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Anti-Social AND Pees Everywhere...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I don't know what to do.

So here’s the scoop. I have this cat named Libbi. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old, which was nearly 11 years ago. She has always been anti-social and a complete scaredy cat. When we went to pick her up from the people who had her mother she hid and had to be dragged out from behind the sofa. But 11 year old me LOVED her and took her home anyway.

Throughout the years, she has remained anti-social. Sometimes she will come out and ask to be petted, on her terms, but never ever picked up. She’s long haired, but GOOD LUCK touching her long enough to try grooming her. If any strangers come in the house, she hides. If normal residents come in the house, she hides. She hates animals and picks fights with other cats when she’s not hiding from them. If she decides to lay near you (ie: in the same room) she will get scared and run away if you try to do anything stupid like talk to her, sit/stand up or move at all. She will not play with toys or humans at all. She has spent most of her life hiding under beds and in closets.

But if being a horrible “pet†was the only problem I wouldn’t have a problem and I’d just let her be and deal with the fur everywhere, etc. But she has this other character flaw – she is anti litter box. It started when she wasn’t even a year old, she liked to pee and poop on laundry. In the decade since, she has destroyed more clothes, coats, handbags, etc. then I care to think about. If there is anything on the floor (including rugs) she will pee and poop on them. If you keep the laundry picked up, sometimes she will go in her box but other times she will go on the floor next to her box. She went on the carpet in my apartment so bad I had to pay $1,500 to have it replaced when I moved. She has recently (in the past year) moved up to peeing on upholstered furniture, pillows and mattresses.

She goes through phases where she will use her box, or at least where there is enough soil in the box for me to believe she is using it, but I usually later find somewhere she has skulked off to to go also. In the past, keeping things picked up off the floor and making sure her litter box stayed REALLY REALLY clean has been sufficient to get her to go in the box but she stops the minute she finds something on the floor to go on instead. Recently she has gotten even worse.

She started getting into the laundry baskets to go. So I got a covered laundry basket.

Then she started to peeing on my armchairs and my bed. So I locked her out of the room where those are.

When locked out of the room where she could pee on things, she started just peeing straight in the middle of the floor.

Over the years, I have tried more enzyme cleaners than I could possibly remember, every time I find a spot I go around the whole house with the blacklight and clean up anything I find. I’ve tried plain and scoopable litters of various types, yesterday’s news, cat attract additive, open litter boxes, closed litter boxes, the clevercat box, 2 different kinds of automatic litter boxes (Litter-Maid and Litter Round-Up) with and without hoods. Currently I have two Feliway diffusers going constantly, and a bottle of the spray that I use on her blankets, etc. I have learned to keep ALL of my laundry put away or in a covered laundry basket, and eliminated all rugs with the exception of the bathroom “step out†rug, which is picked up every time immediately after use. I have tried aluminum foil, bubble wrap (she’s scared of it), puppy pads, and one of those “cat deterrent†sprays for her “repeat†areas but she either goes on top of it or just finds somewhere else to go until whatever is in her way is moved and goes back. She has been checked for UTI multiple times throughout her life, and was treated once for one but has otherwise always been considered healthy. We treated her for 3 months with prozac but saw no result in her behavior or her bathroom habits so the vet took her off of it. She is spayed and declawed (parents did it – I was 11 when they made that decision) and current on all her vaccines, etc. So far I have not managed to go more than a week without her going somewhere.

Now she is locked into one of my bedrooms that is a storage room. All that is in there are some storage boxes, her bed (which is in the closet because she wont sleep out in the open) litter box and food and water, and her. While in there she will pee in the litter box but will not poop in it, she will poop in front of it. So tonight I am going to give her a 2nd litter box to see if she will poop in that. The room she is in is the room she chooses to hide in 90+% of the time anyway so she does not seem to mind the confinement. The only time I normally ever even see or touch Libbi is when she comes to ME for attention, usually about once a week (if that). Being locked up in this room, she can’t come seeking affection and has not shown any desire to do so. I go in and sit and talk to her closet every day and offer treats but she doesn’t bother to come out. Sometimes she meows at the door of the room and I immediately go in there, but as soon as I open the door she runs and hides in the closet again.

