Cat dilemma...

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009 ( 23 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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Coolgirl426 - posted on 11/12/2009

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i have 6 cats and they are all about 7 years...i have found that my female cats have been having a harder time with my children over my male cats...(we have 3 of each)...my cats have also been fixed but the females have been peeing on the floor also next to liter boxes, or spraying the wall...and i totally understand your frustration...because it is gross and the cat pee smell is awful...i have found that when they do spray the walls or carpets that hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and water will kill the smell right away...as far as the cats have you talked to you vet...we had a cat spraying things and it turned out she had an infection, or it could be a behavioral thing...however i have yet to find one thing though that has made mine stop...so all i can offer is the small things we do to help the problem

Sharon - posted on 11/12/2009

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Take the cats to the vet.

Make sure there is nothing wrong. Stress can cause stones & infections and thereby cause issues in peeing.

The cats will settle down. I saturate anything an animal has pee'd on with vinegar. Then it gets washed, with vinegar in the softener cup & in the bleach dispenser. Then I wash it like normal.

For the house - saturate whatever has been sprayed. Don't just wipe if off or spray it on, SATURATE it with vinegar or Natures Miracle & let it stay wet for 12 - 24 hours. Even if its tile or linoleum.

Try to give some extra attention to the cats. After my son was born nothing changed. Months before he came home we had set up the basinet, they were allowed to explore it, sniff it, but not sleep in it. I kept a sheet draped over it to keep them out. While he was in the hospital I brought home receiving blankets and put them in places where the baby would be. The swing, the basinet, the baby carrier and brought home new ones each day.

The cats still slept on my bed. They still slept in my lap on the couch, they still had the same food, litter and their box was in the same place.

Things went so smoothly. If you changed anything - where the cats sleep especially - try to change it back. If you used to sit and watch tv with the cats in your lap - but don't now because the baby is there, put the baby down and put the cats in your lap.

Rehoming cats isn't easy. Especially adult cats. More are put to sleep, neglected and "set free" than are actually rehomed. I worked for 8 months rehome a cat, a purebred tortoishell manx. never mind finding mutt cats homes.

Patti - posted on 11/16/2009

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They are showing dominace, That;s all they hate the fact that theyre not the babies. Um you have at least 3 litters boxes in that room. one extra per cat, you can try moving the cat boxes away from the wall they hate that. Um the peeing thing could be also do to the litter box no cover on top is better that one with the cover. I don't think it;s do to the uti infection although that happens. it's a behavioral problem, i don't think that you should have to get rid of the cats. The pooping thing is just to show you that he's upset or that he is distracted some how. i think taht it will not go on forever.. The cats just need to get used to the baby and they need to interact more with the baby. Oh scooping everyday is good they don't like nasty boxes.etc. Hope this helps.

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Karen:

I had a cat who done similar things once my daughter was born and i thiught she was only sprayin in the toilet bt then my mother in law said 2 us im not bein funny bt the little ones clothes smell a bit like cat urine which we hadnt noticed i was like enough is enough so we got her rehomed i was soo embarassed becoz we were livin with the smell we didnt smell it on our own clothes i had 2 wash absolutely EVERYTHING u can just imagine how much that cost on electricity!!!!



Oh my...I know that was a direct insult to your son...very wise to have her rehomed. 



I know how you feel...my house STINKS!  :(

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User - posted on 03/19/2014

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We have had problems with our kitty too. She was pooping next to the box after trying to potty train our kitty (didn't work) and peeing in my youngest daughter's bed. We moved the litter to a new bathroom and put new bedding on our daughter's bed plus we keep her door shut now. It seemed to help. The thing I have been dealing with now is the kitty keeps shredding and destroying all the toilet paper in the house even if we are home. I came up with this idea. I sure hope it works. It is a DIY toilet paper guard. Kind of like a shower cap for toilet paper holders. http://www.amarmielife.com/2014/03/diy-k...

Lisa - posted on 11/16/2009

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Try adding an extra litter box, some cats can be teritorial and need thier own. There are products at the pet store that take the tiniest molecules of smell out and deter cats from spraying there again give them a try, ask for one with an active urine destroyng enzyme, thats what we use.

Ashley - posted on 11/13/2009

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Yes that room has carpeting...and in fact we want to get new carpet since the one w have is old and ratty, but no sense in that if they are just going to pee all over it.

My husband won't do anything, he is just angry that nothing has changed. Not to mention how annoying it is to discover your computer desk, papers, and other items have been sprayed on, haha.

