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putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

Posted by missuchloey (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 22, 12 at 21:13

There are no coincindents. thank you for your input armchairactivism. I had to put my cat down on Tuesday, and I felt HORRIBLE! I read your response after I returned from the SPCA, and you really helped me get through these past 2 days. I have such feelings of guilt, I felt I should have done more for my cat, but what else could have I done?...last month alone I spent over $700.00 in vet bills, xrays, blood work, medication, etc.. and my cat still was peeing outside her box. I bought new boxes, put out several boxes, tried every cat litter brand there is, and even locked my cat in her room for a day with her box.. with no positive results. My vet wanted me to get an abdominal ultrasound next, but I couldn't see what good that would do. My cat (who was my world) was 12 years old, and until December of 2011, she NEVER went to the bathroom outside her box. We did not have any changes in my home that would have triggered such actions. My last straw was when I watched her last Monday pee in my family room right in front of me. I had new flooring coming in on Tues (which cost over $4000.00) and I had to make a choice, the cat or my marriage. It got to the point that I was constantly arguing with my husband over the cat peeing. We thought the problem was resolved and ordered new flooring since we hadn't seen the cat pee in several weeks, and it appeared that she was using her box. Apparently she was only using it occasionally...the one thing that really still haunts me with guilt is that my cat appeared otherwise normal. The day I was bringing her to be put down, she was basking in the sun enjoying the nice weather. I heard cats hide their pain, and I really think that since she never pee'd outside the box before, something was very wrong and she must have been in pain but not showing it. I hope I'm not just trying to justify my actions, but I really miss my cat and feel horribly guilty and helpless now. Thank you armchairactivism for your input, you don't know how many times I keep reading your response to rationalize my decision. It is a horrifying thing to have to deal with, and I hope I never have to experience that again, but at least I know my cat isn't suffering anymore, and I truely believe she was in pain.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

Cats will just start doing that even when there is nothing wrong with them. It's just the way they are.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

She could of been, but maybe you should of put her up for adoption to be an outdoor cat that could have a safe and sturdy fenced in backyard so she wouldn't escape.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

I have an absolutely BEAUTIFUL cat. He's a huge Maine Coon. He's 4 years old, neutered and was declawed by his previous owners. Problem is, he gets angry with me and pees on my bed and furniture. The previous owner denies having had this problem with him. He's declawed so he cannot go outside. I've tried positive re-enforcement with treats for good behavior. For a few weeks it worked, then he peed on my bed again.

I listed him on craigslist with pics and the gentle truth. If the truth had not been told, he'd be in a new home. But I didn't get even one inquiry because nobody wants a cat with behavioral problems.

The previous owners don't want him back and I'm not going to lie to prospective new owners. My mattress and boxsprings alone were 1,200.00 dollars not to mention the 75.00 matress protector. Of course it doesn't do much good when it's stripped (because he peed on it) to go to the laundry. I lock him in the bathroom when I can't keep an eye on him. I'm strongly considering having him put down... Or maybe one of the anti-euthanasia people would like to adopt him. Please let me know if you'd like to save him.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

I have an absolutely BEAUTIFUL cat. He's a huge Maine Coon. He's 4 years old, neutered and was declawed by his previous owners. Problem is, he gets angry with me and pees on my bed and furniture. The previous owner denies having had this problem with him. He's declawed so he cannot go outside. I've tried positive re-enforcement with treats for good behavior. For a few weeks it worked, then he peed on my bed again.

I listed him on craigslist with pics and the gentle truth. If the truth had not been told, he'd be in a new home. But I didn't get even one inquiry because nobody wants a cat with behavioral problems.

The previous owners don't want him back and I'm not going to lie to prospective new owners. My mattress and boxsprings alone were 1,200.00 dollars not to mention the 75.00 matress protector. Of course it doesn't do much good when it's stripped (because he peed on it) to go to the laundry. I lock him in the bathroom when I can't keep an eye on him. I'm strongly considering having him put down... Or maybe one of the anti-euthanasia people would like to adopt him. Please let me know if you'd like to save him.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

Robyn, your cat is not angry with you, so forgive yourself for declawing him. Declawing is obviously not a very good solution to cat scratching but you can't go back in time and not make the choice.

Your cat has no way of connecting you with the declawing. Animals are bad at generalizing and in order to make positive or negative associations the consequence following the act has to be pretty much immediate. For instance, I've clicker trained my cat to jump up and down off a particular chair, but if I try it with any other chair she is completely confused despite having done hundreds of repetitions with the command. The other day, we had construction in our house and she freaked out because the instant I put her in her carrier (she is crate trained and goes in on command) and dropped a treat in front of her a compressor went off in the other room. She associated the loud noise with the sudden appearance of the treat and attacked it. Mind you, these are the same treats she always gets, presented the same way, every time she goes into the crate. It was a little funny but also a good reminder that animals think very differently than us.

