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to want to find another home for my cats

(127 Posts)
drivenmadbycats Sat 21-May-11 17:53:13

I know people are going to read the title and be angry, but please hear me out as to be honest, I'm at my wit's end here. I have had to change my usual nickname because of some finer details, so I apologise for that.

I have two daughters with less than two years between them as DD2 was premature. To be honest, it was touch and go for a while. I applied for part time hours in my teaching job but was turned down and, given that we'd nearly lost our baby, were keen to have some stability for both girls with me at home full time "and anyway, I can always go back to teaching" said I so brightly at the time. That's proved impossible since I don't have recent experience, and I can't do day to day supply because of childcare issues and I don't drive. We don't have very much money, therefore.

This is relevant to the cats situation because we also have two cats who we got because we are honestly loving people who wanted to give a loving and caring home to animals. Unfortunately, since the girls arrived, Cat1 has made it clear he is terrified of them. He just about tolerated DD1 but now that a pre schooler and a toddler are crashing around, he spends the majority of his time bolting for the cat flap. The girls don't torment him but (when they were babies/young toddlers) they would often shriek in joy when they saw him and I think he associates them with noise (understandably.) I love Cat1 very much, he is a loving and gentle cat with adults but it petrified of children. I have tried a diffuser for stress from the vet's but it hasn't made a difference. We live in a three storey house and he has numerous 'quiet' places such as the airing cupboard, our bedroom - to go to, but he just spends his days outside and when he is in, he creeps around looking so scared.

Cat2 is a far bigger problem. The worst thing about him is that he does his business repeatedly in the house and at the moment, has targeted the girls' bedroom as his litter tray. Like cat1 he has a litter tray and the cat flap is available but he doesn't seem to want to use it. The carpets upstairs are ruined because of this cat and the worse one is the girls' carpet. I've had them professionally cleaned but the smell was ingrained and he just promptly started to use it again. I'm so paranoid that the girls clothes and hair smells. My house smells, I notice as soon as we walk in a lingering scent of cat wee and poo, and it makes me feel dirty and so, so worried that the girls will get ill. My youngest has trodden in it before now. As well as this horrible habit, he also jumps up onto the table and takes food from our plates so if (for example) I take a glass or plate through to the kitchen, I can come back to see him tucking in. That's a minor consideration and can generally be avoided by putting him out but it does make meal times a bit more stressful.

I really would welcome advice, but to be frank we don't have the money for expensive behavioural therapies, we're barely making ends meet as it is and I have to sell things on ebay every week just to keep us afloat. Please don't tell me what a selfish, irresponsible person I am, as I'm honestly not like that at all. I've been putting up with this for years because I can't bear the thought of rehoming them but faced with a £700 bill for a replacement carpet I'm afraid I'm reaching my limit. Please, help us.

Northernlurker Sat 21-May-11 17:56:20

Cat1 may be stressed by Cat2 as well and Cat2 may be pooing everywhere because he needs to assert himself over Cat1. I would contact Cats Protection League and ask if they can take Cat2 in. Then if they can, see what happens.

They do have seperate litter trays don't they? Two cats typically need three trays.

drivenmadbycats Sat 21-May-11 17:58:40

We have just one, a covered one, in the hall. I'll buy another one if it helps but it never gets used - cat1 goes outside (in our garden, I think) and cat2 uses the girls' bedroom sad Thanks for your advice.

GoodnightNobody Sat 21-May-11 18:00:51

I have 2 cats and housed them before my children came along.

When the babies arrived the cats were seriously upset. They poo'd on my mum when she was in bed! They peed on the children! They pissed ont he toaster etc etc etc. They were a fecking nightmare.

My way of dealing with it was by keeping them outside until late evening, then I'd let them in for 15 mins grooming/ love from my DP & I.

After 3/4 months they got much better. I monitored their time indoors, made them a cosy nest to sleep on in the kitchen. I continued to give them fuss regularly and now they are clean and loving again.

One of our cats will allow the kids to stroke her, the other won't and is frightened.

If I was you I'd keep them out, give them affection when possible. Give them a designated hidey hole when you allow them back in and give them time.

hth.

good luck

Northernlurker Sat 21-May-11 18:02:30

hhh - well Cat2 won't use it if he thinks he's going to be distubed there. Buy another and put it in the bedroom if at all possible. Then if he starts using it you can move it nearer and nearer the door gradually and then just out of teh room to a better location. The cat HAS to feel safe or they won't use it at all - as you're finding.

GettinTrimmer Sat 21-May-11 18:05:46

But would cat 2 be using the girls bedroom to assert himself over cat 1?

How old are your dc? I know that my cat used to hide when they were little but she loves ds now and rubs his head all the time.

drivenmadbycats Sat 21-May-11 18:06:04

I appreciate the advice but a litter tray in a bedroom? That just seems awfully unhygienic, especially in a children's room with a toddler in it: as we know toddlers will tread in anything, put things in their mouths etc.

