Advice please

(7 Posts)
BooksandCats Wed 24-Apr-13 09:58:32

Hi, Feeling really fed up at the moment and need advice.

I had a beautiful cat for 10 years since she was a 6 week old kitten. She was like my little baby, slept with me, followed me everywhere, was so loyal, was with me through illness keeping me company and was the most affectionate and funny cat i could ever have wished for. Then in January out the blue (after her never ever being ill) took her to the vets for her annual check and they felt a lump and by the next day, she'd been diagnosed with lymphoma and within a month she was dead! I have never been so heartbroken in my life or felt pain like it and whenever i think of that time i'm just in tears all over again.Swore i would never get another cat as never wanted to go through anything like that again. It's been so hard as well as feel can't say anything to anyone as they might think 'It's just a cat' or that i should be over it by now.

Anyway onto the problem my husband and kids kept on and on about getting another cat and i was adamant No way! My husband was going on about it for my sake as he thought it would help me to have something to love again and come back to and kids were so upset and he persuaded me it would be good for them and apart from that he said there are so many cats needing a good home and we could give them one (which is what swung it for me more). However i kept saying what if the do this and that and was thinking of all the worst case scenarios as felt we were so lucky with our other cat and literally never had one problem with her but know that all cats are different and with getting rescue cats you don't know what they've been through so i keep saying 'Are we prepared for everything', but they were all adamant that it would be fine.

So along we went to the rescue centre and fell in love with one of the cats and then the centre said that cat had to be re-homed with it's Mum and we couldn't have one without the other so we ended up taking both! They are really lovely cats, gentle and sweet and follow us around, still very nervous but thats understandable. They have settled in really well and seem happy. However i'm not!!

They keep me awake most nights either charging up and down the stairs playing making so much noise (think they feel more comfortable then because everyone's in bed). Or their fighting, or go in the kids room and starts pulling toys out boxes or knocking things off shelves! I am sooo tired i can't cope i'm up and down all through the night telling them off, moving things away. I know i could maybe lock them in the kitchen but obvioulsly wouldn't want to do that forever so there's no point really and also i did it once just to get some sleep and could hear them scratching and crying so felt horrible (and still didn't sleep).

On top of that they do not stop scratching the carpets which is driving me insane!! No matter how many times we tell them 5 minutes later their doing it again. And it's all through the night too which is another thing that keeps me awake! It took us 8 years to get our house decorated and carpeted finally the way we want it and now it's just getting ruined. Feel so upset as know we can not afford to replace it (and whats the point if they just do it again anyway) but there are completely bald patches now around the doors and today i came back and one right in middle of living room carpet). They've got scratching posts and loads of toys but they just want to do that! They stop when we tell them but were not here all the time and we just come back to bits of ripped up carpets!

Also they even go outside and come in to use cat litter!! Then throw it everywhere and then go back outside!! Grrr!!

So i am just so fed up so would welcome any ideas! They've been here 2 months now and i have not slept well at all! Feel like i hadn't finished grieving for my other cat and then got these two thinking i was doing a good thing and it's just caused me more work and upset. Feel like got so much from my old cat and just feel resentful of these two. Would never ever give them away because i think once you get them their yours and you have to cope and also they've already been through so much so would never put them through anything else so now feel like i'm stuck with them. I do really like them and if i could sort out these couple of things it would be fine! Sorry for massive post!

marzipanned Wed 24-Apr-13 13:36:15

So, there are two things here. The first is, as you say, you got these two new cats before you finished grieving for your other cat. I don't know if there's a solution to that because they are with you now.

However, what I would say is that, in time, you will come to love these cats maybe not as much as your first cat but almost as much. I too used to have a 'perfect' cat - she never complained, she never made a mess of the litter tray, she never scratched, when my Mum died she was the one who comforted me.

I now have two very boisterous rescue boys. One is the angriest cat I've ever met. One is the simplest cat I've ever met. They make a lot of noise, they make a lot of mess, they tore up our £1000 sofa (that was a wedding present, we are definitely not used to spending that much on sofas!) within about a week of being home.

