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Bad cat habits, what are my options?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Jeanette13, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Jeanette13

    Jeanette13 Out Of The Brooder

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    5 years ago we took in this skin and bones stray, that turned out to be the most beautiful and loving cat. My kids absolutely love her, because she plays with them like a dog would. Neighborhood kids come over to see her, she's that popular. She's affectionate and never scratches or bites anyone (unless you're a bird, mouse, bat, rabbit, ...). I can get past her natural hunting instinct, but she has this very annoying habit of marking everything in her path. We had her as an indoor/outdoor cat for the longest time, but about a year ago my husband finally put his foot down and decided she was no longer welcome in the house. She had wrecked one too many of our things... Her outdoor behaviour is the same, and she's not even hiding the fact that she's doing it. Patio furniture, bikes, cars, garbage cans, chicken brooder, grocery bags, sleeping bags, tent, you name it, if it's on the ground she walks right up to it and "shakes her tail". My husband can't leave the door to his workshop (formerly known as our garage) open. I had the window of my car down the other day, and now my car stinks to high heaven... She's spayed and doesn't have any health problems, she's about 8 years old now, with this very bad habit. I don't know what to do with her, I generally believe in being a forever pet owner, but I'm certainly not very much in love with her any more... I don't really think that rehoming her would be an option, because with full disclosure, who in their right mind would want her? My husband would like to take her for a looong drive and leave her (not going to happen, he's all talk but wouldn't have the heart to do it), and I certainly understand where he's coming from. Any advice?
     
  2. Baggagolers

    Baggagolers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure it's a female? Sounds more like a male with that kind of spraying. We have used something called cat away to keep our cats from going in certain place around the outside of the house. One of our cats is fond of pooping right in front or the garage doors. The cat away does work but has to be reapplied or they start doing it again. We have three cats and my dad says when they are gone we will never get another one. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeanette13

    Jeanette13 Out Of The Brooder

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    I know this is more common in males, but this is for sure a female...
    We have a product that's supposed to neutralize the odors and keep them from spraying/peeing in the same spot, but we'd have to use that on every inch of the house and everything we own!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  4. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she fixed? I would take her to the vet and see about getting "her" fixed. I wouldn't be surprised if she had something genetic going on, maybe a hermaphrodite? My sister had an XXY cat before. At least the vet was pretty sure she was XXY without having a DNA panel done just based on some characteristic she had, both color, marking, and what the vet saw inside when she spayed her. Might take care of it.
     
  5. Jeanette13

    Jeanette13 Out Of The Brooder

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    We had her fixed when she first came to us (5 years ago). Vet didn't say anything about any possible abnormalities.
     
  6. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were my cat, it would have been gone long ago. When it gets to the point of like you said "I'm certainly not very much in love with her any more" then to me what is the point of keeping it around when the annoyance (or what have you) outweigh the joys. My uncle had a cat that started spraying after he had house guests once, and he couldn't break the behaviour so he put it down. He adored that cat but his house reeked and no one would have wanted a cat that sprayed.
    With my cats, come summertime, if they crap in my garden and tomato plants etc and I can't get them to stop they are gone no matter how much I like them.
     
  7. Jeanette13

    Jeanette13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, my husband and I are ready to "let her go", but our kids, especially my 9yr-old son, are very attached to her. That makes things a lot harder...
     
  8. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This might sound awful, but would it be possible to replace the cat, maybe get a little kitten or something?
    I had it done to me by my parents when I was a child, and yes I missed the old pet, but the new-ness and the fact that it was a cute little baby made the transition easier. Mine was with a dog though when she was old and had to be put down, but still. She was put down and we purchased another very very soon,and that dog filled the hole that was left from the other one.

    I suppose from my point of view, if the cat is only 8, she still could live 10+ years, are you really wanting to put up with this behaviour for that long just to save your kids the heartache? They will get over it, if it were me I would do it soon while the kids are still young.
    I sound horrible but it is what I would do if I were in that situation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  9. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As an alternative to euthanizing her (which I agree is really the only option if you are at the end of your rope and getting rid of her, one way or another, is the only option you seem to have left), would your hubby be willing to try confining her to an outdoor pen? If she had a large outdoor pen with a top and a secure shelter for when the weather is bad, then she would no longer have access to your belongings. She could spray in her pen without causing too much of a problem.

    I know it's not the same, but for a while one of my cats refused to urinate in the litter box. It started originally as recurring bladder infections with crystals and then developed into a litter box aversion that was purely behavioral. We were about where you were now, he had ruined one too many of our things and we just couldn't allow it to continue. The vet put him on amitriptyline (which is a tricyclid antidepressant) and we confined him to a dog crate for about 2-3 months so that he had no option other than peeing on the towel lining the crate or the litter box in the crate. For a while we were washing out the crate daily because he still refused to use the litter box, but after a while he started using the box again. Finally we were able to wean him off the amitrityline and let him rejoin the household. Confining your cat to a pen may have the same effect in the long run of retraining her not to urinate in inappropriate places. Or it may not, but it could certainly buy your kids more time with a beloved pet and save your belongings at the same time.
     
  10. Jeanette13

    Jeanette13 Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree, it sounds horrible, but you're really just putting my thoughts down in writing... I'm just wrestling with the decision to put down an animal for a behavioural problem, as opposed to a medical one.
     

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