Thursday, September 29, 2016

Diapering the Bob

Bob the cat photo by Kara Hartz

I've written before about my cat, Bob. For a little background though - Bob has a broken spine that left him with a dead tail (that was amputated) and he has fecal incontinence. This all happened to him when he was about 1 year old. He is now 19, and things in his back end have been slowly deteriorating over the years. 
He has always been prone to urinating in the wrong place, but in the past year or so it has become more clear that this is only sometimes a choice, and sometimes seems to catch him completely off guard. We tried different ways to deal with the urine and still keep Bob around. We've tried just keeping him out of rooms with beds in them, and we haven't owned a sofa in years. For awhile we tried putting him in a portable dog kennel when no one would be home to supervise him. All of these things helped with the accidents, but didn't stop them.
Then I had the idea to diaper him, and I wonder why I didn't do this first. We could have skipped all those years of suffering (for us and for Bob).
Now, he certainly didn't care for the diaper when we started. It bugged him. But I saw at once that it bugged him less than not being allowed to lay on a bed did, or even worse, to be kenneled all the time. After a couple weeks, he no longer seems to even notice it. And - Oh! The freedom! - for us all. 
I originally bought him doggie diapers. Then a helpful review on Amazon suggested that human baby diapers could have a tail hole cut in them, and were a heck of a lot cheaper. So that's what I use now. I ended up picking a size based on the weight range on the package for lack of another idea, and that has worked well. The size 1 diapers fit him great. I've even stopped bothering to cut the tail hole since his remaining stub is so tiny it never stayed in the hole, and since he can't feel his stub it doesn't seem to bother him to just have it covered up. 
I'm sharing this information:
1) because is he not the cutest diapered cat you've ever seen?
and 
2) Hopefully this will help someone else who may be struggling with a partially or fully incontinent older cat. If I can help a cat and person avoid all we went through, and save their relationship - then I want to do so. 
Bob the Cat photo by Kara Hartz