1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

My cat is misbehaving....help please!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Catherall, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know we have a lot of cat owners here, so I figured somebody might be able to help us with this problem. My cat (Cassie, about 2.5 years old) loves to be outside. She'll play, climb, chase little bugs, etc. She can spend all day outside if the weather is nice. But she's also a nice house cat, friendly, clean, etc. The problem we're having is that she likes to defecate in the neighbor's yard when she's outside. She's been doing this for a couple months now, but we just found out about it yesterday. We had no idea because we still see her using her litter box (by the way, she's been litter box trained since we've had her, and had no problems with that ever).
    Yesterday the neighbors finally decided to tell us. We have the same problem with other neighbor cats doing it in our yard, so we totally sympathize and were very apologetic. But because other cats are doing it we asked them if they were sure it was our cat. They said they're very positive because they saw her doing it.
    Is there any way to prevent this from happening again. The only solution we've come up with so far is to limit the amount of time she spends outside. But she stands by the door meowing to get out and won't let up. The weather hasn't been very nice lately, but she doesn't care. She still wants out. In fact it seems to be getting worse. Sometimes she'll come wake us up early in the morning to let her out. She's never done that before. Sometimes her persistance is a little suspicious...like she has to go to relieve herself and wants to go outside to do it instead of using her litter box (which she has easy access to without our assistance). I'm sick of hearing her whining to get out, but I also don't want her using the neighbor's dirt. They've tried the sprays and other deterrants with no success.
    Is she happier doing her thing outside or is she just doing it because other cats are out there doing it? Is there any way to stop this?
    Any advice? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  3. David Brown Eyes

    David Brown Eyes Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok there is not much you can do about your cat crapping in the neigbors yard other than keeping you cat inside.

    There are actually many advantages to this approach.

    1. vet visits are less expensive, no need for Feluck shots.

    2. you never have to come home and see your kitty laying in the gutter after being hit by a car, or injured and racking up more vet bills.

    3. Zero chance of your cat being stolen or re-adopted by another child. "It followed me home. Can I keep it?"

    4. Your cat never becomes kibble for some other preditor, dog, coyote, hawk, eagle..... etc.

    5. Fewer fights with other cats and fewer vet visits.

    The downside of cource is that your cat will have to adjust to being inside. It will drive you nuts for a while but provide plenty of toys and scratching posts and your cat will adjust.
     
  4. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Another option is a nice fence and a declawed cat. If you don't want to alter your cat (I don't blame you, I wouldn't let anyone crop my dog's ears, or tail, or remove her dewclaws - I like her just the way God made her), consider an unclimbable fence. Can a cat climb chain link? If so, try one of those vinyl/hard plastic fences. A guy down the street from me installed one and, while I prefer a nice cedar fence, it actually looks quite nice. Much better than chain link.
    Of course, this means you'll be spending a few thousand bucks, depending on the size of your yard. Is letting the cat outside worth that kind of money?
    I've always been of the mind that your animals should stay on your property. Letting them roam is not only rude, it's asking for trouble. I despise other people's animals coming onto my property. Drives me insane. And it's always cats - perhaps that's yet another reason why I dislike them. I understand that a cat is difficult to keep contained in a yard, but letting it come in my yard is rude. I solved the problem of cats in my yard with a dog and a doggy door that lets her into the fenced yard anytime she wishes. Pity the poor cat who climbs my fence.
    I think it's great that you're solving the problem, however. Most people would just say, "Oh, my cat pooped in your yard. So?" You get a C for letting your cat loose in the neighborhood, but an A+ in neighborly relations. [​IMG]
    I'd solve the problem with one of those automated litterboxes. It will always be clean, should keep your house from getting too smelly, and the cat should be more inclined to use it because there will never be a pile of anything in it. Once it gets used, it scoops the stuff right out and seals it in a plastic bag. You can get 'em for about $100, I believe.
     
