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Bad Cats

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've posted here before about our terrible cats. And again I'm here after trying everything I can think of. I have since upgraded our cat food, they are now eating Purina One Chicken & Rice instead of Cat Chow Indoor Formula. I've bought them a bunch of toys and scratchers from Hartz, only thing at the grocery store and I'm not made of money so PetCo toys are out of the question. They have sisal, carpet and cardboard to scratch at. And they are now eating really good food compared to what they had before. Yet they still cannot behave themselves when left alone. Two of them think that they need to lay on the coffee table in the living room, one likes to climb around on the sink, we lost a bottle of soap and a few sponges because of that and since the refridgerator is next to the counter another climbs on top of the fridge and knocks stuff down off there. Stuff that we are trying to keep the dogs from getting. He has stopped eating our bread though, so that's a plus. Our house looks cat proofed, we have to keep something in front of the entertainment center so that they don't get back there and poop or pee, because if they can they will. So it looks pretty white trash in my house because of our cats. Yet with all that we've done they continue to destroy the house. They get into every little thing we forget about. They are still getting into the trash occasionally and the one that hisses at me constantly stays outside most of the time because I can't trust him not to hiss at me. I will not tolerate that kind of crap in my own home. I don't even have to do anything to him and he hisses at me. I tried to be nice to him but then after a while he'll be hiding somewhere and I'll walk by and he hisses again. Then around the same time every night he thinks he needs to mark the house and sharpen his claws on our doorways. He's been reprimanded numerous times for it and still doesn't seem to care. So we kick him out again. I'm getting sick of the cycle. They can't even drink the water we put out for them. They eat out of their bowl then walk across the room to drink our dogs water. What is wrong with these animals. Do they enjoy driving us crazy? They never behave and chew on pictures and knock pictures over. But of course there is no getting rid of them now, the two I shouldn't have. One from an idiot ex-friend who brought him over as a kitten and the other we've been catsitting for 6 months, who by the way is not neutered and acts like such a baby all the time. He freaks out if I yell at him and kind of cackles when he runs off. I actually don't have much of a problem with him, as I haven't seen him do too much. I've gotten them all flea medicine and dewormed them. I would have to say that the worst one is our outdoor cat, as he will not stop scratching at the walls. While the other two, my cat and her cat, can't seem to stay off of things and the catguest is just annoying. What works to keep them off tables and counters? They don't belong there and I find it completely disgusting to have a cat walking around where you eat. And what about scratching, that's really driving me nuts. I can't stand that he has ruined the framing around the doors. Yes it's very overwhelming and I can't really handle all of the stupid things that they all do. We don't have much room in our home and we have 6 pets. Not my choice, I didn't want 3 of them in the first place, but I have grown to like at least one of them. But I know that we're really doing them a disservice because I'll never be able to afford all of them getting shots and stuff. Of course it costs $85 to get rid of cat you don't want. Oh yeah, my cat is aggressive towards my g/f. He claws her and bites her. I think it's because she messes with him. But she refuses to actually chase him down after it and punish him, and what am I supposed to do after I've been gone all day and she tells me about it. Does everyone who owns cats have to have a cat proofed home that looks like hell because the cats won't stay out of stuff? Everyone else I know has nice homes with their cats, why don't we?
post #2 of 19
Hmmmm, I don't think many of us have the problems you are describing.
To me, it really sounds like maybe you shouldn't have any pets at all.
Find a friend who actually likes cats and ask them nicely if they will provide a loving home for your cats.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
That's pretty much the problem. I didn't ask for so many pets and didn't want them and know I can't afford them. But of course in a relationship, who usually gets their way? I had a great time with my cat when I got him, he was fun and played with me and really was a good cat. Then I moved in with her and he had her cat to play with. He enjoyed it a little, but her cat was a little old and not really wanting to play with her grandson. I still enjoy my cat and I didn't really have a problem with hers until it started eating all his kitten food. Once he turned a year I switched them both to adult food and I figured at least I'm not trying to play favorites. But then she saw someone offering her such a cute kitten and she just had to have it. So we waited for him to be weened. Then in the meantime we got a puppy. I love that dog. She's fun and energetic and makes me get up and get exercise. She's been a good dog despite a few incidents of chewing stuff up and pooping inside. Which we've taken care of. But then the other cat arrived and then I ended up paying for him too. And I actually liked him when we got him until he started destroying the TP. Then other stuff. Then her mom needed a kitten, so she got hers and I kept saying she better take care of her cat and she didn't. We ended up being the ones feeding, watering and cleaning his litterbox. Then we moved and she thought it would be nice to have another dog for the dog to play with. So she bought that and surprised me with it. I wasn't happy because that was another mouth to feed, but I grew to like her and it's alright now since I've gotten a raise. But it's getting difficult now that we're on our own with only me making money to pay for everything. I've tried to find someone to take our cats but nobody likes cats or can have cats. We've been trying to get rid of them for quite some time because it's too stressful to clean up after dogs and cats and have to deal with each one because they screw up. My cat is now pretty aggressive towards my g/f and claws her.
post #4 of 19
I don't want to sound mean-spirited, but my feeling is you really need to find new homes for these animals - all of them including the dogs (or maybe just keep the one dog you like). Perhaps the animals are reacting to the atmosphere and feelings you have toward them - they really are pretty smart and intuitive you know.