I’m bending over backwards for this cat and have been for almost 11 years. And in return I get – balls of fur all over my house because I can’t properly groom her long fur, pee on my stuff and the extra chores and costs associated with cleaning up after a cat but no positives. I know a lot of people put up with and work with negative bathroom behaviors but usually those cats are companions to them and love them. And she isn’t.

I guess my question is what is the point? My family and friends are trying to convince me to have her put down or give her away. But nobody wants a senior cat who hates everybody and goes to the bathroom everywhere. (Any takers?) I love Libbi, but only in the “I’ve had this cat since I was 11 and I’m the only human she will even tolerate†type of way. My father has offered to take her to the shelter, where she will surely be put down. But I couldn’t live with that. I know everyone here will think I’m a horrible person but I would actually consider having her put down, but only if I could take her to my vet who she’s seen her entire life, and be with her when they did it because I’m the only person she has even semi-trusted and I would hate to put her in a place with a bunch of people she doesn’t know and have her die terrified. But I don’t think my vet will put down an otherwise completely healthy animal. So I don’t know what to do.

I know that most responses on this site are going to say that the cause of the problem is her being declawed. That might be correct but it is not something that can be changed to correct the problem. So lets at least try to keep responses to constructive suggestions on how to correct the issue, or advice on what to do with her.

Thanks for reading my book.

post #2 of 5
A very complicated problem, and honestly since you've tried so much already I don't really have any helpful suggestions. Just know that others have had to make difficult choices too, and you certainly have tried - and a lot longer than most people would.

The only thing I can think of, as far as the litter box goes, is try plain old dirt or play sand if you haven't already.
post #3 of 5
There's an idea I've been thinking about for a while, regarding cats who seem fond of peeing in laundry, is why nobody really tries simply putting out a litterbox with old towels in it, and then switching towels to wash the soiled ones. It's just an idea, one of those "I wonder if that'll work?..." kind of things.

Your kitty sounds like my Willow; antisocial and skittish from birth (we got her at 6 weeks), and she's fond of pooping out of the litterbox and occationally peeing on some laundry/backpacks/purses left carelessly on the floor. She used to be a total maniac, though. She didn't like strangers and was quite obviously nervous, but she was TERRITORIAL and she'd follow the stranger around, keeping a close eye on him/her. If they tried to pet her (she always looked calm and sweet, and would be sitting with her feet perched cutely together), she'd scream and lash at them with the speed of light, and then sit back and look calm again. Crazy cat. But when we brought baby Buffy in the home, Willow hated her for a week (as we expected) but surprisingly, she soon changed her tune and turned into 4-week-old orphan Buffy's sort of surrogate momma. And she's been somewhat normal in the 5 years since, lol (she no longer cares when strangers come through the house, and she's much calmer)
post #4 of 5
IMHO, don't let family and friends change your relationship with Libbi. She lived with you for 11 years. She trusts you. She is difficult but it's not her fault. She's proof of what declawing can do to a cat.
About the grooming - ask your vet if there are safe tranquilizers to calm her prior to brushing/combing.
About the improper toilet - the 2nd box is a very good idea. And Libbi sounds like my friend's long haired cat. Her litterbox had to be always clean or her cat would urinate and poo on my friend's bed.
About the anti social behavior - there are many cats like Libbi. I have one and it's okay.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well a little update. I put the 2nd box in her room, but she ignored it and started going #1 and #2 in the original box. So I moved the other box and she started going on the floor again. So I put it back and let her ignore it and go in the first box. I’m confused, but ok whatever she wants – as long as it’s in a box.

She has started being slightly more sociable in the past couple of days. She actually came all the way out of the closet for a treat the other night. I took the Zoom Groom in there and she let me pet her with it so I got a little bit of fur off of her, I am going to try to do at least a little with that every night. She does these weird circles around the room – pass by me for a single stroke, go sniff the door, go sniff the other wall, come back to me for one stroke… Weirdo.

Unfortunately she still can’t be allowed out of her bedroom. I left the door cracked while I was scooping her box and she ran right out – and straight to my bed to pee. Oh well. Maybe with more time?
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