Stressed out Cat!?!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SarahF, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. SarahF

    SarahF Songster

    January 2006, DH and I adopted a 1.5 year old male tabby cat. He has been a complete joy to us, until our daughter Avery was born in February this year. He has been pooping around the house, about once every two weeks, sometimes more often. He'll do it right outside of his litter box! He's done it in the kitchen, but now he did it in the living room. Never on furniture, just on the carpets. My DH is fed up and wants to take him to the humane society to have him put down. My parents just had the same issue, but their cat was peeing. The vet said that it is a behaviour issue, not physical and there is no medication for that. I spoke with a vet, and had the feces checked for parasites, and it came back clean. The vet said he must be stressed out with the new changes.

    He is 4 years old and I can't teach him to do anything differently. We've placed his food by his feces, we've not fed him for two days, etc.

    DH will is not willing to spend anymore money on the cat, and I agree. I just don't think killing him is the answer. But who would take a cat who does this?!?!

    Any ideas would be helpful!

    Sarah F
  2. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    I think he's telling you he needs more attention, though a new baby will definitely stress a cat out. My only advice is to give him lots of love.
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I think your only choice is to give the baby up. The cat's probably thinking, "whose idea WAS that little larvae thing anyway????"

    Seriously, I agree with Envirogirl - your cat is marking "his" territory and letting you know he needs more attention. Perhaps if you kept him in a smaller room with all his stuff, like the laundry room, for a time while the household and family schedule settles down, that would solve the problem. He might appreciate the peace and quiet...
  4. camjac

    camjac Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    I don't have any help but my sister is going through this right now! She has two cats (abyssinians) one is 12 and the other is about 6? now. She has one son who is 2 1/2 and a baby that was born in July. Her younger cat will go a couple of days in the litter box and then start pooping (sometimes around the box other times across the room). She is so frustrated and going through SpotShot like crazy. I read that you should try putting two litter boxes out. One in the normal place and the other across the room or wherever the cat is going. Also try one with a lid and the other without. Put a different kind of litter in the new box (I read that they can get fussy with the litter and like a different feel or texture). She has tried all of this with no luck so I don't know how well this will work. I'll have to keep checking this thread to see if someone has some good ideas. Good luck with your kitty!
  5. maplesky7

    maplesky7 Flock Mistress

    Jun 14, 2008
    N. IL.
    My cats do not like clump litter and will find other places to go.

    The plain ol clay litter is what they like.

    one litter per cat in household is the norm but I would have a box on each floor and put the cat in it to make sure they know of a new box...and frequent changes...cats don't like a dirty litter and some are more finicky then the next.

    this is due to attention. You're baby has taken his place and it is important to spend some good quality time with your cat.

    do you know what time the cat is going? is it when you are in bed or gone?

    has anyone crated a cat, like a puppy, during these times? could work.
    I have a big dog kennel I had to put one of my injured cats in a winter or so ago until he could fit his litter box, food and water and a blanket to sleep on.

    Make sure you pet the cat sometimes while you are holding the baby...let him sniff the baby...put the babys hand on the cat and stroke gently...lets the cat know it really isn't an alien.

    I hope you cat comes around and you are able to live happily together.

    **and also vinegar repulses cats...put in a spray bottle and spray the areas he uses that you don't want him to.** Reapply every so often when the smell disappears...he'll eventually get the hint.

  6. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Lots of good advice has been given above. My only addition is to check that you are keeping the litterbox as clean as you did before the baby arrived. I know a baby adds a million new chores to your list, and some cats are so picky about their boxes being clean that they may rebel if their box is messier than they are used to, especially with the general stress of a new baby.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  7. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    My cat not only wanted attention he wanted to taste what the baby ate. So I'd put a little formula out in a bowl when I fed the baby. And put a little canned food in a bowl when the baby ate baby food. Stuff that helped baby-time seem like family time for the cat, too.

    Later in life this cat would sit by us when we ate ice cream and lick the stick or spoon clean. Stuff like that. And when I'd cuddle the kids he'd pile up and cuddle with us.
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Your cat may be upset about the changes and feeling like he is losing his place in the only world he knows. If you can, check out with Warren Eckstein, a great animal behaviorist. You can call him live on WOR radio Saturdays 4-6 p.m. EST. He will help you resolve this in a way that makes the cat and his people happy. Warren is super.
  9. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    First and best step to take anytime a cat stops using his litterbox, after verifying that there is no medical cause of course, is to limit the area they have access to. A great way to do this is to set up a small space, like a bathroom with all of the essentials: clean litterbox, food, and water and keep them in there with no access to the rest of the house. I'd recommend doing this for at least a week or two, or until he is using the litterbox regularly. Then gradually increase the areas of the house he/she has access to.

    Make sure to give plenty of attention so he understands he's not just abandoned in there, but be firm about not letting him out. Cats don't like a dirty area, so if they are stuck in a bathroom they are a lot less likely to poo all over the room as they can't get away from it and go to another area of the house. This way, they are more likely to use the box and have the behavior reinforced until it becomes a habit again.

    Also, since it sounds like he's doing this out of stress, you might look into buying one of the calming pheromone products like Feliway. These are available at most pet stores, and I've heard a lot of good things about them for situations like these.

    Good luck!
  10. spydertoys

    spydertoys Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Munfordville, Kentucky
    I agree with those who mentioned a couple things. Make sure the litter box is as clean as it always was..or cleaner.
    Make sure you try to spend some quality time with him every day..even if all you can spare is 15 minutes.
    If he approaches you when you are with the baby..don't push him away..a little "Pet" and then go on with what you were doing will go a long ways.

    They are like little children in a lot of ways..and he just needs to know he is still loved.

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