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Suzanne in ABQ

Is there ever a time to just let a healthy cat go? WWYD? (UPDATE in post #54)

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We have had our male orange tabby (Pumken) for over 12 years.  He used to be a loving best friend to our son.  For years, they were inseparable and seemed to communicate with a secret language.  It all changed when ds reached puberty and the cat started peeing on ds's clothes and scratching at ds every time he walked by (alpha male behavior).  Still, he was warming up to our younger dd, and was loving to us, was great around all children, and was just so stinking cute.  Besides, he was part of the family, so we just dealt with his messes.  

 

When we moved into this house, 11 years ago, Pumken also started peeing on dh's office door, every day.  He has kept this up for years.  Okay, that is annoying, but it's a tile floor, and fairly easy to clean.  But this summer, dd came home from college, and he started spraying her door and the carpet beneath it.  Gross.

 

He pulls towels off the bathroom rack, "stalks" and attacks them (with claws and teeth), then pees on them.  He used to do this with the rugs, too, until I threw them away.  Again, he's been doing this for years.  We just keep washing the towels.

 

He also poops on the floor.  It used to just be next to the litter box, so we became religious about cleaning out the litter box several times a day, and even got a second box, but that didn't change his behavior.  We tried several different kinds of litter, but none of those helped consistently either.  He still poops on the floor, next to the boxes (tile floor), but now has started pooping on the carpet in the hall, on the stairs, wherever.  And he drags his poopy butt all over the place.  Not cool.  These are normal, formed poops.  No diarrhea or signs of sickness or distress.  

 

Worst of all, he brings live animals into the house.  He just brought in another mouse this evening and let it go in our bedroom (great -- it ran into the walk-in closet).  We have had SO much trouble with mice this year (after never having a real problem for >11 years).  We can't find any entrance points, so we think he's either sneaking them in, or we have a really breading problem from ones he brought in previously, or both.  We really have no idea, but we are SICK of dealing with it!  He does kill them sometimes, but we catch most of them in traps (over 50 mice in the past year).

 

So, what do we do?  We could just lock him outside permanently.  We live in an arid forest where coyotes run in abundance.  He mostly stays close to home, but eventually, he would probably be picked off by them. Plus, feeding him outside would attract other animals.  We would be unable to leave our sliding door open because he would tear up the screen.  

 

We could take him to the pound or to a rescue, in hopes of him being adopted, but he HATES being in a kennel, and has gotten very hissy in his old age (has to be muzzled at the vet).  I don't think he would be adopted in a public situation.  We could advertise for a new home, and he is super friendly with people at home, but how do you find a home for a mature cat who pees and poops everywhere, and brings live mice and lizards into the house?  

 

I take pet ownership very seriously, and always intended this to be a till-death-us-do-part type of relationship.  But, really, I am seeing less and less incentive to keep this cat around.  Ds is leaving for college in a month, and won't be taking the cat with him.  I just told him what I'm thinking, and he said he'd be "so sad", and asked if I'd at least wait until he's gone to college.    Older dd might be sad, but she's allergic to him anyway, so has never formed an attachment.  Plus, she's also going back to college in a month.  Younger dd is away at camp, and I'm really tempted to just take the cat to the pound or euthanize him while she's gone.  We would get her another cat probably, or a dog.  I am so frustrated!

 

 

What would you do?

Edited by Suzanne in ABQ

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He has been seen yearly by various vets through the years, and none have ever found any medical problems that would cause him to lose control.  He is very much in control of where he sprays (only on dh's office door, and recently on dd's bedroom door).  He is very selective of whose clothes he pees in (only ds's) and whose towels he attacks (again, only ds's).  I suppose I could take him in specifically for these behaviors, but he must be muzzled in order for them to examine him -- it's quite traumatic for everyone.  

 

I forgot to mention that he was neutered when he was four months old.  

Also, he does pee in the litter box, but poops outside of it, usually within a few feet of it, but recently further away, on carpeted areas.

 

The butt dragging is new.  That could be medical, but we haven't changed his food.  And, it's only occasional.  He hasn't done that in a few weeks.

 

The mouse thing is really what's driving me over the edge.  He has a cat door in the screen of our sliding glass door.  We installed it because he was tearing at the screen.  We have no A/C, just a swamp cooler, so we really need to keep that glass door open during the day for proper cooling (it's been in the 90s-100s here all week).  We close it at night, when most mice are awake, so that he can't go out and bring them in.  Tonight we didn't close it in time, and dh saw him bring the mouse in.  He thinks it was a deer mouse.  They carry Hanta Virus, among other concerns.

