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At wit's end with DH's cat!

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  • #21
    Well, I am a cat person, so I won't go into how I feel about OP's feelings towards this poor kitty. Just want to add to some of the above comments about adding litter boxes. Rule of thumb is that there should be (at least) one more than the total number of cats.

    However, I believe this poor cat's problem goes deeper than a litter box issue, but adding a couple more could well still help. Cats are VERY in tune to attitudes of the people around them, as well as easily upset w/changes in environment (i.e., moving to a new home, adjusting to new family members - both 2-legged and 4, etc.).
    Equus Keepus Brokus


    • #22
      Of course the counter problem is the lack of boundaries. Counter surfing is hard to fix (even in dogs) once the counter has rewarded the animal.

      But stomping your feet and putting your fingers in your ears and pretending it is not an issue so you are allowed to be mad at the cat when the cat does what the cat does is not going to help either.


      • #23
        Ohh, pretty http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...4&pcatid=19964
        OP, it was the family dog, right. And he didn't like it there and he had a home to go to.
        Buy more litter boxes! The above is pretty. Use softer litter, declawed cats feet hurt and regular litter is painful( declawing is amputation of their last knuckle, and they have to walk on that!)
        Love the guy, love the cat or make different choices.


        • Original Poster

          I have 4 large litter boxes for 3 cats, they're not even "litter boxes" they are tupperware containers that slide under beds, height is ~3" tall and 16"x30". Cleaned every am, lots of fresh litter. In the nice weather, they usually just go outside. They are placed throughout the basement, so no one is on top of eachother and well away from their food. The crapping on the floor is pretty rare these days. Just scrubbed the basement floor on my hands and knees when we put the house on the market... He's not urinating out of the box, only spraying.

          I don't feed my pets when I'm eating. Absolutely not acceptable, my dog wouldn't dream of coming by the table while we were eating! Have I employed squirt guns and yelling/clapping at him on the counter (one female has no issue with this rule, the other is OK, I still instill the fear of goD in them is seems)? Yep, same with him getting in the garbage. Can't do that when I'm not home. And he ignores it until I'm right on top of him, he could be deaf/going deaf(but he still comes in when called). These 3 are massive beggars when we are eating. I've stopped the table feeding and plate clean up as one has a sensitive tummy and I really hate having paws on my legs when I'm trying to enjoy my meals. Again, the females seem to have gotten the hint, I can't tell if he's senile or too d@mn smart for his own good (been dealing with this cat since he was 7).

          The fighting is new. He usually would wrestle with the other 2, but once they say "No, I'm done" he used to leave them alone. Now he chases them all over the house, with the others hissing and seriously growling at him. Of the 3, he goes out the most when it gets cold out, so I don't think it's boredom/cabin fever.

          Would I really throw him out in the middle winter? Probably not. But damn, came home to garbage(the paper garbage, that shouldn't have smelled food like at all!) all over my house last night and just about lost it. My patience is just about shot...

          And if you're all wondering, no kids are in the plans. Can't even agree on cat training...


          • #25
            As I'm reading along, I'm kind of thinking about some of the "issues" I have had with DH's kids. All I can say is that even when there are lots of options available, if everyone isn't on board, you don't get very far. Just resentful and angry. Even if you're willing to put in the work and do the heavy lifting, you can get resentful because it takes a lot of effort.

            I personally am not okay with critters messing all over the house. (and I deal with this daily right now with my sick dog.) I KNOW it sucks. And I KNOW it's frustrating as all get out. I also know that in my case, it's not my dog's fault.

            But I do think there are things that could be done for/with this cat. And I think that the key is going to be either A) getting DH totally on board with the plan or B) doing everything yourself or C) euthing the cat. Because the behaviors won't change if things keep on as is.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #26
              No offense but the problem is your husband and not the cat. The cat has problems. Annoying but not insurmountable ones. There are ways to deal with them but they require everyone in the household acting consistently with the cat. They may be unpleasant for a while too. It sounds like your husband is unwilling to work with the cat or you. I'm sad for this situation, it's not an unworkable one but if the adults in the household won't work together- what do you expect?!
              Last edited by vxf111; Dec. 21, 2012, 12:31 PM.
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


              • #27
                Originally posted by Heliodoro View Post
                About ready to toss the cat out the door permanently or post him on craigslist, I'm so done with this cat! (I need a "hear me roar" emoticon...)

