To return our cat to the rescue home we got her from?(217 Posts)
Our 10 year old cat has always been shy and twitchy, which we put down to a hard life before we got her from the Cat Rescue Home 3 years ago. But since we moved house six months ago she has become a bit of a nightmare. She keeps weeing & pooing all over the new house, and despite our best efforts (putting out cat lit if she wants it, helping her thru cat flap etc) she seems to be getting worse. Now she is really jumpy and even more shy. We have taken her to the vet, who said there was nothing physically wrong but wondered if it was psychological and should she have Prozac. At the same time we are dealing with our youngest waking up every night, all the kids sick, work etc etc so we don't have the capacity to be cleaning up the sofa from cat wee/poo every day.(The latest spot she chose). Given that she isn't very happy, would it be ok to return her to the cat rescue home where I suspect she would be happier?
Anyone else been in this situation?
Thanks for your help
I doubt your cat would be happier going back there
It is for you that you want to take her back!
I think it would be cruel to. Who would take her on there? Poor cat
I doubt she would be happier in a rescue home tbh. Could you restrict what rooms she has access to?
Have you tried feliway at all? It's comes as a spray or a diffuser which you plug in and it replicates the happy hormones that cats release when they are in a place they feel safe. Marking and pooing are signs of not being happy and so you need to take away that thought. The diffuser is best used In one room where you can leave the cat and takes a few days to kick in. They are not inexpensive but customers I have rave about them and its worth a try before you have to take drastic action?
Might be a good idea to ask MNHQ to transfer this to the Litter Tray, Dreaming. Lots of people there who can give advice on your problem.
the litter tray
Thanks for the tip, I have, Cozie, Thanks for the Feliway suggestion too Sparkle!
Try Feliway. It's stopped my two from stressing out and randomly pooing/weeing.
When your kids start doing things you rather they won't are you going to send them away too?
Like others have said, choose a small room in your house, take everything away so she can't poo on it and put litter tray in there and diffuser etc and spend quiet time in there with her and let her sleep in there at nights and the rest of the time send her out to play.
You are brave to ask in AIBU. If you take on a pet you are supposed to prioritise it over everything else in your life, didn't you know that? It's like a life bond, sucking your very blood & spirt out of you to your very last breath. You are a cruel wicked person to ever think anything else (all meant ironically, I hope you realise).
When I took my cats from Rescue I told the Rescue the only reasons which I thought would make me send them back and Rescue was fine about them; they were real people. They didn't expect me to be a Saint.
If I were you I would contact the rescue & talk about the difficulties you're having; most rescues will want to try to work with you to help you find a solution, or at least they will understand the issues better if they do take the animal in, again.
We had a cat like this, we were always on the verge of returning her as she was such hard work, but couldn't bring ourselves to because we loved her. She died a couple of years ago when was hit by a car and we comforted ourselves that at least we hadn't "rejected" her! Sorry that's not much help - I know the weeing and pooing is horrible. Ours did not like feliway but was slightly helped by cat antidepressants! We would just keep her out of as many rooms as possible (though we did let her sleep on our bed which she loved) and I put those pampers bedwetting mats over sofas etc., covered by washable throws, to catch wees.
Having said all that, if it gets too much you can take her back - there's only so much you can take. There are also people who specialise in taking difficult cats into their homes to care for them, and the cat rescue place might know of some of them.
Definitely try Feliway.
Has the situation got worse over the Christmas period? My friends cat was weeing every where when the Xmas decs went up but the Feliway stopped it immediately.
I would also suggest Urine Off for cleaning up with. It gets rid of the smell and also discourages further soiling.
I'd have got rid of it ages ago. There is no way I am cleaning up piss and shit from an animal on a regular basis, especially not off my furniture and carpets.
Anyone who compares pets and children are idiots.
6 months? You haven't given her much time to settle and haven't done much research before jumping to rehoming. Nice.
Try reading Vicky Halls.
OP please ignore the emotive posts trying to make you feel guilty. There is a reason cat rescue places exist and they would ultimately rather have a cat there than have the cat driving someone insane. It is up to you to decide how much you can handle and that depends on your own circumstances, how busy you are, ages of your DC and all that. You are not chucking her in a canal in a sack or leaving her in a wheelie bin, you're considering rehoming a difficult cat - it's not a crime.
Have you spoken to a vet? My parents cat started doing this at around 10 and it turned out he had a brain tumor, so they have to put him down.
If she was OK until you all moved house I would tend to think it was psychological. If you can afford it, go back to the vet and ask if they can suggest something - maybe an animal psychologist or something to teach you how to help her. If you can't afford it maybe ring up the rescue centre, perhaps they have some strategies or suggestions that might help.
