Cat dilemma...

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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We have two cats. They were both raised since they were kittens, and are four and five years old. We are having trouble in deciding whether to keep them now that we have a baby.

Our son is amost eight months old, and he LOVES the cats. He just thinks petting them is so much fun!

The issue is, how the cats have been acting. One cat goes poop on the floor next to the litter box, even if it is clean. At first it was just if it was dirty, but not since my son was born. Both cats have sprayed in the house (both are neutered), and that is NASTY. They also have been acting up like getting in EVERYTHING, which they didn't do as much before.

I understand that some animals do strange behavior when babies are born because the attention is shifted. But, can it get better? We love our cats, but this is really gross. Luckily (and I use this loosly), they only spray in the room with their litter box, and our son does NOT go in there.

Any ideas how to stop their behavior? Or any other advice?

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Samantha - posted on 11/15/2009

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We have two cats also and they haven't had any issues with my daughter but I have experienced similar moments of "acting out'. My cats decided to poop by mine & boyfriends chairs at the dining room table (my cat near mine & his near his). Then they peed in our bed & our babies rocker. It was mostly my cat that did the "acting out" as she is older and has experienced more change in the recent months. My boyfriends cat is still a kitten (7 months). We took my cat to the vet to determine it wasn't medically based. Our vet told us about several non-medical ways (the hormone plug-in **mentioned in an earlier post** and some liquid drops) and she also mentioned kitty prozac. Besides that she mentioned if it was due to attention, getting and auto-laser toy so they feel played with. I didn't take any of her recommendations but rather starting paying attention to them more. What I try to do is any time I get up to the get my daughter, I pet them. While she naps, I try to spend a few minutes giving them love. I haven't had any "incidents" since then. I viewed their behavior like a "problem child". They were acting out because negative attention was better than no attention.

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Jennifer - posted on 11/16/2009

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Quoting Paige :

I'm not sure on how to stop their behaviour, but just to be on the safe side I would put the cats outside. Some cats sometimes will lay on your babies face if you are not around etc and in some cases actually suffocate the children. Thats why i would never get a cat. The cats are also noticing a change in the house, and they are letting you know this by acting out of there usual selves.


Oh, please.  This is an old wives tale/urban legend.  As the poster said, she doesn't have cats, so I would go with one of the solutions offered by the other posters.  The other posters made great suggestions; I'd go with one of those.  Putting the cats out doesn't solve the problem, and actually creates other problems.  (The risk of the outside cats getting into fights/getting hurt since they don't have outside territory, and would have to fight for it, etc.)

Paige - posted on 11/14/2009

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I'm not sure on how to stop their behaviour, but just to be on the safe side I would put the cats outside. Some cats sometimes will lay on your babies face if you are not around etc and in some cases actually suffocate the children. Thats why i would never get a cat. The cats are also noticing a change in the house, and they are letting you know this by acting out of there usual selves.

Cherilyn - posted on 11/14/2009

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I agree - spray bottles are your friend when it comes to cats. Be patient and your cats should get over it. Talk to your vet as they can be really helpful. I know it can be aggrevating since there is so much to do with a baby and you don't need the extra work with your cats new found messes - but you still love them just the same even know you are aggravated with them. Just talk to your vet as they should be able to help. Hope this helps.

Kristy - posted on 11/12/2009

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My cat did the same thing! My vet recommended this thing that plugged in like a glade plug in and released a hormone that calmed her down. We used it for about 90 days until it ran out and we haven't had any problems since!

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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We are having the same problem. My cats are not always using the litter box. I know that it has to do with us not spending as much time with them. I try and give them as much attention as possible...
They love my daughter I don't worry about that at all !!! We are trying to figure out ways to fix the problem.

Kelly gave some pretty good advice!!!!! I think getting rid of the cats would be a tragedy...I am sure your baby loves them !!! I loved growing up in a home with animals....and I hope to do the same.

I hope that someone here can give some great advice....

Kelly - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Ashley:

Cat dilemma...

We have two cats. They were both raised since they were kittens, and are four and five years old. We are having trouble in deciding whether to keep them now that we have a baby.
Our son is amost eight months old, and he LOVES the cats. He just thinks petting them is so much fun!
The issue is, how the cats have been acting. One cat goes poop on the floor next to the litter box, even if it is clean. At first it was just if it was dirty, but not since my son was born. Both cats have sprayed in the house (both are neutered), and that is NASTY. They also have been acting up like getting in EVERYTHING, which they didn't do as much before.
I understand that some animals do strange behavior when babies are born because the attention is shifted. But, can it get better? We love our cats, but this is really gross. Luckily (and I use this loosly), they only spray in the room with their litter box, and our son does NOT go in there.
Any ideas how to stop their behavior? Or any other advice?