 

If we lock him inside (as we do in winter), he gets poop everywhere.  If we let him in and out, he brings in mice.  If we lock him out, either we close the glass door and roast from the heat, or he tears up the screen.  I hate being held hostage by a cat, even if he is beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are humane society centers which do placement rather than euthanizong offending animals. This worked out to be a good option for a friend whose most beautiful cat started peeing on everything related to the friend's now xh.

 

The humane society asked why she brought in the cat. My friend replied, "Because my husband didn't fit in the pillow case." Interestingly, the morning my friend took the cat in, it peed on my friend's wedding picture.

The cat was placed in a new home and did fine.

 

I'm sorry for this anxiety in your life.

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Have you already looked into behavioral (non medical) causes/solutions? Just reading this thread I'm thinking, "I wonder what Jackson Galaxy would say/recommend..."

 

There is possibly something(s) that is the root of this that can be addressed. From the cat's point of view you guys are ignoring all his messages maybe.

 

You can start by googling Jackson Gallaxy + issue or maybe watching some of the My Cat from Hell series on Netflix to see some issues/solutions offered. I don't know off hand much about these types of issues. I'm sorry you are dealing with them.

 

Was there anything else that changed during puberty that could be the root of the cat's weirdness... like deodorant/body spray etc. covering your ds' scent and making the cat confused about who he was? I suppose that's a long shot, I am just wondering what other things could have happened besides your child aging. Was the cat resentful that it was given less attention as time went on?

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Have you considered building a cat run? That way he probably wouldn't have access to mice, but still enjoy some outdoor time. Maybe move the litter box there? Connect the run to the cat door somehow?

 

 

 

This may or may not be helpful, but you can look around for other videos.

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Ditto looking into behavioral issues and medications.

 

There are some medications that can help tremendously with inappropriate elimination. IIRC one of them has something in the range of an 80 to 90 percent success rate. But I'm guessing he would be difficult to pill? I don't know if any of the medications are available in transdermal form or not. It would be something to check into. I understand that daily pilling of a cat like you describe might not be a feasible option.

 

For something that might help but is a step down from the big guns -- you could try some Feliway or one of the other pheromone products. They seem to have no effect on some animals, but I've heard of others where they worked miracles. There are all sorts of products now -- room diffusers, sprays, collars.

 

I'd also try some Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract cat litter if you haven't already. I've never needed to use it, but the reviews on Amazon are awesome.

 

I don't know for sure, but I expect a major problem is going to be that the situation has gone on for so long. Animals are just like humans in that the more long standing a behavior is the harder it is to stop.

 

I'd take the idea of taking him to a rescue or shelter off the table. Ask yourself if you'd want to adopt a senior cat with house soiling and other issues. No? Well, guess what -- nobody else does, either. Especially when there's an almost unlimited supply of kittens and young cats available for adoption who have no behavioral or medical issues. As someone who has worked in rescue for years I can tell you that in my experience it's a very, very lucky healthy senior cat who finds a home. For the ones with health or behavioral issues it just doesn't happen. If you turn him in you're almost certainly sentencing him to live out the rest of his life in a small cage or being euthanized w/o the comfort of someone he's known all his life holding him.

 

Now, having said all that -- I won't throw any cyber tomatoes at you if you decide to have him euthanized, or make him an outdoor cat. Of course there are always "cons" to owning a pet, but in general I think the experience should be a pleasure for everybody (including the animal), and I know living with a house soiling cat wouldn't be for me. At all. And honestly it doesn't sound like life is much fun for him, either.

Edited by Pawz4me
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I think it would scar the kids foreve. I also think it is so u fair for the cat. He has done this for years. Does he even know he's doing anything wrong?

 

J think the perfect solution would be a cat run plus meds and/or behavioral solutions mentioned above.

 

My mother got rid of my dog as a kid because it ran away and was a nuisance to her. She never tried to solve the problem. I came home from school one day and the dog was gone. I am 53 now and still think of her. My mom told me she brought the dog to a farm where she had lots of place to run. As an adult she told em the teuth - she brought it to the Humane Society. They regularly euthanize and it has forever scarred me.

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Same problem here, but it's a newish one. We've had great success so far with meds- anti anxiety.

But my cat I can get a pill into daily.

 

I don't know if you'll be able to stop a behavioral issue after years & now it's ingrained.

 

 

Dh would prefer to just get rid of the cat, but it's dds & she's already had a rough couple of years.

 

Good luck

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I'll be unpopular. I couldn't stand it one second more - don't know how you've stood it so long. If you're confident of a lack of medical issue - I'd get rid of him. I would not put him outside at coyote bait, but I would be considering my other options. I would be thinking about the health and safety of my home.

