36 answers

Putting Cat to sleep...or Not

We have a 7 year old cat who has been a wonderful cat since we got him as kitten. Recently he started peeing all over the house, we had him to the vet he did have a bladder infection and it has since cleared up. Now he seems to keep peeing all over my house. My house smells so bad, I hate being in it. We had to tear out the molding already and thinking about doing the same to the carpet and pad. Our home is a new construction home so the carpet it is only a couple years old. I don't want my house ruined because of the cat, yet I do love him.

My question is,,, will the vet put him to sleep if we ask him too?? I don't know anyone who would want an indoor cat that pees all over. I am really torn on what to do.

Suggestions on what to do or where to go. everything the vet has offered hasn't seem to work... just keeps costing us more money.

Please help and I don't want anyone saying how cruel I am about thinking of putting an animal down, it is behavioral at this point, we did give him the benefit of the doubt and had him tested. Please no negativity. This is a hard decision as it.

Thanks in advance.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Maybe take him to a friend in the country and let him be a barm/farm cat?
My sister's cat is doing the same thing- but when they retested him they found his bladder problem wasn't healed, maybe find a different vet?

3 moms found this helpful

My son and daughter-in-laws cat was doing the same thing after having a bladder infection. They got a cleaner from the Vet that removed the smell and also got him a new cat litter box, you might even need to rip out the carpet. It seems that "Tristen" had pain every time he would try to use the litter box while he had the infection and after it was cleared up he associated the box with pain.
Might be worth the $20 to try a new litter box before you put the cat down.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

If you haven't already, give Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter a try. It is expensive but effective. http://www.preciouscat.com/

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I KNOW YOU DONT WANT TO HEAR IT, BUT YOU PROMISED TO TAKE CARE OF HIM FOR LIFE. Have you tried to shampoo the carpets and use a spray called no more marking. It works great. What if you child had a problem with wetting his pants? You should at least give your cat to a shelter instead of killing him. He could also have kidney issuses that was not corrected at the last office visit. Somestimes it takes more that one visit to the vet. Has anything changed in your house that could have upset the cat. You could remove your carpet and put in tile or wood to see if that solves the problem. I think that your adopted fuzzy child deserves at least that much.

5 moms found this helpful

Maybe take him to a friend in the country and let him be a barm/farm cat?
My sister's cat is doing the same thing- but when they retested him they found his bladder problem wasn't healed, maybe find a different vet?

3 moms found this helpful

I sounds like you spend considerable time, energy and expense accomodating the needs of your cat. Your own needs are legitimate, too. No matter what anyone else tells you, it will have to be your (and your family's) decision. Just do your best to consider all options, make a choice, and go with it. You can't do any better than your best.

3 moms found this helpful

The vet will put the cat to sleep if you ask.

And honestly, I don't blame you for not wanting to have pee smell all over your house. I have a cat and a dog and have been through that before. I won't tolerate it.

Ask the vet is there anything that can be done or will this be what it will be like for the rest of your cats life. If it will be that way for the rest of his life, it is just better to go ahead and put him to sleep. He lived a good life.

I am sorry you have to go through this. I know furr babies have a special place in our hearts. But it is also unsanitary and not good for when you have company to have pee all over the place and the smell.

Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful

I understand that this is a hard decision...but you need to stop and think that the cat is simply smelling where he has gone in the past and is remarking his territory. Please dont put him to sleep...find someone to adopt him, he will most likely not be urinating in other homes because he wont be getting the "trigger" of smelling where he has urinated before.
Ask your vet if he knows someone who would be interested in adopting him. It sounds like he is a healthy cat and has been a good pet. Please don't do something drastic that you will regret.

2 moms found this helpful

My cat went through the same thing... After a bunch of testing they found out that he had an inflamed urinary tract...Check for that.. I dealt with this for about 8 months.. I was going to give him to a farm because I thought "who would want him" but after finding a NEW vet and him coming up with NEW ideas that is what we found out... I also had to:

-move his litter box into the garage (where he has privacy). We put a cat door so he can come and go out of the garage at his leisure.He had a cover on his litter box and we took it off so he doesn't feel confined.
-****** the vet said he wasn't getting enough water in his diet and thats why his urinary tract was inflamed***** I HAD to switch him to wet food (it's water based)...Ask your vet about this..Dry food doesn't have enough water in it.... He is on expensive food (Prescription C/D only bought at a vets office)BUT I'll take buying more expensive food than getting rid of my cat...

