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Regretting the cat decision - need advice

(71 Posts)
toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 12:14:41

Hello all,

I'm new here but this thread seemed about right for my particular situation. A quick background: I'm 16 weeks pregnant, with my first. About two weeks ago, my husband and I adopted 2 cats from the shelter - we had already met them before the holidays and so it wasn't a spontaneous decision. I've had cats my whole life growing up.

So, the last two weeks, I haven't felt any sort of bond or connection to the cats like I normally do with animals. I feel distant from them, and resentful that the entire apartment smells like litter. I don't know why I feel this way - because beforehand I was very excited to pick them up.

However, now I don't know what to do. Since it's only been two weeks, I don't htink the impact would be so big if we brought them back or found them a new home. Are my feelings temporary? Or is there a chance I resent them even more after the baby is born?

Thank you in advance for all the advice smile

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 23-Jan-18 12:25:33

What litter are you using and how often are you emptying the trays? How many trays have you got? Will they be going out once they have settled in?

(Sorry for all the questions!)

Sunshine49 Tue 23-Jan-18 12:30:00

Hi Toasty, sorry to hear that. On the litter issue, I'm not sure which brand you're using, but have you tried Oko? We bought it for our two cats and it's amazing - it clumps really well and there's no smell at all! I would highly recommend it.

toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 12:30:11

No problem, valid questions. We have one XL litter box, type of litter may vary as we are currently living in Germany. However we did buy another brand (just haven't used it yet). We empty it out once per day, and exchange the entire litter / clean box once per week.

Once they are settled in we are considering letting them out during the day. I am a little hesitant as we wouldn't have a cat door into the house, only into the garage. The cats I grew up with had a cat door directly into the house and therefore no litter box.

toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 12:30:54

Hi Sunshine, thanks for the advice, I'll have to take a look at what options we have at our local "Fressnapf" ;)

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jan-18 12:34:26

I used to have a litter deodorising spray. I’m not sure it would solve your problem as the smell would then be of the spray rather than the litter tray but it wasn’t unpleasant!

I also used to have a tray with a big domed lid on it although I had to ditch the lid as my cat ended up too big for it.

Is it just the litter that is a tangible problem? Rather than just feeling distant I mean.

toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 12:37:55

Hi SoupDragon, we also have a cover (with carbon filter!) and a door that they both have adapted to pretty well.

I guess a better way to formulate it: the resentment and feeling distant are bigger problems for me, because I don't really recognize myself, and am worried it could get worse after the baby is born. And by then, it would be awful / unfair to rehome the cats. Since they've been with us "only" two weeks, I kindof get the feeling it is now or never.

Wasn't sure if anyone else had any experience feeling distant from house pets while pregnant :/

Bringondrunkfeb Tue 23-Jan-18 12:41:42

hmmm does it boil down to, you may resent them if you are fed up with having to change cat litter every day? The first thing I do every day is pick up cat poo and if I didn't adore both my senior moggies, I can see I'd feel a bit resentful - certainly it bothered me more post DC than pre-DC as I had more energy before.

I don't think it'd be the end of the world if you did give them up after a few weeks, no. Do you have no realistic prospect of putting a cat door in the house at all?

MinnieMousse Tue 23-Jan-18 12:45:58

Pregnancy can heighten your sense of smell which might be exacerbating the litter issue.

In all honesty, it's probably not the best time for you to have rehomed cats. I had had my much-loved cat for 5 years by the time I had my first DC and when the baby was born I just didn't have time to give her the attention she was used to. She settled down to it but I'm not sure she was completely happy. I am generally against returning cats to the shelter but in your situation I think you will find it even harder to bond with them once you throw a new baby into the mix.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 23-Jan-18 12:46:04

We use Catsan and never notice a smell. We've tried other brands and it's not been as good (or else his lordship doesn't approve!).

I've never been pregnant so I can't help there but, although we'd always had cats at home, when we got Harry I regretted it at first. I can't remember how long it lasted but I love every furry little part of him and can't imagine him not being there.

