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Old 05-26-2010, 09:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dee
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Default Cat jealous of new baby

We got a cat, mandy, 5 years ago. At the time we were a couple and it was just the two of us and the cat. After 2 years I finished college and got a full time job. We thought Mandy might be lonely with me at work so we got her a friend. The two cats do not get on at all and since we got him a friend Mandy began occasionally peeing around the house. This was annoying but it didnt happen a lot.

In April we had our first baby. Since then Mandy (who had always slept on our bed) is not allowed in our room. Since that day (6 weeks ago) she has either peed or pooped somewhere every single day. Literally every day. It has gotten to the point where she will do it openly when we are looking at her. She has even peed on the kitchen table and in the baby's carrycot.

Since she cant be trusted we have now had to lock her out of all the bedrooms which makes the peeing and pooping worse coz she is upset that half the house is now boxed off - though thats her own fault.

Weve tried both scolding her and weve tried giving her treats and extra attention to see if she were less insecure if she would pee less, but to no avail.

Its hard for me coz I have to go around the house closing every door behind me and constantly checking every room to make sure there is no baby stuff left out for the cat to pee on. My husband is at his wits end and is likely to just snap and chuck her out. I really want to help the cat, but her issue seems to be that she cant get into our room to sleep, this is never going to reversed so i cant see an end to the peeing.

Can anyone help me stop the cat from doing this? If we cant solve this she will have to go as I cant have a baby living in a house that stinks of cat pee and where she could constantly be coming into contact with cat faeces.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

You said you tried giving her extra attention. Maybe you could try that again, but to a greater extent.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

Quote:
Since she cant be trusted we have now had to lock her out of all the bedrooms which makes the peeing and pooping worse coz she is upset that half the house is now boxed off - though thats her own fault.
I have to be honest here, if that's your true view of a cat's behavior, it would be better for Mandy if you can find her a good home.
Not a shelter, mind you, but another, good home, where you can trust the people will take care of her.

It seems to me that you don't have the time, energy, and let's be honest, the patience and love to teach Mandy what's going on.
It would take a LOT more than treats for a few days for Mandy to stop peeing and pooping everywhere. Scolding especially doesn't help.

The fact that you shut Mandy out of your bedroom cold turkey where she has been allowed to be in all her life so far, made her turn to one of the only things available for a cat to let you know she's disappointed in you: peeing and pooping everywhere but the litterbox.
Hence, when you shut her out of all the other rooms you don't allow her to go into, the disappointment deepened, and the peeing/pooping out of place worsened.
It's very obvious. And it's not your cat's fault.

Maybe someone else will have a better advice for you.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

the cat isn't jealous, it's traumatized. You need to rehome her.
She was once a treasured member of your family, now she's an outcast. She's justifiably upset.
I think you need to open up your doors and let this cat have some time around you and your baby.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

You know, I always counsel people I know who have pets and who are planning to have kids to start working w/ the animal the SECOND they know they are pregnant. Most won't bother, but those who do have no problems. The animal cannot possibly understand why things were one way yesterday and today life is topsy-turvy. Excluding the kitty from the BR, esp. w/ no notice, on top of the fact that suddenly she's getting far less attention than before, results in stress. She may be marking b/c of the stress or the stress may have resulted in her getting a UTI, but the end result is the same.

When you have a kid you have almost 9 mos to plan. There really is no reason to lock the cat out of the bedroom, and certainly it would be better not to change that. But if you must do so, the time to get her used to it is well in advance, so that you can do it gradually, with understanding and compassion, rather than throwing it at her on top of all the other changes.

Something as simple as getting baby doll and a CD of a crying baby can make a huge difference in how well animals are able to accept new babies--by the time the real thing arrives, they are already used to the noise and the fact that you'll sometimes be focused on someone else.

Itís also important to make the animal a part of the childcare rituals. If the kitty gets a treat and cuddles from you whenever you go to tend to the baby, youíll end up w/ a kitty who loves your baby, and who sees your baby as a source of good things, not a horrible interloper who ruined her life.

Try to see it from the catís POV. Itís not ďjealousyĒóitís fear, worry, and stress. And itís not her fault how she actsóitís yours for not taking the time to prepare her better. If youíre willing to try to fix this, it can be fixed. If youíre not, finding her a home with people who will value her might be a better idea.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
Dee
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

Hoofmaiden, The cat is locked out of the bedroom because the baby sleeps in there with us in a moses basket - are you saying that we should let the cat sleep in there whilst we are asleep and the baby is asleep? Thats never going to happen! What if he jumped into the basket?