First off squirt bottles are your friend, cats are easy to train but it takes both positive and negative enforcement, if you see kitty spray or poo outside of box, you spray.  But maybe invest in some treats for as the kitty exits litter box, cats are different than dogs in that treats work way better than commands.  Also, where they sprayed, clean it the best you can, if any trace of smell is left the cats take that as permission to do it there again.  It becomes kind of a pee information booth.  Also try putting cayenne pepper where they sniff the pee marks, basically anywhere you don't want a cat to go if you rub it with something that smells spicy they get out of there fast.

Brandy - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:



Quoting Brandy:

My mom had a cat like that when I was born and it didn't get better. She brought me to the hospital when I was a few months old to remove a cat claw from the bottom of my foot. Needless to say, by the time we got back, dad had made sure the cat was gone. From what I've been told, they are either going to be fine with it right away, or they keep getting worse until they get physical. My friend has 4 cats and a 17 month old and 3 of them don't care at all. They let him do whatever he wants to them but 1 has been pretty territorial about it from the day she brought him home and just attacked him for the first time 2 weeks ago and since the first attack they have been getting worse every time. I've heard so many horror stories with cats and dogs and kids that I've decided to wait to get any until one of my children is older and asks for one.





This doesn't seem like what's happening to you, Ashley.  If there hasn't been any attacks on your baby in 10 months, it seems unlikely to happen now.  Please don't let Brandy scare you into thinking that what happened to her will happen to you and your kids.  It sounds like Brandy had a bad experience, and thinks that all other issues with cats will end the same way.  I seriously don't think this is the case.






We have had some behavioral issues with one of our cats (one of three), too, and we're working through it with him.  Just be patient, check out different sources, and hang in there.  It'll get better, I'm sure.






Actually, in case you didn't read all of what I wrote, I stated that I have heard of cats having no problem at all,  but that the ones I have heard of that do have problems can get severe and I don't even remember my "experience"  so that is not why I said any of what I said. I just gave her the information that I know so that she can read what everybody's different opinions and decide from there. Since you had already given your opinion, I don't see why you felt the need to attack my response personally. Just so you know, my parents kept the other cat that they owned at the time and I continued to have cats until I moved out on my own and then even for a couple years afterward, so it's not like I have a hate on for cats or anything.

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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There was an issue before when we got a third cat, and spaying happened then, which I understood as a possibility. We tried different sprays, had the cats looked at by a vet (determined to be behavior based, no medical reason), and even bought some hormone spray to keep them from spraying. It seemed to work, so that was AWESOME!

When my son was born, the newer cat became aggressive with him which surprised me since my son couldn't do much of anything... We had him rehomed where he is very happy now (we keep in contact with the new owner).

We have tried the same ways we did before, but to no avail...yet. It has been almost eight months, so I am hoping it will get better.

If we were to rehome them, we wouldn't lie to anyone, for fear of them being sent to a shelter where they could be killed... We do have a no-kill shelter, but that would be a LAST resort.

It is just so frustrating! We love our cats, but this can't be healthy!

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Brandy:

My mom had a cat like that when I was born and it didn't get better. She brought me to the hospital when I was a few months old to remove a cat claw from the bottom of my foot. Needless to say, by the time we got back, dad had made sure the cat was gone. From what I've been told, they are either going to be fine with it right away, or they keep getting worse until they get physical. My friend has 4 cats and a 17 month old and 3 of them don't care at all. They let him do whatever he wants to them but 1 has been pretty territorial about it from the day she brought him home and just attacked him for the first time 2 weeks ago and since the first attack they have been getting worse every time. I've heard so many horror stories with cats and dogs and kids that I've decided to wait to get any until one of my children is older and asks for one.


This doesn't seem like what's happening to you, Ashley.  If there hasn't been any attacks on your baby in 10 months, it seems unlikely to happen now.  Please don't let Brandy scare you into thinking that what happened to her will happen to you and your kids.  It sounds like Brandy had a bad experience, and thinks that all other issues with cats will end the same way.  I seriously don't think this is the case.



We have had some behavioral issues with one of our cats (one of three), too, and we're working through it with him.  Just be patient, check out different sources, and hang in there.  It'll get better, I'm sure.

