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Cat pooping in nursery

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I have read through the FAQ and still no answer.

Here is the background info on my cat

10 years old male, neutered. I have owned him since he was a kitten. I have taken him to the vet (last week), he is fine.

He has moved several times had a dog introduced - no issues.

We have two litter boxes. Same litter he has always had. Same litter box location, cleaned everyday.

It began when we re-arranged a room for our upcoming baby. This was long before baby arrived.

Cat began pooping on the floor under the crib. The floor is carpet. If the door to that room was closed he would go in the litter box. He had never pooped on the floor before this.

Baby has been here for a month, I have been blocking the cats access to that room.

One day we moved a baby swing into another room to cleanup, the cat pooped under that swing.

I know that it is obvious that the cat has an issue with the baby. I have been trying to give him extra attention, brushing etc. It has not helped.

He got into the baby room today and pooped again. This cannot continue, this could harm our baby. We are beginning to dislike the cat.

I have done everything I can think of.

The vet recommended a product Feliway it is very expensive I do not think I should have to pay 400 a year so he does not poop on the floor.

Does anyone have any ideas?
post #2 of 23
This is a frustrating situation, what to do?! Sorry to say I don't have any definitive answers for you either. My theory would be that your kitty is displaying territorial marking over the baby's new scent. Feliway often works for this type of behavior, but as you mentioned can be expensive. If you are not up to trying different things, more frustrated then not, my recommendation would be to see if you can find another home for your kitty............
post #3 of 23
Hi -
You can actually buy a 6mo. supply of feliway on Amazon.com for $76.00, and the starter pack for $25.00.

You can do this for the first few/6 months, and see what happens.
Also: Make sure you have a good enzyme cleaner to clean the places where he is pooping at. After that you can spray feliway spray (not the diffuser) around the places where he is pooping. You would spray under the babie's furniture 2x/day... I think it would help a lot - it did for me with urine marking...

Good luck!
post #4 of 23
Good advice here. Also, make sure you are cleaning that carpet thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner. Soak the carpet - yes I said soak... and keep mopping it up with paper towel or clean rags until the wetness is pretty much gone. Or rent a steam cleaner that uses an enzymatic pet stain solution to get ALL of the kitty's scent out of the places he's pooping.

I would agree, he is upset about the baby being there.


Hmmmm.... I'm wondering if tricks people use to get cats to adjust to one another - Feliway being one of them - would help. Like taking something with the baby's smell and putting it under his food dish so that baby smell means something good. Rub something with baby smell on him. Not rubbing his face IN it mind you. What I am getting at is that cats are scent driven.

Cats are also creatures of habit BIG TIME. And the baby has upset that apple cart. Maybe try to get kitty into a happy routine - play with him, give him attention every morning and evening, for instance - no distractions. Praise and give treats for GOOD behavior.

Another thought is to add Cat Attract litter to his box and see if he can resist that.

I see you talked to the vet. Did kitty get a check up to make sure there is nothing wrong with him?

Frankly, it depends on how hard you want to work to keep him. I do understand your frustrations.

I suppose if these things fail you could try something like ssssscat to keep him out of baby's room, but then if the underlying issue is not resolved he would just poop someplace else.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks for your replies.

I am willing to try different things with him. I just don't like the feliway option as it is very expensive. I believe that he should be able to behave without the feliway.

I have been cleaning with a steam cleaner.

I did have him to the vet for a checkup, he is up to date on everything. The vet agreed that it was a territory issue.

I have tried the praise and will keep it up. I like the idea of scent. I will try a baby blanket with his food.

As mentioned if I cannot resolve the matter I will have to find him a new home. He was a great cat until this issue came up.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan View Post
thanks for your replies.

I am willing to try different things with him. I just don't like the feliway option as it is very expensive. I believe that he should be able to behave without the feliway.

I have been cleaning with a steam cleaner.

I did have him to the vet for a checkup, he is up to date on everything. The vet agreed that it was a territory issue.

