I had told myself a few years ago that despite loving my childhood pet cats, that I wouldn't have pets as an adult because I couldn't dedicate the time to play with them and care for them, and because I didn't want the myriad of other responsibilities.
However, I am a bleeding heart softie, and a local barista complained for weeks last year about being unable to rehome her cat as she was moving back in with her parents, and their dog would certainly attack her cat and blah blah blah. I felt sympathy... I missed having a cat... I was stupid.
I went to meet the cat. She was friendly and sweet, about 7yrs old and living indoors in an apartment, which was important since she'd have to be indoor only with us too.
Long story short, we've had her over a year now, the cat is much nicer to strangers than the people it lives with. She bites us all the time, and even bit my newborn daughter's toe last week. She is super cuddly and then BAM! Surprise attack!
Additionally she poops on anything soft we leave on the ground. It took me a while to discover this, because I used to have only hardwood floors, but now two rooms are carpeted and she poops on the carpet EVERYTIME we leave the doors open, meaning we've had to install a cat barrier to the bedrooms.
She also poops on any towel or blanket that finds it's way to the floor and once on spilled potting soil that I waited a few hours to clean up.
I tried contacting her previous owner, who admitted that she was poopy and bite-y when she lived with her too, but she conveniently didn't mention that when trying to get us to take her away.
For the pooping we've tried:
- Different litters
- Cleaning daily instead of casually every 2-3 days
- Moving the litter box to a less trafficked bathroom
- bigger litter box
- figuring out if something is stressing her
- dental work and a vet check up (she's perfectly healthy)
- one of those calming hormone diffusers
- different foods
But we've resorted to:
- "Punishment" that is, yelling "NO" when we catch her in the act, but nothing physical or more than that
- barriers to the rooms she likes to poop in
- getting really efficient at cleaning up poop
For the biting we've tried:
- being more attentive to her cues (stop petting/cuddling early before she turns on us)
- playing with her more often to get her energy out
- providing more toys for when she is alone
- "clicker training" to give her intellectual exercise, which doesn't work because she isn't very food motivated, and will only eat from her bowl.
But we've resorted to:
- Mostly ignoring her :(
I now have a newborn and still all my old responsibilities, so this poor cat is getting less attention than ever and the only thing I can think of left to do is get rid of her.... but I can't in good conscience lie about her bad habits, and no one is going to want a cranky kitty who shits on everything.
I am just at the end of my rope. This October marks 2 yrs of trying to be a kind home to this cat, and getting nowhere. On top of all the daily stress, I feel like I can't even think of moving, though we need to, because we can't live anywhere with carpeting in the main living area.
This cat is seriously a burden on our household to a level I hadn't even IMAGINED possible when I took her in.
Writing about life-long learning and discovery at: www.neoapprentice.com
:: A neo-apprentice knows there are no true masters.
25yo FTM to a Wiggle Panda , student teacher , newlywed
Wow. That is tough. From one bleeding heart softie to another, I feel your pain.
Have you tried talking to someone in the area who deals with animals? Maybe a good pet shop? I know our local Petsmart has a training center for dogs but I'm not sure about cats. I;d try to find someone who specializes in cat behavior and see if that person can help the kittie stop the behavior.