IcySlippy Tue 23-Jan-18 12:46:20

Pg can make you more sensitive to smells

Veterinari Tue 23-Jan-18 12:48:28

With only 1 litter box and a strong smell i’dSuggest they may also be toileting elsewhere

They need one tray each

Bringondrunkfeb Tue 23-Jan-18 12:54:06

oh yes, i've got 2 trays, one per cat, they don't usually like sharing do they? I agree with minnie, my 2 didn't get the attention or prioritisation post DC that they did pre DC, and when you have toddlers and cats that can be a bit of a pain to stop the toddler chasing the cat or trying to pat the cat, hold the cat etc.

In the end though, my elder DD is 7 now and my eldest cat adores her, sleeps on her bed every single night and the elder one makes sure the younger one never gets anywhere near 'her' cat and it's a beautiful relationship.

toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 12:59:51

Hi Bringon, no there would be no way to put a cat door leading into the house at all (just how houses are built here, one side glass door and main front door is heavy duty). To your second reply - I know what you mean - I also had that relationship with our family cats as I was a kid. I would hope for the same for ours as well.

Hi Minnie, I know, I think you are absolutely right - we should have just waited. My mother also had cats when her children were born and she also pointed out that these were older, established cats.

frozenlake Tue 23-Jan-18 12:59:52

I think your sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy and in a while your cats litter will compete with nappy smells. That said I have a cat who I am very fond off and had had for several years before dc were born and I found he was a drag on my resources when they were babies. Something else to look after when I was exhausted. I adjusted back to being happy to care for him but I wouldn't start getting animals when pregnant. Also ideally you wouldn't be changing cat litter, dh wasn't thrilled when midwife told him that was his job for the duration of the pregnancy.

toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 13:02:25

Hi Vet, we can try that. We do have two separate litter boxes already. We just wanted to try with one large one, as they are brothers and used the same one in the animal shelter. The apartment is not super huge and we leave our bedroom door shut during the day - so not many possibilities to "hide" surprises for us.

Bringondrunkfeb Tue 23-Jan-18 13:07:31

yeah, if you can't get rid of the cat litter boxes, I do feel it might have been better to wait, and perhaps that's why your heart isn't in it, as you know that even though you planned it, it wasn't the best decision for right now?

You can always take a 3-4 year old (once they reach the age of reason) to get a pet down the line and teach them to care for them once you're past the small baby/toddler stage.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 23-Jan-18 13:40:21

I resented mine at first. With childhood cats someone else did all the hard work and I emptied the tray when nagged to.

toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 14:10:36

Fluffycloud, you're absolutely right - I was the same way when the cats were young, and when they were established they were allowed outside so there was no litter box at all

PinkSparklyPussyCat Tue 23-Jan-18 14:18:01

I resented mine at first. With childhood cats someone else did all the hard work and I emptied the tray when nagged to.

I'd never emptied a litter tray before we adopted Harry blush

thethoughtfox Tue 23-Jan-18 14:21:44

This might be mama feelings. All your love and and affection is being saved for your baby and your body is reacting in a way that it thinks it needs to to protect your baby. My mum had a dog she adored but in the later stages of pregnancy her feelings totally changed and could only focus on the fact that it was so dirty and left hairs everywhere and the need to have a clean safe home with no potentially dangerous animal around.

toastyloki Tue 23-Jan-18 14:26:46

Hi thoughtfox, was wondering if other people have experienced this as well. Interesting to hear that I am not the only one

Toddlerteaplease Tue 23-Jan-18 15:59:21

When I bought my girls home, I had a few days of 'what the hell have I done' I'd never met them before I went to pick them up so bad no idea if their personalities and the rescue lady had them already in their boxes so I didn't even see them. It soon passed and I was and am besotted by my darlings.

EachandEveryone Tue 23-Jan-18 23:58:13

I cannot imagine anything worse than a toddler in a flat with two cats and litter trays how on earth is that going to even work? Babies put things in their mouths all the time. You will end up taking it out on the cats. Can they come and go through a window?

LittleFeileFooFoo Wed 24-Jan-18 01:40:09

I think you're best to return them. I my two older cats we're 15 and 16 when my ds was born. They didn't get nearly the attention they were accustomed to, and ds quite frankly scared one when he got mobile.

It won't be fair to them If you're resenting them. Wait until your kiddo is older4? To get cats.

It's also too much to care for a new born and new cats! The madness!

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