or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Crossing the Bridge › Not Every Furbaby can Be Saved *sob*
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Not Every Furbaby can Be Saved *sob*

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 


I never thought I would be writing a story of my own in here. Not for a long while anyway.

You may remember my story of a litter of kittens being kept in a laundry. I may not have said it at the time as I had no proof or I may have because I was really angry. They were also mistreated. I have only since found this out.

I kept one and named her Doofus. She was always doing something silly to amuse us. As days grew into weeks, it became apparent that something wasn't right. It wasn't that she was ill or physically hurt. She had something in her mind that troubled her. Something we tried to fix but failed.

Doofus had nightmares, ones where she would cry out and look in distress. We'd wake her from those and settle her down. Nothing seemed to lessen them. At times, my partner or I would think they had only to discover that one of us had calmed her down earlier.

Then at 8 weeks, she began going to the toilet on all the couches. At first we thought it was territorial or that maybe she was caught short. But after observing her, this wasn't the case. She deliberately went there to relieve herself. Doofus knew where the litter was and used it but at times things would just lapse.

After a month of cleaning, trying lemon and orange scents, pheromone sprays and moving the litter we were at our wits ends. We talked to the vet and there was no guarantee that Doofus would stop it. You see, when she was kept in the laundry with her littermates, attention only came when someone went in to clean the floor of the wastes. For Doofus, she was trying to get our attention. She didn't need to do that. We played with her. I talked to her, petted her, cuddled her during the day as I have the time at the moment. She was a gentle kitten and knew not to bring the claws out and had learnt that biting was a no no.

And instead of her 12wk vaccination, we sent her on her way to the rainbow bridge. I felt like I had betrayed her and still do. It's been almost a week now and I still feel that way. I know there was nothing else that could be done but I miss her.

We have since gotten a new kitten, a 4 month old kitten that was left at the vet's. She hasn't been abused and is friendly. I just hope it goes better this time round.

post #2 of 12
Dear Mags,

I am so very sorry for your loss. I know that you are fairly new to having pets at all. It must be very painful to lose a furbaby for the first time.

Please forgive me if what I'm going to say next hurts your feelings. I feel compelled to say that so that others will learn and other cats may be saved.

Behavior problems are the main reason why pets are put down. This is often just plain unnecessary. Vets are often not qualified to deal with behavior problems and offer either no advice or the wrong advice. Litter box problems and aggression are the two most common complaints I get to deal with and so far in 100% of the cases I have succeeded in bringing on a behavior modification - provided that the owners were willing to follow my advice (which unfortunately is not always the case - some people find it easier to just either dump the cat at the shelter or put her to sleep).

Litter box problems, as well as most other behavior problems are solvable. It may take some time and effort but it can be done. By the way, there are no magic solutions either. When I treat a cat for a behavior problem the meeting lasts anything from 1 hour to 3. I need to learn a lot about the cat, the owner and the situation to figure out exactly where the problem is and come up with a plan. Sometimes we need to change the plan as we go and find something more effective.

Mags, what was done was done - and I'm not blaming you either. Vets can be very persuasive in these things and we all tend to listen to people in white robes. I'm sorry if what I'm saying increases the pain. I had to say that for the sake of your future cats as well as the cats of other members and visitors to this board. Again, my deepest sympathies to you!
post #3 of 12
I'm sorry for your loss, that must have been a difficult decision to make w/ such a young kitten.

But I have to say, so others don't think that this is the solution for these problems, that behavioral issues are treatable. And putting an animal down for something like litter box problems is not the only solution. We have many members here who are experts in Feline Behavior, and who have led many of our members to success with treating litter box problems. It just takes time and patience. I only hope that in the future we can save more of these poor kittens instead of letting vets convince people that euthanizing is the only option.

Again, my sympathies to you. I hope your kitten is happy at the Rainbow Bridge now, and looking down upon you.
post #4 of 12
I am shocked that the vet advised this. When I saw the title of your subject I was certain your kitten must have had a terminal disease. This is truly heartbreaking. I thought the vet's oath was something like the medical doctor's, "primo non nocere," first, do no harm. I am truly sorry this poor baby died for that reason. What a tragedy! I fear my words are insufficient to comfort you.
post #5 of 12
That's sad.

P.S. Find a new vet.
post #6 of 12
I feel really, really bad for this kitten!!!
post #7 of 12
Oh Mags.....I am sorry for your pain but I have to agree with everyone else on this one. The fact is that Doofus was just a kitten. I am so sad that things had to end this way.

The reason being is that I went through something similar in June 2002. Whiskers is not a kitten but, her behavior changed suddenly and she too was dirtying everywhere for no reason. I mean, everywhere....on the beds, on the couch, on our freezer, on our water machine. It was not a fun thing to live through. And yes, sometime during this experience, I did have thoughts of having her put down because she even had a funny look in her eyes and I was frightened of her. I knew something was wrong. The vet really did not help me much. To be honest, TCS is where I was led to. Out of anger of having to clean constantly and of being hissed at etc....I seeked advice here. And boy was I ever bombarded with support, advice, encouragment. I was emotionally exhausted. Not only was I fed up of cleaning after her, I was just plain tired. I ended up purchasing 3 more litterboxes and scattering them around the basement. That was the beginning of the end of a bad situation.

After some time (I'm not even sure I can remember how long this problem lasted but it seemed like forever to me), Whiskers gradually came back to her old self.

The conclusion was that my grandmother had given me a geranium and we think Whiskers may have ate the leaves (or the flower itself???) and apparently it is toxic. I got rid of the plant and so far so good. She has not relapsed at all.

Although the past is the past and you cannot change that. Please know that there are many options out here. And there are many reasons for behavioral changes.

I agree with BuNN...find a different vet. You should have been given different options.

I wish you the best with your new kitten. And please.....just know we are all here for you if ever you need help!

Good luck.

Here's a (((HUG))) for you. I really want you to know that even in tough times, there are friends waiting to give you support.
post #8 of 12
I remember when you told us about that litter of kittens and how concerned you were about them. I am so very sad to read this latest post from you. What happened isn't your fault at all, but it is a valuable learning experience. I agree with Whisker's mom, whenever there is a problem please post it on this board, we are all here to help each other and there are people here who are very knowledgeable experts. You might also find answers to problems if you search thru the archieved threads, they're full of good information.

My thoughts are with you at this sad time.
post #9 of 12
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you.

I do agree with Anne and everyone. Behavioural problems can be treated. I didn't want to put her down. I did search through the threads, tried everything that came to my head.

I know I shouldn't have given up. I guess now after some of the emotion has settled, we didn't have the time to properly deal with the situation. It's the ugly truth. I don't like myself for it and even group myself with bad pet owners.

The new kitten is going well. I've taken time off study and other things to make sure this time. We named her Esper.

post #11 of 12
I guess it's just a coincidence but Esper's name is similar to esperar, Spanish for "to hope." Most cats are fastidious about covering their waste, but if you should have any problems at all, please ask about it in the Behavior forum. There are numerous things you can do. I wish you and the new kitten the best.
post #12 of 12
Mags, I'm very sorry to hear about Doofus. She had a very tough start in life, and I'm sure she was very traumatized. Especially hearing about her nightmares. Hers was a sad story from start to finish, but I know that you did love her while she was there.

Good luck with Esper. If you have any problems with him, please ask. There's absolutely no shame in asking for help. Anne is a full fledged Cat Behaviourist, so she can usually help in even the most difficult situations.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Crossing the Bridge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Crossing the Bridge › Not Every Furbaby can Be Saved *sob*