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When to consider rehoming

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've posted many times about our cat, Gus. We really love this cat, but I'm not sure if he's quite happy here with us. At what point do we need to think about parting from him and finding him a new home? Part of me feels like I just need to tough it out and keep cleaning up after him, but I'm not sure that's a happy solution for anyone either... I guess I just really would like to know what other people do in these situations.

Here's my last post about Gus that explains most of the situation.
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=186288

Updates since that thread: I've been using Feliway for several months, plugged in in the room that he pees all over. I'm cleaning up pee from the corners 1-2 times a day usually, but sometimes he randomly does not go on the floor for a few weeks at a time. The litter box is still in that room. I never put Gus in the bathroom without giving him food or treats. At least once I was in the bathroom with him when he started to pee in a corner. I moved him promptly to the litter box and he went there instead. We've scrubbed the entire bathroom floor and walls with Nature's Miracle "Just for Cats" and "Hard Surfaces". He still has no health issues causing him not to go in the box.

Thanks again.
post #2 of 25
Personally I feel if the cat doesn't just fit in the household and you've tried everything, your better off finding another home. You don't want to resent him or dislike him. I have had cats that just did not work out in our house, and I found wonderful family members to take them in and they are much happier! I would never send my pets to a shelter, I would only rehome if I could find a wonderful home.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh absolutely. I could never ever put one of our "babies" in a shelter.

The other thing I didn't ask was...is it even really possible to find someone willing to take on a cat that has food allergies (can't have any grains or chicken) and has a habit of peeing on the floor?
post #4 of 25
It would be a very rare person who would consider adopting a cat that pees all over the house if he is to be an indoor cat.

Maybe you can find a good, safe place where he can be an outdoor cat? Is he declawed?
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
He's not declawed. He would probably enjoy life outside. He already enjoys going out on a harness and he does have a very high prey drive, so he'd make a good mouser.
post #6 of 25
The lady that used to give one of my cats lion cuts had a cat that wouldn't use the litter box all the time. She took him from someone who had the same problem with him. She tried him in the house and he did the same thing for her. She lived out in the country and he became an outside cat. That's really all you can do with a cat that isn't reliable with a litter box. If you don't live out in the country, maybe you can find someone willing to give him a home as a barn cat.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
He's not declawed. He would probably enjoy life outside. He already enjoys going out on a harness and he does have a very high prey drive, so he'd make a good mouser.
You might check your area for a feral rescue organization. The one in Houston I work with freqeuntly relocates ferals to a barn situation and so knows several local barns owners that will accept them.

Is it an option for him to be an outdoor cat with you? You would have to be in an area where it would be safe for him of course.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
I live in downtown Detroit right now. I have many ferals on my block, but they're a tough gang and occasionally one will disappear permanently. There are 3 interstates within blocks of our apartment. So, needless to say not a good area for outside cats. If relocating him to an outside location is going to be our only option I'd consider keeping him inside and just put up with the peeing until we move and will be in a safer location for him to be outdoors. It will be 2 years from now, but this whole thing is heart wrenching for us to think about giving him to someone else. I guess I don't want him to be unhappy in the house if that's why he's peeing, but at the same time I don't trust anyone to care for him as well as he is cared for here, especially considering his allergies.
post #9 of 25
I read your previous post and a few thoughts came to mind.

You mentioned having many ferals on your block. Gus could be making his scent known to those ferals in the area. Cats have a tremendous sense of smell. It doesn't matter if you don't see the other ferals, they can smell each others presence.

What really makes me think the outside ferals are a part of the reason he pees is that you mentioned when he was at your relatives home he used the litterbox.

I know that what you are dealing with is difficult. Been there too.

If you will be moving in a couple of years you might keep trying things unless you find a situation where he could be rehomed and go inside/outside if needed.

Things to consider:

Have you talked to the vet about medication. In his case short term medicine may help.

Have you tried another brand of urine cleaner? What you are using may not be gettig rid of all the smell. You will not smell it but he will and go back to those same spots. I have used "urine off" and "wee cleaner". LDG has posted several brands that are great too. "Anti icky poo" and "knok out" (?)