It took me awhile and we were at the point of getting rid of him also ( I was DEVASTATED) but it has been resolved....

Good luck!

ps.. Also have them do a x-ray to check for kidney stones...

2 moms found this helpful

Unfortunately while the peeing all over is now a habit and the cat can smell it too so he keeps going back. Did they x-ray him to make sure there wasn't a stone? That would cause the infection and his continued irritation even if the infection has cleared. Could he become an outdoor cat? That seems a little easier then having him put down. Another option would be to give him to the humane society with a donation and a hope that in a new environment he would break this bad habit. Cats naturally want to go in a box and then cover it up. An other thought would be to add additional litter boxes and keep him enclosed in one area. Good Luck with what ever you decide, I know how hard this must be :(

2 moms found this helpful

Totally not an attack, but look at alternatives if you're no longer willing to deal with the problem. Someone else may be just fine with having the cat outside or something and it wouldn't be as big of a deal for them. You're not a horrible person for no longer being willing to deal with the issue. I just don't think putting the cat to sleep is the best solution is all. Contact some of your local rescue societies. They may have solutions for you, or one of them may take the cat in.

Someone else mentioned that he might be smelling places he's gone before and that could be part of the issue. It also could be that the infection really isn't gone, or something else might be wrong. Maybe its time to get a second opinion from a different vet? Animals are also very sensitive to change, if there's a lot of stress in the house, he might be stressed too.

Hope you can find a solution that works, just consider all your options and not just putting him to sleep.

2 moms found this helpful

I think that the original reason your cat started peeing everywhere is because of the bladder infection, so that was correct. Now that its cleared up and is continuing is simply because a cat will continue to pee wherever his urine scent exists already. This is the common trend. Have you noticed that he has been peeing in the same spots? If there is absolutely NO pattern, I would go with there is another problem.

1 mom found this helpful

http://www.amazon.com/Feliway-Plug-Diffuser-Refill-Millil...

This was recommended to me by the vet when my husband's cat was peeing all over the place and loosing weight. (My husband is in the military and was away for a long time.) If this is behavioral, then the Feliway may help. Otherwise, I agree that you may be able to find someone with land who will take him. If you love this cat, I worry that you won't forgive yourself if you don't try everything first.

1 mom found this helpful

E.-
I had to do the same thing last year. My 7yo cat had become jealous of my youngest child - I didn't realize at first that his problems had started just after I brought my now 2yo son home. He would pee wherever I sat or slept. Then just wherever he felt like it. I tried re-training per the vet's advice. Nothing worked. I even got new furniture to try and break the peeing on the furniture cycle. No luck there either. Finally, after a year of that I had him tested to make sure there were no health issues and then my vet agreed it was behavioral and there was nothing else to do. I couldn't give him to someone else knowing he had this problem. And I couldn't give him to a farm since he had always been inside. I held him while the vet did her thing and then had him cremated. We buried his ashes at our house. I know some people may say this was wrong but I think it would have been more cruel to have to keep him in a cage all the time or boot him to a farm when he had never lived outside before. I think you did the right thing in your case.
J.

1 mom found this helpful

Find someone who will adopt the cat.

Maybe his bladder infection has recurred? This happens.

Take him back to the Vet... maybe he has other medical issues.

1 mom found this helpful

I recommend you call the Cat Behavior Hotline. You can find their number here: http://www.catsinternational.org/ It is a free help site that I have used in the past, and they are wonderful. You call and leave your information and someone calls you back. They don't sell your information or send you junk mail or anything - they are just there to help keep cats in their homes. They were also able to recommend an excellent carpet cleaner for my carpets.