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I don't think a vet will probably be able to help - his problem is behavioral I'd say.  And spraying is a really  hard behavior to change.  The only thing I would say with doing business outside of the box is making sure you actually have enough of them - many people don't.

 

I also consider a cat that regularly sprays and pees in the wrong places in the house to be a cat that cannot live in a house.  I wouldn't take it to a pound either, it won't be any good for any other person's house either.

 

I did have a cat like this, and he went to live on a farm of a friend.  Probably a shorter life, but I don't always think length is the most important thing for a cat. He was a very good mouser and ratter though, so he could earn his keep there.

 

This is something I would consider euthanizing for, if you can't find that kind of situation.  Your vet might have some ideas about that aspect of things.

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I love animals with all my heart, but I would not let someone guilt you into thinking you had to keep him and all be miserable.  

 

After you rule out any medical or behavior problems that are fixable and affordable for you, I wouldn't rule out finding someone else to  take him.  I've known three people with cat problems who were able to re-home their cats.  One time it was with a farmer who agreed to take the cat and let him live in his barn, and the cat actually lived for many more years and thrived and became a fond outdoor pet of the farmer's.  The other two went to older couples who had no children at home and had a heart for animals.

 

Other than that, as difficult as I know it sounds, I don't think euthanizing is a decision to rule out either.  It sounds like you already have tried to do everything you can.

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New litter box, Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Litter (Amazon often has it for the best price), a sensory reset in a small, enclosed space (bathroom), and anti-anxiety meds. Then while the cat is in the sensory reset, use a black light and get rid of all the pee inside the house. Replace any other litter boxes with new, open ones. Make sure they're in good spots where he feels safe to use them. When he goes to the vet to get his anxiety pills, check for UTI and thyroid issues and whatever else the vet can think of. I had a pee-er. It was thyroid in mine.

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So you are asking if you should lock him out with the hope he is killed by a  predator, or take him to a shelter where he will be miserable for many years.

 

Have him euthanized. That way he can be with the person he knows at the end. It is less cruel than the other options.

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When we had a cat develop similar issues (well, no brining in mice, but all the peeing, hissing, etc.)  We did all the recommended stuff-had the vet check for medical issue, tried the feliway and similar, multiple cat boxes, etc etc.  Nothing worked.  I think he just became a crotchety old man cat lol.

 

We found a farm for him to be rehomed to. 

 

 

 

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I'll be unpopular. I couldn't stand it one second more - don't know how you've stood it so long. If you're confident of a lack of medical issue - I'd get rid of him. I would not put him outside at coyote bait, but I would be considering my other options. I would be thinking about the health and safety of my home.

Nodding with you!! The OP is a saint for dealing with this so long.
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I think euthanasia when he has never received help before is insanely cruel.

 

I did say behavior meds first. If those don't help, then there becomes a public health risk from having feces all over the house. That isn't healthy. Also, generally, if a pet is spraying and attacking things and defecating outside the box the pet is in distress, either physical or emotional. In this case it may be emotional, but if it can't be fixed (meds don't work, changes don't work) than is it more cruel to have a stressed out anxiety ridden pet for a few more years (while having feces all over the house on a regular basis) or to put the cat down, and adopt another cat that would have been euthanized? 

 

The cold hard fact is that every single day cats are euthanized, because we have too many cats and not enough homes. If she keeps this cat, who may be miserable, and is a health risk, then some other cat at the shelter will be euthanized because it doesn't have a home and it's time has run out. If she euthanizes this cat, she creates a space in her home to adopt that cat. Either way, one cat is euthanized. It's the hard truth that there are limited resources to be spent and sometimes those are best prioritized for a healthy pet. 

 

Cynical, but true. 

 

We had a cat we adopted as an orphaned, feral kitten. I loved that cat, but he grew up into a ball of stress. He was constantly freaked out, and started peeing on everything, hiding, hissing. We tried meds, phermones, hiding spots, everything. He was still freaked out. We considered making him outdoors or putting him on the patio, but he hated that even more. So I had him euthanized. It didn't make me happy to do so, but he was miserable, and the rest of us were dealing with health hazards from him. It was the right decision. And cleared a spot in our home to adopt another a few months later. 

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I'll be unpopular. I couldn't stand it one second more - don't know how you've stood it so long. If you're confident of a lack of medical issue - I'd get rid of him. I would not put him outside at coyote bait, but I would be considering my other options. I would be thinking about the health and safety of my home.

