TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Is this the end?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is this the end?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I now this is a touchy subject and I hate to do this but I trust everyone's opinion here so please read this carefully, keep an open mind and let me know what you think.

I'm thinking of finding a new home for both of my cats.

One of my cats has been having some major behavior problems that started 2 years ago and I'm reaching my limit. By the way both our cats are almost 4 years old.

The problem is one of our cats, pees everywhere and I seriously mean EVERYWHERE and almost everyday (but he'll also use the litter box with no problem). We have tried everything, Vet visits and expensive tests, new diets, medications, changing our schedules, I even changed my job because I thought my work hours were stressing him out. Three vets have told us there is nothing wrong with him medically.

He also has a vomiting problem, he will throw up everyday sometimes more than once. We tried different diets, vet visits and more expensive tests, medicine, we brush him everyday and we also use hairball remedy everyday.

Nothing works and the several vets we have talked to have suggested that it's just a behavior problem. The big issue is that I don't have anymore money for this problem and our apartment is ruined, which honestly I could care less about material things but the apartment doesn't belong to me so I'm responsible to pay for all this damage. We try rewarding him for good behavior and behavior modification methods, we also try giving him more attention. Nothing works.

Our other cat is fine and has no problems at all, but both the cats are so attached to each other (and both from the same litter) we don't know if it would be right to seperate them by keeping one and finding a home for the other one.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I'm pretty desperate and I feel guilty about suggesting to find him another home but I don't know what else to do and maybe someone else out there can afford to help him in ways that I can't?

Another thought is that I know they have obedience trainers for Dogs but do they have anything like that for cats and does it work?

Thanks for your help!
Amy
post #2 of 27
phew.............big question and please dont feel bad about yourself you have obviously done & tried lots of different options..........and we all know, there a limit to everyones budget........you´ve come to the right place for some help.........
Its seems really strange but you´ve had him well checked over, so I dont know what to suggest really...........

My 1st thought is can you keep them as outdoor kitties..........I dont know what your accommodation situation is or if you have them as indoor kits only ?? let me know and I will do some more thinking about this in the meantime.....

Dont worry you´ll get lots of help here, we are all here for ya
post #3 of 27
Rehoming them would not be fair unless the person knew that they'd soon be living in vomit and urine soaked surroundings. I have "been there" with the constant spraying and tried in vain for 8 years to remedy it, to no avail. We decided the best solution for us would be to euthanize the cat as he had so many psyche issues--chronic masturbating, climbing onto the house to poo on the roof, as well as the peeing on EVERYTHING inside or out.

Sadly, that might be the best solution for you as well. Yes, his littermate would go through some trauma and depression for a while, but no more than if you suddenly rehomed him. In that way, you would still have one kitty to enjoy as well.

It's a tough place to be in, and I wish you well with your decision.

Cally
post #4 of 27
You don't have an easy solution! What are you doing about litter? I had a chronic pee-er that responded very well to Cat Attract. Another one that I've had to redirect to the litter box when I caught him - the same cat was isolated in a small environment until he could prove to me that he would use the litter box consistently. That same cat is nicknamed "captain bulemia" for all the times he overeats and throws up his food.

If you have gone thru everything that you have gone thru thus far, you are a super mom!! Most people wouldn't have put up with this as long as you have. You are awesome for taking the time to try to help this boy.

The problem that you will have with rehoming him is that the problem isn't going to go away. He'll continue the behavior in the new environment and his new owner may not have the patience that you have. To be very blunt and I don't want this to hurt, but that's how cats wind up in shelters.

For all the energy you have put in finding physical problems, turn that into resolving his behavioral problems. You may get to a point where it becomes an occassional thing that you can deal with more effectively. Have you read thru all the advise in the inappropriate elimination thread?
post #5 of 27
I was just curious if you could point to a reason that this behavior started hapenning, since you knew about the timeframe his behavior started changing. I only ask because, like the others have said, unless you know why he's peeing and vomiting, rehoming him isn't going to do him any good, and in fact, I would think these issues, without a root cause, would only lead him to be a) unable to find a permanent home or b) put to sleep, which it seems like you aren't willing to do since you've already put so much love into this cat. Momofmany's suggestions are good, and I hope they work for you!