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Brandy:

My mom had a cat like that when I was born and it didn't get better. She brought me to the hospital when I was a few months old to remove a cat claw from the bottom of my foot. Needless to say, by the time we got back, dad had made sure the cat was gone. From what I've been told, they are either going to be fine with it right away, or they keep getting worse until they get physical. My friend has 4 cats and a 17 month old and 3 of them don't care at all. They let him do whatever he wants to them but 1 has been pretty territorial about it from the day she brought him home and just attacked him for the first time 2 weeks ago and since the first attack they have been getting worse every time. I've heard so many horror stories with cats and dogs and kids that I've decided to wait to get any until one of my children is older and asks for one.


This doesn't seem like what's happening to you, Ashley.  If there hasn't been any attacks on your baby in 10 months, it seems unlikely to happen now.  Please don't let Brandy scare you into thinking that what happened to her will happen to you and your kids.  It sounds like Brandy had a bad experience, and thinks that all other issues with cats will end the same way.  I seriously don't think this is the case.



We have had some behavioral issues with one of our cats (one of three), too, and we're working through it with him.  Just be patient, check out different sources, and hang in there.  It'll get better, I'm sure.

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Brandy:

My mom had a cat like that when I was born and it didn't get better. She brought me to the hospital when I was a few months old to remove a cat claw from the bottom of my foot. Needless to say, by the time we got back, dad had made sure the cat was gone. From what I've been told, they are either going to be fine with it right away, or they keep getting worse until they get physical. My friend has 4 cats and a 17 month old and 3 of them don't care at all. They let him do whatever he wants to them but 1 has been pretty territorial about it from the day she brought him home and just attacked him for the first time 2 weeks ago and since the first attack they have been getting worse every time. I've heard so many horror stories with cats and dogs and kids that I've decided to wait to get any until one of my children is older and asks for one.


This doesn't seem like what's happening to you, Ashley.  If there hasn't been any attacks on your baby in 10 months, it seems unlikely to happen now.  Please don't let Brandy scare you into thinking that what happened to her will happen to you and your kids.  It sounds like Brandy had a bad experience, and thinks that all other issues with cats will end the same way.  I seriously don't think this is the case.



We have had some behavioral issues with one of our cats (one of three), too, and we're working through it with him.  Just be patient, check out different sources, and hang in there.  It'll get better, I'm sure.

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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Oh, please don't get rid of your cats. It's a common, if disgusting, thing that happens when a big change takes place. Your cats feel threatened. (Who wouldn't, after being dethroned?!) :D Please take the time to retrain your cats to use their litter box. It may be difficult at first, but you can do it! Finding a good home for them will be challenging, especially since you'll have to disclose their problem. There are so many cats waiting to find good homes, let yours stay in your good home! Google is a great resource for this; my quick search turned up these links:



http://www.litterbox.org/

http://cats.about.com/cs/litterboxproble...

http://www.nomorecatodor.com/Cat_Litter_...



Also, please talk to your vet, too. He/she can be a great resource, especially since he/she already knows your pets.



It can get better. I know it's hard now, but please take the time to try different ways to retrain your cats. They're part of your family too, and I'm sure would like and appreciate your understanding and help. Good luck, and feel free to contact me if you have more questions!

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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Oh, please don't get rid of your cats. It's a common, if disgusting, thing that happens when a big change takes place. Your cats feel threatened. (Who wouldn't, after being dethroned?!) :D Please take the time to retrain your cats to use their litter box. It may be difficult at first, but you can do it! Finding a good home for them will be challenging, especially since you'll have to disclose their problem. There are so many cats waiting to find good homes, let yours stay in your good home! Google is a great resource for this; my quick search turned up these links:



http://www.litterbox.org/

http://cats.about.com/cs/litterboxproble...

http://www.nomorecatodor.com/Cat_Litter_...



Also, please talk to your vet, too. He/she can be a great resource, especially since he/she already knows your pets.



It can get better. I know it's hard now, but please take the time to try different ways to retrain your cats. They're part of your family too, and I'm sure would like and appreciate your understanding and help. Good luck, and feel free to contact me if you have more questions!

Brandy - posted on 11/12/2009

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My mom had a cat like that when I was born and it didn't get better. She brought me to the hospital when I was a few months old to remove a cat claw from the bottom of my foot. Needless to say, by the time we got back, dad had made sure the cat was gone. From what I've been told, they are either going to be fine with it right away, or they keep getting worse until they get physical. My friend has 4 cats and a 17 month old and 3 of them don't care at all. They let him do whatever he wants to them but 1 has been pretty territorial about it from the day she brought him home and just attacked him for the first time 2 weeks ago and since the first attack they have been getting worse every time. I've heard so many horror stories with cats and dogs and kids that I've decided to wait to get any until one of my children is older and asks for one.

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