Since you cannot find anyone who "likes cats", I think the very least you can do is find a no-kill shelter and give these animals a chance to find a happy forever home.
post #5 of 19
I agree completely, no offense. They are not "bad" cats, they are just being themselves and doing the many crazy kitty things that kitties do, like go after the TP or walk on countertops. They may be pooping behind the entertainment center because you may not have enough litterboxes.

Overall, it sounds like you are unhappy and the kitties are unhappy, so I do think it is best to find a no-kill shelter to turn them over to if you can't rehome hem yourself.

Best of luck to you!!!
post #6 of 19
Originally Posted by kmk_420 View Post
who by the way is not neutered
This cat needs to be neutered.

Cats a very sensitive creatures regardless of people thinking of them as aloof. They easily pick up on stress around them. It can affect their behavior as well as their health. It is not in the best interest of the human or the animal, if the household is full of dislike. Putting a cat outside because he hisses at you, will only cause the cat to hiss more.

I suggest you look into to rehoming these animals. Where are you located, perhaps someone here can help?
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
I do like both dogs. It was never really that I didn't like them it's that I know that we can't afford them. But of course can't say that to the misses. And I do "get along" with the cats for the most part. I think our outdoor one is most likely the one I don't have fond feelings for. But I've always been nice to her cat. Ever since we got together and my cat I got when he was just a kitten and was the first I ever raised. I'm not sure what made him so aggresive though. I used to get along fine with our outdoor cat too, until he started acting like that. I mean when you're in a rush to get out the door in the morning and the whole roll of tp is destroyed, it makes you a little upset. And what makes it worse is I did try very hard to do what was needed to make them happy. Got them a scratching post they never use, got them a little bag fort (Hartz) and they do enjoy sleeping in that. But they don't play with their toys. I think sometimes my cat makes it worse by "attacking" her cat. She doesn't really like to play with other cats. And then she runs and knocks stuff over. Trust me I understand that these cats do deserve a good home where they'll get more attention. I think that may be a problem too. They really don't get a lot of attention. I try to pet them when I can but maybe that's not enough. I've really been trying to find somewhere that they can go so that they will have a bigger placespace and more attention. I really want to get back down to two of each. At least then we'd be able to give them better attention and they wouldn't have to compete so much. Maybe they're stressed too because of their being so many animals. What I'm hoping is that maybe we can get our stress down though, what works to keep them off tables and such? Because like I said it works during the day to say no, but at night they go crazy. Please don't think I sincerely hate cats, I just can't handle so much.
post #8 of 19
this is a joke, right? If not, find a no-kill shelter, make a small donation, and they will take your cats and keep them until they find a good home for them.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
I assumed that him not being neutered would cause some problems. Even though my cat is kind of the Tom of the house. I mean his trying to hump the other cats is a problem, we've had to yell repeatedly about that. What about the hisser then, what do you do to correct that? I mean I can't really announce myself everytime I want to walk around my house. And I really don't try to put out dislike to any of the cats. I try to give them treats and be friendly most of the time. But even then the hisser likes to hiss. But I've told her repeatedly that he needs to be neutered. It's not fair to the other cats. I guess I assumed that when I got them all in good health they'd stop doing such stupid stuff. I can tell that they know not to do stuff because they take off when we see them do it. To who asked about our location, we do have a no-kill shelter in our area, it costs at least $85 to put them up for adoption. But we do have quite a bit of extra food laying around since we've switched the animals to better food. (thought that would help too) If anything I at least wanted them to be healthy and not scrawny. And I felt bad because the dogs had food with real meat so I figured they should too. We live in the QCA. I almost feel like everyone in here thinks that I can't own a pet. But I do love my cats and dogs. It's just so hard to take care of so much. All I want is a clean home. But with all them it is hard. And yes we don't have enough litter boxes. I've had to go over that again and again. And litter ain't cheap either. Thanks to those of you who understand my predicament. I knew from the beginning it wouldn't work, but nobody listens to me.
post #10 of 19
I don't think you are bad person I just think you are a bit overwhelmed. From what I can understand you have 2 dogs and 4 cats. I think I got that right.