BUT my goodness I adore them. Two months is not such a long time. I would say it took me at least a year to feel the same depth of love for my new boys as I did for my old girl.

The second problem is the damage that the cats are causing your house/your sleep.

Shut them away at night. You have to if they are causing you this much distress. Make sure they have comfortable beds, litter, food, water. They will complain and you will feel horribly guilty for the first few nights, but they will get used to it and it will be so much better in the long run.

The litter tray - do you have a cat flap so they can always access the outdoors? Perhaps try moving the litter tray closer and closer to outside, then having it outside, then taking it away full stop? If they don't like using the outside and insist on the litter tray (as my simple cat does) then just put down loads and loads of newspaper. It will be a bit messy but you'll get used to it.

The carpets - I don't know what to suggest. I have never been able to get a cat to stop scratching where it wanted to scratch. I've tried feliway but it never worked for me, you could try it though. Some things you just have to accept and let go. Although others might have suggestions for that. Alternatively could you buy some cheap rugs and try to direct their scratching towards those?

Good luck - I am glad that you're not just sending them back to the rescue, I am sure that in time you will grow to adore these mischievous little loves, even though they will never replace your old girl.

BooksandCats Wed 24-Apr-13 20:05:23

Thank you so much for your long reply! It's made me feel so much better to know that you felt the same kind of thing but gradually started to have feelings for your new cats like you did for the old one.

Yes am thinking may have to lock them up which i don't like doing but the lack of sleep is really getting me down, they will have everything there.

The litter tray is right by the door anyway and the cat flap, I'm not so worried about that one as thats just what cats do but it was everything together that was driving me mad!!

Am going to try Feliway like you said might stop them scratching the carpets so it's worth a try.

No definitely wouldn't get rid of them now, we adopted them and thats a life long commitment!

Thanks for all your advice.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 25-Apr-13 11:58:24

I have just bought my first kitten, so I am in no position to offer advice on cats, but I do know about lack of sleep. Both my children were shocking sleepers, but it was worse with DS1 and it had a terrible effect on me. Since then, I prioritise sleep over almost anything because I can't be a good enough mum without it. I agree with marzipan that you must put the cats away at night if they are causing you this much distress.

My new kitten slept with my son for the first two nights, but kept chatting and waking him up. I can't have kitty sleep with me because DH and I get allergies and asthma and had decided to keep the bedroom a cat-free zone. I felt really guilty about leaving kitty downstairs the first time, but gave him a box to sleep in, with a covered hot-water bottle to cuddle - and he has had two good nights so far. My best friend, who has had cats all her life, says she has never had a cat sleep with her. She recommended this as all her family cats have slept in them and love them.

Hope you find a solution that suits you all.

smile

CarpeVinum Thu 25-Apr-13 12:23:16

Because I think there is value in checking to see if you get value for money before you spend it, and Feliway isn't cheap..

The limitations in the quality of the evidence mean we cannot definitively declare that pheromone therapy doesn’t work. What we can say is that based on the best evidence to date, it does not appear to have a benefit. Further study is certainly reasonable, but as always I question the wisdom and the ethics of widespread sale and use of products which, despite years of testing, don’t seem to have much evidence that they work.

From
skeptvet.com/Blog/2010/06/pheromone-therapy-for-dogs-and-cats-whats-the-evidence/

I'm not saying don't buy it if you want to.

But I think other consumers' reviews of a product are not always the best way to evaluate efficacy. Especially given that the placebo effect in pet owning humans (and use pet products that make all sorts of promises) has been established.

BooksandCats Thu 25-Apr-13 18:16:53

Thanks for advice, I'll look into the feliway thing a bit more first if it's so expensive!

Thanks Toffeewhirl for making me feel better, hate locking them up but like you said i have to have sleep! Funnily enough last night only one of them woke me up once and that was only because my husband got up for work really early, so he was miowing at him but as soon as he went he went back to sleep so if they could stay like that it wouldn't be so bad. Those cat beds look so cosy, thanks for the link.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 25-Apr-13 18:29:07

Cheapest version of Feliway I have found is here!.

Glad I made you feel better. Hopefully your cats will get used to the new routine soon.

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