 

Same here. My dog has accidents around the house but only occasionally and it drives me absolutely nuts when it happens. No way could I deal with what you're describing. 50 mice in a year? The cat is supposed to SOLVE that problem, not make it worse! Possibly diseased mice? Nope, no way.

 

You've had him a long time and been a very loving understanding owner and put up with more than most people ever would. I wouldn't feel guilty about deciding that enough was enough and it was time to let him go. I wouldn't take him to a shelter or anything. I would stay with him till the end.

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Honestly, and this sounds cold I'm sure, barring any medical issues, I would euthanize the cat. I think rehoming older animals can often be harder on them than just being put to sleep, especially if he has strange behaviors that could potentially cause him to be placed several times.

 

Also, and I mentioned this in the dog thread, there are TONS of good, well-behaved, loving cats that desperately need chances at good homes; why take a spot away from one of those cats and place one with known issues?

 

This is just my opinion based on what I see around my area with the humane efforts. I know it's probably not popular opinion, but if every animal could have a home, rescue organizations wouldn't be turning pets away. I just think if some are gonna be euthanized, it should be the ones with known behavioral issues so the others would have a chance.

 

Editing to add: I'd be extremely certain I got out as much latent cat pee smell as possible before I brought in another cat or kitten. You may get a perfectly behaved one that never feels the need to mark its territory, but I don't know that I'd want it to have a reason to try.

Edited by StaceyinLA
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I'm not going to throw cyber tomatoes if you go for euthanasia, either. (Loved that, Pawz!).

 

I would probably try some of the ideas mentioned above, first.

 

One thought: how new is the cat door? You said the butt dragging is new, too. Could he have picked up something from the mice? That wouldn't explain years of this behavior though.

 

My mom adopted a stray cat, and it became an absolutely crazy situation. No spraying or pooping in the house, but he brought so many creatures in through the cat door - it was unsanitary. He was really ok, until the cat door went in. Then he started randomly attacking her, and I'd see her with scars. He finally went after her face and throat while she was sleeping. :( I helped her take him to be euthanized, and she just cried because she loved him, but he couldn't be rehomed either. I know that sounds extreme, but I wanted you to know you're not alone.

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probably not a popular opinion, but we put our cat down for less.  he was spraying or peeing everywhere even though he was fixed.  the vet suggested prozac because he wasn't ill.  Nor did I have the time or energy to deal with an animals behaviour and try to fix it.  I had young children and they needed my time more than the cat.  We were sad to put him down but I was not going to rearrange our life to suit an animal.  My time and energy are limited and people take priority.  We still have his sister and she will probably be with us until she dies. 

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Cat pee is something I absolutely could not tolerate -- I'd have taken the cat to a shelter in a heartbeat. I like cats but won't own one on the off chance that it would have accidents.

 

 

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:grouphug: I sympathize and could not live with that mice, poop and pee everywhere all.the.time...   He would have to change or he would have to go, and I honestly can't imagine him changing those behaviors at his age.  

 

This decision is better made by you alone or with dh, as I imagine your kids will not want the guilt or anxiety of choosing.

 

I agree in the future another cat, esp a male one, will likely feel the need to continue to mark where he has.  

 

 

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I think euthanasia when he has never received help before is insanely cruel.

It's not what I'd personally do, but, the op is talking about locking the animal outside to die. Pet owners who do that are not going to pay for a cat like this to get help. It would take months of patience (and expense). I just don't see it in the real of possibility.

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New litter box, Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Litter (Amazon often has it for the best price), a sensory reset in a small, enclosed space (bathroom), and anti-anxiety meds. Then while the cat is in the sensory reset, use a black light and get rid of all the pee inside the house. Replace any other litter boxes with new, open ones. Make sure they're in good spots where he feels safe to use them. When he goes to the vet to get his anxiety pills, check for UTI and thyroid issues and whatever else the vet can think of. I had a pee-er. It was thyroid in mine.

This. 

 

A more extreme version of the sensory reset is also possible. 

 

I know someone who runs a cat rescue & she reports this. 

 

They have had a bunch of times when they take in a cat for inappropriate elimination after the owners have done *everything* but nothing has helped.  This is a local no kill shelter which specializes in 'difficult' cats. 

 

The thing is, sometimes these cats arrive & never do inappropriate elimination again. Some have been happily adopted and are totally fine in their new home.  

 

She suspects being relocated in a strange place is a severe version of the 'sensory reset' and has since been recommending a trial run of having the cat boarded at boarding facility. Not in a caged facility like vets have but in a cat hotel. Do 2-3 weeks in the hotel. Meanwhile clean your house like crazy - get a black light and enzymatic pet stain/odor cleaners and clean everything. Get new litter boxes, feliway etc. Take the cat back and see what happens. 

