Need Advice for Problem Cat

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Laura, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Last year a friend gave me a huge, 25 lb. beautiful, sweet dispositioned calico cat. She's about 6 years old and I am at least her third owner. I loved this cat...........but...........she won't pee in the cat box. In the dirty laundry, the clean laundry, my box of angora and cashmere sweaters if I leave my bedroom door open.

    At first we thought it was because the cat box wasn't kept clean enough as we have two other cats. We added another catbox and they get cleaned once or twice a day. The peeing in stuff continues and my house reeks of cat pee and washing cat pee out of stuff takes forever.

    As much as I love this cat, I think it would be best to put her down. DH says make her stay outside, which is easier said than done, she has ALWAYS been an indoor cat. My friends say to just take her to Humane Society and tell them she needs to be an only cat. That's a 70 mile drive and not very nice to do to her next unsuspecting owner.

    What do you folks recommend I do about this cat? Keeping her and living in a catpee soaked house is not an option. Is it fair to dump her with Humane society to pass this problem to someone else?
     
  2. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Are the litter boxes covered? Are they big enough? My 27 lb cat has to have a very big box that he can get into and out of easily.

    Have you taken her to the vet?

    I hate to say put her down but I wouldn't live with a dirty cat again. I wouldn't pass the problem on to someone else. We had one once. Never again.
     

  3. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    Many cats do this if there is a territory problem. She may be trying to mark territory and tell everyone else tthat she belongs here. Does she have a space that she feels is hers and hers alone? If yes, then get a large covered box and out it in that place. It might help.

    It could also be a health issues so a good checkup is in order. If everything else fails I agree with your friend, take her to a rescue society and tell them what she has been doing. Needing to be the only cat may just be the problem.
     
  4. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My first thought is that the litterbox might be too small. That's a big kitty-kitty.

    Be certain too that there is enough litter in it and I'll tell you why!

    We have too cats and, all of a sudden Brat was spraying on doors! We tried everything and he'd still periodically spray. One day a light went off in my head! My DH, Roger, had taken over the litter cleaning because the litterboxes are upstairs and I'm having mobility issues! He had not been putting enough litter in the boxes! It was that simple! Brat the Cat no longer sprays.
     
  5. CountryBeth

    CountryBeth Well-Known Member

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    My first thought is WHY did they give you this beautiful cat? Were they having the same problem? If you are the third owner and this has been a habitual problem, then you cannot give the problem to someone else.

    So, she can become a sweet outside cat - IF she has claws and a relatively warm place to go since it's starting to really get cold here - at least in these parts. Or, unfortunately, you may have to put her down.

    I suppose before I did either one of those, I'd try the suggestions of a really large litter box and I'd try something called Comfort Zone which supposedly is something you plug into a wall and it "soothes" the stressed cat. It has pheromones that help calm kitty and stop bad behaviors like this. I know Jeffers catalog sells it. We used it for a kitty we had for a short time that started that nonsense. It did help. She just so much wanted to go home and after about six weeks we returned her because she refused to eat. Now, a few years later, she is doing just fine. So, I would try those things first, otherwise, it is a hard decision to make.
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you don't have a problem with putting the cat outside, turn her into an inside/outside cat. My i/o cats always pottied outside. Dig up a spot away from the house, but not too far, loosen the dirt, and put kitty litter over it. Take the cat to the new litter box so she knows where it is. The cat may be afraid of being outdoors at first, but will probably warm up to it. If territory is a problem, this should take care of it. If the size of the kitty is the problem, this would also take care of it.

    If you decide to let the cat outside, ask your vet if she will need an additional vaccination (rabies comes to mind).
     
  7. CountryBeth

    CountryBeth Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a great idea. No worries about it being so cold for the kitty or whatever, but if this is the only problem with the cat, sure might make a great solution.
     
  8. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    First--vet visit. Rule out a physical problem, get the vets behavioral advice.
    Second--at least one litterbox per cat, maybe one extra, all sized for the large feline
    Third--consider letting her have one room as her territory and the rest of the house for the rest of the cats. Giving her a turf of her own may put an end to this if it is a territorial marking behavior
    Fourth--enzymatic cleaner to remove pee smell from areas she's previously peed on. Put litterboxes in habitual pee areas and then move them slowly to where you want them to be over a period of weeks.
    Fifth--if you catch her 'assuming the position' in an inappropriate place, distract her--a loud clap or a water squirt--then pick her up and put her in the nearest litterbox. Praise her if she then pees.
    Sixth--if you see her pee in a litter box, then from a distance praise her verbally.
     
  9. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    I suspect this has been an ongoing problem for Birdie. Her first home that I know of, she belonged to the wife and the husband got rid of her the day of her funeral. The friend that gave her to me had this problem, but blamed it on another cat that got put down, then Birdie came to live with us. At that time, I had a house guest with a cat so with Birdie, we had 4 cats in and out of the house at that time and no problems. My other cats are indoor/outdoor cats coming and going at will through an open window, and Birdie did too. Now the window is shut to keep her out.

    This is a small house and I can't possibly fit another cat box in here. Even if I did, the other cats would use it, too. The boxes are the big ones with plenty of deep litter. Birdie will use them if she is the first one in after the litter is changed. She craps in them so she is not totally against using litter boxes.

    Right now Birdie is outside on the porch, she wants in and she's not happy with being told no. This will work for awhile, but I expect her to get pushy when the rainy season starts.
     
  10. BUDSMOM

    BUDSMOM Well-Known Member

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    Check Out Cats International.com They Have Some Good Info
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you've had her outside for a while, she is learning to potty outside. But, I wouldn't let her in until all pee spots have been nuetralized. And watch her closely for signs of needing to go so you can put her out.