Compared to a lot of people on this message board that is really not a lot, but if you can't afford them then I guess putting them up for adoption would be the best thing today.

The male cat definatly needs fixed and that could be causing the problems with some of the other cats being hissy and mean. If he is also the outside cat that would explain why he is taring up the wood work trying to get outside again to mate. Also being outside they can pretty much sharpen their claws on anything so they assume they can do it in the house as well.

I don't have a lot of answers but I wish you luck on whatever you decide to do.
post #11 of 19
Hello KMK.

I guess you really want a solution on this and since you ended up taking the responsibility of these cats when others didn't i guess there is a good hart beneath the angre I sence in your text.

I assume these are young cats. If so, the good news is that they usually calm down when they are spayed/neutered and have passed two years. Untill they are two years you will need a cat proof home.
You can not train a cat as you can train a dog. You can teach them a lot but they have a different language than dogs and all training needs to be done with rewards and manipulation.

To punish your cat in any way will just make things worse.

It seems as if you are stuck in an evil circle.

If you just for two weeks try to follow these advices I think you will see a great difference already and it will hopefully make you continue on the good path.

1. Never yell when the cats are around. (If you get really frustrated - go outside and scream)
2. Do not have an agressive body language around the cats.
3. Spend 40 minutes every evening with your cats. 20 minutes playing with them (a string with a knot in the end is cheap and effective), 10 minutes giving each cat some tenderness and ten minutes observing them.
When you observe them - blink everytime you meet their eyes. Try to notice how they communicate with eachother and copy their behavior when you play with them.
4. Ignore the hissing. Do not respond to it in any way.
5. Pet the cats everytime they pass you close enough.

When the cats get more at ease around you they will be calmer. They are masters in reading peoples emotions and if you are tense and irritated they will become more anoying.

It sounds as if your home is a quite stressfull place for the moment. Stress can trigger aggressivity in cats and I think there is a chance that your girlfriend will wlak safe for the agressive cat if you can decrease the stress your cats sense in your home.

There is two things that you cannot do anything about. Cats climbs - even on tables. They will keep drinking the water from the dogs. Is that a problem?

About the scratching- put catnip on the places he is alowed to scratch and maybe some scrats-repelling material on the door posts just for a while.

You need to get them spayed and neutered. Other people on this forum can give you advice about low-cost clinics.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I appreciate that you understand what I'm saying. No the intact male is not our outdoor cat. The outdoor cat actually used to hurt her cat, until he started going outside. You could hear her screaming from him attacking her, because she did not like it. And when he's out, she's much friendlier. I don't know how you could have that many pets and not be overwhelmed. I mean where do you put all those cat boxes and how crappy would it be to clean up. Like I said I was able to handle it before and I know that I can't afford to take care of them like they need to be. If one gets sick or hurt I can't really afford to take it to the vet because of the needs of all the others. I feel that we're being unfair to them. I'd rather have two extremely healthy cats than 4 moderately healthy. I don't know why I'm still going on here. I've got my answer but I just feel like I need people to know I'm not trying to be the bad guy here. I just want to have a calmer home life. But thank you very much for the suggestions, I will use those in the mean time while we try to figure something out. And if her mom doesn't get that cat soon I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't kick him out but I can't keep him in with the other cats without being neutered. I am however going to look into the Feliway stuff. Thanks again for your suggestions and I really appreciate it. I will be trying to rehome them, we've been for a while. Maybe with a food donation and such we can take them in.
post #13 of 19
Might not want to waste your money on Feliway. All of your cats should be neuetered. If you cannot afford all these animals, then you get them to the no-kill shelter. They might cut you a break on the fee if you can't afford it. Just keep one or two of the animals, you could probably manage them if you can afford to get them medical care and their shots. Good luck.
post #14 of 19
Well I don't think shots are a big deal, I usually do that once and then never again. But they need to be neutered first off. There are low cost clinics everywhere. Tell us your city and state and we can help you find them. That will solve a couple aggression problems.