I have tried the praise and will keep it up. I like the idea of scent. I will try a baby blanket with his food.

As mentioned if I cannot resolve the matter I will have to find him a new home. He was a great cat until this issue came up.
Not just a steam cleaner but one with a pet stain solution -like nature's miracle. I know there is at least one out there formulated for use in steam cleaners but the name escapes me.

Re: Feliway - you may not need to do this forever, but to help him adjust. Carolinalima gave you a great price that she found on Amazon. It is worth a try, IMO. What if you found out kitty was sick and needed meds for the rest of his life that cost that much? Would that be too expensive?

Another suggestion - and make sure this is ok with the pediatrician. ... is a scent masking - using vanilla extract. When cats are reacting badly to each other, some people have had success with placing a dab of REAL vanilla on the cats' chins and at the base of the tail in the back. Then everyone smells the same. With baby and kitty, maybe put a dab of vanilla on the baby and dab the cat... Try the swap out first with the baby blanket, etc.

And if the cat just cannot adjust - it may be that he is meant to be an only "child." It does happen.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
I am willing to try different things with him. I just don't like the feliway option as it is very expensive. I believe that he should be able to behave without the feliway.
What are you willing to try? What about the feliway spray? A couple of sprays, 2x/day only on the spots he poops at - i.e. under the baby's furniture.

Quote:
I have been cleaning with a steam cleaner.
Make sure you clean with an enzyme cleaner.

Quote:
I have tried the praise and will keep it up.
Don't forget the treats when you are praising him - praise don't do much for a cat as it does for a dog. A dog likes to please the owner - a cat like pleasing himself.
Quote:
I will try a baby blanket with his food.
Make sure to not wash the blanket before giving to him.

Whatever you do, be persistent - the problem will not go away in one day, but don't back down it will work.
Now, you say you are willing to try different things with him, but not Feliway? The spray will cost you under $20 for a bottle - this bottle will last you well over a month. It is very possible that one month is all you will need... You do that and the wall diffuser, you will double your chances of succeeding. You don't need to use the whole year, the feliway diffuser is not a cat deterrent -it just releases a calming pheromone that reduces the stress level and making it easier for a cat to deal with new circumstances, for example, a new home, new cat, or in your case, a new baby.
post #8 of 23
Feliway is probably going to be your next best bet - I've used it before & it hasn't been a "long term" solution, just enough to get the problem solved. I often only have to use it for a month.
post #9 of 23
The others are right that you shouldn't have to use the Feliway forever. Just for a few months while the cat adjusts to the change.

I don't think it's that the cat dislikes the baby or is being territorial. It's more likely that the new baby -- particularly the crying -- is upsetting and stressing the cat out.

Feliway or no Feliway, I think you can be pretty sure that the issue will go away once the cat becomes used to the changes in the household. Soon the baby will seem normal to him. Just give the cat time. And you should try to return to your old attitude toward the cat -- you mention that now you feel you dislike him, and the cat picks up on that. In the cat's mind, it goes, "Before this baby arrived, I got all this affection, and now everyone's treating me differently and angry at me."

Also, since the behavior started before the baby arrived, I think it's worth getting a second opinion from a different vet on whether the cat has any health issues. There could be an unrelated condition that's causing it, or it could be that the stress is physically aggravating a formerly hidden condition.
post #10 of 23
Steam cleaners can actually set the odor - try enzyme cleaners or ZeroOdor. It could well be the cat is feeling very displaced, even pre-baby, by the disruption in the household and not getting as much attention. He no doubt loves you and your husband, and just couldn't figure out why things were getting painted, furniture moved around, strange new scents coming in, and why he's not getting as much loving as he was. Yes, sort of like having a toddler welcome a new baby....and I can imagine a baby's cries can be very distressing to a cat.

