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Hi, my name is Lacy and I have 2 cats (Jinx & Stormy) that I love dearly. They are mother & daughter, and I have had them for 8 & 9 years. I am really struggling right now for strength. My husband, new baby & I are in the process of purchasing a new home, and can't take the cats with us. Reasons being that Jinx has diabetes, and takes a pill everyday, but this does not prevent her from urinating on carpets, blankets, towels, furniture etc. It is especially bad when she is nervous or in a new place or situation. Stormy has begun to urinate on towels on the floor as a learned habit from her mother. I can't have cat urine in our new home with a baby. They have never been separated, or been outside or lived with anyone other than me. My concerns are: will my cats be too upset to live with someone else? Will that person treat my cats as I have treated them? Will I be able to cope with giving away my cats or will I always have the feeling that I have caused them pain in their lives by giving them away. The vet has told me that even if my cat's diabetes is under control she will continue to urinate because of her age and it is now behavioral as much as it is a medical condition. There is no way I can keep them.
 

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Special needs cats are difficult to place. Too many cats with no problems are available in shelters. Then yours are a bonded pair that will have to be adopted together which further reduces the pool of potential owners. First, I would contact a large "no kill" shelter and explain my situation. They may have a cat behaviorist who can help you to change your cat's behavior so you can keep your cats. Inappropriate urination is a common reason for giving up a cat. Second, I would go to an online bookstore and find a good book or two on cat behavior. There are books that explain how to deal with this not uncommon problem. I don't know anything about diabetes in cats but the problem may not be caused by the diabetes (not if it is controlled). Has your cat been checked for a urinary infection? Certainly age is not the cause. I've had old cats (17 & over) and only one lost control of her bladder and that was after a stroke in the week before her death. Even then she attempted to use her litter.

It's good that you are moving because if it is behavioral your cats won't be going back to the same old place. They will have a new place with new rules and smells and new habits to make. But before the move do all you can to find out why they pee outside the litter box. Do you understand that cats use urine to communicate? You have to find out what the message is here. Make sure the litter box is not the problem. They may each need their own. I think a box that cleans itself is worth the investment. Are the food dishes in the same room as the litter box? Are the cats jealous of the new baby?

Is this going to be a lot of work on top of taking care of a baby and moving? Yes, but if you place your cats in a no kill shelter you will forever wonder what happened to them. Were they loved? Did they end up heartbroken and separated? Were they destroyed? Only you know if you can cope with this.

I went through a similar problem with my Maine **** when she hit 10 years old. Suddenly she started peeing and defecating everywhere but the litter box. We'd wake up to surprises all over the house. Went through months of changing litter types to see if that was the problem. I finally figured out a solution: her food and litter were too close together and she needed a totally clean litter box to use it. Now, none of this had been a problem until that one day when suddenly it was a problem. So I moved her food dishes to a different room, got an automatic litter box so she always had a clean box to use, and started to toilet train her like a toddler with treats and praise when she used the box. The defecation outside the litter box totally stopped but by then peeing in certain rooms had become a habit we couldn't break. So we put up a barrier and closed a door and that kept her from getting into the living and dining rooms where she preferred to pee. That totally ended a problem that had lasted a year. Frustrating? You bet but I got to enjoy the last seven years of her life which were more rewarding in some ways than the first ten. She turned into an affectionate lap cat after all that! Except that one time when she developed a urinary tract infection but antibiotics and kitty morphine fixed that.

Urine is sterile even cat urine and your baby sits in urine for a good part of the day with no problem. But I can understand that problem of odor that makes the house smell like it is a germ trap even if it is not. There are products that will neutralize cat odor (none of the ones sold in pet shops worked for me). I prefer the carpet cleaning products for odor/stain removal sold in the grocery stores-they are miracle workers.

This is good practice for what you will be going through later with your baby. Particularly for potty training because in essence it's the same as litter training. Then for their teen age years when they stop talking to you and you have to guess whats wrong again only the stakes are much higher than the smell of cat pee. By the time they are 18 you wish there was a no kill shelter that would take them!

Finally, if you make the decision to get rid of them please make sure it is to a no kill shelter. Not every nice shelter is no kill. You have to ask to make sure.
 

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When you became a pet owner you entered into a moral contract to care for these cats for their entire life, sorry but I think your trying to break your obligation to these cats because it become inconvenient for you.
Litter box issues can be solved if you put in the work.
Putting these cats in a shelter will be a probable death sentence for them.
If you decide to take the softer easier way and get rid of these cats please don't ever get another cat, it not fair to the cat to be dumped.
 

