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When are there no other options available?

FullHouse
May 16th, 2007, 12:51 PM
HI - I am a new member to this forum.

I have a problem. I have a cat who is Peeing (not spraying) on all our personal belongings. The vet has ruled out medical issues - in fact we know exactly WHY the cat is doing this.

He is mad at us.

He is mad that we won't let him loose outside - can't legally, nor want him roaming personally. He pee's on various items - no one place, item in particular, no one time or times in relation to other times. It is my childs things, my spouses things, my things - clothes, strollers, blankets on leather couches, books, boxes, dog pillows, suitcase - nothing more than once - we will go days with nothing and then he will up and pee on something in one room or another. He peed in a bag that had items from swimming because it was beside the door he was howling at to go outside that we wouldn't allow him to go.

When is enough enough. I know that we simply can not provide to him the solution he wants. We have a outdoor teather system but the pissing continues. I have heard various opinions that most people would not tolorate this behavior for as long as we have. Opinions that a vet stated to one person the point of no return is when a dog bits your family or when a cat is peeing on your stuff - at that point its time to re-home.

Are there any other solutions? We have feliway spray but again the pissing is not one place, one thing, one area, any time of day or night - there is no way for us to know when and where to spray the feliway.

I don't believe animals are disposable BUT I can't live like this - its not fair to us either. Note: he is 1 year, has been fixed since 6mo, had him since he was 6 wks old.

Frenchy
May 16th, 2007, 01:01 PM
I had a cat who did that, behavioral problem, my vet prescribed meds and it stopped. I don't remember the name , but it was like valiums for cats. She still was the same cat, without the peeing everywhere.

happycats
May 16th, 2007, 01:17 PM
I had a cat who did that, behavioral problem, my vet prescribed meds and it stopped. I don't remember the name , but it was like valiums for cats. She still was the same cat, without the peeing everywhere.

My friend had the same problem, I think it's called Comacalm (sp) and his cat stopped right away.

Is there any way you can make an outdoor enclosure for the cat?
We actually have a large homemade cage off of one of our basement windows, that way your can can come in and out as he pleases.

bendyfoot
May 16th, 2007, 01:22 PM
It's called "clomicalm" or chlomipramine, and would definitely be worth a try.

jessi76
May 16th, 2007, 01:26 PM
I agree with happycats - a cat run may be a good solution. Here is a link for more info and ideas: http://www.xmission.com/~emailbox/catrun.htm

a cat run combined w/ medication may do the trick.

FullHouse
May 16th, 2007, 02:11 PM
We DO let him out on a leash and tether system - he has 20ft to run along plus 10 ft of leash. He has a nice piece of treed area, fences he can jump on, and no good - so he DOES go out and he DOES get to run around- up and down more so than a fenced area would allow - but his issue is he wants to roam free - not happy being captive. ETA - we don't have enough room for a full enclosure anyways due to the shape and size of our yard - we already have a dog run which the cat is capable of getting out of. I can't say I was aware that it was a requirment owning an indoor cat I have an enclosure for him.

As far a the peeing - it is NOT "peeing everywhere" he does it so sporatically we don't knwo when he will hit next - what day, what hour, where, whose stuff - we could go days, even weeks and then bang he's mad at us and pees on our stuff.

I found this online about cats and clomicalm and it simply does not cover the entire behavior - I assume this is why and what is being talked about

http://www.petplace.com/cats/separation-anxiety-in-cats/page1.aspx

He pees AND howls - He is not depressed as this seems to suggest. He pees cause he is mad cause we won't let him roam outside. He HOWLS like he is being murdered cause he wants out - generally at 5am - often at the door behind us, any time and place in the house really - cause he wants OUT NOW.