                DH has had Eddie for almost 12 years, first cat he got as his "own" pet and has let him get away with essentially everything with no repercussions. And he gave the cat human food treats from the table, including letting him lick his plates/bowls when finished... This cat is an overemotional reject, every little thing will set him off, which he expresses by either a.)spraying in the house, b.)crapping on the basement floor or c.) digging through the garbage (which is in a cabinet). Leave for more than an 8hr workday and it's dealer's choice of what you get to come home to. Oh and he won't leave you alone in the bathroom, can't get any privacy in this house (bedroom doesn't have a door). Licks any available skin when your sleeping. Vet says he's physically fine. Tried Feliway and antidepressants, not any improvement (plus DH forgets to give the cat his Prozac from time to time). He's neutered and has his front declawed (not my doing, sometimes I wonder wth DH actually knows about animal training/behavior modification...). He's an indoor/outdoor cat, doesn't have any issues catching mice without claws or climbing trees.

                I AM a cat person! Grew up with no less than 2 cats in my house since I was in utero, never had these issues... ever! Not even split between cats! Had males all my life, never had one spray, of course my father would have gotten rid of that offender so dang fast we wouldn't have known. We also have 2 females, who are fine. I have pretty much no issues with either (the hunter occaissionally pukes up her catches, but it comes with the territory). Oh, Eddie likes to randomly pick fights with one of our females who he's lived with for 8 years to the point I have to grab him and toss him outside. Other times they sleep curled next to/around each other.

                I'm done being worried about people visiting and my house smelling like cat pi$$. He's ruined antiques from DH's family from spraying! I'm done coming home to garbage being strewn about my kitchen. I'm done not being able to leave ANY food on a counter for ANY amount of time because he will eat it (I usually don't, but some things need to cool before eating or packaging!). I'm done having to rearrange my life for a G__D___ cat!!! We've just bought a new house and this cat is sooo not coming inside, I'm not having my historic home ruined by an effing cat...

                What does DH say about all of this? "But you should know better than to _____ with Eddie around" (?!?) "He's just an emotional guy, it's the only way he can express himself." Well, he can express himself on the outside looking in for all I care.

                Oh and I haven't mentioned that I tried to incorporate my family dog into our house when I first moved in. It got to the point that neither the dog or DH could stand each other that I made the hard decision to take her out of a situation that obviously stressed her. He barely tried to work with her, I tried to educate and it fell on deaf ears. DH's claim that dogs are soo messy in the yard (Eddie regularly craps in my gardens), need so much more attention (see paragraph 2) and you can't leave them overnight with some food in a dish (again paragraph 2) is pretty much null and void since he's owned Eddie... At least I can TRAIN my dog!
                Wow. That is a lot of anger and resentment. Poor cat.

                You've been given some really good options to try with him. I hope you try them before you just throw him outside or pass him on down the road. At age 12, declawed, with known behavioral problems what do you think the outcome is going to be? Not good, at least euth the poor critter if those are his only two options.
                *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


                • #28
                  12 is NOT old for a cat. A well cared for indoor cat can live 18-20 years easily. So, baring other health issues, senility probably is not at play here.

                  As for the crapping on the floor - this is in the basement, right? Where the litter boxes are? If a cat is constipated or it's painful when they poop, they'll often jump out of the litter box - where the pain is - in mid poop and then finish on the floor. You might try adding some pumpkin or psyllium to his food.

                  Sorry, can't help with anything else. I also wouldn't be able to abide with a cat who pees all over the house. But I do appreciate my own mildly annoying cat a little more now.
                  My possessions are causing me suspicion but there's no proof.