I wish my cats would play more! We have one who is FAT, and does nothing! He hasn't wanted to play for like two years...my other one plays for a few seconds and then runs off. They prefer to play fight with each other.

I know I keep coming up with excuses to everything, but I am just at a loss...it doesn't help that our family thinks they are a lost cause.

I know you can't get rid of kids that act up, but you can also punish and teach kids...cats are so independent, and at least my cats it seems anything goes in one ear and out the other. I have tried spray bottles, and it doesn't work. Five minutes later they do the same thing.

I wonder if there is a Cat Whisperer?!! :)

Sharon - posted on 11/13/2009

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well kids act up when they get younger siblings too. you can't get rid of them. So your husband is going to have to suck it up.

Keep doing what you've been doing. I've never cleaned my litter box by bleaching it or anything. I just scoop all the litter out and wipe clean with vinegar & water, then natures miracle for a pleasant scent. I also toss out the stinky stuff right away.

Does their room have carpeting? Maybe they need more activity toys and you need to engage them more?

I've talked my hubby into making a "kitty highway" - out of boredom really. lol our house to small for to many of the activity toys but if he makes them a kitty highway - it'll give them something new to explore

Ashley - posted on 11/13/2009

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My husband is a little confused on what cleaners to use, so he just uses hot water to clean the litter box.

It is just frustrating...we have tried so many "anti odor" liquids along with using our carpet shampooer and for a bit it smells nice and them it smells like pee, so we know they keep spraying. And it isn't just on the floor, they have sprayed on my husband's guitar case and other items, so we know they aren't just not peeing in the litter box.

We do love our cats, but I just know having urine all over can't be healthy for my son. My husband is mad, he just wants to get rid of them.

What also makes them look bad is our dog. She has been so good with our son and hasn't changed at all. I wish the cats would act like her...

I'm at a stand-still!

Leah - posted on 11/12/2009

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First of all, how do you clean your cat box? It is my understanding that if you use bleaches etc to clean the box when changing the litter, it actually turns the cat off from going in the box itself. The cat needs to smell itself a bit to continue going in there. So just wash the box out with water.

My cats have all come after the children, so they adapted to children not the other way around.

I have an older cat who misses the box all the time, we are not going to put her down right away, as she has been with us for 13 yrs. Instead I am putting down a removeable piece of lino so I can wash it up with bleach weekly.

It may be a little more work for you, but if you are really attached to your cats then it is worth the extra work to see if they grow out of it.

Chloe - posted on 11/12/2009

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I have 2 cats also. 1 male and 1 female. We are getting the male desexed this week as we want to avoid the spraying! I told my partner when he brough the male home, if he starts spraying his gone, I take them outside with me most days, I started taking them out on the lead and now they stay in the little area we have of grass and some decking, without the leads on. If you cant let them out for a play i suggest getting an inclosure.. My mum has one, she has also courted off a section of her backyard so her cats can go outside as she doesnt want them out either.

Stacey - posted on 11/12/2009

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My cats started weeing on things before our baby came along, so we ended up putting them outside, what other choice do we have? They also did other things that we didn't like and we couldn't stop them from doing those things. I feel bad because they had always been indoor cats, but I was sick of what they were doing to our house. I just read your comment about not being able to put them outside, have you thought about an enclosed outdoor area or cat run? We had a verandah built onto our house and had it fenced off, you could enclose it totally with lattice or something from the fence up to the roof of the verandah or I saw this great idea where you get some PVC pipe and cut one side of it so you can run it along the top of your fence, the cats cant grip on the rounded surface so they cant jump the fence (provided the fence is high enough that they cant jump it in one leap)

Lora - posted on 11/12/2009

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Our cats started peeing in our stove elements when children came into the house! I feel your pain at their behaviors and loving them so much you want to give them all the chances in the world. I am not going to be too much help here besides understanding, these two cats did not change and it broke my heart to have to eventually give them up. However, I did have a similar issue again with another animal years later who did get back to being himself when he adjusted to the situation. I made sure he got all kinds of attention and spent time with them together so the child was part of our 'pack', it did wonders. Dont give up too soon, it can change. Good Luck!

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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Both cats are declawed, so going outside is not possible...we live in a community surrounded by woods...which means wild critters, and coyotes LOVE to munch on cats out here.

Sharon, the only thing that has changed for them is the amount of attention they get..they sleep with us, get the same food, litter, pretty much everything. While I was pregnant, I was advised to start giving less attention to get them used to it...so I did. Not sure if that was the way to go or not, but I figured nine months of them not being cuddled for most of the day would help the transition.