Not sure, but I wonder if keeping him closed up in the bathroom for periods of time is frustrating him. When he comes out he may have pent up energy. Just a thought while reading.

Can you put the cat condo in the window so he can have vertical height there instead of the bathroom. He will benefit more in front of the window having height rather than the sill.

Sorry to be lengthy. I'm just throwing out anything I can possibly think of whether if makes sense or not. I understand how hard this is for you.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimble View Post
You mentioned having many ferals on your block. Gus could be making his scent known to those ferals in the area. Cats have a tremendous sense of smell. It doesn't matter if you don't see the other ferals, they can smell each others presence.
Do you think this would still be an issue being only on the 2nd floor? Our apartment is upstairs. Also, most of our ferals are spayed females. I'm not sure if any of this makes a difference?

Quote:
If you will be moving in a couple of years you might keep trying things unless you find a situation where he could be rehomed and go inside/outside if needed.
This is a likely option. I know it probably sounds stupid to say that we're renting right now so at least it's not my house that is being destroyed, but that's kind of where my thoughts have gone. The other issue was that I really feel bad for our other cat. Our other cat would rather die than go outside of the box and he's always finding Gus's messes and "burying" them.


Quote:
Have you talked to the vet about medication. In his case short term medicine may help.
The vet knows about his litter box issues but never mentioned medication. I will have to ask them. What is the medication/what does it do?

Quote:
Have you tried another brand of urine cleaner?
No, what I have is all I've seen in the stores.

Quote:
Not sure, but I wonder if keeping him closed up in the bathroom for periods of time is frustrating him.
He does get frustrated in the bathroom, but I don't have much choice for those couple short times during the day. He's a jealous cat. He won't even let us pet our other cat. Gus sees him getting attention and he comes and knocks him out of the way. When food is out Gus will eat all the other cats food, too.

Quote:
Can you put the cat condo in the window so he can have vertical height there instead of the bathroom.
We actually have a large bay window in the bathroom. Me saying that I lock him in the bathroom sounds way worse than it is. It's at least as big as the bedroom that I had growing up! Large bay window, plants, a cat house, litter box, food, toys, etc.



Thank you for the input! I really appreciate everyone's thoughts on this.
post #11 of 25
I try to mention anything that comes to mind cause you never know what might help. Member "LDG" might help more as to whether other cats spayed or not will contribute to the problem. I know mine get agitated and have spats when one of the neighborhood cats come by.

I order from www.weecleaner.com and get a gal. for about $29, sometimes with free shipping. Great for vomit, too! The other brands have good reports as well.

Sounds like a good setup in the bathroom.

As for medication, I am only familiar with dogs. My rescue dog took "Reconcile" which was said to be good for those that urinate inappropriately. Might ask about a feline version. I think there are several drugs similar. There is also a hormone treatment that some have spoken of (even for males) that is for litterbox problems. I do not know anything about that kind of treatment, only that there may be some help medically.

Have you read any of Dusty Rainbolt's or Pam Bennett Johnson's books. They cover litterbox problems. Great books regarding cat behavior in general, too.

You may find a family member or friend that might foster him for a time and see how he does. That might help you narrow what might be causing his litter box troubles.

Meanwhile maybe ask the vet about short term meds or ask them to refer you to a vet that uses medication to treat this.

Hang in there and keep posting. Take things day by day and do the best you can.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
I live in downtown Detroit right now. I have many ferals on my block, but they're a tough gang and occasionally one will disappear permanently. There are 3 interstates within blocks of our apartment. So, needless to say not a good area for outside cats. If relocating him to an outside location is going to be our only option I'd consider keeping him inside and just put up with the peeing until we move and will be in a safer location for him to be outdoors. It will be 2 years from now, but this whole thing is heart wrenching for us to think about giving him to someone else. I guess I don't want him to be unhappy in the house if that's why he's peeing, but at the same time I don't trust anyone to care for him as well as he is cared for here, especially considering his allergies.
Kudos to you for being so patient and for being wllling to go to such extremes to keep him! He's very lucky.