Of those, this having been said, if you can point to some stressor that cannot be removed from his environment that is causing the problem, then perhaps rehoming is the difficult but most loving thing you can do for him. You might check around...I know there are people who do behavioral counseling in cats....I think there's a clinic at Tufts University near Boston still, but you might be able to find one near you. Perhaps you can call a vet's office and ask if they can refer you to a behavioral clinic? Best of luck, I know this is frustrating, but as long as you are keeping the welfare of your cats at the forefront of this, you have no reason to feel guilty.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAmy View Post
Another thought is that I know they have obedience trainers for Dogs but do they have anything like that for cats and does it work?
A feline behaviorist may be able to help pinpoint what is causing this behavior if medical causes have been ruled out. Litterbox problems were probably the number one question people contacted our local feline behavior hotline about, so there are people with expertise out there that may beable to help you. Perhaps someone here can recommend someone in your area that is good or that does counseling over the phone?
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAmy View Post

Another thought is that I know they have obedience trainers for Dogs but do they have anything like that for cats and does it work?

My vet is a behavior specialist. I'm not sure how you find one, but I'd start by asking your regular vet if they know any. That's what I would try. I assume you have already tried changing the litter, adding more litter boxes, relocating them, etc, the basic stuff in the inappropriate peeing sticky? Is he neutered? Is he spraying or urinating?
post #8 of 27
There could be a neurological problem like a small tumor that's causing the behaviour - it sounds possible (to someone who worked in the field a long time) but pinpointing it without e.g. a cat scan (no pun!) or something may be just too much for you to deal with and if it comes back negative, then what? But I'd ask the vet about the possibility anyhow just to get his reaction. I would NOT make him an 'outdoor' cat as someone suggested, that's just asking for other problems, but you may in fact have to either find a no-kill shelter, or bite a harder, but quick and final bullet.
post #9 of 27
A friend of mine recently took one of her cats (also with litterbox issues) to a new vet who uses both traditional and alternative medicines, and she came away with three different things to try: an herbal supplement for his food, a floral oil to rub on his ears, and some Prozac. She tried the oil first, and it seemed to help immediately, though I don't know what the longer-term outcome has been. Have any of your vets tried such non-traditional methods?

Don't feel guilty -- you've put a great deal of effort and thought into this, and it's clear that you're committed to doing what's right for your kitties. Good luck!
post #10 of 27
My sister went through the same thing with her cat -- she peed in three different houses throughout the yeard. When her companion cat was PTS (renal failure at age 14) -- the pee-er stopped for a long time, then started again. It was then that my sister put her down. This was after countless vet visits and tearing out carpeting, etc... It was an extremely hard decision but I really think her cat had a "learned behavior" by then that was extremely hard to change.

Now this was several years ago and maybe they have a medication to help. The other problem you have is if your carpet in your apartment smells like pee and you are unable to replace it -- your cat may always do this because of the pee smell.

I agree that rehoming is not feasable. It is not fair to dump this very difficult problem on someone else.

Good luck.
post #11 of 27
Are your cats declawed? A lot of peeing problems are associated with declawing - even years after.

I might consider building a very large pen/cage (like a walk-in cage) that you would use for stud cats and fix that up to be easy to clean. Even if you re-home the cat and the person knows about the problem, your cat still may have to be caged and supervised for playtime.

As long as the cat gets attention and playtime from you, he can live in a built-in cage like a stud cat. OR if you have an extra room that can be tiled for cleaning he can have his own permanent room.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all the advice and help

To give you more information and reply to your responses;

1. I can't have my cats outdoors, we have a leash law here and I live in an apartment complex which makes it clear that cats have to stay inside. The leash law is so strict in my county that you never see stray animals around, ever. Which is probably a good thing.