I don't know, it's just so hard! I hope more than anything that things will get better...

Elizabeth - posted on 11/12/2009

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My suggestion would be see if the cats want to have outside time. Since they are not a happy inside as they used to be. They may just want to be able to go outside. I had two different cats that were raised inside from birth, but after several years decided they wanted to go outside for the bathroom and some run around time. Once I would let the cat outside, it would be the nicest inside can you ever saw, while he was inside that is.

This is all providing you are ok with an inside outside cat.

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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Quoting Pat:

The cats might be stressed. Do they have a room where the baby can't get to them? I raised a son with a house full of cats, and they all got along very well. Cats do need their quiet time, though.



My son can't crawl yet, so they can go wherever in our house without Tyler chasing them...the "cat room" is where their litter box is and no one uses that bedroom but them, haha.

User - posted on 11/12/2009

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The cats might be stressed. Do they have a room where the baby can't get to them? I raised a son with a house full of cats, and they all got along very well. Cats do need their quiet time, though.

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2009

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I tried a lot of different anti-pee sprays from our local pet store, and even ordered this expensive hormone spray stuff to keep them from peeing on things...we did that when we had the same issue after bringing another cat aboard. It helped with that situation, but for it to come back is soooooooo frustrating!

We really don't want to get rid of them, but I know having them can't be healthy for us because of the pee... And they are declawed so they can't go outside. Ugh, this is so hard! What makes it worse is the cat who poops on the floor loves to hang out with my son!

There was an aggression scare with our third cat (we found him a new home). But our other two haven't shown aggression towards our son. We feel very strongly with not having animals who are aggressive with people, especially children. (That was nailed into our heads from his parent's dog who attacked my hubby's sister and bit our niece, both in the face...damn dog is still alive...)

When they first started spraying with our other cat, we went to the vet and it was determined to be behavior based only.

I have not tried the peroxide/baking soda/water mix, I will try that, so thank you Randi!

All advice is great, I hope for some more! Thank you ladies!

Karen - posted on 11/12/2009

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I had a cat who done similar things once my daughter was born and i thiught she was only sprayin in the toilet bt then my mother in law said 2 us im not bein funny bt the little ones clothes smell a bit like cat urine which we hadnt noticed i was like enough is enough so we got her rehomed i was soo embarassed becoz we were livin with the smell we didnt smell it on our own clothes i had 2 wash absolutely EVERYTHING u can just imagine how much that cost on electricity!!!!

Heather - posted on 11/12/2009

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It's up to you whether you decide to keep the cat but I know that babies often take up a lot of time you probably used to give to the cats.
Do you still give the cats special 'mummy time' both whilst the child is there and when he is away from them. This may help them to feel more secure. Cats are like kids with Aspergers, and they don't deal with change very well. You need to make them still feel equally loved and not threatened by the bub. Give it some time, it should work but if they have established this (bad) habit then you may have to re-think how much their spraying annoys you.

Judy - posted on 11/12/2009

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We had a male cat that started pooping outside his litter box and started spraying ourhouse even though he had been neutered. We took him to the vet and found out he was suffering from a very bad urinary track infection and his urine was crystalizing inside him. The vet said he was getting to much protein in his diet. We doctored him for three months and then ended up having to put him down.

Brianne - posted on 11/12/2009

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Well, we took our American Staffordshire to a trainer to be sure he would be good with our son.. He has been pretty excellent for the most part. At first, when my son started crawling, he would run away from him and when he would get near him he would kind of let out a little growl.. so we took the initiative to introduce them, yet again, show the baby how to be soft with the dog, and made them interact more often so he wouldn't feel the need to get offensive when he got near him. We also tried to make sure we are giving him as much love as possible (at least 3/4 of the attention he got before) so he doesn't feel as if he's being replaced. He hasn't been really strange as far as what your cats are doing, but he has had another weird notion we recently found of getting between the baby and his daddy, but we stopped that by loving on him immensely when we get home to be sure he didn't feel left out. I know our vet offers training for ALL animals, including cats, although they are very stubborn. The only thing I can say is try EVERY angle before you get rid of your beloved kitties!! There is some type of spray you can spray on the things that they like to deficate on and it worked really well with our dogs we had before this one. I can't remember exactly where we got it, but I'm sure you could find something like it online somewhere. Hang in there, Kilo was really weird at first, but now after a year, he has changed his attitude completely and LOVES to be with our baby and rarely ever does anything he is not entitled to do.

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