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Question for cat owners - What would you do?

Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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Hello to my fellow cat owners.

I have a cat that's been peeing on the basement floor for years.  I've had her checked by the vets, they all believe it's behavioral and 'some cats just don't like litter boxes'.  Well within a month on 2 occasions she's peed on the main level of the house - right in front of me!  If this was your cat, what would you do?


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Re: Question for cat owners - What would you do?

  • 500days500days MA member
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    Has the vet checked to see if it has anything to do with bladder tone? I'm so sorry :( Poor cat!


  • is your cat fixed? sometime thats the main issue. How many litter boxes do you have in the house? if you don't have one in your basement already try to put one down there in a spot where they can do their business and observe whats going on around them. I would suggest having a litter box on every floor again place it somewhere where they can see everything going on. Do you have a cat tree? Cats love being up high and again to observe whats going on around them, it gives them a sense of this is my space and go to if they are feeling threatened. There are certain smells that cats don't like like citrus and theres lots of sprays on the market that claim they stop the cat from peeing. 

    If the vets are saying theres nothing health wise wrong with it, then I would be looking at what is it not getting? play time, attention, space that is his own? 

    I've had cats my whole life and have had to deal with the peeing issue we found out our little one was diabetic, she would always drink so much and not be able to hold it. hopefully this helps good luck with your kitty!
      
  • The cats at my mom's house do this when the litter box isn't to their standards.  If it isn't clean or they don't like the litter they will pee right outside the box.  The only remedy we found was to try different litter until they found one they liked, and then to constantly make sure it is clean. 
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    The cats have 4 litter boxes in the basement; none upstairs as all of their stuff is down stairs - they only have access to the kitchen upstairs (because of the peeing issue).  I've tried scoopable litter, non-scoopable, pine, wheat, newspaper litters (maybe others as well - I tried one called cat attract that was supposed to bring them back to the litter box).  I've tried different litter depths.  I've tried closed litter boxes, open litter boxes, round litter boxes, rectangle litter boxes.

    I have 2 cats; the one uses his litter box and would rather explode than not use the box; the other cat as you know won't use a litter box.

    I have a cat tree - she does not climb it.  I've had her for 11 years; she's always been afraid of heights (which is weird for a cat).  I've had her bloodwork done to check for thyroid and diabetes and other issues, everything's come back normal.

    They have toys scattered around, so she could play if she wanted to; she also has the other cat she can play with.


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  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
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    The only time we've had issues with cats peeing outside the litter box was bladder/kidney related. FI's (male) cat has problems with urine crystals. It led to a pretty bad bladder infection. Does your cat seem to be in pain/upset right around the time they're peeing?
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    So I guess I didn't give the cat's history:

    I brought Morgan home in 2003 I believe.  When I got her she was fine and used the litter box, but a few years later she got one after another urinary tract infections (probably 3 in like a 6-10 month span).  It was after that she stopped using the litter box (my guess she associated the litter box with pain).  So at that point she started peeing on the basement floor; she had her spots so I'd just come by and clean them the best I could - super annoying, but I took this cat on, so I figured I'd live with it.  Since that time, I've taken her to the vet's office several times and asked them to look her over to make sure it was behavioral and nothing else was going on; every time it came back 'it must be behavioral'.  Within the past 12 months I've noticed if I left like an empty Amazon box or a empty plastic bag upstairs she would pee in it.  So I made an effort to keep things more clean and tidy upstairs.  Then she peed on the dog's mat where their water bowls are - RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME; so at that point she was banned to the kitchen.  Then if a towel would fall on the floor she would pee on that; so I made every effort again to make sure all towels were off the floor.  Then over the weekend she peed on the floor right in front of me and H. 

    H and I will take her to the vet AGAIN after we're back from Disney to have them look at her AGAIN, but I suspect they'll come back with 'it's behavioral'.  With her being older (and chunky) she just doesn't want to go downstairs and is looking for other places to do her business.


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  • It sounds completely behavioral, like she is trying to say she doesn't like going downstairs. It is odd that she is ok with going where food is though, because cats don't like anything contaminating their food. If she's refusing to go downstairs it might be easiest to have a box upstairs.  
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    @speakeasy14 - I can put a box upstairs, but honestly, she hasn't used a box for years.  I could try potty pads; but I don't want to start bad behaviors with my other cat who uses his litter box just fine.