2. We were able to get rid of the urine smells in everything in fact, as wierd as it sounds he has never peed in the same place twice. He usually pees on objects and not just the floor but more like laundry, jackets, pillows, blankets.

3. I did go through the thread on elimination problems and tried everything on there. You would think that he pees on those specific things because of the detergent or bleach but we never have used bleach and we have changed detergents and it didn't make a difference.

4. He urinates not sprays. He is neutered and declawed and has been since he was 5 months old. And even though I'm sure it's possible that his being declawed could be a reason why he does this stuff but it doesn't make too much sense that he would start doing this when he was 2 years old instead of right after being declawed. (Just to clarify things, it's not that I support declawing, there is a long story as to why my two cats are declawed and basically it saved their lives so it was worth it in the end. )

5. He does still use his litter box. He doesn't seem to have any problem at all with his litterbox, however I have no choice, I can't move it anyways because my apartment is so small that where it is, is where it has to stay unfortunately. But I hadn't changed anything since he started peeing everywhere so I'm not sure the litter box is the problem, however I will definitly change my litter from crystals to clumping kind just to see if that makes any difference.

6. It's EXTREMELY hard to catch him in either act, he does it all while we are sleeping or not at home and we never find out until much later. So it's really hard to use behavior modification on him even though we are trying to.

7. We haven't tried Feliway or Prozac which are both pretty good ideas. My concern with Feliway is that a lot of people I know have tried it and it didn't work for them and it would end up costing me about $60.00 to start and then $50.00 to continue it every month which honestly isn't horrible but it does add up...I don't know enough about it to risk the money yet. Has anyone had a lot of success with this and do you have to use it forever or only for a couple of months? I was thinking of trying the plug in one.

My concern with prozac is just that he cannot take pills because of the vomitting so really the only way he can ever take meds is by liquid or shots so I'm not sure if that's available or not but I can definitly look into it.

He is a very nervous cat and maybe one of these methods would be the answer...


8. Here's my theory of the whole thing, which could be way off...but about 2 years ago he got a very bad cold and was throwing up so we took him to the vet and they put him on antibiotics, he got all better and didn't throw up for about 2 weeks. So he started vomitting a couple times a day and that's when we started trying everything we could to get him to stop and my thought is that he got used to throwing up and he just does it maybe because he likes it? It sounds wierd but he doesn't do the binge and purge thing either, he just doesn't eat much at all and then he throws up what little he does.

Also, he did at one time have a urinary problem with blood in the urine and he wouldn't use the box so we took him to the vet and he was on meds and then afterwards he got better and was fine for a couple of weeks and then he went back to peeing everywhere (without the blood) however, he also still used his litter box, so of course we did the vet thing and tried all the things I mentioned but I think he's also doing this because he got used to it.
So both problems started medically but once they were fixed they should have stopped it's almost like he got used to doing them. Wierd?


I have some questions for all of you...

When do you decide to Euthenize (spelling?) a cat? I seriously just want whats best and it's true that if I tell someone all his problems they most likely will not be intersted in him at all but would it be more fair to lock him up in a shelter?

I love my cats so much but before I got them my Husband and I both realized that things could go wrong and we would lose them. I want whats best for them and for my family, whatever that may be.

Please let me know your thoughts I really appreciate this and you guys are such a huge help!
post #13 of 27
Hi,

I did Feliway, without success. I also did Elavil, Buspar, and Prozac. Prozac can be compounded into a cream that you rub on the skin part of the ear, or made into moist cat treats, eliminating the need for pilling a cat. Unfortunately, none of those solutions worked for us.

I am the one who eventually euthanized my spraying male last January. I endured it for 8 years and finally last year, after having him spray the Xmas tree, the gifts and a gift left on the dining room table (and consequently the table) I seriously had to consider doing the "permanent solution." He'd also begun peeing on my husband's belongings if they were not always put away, and on any new item we brought into the house. I'd been considering it for over a year, and had grieved and grieved about it the whole time.

