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Is it really my fault?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So I am here because I have a major problem. Three months ago I moved into a house with a couple and their 14 year old cat. Everything was going great till about 2 weeks ago when the cat begin peeing on the stairs and their bed. They've come to the conclusion that the reason the cat is peeing is my fault and have asked me to leave. I had planned on moving out in two months anyway but they asked that I leave sooner.

Now my question is, is the cat peeing on the stairs and such my fault?

I never had a cat before so am not sure what is normal behavior and what not. I have tried to bond with the cat, played with her, brushed her, given her treats and such. At first she would have nothing to do with me but eventually she warmed up to me and would even cuddle with me on the couch from time to time.

So why now is she peeing on the carpet and how could it possibly be my fault? Is there anything I can do to correct the behavior and solve this problem?

Any advice would be great...I guess I should also mention they have taken her to the vet and he says she is fine, but supposedly she showed similar behavior when their parents visited for a month but their parents also brought their dog along as well...

Thanks!
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunInTheSun View Post
So I am here because I have a major problem. Three months ago I moved into a house with a couple and their 14 year old cat. Everything was going great till about 2 weeks ago when the cat begin peeing on the stairs and their bed. They've come to the conclusion that the reason the cat is peeing is my fault and have asked me to leave. I had planned on moving out in two months anyway but they asked that I leave sooner.

Now my question is, is the cat peeing on the stairs and such my fault?

I never had a cat before so am not sure what is normal behavior and what not. I have tried to bond with the cat, played with her, brushed her, given her treats and such. At first she would have nothing to do with me but eventually she warmed up to me and would even cuddle with me on the couch from time to time.

So why now is she peeing on the carpet and how could it possibly be my fault? Is there anything I can do to correct the behavior and solve this problem?

Any advice would be great...I guess I should also mention they have taken her to the vet and he says she is fine, but supposedly she showed similar behavior when their parents visited for a month but their parents also brought their dog along as well...

Thanks!
I would think that it may not be your fault, but it is your cat which means responsibility and your problem. It isn't unreasonable for roomates to react negatively to a cat peeing in their home. But there is hope! Please do a search there are lots of great ideas to correct the pee problem when the vet rules out infection. Hopefully some of the great ideas can help your kitty.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I guess I didn't make it clear that it is not my cat, but their cat. They have had the cat for a long time. I would never ask them to get rid of the cat. This living situation was temporary for me and I had planned on moving in with some close friends of mine on November 1 but they (the cat owners) feel I need to be out before then in order for the cat to stop misbehaving.

I know little about cats. I'm not a huge fan of cats which I am sure is a sin to say on this board but I like this cat and want her to be happy. I just don't know why the cat would start peeing everywhere if she was upset with me being here especially since I've been here for 3 months all ready. Why would she start doing it 3 months in and not right away?
post #4 of 10
The first thing we recommend in cases like this is to have the cat see a vet. Peeing inappropriately can indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI) and need to be addressed as it can cause serious complications.

The fact that she is getting along with you indicates to me that it probably isn't you. I would think behavioral problems would have occurred soon after you moved in.
post #5 of 10
First of all, I think it's really great of you to try to find the answer - and it is so NOT a sin to not know anything about cats, especially at this site - that's why we're here! To help people learn about them (and for those who have them to share about them).

The problem is that I don't know if there's really any way to determine for sure what the problem is. Peeing outside of the box is a medical problem about 85% of the time. They may have taken the cat to the vet, and determined that there is no bladder or urinatry tract infection. But did the cat have a complete physical and have its teeth checked? We have a cat that pees outside the box when she's in pain - that's how we discovered she needed a tooth pulled.

However, there are definitely cats that pee outside the box from stress. I do find it weird that the behavior began three months after you moved in (I mean that thus you would be the cause of it), which would lead me to believe it was something else. The problem is that often there is no way to determine exactly what is causing the stress.

If they think the problem is you, I'm not sure there's a lot you can do about it.

That said, there are steps they can take - if they're willing - to help reduce her stress without throwing you out before you have a place to go.