 

And absolutely regular blood panel, thyroid scan & xrays. Anti anxiety meds work well too. 

 

 

(& I'm biting my tongue hard from saying more because I have nothing nice to say about some of the advice...... ) 

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Have you considered building a cat run? That way he probably wouldn't have access to mice, but still enjoy some outdoor time. Maybe move the litter box there? Connect the run to the cat door somehow?

 

 

This may or may not be helpful, but you can look around for other videos.

 

This was going to be my suggestion also!

 

And perhaps even making it his full-time area. Build a small "hen house" or barn type or dog house thing and place it within a larger, screened in enclosure. If he misses the litter box or sprays, no big deal, and he can still hunt (albeit less successfully!) outdoor prey.

 

It's cheaper and easier than a lifetime of anxiety meds (for you and the cat both LOL), it lets the cat live out his natural life, and it allows you to reclaim your home and life.

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I agree with some of the advice about getting new litter boxes/cleaning up best you can. Do you know how old your litter box(es) are? Maybe they are due for an upgrade. Do you think you clean the litter/swap out the litter as often as the cat would like? No judgement, I haven't been cleaning mine as often as I used to. Used to do 2x a day. I use Dr. Elsey's line of litter. We have used both Cat Attract and Precious Cat. Briefly the Precious Cat skyrocketed on Amazon and it was out of stock at the nearest pet store so I was pretty frustrated. Last time I checked it said it could take up to a month to ship on Amazon. Okay it's in stock now and not for a ridiculous price. Buy now! lol.

 

Never heard of behavior meds. I was thinking more along the line of "what is causing your cat anxiety? Can you do anything to remove it?" I figured the peeing and stuff was in response to something upsetting the cat. Even a litter box they were refusing to use for some reason.

 

Would adding things around the house make the cat feel more at home and relaxed? A cat seat by the window. Cat toys. The cat might be bored? Supposedly when cats bring us prey it's because they are trying to teach us to hunt lol. I had previously heard it was a "gift" but the hunting thing was the last thing I read.

 

I just can't jump to "get rid of it" when it sounds like the problem solving hasn't gone past medical.

Edited by heartlikealion

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It's not what I'd personally do, but, the op is talking about locking the animal outside to die. Pet owners who do that are not going to pay for a cat like this to get help. It would take months of patience (and expense). I just don't see it in the real of possibility.

 

Well the OP has literally been cleaning up the messes inside the home daily for years so she may be willing to try some things that takes months. I would have been at my wit's end long ago.

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Neutered and fully vaccinated, kitty would be given shelter outside and become an outdoor kitty with a nice house inside the garage for the winter if it is cold in your location, and the kitty would be visited and petted regularly outdoors.

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New litter box, Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Litter (Amazon often has it for the best price), a sensory reset in a small, enclosed space (bathroom), and anti-anxiety meds. Then while the cat is in the sensory reset, use a black light and get rid of all the pee inside the house. Replace any other litter boxes with new, open ones. Make sure they're in good spots where he feels safe to use them. When he goes to the vet to get his anxiety pills, check for UTI and thyroid issues and whatever else the vet can think of. I had a pee-er. It was thyroid in mine.

As a non-cat owner, I am very curious about what the bill would be for such interventions, particularly the medical testing and anxiety meds.

 

I realize it isn't about cash (or shouldn't be?), but I personally can't help but wonder.

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As a non-cat owner, I am very curious about what the bill would be for such interventions, particularly the medical testing and anxiety meds.

 

I realize it isn't about cash (or shouldn't be?), but I personally can't help but wonder.

 

A medical exam here costs about $65. 

 

Blood tests range from 50-85, depending on which panel you pick. Thyroid testing is extra, usually around $50. 

 

Urine testing depends on whether you're doing a urinalysis or culturing. It will run anywhere from 25-50. 

 

xrays run about 35-50 each; for a kitty you can usually just do one or two. It will be more if you need sedation. 

 

Meds themselves are often inexpensive because cats are relatively small (compared to a 100lb dog for ex) but they can cost more if you choose to have the compounded in a palatable paste etc. 

 

 

Owning pets & caring for them properly is expensive.

 

 

That's why I personally believe people really need to think carefully before acquiring a pet, and either consider insurance, or if you're a disciplined person, put aside regular savings (like 25-50/month) or, if you're willing to go into debt, have a credit card set aside with a decent limit and use it only for pets. 