As I said we know this is not a "medical" issue and thats why the solutions we are finding don't seem to fit.

bendyfoot
May 16th, 2007, 03:13 PM
The article you cited is discussing separation anxiety, which is the main on-label use for clomicalm for dogs and cats. However, the drug is also used to treat general anxiety, aggression, mood disorders and inappropriate urination in cats. I've had a kitty on it who was angry, violent and lashing out after a move and simultaneous introduction to a new dog. It helped her tremendously (and the dog, who was getting her nose shredded all the time). Treatment of some of these conditions is considered "off-label", and may not have a lot of information available on the web. You may consider asking your vet about it. It may help with the howling, as your cat is not howling to upset you/make you angry, he is telling you that he is unhappy/anxious about being inside. The clomicalm may releive some of this stress/anxiety and thus reduce the howling. I have a howler too, and have found it helpful to ignore the behaviour completely. Any attention he gets while howling (i.e. being put outside - onleash or not -, yelling, squirting, petting to calm him) only reinforces the "bad" behaviour and will make it worse.
Edited to add: thperhaps he is seeing other cats outside, which would be frustrating for him, and making him feel like he has to pee in his territory (which for him, is largely indoors).

happycats
May 16th, 2007, 06:19 PM
He pees AND howls - He is not depressed as this seems to suggest. He pees cause he is mad cause we won't let him roam outside. He HOWLS like he is being murdered cause he wants out - generally at 5am - often at the door behind us, any time and place in the house really - cause he wants OUT NOW.

As I said we know this is not a "medical" issue and thats why the solutions we are finding don't seem to fit.


If he is mad, and isn't getting what he wants (going out to roam) I think over time that would lead to depression. So your cat may very well be depressed

I can't say I was aware that it was a requirment owning an indoor cat I have an enclosure for him.

And no it's not a "requirement" it's just something some of us choose to do to bring some joy to our cats lives;)

I also find my cats enjoy the enclosure more the a leash.

Great info bendyfoot!:thumbs up

Maya
May 16th, 2007, 07:36 PM
The way you describe kitty "pissing" sounds like you are suggesting this is something your cat is doing to you and your family out of revenge. The cat is so young and it is unfair to personify his behaviour. I can certainly relate to not wanting everything smelling like urine, that is most upsetting and costly but please don't hate your cat for it, he is not doing it to be nasty.

I would definitely give the medications a try, i've heard that has worked for many people. I've even heard of prozac in small doses being relatively safe and effective for cats in these types of situations. Hopefully if you still love him you can hold on long enough to try meds. If not please try to find him a home with someone that will be able to offer medication and or the outdoors.

[edit]Okay now I just noticed the title of your thread, looks like you have already decided that there are no more options. If this is the case please try to find the cat a good home.

glitterless
May 17th, 2007, 02:01 AM
I don't believe that it's fair to medicate an animal to keep him calm. If life in a house isn't agreeing with him, why not try to find a home that might be more suitable? I don't really have any suggestions because I realize there is an ongoing problem of overpopulation in cats, but it might be worth looking into.

It's one thing for humans to agree to taking medications for mental health issues, but I don't think that it's ethical to experiment with animals.

We had an older female named "Minou" who I believe DID in fact defecate around the house out of revenge. For example, one day Minou was disciplined by my dad for fighting with another cat. I think he just yelled at her to break up the fight. Within an hour, she had gone upstairs and defecated on my parents' bed.

She went on to do things like this several times in her life. She could be a friendly, affectionate cat, but like most cats, it was all on her own terms. Minou obviously owned the house and ruled everyone in it.

A friend of mine is having similar problems with her cat. They live in an apartment and I'm not sure if this cat has ever been outside, but for no reason at all, he wakes them up during the night with his screams. He's been to the vet several times over this and nothing has been found. I don't know if he's mad, if he wants out, if he wants companionship, or what.

Good luck. I hope that you can figure out a solution to this.

FullHouse
May 17th, 2007, 11:53 AM
The way you describe kitty "pissing" sounds like you are suggesting this is something your cat is doing to you and your family out of revenge. The cat is so young and it is unfair to personify his behaviour. I can certainly relate to not wanting everything smelling like urine, that is most upsetting and costly but please don't hate your cat for it, he is not doing it to be nasty.