The other thing I recommend is confinement. We have a cat who also pees all over the place, and it was extremely stressful for me. I would have made her an outside cat, but she is declawed and so I knew that would just be cruel. Finally, on recommendation from a cat expert, I bought a very large crate (go to Amazon.com and search for cat crates - you can find some that are 3 tiers high!) and set it up in my family room. At first, I felt bad about crating a cat, but I take her out to snuggle and love on her, and it is certainly preferable to putting her down. She has a bed, a litterbox, and food and water, and possibly because she's an older cat, she's actually very content in there. I bought some enzyme cleaner for my carpets, and everyone is so much happier now! I would absolutely try this before putting your cat down.

1 mom found this helpful

how many litter boxes you got out. put out at least 3. use smell reducing litter. clean your box daily.if that dont work give him to a farmer. no need to put down. farmers keep them in the barn for mice and he will still be alive. go to about.com in the cats forum they give great advice and it works. I had this problem at one point. ps baking soda absorbs urine and smell. sprinkel baking soda on the floor then vacumn. every time you vacumn and baking soda is cheap. good luck on your decision.

1 mom found this helpful

If you haven't already, give Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter a try. It is expensive but effective. http://www.preciouscat.com/

1 mom found this helpful

Well I put down a female cat named Lizzy that I once had and I was a vet tech when I did. Someone had given up on this cat and I thought with all my resources I could solve the problem. Well I tried every thing under the sun and nothing helped. It was a sad end.
I'm sure you have tired most everything as well but have you tried confinement? In a large cage with a box/food/water. No rug or bed to lay on. This works by hoping to create using the litter box habit again. It can take a good long time and requires time and slowly introducing larger areas in the house. If a relapse happens then you start over again from the beginning. Also Prozac has helped some cats out while retraining to the box. Also there is a product called Feliway. It comes as a plug in and spray. It might be worth trying before making a big decision as putting him down.
And as a last resort, you can try and make him an outdoor cat. I've known people that did this even with cats that had their front claws removed. Cats can defend themselves quite well and can still climb very well without them. To some it may seem cruel but it's a personal decision that a pet owner has to make sometimes.
It sure sounds like a bad habit that just got out of control since the bladder infection. The longer the cat is able to do this the harder to break the bad habit not to mention the odor in the house trigger further urination.
I do understand that there is a point that you can come to that you can no longer are willing to invest time, money and energy into something that seems pointless.
Some vets may give you grief about your decision to put a healthy cat down and others will not. I suggest calling before going if you do decide to move forward with it. It's already a hard decision to come to and then have opposition from the vet that seems more qualified than you to make. I'm really sorry for you and your cat and hope that somehow it comes out good for you and the cat.
Best Regards,
C.

1 mom found this helpful

I hate to say it but oyu may have to put him down. i know how you feel i just put my dog down two weeks ago. she was still continent but could barely walk, see or hear. and you are right not many people will tolerate a pet a that will no longer use the bathroom in the correct manner. your in my prayers and i hope you make the right decision. good luck

1 mom found this helpful

I am wondering why you don't take him to the humane society instead?

1 mom found this helpful

My son and daughter-in-laws cat was doing the same thing after having a bladder infection. They got a cleaner from the Vet that removed the smell and also got him a new cat litter box, you might even need to rip out the carpet. It seems that "Tristen" had pain every time he would try to use the litter box while he had the infection and after it was cleared up he associated the box with pain.
Might be worth the $20 to try a new litter box before you put the cat down.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Treat urine spots with Nature's Miracle or Super Anti Icky Poo, which both work with enzymes to eliminate urine odor. Treat every single spot at full strength. Crawl around your house, nose to floor, to find every spot. These potions are availabe at pet stores.

Also, set up two litter boxes in 2 different spots in the house. I bought 2 under-the-bed stoarage totes and used them as litter boxes. They're cheaper and larger.

Then, retrain. Confine him to a room with his litter box for a couple days. Then slowly let him have access to other parts of the house until he "gets it" that the litter box is the place to pee.