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                    No offense but the problem is your husband and not the cat. The cat has problems. Annoying but not insurmountable ones. There are ways to deal with them but they require everyone in the household acting consistently with the cat.
                    I agree. OP, you must deliver Eddie (and an ultimatum) to his Daddy. DH needs to help fix his cat or at least create a united fron with you. The resentment you have about what you decided to do with your dog when she was unhappy.... that's a separate kettle of fish.

                    But! DH has his work cut out for him because it sounds like Eddie wants to be an Only Cat with His Person. Your household is much bigger than that, and leaves less room for Eddie to be the center of the universe. This kind of cat can be reformed, but usually it's more work than its people want to do.

                    IMO, Eddie's bad behavior is likely to get better or worse depending on how much tension you and DH have going on, or other existential crisis-provoking things like moving.

                    Truly, the best option for this cat might be for DH to launch a campaign to find Eddie a great new person.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by mvp View Post

                      Truly, the best option for this cat might be for DH to launch a campaign to find Eddie a great new person.
                      It would have to be a pretty saintly great new person to take on a cat with such issues.


                      • #31
                        since when is 12 old for a cat? they should make it into their 20's. The cat is physically the equivalent of a middle-aged person, someone in their early 50's. Most people of that age don't call themselves "old" or "aged".

                        That said, I wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior- but unlike most "cat lovers" who think cats should be allowed to do whatever they please, I firmly believe that cats are very trainable. Yes, you can train cats to not jump up on your counters, and to not steal your food, and to not act like obnoxious jerks. Cats don't respond well at all to owner-delivered punishments, so don't bother trying to train that way, but they learn very quickly in response to consistent negative reinforcement delivered from the environment- the scat mat, for example, is an easy way to teach cats to stay off the counters. And cats respond VERY well to positive reinforcement- cats can be trained to do all sorts of things, including behave nicely, using clicker-training.

                        I draw a line with pooping/peeing in the house- if you can't get the animal to be properly housetrained after a decent effort on your part, I think it's time to get rid of the animal. I'm not living in a pee-soaked house, ever.

                        I would guess the pooping all over the basement is an aversion to the litterbox. Unfortunately, the cat has been mutilated. Often cats who have had their toes amputated experience pain all the time in their feet, making it unpleasant to use the litterbox. Cats also are very picky about their boxes- some like certain kinds of litter, others do not; some like different kinds of boxes, more boxes, different locations. So a bit of trial and error with different boxes, more boxes, different locations, different litters might make a difference in the pooping. Perhaps, since he's declawed, he'd prefer to use a softer litter; some people find their mutilated cats prefer shredded newspaper over any of the clay litters.

                        the spraying is a different issue- that's caused by territoriality and/or frustration with life. If you can't identify and remove the triggers for spraying, sometimes it responds to anti-anxiety medications. Feliway can also help with spraying.

                        I don't really understand why the cat is "DH's cat". If you join families, surely the cat is now also your cat?


                        • #32
                          Sounds like the latest issue is the trash can - can't you get one like this: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/sear...0&dim=1&nty=1&

                          or put a baby lock on the cabinet?


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                            cats and dogs do not crap on the floor to get even with us. They crap on the floor because there is something wrong in their world.
                            I disagree with this. My boyfriends parents had a cat that would ONLY piss on his stepdad's shoes after he would boot it off the counter.

                            Cat caught on counter, step dad would boot it off to the floor.
                            Next day, step dad's shoe had been pissed in.
                            Guilty cat was nowhere to be found.

                            It ONLY happened after that cat got scolded. That's a spiteful cat.
                            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                              It would have to be a pretty saintly great new person to take on a cat with such issues.
                              Maybe not! Restore a cat to the Center of the Universe that he once knew was his, and all the problems go away. Many cats become whack or great if they are constitutionally Only Cats.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat


                              • #35
                                Oh, my.

                                You have too many living things in too small a space and one of them really doesn't like it.

                                It's you, Eddie is winning.