I would definitely give the medications a try, i've heard that has worked for many people. I've even heard of prozac in small doses being relatively safe and effective for cats in these types of situations. Hopefully if you still love him you can hold on long enough to try meds. If not please try to find him a home with someone that will be able to offer medication and or the outdoors.

[edit]Okay now I just noticed the title of your thread, looks like you have already decided that there are no more options. If this is the case please try to find the cat a good home.

I wouldn't say that I have made up my mind - if that was the case I probably would not have opened up and asked. I find it hard to understand why people don't generally believe that the cat is pissing simply and ONLY because he is mad at us. I guess I was looking for some understanding that this behavior although not normal - "can" happen and how others dealt with it. I firmly believe that this is in fact he pisses when he is mad at us - and only then, based on what he has done.

I guess I should have just asked how other dealt with it. I have looked into re-homing him and that option is difficult as It would have to be a place he could roam and therefore a city home is not suitable. I had someone respond to an inquiry that he could come to his farm and live off the mice he caught - and thats not a suitable option for me. Part of me was looking for someone to dsay - its ok to re-home him I guess - have some confirmation that it is not my fault.

Thank you Glitterless for you post as it confirmed to me that indeed he could be doing it to be mad and that I too don't necessarily feel that medicating an animal is in its best interest. Honestly - neither me nor my spouse are prepared to spend the rest of the animals life medicating it cause he "just ain't happy". I was looking for possibly information that I was not able to find on the internet but I feel as though the options are limited.

Right now I am faced with the 3 choices - look into medicating him, let him roam at night when there is less chance of him being caught, or re-home him. Funny because when I share my problem in person the first thing people say is how tolerant I am not only on the pissing but the howling - all of which has been going on for 6+ months - so I think that yes - we have been quite tolerant. Anybody I have said this too is SHOCKED the cat is still around. I guess I am not a very good cat mother for feeling the after 6 mo I can't handle it anymore. We've done what I believe to be enough for himand he is still not happy.

Thank you all for your input - I appreciate you all taking you time to respond. While I don't believe that animals are disposable - I also don't think that keeping them while they are unhappy is fair (nor medicating them to falsly think they are happy) IMO is he is depressed with his environment it is more fair to move him to a happy place. I have spent HUNDREDS of dollars in this cat to keep him (he is up to date on shots, licensing, fixed and microchipped) and it is simply not working out - if I truly had the belief he was disposable I would have never spent that kind of money nor cared what I was going to do, nor tolorated it this long.

Thanks again.
Fullhouse.

Frenchy
May 17th, 2007, 12:19 PM
I don't believe that it's fair to medicate an animal to keep him calm. If life in a house isn't agreeing with him, why not try to find a home that might be more suitable?

well sometimes you just don't have that choice !

bendyfoot
May 17th, 2007, 12:56 PM
Consider this: many people are on medications to treat anxiety, depression, mood disorders etc., either long or short-term. The reason medication is used is because these conditions are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, and medication puts the brain back into a "normal" state. Medication does not "trick" the brain into believing it's happy, it restores the brain to a healthy state.
My cat Riley is currently on a different anti-anxiety medication (not clomicalm, but I can't remember the name right now), and she is happy and content, with no side effects other than a bit of weight gain. It does mean annual blood tests to be sure there is no harm being done to her liver/kidneys, and we do have to give her a pill once or twice a day, but if it means restoring her health (the chemical imbalance), we are willing to take that on.