Also, we did try to address this before the baby came- we rang a woman in a local cat charity/shelter when I was pregnant and we spoke to her about what we should do when the baby came coz this cat is not the friendliest of creatures and had hissed at a friends child when it approached it.
She suggested keeping the cat out of the bedroom before the baby came so it would be used to not sleeping with us when the baby arrived. So in the month before the baby was born we started trying to keep the cat out of the room at night, but she would just stay out there howling and scratching the door to be let in and eventually I would cave and let her in (coz I love her and I hated hearing her upset). YEs we should have been stronger at keeping her out before the baby came, but either way whether it was before or after baby was born there was going to come a day where she would no longer be allowed to sleep in our room.

When the baby came that HAD to be the end to the cat sleeping in our room (seriously, are there people who let a cat sleep in the same room as a baby in a moses basket?). We tried to get her used to not sleeping with us before the baby was born but to no avail, and now shes acting out.

Some of you seem to think Im just a bad person with no patience. Im not. We love this cat dearly, we are just at the end of our rope with the smell of cat pee and poo everywhere.

Other than letting the cat back into the bedroom (under our bed is one of her most favoured peeing spots and I wont have the baby sleeping and inhaling the smell of cat pee, plus there is the risk he could jump into the basket) does anyone know how to make this stop.

I realise he is stressed, but I have a 6 week old baby and a house thats covered in wee and faeces.

Ill try again/harder to give her extra cuddles and give her loves when the baby is around so she feels included - but I have tried that already and really hoped it would make a difference, but there are times where I have cuddled her, fed her treats and she has walked out into the hall and weed.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee
Hoofmaiden, The cat is locked out of the bedroom because the baby sleeps in there with us in a moses basket - are you saying that we should let the cat sleep in there whilst we are asleep and the baby is asleep? Thats never going to happen! What if he jumped into the basket?
Well . . . what if? What do you think would happen? Do you believe the old "cats smother babies" old wives tale? They don't. You can also use a crib net if you're unconvinced. I wouldn't leave the kid and baby alone together, just as I don't leave cats and dogs alone together (b/c misunderstandings happen and it's my job to prevent them), but as long as the baby is sleeping in your room, I would have you ALL sleep there. Eventually the baby will get his/her own room, and I would then lock the kitty out of that room at night and have her sleep w/ you.

Howver, Iím not really getting the feeling from you you're interested in really working on this. She is not "acting out." She's not a child, she's a cat. We are willing to help you here, but I don't think that's possible as long as you have what seems to be an adversarial attitude towards the kitty.
Quote:
Some of you seem to think Im just a bad person with no patience. Im not. We love this cat dearly, we are just at the end of our rope with the smell of cat pee and poo everywhere.
She needs a trip to the vetís for a urinalysis to make sure she isnít brewing a UTI or crystals (urinary tract problems can be triggered by stress). Cats do not just start urinating inappropriately for no reason, nor do they do it to punish you. If you honestly want to work this out, a complete workup at the vetís is the first step.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
Dee
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

I dont think she would murder the baby by suffocating it no, but I think it weighs about twice what the baby does and if it jumped into the moses basket from a height such as our bed, or a dresser, and landed on the baby it would do her some damage - Im not willing to take any chances where a newborn is concerned.

I wouldnt leave a cat and a baby alone together either, but if we are asleep then we are not supervising the cat and its better to be safe than sorry. Plus there is the very real chance that the cat would wee in the babys moses basket, just like she weed in her carry cot.

I had thought about letting the cat back in once the baby was in her own room, but then when we have another child the cat will be back out again so I think it would be better to leave the cat out of our room for good now.

The cat coming back into the room is not an option.

I am trying to work this out -thats why I rang the cat charity, thats why I found this forum, thats why I clean up pee and poop every day, thats why she still lives with us when every one we know thinks we are crazy to keep her, and why we still love her despite the many things she has ruined in the past by weeing on them (our wedding invites before we sent them out, and my wedding veil for example). We are not bad people, but this cat is not easy to live with.

I dont think she will be happy until we turn back time and go back to the good old days of me, my husband and her alone. She cant accept change, I know many cats are like that, but things change in everyones life. I dont have an adverarial attitude to the cat, I love the cat, thats why Im trying to find a solution that doesnt involve giving her away. Im adversarial to cat pee and poo everywhere for the last 6 weeks (and on and off for the last few years).

I know the cat is unhappy coz we had a baby and wont let her our room, but I cant change the fact we have a baby. We tried to gradually lock her out, and Ill admit I shoudlve been stronger, but if I was weak it was out of love for the creature.

Im not looking to be judged, Im looking for help.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

If you're truly looking for help, the first step is a vet visit. Period. That's always the first step. Again: stress triggers UTIs. The kitty needs a urinalysis at the barest minimum (and I would do bloodwork as well).

If you get a truly 100% clear bill of health, then you can work on other things. But you cannot in all fairness when you may well be dealing with a cat w/ a medical problem.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cat jealous of new baby

Could this help?

http://www.feliway.com/us/Stress-and-Ca ... s-for-cats
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