Sorry I don't have any more helpful suggestions. Good luck!
post #13 of 25
This is a rather long email--don't know if I should post as it is copied from the Bengal Forum on Yahoo. But I can promise you that this really does work. When my daughter was visiting her cat sprayed at my front door. We cleaned with EVERYTHING, cleanerwise and used the Nature's Miracle. There was no carpet, simply tile, the threshold and alittle on the wall and baseboard. I thought it was all cleaned up and sprayed it down with Nature's Miracle 3 in 1 Odor Destroyer. By that evening the house reeked. I remembered this post and tried it. I just got a 32 oz. bottle of peroxide and dumped some baking soda in it. Then I just poured it all over the floor and threshold and splashed it on the wall and baseboard. I left it there to sit and after a couple of hours I dried the tile with towel. I mean, it was amazing! Absolutely no odor at all and it has been 2 months now. I didn't put in any of the soap, because I had already cleaned it with the other cleaners, but the peroxide and baking soda were as I said, AMAZING!! Hope this helps.


"Well, I didn't want to eat up a ton of time on the list for this, but I offered it to anyone who wanted it, and to
email me privately. In the last 2 hours I've probably gotten about 50 requests for it....so I'm going to post it.
First let me say it was generously given to me by a wonderful woman, Jacqui, on one of the Savannah Cats groups on Yahoo.....and it works like a charm.
you will need the following:
1 Gallon of Hydrogen Peroxide (you can purchase this size at a beauty supply store...if none in your area,
you can buy quart sized bottles or even smaller and use a cleaned out gallon bottle (like a milk jug)
2 Tablespoons of baking soda
a few drops of any liquid dish soap (I used Dawn)
(It is important that once you mix these ingredients together, it MUST be used IMMEDIATELY!)

Mix all ingredients together in gallon jug, re-cap and shake well. USE IMMEDIATELY!
Saturate affected area very well. The area, once well saturated, should be very squishy when pressure is applied. Let set as is for 24 hours. Blot (do NOT apply excessive pressure, simply blot) excess wetness with papertowels (if you use rags, you'll need to discard them because of the chemical change, so I highly recommend paper toweling. Let the area thourghly dry. DO NOT USE heat lamps, hair dryers or any thing to speed up the drying process. It is important that it air dry naturally, as the peroxide continues to work.
Once the area is completely dry, the odor is G O N E!!!

The reason for the squishy saturation is because the pet urine, especially cat, goes thru everything. This mixture, if applied as directed, will go thru the carpeting, thru the carpet backing, thru the carpet backing and will also penetrate the subflooring, which if it is wood or concrete, is very porous and will absorb the urine as well. If the odor is NOT gone, you didn't apply enough liquid to completely saturate all layers, which I guarantee if you do and let it completely dry on it's own, it will work. I actually took a syringe used to inject medication (needle and all), filled it from the jug and injected it thru the carpeting as far down as I could get it to make sure all the stink would be gone! IT WAS!!!!

My friend uses and recommended I also use a watering can, the kind you use for garden plants, as the liquid will flow the head of the sprinkler evenly as you pass it over the soiled and smelly area. I found that this method of application really is the best way to dispense the mixture.

Two of my male cats completely 'christened' my livingroom, the ENTIRE perimeter of the room around all four walls, in addition to areas along side my sofa and loveseat. They also got a cushion on one of the sofas, and the back bottom corner of a recliner. This mixture took care of all that mess without staining or discoloring my forest green carpeting or the light floral chintz fabrics of the furnature."



Anne
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
I live in downtown Detroit right now. I have many ferals on my block, but they're a tough gang and occasionally one will disappear permanently. There are 3 interstates within blocks of our apartment. So, needless to say not a good area for outside cats. If relocating him to an outside location is going to be our only option I'd consider keeping him inside and just put up with the peeing until we move and will be in a safer location for him to be outdoors. It will be 2 years from now, but this whole thing is heart wrenching for us to think about giving him to someone else. I guess I don't want him to be unhappy in the house if that's why he's peeing, but at the same time I don't trust anyone to care for him as well as he is cared for here, especially considering his allergies.