I have no regrets. The sense of peace that we had in our home once we made the decision and had Harry euthanized was/is amazing. Being able to leave doors open, buy new furniture (as the old was all ruined) and even get curtains was so freeing. My daughter's dolls were no longer soaked with urine... We decided to euthanize rather than rehome based on advice given here. One poster pointed out that a new owner might not be as tolerant and patient as we'd been and our cat could possibly be abused. So, in the end, it was the only solution for us.

Feel free to private message me. I know this isn't a popular topic, so if you feel more comfortable speaking in private, I understand.

Take care,

Cally
post #14 of 27
Amy, I have great empathy for what you have been going through and the possible decisions you have to make. Please try the feliway and if it doesn't work I promise to buy the infusors from you and any liquid that's left over. You say the peeing happens when you are not around so can you quarantine the cat at night and when you are not home. Whenmy cat had a UTI she peed on bath mats because she associated the box with pain and after she was cured Ileft the mats in the shower stall until she was ready to fully use the box again, she peed on the mats twice before she went exclusively to the box again.

As for the vomit. I have a regurgitator and I just live with it and use bissel rug cleaner when it happens. I feed her small amounts about 4-5 times a day and that lessens the upchuck show.

Keep us posted.
post #15 of 27
I personally could not euthanize a cat at 4 years of age unless he was terminally ill. I don't quite as many problems as you have but I have a problem with a 5 year old cat who vomits almost after every meal. I'm giving him small little meals which I find he can tolerate better. I'm taking him to the vet next week. One of my other cats had this problem a few years back and it turned out she had gastritis and antibiotics helped her.

I also have a 12 year old who for reasons unknown - maybe stress- is peeing - and she has a penchant for peeing on anything on the floor. She especially loves plastic bags. But she recently found my boots on the floor and now they have that pee smell on them and the zipper is ruined from the ammonia in the urine. We have our carpets washed twice a year and spot cleaned in between. Cat litter boxes have to be kept absolutely clean, some cats won't use dirty litter boxes. Maybe you can try the Cat Attract cat litter - it costs a bit more but goes a long way. We are not ready to put her down, I think we'd put diapers on her first.
post #16 of 27
Wow! Sorry this is so tough on you. Over the years myself & some family have had cats that were healthy put peed everywhere. Over the years they developed cancer. I don't know if the two are linked.

You said they are attached to each other. Have you tried to separate them? Maybe that is the stress?

I hate putting animals down but sometimes it is for the best for all.
Best wishes to you especially going through this at this season.
post #17 of 27
[quote=pee-cleaner;1482204]Hi,

I am the one who eventually euthanized my spraying male last January. I endured it for 8 years and finally last year, after having him spray the Xmas tree, the gifts and a gift left on the dining room table (and consequently the table) I seriously had to consider doing the "permanent solution."



Please -- before you ever consider putting a cat to sleep because of
litterbox problems, take time to check out shelters and rescue
operations! Some of them have the facilities to accept cats with
these issues and let them live out their lives in a reasonably
pleasant environment.

I would even build a good-sized backyard enclosure for such a cat
before I would think of putting him down. Please consider all the
options...
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAmy View Post
And even though I'm sure it's possible that his being declawed could be a reason why he does this stuff but it doesn't make too much sense that he would start doing this when he was 2 years old instead of right after being declawed.
Please check his paws over if you haven’t already to make sure there is nothing wrong with them- a old friend of mine recently contacted me because her cat was having the same problem and her claws were actually starting to regrow back deformed and needed surgery to correct this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAmy View Post
Also, he did at one time have a urinary problem with blood in the urine and he wouldn't use the box so we took him to the vet and he was on meds and then afterwards he got better and was fine for a couple of weeks and then he went back to peeing everywhere (without the blood) however, he also still used his litter box, so of course we did the vet thing and tried all the things I mentioned but I think he's also doing this because he got used to it.
So both problems started medically but once they were fixed they should have stopped it's almost like he got used to doing them. Wierd?
What was the vet’s diagnosis and exactly what tests were done? There are some urinary tract issues- like bladder stones or cystitis- which need more testing than a urinalysis to determine, so it would help to know what was actually done and what the medication was prescribed for. As we found out with Copper this past year, sometimes a problem can appear “fixed†for months, only to find out the actual cause was never even addressed and need to managed long term once the true cause is known.

