Bad Cat - What to do???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom_Mack, Jun 17, 2002.

  1. Tom_Mack

    Tom_Mack Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have two cats - one is 3 and the other 6. We got them both at the same time when the younger was 6 months and the older 3. The older one has a litter box issue where he would rather use the rug than the box. When we got him we were told that he was up for adoption because the old owner had allergies, but I believe it was for the "bad kitty" reasons.

    We have tried everything to fix the problem: one of those automatic litter boxes so that he always has a clean box, water guns, "feliway" spray, and numerous other things. He is fixed. We have been told by the vet that he is not spraying, but just is "being stubborn".

    Well, its come to the point where he has to be put up for adoption. We feel bad about this because for all other reasons he is a great cat, but he has this one bad problem and with another cat in the house we can't take the chance of the other catching the behavior. Both cats have been separated for the last few months, only being in the same room when supervised.

    Are their any alternatives to the SPCA shelter? I know they will only give him 1 month to be adopted and at his age I don't think he will make it. The only non-kill shelter in the area has at least a 6 month wait.
     
  2. AndrewD

    AndrewD Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This may be a long-shot, but when your cat messed up the rug, did you clean it with an ammonia-based cleaner? Our family cat would constantly go on the rug and we always scolded the cat, cleaned it up with 409 and scolded the cat some more. Our vet said that the ammonia in the cleaner resembles the smell of urine so the cat feels its okay to go there again. Like I said, this may be a long-shot, but maybe if you got a new rug or had it thoroughly cleaned it may prevent him from doing it. Good luck.
     
  3. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's odd. I have no experience with cats (allergic, don't like 'em), but I've never seen one that didn't use a litter box. They seem to be much better about this sort of thing than dogs.

    I wish you luck.
     
  4. Tom_Mack

    Tom_Mack Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew - we tried every cleaner in the book, "but the cat came back". We now have a new rug upstairs, and he has been downstairs since, except when supervised. we brought a few rug samples (well cleaned) and again the spots appeared.

    Ryan - well its not that he doesn;t use the litter box at all, he does usually, but to many times he ends up going on a rug. And he can control himself, because he has particular places he likes to go. And its always #1 not #2.
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2000
    Messages:
    3,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have you tried giving him his own litter box? My parent's cat had a similar problem until they gave him his own box. Some cats are more particular where they go.
     
  6. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know I'm going to seem cold-hearted but we had the same problem with one of our cats. The cat is in kitty heaven. I think this is probably the best thing to do because the cat will go back to that spot. We tried everything including putting him on female hormones. After a lot of expense, we had to put the cat down. It was either that or have a destroyed carpet. I don't think you should put him up for adoption because then it just becomes someone else's problem like what was done to you. Your vet is correct that it is not spraying but is in fact a behavior problem. It was one of the saddest days in my life when we had to put him down. [​IMG]
     
  7. JohnAD

    JohnAD Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tom, you might want to try a couple of things first:

    1) Try Dave's advice of getting him his own litterbox. We have two cats (and two litterboxes); sometimes they just prefer one over another.

    2) Try putting down aluminum foil on the spot(s) where he is urinating. Cats hate the feel, and it will usually discourage them from doing so.

    3) If you catch him in the act, try squirting him with a squirt bottle. Usually, it will only take one or two times before they get the message.

    Hope this helps.

    John.
     
  8. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  9. Tom_Mack

    Tom_Mack Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    He does have his own litter box, his is downstairs and the "good" cat's is upstairs. Since the seperation of the two each have had their own box. When they were together we had 3 large litter boxes. As for putting him down, I don't think its cold hearted, but I think we will still take him to the pound. We will disclose the problem and I know that this pound tells you all the history when you adopt, so if someone would like to take on the challenge, they will know ahead of time.
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can't believe what I'm reading here. Euthanize a cat because of litter-pan issues? How about finding another home for him? As for the original post's query: I hope you realize that turning a six-year-old cat over to shelter is basically signing his death warrant. Try to find a loving individual who will provide him a good home.
     