If this doesn't work, build him a cat-house (just like a doghouse) and turn him into an outdoor cat. Our outdoor cathouse had a electric blanket floor for really cold days.

As an aside to other posters who may have cats with similiar problems:
If you do decide to euthanize, call a vet who works in a rural area. Suburban and urban vets are too expensive and want to run a zillion tests. When I wanted to put down my 18-year-old cat for peeing all over the house, I could not find a suburban vet to put her down without a bunch of exams. (Like you need an exam to realize she's OLD!) For heaven's sake, a 18-year-old cat is like a 101-year old person! I should be so lucky to be euthanized when I'm 101...oh well.

1 mom found this helpful

Put him down. You will only grow to resent him more and more with additional months of the problem. Better to put him at rest with fond memories in your mind than putting the animal down hating him.

Maybe the infection is back? I only say this because I had a cat once and he had a bladder infection, the vet said he was ok, just to find out 3 days latter he had a complete blockage of his bladder and died shortly after. If the vet says she is ok, then yae find someone to adopt or has a farm. I know it is a tough decison and people can't help but make judgements, but do what will be the best for you and your cat. Good luck!

Do you know a local farmer.
Sonmeone that would be able to let your cat roam outside freely.

Most vets would, but some will not for inappropriate urination that is behavioral. My guess is your vet knows you have done many things and would be willing. I would make sure your carpets and any where he goes has been cleaned with a pet enzyme cleaner, like nature's miracle. You can use a black light to find the urine.

I have a 9 year old cat with sterile cystis (has had it for about 5 years) and if she is stressed she urinates in many places throughout the house. She is much better now and rarely has flare ups. Most of her urinating out of the box is behavioral, a little for her is her bladder is sometimes irritated. What worked for us is a prescription urinary diet, an anti-anxiety med, and cosequin. The cosequin and diet are because there is history of multiple UTIs and bladder irratation. The anti-anxitey med is to keep her happy and less stressed, which equals no peeing. She also normally goes after eating, so she eats in the room with the litter boxes and I shut the door and leave her there for about 30 minutes just in case.

For some cats there is a cat attract product that you ad to the litter that works greats. There are also many different anti-anxiety and behavorial drugs that can make all the difference. They have to be on them for awhile before you will see a difference and it is not the same one for each cat that works best. I have also know one cat that after trying everything they tried a pain management drug and that worked for him to be on a low dose. You can try different litters or types of boxes and making sure there are several throughout the house. Making sure the urine is completely gone is one of the main things though, many cats will keep marking the same area because they can still smell it, even if you can't see it. Also if you have had any changes in your household, even minor that can make a big difference.

Good luck to you and hope everything works out.

Please read what Katie wrote two posts below. I believe she is absolutely right that the kitty is urinating where he has his urine smell!

We had this very same thing happen. Take your cat back to the vet and test for other problems. We tried so many different things with our little Zelda - after a year of trying with no success, we made the decision to put her to sleep. My vet told me that it is the number one reason that cats are put down.

However, In the few days leading up to our visit to the vet, Zelda had started hiding in weird places and stopped grooming herself. The vet wondered why and ran some tests - it turns out she also had Lymphoma. She was too sick at that point to try to save her and I felt terrible that the last year of her life was spent in pain due to cancer. Had I taken her to the vet sooner, the problem probably would have been corrected quickly and she might still be here with us.

So, maybe find another vet and run a few more tests to rule out other issues. I agree that you need to remove the smell as well, or it will just keep happening.

I keep both my cats outside - they are happy and healthy, one is 17 years old - if it is below freezing I put them in the shed, but really they are happiest ourdoors, I pet them and feed them, deflea and worm them etc.
Just put him outside, he will be fine

We're going through this too, with both our cats. We're in a much smaller space than when we got our cats and in an apartment, so outdoor is not an option. And now have 2 small children. I think the cats are just very very stressed. Trying to find homes for them, will try the humane society. But I have seriously considered putting them to sleep. And they're only ten years old. Poor kitties. But my human family's health has to come first.