As far as everything else you mentioned. Jumping on things is normal cat behavior. Keep the trash under the sink, don't leave out pictures that may break if knocked over, push the tv stand against the wall and maybe put a board of wood along the sides so they cannot squeeze behind it.

As for your negativity, I understand your frusteration but the cats do not. They do not respond to punishment of any sort. You are too negative and it is stressing them out.

For your cat who hisses at you, I think he is just picking up on the negativity coming from you or your reaction to him hissing makes him remember that next time and he hisses right away. Also, there could be something wrong with this cat, has he been to a vet lately?

I would first get the unneutered one neutered. It isn't fair for him to be humping the other cats. He will cut back on the peeing and I am sure he is spraying and generaly stinks too doesn't he? So get him done, put the trash under the sink or get one of those heavy metal ones with a lid, stick something along the side of the tv stand so they cannot get behind it, does it really matter if they go on top the fridge or the sink? Was the sink off if you have to before cooking, you should do that anyways. So what really if they go on the coffee table? Is that really a big deal? I could see maybe on the kitchen table maybe (I stil think you could just wash that off) but cats get onto things, that is what they do, it is very hard to break those habits.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay, well things have calmed down, I've taken some of these suggestions and tried to calm myself down. But there are some things that still do cause problems. I'm not in quite the desperate situation that we used to be in. I guess not growing up with cats I'm used to a certain order of things. Yes it is a big deal in our trailer for the cats to get on the fridge and stuff since that's pretty much the only extra spot we have to keep certain things. I'm not paying to neuter someone else's cat, that just isn't happening. The sink bothers me because we sometimes forget to put the dishes away and then our dishes are covered in fur. The coffee table is our dinner table. We don't have much choice, since like I said before it's a 10x50 trailer. So it's hard to wash off every time when you also have to keep your stuff on it too.

We do have places for them to climb though. They've been using my computer desk in the back room as a place to sleep that's high. Or they'll curl up in their Hartz bag. Her cat sleeps with us now, even though she gets tossed around all night. The outdoor cat is still kind of a turd, but we know when he wants out. The only time I get mad is when he thinks he needs to claw at the doorways. If he meows, we let him out. They've taken a liking to our new chair, so far so good with it too, because they scratched a hole in mine. My cat likes to chew on our curtains so now there are little holes all through it. I will upgrade their food probably one last time and that's it. If they don't improve then I will be very p.o.ed. I've been complaining to the owner of the intact male that she needs to get him fixed and if once I smell spray in my house then he will be gone, no ifs ands or buts. I will not tolerate that kind of crap in my home. I think now I'm getting more into my feelings for the in-laws than the cats. The cats are generally alright most of the time. One thing that I do have another question about is fleas and ticks. I've tried everything short of Frontline (too expensive for 4 cats) But they keep coming back. My dogs are still on Frontline+, but I need to order more.
post #16 of 19
Sounds like your main problem is the girlfriend or wife who is collecting animals with no thought for how they will be cared for, or how it affects the other pets. She has brought several animals into the family without discussion with you. That is just wrong. And what is to keep her from getting the next cute puppy or kitten she sees?

Tell her to get a job, so you can afford to pay for all these animals she has collected. Even a part time job will bring in enough money for vet visits and advantage flea treatment. And whoever you are babysitting the cat for, take it back to them, and tell them you can no longer watch it. Or have them pay the vet so it can be neutered and get flea treatment. If he doesn't get neutered, he will most likely start spraying, so be forwarned.

Cats are cats. Sometimes they are pesky, especially when young. But if one part of a couple collects animals, expecting the other person to provide the care and vet fees, there is another problem.