GoodnightNobody, thank you. To be honest, Cat1 is perhaps in the house for an hour a day, if that. Cat2 is in and out. He miaows (loudly) if left outside for too long but then wants to go out again almost immediately.

Another thing about Cat2 is that he uses his claws terribly and has scratched all of us at one point or another.

I just don't know what to do.

drivenmadbycats Sat 21-May-11 18:08:06

DD1 is nearly 3 and DD2 is 1.

NulliusInVerba Sat 21-May-11 18:08:48

Cat2 is marking his territory, there is a bit of jealousy going on here and not neccessarily between the cats, it may be over "mommy's new babies".

The fact that it is their bedroom suggests this. Do as others have suggested, get other tryas and try one in the room (doesnt sound great, but its better than loose wee and poo in there).

If he will use the tray in ther chances are with a bit of patience and gradual moving all will be fine.

rainbowinthesky Sat 21-May-11 18:08:59

Surely it's better the cat does it in a litter tray in the bedroom rather than the floor? Can you keep the door shut?

NulliusInVerba Sat 21-May-11 18:10:49

*trays that was meant to say, soory.

And you may only have to try that for a day or two before you could move it to the door, then outside the room etc etc

drivenmadbycats Sat 21-May-11 18:12:18

Rainbow, I've tried shutting the door but it has never closed properly and he can get in and we just can't afford a new one! Plus it has to be open at night so we can hear the girls if one of them cries.

I really don't like the idea of a litter tray in the bedroom. DD1 isn't in a cot and if she got up during the night she could so easily tread in it and then tread cat waste and grit through upstairs. Not to mention hygiene difficulties. I realise what you're saying - that it's better in a tray than a carpet - but the thought just disgusts me. I have to confess I'd be horrified if someone told me that they kept a litter tray in a bedroom of any description.

drivenmadbycats Sat 21-May-11 18:13:57

Possibly Nullius. To be honest, I think the girls bedroom is targeted because there is a crevice in there between the wardrobe and the wall where he poos and wees, and also because the door does open. It seems to be the carpet he's drawn to and that particular spot as it's 'quiet.'

Northernlurker Sat 21-May-11 18:19:08

Look - you have poo and wee in the room as it is. You need to get a tray - sounds like a covered one might work and then move it out. That's can't be worse than the situation now. If necessary move the dds out whilst this is done! Or you can just rehome the cat but tbh I don't think that's fair. Cats are naturally v clean. He is doing this because of a problem with your set-up NOT because it's what he wants to do.

GettinTrimmer Sat 21-May-11 18:20:07

Could you leave a covered litter tray outside the bedroom and block off the place where he usually does his business?

Awful you are facing a bill of £700. Is it possible to claim on the house insurance then get laminate flooring?

NulliusInVerba Sat 21-May-11 18:22:04

But if you use a tray and a good odour control litter like catsan or something, it will be better. you can check (because now you will hear) when he goes, then go straight in and remove the bad litter.

It will actually stop the bad odour and the staining in the room. Keep the tray clean and then all it will be in there is the litter. Thats not really unhygenic.

rainbowinthesky Sat 21-May-11 18:24:00

Sounds like you're set on rehoming so not sure why you are posting on here. You've been given very sensible advice...

NoobytheWaspSlayer Sat 21-May-11 18:29:58

Can you get a cheap child monitor on ebay and then shut the bedroom door? We have a covered litter tray (argos I think) and it makes a bit difference to smell. They also like the privacy I think.

NoobytheWaspSlayer Sat 21-May-11 18:30:55

BIG difference to smell obviuosly!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 21-May-11 18:31:22

try the 3 trays
then try zylkene. if it works you can buy it cheaply in bulk on the internet.

but if that doesn't work, i would rehome them. the behaviour described is not that of happy cats, and you're not happy, so i think you all need a fresh start. take your time finding a good, no-kill shelter, get on their waiting list early, and pay them very, very handsomely for the invaluable service they provide.

drivenmadbycats Sat 21-May-11 18:40:18

Rainbow, I'm posting on here for suggestions either about rehoming or about stopping the pooing and weeing in the bedrooms. The litter tray in the bedroom obviously won't stop that - it's better than being on the carpet but I still don't feel we as a family should have to tolerate a cat's waste in a child's room.

Mandy2003 Sat 21-May-11 18:42:27

I re-read your OP but I can't see if you said whether one or both of them are neutered?

NulliusInVerba Sat 21-May-11 18:44:17

Im afraid drivenmad if you cant bear the trays and you cant afford the behavioural treatments then you dont have many options left.

sharbie Sat 21-May-11 18:46:37

my 2 cats have never been allowed in any bedrooms - they usually try to wee on the bed
when my dcs were tiny they stayed outside and just came indoors in evening - they were fine as they didn't want to be that close to dcs anyway
limit them (by keeping doors shut) to 2 rooms - siiting room and kitchen.

coccyx Sat 21-May-11 18:47:55

Come on be honest, you want rid of them. Other posters are right, you are not trying to change habits

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