    H and I are thinking about getting her a kitty-cage; I was just hoping somebody had other ideas because living in a cage just doesn't sound all that great; but it's better than all the other alternatives I'm able to think of.

    I'm seriously just at wits end - my house stinks because of her (I'm embarrassed of it and won't have company over); last night I got home and it probably was in my head but all I could smell was cat urine - so I cleaned all the upstairs locations I know about AGAIN with enzyme cleaners.


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  • I completely understand that feeling. I'm sure it doesn't smell if you're on top of cleaning, but if you get scentsy, plugins, or something that smells nice it'll help you feel better.  

    Do both of the cats get along?  I'm wondering if that is why she won't go downstairs.  I've never heard of a kitty cage, so not sure if that would help.  I tried looking up some solutions and one was to put a litter box where she keeps going to the bathroom, she may still have a smell associated with that area. 

    Also, it says to make the spots where she's been going less appealing by covering them with aluminum foil or placing citrus scented cotton balls over the areas she has been peeing.  THIS is the best link I found. 
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    @Speakeasy thanks - I've read that site.  I feel like I'm being such a pain!!  I put a litter box where she was peeing - she moved her 'spot' over about 2 feet.  I put aluminum in her spot - she moved her spot over 2 feet (and my other cat decided it was a toy and tore it up).

    This is the kitty-cage I've been looking at; you can get ramps and covers for the perches and litter boxes and food/water bowls for it and a kitty hammock for it: 
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    I think the plan would be; when humans are not home/sleeping, she would be in the kitty cage; when humans are home and awake - she could be out.

    Her and my other cat get along pretty well; they do fight because my other cat will start stuff with her (and he doesn't necessarily like it when she bathes him); but typically they're sleeping cuddled up together in the same kitty-bed (they have 3 kitty beds; she will rotate which one she uses and they're all the same, so it's not like he's sleeping cuddling with her because it's a favorite bed). 

    Just a story of how well they get along:  We had a flea problem once and she was the one that was the worst (all the other animals could be treated with frontline, but she was swarming with fleas) so I decided to give her a flea bath to help her out a little more before treating her with frontline.  So I was giving her a bath and she was meowing-bloody-death sounding meows and my other cat started attacking me... literally he bit me in the ass - TWICE.  H had to come down and hold a laundry basket over him so he would stop attacking me.


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  • Oh jeez, yeah I'm out of ideas too.  And I can't believe the other cat attacked you because she was crying. 
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  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
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    Sounds weird, but have you tried a different litter in the box? Sometimes you can trick them back in that way. There's also a product called Cat Attract that you can sprinkle in with the litter to encourage cats to do their business there.
  • AlPacinaAlPacina Portlandia member
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    My cat started messing on the carpet in my dining room for a while. She only stopped when I fully scrubbed her litter box and put all new litter in there. So I started doing a full change-out much more often, rather than just scooping.

    That's the only advice based on personal experience that I have.

    Although I guess I have one more. One time I left for two days, and just put down extra food and water. She wasn't a very social cat, so I figured she wouldn't even notice............. The bitch peed in the middle of my bed. So maybe she isn't getting enough attention? I dunno. It's weird that she would do that when you're right in front of her, though.

  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    @KeptInStitches - Yup tried new boxes, different shaped boxes, covered boxes, uncovered boxes, high wall boxes, and low wall boxes and even tried Cat Attract.

    I honestly think she's just too lazy to JUMP in a kitty box at this point (and too lazy to go down the stairs now a days).  She has short little legs and a round belly - she seriously is shaped like a football with these tiny legs...




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  • peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
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    Is she overweight?  You mention she has short legs and a round belly, and therefore may have issues with her belly touching the litter box.

    I would probably not do a kitty cage under any circumstances.  You say she's afraid of heights, and you're looking at something that would give her almost exclusively vertical space.  That doesn't seem like a good fit.
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  • eilis1228eilis1228 Southwest member
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    I don't have a cat but had a few growing up. While reading this thread, she comes across as very emotional and intelligent. Could she be mad at you for some reason? Has it gotten worse since your H moved in? Have there been any other changes in the household over the past 12 months? 