Cats don't pee on other cat's property when they're upset, anyway. There is something else going on. Have you seen a cat behaviorist? My guess is that the litter hurts his paws now that he's declawed. He's associated that pain with peeing in the box because it happens as soon as he steps inside, every time he needs to pee. Peeing on your bed doesn't hurt, so it makes sense to go there.

There is a special brand of litter that is a finer sand that declawed cats sometimes prefer. I don't know the name of it, but it is mentioned on My Cat from Hell. If you google it or ask around on the Discovery forum I'm sure you'll get several recommendations.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

LambOfTartary -- Robyn did not declaw her cat -- previous owners did.

I have learned to reserve judgement in this situation due to several family members having this same problem. In one case the cat was declawed, in another he was not. In both cases, it was a multiple cat household.

If I had to guess, it has nothing to do with sore paws, it is a psychological, territorial thing -- but that is just my opinion. I don't know of anyone who successfully solved this problem once it started.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

WoW, I just had to put my cat down today because of illness, not for peeing. were the cats nutuered or spade. esp. male cats. you've tried everything? I think not. behavior can be changed without spending a lot of money. I've had cats 52 years. there are reasons your cats keep repeating this . they can be insecure, feel threatened, other cats outdoors. if carpets etc. is cleaned completely with a product that gets rid of the smell completely they don't keep peeing there. you have to teach your pets thatis unacceptable and change the behavior.did you try adding litterboxes, change type of litter? I just wish that had been my cat's issue instead of being chronically ill. I guess you would put down a child when it does something wrong also. stupid people shouldn't own pets, or people that don't have time etc. If you can't afford to take care of your pets YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE THEM! I HOPE THAT NONE OF YOU GET OLD AND PEE IN YOUR CHAIR SOMEONE MIGHT HAVE TO PUT YOU DOWN TOO!


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

Robyn
I am in the same boat. I have a gorgeous maine coon boy who refuses to use the litter box period. I have spent thousands at the vet. Tried adding boxes tried all sorts of litters. I too put a listing on craigslist to have him rehomed as an outdoor cat. No responses. He has another problem he is not declawed and refuses to use a scratching post. I have bought about a zillion in different shapes, sizes, materials etc. He prefers my box spring and the couch. Fine whatever they are already destroyed (even though they were brand new 6 weeks before I got him). It is coming to the point where I want to put him down too. Its been 5 years. We have been to the vet both traditional and holistic. They say he has crystals. I feed him a high quality food recommended by the vet, I add an omega 3, cranberry supplement and probiotic. I have 3 cats so all of them eat like this. Some days if the litterbox is totally lump free he will use it and I only have to clean pee once maybe. I have started having my dogwalker clean the box so now it is being scooped 3 times a day. We have tried the automatic letterboxes and he is the only one who won't use them. I am just sick of all of this. I am in nursing school, I pay for nursing school by being a nanny. I am exhausted. I clean pee at school, I clean pee at work. I don't want to clean pee when I come home and when I wake up (there are usually 2 puddles). I feel bad for the other cats and the dog. They can feel my resentment and it is making my home unhappy. I know I signed up to take care of this animal and give him a happy life but don't I deserve a happy life too. I don't have people to my home because I am terrified it smells or they will step in pee. I don't go on vacation because I can't afford to have someone come 2-3 times a day to scoop the box. I feel so unhappy I don't want to do this anymore. I can't spend any more money on this animal.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

I'm sure you've tried unscented litter, but I'll mention it anyway. Cats do not like perfume. Some also do not like odd textures (pellets, for instance).

Have you tried isolating him to see if a clean box with only him using it makes a difference?

Also, do not clean the litter box with any products containing clorox. It can cause irritation/cystitis which can consequently lead to urinating outside the box. Eliminating clorox has worked for eliminating cystitis here.

Again, with cystitis, make sure the box is close by, no long treks to the john, for instance, at night. If they hold it too long, bacteria becomes a problem and they can get cystitis. This happened with my cat after I had moved the box downstairs. Three episodes and $1500 later, figuring out what was different, I moved it to a convenient location for night time. No more bladder infections.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 13:41


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

Ok. I have a cat that is peeing and pooping everywhere but the kitty box. She does it on the clothes and in the middle of the living room. I have tried the citrus spraying, the extra kitty box litter, different kitty litter, the vet for check ups etc. We talk a lot about wether to put them to sleep or not. Who can tell me the answer to get her to stop pooping and peeing where she should not be. Enough with the ideology...I now need concrete examples


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

kodi, I'm afraid that in some cases, the cat is just aberrant and can't really be fixed. One of my friends tried everything with her cat. He was a newer addition to her mix of cats and he got very territorial and began marking everywhere, including her bed with her in it! Vet visits revealed no organic issues with him. She ended up giving him to a farm.