The place where she's been peeing should be cleaned with an enzyme cleaner. Nature's Miracle is an example of one that is widely available at supermarkets and pet stores, but it often needs to be applied more than once to work. We use this one: http://www.nokout.com. But I hear great thinks about Anti-Icky Poo, available here: http://www.catfaeries.com. Also available at cat faeries are other things that may help: Feliway.

Feliway is a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" markers in cats' cheeks, and helps them de-stress.

At that same site, something called Bach's Flower Essences can be purchased. They don't work for all cats - but when they work, they work, and there's just no way to know in advance. I'd consider either Rescue Remedy or Calm & Serence. A few drops should be added to kitty's water, which dish should be cleaned every day and new drops added each day. Some of the flower essences can also be dabbed behind kitty's ears or under the chin (places they can't lick).

An extra 10 minutes of play a day in the evening and morning can help a cat to destress - though with a 14 year old, perhaps that would be brushes or pets - but extra attention is the idea.

Another quick question - do they have a litter box both upstairs and downstairs? If they have one on each level, are the sides kind of tall, or is it easy to get into? I ask because kitty may have developed arthritis by that age, and it may just plain be that she has a problem going up or downstairs in time to get to the box, or it may just be hard for her to get into the box. Cats are great at hiding the fact that they're in pain, so a vet would have to determine if she's got arthritis. If so, I'm sure the vet would make a recommendation, but Cosequin (a glucosamine thing) often helps.

Others may have other ideas.

In the meantime, I hope this helps,

Laurie
post #6 of 10
A 14 yr old cat IS an older cat and while they might have had it to a vet, at that age, anything could happen in a short time.

IMO I think its wrong to say its your fault - its NOT. But if that's the type of people they are, I'd leave as soon as possible. No sense in trying to argue with their logic. Sad, but hope you find a better place soon.
post #7 of 10
Please ask them to have their cat see a vet as was already recommended. That is usually the very first suggestion since a cat inappropriately urinating can be the result of many variables, stress being gone but a urinary tract infection or some medical problem also a possibility. Others are that the kitty is no longer happy with the placement of the litter box, the litter itself, some change in the home (possibly not you since you have been there for awhile). If the cat is spayed/neutered (sorry, I forget the gender), those and several other issues - even the kind of litter - can play a role. If the cat is not altered, then other new cats in the neighborhood can be an issue.

Really, a vet visit is the first place to start.

I would try to reason with them but it is their home and while it is unfair for them to blame you, is it possible you and the cat do not get along for some reason? Did you inadvertently do something that you did not consider - like move the litter box or come home smelling of another cat? Anything like that? I do not want to place blame because I do not think that is the issue - the most important thing is finding what's wrong with the cat and you can help them with this andf maybe they will rethink their decision?
post #8 of 10
My guess would be they are using the cat as an excuse. If you've been getting along with the cat, there is no reason to assume you have anything to do with her sudden change in behavior. In fact, it is almost certainly a medical problem, and possibly a very serious one. They should get their cat to the vet ASAP, to possibly save her life. Bladder infections and such are nothing to ignore.
post #9 of 10
How frustrating for you. My understanding from your original post is that 1)they have already taken the cat to a vet and ruled out a medical problem; 2) this is a recent change in behaviour and you've been there 3 months; 3) this happened before when their parents were visiting. Now if that information is correct then telling you again to take the cat to the vet is probably not helping you much.

One of the posters asked about change - in type of litter, location of litter or anything else around the home that might upset the cat.

They need to narrow down the issues and find the real problem, clean the spots with the enzyme cleaner because once you do move out and the cat keeps up this behaviour, who then are they going to blame?
post #10 of 10
From your description I don't see how you could be the cause. If she were stressed by you being there she would have started the behavior when you moved in, not 3 mos later. And from your description, she has adjusted to you being there at this point.

As you suggested, when their parents visited, the dog could have been the problem.

Cat behavior can be difficult to understand. They may just not know what to do and are hoping the behavior will stop if you leave even though rationally you can't be the cause of it.
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