    Growing up we had both cats and dogs that would act out like that when there were changes (ie new pet, new work hours for my parents, long vacations, etc). We had a cat who would pee right in front of my mom to show she was mad at us, and we had a dog who would refuse to eat when he was mad. My sister had to give her cat to our aunt when she left for college, and every time she visits the cat at my aunt's, the cat will try to attack her. My sister left for college two years ago, and the cat is still mad at her. Maybe your cat is really upset about something that's changed in your house over the past 12 months? 


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  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
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    When you go to the vet and they rule out it being medical and insist that it's behavioral, do they not offer up any sort of solution for you? If not, I would find a new vet immediately. 

    Please do not put your cat in that cage. That just looks awful for a cat to have to live in.

    Can you try to move the litter box somewhere upstairs? It sounds like she's older and maybe going downstairs is too much on her. It also sounds like she's overweight which might be keeping her from going downstairs as well. 

    I'd also try a shorter box and see if that helps at all. Since you said she was going on random flattish things you've left lying around, maybe she's having a hard time stepping into the box. 



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  • GoldenPenguinGoldenPenguin Upstate NY mod
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    Swazzle said:
    When you go to the vet and they rule out it being medical and insist that it's behavioral, do they not offer up any sort of solution for you? If not, I would find a new vet immediately. 

    Please do not put your cat in that cage. That just looks awful for a cat to have to live in.

    Can you try to move the litter box somewhere upstairs? It sounds like she's older and maybe going downstairs is too much on her. It also sounds like she's overweight which might be keeping her from going downstairs as well. 

    I'd also try a shorter box and see if that helps at all. Since you said she was going on random flattish things you've left lying around, maybe she's having a hard time stepping into the box. 
    They make disposable litter boxes like this that might be a good solution for her: 
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  • So I guess I didn't give the cat's history:

     When I got her she was fine and used the litter box, but a few years later she got one after another urinary tract infections (probably 3 in like a 6-10 month span).  It was after that she stopped using the litter box (my guess she associated the litter box with pain).  

      I think @Dignity100 that might be the cause..These little rascals don't forget,I swear.
    That and they enjoy being pain in the ass sometimes,just for pure enjoyment.
    It is behavioral.And my parents have problems with my old cats too lately.
    They were litter box kittens then they grew out of it and went outside(there is an empty lot near their apartment complex with trees etc. and grass/garden.
    It has been more than 10 years,and now if they feel too lazy to call to get outside or jump
    to the always open window out,they will shit in my parent's bedroom or mine.
    If you close the door they ignore it,if it's open,they will do their business in it.
    I'm truly sorry to hear your frustration and that you've gone through any litter box and
    she doesn't seem to notice.How is she with poop?And in the end..I would wear her a diaper.







  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    Is she overweight?  You mention she has short legs and a round belly, and therefore may have issues with her belly touching the litter box.

    I would probably not do a kitty cage under any circumstances.  You say she's afraid of heights, and you're looking at something that would give her almost exclusively vertical space.  That doesn't seem like a good fit.
    It's easy to say this - but what WOULD you do?  To make a comment that 'I wouldn't put a cat in a cage' is a great statement; but you offered NO suggestions.  I don't want to do a kitty cage; but I also don't want to have a cat that pees everywhere.  Quite frankly, I feel my options are; that's why I asked:
    PTS
    Kitty Cage
    Shelter

    I have tried to get her to lose weight; she never has lost it.  I have had her blood work done to see if she has thyroid/diabetes/whatever else the vet suspected and it's always come back negative (for both weight and her potty issues).


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  • peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
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    Is she overweight?  You mention she has short legs and a round belly, and therefore may have issues with her belly touching the litter box.

    I would probably not do a kitty cage under any circumstances.  You say she's afraid of heights, and you're looking at something that would give her almost exclusively vertical space.  That doesn't seem like a good fit.
    It's easy to say this - but what WOULD you do?  To make a comment that 'I wouldn't put a cat in a cage' is a great statement; but you offered NO suggestions.  I don't want to do a kitty cage; but I also don't want to have a cat that pees everywhere.  Quite frankly, I feel my options are; that's why I asked:
    PTS
    Kitty Cage
    Shelter

    I have tried to get her to lose weight; she never has lost it.  I have had her blood work done to see if she has thyroid/diabetes/whatever else the vet suspected and it's always come back negative (for both weight and her potty issues).
    Calm down, there's no need to get your undies in a twist.

    It's pretty clear to me you don't actually want solutions to this.  Everyone has given pretty great advice, and you've shot every single one of them down with "tried that, didn't work."