  11. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You might want to try giving the problem cat two of his very own personal litter boxes. My landlord's cat has two of his own and always goes #1 in one and #2 in the other. Perhaps your cat is similarly picky in this regard.
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,713
    Likes Received:
    1,326
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Tom,

    We had a similar problem with our male cat Casey (he's 14 years old now). He is one of two cats we have -- the other is a female who is a litter mate of Casey's. The male started going to the bathroom on our basement carpeting occasionally, even though he usually would use his litter box (we have two boxes). It appeared to be an act of defiance, since he usually did it when we left him alone too long (he's very affectionate and always is looking for attention).

    We noticed this behavior started after we had a flood in the basement due to a faulty sump pump. Even though the carpeting had been thoroughly cleaned, we thought that some odors may have remained, or Casey was smelling the odor from the previous homeowner's dog. Cleaning the affected area did not correct the problem -- even though we could not smell anything, we think Casey still detected an odor.

    We decided to completely remove the carpeting from the basement after a second sump pump related flood. We sealed the floor, and then covered the sealed cement with vinyl tiling. After the work was completed, all odor was gone from the basement. This solved any future flooding problems, and also removed the temptation from Casey. He has behaved himself for over two years now.
     
  13. Tom_Mack

    Tom_Mack Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tom - we have tried the two pan idea with no results.

    Scott - When the cat was upstairs, he would go on one particular area of the carpet most of the time. We thought that it may have been a previous owners pet that had wet in that area of the carpet. But then we noticed that he also had gone in other areas of the house including new rugs and, our favorite, grabbing clothes of the drying rack and using the clothes as his bathroom. The most recent area is leftover new carpet that we placed downstairs. Its definately (well at least it was) pet oder free.

    Jack - If I didn't care I would have brought him back years ago when this began, but I believe in trying to fix the problem instead of getting rid of the problem! The vet told us that 80% of behavior problems such as this can be fixed, but the vet also believes if our cat had his way for the three years before we had him, our cat is probably set in his ways. We took all of his advice over the years and nothing helped. Our cat seems to be one of the 20% of stubborn cats.
    Of course we have been trying to find a home for him! We have been trying for 6 months, but no one wants a sweet lovable cat that pees on your carpet! If you know someone who does, let me know!
     
  14. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One of my older cats Sylvester ( may he rest in peace) used to pee in certain areas too, but he started doing this after we had 2 seperate break-in's in the house. We figure that he was kicked or traumatized in some way because he was pretty shy for a month or so. We never were able to break him of this habit, and NEVER even considered taking him to the pound or putting him down. He was killed by a neighbors dog 4 years ago though [​IMG]
    The carpet was pretty much ruined where he was going pee, but they have been replaced with hard wood floors.
     
  15. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jack will take him.[​IMG]
    Isn't there some farm somewhere that he could live a happy (outdoor) life, killing mice and snakes and such? I knew a person back home (WV) that did this with "unruly" dogs. You've never seen a happier dog, than one that is well-fed, has a barn to sleep in, and 200 acres to roam!
    Putting the cat down does seem a little harsh. My daughter (13 months) occasionally poops in the tub- I'd hate to think what some would do about that![​IMG]
     
  16. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    5,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know many people hate declawing, but there is another procedure (new, we were told) where they don't declaw the cat, but they cut the little muscle or whatever it's called that makes the claws retract. We used this procedure on one of our cats, and she responded very well to it.

    This was a cat that had lived outside almost her whole life, because her owner wouldn't let the cat come inside the house after she started to "go to the bathroom" all over the house. She had lived outside for 12 years, when she started to come around to our yard for food (she was extremely thin at this point, and most likely had worms), and eventually came inside to live with us after a loose dog bit her so she got a hole in her head. We already had 2 cats, and tried to give her up for adoption, but she didn't do well in her new home (sat and yelled at the front door for 4 days straight) so we had to take her back. She tore up our furniture and carpet and refused to use the scratching post we bought her, and we were getting rather desperate. The choice was basically between putting her up for adoption (where she'd probably be put down, the "ni-kill shelter" was full, we were told), put her down ourselves, or use this "not quite declawing" surgery. We opted for the claw solution, and I think we did the right thing. She certainly seems to be exactly the same cat as before, and seems perfectly alright.

    I think it should really be a "last solution" type of deal.

    As for not using the litterbox, what worked for us was to try and catch the cat in the act, then immediately take it into a small room, closet or bathroom and lock it up there with a litterbox and water for a few hours. They don't like it, but it's not harmful for them, and as long as they're caught in the act, they seem to get the point.

    /Mike
     

Share This Page