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HELP! My mother and husband are freaking out about our cats...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My husband and I live with my mother because she is in very poor health. She has a two bedroom condo (1600 sq ft) with a loft that my husband and I live in. She has two cats that are old, and we have four (plus the kittens and we are keeping two, at least I thought).

In the past, and one of the reasons we moved in with her, she didn't take care of her cats to the extent that they had to use the rest of the house as the litter box. The carpet is ruined. This weekend, we are cleaning it and I guess that is what prompted the discussion.

Apparently, she and my husband were talking as I was gone taking the kittens to get their vaccinations. They decided they are getting rid of my cat Ziggy and I don't get to keep any kittens, because of money and because Ziggy "terrorizes" her cats (and causes them to urinate outside of their litter box in her room). In actuality, she doesn't take care of her cats, and her litter box doesn't get changed. She has a lot of pride and won't let us help her unless it gets really bad.

I'm in tears right now. I love my Ziggy, and I have bonded so closely with those two kittens... I can't believe they would do this to me. My animals keep me sane.... ugh.

I guess I just want suggestions on what to do. Litter box tips (she has agreed to let us do hers every day), anything. I've told her to keep Ziggy out of her room, but she says she can't because she doesn't have the energy.
post #2 of 9
Is there a part of the house you could keep Ziggy in with a baby couple gates installed or a screen door or some such thing?

It sounds like you need to figure a way to keep your babies away from hers at all times, then maybe that issue would be taken care of. You should probably discuss with your husband how strongly you feel about keeping your cats if you haven't already.

It sounds like you've already worked out her litter box problem already. I started cleaning my mates mothers boxes in her little house behind us years ago. She is pretty crippled with arthritis and I told her it was as easy for me to pop on in and do hers when I do mine. Two more boxes don't make much difference once I've finished with my six.

I know it can be difficult sharing living quarters as you are doing, but hang in there try to keep thinking positive. Most situations can be worked out if you make extra effort to understand and communicate.
post #3 of 9
I would be annoyed at the fact that it was being discussed while i was out of sight for a start.

No one would even dare think about telling me to get rid of one of my cats, but i feel for you right now
post #4 of 9
Stand your ground. Your cats are not the problem, sounds like her pride is.

Volunteering to care for hers is a good idea.
post #5 of 9
I'm sorry that you are going through this. I would die if someone told I would have to give up my cats (no less while I wasn't there in the room!) I wish I had an easy fix for you. You are in my thoughts, I hope it all works out for you. Keep us posted.

What does your husband say? Can he talk to his mother about how you feel?
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, I do have a lot of cats... My mom is a difficult lady when she decides on something.... very easy to live with on many levels, but once she gets a hair up her butt about "her HOME" she gets nasty. She's stubborn on a few key points.... abortion and keeping her home presentable to guests (not that any come over, she's too embarrassed about her medical condition to invite anyone...) Ugh. Such a delicate situation.

I'm in a much better mood now because they decided they didn't want to see me miserable. I guess the tears (which were real and by no means manipulative) helped... I also took some of the ideas I found on here and some of my own and showed them to my mom. My husband took my side once he saw me upset and helped me convince my mom to come a compromise. We're adding a litter box, getting new litterboxes, putting down upside office chair roll thingies on the spots they've soiled, and looking into getting the carpeting replaced with the waterproof pad (once we save up for it). The shampooing helped a little, but her pad wasn't waterproof so it's soaked down further than we can go with the Rug Doctor.

Does anyone else here have 8 cats in a 1600 sq. ft. space? I personally think we're pushing it, and I do wonder if we'll ever get everyone happy... but for now, I'm relieved. Thanks for your supprt, guys... I know I can count on the other crazy cat ladies out there to stick up for me!

Does anyone have any ideas for urine-soaked carpet? I pretreated with the pet enzyme cleaner from Bissel, then used the pet odor and stain cleaner made for the machine. What else can I do once all that dries?
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh, about the baby gates, I think Ziggy would jump over them or climb them. We just decided we'll keep him out of her bedroom, which is where her cats stay.. the problem is keeping him from sneaking in when you go in or out.
post #8 of 9
I'm glad things are going work out. The only stainremover I know that works is Nature's Miracle. You could try that and see if it helps some.
post #9 of 9
I just got some stuff called Freshn' Pro. I guess alot of the vets offices have switched to it. It's supposed to work better than Nature's Miracle for oders. It's also safe for septic systems which is why I got it. I haven't tried it yet though!
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