Cat poops on furniture, DH ready to throw in the towel - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-13-2010, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all! I am a mama to an 11 mo DS and two big, furry boy cats, Mookie and Porter. Mookie is my problem child. He is a nervous cat. When a change happens i.e DS was born, we moved a month ago, he spends the entire day in the basement under a shelf. This behavior lasts for months. Accompanying the hiding is pooping on the furniture. He does it at night when we're asleep so we can't catch him in the act. We have two litter boxes both of which he uses most of the time. We use Feliway sprayed directly on the couches and we have the diffusers but not in every room. The Feliway seems to help but we have to religiously spray the couches every day right before we go to bed. We forgot last night so we woke up to a nice pile of poop on the couch. My DH is frustrated beyond belief about the behavior and is ready to get rid of Mookie. He'll be 8 this year and I feel that we made a committment when we adopted him to have him be a part of our family for as long as he's alive. Before DS was born, Mookie would go through these phases of pooping and hiding so I don't think that it is necessarily DS's birth that brought all this on. I don't want Mookie to stay with us if it means that he's going to spend the rest of his life hiding under a shelf in the basement. I can't imagine that that makes him happy. Sorry this is so long and rambling. I guess I'm trying to ask if anyone else has had this problem and if there was a solution other than getting rid of the cat. Thanks!

I guess I should also add that maybe about once a year, he'll pee on the furniture too but it's mostly just pooping. From all the things I've read, pooping and peeing seem like two separate issues so I wanted to clarify.

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#2 of 9 Old 07-13-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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Go to the vet. Consider anti-anxiety medication for your cat. Yeah, it sounds weird, but it's a possible solution.

Also in the meantime can you contain Mookie to a furniture-free area at night? We have been doing this to our cat who peed under the bed a few times. She is set up with a litter box and food and water in the kitchen, plus a little hut to sleep in.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#3 of 9 Old 07-13-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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I just posted something about Feliway - and just talked to a rep on the phone.

She said the diffuser works better than the spray - something about the ingredients being different and the spray only being potent for so long.

I know from having cats you need to thoroughly remove the pee and the scent before they will leave it alone. I have one of those mini deep cleaning units and use that to remove scents. It works great. Clean your couch thoroughly and either cover with tarps or put the cat in another room.

And put the diffusers in whatever room the cat is in - his confinement room and the room with the furniture makes sense.

I had one cat person tell me to isolate the offensive cat in a room for 30 days with the diffuser. She had a cat that sprayed and this worked for her. She does cat rescue. Her offending cat never sprayed again.

call the Feliway people - they will call you right back and you can discuss with them

http://www.feliway.com/us
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#4 of 9 Old 07-13-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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http://www.amazon.com/IRIS-Pet-Wire-.../dp/B000VZXROU

This thing saved our relationship with our cat. She started peeing on the floor next to the catbox, no matter how clean it was. No medical problems. We put her in this for a week, then put her in there to sleep at night. Each night, we put her up, just like kenneling a dog. We did operate on it though...we bought a board, then made the upper level bigger with just a small hole to get up and down. Then, we put her bed up there. We kept the catbox on the bottom part.

I wouldn't give her to a shelter now..they're way too full.

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#5 of 9 Old 07-13-2010, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The problem with containment is that he pretty much contains himself in the basement under the shelf until we go to sleep. If we shut the basement door, we would have to contain Porter down there too. Porter doesn't have any behavior issues and really enjoys sleeping/cuddling with us. I feel like Porter would be adversely affected by the containment since he isn't doing anything wrong. My other hesitation with the containment is that would mean we literally would never see Mookie. The only time he comes out of the basement and interacts with us is at night. If we shut him down there when we sleep, it would be like not having him at all. He would never, and I mean never, see us since he doesn't come out from under the shelf until nighttime. That's part of my dilemma. Is he at all happy spending all his time crouched under the shelf in the basement? If we could find a home for him, maybe with a senior or a couple with no children and no other pets, wouldn't that be the better situation for him? I'm not saying that I want to get rid of him; I really just want him to be happy and for us not to have poop covered furniture.

PP, I did send an e-mail to Feliway. Maybe they can offer some advice.

Maria blahblah.gif, wife to A malesling.GIF, mama to DS M 8/09 2whistle.gif and DS L 6/12 biggrinbounce.gif

 

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#6 of 9 Old 07-13-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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I would also try containing him, with the Feliway, whether or not it's convenient.