This same friend later moved in with her partner and they merged cat families. Fights and territorial marking ensued. They tried everything- prozac, numerous litter boxes, squirt guns, etc. In order to sell their house, they had to rip up all the carpet and replace the sub-flooring beneath it. Also, they had to remove and replace drywall where the cats had peed. Any surface that couldn't be replaced had to be painted with KILLZ primer. They did not put any of the offending cats down, but I would have.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

They don't like perfume or other scents, I assume you have tried eliminating that. They are going in the best and most comfortable or convenient place. Keep the box clean, clean, clean. Sand textures seem to go over better than, say, pellets under foot. Some don't like an enclosed box, no hood.

Don't leave laundry baskets, boxes, piles of clothes around that will feed the behavior.

Praise and maybe find a reward for when you see her using the box. Even just throwing a toy.

This is an up side of not declawing. If an animal cannot be house trained, at least it can go live on a farm. Not the best outcome for one now accustomed to the soft life, but euthanization is not much of an option either.

Try Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter, he's a vet. I use his regular Precious Cat litter and it is very good. I expect their other products are too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cat Attract litter


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

I see some people have responded to OP w/o reading her whole massage- the cat is gone so giving suggestions on how to further train the cat are not helpful.

Also, it;s not true that declawed cat's can never live outside. I have had several shelters tell me that a declawed cat outdoors is better than a dead cat. I also have a personal friend who's cat is declawed- and is an outdoor cat (her colon doesn't function and she leaks feces all the time) and I have SEEN this cat climb trees and come back down. I don't know how she does it- but I have seen it so I know it is possible. BTW this woman runs a rescue- so I trust when she says it's better to let a cat live a shorter life outdoors then put it down.

Having never been in the OP's situation it is hard for me to say what I would do- but I can imagine her frustration and financial situation, as well as I am sure she tried to look for a home for the cat.

Also, you can't take a cat with issues to the humane society, etc- they won't take them because they won't get adopted out.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

"I see some people have responded to OP w/o reading her whole massage- the cat is gone so giving suggestions on how to further train the cat are not helpful."

The conversation continued with others discussing similar problems. Regardless, suggestions are always helpful, for anyone else coming along in the future, not just the OP.

My vet thinks it is irresponsible to let a declawed pet outside (previous owner of my girl let her outside). If I were in the situation, I would certainly research options for a declawed animal. But they do need claws to defend themselves. Saying they are not necessary is an over generalization. Some parts of the country have a lot of wild life to contend with, for instance. I also would be surprised if "every" cat is able to hunt without claws or figure out how to climb a tree without them. I think aptitude and survival skills would vary between individuals, just as they do with people. That being said, I remember my declawed girl coming home with a present while at her old house. Have no idea how she would or could defend herself with a racoon, fox, hawk. The latter two just scoop them up, with claws and teeth being their only hope for escape.

I would not put an animal down for new flooring. I'd wait until they passed. If conditions were unlivable, I'd try to re-home. Sometimes they are fine in another environment. Can't remember if the animal was declawed or not and could live outdoors as a mousehand on a farm.

Have also read about a supplement of some sort that makes cat urine not smell, which is a big problem with their urine.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 14:14


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

Shave your cat. Honest to god, get it shaved. I had the same problem with my cat for two months and I had her shaved. She was good for three months, then she did it again for three days. Had her shaved and she stopped. Had her shaved two months later and she didnt do it again. I shave her every two months now. Its been 2 years and she is still not doing it.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

Why do you think shaving works, Steve?


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

I just saw this and can't imagine...my cat pees on the floor nearly every day...I clean it up...big deal. I have 8 and only one does this. My old dog also wets her bed...I wash the blankets every day...big deal. They are healthy and I love them all.


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RE: putting to sleep a cat that pees outside its box

It becomes a very big deal topsiebeezelbub when you work and aren't there to clean up the pee and/or you never know where the cat is going to pee next. It is also a big deal when your carpets become ruined, your drapes, your bedding, your drywall and you find yourself wiping pee off places like the top of your stove no less! It is also a very big deal when the cat's behavior affects the rest of your cats and they also begin peeing all over the house as well as pooping! It is also a very big deal if you have infants or toddlers that could get into their messes!

I have had it with cats ABSOLUTELY! I feel like I live in one big litter box and am quite frankly sick of it. I have tried everything that I can think of, and as far as getting urine out of carpet? Yea right! You have to know it was peed on and clean it up immediately, else it is there forever and also does damage to padding and flooring!

As for putting the cats outside. Yes, I put the worst offender outside and essentially killed her. Apparently feline leukemia and feline aides is rampant where I live. The disease can be infectious to outdoor cats up to five years from soil contamination, per my vet! Now my poor cat is also extremely ill as well as continuing to poop and pee on everything and everywhere. I brought her back inside because I felt so bad for her. I was hopepful that many of the suggestions posted would work for her and NONE of them worked. I have put up with this behavior for 5 years.

Now that she is also sick I will be putting her down in the next couple of days. Say what you will, tosiebeezelbub et al., but until you have experienced it firsthand, you can't really say what you would do.


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