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As mentioned, it may be quite hard to re-home them. Finding a home for one cat can be difficult but with two cats, especially when one has special needs will be a challenge for you. Not necessarily impossible but may be very difficult.
If I were you, I'd be more inclined to remove all carpets from the home you buy (replace with something that can more easily be cleaned) and ensure towles, clothes etc are not left on the floor for the cats to pee on. Ensure they have plenty of litter trays, in different places around the house.
 

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As far as treating your cat goes: have you researched raw feeding at all? Cats are obligate carnivores and require raw meat, bones, and organs to thrive. When a cat is in the wild they will survive by catching and eating mice, birds, shrews, etc. Many commercial cat foods are made up of mostly grains. Have you ever seen a cat cooking up rice in the wild?

As far as diabetes goes it is a condition that occurs when the bodies insulin production center is out of whack, either through an autoimmune genetic disorder, or through damage done to it by years of a high sugar (simple carbohydrate) diet. Grains are mostly carbohydrates which get broken down into simple carbohydrates that spike blood sugar levels thus causing the insulin production to have to work harder than it was designed to do. Meat does not spike blood sugar levels like carbohydrates do, it's a slow controlled release of energy for the body that doesn't strain the insulin production. A species appropriate diet of raw meat, bone, and organ may go a long way towards controlling your cat's diabetes, if not reversing it.

As always, you have to do what you are comfortable with. My comfort level is feeding a 100% raw diet with no vaccines or visits to the vet ever. Many people would not be comfortable with that, and there is nothing wrong with that, but you need to do your own research on this stuff and find out what you're comfortable with. I don't take what anyone says for granted, I research new ideas and come to my own conclusion as to whether they are true or not.

Anyway, like I said, I'm simply giving you information that I have found and letting you do what you want with it. Just in case it may be helpful for your situation. I wish you the best of luck with your kitties no matter how you decide to try to help them!
 

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What have you done to try to modify the behavior of your cats? It is possible to fix litterbox problems. I think you should try everything that you possibly can, for as long as you can, before surrendering them to a shelter.

If behavior modification fails, think about whether you can sequester them in a room or maybe even a basement in your new home for long periods of time. Even a large laundry room with a window would be better than spending most of their time in a cage at a shelter. If the room doesn't have carpet, even better.

Do you have any friends or relatives that would take them? Maybe you would have better luck trying to rehome them on your own.

If you do surrender your cats to a shelter, they might get adopted, but as an older, bonded pair with litterbox issues, they aren't exactly in high demand. You will probably never know what happened to them, and like someone else mentioned, only you know how you will deal with that. I understand that cat urine smells, but it won't harm your baby. I understand wanting a nice new home, with nice things in it, that smells nice, but you have to weigh that against your obligation to your cats.

I think, at the end of the day, you are going to have to make a judgment call about what is really important to you, and whether you think that you have done all you can to modify their behavior, and whether giving them up is the right thing to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your input. To answer a few questions, I have multiple litter boxes, food is nowhere near their litter. They have been kept in the basement previously but ended up scratching the door so bad to get up that we had to replace the door. The vet said that the diabetes in the one cat is not reversable, and she will be on this pill for the rest of her life (even though her diet has been changed since we discovered her illness). I am finding that I do not have as much time to dedicate to my cats, and I am doing them more harm than good by keeping them. We also have family that has never been able to visit us because of allergies. We live in such a small town that there is no other place for them to stay. I have decided to place my cats in a shelter/foster home (no kill shelter) until they are able to find a suitable home. I will miss my cats dearly and will not be taking on the responsibility of another cat until I am ready. I would appreciate if everyone could hold off on judging me negatively in my decision. I understand how you feel about this because I have battled with it for a few months now, and I have extreme guilt as they have never been with anyone else, but I am not able to give them the things/attention they need. Thank you all for your comments.
 

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Hi and welcome. You have a lot to think about in the near future. Firstly I would say research this wonderful forum for advice on the litter tray issue. There are lots of things you can try to resolve the problem. My parents had an eighteen year old diabetic cat that had to be injected twice daily and he never missed his tray once in the three more years they had him so behavoural issues could be resolved.
Much as you may feel overwhelmed by your situation, given time you will hopefully manage to work things out rather than give up the kitties. As has been said already, there's very few folk willing to take on elderly cats with health issues.
You obviously care about your furry friends so I would say try not to give them up as I think it will haunt you forever about how they are being treated in their new home.

Three months ago I was gifted two cats, both with health issues. I spent the first six weeks in tears, wiping up vomit and diarrhea and near daily visits to the vet. I was distraught and resentful of the person who gave me them.
Having elderly parents in need of care, a disabled husband, and no family to help me I considered rehoming them. Three months down the line, I'm so glad I didn't. Yes its a big life change but I think trying to make it work will make you happier than rehoming them to who knows where.
Sending you all the strength you need to make the right decision for you and your family. xxx
 

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My guess? It's too late. She read the first couple of responses then never came back to this forum due to the guilt that is rightfully earned. The cats are probably already gone.