    You know what I think you want to hear?  I think you want to hear that you should give her up, that you deserve a better cat.  In reality, I think you need to deal with it, find a different vet, try to find a behavior specialist, and keep her, refusal to pee in a litter box and all.

    And for the love of all that is good, don't put your cat in a cage because she doesn't do what you want her to do.  
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    @eilis1228 - this has been going on since probably 2004 (life before dogs).  When she was just going on the concrete floor in the basement, I didn't like it, but I dealt with it.  Now that she's going upstairs too - I cannot tolerate it as it is not healthy for anybody else in my household.  Lots has changed since 2004; I got dogs; I broke up with my ex; started dating H... new furniture has come in, re-arranging of the house has been done, new flooring has been done. 

    @Swazzle - I've tried other litter boxes in different areas, new litter boxes when it was downstairs.  I can put a litterbox upstairs (they only have access to the kitchen, so not ideal) so I don't know what the difference would be between a new litterbox upstairs in a new location vs a new litter box in a new location downstairs.  I have been battling this for over 10 years.  I've talked to several different vets at the vets office and they've offered up many of these things that I've tried (and that have been suggested).

    @marylab - She is still pooping in the corner on the concrete of the basement right now (same spot she always has since this began).


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  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
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    Is she overweight?  You mention she has short legs and a round belly, and therefore may have issues with her belly touching the litter box.

    I would probably not do a kitty cage under any circumstances.  You say she's afraid of heights, and you're looking at something that would give her almost exclusively vertical space.  That doesn't seem like a good fit.
    It's easy to say this - but what WOULD you do?  To make a comment that 'I wouldn't put a cat in a cage' is a great statement; but you offered NO suggestions.  I don't want to do a kitty cage; but I also don't want to have a cat that pees everywhere.  Quite frankly, I feel my options are; that's why I asked:
    PTS
    Kitty Cage
    Shelter

    I have tried to get her to lose weight; she never has lost it.  I have had her blood work done to see if she has thyroid/diabetes/whatever else the vet suspected and it's always come back negative (for both weight and her potty issues).
    Calm down, there's no need to get your undies in a twist.

    It's pretty clear to me you don't actually want solutions to this.  Everyone has given pretty great advice, and you've shot every single one of them down with "tried that, didn't work."

    You know what I think you want to hear?  I think you want to hear that you should give her up, that you deserve a better cat.  In reality, I think you need to deal with it, find a different vet, try to find a behavior specialist, and keep her, refusal to pee in a litter box and all.

    And for the love of all that is good, don't put your cat in a cage because she doesn't do what you want her to do.  
    Cosigned. 

    I don't understand how this has been going on for years and you haven't at the very least found another vet. Your vet shouldn't just say "Oh yea, your cat pees on the floor, it's not medical so good luck." That's a shitty vet if that is the case because that's completely abnormal behavior for a cat and you should go elsewhere. Even if it IS behavioral and not medical, they can prescribe her something. 

    I really have to agree that it sounds like you want us to tell you to give up on and get rid of her. Something is obviously wrong. She's not just peeing on the floor for no reason. 



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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    Is she overweight?  You mention she has short legs and a round belly, and therefore may have issues with her belly touching the litter box.

    I would probably not do a kitty cage under any circumstances.  You say she's afraid of heights, and you're looking at something that would give her almost exclusively vertical space.  That doesn't seem like a good fit.
    It's easy to say this - but what WOULD you do?  To make a comment that 'I wouldn't put a cat in a cage' is a great statement; but you offered NO suggestions.  I don't want to do a kitty cage; but I also don't want to have a cat that pees everywhere.  Quite frankly, I feel my options are; that's why I asked:
    PTS
    Kitty Cage
    Shelter

    I have tried to get her to lose weight; she never has lost it.  I have had her blood work done to see if she has thyroid/diabetes/whatever else the vet suspected and it's always come back negative (for both weight and her potty issues).
    Calm down, there's no need to get your undies in a twist.

    It's pretty clear to me you don't actually want solutions to this.  Everyone has given pretty great advice, and you've shot every single one of them down with "tried that, didn't work."

    You know what I think you want to hear?  I think you want to hear that you should give her up, that you deserve a better cat.  In reality, I think you need to deal with it, find a different vet, try to find a behavior specialist, and keep her, refusal to pee in a litter box and all.

