When the cat hates the baby

I’ve had Theo (our fat, fluffy, orange cat) for 12 years. He was my first pet as an individual outside of my parents’ home. He has been through countless moves and lived in 3 states with me.

He’s never been perfect. For one thing, he doesn’t handle change very well. Which brings me to the problem….

Theo is less than thrilled about the arrival of John Patrick. He has showed us this by peeing on chair cushions and our poor dog’s bed. I guess he didn’t think we were listening because last night he committed the most severe offense – he peed in our bed!!

I should preface this by saying that we do not have a washer or dryer in our apartment or even in our building. So doing laundry is obviously not an easy chore for us. Ok, I admit, we do fluff and fold – but still! That costs a lot.

So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have no idea what to do. On one hand I have a baby now and I can’t spend all my time worrying about the next place the cat is going to pee. On the other hand, I’ve had Theo for 12 years and can’t imagine getting rid of him. And even if I could, what “good home” would take a 12 year old cat?

Does anyone have any experience with “peed off” pets? (pardon the pun)

Jen

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3 Comments

Filed under Baby, Family

3 responses to “When the cat hates the baby

  1. mkate

    That’s a tough one. Unfortunately, I don’t have any easy solutions. I’d suggest you send him over our way but I have a feeling he wouldn’t be much happier with an 18 mos old and two other cats. Hopefully someone else has a better solution.

  2. Karen D.

    Hi, just wanted to share that I had a very similar problem not long ago. I have 8 cats which I have collected over the years. They are all rescued and I never had a problem with any of them except an occasional hissing argument. Needless to say, last year, my very tight household changed….one person left and a new one introduced….They did not like that..and to add to that, I had some major renovations on the house. We put many things in boxes and moved a lot of furniture. We also had strangers working inside and outside the house. Well, needless to say, I started to smell that very strong unmistakable odor that ‘cat pee’ produces. I found all kinds of things peed on. I have 2 dogs and they peed in their beds as well. I either threw things out or cleaned them up. But my problem was, was which one of the 8 was doing this…or why. I still had not figured it out…

    We consulted that the vet and other cat people. We found out that this was a normal reaction to such drastic changes in the home. The cats were feeling feelings of disruption and displacement. They were feeling like their safe space was gone. They were feeling that they were intruded upon. I was shocked.. But needless to say, the solution was to confine them for a time. Provide them with a safe space where they can find their confidence again. I went out and bought a big crate and put everything in it that was needed, food and a litter box. We isolated the culprit that we saw did it. It was heart breaking. It was like putting one of them in jail. I thought that would do it. But hence, we found out where the term ‘copy cat’ came from. The problem continued despite the fact that we had isolated the culprit….Needless to say, we then moved to more drastic measures. We bought even a bigger crate and put all the cats inside both crates. I was very skeptical… and in denial. this was really hard for me, putting all 8 cats in jail…..I had a really hard time with this…step….and it was actually more work since I found out that 8 confined cats are a lot of work….they can be very messy. Anyway, we kept them inside for about a month….and little by little we released them out into the house. Oh, we also bought some ‘Nature’s Miracle’ and cleaned the house removing all traces of their pee. Some of our cats were confined for more than a month, but by Christmas, I put my foot down and let them all out again. I am happy to report that the confinement although drastic worked. We are now back to the beginning. The peeing stopped. Whew, what a long story, but back to you.

    That whole story was just to share that this measure works. It was hard but it saved the cats, because at one point, I was thinking of finding new homes for them. Well, that’s it, just remember, Theo is feeling that his space is invaded, you just need insure him that he is still safe. Try that confinement method, make sure that he has everything that he needs. And this way, you can put the ‘happy’ back into your ‘home’. Good Luck.

  3. jenmurtha

    Thanks for the great advice Karen. I will definitely try that if things don’t improve. I was reading online about how cats can feel neglected and jealous. So I tried spending a lot more time with Theo. I even let him on my lap while I was breastfeeding. It’s only been a few days of us “making over him” but so far no more cat pee. So hopefully, he just needs a little more attention and things will get back to normal. Thanks again for your comment. That will be my next course of action if plan A doesn’t work.

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