I would try to find him another home first or even take him to the shelter and they will determine if he is adoptable. It is very possible he is only doing it because he smells his previous spots and in a new environment will not do it. I have had a cat stop after we moved to a new place.
I have had to make this heartbraking decision for my beloved dog a couple years ago due to a behavior problem (different than yours) and not health. It was very hard and horribly sad I only am able to jusify my choice to myself because I exausted every other possibility and chance for him previously.
Good Luck and I hope your kitty gets a chance to finish his life.

I didn't read all the other responses, so I apologize if this is a repeat on advice. First off, I know where you are coming from because we had the same problem with our cat, but thankfully it was in an apartment before we bought our house. My cat would pee on everything! I eventually called a cat behaviorist that my bet recommended (your local Humane Society should also be able to recommend someone). We had to add more litter boxes, move furniture over the spots she was peeing, put food where she normally peed, put tin foil (that didn't work for us, but I guess cats don't like to step on it. The big thing that helped was changing the litter we used. I can't remember the name we use, but it's the most expensive at the pet store. We have to get the extra clumping, unscented - it comes in a blue box).

After we did all these things she stopped peeing around the house. I agree with everyone else that if you aren't willing to try to fix the problem find someone else who will or give her to a rescue. I don't suggest sending her to a farm because indoor cats can't survive outside.

There are behavioral medications for cats. Buspirone is one. It's an anti-anxiety drug that can be used on cats. I had a peeing cat who was on it once. It sometimes helps anxious cats change their bad habits. Your cat definitely is smelling where he went before. And you can clean the carpet with anything anybody on here recommends, and he will STILL smell it. Because you can't remove the smell entirely.

We actually ripped out all our carpets and installed hardwood. We tried buspirone and just locking the cat in the basement. (I have always had cats, but this one was a pee-er from day one.) In the end, we couldn't stop her constant peeing. The final straw was when she peed on my daughter's backpack the night before the first day of school! The cat ended up being the "mascot" at my ex-husband's vet clinic. She lived a good long life there. There was no carpet to pee on.

I would ask the vet about buspirone. See if they still use it. It's worth a shot. I know how you feel. And it's not an easy situation to be in.

Your vet will probably put the cat down if that's what you want. But the cat isn't that old. And the reason he's peeing all over the house is because he's peeing in the places that he peed before. You should have gotten rid of the smell in those places when you treated him for the urinary tract infection.

Updated

Your vet will probably put the cat down if that's what you want. But the cat isn't that old. And the reason he's peeing all over the house is because he's peeing in the places that he peed before. You should have gotten rid of the smell in those places when you treated him for the urinary tract infection.

i am going through the same issue right now. My 12 year old cat pees in our suitcases, open bags, clean laundry, card board boxes.... My husband went to work with a urine soaked shirt one time. We are also at wits end. We have three little kids and I am paranoid these days about anything that lies on the floor. I can't trust him anymore.
After reading some of the comments you already received I will take him to the vet and discuss the best option.
Keep in mind, as I will do to, you have to do what's right for you and your family. With three kids, we don't have money for unlimited treatment of a cat or replacing carpet all over the house.
If there are places who take cats like this I sure would like to know. Haven't found any yet.

I also haven't read through all the responses (you have alot!)...clean the areas with vinegar & water...that should help with the smell. Put moth balls in the spots...they don't like them. Is the cat fixed? Usually male cats do this when they are not fixed. I would also make sure the box is clean, maybe add an extra one...someplace very convenient for the cat. I know bladder infections or kidney problems can cause it...but then sometimes it becomes behavioral because he keeps marking his territory.
Hope it all works out :)
D.

Have you thought about just making him an outside/inside cat. Or just outside all together? We have a cat like that and so he is now an outside kitty except at night during the winter. Then he just sleeps in my brothers bedroom with the door shut and a litter box in there (Stanley is my brother's cat). It has worked well for us.

Have you tried vinegar water to get rid of the smell? Instead of using carpet cleaning detergent in the carpet scrubber try vinegar water. Also keep the litter box really clean and maybe change the brand of litter. Talk to your vet the cat may have leukemia. I had heard that peeing all over is a symtom.

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