I do commend you for trying to do what is best for these animals. But she needs to step up to the plate and take some responsibility, too!

I have 4 cats and one dog in my house. Unless I am fostering (currently 11 extra cats in the spare room), my house does not stink. My cats sit on the counters occasionally, and will jump on the table to lick the butter if left out. But in general, we coexist quite happily, and I get far more pleasure from them than bother.

As for hissiness....I have a foster who hisses at me daily. But I had one a few months ago who would attack me and bite, so I figure so long as this one (Piglet) doesn't attack me, she can hiss all she wants to! LOL! I don't agree with putting a housecat outside, but if your male has been in and out all his life, and is overly aggressive to the other cats, I guess you have to do it. I bet he would quit if the kitten got neutered, though. The younger male's hormones can get the neutered male upset.

Good luck with the animals and the significant other.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know that she's made some mistakes by continuing to get pets without my consent. We've had long discussions about this. And that's why I've told her that we need to cut back on the cats. There will be no more cats added until one crokes. The unfortunate thing is that at the time we acquired them it was quite the same situation as we were living with her mom. So she was paying for more stuff so we could afford them and it didn't seem like such a burden. But now that the rent and everything is now on me, the burden is much more. I know that it's easy to tell someone to get a job, but it's hard to get one here. She's applied at every place in town and nobody will hire her because she's still 17. They all want 18 year olds. We met in high school so don't think I'm some kind of pedophile. She feels bad and has been trying really hard. One of the cats kind of just showed up on our doorstep. A friend that used to live downstairs brought the kitten over once he was weened and pretty much left it there, she wanted him before but had changed her mind and he just showed up one day with the kitten. That would be our outdoor cat. His parents were both outdoor cats too. He seems to enjoy it out there, because that way he's staying out of trouble and I actually appreciate that he's been killing mice around our home, because that will sure help come winter when they start looking for someplace warm. For everyone that suggested the no-kill shelter, they are not accepting cats because they are full. And all of the humane societies will only let us give them away for an $85 donation. Unless we lived across the river in IA in which case they ask for a donation with the cat and proof of residency in their county. I don't know if I could trick them and use my license since I still haven't changed it. The intact male, I just don't have the time for. I don't feel like I should have to take time out of my weekend to take him to the vet, when they could just as easily take him on their day off. And it would be nice if they could take him for the recovery too, considering how my poor little kittie felt when he had his removed. He was so scared and just curled up on my lap the whole time. It was a good time to connect with him, so that was cool. Plus I don't know where to keep him so that the other animals won't bother him, because I know our dogs will surely want to sniff.
post #18 of 19
I'm glad she is trying to find a job. I still think giving the one cat back to its owners, or requiring them to get him fixed before he comes back to you would help a lot. And so long as the one boy was outside before, him living outside now should be fine. I have outside cats, too. I am aware that their lifespan is about 5 years, where a housecat may live to be 20, but that is the price you pay sometimes for the choices you make.

Keep working with the cats. And remember, they aren't dogs. You can't "train" them to do things your way. But you can lock up the trash, put away the dishes, keep the litterboxes scooped, etc. Keep hanging around at TCS, I'm sure you will learn lots about dealing with cats.

And for future reference, although the kittens are adorably cute, adopting an older cat from a rescue would save you from a lot of pesky kitten behavior. My favorite age is over 2. Then the wild and crazy age is over, but they are still young enough to be playful.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes, and I'm thinking of just showing up and dropping her cat off at her friend's even though her friend doesn't like cats. And now she's planning on moving in with her permanently. So that way she has to do something. And since the vet would require he not eat overnight anyways, that would probably work out just fine. You are so right about being over 2. My cat had so much energy when he was a kitten and still up until not too long ago. He still plays and stuff but he's not like he was when he was still around 1. I remember him making an obstacle course out of our couches in the basement (my brother and I got him when we still lived with our parents) and he'd come flying down the stairs up the back of the chair around the back of the couch and then did himself a little victory dance at the end. Got to admit those were great times. But he's a more relaxed kitty now. He loves to play with my buddy though. And still does some weird things like unzip bags and crawl into them (girlfriend's and her friend's overnight bags). Thanks for all your help!
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