten might have tritrych or giardia? Vets don’t always test for those, especially tritrych, as the test is very expensive. And the medicine is no fun to give them, probably the worst tasting medicine available for cats. But either of those can cause horrendous smelling diarrhea.
    I agree that the food may be a problem. Iams Hairball formula (orange bag, green stripe) is famous for helping diarrhea, but is not a good overall food for kittens, it’s for adult cats. You might try giving him raw ground turkey and see if that settles his tummy down, but again, that’s not longterm, as it is not a well-balanced diet.
    Another thing you might try is mixing pumpkin (not pie filling, plain canned pumpkin) with whatever you are feeding him. A lot of cats like it, and it is great for settling upset tummies and diarrhea.
    Best wishes with him, he’s a little doll!

  11. Hmm, after a month, his anxiety should have passed.

    I have a cat who has a regular stank-butt as well, so these are the products I’ve used to get it under control so we can live with him. Greebo was SO bad, we literally had to open all of the windows in our apartment the year we got him in the middle of winter. Changing his food, more cat boxes, and nilodor fixed his issues, and this year will be his 10th year with us. Anyway, here’s the recipe that worked for us, I hope it helps!

    I feed him Royal Canin indoor cat food, which has eliminated much of his ripeness. With Tank being so young, I would try either one of their young cat blends like this: http://products.royalcanin.us/products/early-care/feline/growth-dd-formula.aspx or one of the limited ingredient ones. Your local pet food carrier will likely have sample bags, which should help to transition and try the food change without breaking your wallet or making you buy tons of food that you may not end up using. My vet approves of how well Greebo does on his diet, he likes the food, and the stench has let up to normal-cat levels.

    As far as the carpet, check out Nilodor. I’ve used it for ~ 15 years to clean up after animals. It really does break down and eliminate the smell, so I stock up on it when they have sales. This is the stuff, but they have other products too http://www.nilodor.com/shop/show/category/Pet_%26_Home/department/Stain_%26_Odor_Removers/id/153

    Best of luck to you & Tank!

  12. I once had a cat that had food allergies, so we couldn’t buy commercial cat food for her. upon the veterinarian’s advice, I cooked for her for years–using some kind of ground game meat that was not in any commercial cat food (moose, caribou, goat, pheasant, etc), and shredded potatoes, and sprinkled it with a little bit of clam juice for the taurine. I would mix up big batches and freeze it in small containers. My cat lived on this stuff for years and had no problems. No diarrhea, no skin problems, no smells…. She finally died of old age at about age 18.

  13. I’ve had success by adding acidophilis powder to my kitties food when their digestive system acted up. I get the capsule kind for people and sprinkle the contents over the food (mix in if they are picky). That worked wonders to firm up their movements and reduce the gas. Youngest kitty had ongoing issues for several months after I first brought him home so this was a lifesaver.

  14. Tank is so cute! Love the ears and smug expression!

    Since he has been checked out by a vet and a bacterial infection has been ruled out, it may be the food. Our kitty, who often had the trots, now eats California Natural Chicken Brown Rice formula with no problems.

    My sister’s kitty, Ivy, who has a medical record that rivals the size of the Yellow Pages, cannot eat any cat foods. They just do not agree with her digestive system resulting in the trots and vomitting. Ivy now eats people food. Salmon with oatmeal, dark meat chicken and turkey. (This makes finding a pet sitter hard.) It cannot have any salt or other seasoning. Trader Joes sells canned wild salmon that does not have salt. She does get a vitamin supplement that is sprinkled into her food.

    Good luck!

  15. I have fostered and rescued a number of kittens and they require mother replacement milk before they are weened and that causes a nasty order. Once they are off the milk, the noxious smell usually goes away. It is a myth that cats need to drink milk, but they usually can’t tolerate Cows’ milk. It usually causes diarrea.

  16. Give the Wellness brand of canned cat food a try. It’s very high in protien and low in carbs. They have a kitten diet for your cutie. That video of Tank and your puppy was too funny.

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