I'm with catcoonbob. She made a commitment.
 

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My guess? It's too late. She read the first couple of responses then never came back to this forum due to the guilt that is rightfully earned. The cats are probably already gone.

I'm with catcoonbob. She made a commitment.
I do agree with you both but as a newbie I wanted to be a tad more subtle :wink
Hopefully for the kitties sake, she's taking some time out to think about the situation.
 

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When you became a pet owner you entered into a moral contract to care for these cats for their entire life, sorry but I think your trying to break your obligation to these cats because it become inconvenient for you.
Litter box issues can be solved if you put in the work.
Putting these cats in a shelter will be a probable death sentence for them.
If you decide to take the softer easier way and get rid of these cats please don't ever get another cat, it not fair to the cat to be dumped.
This response is really harsh. Have you ever lived with a cat that pees in your home? It smells horrendous. Yes, I think everything should be tried to curb this behavior before surrendering the cats including bring them to their new home; often a new location inspires change where nothing else will, they'll be too set in their habits at the old house but a new one is another story.

It's true that if they are surrended, unless given to a cat sanctuary (far and few between) or a farm they will be put to sleep and that should be avoided at almost all costs. The almost bit means, if they have tried everything and also have no suitable single room to keep these cats, such as a laundry room, giving up the next possible 20 years of their lives to this, no matter how much they love the cat, is the deal breaker.

I have a cat where we tried everything to stop this behaviour. Maybe all too little too late but still, even changing locations only temporarily stopped him. He now is confined to one room with a large window, and he tends to pee against one wall consistently. In the past we also had less pee around the house - never a total stop to it - when we had old bath mats we let him pee on consistently. If he is allowed in other parts of the house, he sprays, if he's outside, he sprays. We've obviously against our own best interests kept him for all these 16 years, we couldn't seem to give him up despite it being a near thing several times.

I can not fault anyone who can't live with this. Life is too short, and looking back, I realise my teen years were a lot different; no friends were ever allowed over, in fact no one ever came to our house, and it got to the point where I only wanted to stay in my bedroom, the one place the cat had been able to destroy. As much as I love Blaze, it just isn't worth it. I could never do it again. People get divorced - another one of those forever deals - over less important issues than my family as put up with caused by my cat.
 

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I hope lace83 would reconsider her decision. Guilt is sth one has to live with for the rest of his/her life if a cat dies needlessly. At least that is what happens to me.

Last Dec I took in two adult cats because their owner intended to euthanise them if I didn't. I was an ignorant person & knew nothing about gradual introduction. So my shoebox became a warzone with hisses & growls everyday. There was a chase which I thought rather innocuous & didn't intervene. My elderly Baby suffered a stroke after this & died a few days later. My other resident cat Felicity has been spraying all over the place & making excessive vocalizations since then. My vet informed me that Felicity may still spray for the rest of her life even if I agree to spay her. I couldn't possibly live with the guilt of another cat dying needlessly & now I try to urine-proof my apt as much as possible. But I believe that living in a cat latrine is still slightly better than to live in eternal guilt.
 

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My guess? It's too late. She read the first couple of responses then never came back to this forum due to the guilt that is rightfully earned. The cats are probably already gone.

I'm with catcoonbob. She made a commitment.
Extremely harsh post.

She DID return and comment, but it had to be approved by mods first so it didn't show up until tonight.

Carmel's response was great. Yes, they're cats and we love them, but we can't live our lives suffering because of them. I rehomed a cat that made my girls' lives miserable for well over a year, and I still feel guilty about putting them through that. She has a great new home so things turned out well, but she was going to be rehomed one way or another.

I love my girls more than anything, but would I live the next 10 years with one of them acting out, peeing everywhere or destroying everything? Doubtful.
 

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I believe that living in a cat latrine is still slightly better than to live in eternal guilt.
This is also really harsh. "Eternal guilt"? There are cats everywhere - of perfect behaviour and health, being put to sleep as we speak. Life isn't fair, we can't feel guilt over every life lost too soon. We also can't let others - people or animals - get us down to what many consider unliveable standards. I know someone that said "if my SO peed everywhere he'd be gone, why does a cat make it so different?" No truer words. I also know various women that have in the past or do currently live with cats that pee, one in particular that stands out is the one the pees on anything new in the house. Can you imagine? Better not set down that new purse. Like me she agrees she will never be able to subject herself to another 15+ years with a cat if it gets this behviour. I think with time a lot of people look back and wonder why they've endured such situations. Sometimes love is not enough.