I am sorry this is happening and know it must be a difficult time for you. I really hope you will consider contacting a feline behaviorist to discuss the possible causes and suggestions before any big decisions are made. If most of the problems occur when you are asleep or gone, would it be possible to confine him to a room with his litter box during these times until something is figured out?
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your help. I won't be euthenizing (spelling?) my cat anytime soon. If that is something I will have to do then it will probably take me a few more months to accept that decision.

I called all shelters in my state and neighboring state and they have no openings and they said they usually don't so they can't even put me on a waiting list.

My next step is to get new litter and a new litter box even though I don't think that's the problem, I don't think it will hurt. My Vet thought it would be pointless to put him on prozac, that he wouldn't keep it down so I don't think I will do that.

As far as Feliway, I'll wait and see about that, it's definitly still an option. Abigail thankyou for the offer to buy the feliway from me if it didn't work that way very very generous of you.

I know some people have said there are oils and fragrances that are calming that you can rub under their chin or behind their ears, does anyone know any ones that work? I would like to try out something like that.

After the new litter box and litter, if I still see problems he is going straight to the vet and we'll see what happens after that. I'm sure I can live with the vomitting that's not as big an issue in my eyes as the peeing is.

pee-cleaner - Thanks for sharing your story. I know that sense of peace you speak of is exactly what we need right now, I'm just not ready yet. I can't justify putting my baby down until I have exhausted everything possible, so I still have a few more things to work out. However, your story sounds so much like mine.

As far as seperating my two cats that really is not an option. My problem is I live in a VERY small apartment and I really can't stress how small it is, just think of a closet. We have strict rules here where we can only have 1 litter box and it must be in the bathroom and we can only have 1 food dish and 1 water dish and it can only be in the kitchen. The rules are ridiculous but honestly it's what my cats have always been used to and they haven't known any different from when they were a few months old. And before they came to live with us both of them were sitting in a tiny cage so small that one of them had to sleep in the litter box.

I'm very careful to keep the litterbox extremely clean they are both picky like that and they would let me know if I would happen to forget.

It's true that my cat could be stressed because of the other cat but I don't have any other option except for getting rid of one of them. When you think of it I didn't have the ideal situation to have pets to begin with but it was either I adopt them when I did or they were going to be put to sleep.

Thanks again so much for the advice and help. I'll continue to keep you posted on how things are going...I'm praying that one of the few options left will work.
post #20 of 27
Declawing can have after effects years later - doesn't always happen right after its done.

But why can't you build a large cage to confine him in and just supervise some non-cage time.

Like I said, even if he does find another home, chances are that he will have to be caged part of the time.
post #21 of 27
Did your vet not offer you the transdermal prozac or elavil? A compounding pharmacy made it for my cat and I just rubbed it on the skin of his inner ears. Sadly, it made no difference whatsoever.

I know the stage you are in. It took me years before I was ready and honestly, I wasn't truly ready until the day before we actually did it. Take your time, keep exploring all the options you can and listen to your heart. I'm sorry you are going through this, as I know how utterly stressful it is.
post #22 of 27
I've just scanned this thread so I may have missed it, but for the vomiting problem, have you tried raising the bowls? My Teddy had crazy, constant vomiting problems, and once we elevated the bowls a little (mine are on small boxes a few inches from the ground), all the vomiting problems stopped.
post #23 of 27
Amy,

I had a cat with a peeing issue (not spraying) and it took a long time to get him to stop. I'll tell you what we did, and what I think might help for you.