  5. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  6. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You can get one of those "invisible fences" where the cat wears a collar and you bury a wire in the yard at the boundary where you don't want the cat (or dog) to venture beyond. If the cat gets too close to the boundary, the collar issues a mild shock to train kitty to stay in her own yard.

    A friend of mine has had great luck with the invisible fence. I have a high fence around my yard so that keeps the kitties in.

    KJP
     
  7. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the replies so far.
    I have a very small yard. A fence in the front is out of the question. The back yard is even smaller and doesn't have any trees or much fun stuff for a cat (except the bugs, she'll play for hours back there sometimes chasing bugs and lizards). I do need a new fence back there, but that's currently out of the budget. Also, I'm never going to declaw her, so I don't know how much good a new fence would do back there. I don't want vinyl.
    Our cat refuses to wear a collar. We've put them on her and she just scratches and pulls to try to get it off. Also, if it's not a stretchy type of collar then they can get hung by it in a tree. But stretchy collars are even easier to take off.
    One of the big problems could have been the litter box. My wife usually cleans it out. So without a poke from her I probably wouldn't even notice it. Well, being pregnant she's not allowed to clean it and didn't remind me about it until just a couple weeks ago. So it did build up for a little while...but it's all clean now.
    There's no way I'm going to have the patience to put up with a whining cat to try to break her of her outdoor play. She's such a playful cat that I think it's cruel to prevent her from going out. And she'd keep us all so busy playing with her that we'd do nothing else. She has toys that she likes, but she also likes variety. She ignores her indoor scratching post, but loves to scratch on our palm tree outside (which makes me very happy because it's saving our furniture). She really is a friendly cat. Our neighbors love her, but don't like her messes. Besides, I've lived with an indoor-only cat before and she was unbearable. Every time the door was opened you had to make sure she didn't escape. And when she did escape she was impossible to catch. To this day, opening a door still brings feelings of paranoia. I'm never going through that again.
    Of course I really don't know how much she has been doing it. It's possible that it was only once or twice and she just happened to get caught in the act, so they blame all the messes on her. The crap I've found in our yard is always placed right on top of the grass. Our cat would never do that because she's a really clean cat. I've seen her out on the grass trying to bury another cat's doodoo (I know she didn't do it because I saw it there and came back later finding her trying to bury it). My neighbor said when they caught her she was in the dirt, but they've found other deposits on the grass (most likely from another cat, but telling them that will just make me look defensive). I certainly don't expect her to come in if she's outside when the urge arises.
    It looks like the only solution then is to keep the litter box clean (that auto cleaning box sounds really good, but only if I can find a cheaper one, $100 is too much for me to spend on a cat...I'm not really a cat person, we have this one despite my protests). And, for now, limit how much time she spends outdoors, as unbearable as that is. The less time she spends outside, the less likely she is to use it as her litter box. I was hoping there was some other way, but it really doesn't seem like there's a simple, cheap solution.
     
  8. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  9. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 1999
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Unfortunatley, the problem may take care of itself. Cats that are let outdoors don't usually last too long. Sooner or later they eat an animal that's been weakened by poison, or get run over. Or, do as ours did and eat a piece of road tar that had fallen off a car. It killed her internal organs one by one. Sad day.

    I wonder of a possible solution might be to put a clean litter box on the back porch. Probably won't work though if it's a territorial thing.

    Deane
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,826
    Likes Received:
    1,371
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
     
  11. TomF

    TomF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2001
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Bill,

    The only suggestion I can think of that has not already been given would be to offer to go into your neighbor's yard every day and clean up any cat poop. From what you're saying, you would likely be picking up after more than just your own cat. But if it's that important to allow her out, maybe it's not too big a price to pay...

    Tom
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Another thing to remember about the horrid notion of declawing a cat: We're not talking about clipping fingernails here. A cat's claws are a portion of his or her anatomy--they are a part of the hands/feet. To perform the equivalent procedure on a human would be to remove the fingertips at the joint.

    In short, declawing is mutilation. Do not do such to a cat.
     