I agree with all the other comments - maybe even leave the baby's worn tee-shirt near kitty's food bowl, etc., so that he starts associated baby scent with 'good' things, and, if you can, maintain a consistent routine with the cat - play time, grooming, etc. I know, lots to ask new parents, and I can imagine it's really hurting you to think of rehoming him - and he's picking up on it. When my cat had box issues, I was upset, and I swear it upset him even more. BTW, maybe give the Cat Attract litter a try - it and Feliway did wonders for me. And I order the Feliway refills over the net - I think six bottles (6 months) are roughly $85.

Good luck - I know you're doing the best you can for everyone.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am using a pet product for the steam cleaner.

This is the best vet in the area, I drive outside of my community past two others to go there. A good exam was done as well as fecal testing.

I am in a rural community in Canada. Feliway is much more expensive here. It's not that I am unwiling to try it, it's just I think he should be able to behave himself without it. He knows that he is not supposed to poop on the floor. I would rather try other options first.


I read about feliway and it mentioned that it prevents marking with urine. He has never marked with urine, only poops on the floor. I believe this to be the same, is that true?
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan View Post
I am using a pet product for the steam cleaner.

This is the best vet in the area, I drive outside of my community past two others to go there. A good exam was done as well as fecal testing.

I am in a rural community in Canada. Feliway is much more expensive here. It's not that I am unwiling to try it, it's just I think he should be able to behave himself without it. He knows that he is not supposed to poop on the floor. I would rather try other options first.


I read about feliway and it mentioned that it prevents marking with urine. He has never marked with urine, only poops on the floor. I believe this to be the same, is that true?
That may be, but he is still doing it b/c he's upset and he's letting you know. You're looking at it like a human, not a cat. Also "knowing he's not supposed to" is kind of a dog concept... doesn't apply so much with kitties.

Is it more expensive if you buy Feliway online? USD to CAD a problem?

Wondering if Bachs Rescue Remedy would apply here? I have never used it.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
That may be, but he is still doing it b/c he's upset and he's letting you know. You're looking at it like a human, not a cat. Also "knowing he's not supposed to" is kind of a dog concept... doesn't apply so much with kitties.

Pleeease don't be one of those cat owners who gives away their pet when their baby comes. They're the bane of shelters and it's so sad what it does to the animal who's been a good pet.

He's just going through a chaotic, transitional time as you all are with the new arrival. As a human, if you didn't know what the hell was going on, you'd buy an extra lock and secure the windows. He's doing a cat version of that.

Do you have enough room in your own place to give him his own room for a while? Cats like stability, so if you could put him in a room with his own stuff (and his litter box!), where he knows he can go and things will be the same day after day, that may help him a lot. Right now he's behaving the way we would if caught in an earthquake, running (or pooping) this way and that. Add to that formula if you were caught in an ongoing earthquake just as you were hitting your elderly years!
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan View Post
It's not that I am unwiling to try it, it's just I think he should be able to behave himself without it. He knows that he is not supposed to poop on the floor. I would rather try other options first.
He is a cat, not a person...
post #15 of 23
The purpose and function of Feliway is to stop a cat's stress -- it reproduces the "happy pheromones" that cats give off when they rub their cheeks on something. The urine marking thing you read on the label is only a side effect; the Feliway doesn't actually have to do with bladder or bowel habits.

I'm not saying you have to use it, since I tried it once and wasn't sure whether it had any effect either way. But it does work for some cats. There are other things you can do that are more important -- some of the suggestions above will certainly help.
post #16 of 23
All of these folks here have given you excellent advice especially regarding the Feliway. I suppose it comes down to how much do you value the love and companionship of your kitty. If it were me the cost of trying to correct the situation is negligible compared to the other alternatives. And like many people have said Feliway is used to correct a current issue and once the issue has been taken care of the need for it reduces to none in most cases.

As for kitties behaving badly... I have learned one very important lesson from being owned by cats... they teach you patience. A cat is not a dog. A dog knows when they are doing something wrong and they also do whatever on earth it takes to make you happy. A cat cares about making themselves happy. You have to approach correcting behaviors in cats by making it seem that if they stop the behavior, they are much happier. This takes time and effort. You can't train a cat like you train a dog.