clm
May 17th, 2007, 01:12 PM
Was this an outdoor cat before you got him? If he was and wasn't used to being confined, he may well never adjust to being restricted. What do you mean it's illegal to let him roam?....I wasn't aware that there are places where a licensed cat can't roam. I guess they issue tickets to ferrals do they:laughing:
Our big indoor outdoor stray that adopted us years ago will never adjust to being an indoor only cat. He had been out on his own, only eating what he caught for at least 2 years, likely much longer than that, ( the vet thinks he's about 10 ) before I noticed him around a lot and worked on getting him to trust me. Finally he would stay around the house to be fed and petted and started coming in the house. Sure, I could make him stay inside, but he wouldn't be happy and I know that. I make sure he's well fed, up to date on his shots and give him lots of places to sleep around the yard. Keep a big deep bowl of fresh water for him out there too, that makes him stay close to home. I do worry every time he goes out that I may not see him again, if he gets sick he may well just disappear and I'll never know what happens to him, it drives me crazy if he hasn't shown up for breakfast or dinnner or to greet me in the driveway when I get home. I have 3 cat houses outside for him with down blankets in them for bad weather, and he loves the swing in the garden for long lazy naps in the summer. I have the basement blocked off for all the animals in our house except him, so that he has his own private space when he wants to come in and sleep, does a lot now in bad weather and cold weather, and he doesn't like other cats. I keep him inside during halloween (he's black), and fireworks holidays. You can only do what you can to try to make your house the place they want to stick around when they insist on being an outdoor cat. It's not ideal, but it's the compromise I had to make with the big guy.
Now my 3 girls were all adopted as tiny kittens and have always been indoor and will never go outside, take them outside once just an invitation to trouble, so they sit in open windows, they have every toy imaginable, they have cat grass and floor to ceiling cat trees and each other to play with and they've never shown any desire to go out. Having never been out they don't know what they're missing, so we're all happy.

Cindy

FullHouse
May 17th, 2007, 01:30 PM
CLM - To answer a couple of questions - No he was never an outside cat - got out once and that was it. We have had him since a kitten - 6weeks old.

And the other - in my town there is a bylaw that states it is illegal for cats to "run at large" just as it is dogs. The licensing is a completely unrelated item from the cats running at large. If your animal is caught there is a fine - $100 I think - regardless of licensing - its about disturbing your neighbors etc. The license is to help them find you - but it states to be licensed on a break-away collar anyways - I think its to help them keep track and to help pay for the services in a city this big. - I personally have no prolem with either issue.

Also - he does have a friend - we have another cat - and this behavior is NOT RELATED to that other cat being at the house - so please I would ask that it not be questioned.

Thanks again - I won't share much more because simply I understand that others would not agree with us or our reasons.

Fullhouse

CyberKitten
May 17th, 2007, 01:31 PM
I am a pediatrician and clearly have to prescribe meds to children, some, esp chemotherapy I wish I did not have to! - we have to make decisions in much the same way for our pets. I always talk to the children though one cannot do that with toddlers (and yes, toddlers do get cancer, very frustrating but it happens and often very aggressive cancers!) or obviously, pets.

Again, I wonder about a cat therapist or behaviourist before resorting to meds. Another nmd used ion cats and also used for humans is the tricyclic anti depressant amitriplline (elavil). But I would talk to your vet to see what s/he thinks is best.

There can be a myriad of reasons for cats to urinate or defecate and I don't believe any of them are out of spite,. Cats are not human and we cannot anthropomorphize them to assume they have our characteristics. We have to try to thin like a cat. Either your cat does not like the litter, like where it is, is hurting somewhere (psychologically) and sees this as an outlet, stated this maybe post op after feeling pain and associating it with a litter box and found soft places better, or is upset about something. There are even more reason - can't think of them all but I'd worj thru each one before giving up on him!!

Good luck!

FullHouse
May 17th, 2007, 05:55 PM
I am a pediatrician and clearly have to prescribe meds to children, some, esp chemotherapy I wish I did not have to! - we have to make decisions in much the same way for our pets. I always talk to the children though one cannot do that with toddlers (and yes, toddlers do get cancer, very frustrating but it happens and often very aggressive cancers!) or obviously, pets.