I just want to tell you that I REALLY admire your perseverance.

That would be hard to take.
post #15 of 25
I've had cats who have special needs who are placed to outdoor homes. That's how I ended up with my Squishy, he needs to be on an Rx diet, needs UTI checks periodically, and is about 18 years old (oh & he sprays). Not many people were interested in him. He still sprays outside (likes the front door!),

So he lives outdoors at my house (farm). It's a complicated situation, as I wouldn't trust him to just anyone. He does come indoors at night during the winter, and when confined to one room he has ceased to spray the room (I had to re-paint the room once as he sprayed the white paint yellow ).

As for meds - many have had success with Prozac. I have a kitty on Buspar (for other behavioral issues). Amitriptyline also has been used for litterpan issues, I think.
post #16 of 25
Cats have a very keen sense of smell, and if the ferals are spraying your building, it could be he smells it.

At this point, this is what I would do.

I would try a different enzyme cleaner. Either try the formula provided in the post above, or buy http://www.nokout.com/odorelim/pets/ Nature's Miracle never worked for us. Nok-out does require a second application sometimes. Whatever you use, you have to use A LOT of it. I mean - and I'm sure you've tried - soaking the entire area. We usually then just place aluminum foil over the area to prevent further peeing in that spot. Skimble's right - I've posted about Anti Icky Poo. It supposedly is the best - but it is expensive. If you can afford it (because you may need a lot of it!), you can purchase it here: http://www.catfaeries.com/cleanup.html

I don't know how many litter boxes are in his room, but I'd consider adding one more.

I would also consider purchasing the Cat Attract additive: http://www.entirelypets.com/catattract.html I would try it in just one box at first.

...and I'd talk to the vet about Elavil (amytriptaline). If your vet isn't familiar with it, ask them to look into it, or find another vet. Buspar and Prozac are basically anti-depressants. Elavil is a really old drug - also an anti-depressant, but one that doesn't really work as an anti-depressant. It is used to help people sleep, actually, and when on it, your kitty will sleep a LOT more for the first 2 - 4 weeks. After that he should go back to being himself. However, the "side effect" of amytriptaline is that it causes you to retain your pee. Same with kitties. For WHATEVER reason, this seems to make them pee once a day - and in the litter box. Within two days of using it, Spooky was using only the box, though the vet said it takes about two weeks to build up in her bloodstream. She weighed 11 pounds when we gave it to her, and she was on 10mg dose once daily.

We were able to wean her off of it after about 3 - 4 months, and no more problems.

I don't remember the thread or who pointed it out, but apparently Elavil (amytriptaline) is what they give children with bed wetting problems. Makes sense.

All I know is that when someone is desperate because of a peeing problem, before rehoming a cat - especially before making an indoor cat an outdoor kitty - medication should be considered. Having read too many unhappy stories with Prozac (don't know anything about Buspar), I whole-heartedly recommend at least giving Elavil (amytriptaline) a try.

Also - with the Feliway - we found that our cats seem to get immune to it when used continuously. It works best for us two weeks on and two weeks off. Just a thought.



Laurie
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. I will ask our vet about those medications. I do wonder what that does regarding UTI if they only urinate once a day?

In other news with Gus, he took it upon himself to completely shred a pair of DH's [new] shoes this week, and found and destroyed/ate a six month supply of treats and new toys last night.
post #18 of 25
It wasn't an issue for us, and the vet said it isn't a problem.

Laurie
post #19 of 25
You've received such expert advice that I hesitate to add my feeble comments, but I'm curious--
You mention another cat--do you have separate litter boxes for them? I ask because I know that many cats won't share a litter box.

Also, you say that your vet "knows" about the problem. Have you asked the vet for a full work up to make sure there's no physical problem? If this has been done, can your vet refer you to a behaviorist? My vet provides such referrals, and there's a big animal hospital not too far away from me that employs a vet who is also a certified behaviorist, and she specializes in cats.