Another thing you might want to try is introductions like you would do with a new cat. Keep kitty isolated when baby is out and use the used item of clothing trick around his food bowl. Rub baby's scent on kitty. When baby is sleeping let kitty out to sniff around but don't let him in baby's room. Combined with Feliway he will begin to get comfortable with the new scent. I don't recall if you said kitty has seen the baby face to face yet. How does he react when he see's the baby? To a cat any new addition could be considered an intruder until they get familiar with it and its scent and they can make the association between the two. I know you love and adore your baby but to kitty the baby may as well be a new puppy or a new kitten or a stray cat outside or a stranger walking into your house.

Keep at it... your kitty will will get comfortable soon. Follow the advice here. The folks on this forum have the best experience and tips and tricks.
post #17 of 23
If you had another child and then your brought a baby home and the older child started pooping on the floor would you just give the older child up because it knows better than to poop on the floor? No you wouldn't you'd do everything you could to make that child know you love it unconditionally etc etc. You'd spend all the money in the world.

Let's pretend this wasn't the situation lets pretend you just found out the cat has a disease that needs medication each month $25 a month. Are you going to spend that money? If not, you're right that cat doesn't need you--it needs someone to love it furrever!

Leslie
post #18 of 23
This may put things in perspective:

http://www.messybeast.com/moggycat/catscomefirst.htm
post #19 of 23
He is stressed. He (being a cat) can't punch the wall or go for a jog or drink some wine, like people will do to relieve stress.....so he poops under the baby swing. That's what cats do when they're stressed. Thinking that "he shouldn't need" any help to get over his stress will not help him to change his behavior. Feliway is worth a try. It helps cats to relax a bit. If that fails, the vet may be able to prescribe some anti-anxiety medication.

Re-homing should be the VERY last resort (unless you have a family member/friend who's just dying to take him), because adult cats do not adjust well to new homes, and he would very likely end up dead (put down in a shelter or worse).
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks to some for your advice to others I did not request advice to receive a lecture or smart comments.

I am an animal lover but a cat is not a baby. If I was not willing to try and work with him he would be gone now. Like I said I have had him for 10 years, finding him a new home is a last resort but if he cannot be happy here then it is only fair to him to find a place for him to be happy. I would not send him to a shelter.

I did not say that I was not willing to spend money on him, he has had an extra vet app which is more than feliway. I still don't like it but if the current course of action does not work I will still leave it as an option.

Cats can learn, my cat learned not to scratch the screens, furniture, not to go on the counter etc. I have owned a cat before this one, they still learn just differently than dogs. I never compared him to a dog anyway.

I was keeping him in a room at night with his things, the last time he pooped something came up and he was out of that room later than he should have been. I put the baby's blanket under his food yesterday, he sniffed the blanket and ate his food. I think that this is a good sign.

Anyway thanks again to those providing advice.
post #21 of 23
My cat was 6 when my daughter was born. She was upset and wailed all the time. Rehoming her was NEVER an option. The vet prescribed her a medication to calm her and after a while she stopped crying. She had also started pulling her hair out, tests showed nothing wrong.

Cats are very much creatures of habit and they need to settle into a new routine. You really cannot expect him to know how to "behave", but give him time he will learn and likely go back to the loving companion he was before baby arrived on the scene.

I hope it all works out for you.
post #22 of 23
I sort of agree with you that you were getting a bit raked over the coals here. I just want to say that you are to be commended for trying the blanket thing, as was advised above.

If we were in this situation, my husband would have never sought advice, he would have just yelled and griped about it. (And we have had plenty of similar situations)

I always appreciate a guy who is a cat person.
post #23 of 23
what about getting another cat so they can keep each other company ??

I know that when my cat is alone he gets upset sometimes when the other cats are outside but when they come indoors he usually feels a lot better and they all cuddle and play together just an idea

a while ago i had a cat do this to me when i was really busy with college I did not give him that much attention and he started popping everywhere but i fixed it easy by just giving him extra attention and letting him enjoy outdoors so he can keep busy

Sounds like ur cat might be bored
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