 

Generally pets are cheaper when young - after you've done the vaccines and spay/neutered, all that's left is the annual vet check up + food and grooming + toys. If you put aside money monthly during the early years, you can have a nice savings which you use when they get older and need more medical care.  If you build up a nice balance you can raid it in the pet's midlife for more 'routine' but expensive care such as a dental which can run well over $500 & more if there are extractions etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As a non-cat owner, I am very curious about what the bill would be for such interventions, particularly the medical testing and anxiety meds.

 

I realize it isn't about cash (or shouldn't be?), but I personally can't help but wonder.

 

Litter boxes should be replaced every year. Locking the cat in your bathroom is free. Medical testing and treatment is something I believe one takes on when one assumes the responsibility of having a pet. If it's something easily treatable, treat it. If it's not and the cat is suffering, euthanize him. Anti-anxiety meds are generally available as inexpensive generics. Mine was on generic buspar before we hit on the thyroid issue. Thyroid and kidney issues aren't unusual in cats. Treating the issue is a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing carpet, floorboards, walls, towels, etc. and a hell of a lot more humane than feeding the cat to the coyotes.

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Thanks hornblower and zoobie, that is quite an investment. We have allergies so haven't been able to have a dog or cat, but dh and I have considered that with feeding a houseful of teens, we couldn't also afford to feed a pet! We weren't considering ongoing medical costs, but I have come to realize that animals require more than initial vacs and spay/neutering.

 

It is definitely something to be considered on the front end of making a decision about pet ownership.

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Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions.  I have tried Feliway, but it had no effect.  Through the years, we have washed and replaced the litter boxes numerous times.  We have tried different types of litters (sawdust pellets for several years, until he started rejecting it, then various types of scented and unscented clumping clays.  Haven't heard of cat-attracting litter before.  It might be worth a try, if I can get it with free shipping (Prime).  I don't know if it will help. He will poop right outside a completely clean box, yet pee inside.  His boxes are in a low traffic space, downstairs, it's a walk-through storage area that leads to my dh's office.  Definitely a safe space.  

 

 

Have you already looked into behavioral (non medical) causes/solutions? Just reading this thread I'm thinking, "I wonder what Jackson Galaxy would say/recommend..."

 

There is possibly something(s) that is the root of this that can be addressed. From the cat's point of view you guys are ignoring all his messages maybe.

 

You can start by googling Jackson Gallaxy + issue or maybe watching some of the My Cat from Hell series on Netflix to see some issues/solutions offered. I don't know off hand much about these types of issues. I'm sorry you are dealing with them.

 

Was there anything else that changed during puberty that could be the root of the cat's weirdness... like deodorant/body spray etc. covering your ds' scent and making the cat confused about who he was? I suppose that's a long shot, I am just wondering what other things could have happened besides your child aging. Was the cat resentful that it was given less attention as time went on?

 

I will look at videos, to see how they address these problems.  The deodorant/scent issue definitely became prominent during my ds's puberty.  Ds went through the "Axe Everything" phase for awhile.  He was really worried about BO, and he really loved Axe!   :)  He's over it now, and the cat does seem to have cut back on using ds's clothes as a litter box.  I always attributed the cat's behavior to my son's pheromones, but you could be on to something.  In general, we're a scentless family, so all that Axe might have confused and upset the cat.  Thanks.  

 

 

I'm not going to throw cyber tomatoes if you go for euthanasia, either. (Loved that, Pawz!).

I would probably try some of the ideas mentioned above, first.

One thought: how new is the cat door? You said the butt dragging is new, too. Could he have picked up something from the mice? That wouldn't explain years of this behavior though.

My mom adopted a stray cat, and it became an absolutely crazy situation. No spraying or pooping in the house, but he brought so many creatures in through the cat door - it was unsanitary. He was really ok, until the cat door went in. Then he started randomly attacking her, and I'd see her with scars. He finally went after her face and throat while she was sleeping. :( I helped her take him to be euthanized, and she just cried because she loved him, but he couldn't be rehomed either. I know that sounds extreme, but I wanted you to know you're not alone.

 

 

We've had the cat door for several years, and he occasionally brought in a mouse to play with, or a lizard.  Once he tried to bring in a huge bird, but couldn't get it through the door.  (I yelled at him to let go, and he did.  The bird got away) He always killed what he brought in, though.  It wasn't really a problem until last year.  We think maybe he brought in a pregnant mouse, because we suddenly had a REAL problem in our crawl/storage space (we killed about 15 mice in two days).  It has been an ongoing problem ever since.  We know he's not bringing in ALL these mice, but dh saw him bring in the one last night.  We try to keep him in at night, since that's when the mice come out, but we forgot last night.  Maybe he's getting bored with them, or just slower, so he sometimes lets them go.