I mention this because it is unusual for a cat NOT to use the box, and I'm certain that there's some reason that's not apparent to you.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Most of the time Gus DOES use the box. We have tried multiple boxes, a variety of types (covered, uncovered), sizes, litters, etc. The litter box we use is about 3x the size of a "regular" litter pan. It is the only one we have as he didn't seem to care that there was additional boxes when we had them. The one we have seems to be their "favorite".

It has been about 2-2.5 weeks since he's gone on the floor *knock on wood!!*, but he has been exceptionally destructive in the mean time. He broke into our pantry twice shredding open bags of pasta, sugar and flour all over the kitchen floor. He has eaten mystery substances (on separate nights from the pantry incidents) causing him to vomit all over the house. He tore apart what used to be his favorite toys so they had to be thrown away. He broke into our cat cupboard (which is 5 feet off the ground with nothing to help his jump up there) and ate/destroyed over $40 worth of cat treats and new/unused toys, chewed up a pair of DH's shoes...
post #21 of 25
This actually sounds a LOT like what my husband and I are going through right now. Mr. Spock has been pooping beside his litter box for about a year now, maybe a bit more. It's driving us both mad, especially my husband. I'm the one that has to clean it (he won't touch the stuff!), but when he comes home to a stinky smell before I get home, he's not a happy man! Luckily, Spock has only peed a couple of times outside the box, and that's been usually in a pile of laundry or something. We're both at our wit's end. We love our boy (he was the first kitty we adopted after getting married), but it's getting really frustrating having to clean up poo all the time! We're wondering if he might be happier outside. But I'm in the same predicament you are, because we can't let him out at our place. There are stray dogs around, and we live pretty close to the road, and people drive 45 to 50 mph if not more. I'd be too afraid for him. We have another kitty named Saki who we've never had a problem with. He and Mr. Spock get along wonderfully. Spock is affectionate, but only when he wants to be. I'm just not sure what his problem is. I feel your pain, and I'm sorry we're both having to deal with this! I don't know if I could handle giving him up unless it was to someone I knew well. So I know how hard this decision is for you. I'm having trouble too.

One thing I was thinking about while I was reading is, what if you fed the other cat in the bathroom instead of locking up Gus? Would he like that better? I don't know if it would stop the peeing/pooping, but it couldn't hurt. Might make him happier. Just a thought.

I hope my story helped, and I hope you realize you're not the only one dealing with this! Good luck, and keep me posted!
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
We can commiserate together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllySh0rty View Post
One thing I was thinking about while I was reading is, what if you fed the other cat in the bathroom instead of locking up Gus? Would he like that better? I don't know if it would stop the peeing/pooping, but it couldn't hurt. Might make him happier. Just a thought.
Unfortunately, the other cat has been charged so many times whist eating by Gus that he will not eat unless we're there. He will just sit in the other room meowing if he's left alone to eat. I think he's become fearful of eating and figures if we're there than we can watch his back for him.
post #23 of 25
I have 2 cats on prozac and I'm not sure of the unhappy stories others have heard, but it has saved those 2 from being put to sleep. Bert was peeing on everything and had no medical reason to be doing so. Oscar was starting bloody battles with my other cats, causing one to start pulling his hair out. Both have been on prozac for about 6 months. Bert has totally stopped peeing and Oscar has calmed down considerably and my other cats hair is starting to grow back. Also, neither of their personalities (besides the bad parts that I wanted rid of) have changed in the slightest.
Neither Elavil or Buspar did anything to fix the problem.
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yesterday my MIL offered to take Gus. We will be up visiting them for 4th of July weekend, and I think Gus will be staying when we leave. I've said before that Gus has never peed out of the box at their house. There is another cat there that he wrestles with all day long and he never has to be confined as they have a large house. The best part is that he can still be an inside only cat there and we'd still get to see him.

I am okay with this move aside from the fact that I really feel terrible for DH. Gus is really his baby. Gus only snuggles with DH, they play together all the time, Gus grooms DH's beard every night, etc. I think he'll be heartbroken to see him go.
post #25 of 25
I know it will be heartbreaking for you guys to let him go - but he will be happier there.
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