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Discussion Starter #1
lil background:<br>
i am 26 weeks pregnant, and sore alot. have SPD and bad sciatic pain most days, not to mention just the regular aches and uggg feeling of being 26 weeks pregnant.<br>
Addy will be 3 in July, she has always been advanced, and really does understand EVERYTHING we say. she has been pretty good about minding and following directions, even complicated directions with more than two steps for about a year now. she KNOWS how.<br><br>
we got a cat a few weeks ago. the cat and Addy LOVE eachother. Addy is totally enamored with the cat, and same with the cat for Addy, she climbs into Addys lap and lets Addy hug and kiss and love on her. she is so tolerant of Addys very toddler/preschool ness and Addy thinks the cat is just the best thing ever. it really is a sweet relationship.<br><br>
except for the past week and a half Addy has been taking the cats food dish and water dish and dumping them in the cats litter box.<br>
usually just after the cat has been freshly fed and watered.<br>
i have been trying to feed and water the cat at night only, but then there is still food and water in the dishes in the morning and if my back is turned, or if i am going to the bathroom and forget to bring her with me (do i REALLY need to do that with such a smart almost 3 year old?!) she will rush to get the cat food and water in the covered litterbox.<br><br>
its wasting SO much catfood.<br><br>
we have talked about how the kitty needs her food to stay in her dish so she can eat it.<br>
that she gets hungry and has an owwie tummy if she doesnt have any food in her dish to eat. and we love the kitty and dont want the kitty to have an owwie tummy.<br><br>
i have even resorted to putting her in her favorite chair for a few minutes while i cool off after it happens so i dont scream and yell.<br><br>
i am just so frustrated and upset about this. i mean i know it could be TONS worse, she could be trying to hurt the cat... and she isnt, but, geeez! this is a DAILY thing.<br><br>
and now my poor cat has to wait until bedtime to get fed. again. cause if i put her food out now Addy will just dump it again.<br><br>
*sigh*<br><br>
any ideas experts?<br><br>
i am trying so hard to keep my cool. i was raised in a yelling household, and when i get angry and frustrated and upset its my knee jerk reaction to yell. and i try SO hard to not yell at her. i dont want her being raised in a yelling household.<br>
i dont want her feeling badly.<br><br>
i need to control my anger and not yell, i KNOW that.<br>
how do i get her to stop putting the food and water in the litter box?<br>
and NO they cannot be moved. we have no space for them anywhere else in our tiny apartment.
 

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Can you setup something else for her to pour and mix? Maybe even something that kind of looks like catfood and litter?<br><br>
I had a box of dried pinto beans for my ds that he still plays with (4yo). At first it was a great space to fill and dump. Now it is more of a creative/fantasy play area for his cars and animals.<br><br>
I would try to create a space for her to do these activities that don't involve the cat's stuff. You might also want to tell her that the litter box area is really dirty and she needs to stay away from it.<br><br>
Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oh we have talked about the germs and poop and how its dirty and could make her sick...<br>
she has a rice box, AND a bean box to play in. she isnt dumping and mixing, its just putting the food and water IN the litter box. then walking away. and its like she is frantic and rushing to do it too. i have never ever seen her act like this, at all.<br>
she just isnt a defiant kid, never has been.<br>
and she normally is sooo awesome about following directions and minding and following house rules. we have SO few rules, but leaving the cats food, water and litter ALONE is one of them.<br><br>
i am thinking maybe its her way of acting out cause DH is working more hours and she is seeing him less, and she just needs to get it out.<br><br>
she uses her words so well and says daily "i am very upset, because daddy went to work today" or "that makes me so angry/lonely/upset/sad/dissapointed/etc" so for her to not use her words and do this... i dont know, its just not like her at all.
 

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Do you think it might help to have her feed and water the cat each day? (with some coaching, of course.) Maybe she would feel more comitted to the purpose they serve if she was involved? And -- to take the idea further -- maybe you could create a special "cave" to put over the food and water bowl to stimulate the covered litter box? You could make it out of a carboard box and let her decorate it. Then she could pour the food and water and carry the dishes over to put them in the "cave." One side would be open, of course.<br><br>
Its hard for me to imagine dealing with a litter box being accessible to a young child. I would not have trusted my kids not to fish around in it! Whats going to happen with the new baby and the litter box?<br><br>
Do you have more than one bathroom? When we were in an apt. with a cat, we put the litter box in one of the bathrooms and then fixed a baby gate in the doorway about 6 inches off the floor. It was high enough for the cat to crawl under, but not the baby. Of course, then we had to step over the gate and leave the door open to pee... but it was worth the peace of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
our one bathroom is SMALL and the litter box, even if it were the size of a shoebox wouldnt fit in the bathroom.<br><br>
other than dumping the food and water in it she leaves the litter box alone. she knows that is where the kitty goes poop and pee and it has germs. we HAVE talked about it alot.<br><br>
the new baby wont be allowed access to the littler box. we will be in a new place with a different set up by the time the baby can crawl. i trust my child to not fish around in cat crap. i trust her to use the bathroom by herself and call when she needs help, never ever ever has she played in her own poop, and she hasnt had an inkling to do so in the cat poop. she is NOT a poo smearer by any means. she is a very very very tidy smart lil girl, and i am actually SHOCKED that she even goes near the litter box at all. and she ONLY does when she puts the food and water in it.<br><br>
the cave sounds like a good idea, i dont know if the cat will go for it, but it would get her involved. also maybe she DOES need to be helping me feed and water the cat.<br><br>
we will try that out tomorrow.
 

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Wow - this is a tough one!<br><br>
Just wondering - have you asked her why she is doing it (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: I'm sure you have!), and if so, what does she say about it?
 

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Hm, dunno if it's like what I have here, but my kiddo understands quite well things that we don't do, and why, but still sometimes likes to do it anyway- just to do it. Like spill milk for fun, to see what happens. But if she doesn't do this in any other way... the daddy thing is agood guess, but could she also recognize that the cat is a new family member? That it's alive just like people, and maybe it's similiar to a new sibling reaction? This cat gets attention, I want to do things to the cat to get that attention? Would it work to just ignore the behavior a bit? Maybe making an issue makes her want to do it? COuld she think all the cats things need to go together- can you tell her that she doesn't eat where she poops? Would she wants to see the cat eat, maybe when she eats?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i had her help me fill the water and food dish this evening, and so far thats the only time she has looked at it for the rest of the evening.<br>
we shall see how tomorrow goes.
 

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As the mom of a three year old that is extremely verbal with excellent comprehension, I sympathizee with you. I would, however, caution you to not overestimate your daughter's ability to totally control her impulses (particularly if she is feeling stressed, like it sounds she is because of DH' increased working). Perhaps you could put the food and water on a high counter that the cat can get to, but not her until this phase passes?
 

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i agree with putting the food and water somewhere up high that dd cannot reach. we have 2 cats and a dog, so the cat bowls have always been up somewhere to keep the dog out of them<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> removing the bowls from her reach would solve the problem all the way around<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
the cat isnt allowed on the counters or the table, and those are the only high places we have.<br>
i would LOVE it if it were that easy, just putting them up.<br>
so far today she hasnt even glanced in that direction. i am going to have her help me fill them up later. i hope that starts helping.<br><br>
you know i DO overestimate her impulse control alot, she is so far advanced with everything else that i often DO forget she is still not even 3 yet. i need to remind myself that she is still very young and has young impulses.<br><br>
*sigh*<br><br>
i cant wait till this passes.
 
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