Help! Feeling guilty and it’s triggering, my anxiety and depression

Ryynoe

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Hello! We have two cats and a dog.
After our last dog died, we got a kitten to give our one cat company. Both cats are male orange tabbies.
The new kitten, we named Cheeto. From the beginning, he had some peeing issues. My wife hid it from me because she was afraid that I would want to bring him back to the shelter. He is not a cat that has peeing problems all the time. He is bigger and stronger than our first cat Frankie. So he was kind of the boss before our dog showed up. My wife has been threatening on and off for a while to bring him to the shelter because of the peeing. Sometimes I think he pees to mark territory. So, now she is planning to bring him back to the shelter we originally got him from close to six years ago this week. We brought him to a vet and we took steps to reduces his stress and other suggestions. We have a gate I built at the top of the stairs so the cats have a safe place to go where they have the litter box, food, and water that is away from the dog. Our dog has gotten much better and not chasing the cats. Our dog does not constantly chase the cats even when it was more of a problem Actually,Cheeto is comfortable around the dog now. Sometimes he can go several months without a problem. My wife believes that if he goes to a home that does not have a dog that he would be fine. He is actually a nice cat, and can actually play fetch even better than a dog.
I live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago area
It would be so nice to be able to visit him, but this likely will not be the outcome .
Anyway, I feel horrible about having to rehome him
This is right after a rabbit incident in the backyard that our dog killed. I literally pet the rabbit as it was dying and said I’m so sorry to the rabbit. I cried twice over it
Cheeto is on the right in the picture with both cats together
I greatly appreciate any feedback. Thank you.!
 

di and bob

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He has been with you for several years. It would break your and his heart to be put in a strange place. Is he still peeing> Get some clear plastic carpet runner with those little nubs on the back, cut it and place where he goes. It hurts their feet to walk on it and stopped my boy. you can move it easily too when company comes. Get some good enzyme cat urine cleaner like Nature's Miracle, you just spray and urine gets ate up!
if he needs his stress removed get some medication from the vet to calm him down, like Prozac. You can hide it in a piece of Greenie's cat pill pockets. They also sell cat calming treats on Amazon you might try.
it breaks my heart to hear of this. Maybe a step is to see why your wife is so set on doing this. If anything maybe you build him a catico or get one of those chicken coops outside so he can explore out there and be away from her. Someone that knows she is breaking two hearts instead of finding a solution needs to explore why.......
 

goingpostal

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Do you have a place for him to go? A quieter home might help his issues on one hand but generally it's pretty difficult to find a unicorn no pet quiet home, especially one that wants to take on a pet with behavioral or medical issues. Is he peeing places currently? A puppy is a lot of stress on everyone in the household, do the cats have areas they can be away from her?
 
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Ryynoe

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Thank you for your responses!!
I installed a gate at the top of our stairs, so they have a safe place away from our dog. There is a water fountain up there for them, cat litter and food. Unfortunately there has been too many problems that I’ve been building.
I have been able to put this off several times maybe even 6 to 8 times it’s going to happen
Unfortunately he can actually go a few months without a problem at least half of it is not a stress issue I believe he actually marks territory Yes, I do believe if he had a situation where he is the only cat and animal he would do much better. A lot of it just has to do with him wanting to be the boss I think. If he was a barn cat, he would’ve been a Tom cat the topcat
This would be easier if I actually knew where he was going and I can communicate once in a while with the new owner to see how he’s doing
 
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Ryynoe

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When we adopted him, he was a little kitten in a cage, possibly with other kittens. I it seems like this situation goofs up their potty training.
 

HeyKat

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Be careful about returning him to the shelter. They may decide he's "unadoptable" and euthanase him.

Is he neutered?
 