 

 

 

DH has had it with the cat.  He doesn't want him in the house anymore.  He put the cat outside last night, and fed him out there this morning.  Pumken stays very close to the house, mostly up on the deck, so I'm not concerned about the coyotes in the short term.  But, as he gets bolder, though, he might stray farther away.  And, it's way too cold in the winter for him to be out there.  We don't have an outbuilding for him to stay in, and I know dh won't want him in the garage, pooping and peeing everywhere.

 

Maybe advertising for a barn situation would be the best option.  He could live out his days hunting, and would be a friendly and loving outdoor pet.  (He's just hissy when he's in a carrier/kennel or when he's on the stainless steel table at the vet, or if someone approaches him wearing latex gloves.)  He's super friendly and loving in a family situation.  

 

I will take him to the vet before I do anything, and ask for ideas.  I will look at the videos recommended here, and any others I can find.  I will look for people advertising for a barn cat.  I won't do anything rash.  In the meantime, I really need to find that stupid mouse that is locked in the closet/bathroom.  I managed to catch it's tail on a sticky trap, but it got away.  Ugh.  There are five more traps in there, and I sealed off the doors.  What a nuisance.  

 

Edited by Suzanne in ABQ
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Our cat did really well on a prescription for Prozac. I know how frustrating it can be.

 

 

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Also, he does pee in the litter box, but poops outside of it, usually within a few feet of it, but recently further away, on carpeted areas.

 

The butt dragging is new.  That could be medical, but we haven't changed his food.  And, it's only occasional.  He hasn't done that in a few weeks.

 

  

 

We have a senior male (neutered) orange tabby, too!   

 

Sorry to be graphic, but I'll share this in case it might help:  

I started finding poop outside the litter box and sometimes out in the hall.  We have two cats so at first I didn't know which one was doing it.  Then I saw our male cat go into the box to poop, but nothing fell into the box...it was hanging from him until he started scooting his butt out on the floor.  It didn't happen every time, but on a regular basis until I figured out that the turkey deli meat treat that I had been giving the cats was causing constipation.  

Has anyone actually seen him poop outside the box?  

Is there any chance your cat could be having constipation problems?  Does he eat dry cat food and not drink enough water?   When I figured out that the turkey treat was causing the problem I started giving the cats "people" sardines packed in water once in awhile instead...you could try that when you find poop outside the box since the fish oil might help if he's constipated.  

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As someone whose parents took my (not trained, behavior problem, parents shouldn't have loaded all the training responsibility onto an 11 yo) dog to be put down while I was away at camp...please don't do that to your DD. Make the decision as a family, or at least give everyone a chance to say goodbye if that's what it comes to.

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A medical exam here costs about $65.

 

Blood tests range from 50-85, depending on which panel you pick. Thyroid testing is extra, usually around $50.

 

Urine testing depends on whether you're doing a urinalysis or culturing. It will run anywhere from 25-50.

 

xrays run about 35-50 each; for a kitty you can usually just do one or two. It will be more if you need sedation.

 

Meds themselves are often inexpensive because cats are relatively small (compared to a 100lb dog for ex) but they can cost more if you choose to have the compounded in a palatable paste etc.

 

 

Owning pets & caring for them properly is expensive.

 

 

That's why I personally believe people really need to think carefully before acquiring a pet, and either consider insurance, or if you're a disciplined person, put aside regular savings (like 25-50/month) or, if you're willing to go into debt, have a credit card set aside with a decent limit and use it only for pets.

 

Generally pets are cheaper when young - after you've done the vaccines and spay/neutered, all that's left is the annual vet check up + food and grooming + toys. If you put aside money monthly during the early years, you can have a nice savings which you use when they get older and need more medical care. If you build up a nice balance you can raid it in the pet's midlife for more 'routine' but expensive care such as a dental which can run well over $500 & more if there are extractions etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the bolded, I have been thinking about this for a long time: I have come to think that pet ownership is becoming an elitist activity.

 

It deserves it's own thread for sure; I don't want to hijack. But I'm not sure it's a good thing it has become so expensive to own a pet.

 

With that said, I am astounded that many people consider euthenizing a healthy cat for behavior problems to be acceptable. I must be very naive because I had no idea people do this. I thought dangerous dogs were the only pets that had a high probability of being directly euthanized for behavior.

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With that said, I am astounded that many people consider euthenizing a healthy cat for behavior problems to be acceptable. I must be very naive because I had no idea people do this. I thought dangerous dogs were the only pets that had a high probability of being directly euthanized for behavior.