  13. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  14. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  15. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  16. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2000
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  17. Rob_J

    Rob_J Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We had a similar problem with our cat. We used to let him go outside whenever he wanted to and that was fine with us. Sure, he got lost a few times and we figured he got hit by a car or suffered some other horrible fate, but eventually he would always come home. After this happened a few times, the family became used to the fact that every now and then the cat would stay out for a couple of days. It's nerve-racking, but it works out in the end.

    Until one time when he did not return home for a few days. It turns out that neighbors of ours had taken our cat to the SPCA and had not bothered to tell us about it. The cat was apparantly using their garden as a litter box and they had enough of it. They seemed like mean people anyways, but I can't imagine stealing someone's pet and giving it to the SPCA. Horrible people. But I digress... after that incident, we decided to keep the cat inside 100% of the time. Yes, he wanted to go out and he pestered us for a while, but eventually, after a month or two he became accustomed to staying indoors.

    Now, as for de-clawing cats, I have nothing against it. In fact, I recommend it to anyone getting a kitten so that it saves their furniture. I figure if it's done early, the cat won't miss them at all and it's better for everyone.
     
  18. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Julie - [​IMG] That does explain a lot! Here's one of my favorite comic strips that I just found the other day. Hallmarks of Felinity No. 104 from 9 Chickweed Lane. I love it when they do the Hallmarks of Felinity because it's always so true! [​IMG]
    Well...she's been inside now for 2 days. We haven't let her out once. But she did escape for a bit yesterday. And of course she ran right over to the offended neighbor's yard. So my wife chased her down and brought her back in. I've been trying a little harder to be nice to her (meaning I'll let her occasionally sit on my lap and I'll even pet her sometimes). She just eats up that attention...so I'm hoping it will keep her a little happier indoors. She also has fun playing with her little toy mice, so I've been spending a little more time than usual with those to keep her occupied. The whining to go outside is starting to decrease...but it's been raining and windy which may be affecting her desire to go out. So with the weather the way it is right now it's probably best we keep her in as much as possible anyway. She'd just gotten so spoiled from the nice spring and summer weather.
    We're going to give this a few more days and approach the neighbors again to see if they've found any more droppings. If they do then we'll know the biggest offender isn't our cat. When the weather is appropriate we'll eventually let her go out for short periods of time and hopefully try to time it (if possible) to be right after she uses her litter box. Then hopefully the need to "go" outdoors will be eliminated and she can go out to play instead of mark up territory.
    Thanks again for all the responses.
     
  19. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2000
    Messages:
    430
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    People that just let their cats run wild around the neighborhood should be beaten. I live in a neighborhood that is full of cats that are left to run around. This leads to cat crap all over my yard and foot prints all over our cars. Many times at night the cats can be heard fighting outside our bedroom window ontop of our firewood pile.

    I do not understand why people that own cats think that it is perfectly acceptable to just allow their cats to have the run of the neighborhood. I doubt they would like it if I got a dog and let it run around their yards. But since it is "just a cat" I am supposed to just put up with it.

    It is almost to the point that I am going to set live-traps in my yard to capture the cats and take them to the pound. Cat owners need to understand that not everyone is as fond of cats as they are.
     
  20. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bill,
    That's a funny strip and illustrates the message perfectly. The cat-lover is acting in a threatening manner (outstretched hand and looming presence) and the cat-hater in a non-threatening one. It's trivial to see which person the cat will go to!
    It's good that you're giving your cat extra attention. Cats really do love attention and affection and I'm sure she'll come to love the indoors more because of it. Do consider keeping her indoors all the time after she's become accustomed to it. The need to mark and defend territory will never go away, so forget those ideas of her only going out to "play"! Territory is as much a part of a cat as whiskers.
    (BTW, I think you can see that there are folks who respond to strange cats in their yards in a far worse manner than your neighbors. Be kind to your cat and neighbors and keep kitty indoors.)
     

Share This Page