Be SURE you've ruled out a Urinary infection. Just be sure.

I know you say he doesn't pee in the same places, but think about where he pees most often and make sure he can't get there. In other words, if it's in a closet ALWAYS close the door. If it's in the bathroom, always lock it off. If it's in your laundry never leave it out. I know it could be difficult especially if you're apartment is small, but consider it better than him peeing everywhere.

Wherever he's liked to pee in the past that you can't lock off, like if it's in certain corners of a room, behind certain furniture... go out and get that clear plastic runner stuff that they use to protect hallways and new carpet. It has spikey plastic nubs on the back. Put it upside down, nubs up, in those areas behind the furniture, in the corners, under the bed.

Buy him a new little box. His own. A big one, without a hood. Even if you have to put it smack in the middle of your apartment, remember, better than him peeing anywhere else! Get Cat Attract Little and mix some with clumping style litter. You won't keep the other cat out of it, but having two will help keep them clean.

Clean both litter boxes every day, twice a day. Keep them as clean as you can.

Get the Feliway spray. Consider the prozac but keep in mind that you might want to wait on that and see if the behavioral stuff helps first. Prozac could introduce new symptoms/side effects.

When you leave and come home pet him, reassure him and sit with him a while (if he'll let you). Talk to him. Give him a cat treat (anti-hairball type). Play with him for 1/2 and hour every day.

We did all of the above (without Prozac). I think what worked the best was the plastic runner stuff, but all of it made a difference. I didn't even have to put it nubby side up... just the plastic alone was deterent enough and broke the long-ingrained (years) habit. Our new carpet didn't get ruined

You are so in my thoughts. I know how frustrating and upsetting it can be, both for you AND the cat! If you do end up having to euthanize or rehome him, I know you'll be doing what is best for you, him and your family. You do not have an easy road ahead, and my heart goes out to you.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by shambelle View Post
I've just scanned this thread so I may have missed it, but for the vomiting problem, have you tried raising the bowls? My Teddy had crazy, constant vomiting problems, and once we elevated the bowls a little (mine are on small boxes a few inches from the ground), all the vomiting problems stopped.
One of my cats was vomiting quite frequently after eating and as soon as I raised the food bowl about an inch the problem stopped completely.
post #25 of 27
I feel for you! And you are a good person for trying to deal with this.

One of my cats was peeing inappropriately. He was treated for crystals but kept peeing. I got so frustrated I boarded him at the vet's for a month while I grappled with whether to euthanize him. (I say "kept peeing" as though it was a small aggravation but believe me, he wrecked a lot of stuff. One day I took a sandwich out of my purse to put in the office refrig and it was dripping with pee!). I brought him home, confined him, and he was fine . . . then it started up again. No crystals this time. After another one month "vacation" at the vet's he was put on Prozac. He has been home for 6 months and no pee problems.

Could you board him for awhile? He would be caged an "have" to use the box.
post #26 of 27
One other litter idea. If the clumping litter doesn't work after a couple months, try one of the corn-based litters. I use Arm and Hammer High Performance. WBCL is good, too. The corn-based litters are very lightweight and soft. If this is a declaw problem, it might feel better on his feet. My declawed cat loves to dig in the stuff. (It's also biodegradable and flushable!)

Just curious, aren't there rules about the management coming in to your apartment? I would just put in another box, move it, whatever. Then I'd move it back before they came over. Most states have rules about landlords coming without a 24 hour notice, unless it's an emergency (like flooding or fire). Besides, if I was a landlord, I'd rather have a clean apartment with multiple litter boxes than a pee-stained one.
post #27 of 27
These folks have excellent prices on Feliway, I have 4 difusers and it makes a huge difference. Have you thought of a large crate for the time you are not home?

www.valleyvet.com
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Is this the end?