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Ryynoe

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Yes everything is done. We are returning him to the shelter We originally got him from when he was a kitten. All that stuff was done before we got him. We just have to get him up-to-date with his shots before we bring him in.
I’ve never had to do this before put a cat/animal up for adoption. Not a good feeling.
I feel like he is our responsibility and we are abandoning him
It’s tough because he’s a good cat just this occasional problem
 

arr

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As a last ditch effort before returning him, have you tried ”catification” of your home? Basically putting up cat trees, shelves, perches on walls and building a cat highway so he can walk around, keep an eye on the dog from above, without having to walk on the floor. Does he have large cat scratching posts, cat beds in secure high up places, so he can confidently have his scent on things? Not just one dog free area, but ways to increase ownership of the whole house. Are his litter boxes in areas where the dog absolutely can’t bother him when he is using them? Does he get much structured playtime? Simulating a hunt, catch, kill routine can build confidence.

Are his accidents being cleaned up with an effective enzyme cleaner so that the scent is truly gone? If he still smells it, even if you don’t, he may think it’s okay to go there.

Has he had a vet visit with the intention of looking for bladder problems, not just a blockage or UTI, but stress related cystitis? He might be uncomfortable in his bladder without having a blockage or infection.
 
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Ryynoe

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I appreciate your feedback and recommendations. Unfortunately it’s too late
My wife seems to have resentment towards Cheeto. He has ruined at least a $1000 of things We tried the recommendations
They have a safe place away from the dog for food,water and the litter box.
this situation has caused me a lot of stress which has triggered some depression and anxiety
We have tried to hang on so long with him. Almost 6 years
I just feel like he’s our responsibility and I feel like we’re going to abandon him
It’s a bad situation and there is not much I can do any more sadly
 
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Ryynoe

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He is an indoor cat. He doesn’t go outside
 

louisstools

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He is an indoor cat. He doesn’t go outside
it could be an animal outside your house. Just another cat that’s walking around your backyard or front yard could be enough to trigger a little Cheeto.
 

Norachan

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He is an indoor cat. He doesn’t go outside
That doesn't always matter. Some cats are super sensitive and even the sights or sounds of other animals out of the window or the noise coming from houses next door will trigger territorial spraying. I know you can't control that, but you can't rule it out as a reason he sprays.

It looks like Cheeto and Frankie are closely bonded. Splitting them up after 6 years together will be traumatic for both of them and could lead to behaviour problems in Frankie too. As others have said, cats with marking issues don't stand much chance of being adopted. Cheeto will probably spend the rest of his life in the shelter and may even be euthanized because of this. Are you sue you can't talk your wife out of returning him?

A couple of my cats have had similar issues, I understand how exasperating this can be.

It's not always the top cat that marks, cats that feel they are low down in the hierarchy spray in order to boost their presence or claim beds or perches they think should be theirs.

Have you tried calming treats, Feliway plug-ins, calming supplements?
Have you had him checked for stress related cystitis?
Have you asked the vet about kitty Prozac?
Could you make a cat room and remove anything that might get damaged by his peeing?
What are your feeding schedules, litter box cleaning routines, play and grooming sessions like?
What is the dynamic between the 2 cats and dog like now?

Returning him to the shelter is a last resort, I think there are lots of things you could try before that
 

Alldara

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Urinary issues are usually causes by stress. This is a hard reality check for your wife as well, so maybe you can show here these comments:

Many cats are rehomed due to urinary issues and many are never adopted. They live stressful lives in the shelter with constant urinary issues and are eventually euthanized. Even 'no-kill' shelters euthanize when there are medical issues that can't be resolved.

By returning your older cat you are likely signing his death warrant.

Further, it's very irresponsible to get rid of an older long term pet because you got newer younger ones. It would be more responsible to return the puppy, who has a high chance of being adopted again, if that's truly the issue.


It is FULLY possible for your cat to stop peeing everywhere if you find the actual cause.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) | International Cat Care

- urinary food
- cat calming music
- changing the type of litter (no clay or pine)
- changing the litter box type (covered or uncovered)
- adding more boxes
- changing the location of boxes
- trying anxiety medication
- ensuring he's eating wet food with extra water daily to not get bladder infections

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) | International Cat Care
 
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