My flatmate years ago adopted a cat from a rescue who used to do that continually but it seemed happy otherwise. She didn't seem to mind cleaning up the mess - she was a human nurse, maybe she was used to it! She and the cat eventually moved when she got married - I had to throw all the carpets and sofa away - cost a fortune.
I think YABU to take her back to the shelter after you've had her three years. You are her family now. I am of the belief that when you take on a pet, you take them on through bad as well as good. If you aren't prepared to tackle problems your pet may have, you should not take on a pet.
I have been in a similar situation as you. When I first brought my two cats home, they did not wee and poo in their litterboxes, probably due to the stress of being rehomed. It was extremely frustrating to deal with, and made it hard to bond with them. I did quite a lot of research though, and managed to stop the behaviour by keeping them in small area of the house where there was nothing tempting to wee on for several weeks until they retrained on the litterbox. I also rewarded them everytime I saw them go in the box. Now we have no problems.
Your cat sounds like she was very stressed by the move. Perhaps the stressor and the resulting behavioural issues were not dealt with well, and she is kind of locked into her new behaviour.
I think some research would help you out - besides the books recommended already, I would recommend asking for advice on a cat forum like Petforums. Describe your situation in detail and you hopefully will get some good suggestions. There are also a lot of posts about weeing inappropriately on this forum, which you could have a browse through.
In the meantime you need to manage the situation so you aren't so stressed yourself. Can you keep the cat in a limited area of the house? Perhaps the kitchen or somewhere where there is nothing soft or tempting to wee on like carpet or sofas (and if she does wee it will be easy to clean up?) You can put a feliway plug in the room, and you could also try Zylkene, I don't know if your vet mentioned it? It is a natural supplement meant to reduce stress. If you do need to protect furniture you can buy water-proof picnic blankets - the cat may pee on them but it wont go through the backing. You could also use cheap shower curtains to protect furniture from wee.
You could also call a cat behaviourist if you have the funds, I assume their job is to come in and figure out what the source of the behavioural problem is fast, which you would find helpful!
btw we had a cat shrink in at one point and she was absolutely rubbish. her advice was to block the windows so our cat wouldn't be stressed by seeing other cats outside. pretty pointless as she was an outdoor cat, and we would have been living in the dark! I was also shocked that she took no interest in our beautiful puss at all, did not look at her or pet her - she just talked to us so might have well have done it by phone, and she cost £90!
If you get one, get recommendations and chat on the phone first about how they intend to help. And i agree with others I'd consult the vet as a first step.
I'd advise you in the future to get a kitten that you can house train not an older animal from a shelter who needs that extra bit of care and understanding. I know people do this to help animals but if the poor animal ends up back in the shelter it's a bit counter productive all round really isn't it. My cats scratch my furniture, vomit, occasionally poo but they are 15 years old and I just deal with it. It's part and parcel of having an animal - especially and older/rehomed one.
YABU. I hate the way people take on an animal and then when it does not fit in to their lives get rid of it. The cat would not be happier going back to the home. In fact it would probably make her even more distressed. I doubt they would be able to rehome a 10 year old cat with health problems and it may lead her to being put down
Ditto the Feliway and also worth trying different types of cat litter and a litter tray that is covered.
I couldn't take her back. Cat rescues are so full at the moment...there was a record number of kittens again this year, and while some were adopted while being cute and tiny, it meant there are plenty of older cats and the kittens that weren't adopted have a smaller chance now too.
If she's that difficult, she'll simply never get adopted. Depending on the rescue, that will either mean she stays in a small cage for the rest of her life, or that she is put to sleep.
It sucks when your children and animals clash, but it won't happen forever. If the vet suggested prozac, did you start it? That could help a lot. Feliway should also be used, they recommend using it from the day you move to help your cat settle. If she was already skittish, she was going to find such a big change stressful.
I'd start with those. Feliway now, because you can buy it easily, and prozac as soon as you can. Put her litter tray somewhere that she likes (does she huddle anywhere? Prefer any particular rooms?) and give a covered litter tray a try if she likes being inside things. It might be hassle to clean out but it's better than her pooing on your sofas!
If the issue doesn't stop quickly once she's got meds, take her back for another check. It is highly likely this is psychological, and just caused by the move, but there can be other causes such as a brain tumour that cause an increase in skittish behaviour along with toileting problems.
Well I am going to be a hate figure here. Here goes. The cat is old, its incontinent and unhappy. I would have it PTS. Has hard hat ready.
10 years isn't old - mine is still going strong at almost 19 years!!!
And to all those who think it's acceptable to inflict feline shit and urine on small children in their own home.
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