 

I am one of the people who suggested it.  I don't know if I'd say it's "acceptable". It's not something I've ever done, for sure.   But. Right now her husband is not allowing the cat into the house anymore.    If the options are, lock the cat out until it dies or euthanize, I can't say I think abandoning the animal to the elements is not preferable.

 

Of course there is also send it to a shelter, but OP indicated the cat would be miserable there and is not adoptable (which, I agree).

 

Again, I don't like the idea of killing a healthy animal.  I just found it preferable to the alternatives that the OP was considering.

 

Hope the barn things works out. 

 

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Again, I don't like the idea of killing a healthy animal.  I just found it preferable to the alternatives that the OP was considering.

 

Hope the barn things works out. 

 

Same here. 

 

And as much as yes, lots of money and effort goes into pet owning, that is part of why there are so many pets euthanized daily in my town. At some point there is an ethical decision to be made, if the money and effort are better spent on more heathy animals. I know that sounds terrible, but really, it's something I think about a lot. When I see rescues pour so much money into the rehab of one animals, when 10 could be spayed/neutered for that price and homed, it makes me think twice. 

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With that said, I am astounded that many people consider euthenizing a healthy cat for behavior problems to be acceptable. I must be very naive because I had no idea people do this. I thought dangerous dogs were the only pets that had a high probability of being directly euthanized for behavior.

 

At this point, this cat's behavior might be more dangerous than a nippy dog because it is spreading feces and urine with their germs all over the place. That combined with not killing the mice it is bringing in the house in an area where there is Hanta virus is a real health hazard to its humans.

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DH has had it with the cat.  He doesn't want him in the house anymore.  He put the cat outside last night, and fed him out there this morning.  Pumken stays very close to the house, mostly up on the deck, so I'm not concerned about the coyotes in the short term.  But, as he gets bolder, though, he might stray farther away.  And, it's way too cold in the winter for him to be out there.  We don't have an outbuilding for him to stay in, and I know dh won't want him in the garage, pooping and peeing everywhere.

 

If you {Google/Pinterest/Instagram/Whatever} something like "feral cats" and "winter" or "housing" you'll find all sorts of ideas for inexpensive outdoor shelters.

 

Our feral colony is just over 20 cats. Our winters bring freezing ice and sleet (no snow) and every time I left the garage door open, the possums and other wildlife followed in behind the cats. I needed a better solution! I found a ton online. The easiest one for me was a large Styrofoam cooler that we cut an entry hole into. We packed hay/small pet bedding into trash bags and taped those to the outside of each exposed side. It was truly hideous but it worked LOL. Some people set the Styrofoam coolers into larger Rubbermaid tubs with only loose hay insulation, but with so many cats that just wasn't in my budget.

 

The cats still did their pee and poo around the yard, which doesn't bother me. We had some cheap towels that we replaced every 1-2 days, "cat rags" which get their own wash load and are generally our cast-offs. I continued to feed and water them outside to keep the cooler clean. I fed them up on the patio with an atrocious looking windbreak made from two drying racks and a tarp. They liked hang out there during the day.

 

I've found that our colony pretty well keeps to the perimeter. They definitely don't wander, but they do have a 2-3 house area that they stick to which is a 3-4 acre radius. They're always close enough that they can hear me crack open the window I feed them through!

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I love cats.  I have always had cats.  I will always have cats.  Mine have always been and will always be exclusively indoors.  I have volunteered at cat shelters many times over the years.  I gave my senior cat subcutaneous fluids for the last 3 years of her life.  I am a cat person.

 

All that to say.....if you're certain there isn't an underlying medical condition, either find a no-kill shelter to take the cat (which isn't always easy because they are often full), or have him euthanized.  It is no longer a healthy situation for your family or for the cat. Pets should enhance your lives and you theirs.  Right now, you're barely tolerating him (understanably so) and he knows that, so he's not happy with you, either.  

 

 

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I want to say I have some sympathy as our cat keeps pooing outside the litter (like right next to it) and spits hairballs up randomly on the kids toys or bedding which is kinda gross. We changed kitty litter and food she was good for a while but she's gone back to the old ways. She thankfully doesn't pee! I think I'd consider getting the vet to eliminate any health issues first. But scooting often means works. You could set up and outdoor run where cat can pee, poo and have outside time without the dangers I guess. At this stage ours is still on, but I definitely would appreciate it if she hit the litter box every time! Cat poo is really gross.

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Taking an i doir cat of 12 years and placing him in a freezing barn in the qinter isn't an acceptable option unless they provide a heated house for it.

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