    And for the love of all that is good, don't put your cat in a cage because she doesn't do what you want her to do.  
    No - I'd love to hear something I haven't tried!  Unfortunately, like I've stated the problem has been going on for 10 years and I've been trying to find a solution for 10 years.  Do you know how frustrating it is to have your house ruined by a cat (because lets face it, cat urine is one of the HARDEST things to get out)?  And yes, I have kept her like this for 10 years, cleaning up after she's went.

    Trust me, because of her - I'm not going to have cats again after my 2 pass on.


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  • Ollie08Ollie08 Central FL member
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    What exactly is PTS? Put To Sleep?

    You came here asking for advice, and you were given advice. But you didn't want to hear that advice, you want someone to justify you being so annoyed by this cat that you're willing to drop her off at a shelter so you don't have to deal with her. 

    How is it that you tried to get her to lose weight but she never lost it? The only way she could have over eaten is if you fed her. I guess I just don't understand all of the excuses for not helping this poor girl.   


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  • marylabmarylab member
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    edited January 2015
    I can only sympathize for your frustration. @Dignity100
    Broyer will wait for us to get home to go and do her business..
    Like really cat?You had all the time in the world to go,and you go now?
    I've been comfy in my bed and she would eat out of nowhere a ton shit of food
    and barf on carpet/floor,and I would climb and clean it.Perfectly happy,she will proceed to eat more food.It's not everyday and not every month either though..
    If I were you right now,I would try an old school for last time.
    Diaper on the kitty,a very low litter box or cardbox for no money spent,cut low,
    with some plastic bag/piece/anything for leakage and litter.After she does her business I would bury in it,a pee diaper or and poo.It's the way you start with kittens..and I would put put it in the corner she poops.My parents actually put a litter box on the balcony and they go there,but it's small and I guess if they don't find it clean enough at times,they do their ''revenge'' in the room.
    But also ditto,ask another vet.





  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
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    Please read this link before you decide to put your cat to sleep or get rid of her. CLICK



  • edited January 2015
    @Dignity100, I'm sorry that your kitty is giving you a rough time of it. 

    As much as I know you don't want to hear this, it must be said.  Giving your cat to a shelter is not an option, or at least, it shouldn't be.  Having a pet is like having a baby.  You don't just give up on her if she (literally) shits the bed.  Do you know what often happens to older cats at shelters, particularly those that have "issues" (like incontinence)?  They are often put down, or they spend months (or years) on end in a cage, scared to death until someone adopts them.

    I just think that you need to put things in perspective.  This animal is a part of your family, and you do not just issue a death sentence because of where she's peeing/pooping.

    Take a deep breath.  Acknowledge your frustration.  Then, get your cat the help she needs.
    kipper88
  • speakeasy14speakeasy14 member
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    edited January 2015
    Ummm...here are other suggestions:

    Youtube video how someone got their cat to stopping peeing outside the litter box (CLICKY)

    Forum where people have shared how they helped their cat (CLICKY)

    More advice (CLICKY)

    Whatever you do don't do the cage; it will just make the situation worse.  *Edit because I'm kind of speechless right now.
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    Ollie08 said:

    What exactly is PTS? Put To Sleep?

    You came here asking for advice, and you were given advice. But you didn't want to hear that advice, you want someone to justify you being so annoyed by this cat that you're willing to drop her off at a shelter so you don't have to deal with her. 

    How is it that you tried to get her to lose weight but she never lost it? The only way she could have over eaten is if you fed her. I guess I just don't understand all of the excuses for not helping this poor girl.   

    I've tried weight management food from the vets office.  She was on it for months (as was my other cat).  She will be going back to the vets next month for another full check up.

    I think it's easy to say that I'm not trying to help this poor cat; but I've been doing all of this for 10+ years. It's frustrating as hell.  I can try ALL these great ideas again; I'll put her back on a weight loss food and limit the amount they are given AGAIN.  I'll buy all new litter boxes AGAIN and re-clean all the areas that she generally goes.  I am not optimistic but since everybody thinks that I haven't tried many of these ideas on multiple occasions; I'll do it all again.

    The only other thing I can think of is trying potty pads, but these I don't want to put upstairs because I do have another cat and I don't want to start bad habits with him (not saying I won't, just would rather avoid it if at all possible).




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