I’m getting quite stressed out. I have this cat who is completely sweet and unsure of herself. Lately, her problems seem to be escalating and we’re having problems with her deciding the entire apartment is her litter box.

Some background on Sadie. I got Sadie 4 years ago from a rescue shelter run by a private individual. She slept on my lap all the way home and cuddled at the shelter. She was a year old. When we got her home she spazzed out and hid.

If you approach her too quickly she will run away from you in a panic, hitting walls if they are on her way to “safety.” She might just be skittish, but this trait combined with the fact that her tail has been broken several times (you can feel the kinks at the end of it) leads me to believe that she was abused before she came to our home.

Our other cats tend to pick on her because she just runs away and doesn’t fight back. They’ll chase her under the bed and then prance off satisfied. I spray them with water when they do it in attempts to stop it but they haven’t learned yet.

She’s always had problems with doing her more serious business in the box. It’s almost as though if she sees the box then she thinks she is in it. We’ll find her messes anywhere within a few feet of the sand.

Now I’m discovering pee spots all over the apartment. It hasn’t started to stink yet, I’ve been good about catching it and cleaning it up right away, but this can’t keep happening. I live in a rented apartment with carpet that is less than a year old.

I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried catching her in the act, giving her a spray of water and setting her in the box. It doesn’t work. I’ve talked to a vet and all the useless man could tell me was that it was probably something in her training. I would even go so far as to take her to a cat therapist if I could afford it. But I can’t.

I can’t, in good conscious, find a new home for her because even after four years with me, she still has major trust issues. Besides the fact that she really is a sweet, sweet thing. When she trusts you enough to let you hold her and pet her, you feel as though you’ve been given a prize. She doesn’t let just anyone around her. She loves kids. She is ten times better with children than she is with adults.

I’m at my wit’s end, people. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to fix this problem?

18 thoughts on “Sadie

  1. I’ve tried a seperate litter box before but it was right next to the other one. It didn’t work.

    I’m thinking maybe I should get a child gate to put up against the bathroom. Lock her in there with her own food, water, box, and a pillow to sleep on and then she can still see the other cats and interact without being attacked but she has her own space to use. It’ll just be annoying to use the bathroom for awhile.

    Heck, I don’t know.

  2. I think that I will have an easier time letting her go to a better home than my husband will. It’s not that I don’t love her, don’t even think that, it’s that I know she’ll be happier and I feel bad for her.

    Oh well, I’m going to try a new litter someone else recommended and a few other things and we’ll go from there, I guess.

  3. Pictures of the cats are now posted for everyone who asked. Anna, I’ll post some landscape pictures of Harrison tomorrow or later tonight. I don’t have any of downtown or anything but I have several from camping last summer.

    I’ve tried a covered litter box and then none of them use it. They don’t seem to like the confined space.

  4. Same thing happened to me when I had my cat. The vet told me to get another litter box and keep the old one and put it beside the old one and make sure each of them have clean litter in them and even to clean it a couple times of day. Eventually she stopped but it is annoying. When my cat got to be around 14/15 I just started locking her in the bathroom with her litter box and food/water because there was no way to stop her by then because she was ill and I didn’t have the heart to punish her but it was always in the same spot so I put a rug on top of a garbage bag on top of the carpet in the corner. Then when she was gone, I had the carpets cleaned.

  5. Poor sweet Sadie. The only cat I liked, out of the three that lived with us.

    I would try – although with Sweat Peea, I’m not sure if this will work – giving Sadie her own box. How you train them to use seperate boxes? I don’t know. Just an idea.

  6. My new daughter-in-law has the same problem only more so. Her cat is very old … in her teens … probably mid teens. She is getting ill now and doesn’t have a lot longer to live … but she pees everywhere. Most of the house is carpeted but the family room/kitchen area is hardwood floors.

    This cat pees on the carpeting, on the hardwood, and on my son’s brand new very EXPENSIVE furniture and oriental carpets. He is LIVID! His poor wife is beside herself. She too can’t get rid of the cat and so my son is putting up with it till the end comes. But he’s not a happy camper.

    Wish I could give you some advice … but I don’t have a clue what to do … short of putting the cat in the bathroom when you aren’t holding it.

    Good luck!


  7. Having 3 cats myself and reading up a lot about problems, my suggestion would be to have a seperate litter for Sadie. I know this will probably be a problem because of the other cats, but maybe confine her to a room of her own for a while, so she gets used to the litter tray..

    One vet at a site I visited mentioned putting the cat in another area for a while, then gradually allow the cat to have contact (through mesh/fence) with the other cats until the cat with the problem can get used to the other cats slowly rather than having to face them head on. Mind you, I think that method works for a ‘new’ house cat.

    We had a cat from a rescue center last year and after 6 months we had to take him back, it was no use. He did his business everywhere and no-one could get near him. Apparently he was a feral cat, strange thing was, he was fine at the center but as soon as we got him home, he was this raging animal.. and with having young kids around we had no choice but to send him back.

    Good luck with Sadie!


  8. Putting Sadie in the bathroom with her own box might work, but the real problem is she is not properly socialized, and is afraid of the other cats, as well as humans. I had a small black female kitty a few years back that was the same way. I eventually had to find a home for her where she could be the only cat. She did a lot better after going there.

  9. I love cats! I have this white one with bits of gray on the body and face. He’s like yours, just runs away when other cats bully him while he’s eating. I try to scare them away but when I’m gone they come back.

    Dr. Fil


  10. I’ve never had more than one cat in the house at a time, so I can’t speak for the multiple cat part of the problem. I do know that we had very good success using one of our bathrooms as the living quarters for a wild little kitty.

    We filled it with toys, her food and water, and her litter box, plus a nice soft place to sleep. This part of the house became “hers” to the point that we never had any problems with her being territorial with the rest of the house.

    Good luck trying out some of the comment suggestions, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you have no choice but to give the little fellow up.


  11. Is it an open litter box? I ask because we had a brief problem of one of our cats refusing to use it and a vet acquaintance suggested it was because the other cats had possibly attacked her while she was in it. We put the hood back on and the problem decreased greatly.


  12. I second what Cassidy said. Definitely post some photos of the kitties. While you’re at it, got any lovely scenery shots? You live in a beautiful place!

  13. I hate to say it, but it sounds like Sadie really does need a home of her own. She’ll never get used to people while ther are other cats around and vice versa. One on one attention would probably serve her very well.

    I had to face this reality myself just a couple of months ago and it’s so very tough, but it may be what’s best.

    Poor Sadie. Poor you.

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