Friday, November 03, 2006

The cat problem

Nicole and I have a bit of a problem and I was hoping that those of you who are regular readers and animal lovers as we are might be able to offer some good suggestions to us. Some of you may know that we raise rabbits, but they live outside, so does our dog Daisy. We do have an inside pet-a cat we call Casper.

Casper is about six months old and since we brought him home, he has a history of being quite bratty-he'll get into things he isn't supposed to, or scratch things he shouldn't, but if you tell him no and push him away, he'll cut it out. One thing he has never had a problem with in the four months he has lived with us is knowing where he needs to go to use the bathroom. He has gone in his litter box almost instinctively and we've barely needed needed to so much as show him where to go-until now.

For the past three days he insists on using the bathroom somewhere other than his litter box, and always in an area where he would never be permitted and where his litterbox simply would not and should not go. We are at a loss what to do to get him back in the right habit of going in his litterbox. For now, we've locked him in the bathroom with his litterbox and the absolute necessities of life. If he doesn't quit using the bathroom where he should not go, he won't be able to stay with us. As much as I love him and I know we're a good home, my house is not a barn. Even though we own our home now and the plot of land around it, I am afraid to let him outside because we live very close to the railroad tracks, and I fear he'll be run over by a train.

Anyone have any suggestions what we might do to break him of this awful habit?

In a worst-case scenario, we might be looking for a good home for him, perhaps a place where he can safely be outdoors. Obviously that is a last resort.



At Friday, November 03, 2006 12:38:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

IS Casper showing ANY signs of blood in his urine or stools? Is he eating OK, any changes there? Is he drinking less or more? If not it's probably not medical - but cats are wierd - they'll cover up any sickness for as long as they can and you really have to look for it.
Assuming it's not medical, spank him when he does it, even if it's afterwards (you probably won't catch him in the act) and get some "stay off training aid", Hartz makes it - I've gotten it at Kroger and WallMArt. Spray the area and keep doing it for awhile. He sould learn soon enough.
That worked with my cats, altho they also like to use the shower if the litter box is too full for their pristine tastes - I just hose it down the drain the drain and clean the catbox.
Also get him neutered if he's not already - he'll start spraying if you don't (male cats mark "their" territory).

At Friday, November 03, 2006 6:35:00 PM, Anonymous Animal Lover said...

First have him checked by a vet. It sounds like a uti or medical problem.

Also don't feed him anything salted like pork or bacon.

If he has not been neutered after he gets over what ever he has now unless you want him spraying your house, you should have him neutered.

A pet that is already housebroken don't just start messing in the house unless they are sick or sometimes if a litter box is dirty some cats don't want to use it. Please don't spank him? He has a problem or he would not be wetting in the wrong places.

Good lucky with your Kitty.

At Saturday, November 04, 2006 1:21:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Thank you both for your insight!

Steve, he seems to be eating fine. Since we've confined him to the bathroom, he is also going exclusively in his litterbox again. Before we let him back out to run, we want to clean the places that he has gone in so that he can't smell his own waste.

He is slated to be neutered next week. I am hoping that all of this crapping in the floor is not also a way of "marking," because if it is, it won't stop until he gets cut up on Thursday.

At Saturday, November 04, 2006 4:38:00 PM, Anonymous CL said...

Sounds like a medical problem, esp. if he is also pooping outside the box.

To deal with the clean-up, I strongly recommend a product called Nature's Miracle. It's best to use it before trying anything else. Other cleaners can leave a chemical residue that will keep it from working. It will not only clean the stain, it will take care of the odor. You can get it at PetSmart and I think I've seen it at Wal-Mart or Target.

At Saturday, November 04, 2006 11:00:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Glad I could help. Let me clarify one thing that I really, really should have clearer on: when I said 'spank' I didn't necessarily mean actually physically hit. Sometimes that's what it takes, usually not tho. All you have to do is, somehow or the other, associate unpleasentness with the undisirable behavior. I once had a cat that as a kitten I trained by smacking the floor right next to it with a rolled up newspaper. That's all it took for Spliffy to learn that messing in the potted plants wasn't good. On the hand I also had a cat that going 12 rounds with Leonard Spinks wouldn't helped. So it kind'a depends.
One thing has worked several times with many of the cats I've had over the years is a water pistol. I've never had a cat that liked that and all but Drac learned fast. Drac was strange - fasinated by running water - he'd sit outside for hours and watch the drips falling off the iceciles - he'd come in the house cold and dripping wet ... he wasn't much impressed by the water pistol. But other than him it always worked.



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