Again, I wonder about a cat therapist or behaviourist before resorting to meds. Another nmd used ion cats and also used for humans is the tricyclic anti depressant amitriplline (elavil). But I would talk to your vet to see what s/he thinks is best.

There can be a myriad of reasons for cats to urinate or defecate and I don't believe any of them are out of spite,. Cats are not human and we cannot anthropomorphize them to assume they have our characteristics. We have to try to thin like a cat. Either your cat does not like the litter, like where it is, is hurting somewhere (psychologically) and sees this as an outlet, stated this maybe post op after feeling pain and associating it with a litter box and found soft places better, or is upset about something. There are even more reason - can't think of them all but I'd worj thru each one before giving up on him!!

Good luck!

No offense - but I place ZERO credibility into kitty psychologists. - I will give the cat away before I waste money on a "kitty Psychologist" - Humans can't even figure out our own race - what makes anyone think they can figure out what a CAT wants?! Call me whatever but I KNOW the cat is unhappy about not going outside - I don't need to pay a "Kitty Psychologist" money to GET THAT.

And once again NO it is nothing to do with the litter box or an infection and YES It IS about being MAD at us.

You have however provided te clear answer - enough IS enough when it is being suggested some quack doctor can tell me what my cat is thinking.

Thanks again - I found my answer.

Maya
May 17th, 2007, 06:18 PM
Looks like someone helped you validate your expertise in cat psychology today.:thumbs up Maybe when kitty is really mad at you he says to himself this spot will really piss them off.:p

t.pettet
May 17th, 2007, 10:19 PM
If he were my cat and he seemed so miserable in his present environment then I would look into re-homing him to a farm environment where he is fed dry food once a day (which you could supply to the farmer) as he seems to be in need of independence. There are quite a few farms around where I am who will take in neutered/spayed cats as rodent control and these cats seem to do quite well, have access to a warm barn in winter and an endless amount of rodents to keep them busy.

glitterless
May 18th, 2007, 01:11 AM
Frenchy, I don't believe that it's fair to keep an animal who isn't happy for our own selfish reasons. I agree with FullHouse that animals aren't disposable, but I also realize that not all living arrangements with pets work out. If the pet isn't happy in your home, find him a home where he'll be more happy.

Cats have been domesticated, but that doesn't mean that every cat is born ready and willing to be a happy house cat. It may be in our cats' best interests to live in a house where they are safe from cars and predators, but that doesn't mean that we should keep every unhappy cat indoors.

CyberKitten, I completely agree that sometimes meds are necessary. However, I don't think that diagnosing mental illness is much of a science at all. I do realize that a lot of medicine is guesswork and that oftentimes there isn't a definitive diagnosis. The results of diagnostic testing vary depending on who reads the results, and treatment can also really vary. However, I don't think that it's ethical to prescribe drugs to a pet who may just need a lifestyle change! It's one thing to do this in humans -- we make decisions and if we would rather take a pill than exercise or make a diet change, then so be it. We are subjecting ourselves to whatever the effects may be. But is it right to do this to our animals? I'm not really sure.

I am not completely ruling out meds like Prozac for pets, but I also wouldn't jump on the bandwagon and dose my pet daily when there may be healthier alternatives out there.

Also, I don't think that we are necessarily anthropomorphizing this cat or others by assuming that he's "mad" or "frustrated". Who has told us that cats cannot have these feelings? I've handled, owned, and worked with a lot of different animals, and I have definitely seen these animals show emotion. Each animal has a distinct personality, and each animal responds to a situation in a different manner. I definitely see examples of frustration, confusion, excitement, and even those "light-bulb" moments when training my horses. I think that a person who believes that animals don't show emotion is a person who doesn't know their animal well enough.

Good luck FullHouse. I hope that you can find a solution for your cat.

clm
May 18th, 2007, 02:50 AM
I hope you find a solution too. It's a difficult position you're in and I don't envy you. Good luck and let us know what happens.

Cindy