Post # 1
My fiance and I adopted a 10 year old cat little over a year ago from one of my co-workers. The co-worker had a new born infant that was allergic and they had to get rid of their long term cat. We had a difficult period of adjustment which is not rare for cats but we have become quite fond of her and she is really coming out of her shell. But unfortunately she is starting to have occassional accidents outside the liter box. We have become super diligent about keeping the box clean, however, the problem persists. At first it was just pooping (excuse the graphicness) but now I discovered this morning that she urinated outside the box.
We don’t want to surrender her but what should we do? It is a week before the wedding and I don’t want to make a hard decision like this but I am also afraid of what she might do while we are away on our honeymoon. (We have a pet sitter)
Has anyone else had to surrender an animal with behaviorial problems?
Post # 3
Could you board her at the vet while you’re away? If you want to keep her and are willing to help figure out a solution to the problem after the wedding, that seems like an option even if it’s more expensive than the sitter. You shouldn’t have to give up your cat just because the timing is bad … that kind of decision would make me sad, too.
Post # 4
Take her to the vet. When cats start going outside their box, sometimes it is because they get “kitty crystal” which is a magnesium buildup and it causes them pain so they don’t want to use their box. Also she could just be old or could be having some pain in her paws that makes it hard to jump into the box or something.
Also, any time she has an accident, she tends to revisit those spots because of the smell. Definitely clean it as well as you can and perhaps spray it with a deterrent?
My mom’s cat likes to poop on soft things–carpets, etc, because she is too lazy (and old) to go all the way across the house to the laundry room to go. A second box fixes this.
Good luck! Definitely explore your options
Post # 5
Why don’t you have her boarded at the vet’s office or a kitty kennel while you’re away? That way, she won’t be making messes at your house and you can delay the decision until after the wedding so you’ll have less stress.
Post # 6
I would board her. Cats are quite stubborn, she WILL get over it, but while you are gone Id let someone else worry about that (while not having your home smell like cat pee…) Make that decision AFTER the wedding and honeymoon when your stress levels are down and you have more time
Post # 7
This is an issue we have been struggling with for the past two months and with everything going on I am probably a lot more sensitive and emotional. I could delay making a decision but at some point it will have to be made and because we have grown attached to her we have been putting it off, hoping that if we try to do different things it would get better.
Post # 8
I grew up with cats and it’s not too unusual for some cats to have more difficulties getting everything in the box. Have you looked into the “enclosed” litter boxes? My mom has had one for years (litter robot or something like that) and it very easily solved the problem. The bad thing about them is that they can take up a lot of space and can be ridiculously large.
If you have bonded with the cat, then it won’t be too surprising that she may decide to show you she is mad and purposely poop or pee in the house while you are gone. But usually that’s not near the litter box, it is very deliberately done somewhere in the house you’ll see.
I wouldn’t give up on the cat yet but it is a personal decision.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House
I would take her to the vet. My parents’ cat had similar bathroom problems and it was a kidney issue and my cat had problems also, which was caused by worms (ewwww). A vet might be also to give some better advice on the behavioral side. **Hugs** I hope it works out!
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
I agree with others who said the cat may have a medical problem that’s causing this. Like a UTI or other issue that makes it painful for it to go. Cats are reasonable creatures: It “hurtS” to pee/poo in the litter box, so the cat tries to go elsewhere thinking that the litterbox must be causing the discomfort. I’d definitely take the cat to the vet to try to get this resolved before considering giving it up. Think about it this way: if you surrender a cat because it’s not housetrained (from a stranger’s standpoint), who else will want that cat? Obviously you don’t want a cat making a mess all over your house either. But definitely try a few options before giving the cat away. But for the time being, do board her so that you don’t have to worry during your wedding. Then, to the vet with her!
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
AAnother thought: has the cat been declawed recently? Some declawed animals don’t like the feel of litter on their feet for a while. Maybe change the type of litter you use.
Post # 12
Yes, there are a million reasons why this may happen. I think of pets like your significant other or child – you adopt them and you need to take care of them. If you or your fiance were sick w/ bathroom troubles, you’d go to the doc. Not the lawyer’s for a divorce! I’m sure things will be fine once you work with a professional.
Post # 13
I use a corn based cat litter called “World’s Best Cat Litter” and it’s like $35 for a huge bag at Petco. It is about twice as much as regular litter but it lasts a very long time b/c you don’t get stinky particles in the box, then have to chuck the whole thing. Even better, cats tend to be more attracted to it because it’s 100% natural and biodegradable. As they age, they can get sensitive to the smell of traditional clay cat litter. Which is stinky in general. This stuff is very dust-free and kinda smells like opening up a container of corn meal so it is far more pleasant to have in your house. It neutralizes the urea smell, which in both my males, is more intense than when I’ve had female cats. I’ve NEVER found a better litter and I’ve tried like 6 kinds now. A simple switch could encourage her to use it more often.
I agree that usually when cats misbehave like this, there is an underlying, treatable reason. When I don’t give mine enough attention, for example, they blatantly jump on things, then swipe my picture frames off the tables and any pens or anything like that. I can come home after being gone all day to find things overturned =].
Post # 14
I would definitely take the cat into the vet. From what you’ve described, it doesn’t sound like a discipline problem so much as a health issue. A vet can do an exam that could help determine the cause. From what I’ve heard there can be tons of reasons for cats to have litter box issues–kidney, digestive tract, ringworm, diabetes, etc. It’s worth it to get your kitty checked out, so that you can help him become healthy.
One of our cats had a lot of “bathroom issues” and it turned out that he has a sensitivity to regular cat food. We tried all kinds of things and eventually switched to a “low residue” food. After a week on the new food, his problems were 100% better! A year later, he’s super happy and healthy and I can’t imagine our lives without him!
Like MaryJane said, if you give the cat away to a shelter without addressing these problems, she may not get adopted. And I think it’s totally reasonable to want to board the cat (at the vet, if possible) while you’re on your honeymoon. Best of luck.
Post # 15
I’m going to chime in with similar suggestions. Please take the cat to the vet. Cats don’t like to go outside the litterbox. They actually really like being clean and going in the box. If she’s goes outside the box, she is probably trying to tell you that something is wrong.
Please try a few different things before considering surrendering her. I volunteer at an animal shelter and it’s nearly impossible for us to adopt out older cats.
Post # 16
Also, I would try if at all possible to get her into the vet BEFORE the wedding. UTI/kidney/etc. problems in cats could be very damaging and waiting another couple of weeks could cause further problems.