I'm working with a cat we got at a shelter in November. He did not poop in the litter ever (would urinate there just fine) no matter what we did. First we had him contained either in a crate or a small bathroom and he'd still find a way to poop on the floor or shelf or wherever, and when we'd let him out, he'd sneak off and poop somewhere.

I finally got some good advice on a cat bb. We've been keeping him contained in a bathroom with a Feliway diffuser. First we covered the floor with litter boxes containing different types of litter. We figured out which one he liked best.

Then we started removing the extras, one by one. Amazingly, he didn't just start pooping on the floor again--the Feliway worked. We now are down to having him overnight in the bathroom with the one litterbox, and more and more out with us during the day. I think having him in a confined space where he's really getting exposed to the Feliway is key.

He hasn't had an incident in a month. In a few more weeks, we'll probably give up the confinement if this good behavior continues.
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#7 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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I know you don't like the idea of containing him but you have to decide which bothers you more--a pile of poop on the furniture or spending less time with the cats.

I would try anti anxiety meds and Feliway but those are maybe's and they might work...but they might not. The only sure fire way to prevent poop is to restrict cat access to furniture. If you are considering rehoming the cat over this, I'd certainly contain him.

I disagree that either cat will feel 'punished'. Cats do not think that way. They like the basement, they choose to spend all day down there. Being kept down there is not a punishment. Perhaps if you keep them down there at night, they will actually come up to see you more during the day.

I have one cat that wakes me up at night wanting food. No response will stop her. She does it every night no matter what. So, both our cats are locked in a spare room at night. There have been no adverse affects. No stress, and I enjoy the cats more during the day. You can train cats, but for many behaviors, cats can be very tough to change.

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#8 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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I'm the one who posted that we've been containing our girl cat in the kitchen. I was really worried about it, actually - for the exact same reason. She hides under the bed all day and it's like we only have one cat (the other one).

We do not contain the other cat in the kitchen, we have him all set up with food and water and litter outside the kitchen, so there's two of everything.

I was almost shocked to see that in our case, our contained cat seemed happier. She is anxious and I think going to the bathroom is completely related to that. The male cat can harrass her and I've actually observed him whacking her while she was sitting in the litter box (how awful!!). So she's taken to "holding it" until 4am when the house is asleep. Even then, we frequently find a small turd leading away from the litter box - not because she pooped in the wrong place but because she started running out of the box before she was 100% done. Sigh. (Fortunately we don't consider those a huge problem, easy to clean up off the kitchen floor - and they are just little turds, not whole poops).

So I think sometimes she peed under the bed (where she "lived") when she couldn't hold it. This sounds awful, doesn't it? What an awful life but I don't know what to do about it. The male cat is not always on her case or anything, but she's so skittish that the occasional abuse will just send her into a tizzy.

When we contained her to the kitchen at night, I was shocked to discover right away that we saw her MORE. Not at night of course. But she seems to have quickly understood that she's alone in there and can relax, eat, drink, and take a crap at her leisure. Also she can sleep better, I think.

It's not like I see her "all the time" now, but suddenly I started seeing her fairly frequently in the day. She also goes outside a lot, which is new for her (and I'm happy about - she needs stimulation and interest and exercise in her life, which the underside of the bed just can't provide).

You can just try it. I was so horrified by shutting her away in the kitchen that the only thing that made me feel ok about it was saying "it's temporary, let's just see."

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#9 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys! I didn't think about Feliway in the basement where he hides. Maybe that will help him feel calm down there too. Because of 11 mo DS and the way our house is set up, there's not really a way that I can do two separate litter/food/water set-ups for both cats. We have a vet appointment on July 20 so we'll see what the dr. says. I like our vet a lot and he is very in tune with animals (as a vet should be, I guess ). I think that he'll be able to steer us in the right direction, whatever that might be. He pooped on a different couch last night so DH is really hot now, but I told him that we aren't going to even talk about a new home for Mookie until after the vet appointment and some different Feliway locations.

Maria blahblah.gif, wife to A malesling.GIF, mama to DS M 8/09 2whistle.gif and DS L 6/12 biggrinbounce.gif

 

Everything will be ok in the end.  If it's not ok, then it's not the end - Paolo Coelho  

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