Not a lot of people can stand living in a **** house - give it a few years - it's disgusting and degrading and really makes you start to wonder why you even want to go home anymore. As I said, I felt more like a prisoner in mine. If you feel you can live this life then that's your choice, but don't drag others down that don't wish to live their life this way. Living in a urine soaked smelling house is hardly ideal for you, your family or the cat.

After reading the original posters second response it appears she has tried things; as I imagine most people in this situation have, especially one that's joining a cat forum to talk about it.

Lace83, I do hope you bring them to your new house and give it a shot there, it really can make a huge difference. One last effort. If you aren't able to or that doesn't work out, know that you have tried more than many people would already. I'm really sorry you're going through this, I know how heartbreaking the decision is, if it helps any, if I had given up Blaze 10+ years ago I think at first I would've felt terrible but as time would've gone on I'd have found myself in a far more normal, less stressful environment. I'd get another cat eventually, too. Life would go on, and I'd have looked back and felt sad for my previous cat, like I'd look back and feel sad about anyone I love that I was unable to help, but I'd also realise that the home which I can now call a home, wouldn't be what it is now without that really crushing initial decision.
 

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Very well said (again). Great post.
 

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I really appreciate the posts I recieved since my last one. I'm glad to see that some owners out there understand how difficult it is for me. I will NOT take my cats to the vet to be euthanized. They are going to a shelter to be placed in a foster home until they are able to find a permanent home for them. For 9 years I have dealt with my cats health issues and have not been able to correct them. The other cat has to go with her as I fear that they would die of heartache if they were not together. Luckily the shelter I am taking them to is a no-kill shelter, and I feel as though they will find a suitable home for them. Recently, my son has become ill with a flu. He is only 10 months old and my first born so I was very frantic. In all of the hustle of caring for him in the hospital, I forgot to give Jinx her pill one day. THAT was the day I officially decided I couldn't do it anymore. I have neglected their care. I need them to go to a home where they can be cared for as they deserve. I will miss them every day and will love them for the rest of my life. And I know I will regret it, but it is something I feel as though I have to do. Thank you all for listening....
 

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I think you're making the best decision for everyone involved. I don't see how anybody can fault you. You are making sure they're not going to be euthanized, and that they will go to a new home. And I agree that they should be together.
 

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They are going to a shelter to be placed in a foster home until they are able to find a permanent home for them.
Then you have talked with a shelter willing to take them on? My fear while reading this thread is that even though you may have made a decision to re-home them, that you would not find a shelter/rescue that would be willing to take them. If you have definitely found an organization that feels they can handle their needs and has agreed to take them...then this is not a bad decision.
 

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This response is really harsh. Have you ever lived with a cat that pees in your home? It smells horrendous.

No, I am living in one with drops of cat urine in a few places. Maybe there are more places that have been sprayed but I have not discovered them yet. Carmel, this post is not meant to encourage people to live with a spraying cat. This is meant to entreat people to think carefully before surrendering a cat. I would like people to know that guilt will follow if a catlover's cat dies needlessly. Maybe even a non-catlover's.

If you read my post carefully, you will realize that in Dec I very reluctantly took in two adult cats because their owner had threatened to euthanize them if nobody took them in. Then my Baby had a stroke after a catchase with them. I DID NOT intervene because I thought cat chases were harmless as long as cats didn't get physiclly hurt. So when I found Baby totally limp in the morning I thought she had been scared stiff. I put her in a safe place & promptly went out to lunch. When I returned in the evening & found her in her pool or urine, I immediately took her to a 24hr emergency clinic. It was too late. She died a few days later.

There are numerous healthy young cats dying as I am typing this post. I don't feel guilty because I have nothing to do with their deaths. Baby died needlessly because I was ignorant & too kind-hearted to take in two adult cats. The consequence of all this is that now Felicity is spraying everywhere. She will be spayed next week but my vet doubted if that would help her spraying problem. He suggested rehoming. I know that it would take a miracle if that could happen. So euthanasia is the only way forward. If that happened, it would be like replacing my original two resident cats with two new adult cats! If I euthanised the two new adult cats so Felicity would stop spaying, Baby would have died in vain. I'd like to think that Baby had sacrificed herself so the two adult new cats could live.

I am now living alone in a shoebox apt with 3 cats. My bedroom, guestroom & kitchen are off-limits to any cat. At the moment whenever I come home, I immediately change my clothes before I go out to meet my cats. I wipe all surfaces I would sit or touch frequently & I wash my hands & homeclothes often. I myself is still wondering if this should be my life for the next ten years. That is why I decided to join this forum to find out what other people think about this intended 10 year commitment. (I am actually very delighted the cats are now 7).
 

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I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. This is a very difficult situation. We took one of our two cats because my son had to move to a cat-banned apartment.

Hope things work out for you.
 
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