                                Eddie is clearly not happy. You are clearly not happy.

                                DH doesn't care.

                                There would be a change in living arrangments if it was me. I'm not sure if DH and Eddie would be happy, but there wouldn't be cat piss on my furniture, my address would be different

                                Really honey, after 12 years, you've kind of allowed this to just be the way it is, by your inaction.


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                  Maybe not! Restore a cat to the Center of the Universe that he once knew was his, and all the problems go away. Many cats become whack or great if they are constitutionally Only Cats.
                                  Yeah. We had one of these. DH had a lovely, adult female cat and a adolescent ACD when I met him. The dog and cat had already worked out their issues. I moved in, no problem, the cat decided she'd rather be my cat, switched her loyalty to me and was fine. We each had a tween boy, who also spent time with their other parents, she didn't mind them that much, as long as they didn't try to pet her. Then we had a baby, she wasn't too keen on that, and started making herself more scarce when he started crawling and walking, but was still OK. THEN, we got a second cat and all hell broke loose. She was miserable...getting aggressive with everyone, hiding all the time, hair falling out, crying and pooping outside the litter box. The activity level in "her" house had grown so much that she was getting really stressed, the second cat was the last straw. We tried medicating her and she turned into a drooling zombie. Second cat was Mr. Chill and loved boys and dogs and noise and activity, so it made sense to rehome sensitive cat instead.

                                  So, we sent her, at age 17, to live with my elderly mother, who lived alone except for an elderly, and very sweet, Brittany Spaniel. Kitty turned into a new cat! She perked right up, coat got better, she started socializing with my mother, the dog and visitors and was back to her old, sweet, self. Happy cat! She lived until 22, when an inoperable tumor in her jaw started interfering with eating.

                                  She just wanted to be an only cat, in a quiet house, with just one dog...no noisy boys and ESPECIALLY, no other cats.

                                  OP's DH's cat sounds pretty darned miserable...rehoming him to somewhere quiet, with no other cats, might be just what he needs.


                                  • #37
                                    Has he been to the Vet's recently? You didn't give a specific date so I was just wondering how soon after these new behaviours cropped up did he go.

                                    Have you tried a sturdier garbage system?

                                    To me, he sounds stressed, the spraying, the licking; sort of neurotic behaviours. This could be from household stimulants or maybe genetics, he could very well be picking up the tension and anger you are feeling (not judging you, just noting your deep frustration).

                                    Take him to the Vet's, have him checked out, ask them for options. Hope everything works out.
                                    I LOVE my Chickens!


                                    • #38
                                      I don't blame you for being frustrated and overwhelmed. It seems like there are three options (1) rehome kitty (2) alter your environment to minimize negative behavior (3) continue without changing anything.

                                      (1) Simple enough and arguably the most humane for a clearly unhappy cat.

                                      (2) install a door on the bedroom, put child locks on the cabinets, never leave food out for a moment, lock kitty in a room like the bathroom when not supervised, genuinely make an effort to bond with kitty.

                                      (3) change nothing, be unhappy, resent cat, resent spouse, walk around smelling like cat pee.

                                      The spraying behavior is absolutely appalling but the rest of the negative behavior is very very preventable with some minor changes. Confining kitty while y'all are gone will limit what can be marked. With the other changes in place the cat will get in trouble less and you will feel less frustrated. Consequently, some of the marking behavior might diminish over time due to reduced tension in the house (*fingers crossed*).


                                      • #39
                                        Ugh I'd be telling DH adios and he can take the cat with him.


                                        • #40
                                          Ever think about an outdoor cat enclosure? Like an aviary, but for a cat. Not 24/7, but for part of the day.

                                          Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                                          Eddie is clearly not happy. You are clearly not happy. DH doesn't care.
                                          Sums it up well. Maybe he's got other things he's more worried about, or maybe he's lived with the situation - dirty/angry cat, angry woman - so long, he's lost hope it could change. Is there such a thing as a cat behaviorist? DH will probably tune out OP, but an "expert" might help the situation.