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can mess problems

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I am new to this forum. I have a cat that will not stop making number 2 on the floor after I go to bed at night. We actually inherrited this cat from a previous owner. He wasn't a kitten when we got him, he looks to be maybe a year or two old, I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm new to owning cats so everytime he made a mess on the floor I would yell at him, rub his nose in his mess, and sometimes spank him. I had know idea how damaging this was to our relationship. Now he fears me and is messing even more because I stress him out even more. I stopped punishing him and try to give him extra affection but I'm terrified that I won't be able to earn his trust. I'm afraid that I've done too much damage. Is it possible that our relationship can be repaired. I don't want him to be afraid, I want him to feel safe and loved. I didn't know what I was doing was hurting him so much and I regret it so much. Can someone please tell me what I can do to make things better.
post #2 of 12
Yeah ... even with dogs that is a NO-NO to do! But with cats it is even more so!

It will take a cat a long long long time most likely to get over it. BUT - if you are consistent and calm, and VERY VERY VERY patient, I bet the cat will come around.

Kudos to YOU to see that what you were dong wasn't good and to try to find better ways to handle this.

Cats eliminate inappropriately for all sorts of reasons.

-- How big and stable is the box?
-- How clean is it?
-- Have you disinfected it?
-- Was it new when you started using it?
-- Where is the box located?
-- How many cats do you have? If many, how many boxes per cat?
-- Are there children or other pets in the household?
-- Has a vet given the kitty a clear bill of health? Have you taken it to the vet to see if there is a health reason it is not going in the box?
-- What's the stool look like?
-- What is the relationship with the cat like outside of when it was being punished? With you? With anyone else in the house?
-- Is the box in the dark? If so, have you tried a night light? Some cats do not like to go in the dark and others have visual or smell issues that limit their ability to find the box or to try to find the box.
-- Is it maybe just missing the box? Or is this a deliberate not-even-close-to-the-box kind of thing?

Since you did try to correct the behavior in the manner which you did, it could now be the cat is acting out it's unhappiness even more due to that.

I'd use a cat keep off spray on the spots the cat goes on, and then shut the cat into a room with the light on with the litter box, like say a bathroom with kiddie protection devices on the drawers and cabinets so it can't get in them when trying to see if it can get out as it tests it's new nightly boundaries.

Or, get a kitty cage. Lock it up at night with a litter box. Like it's own little kitty bedroom. Then it will be safe and contained and unable to mess on the rug.

There are drugs you can try as well, and Feliway too. But your vet would be best suited to help you figure out which of those two is best for your cat - if either is at all. First stop should be the vet to see if there is a medical issue at play here, IMO.
post #3 of 12
Your relationship with your cat should be able to be fixed...You just have to earn your cats trust again. To gain his trust, always use a calming voice with him & let him smell your hand before you pet him. You need to replace his fear with love. With time, you two should have a happy relationship again

Hopefully you find something to help your cat out Good Luck!!
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
-- How big and stable is the box? We have 3 boxes, one with a cover and two with out. There big boxes and I have one other cat and they don't mind sharing.
-- How clean is it? I clean the boxes daily. Once in the morning, once when I come home, and again before I go to bed
-- Have you disinfected it? No
-- Was it new when you started using it? Yes
-- Where is the box located? One in our living area, one in our kitchen, and one in our basement, both cats utilize all the boxes
-- How many cats do you have? If many, how many boxes per cat? Two, one per cat and one extra
-- Are there children or other pets in the household? No
-- Has a vet given the kitty a clear bill of health? Have you taken it to the vet to see if there is a health reason it is not going in the box? Yes, the vet said there is nothing physically wrong, he still uses the boxes, just not all the time
-- What's the stool look like? Soft and liquid like, I don't give him soft cat food anymore cause I thought it might help.
-- What is the relationship with the cat like outside of when it was being punished? With you? With anyone else in the house? Very friendly and affectionate
-- Is the box in the dark? If so, have you tried a night light? Some cats do not like to go in the dark and others have visual or smell issues that limit their ability to find the box or to try to find the box. No but I'll get one. We turn off all the lights when we go to bed so thats probably a big factor
-- Is it maybe just missing the box? Or is this a deliberate not-even-close-to-the-box kind of thing?Well, sometimes he does go close to the box so that might be something to think about too
post #5 of 12
Well you learned that those methods not only DON"T work, but are cruel in many ways - you shouldn't even do that to a dog.

The cat may or may not ever trust you after doing all that. The way you teach them is to confine them to a room with a litter pan (big enough) and food/water and leave them there for a few days - letting them out under supervision till they adjust to things.

Older cats sometimes take months to adjust to a new home. By any chance was this cat declawed? Many declawed cats have litter box issues. What do you mean by you "inheritated" this cat?
post #6 of 12
I think you can earn his trust back.

You said his stool is more like liquid, soft and runny. I think you should see the vet about that.

It's pretty hard to get to the box when you lose bowel control. When my cat was ill she occasionally had that problem. So, maybe it's not about you so much, although you have undoubtedly upset him and possibly made him more nervous, thereby causing worse diarrhea. I don't know what your cat's thinking about you or whatever, but I think a vet visit is in order.

By the way, it can take a while for a cat to overcome -- what's the word -- psychological disturbances, say that he may have developed before whoever got rid of him. My cat had a serious behavioural problem [launching suddenly onto your face and ripping at your scalp, very nice] and it took about two years of love for her to totally overcome it. She became the sweetest thing. You have to be like a teacher and consider that it is not about them being upset with you. They hurt and need affection.

Just my opinion.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
What do you mean by you "inheritated" this cat?
The old owner had allergy problems, he owned the cat for a while but couldn't handle him anymore because of his allergies. He worked with my fiance and she wanted a cat, so he offered him up and the rest is history. I don't know why I said inheritated, bad choice of words.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morning View Post
You said his stool is more like liquid, soft and runny. I think you should see the vet about that.
We did, and they said there was nothing wrong with him. I'm pretty sure its the soft cat food that we've been giving him thats been causing his diarrea. We're switching him to just hard food to see if it helps.
post #9 of 12
I've never had to use it --- luckily --- but I've heard that Cat Attract litter can be beneficial in situations like this. Apparently it contains scents that entice cats to use the box more faithfully.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertM View Post
I've never had to use it --- luckily --- but I've heard that Cat Attract litter can be beneficial in situations like this. Apparently it contains scents that entice cats to use the box more faithfully.
Yeah, I tried that stuff too. He didn't take to it
post #11 of 12
Are you switching his dry food? That can give a cat the runs. You have to consistently use the same dry food and any changes should be done slowly and gradually by mixing old with new over a week or so (even longer for some). I don't think getting rid of wet food would make a difference, but I'm not sure. Did you tell your vet about the runny poo?

I know you said you tried the Cat Attract litter but the same company also makes just an additive that you mix a bunch into your regular litter, might be worth trying.

As for the trust thing, it's going to take time. Try a Feliway diffuser to help comfort the cat, talk to it in soothing tones, give it space.
post #12 of 12
I can't really help with the pooping problem, others have had some good suggestions. All I can think of is to keep loving him no matter what. Be gentle with him and speak in a soft, non-threatening voice. He will eventually learn you are safe. For a time, you could just try talking to him without touch. Let him come to you.

I find it admirable that you saw you were doing something wrong and are now working to fix it. Many people in this world would never see that. Good job
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