Author Topic: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?  (Read 11018 times)

Wolf_Stache

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Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« on: May 06, 2014, 03:34:32 PM »
So, I just recently split from my boyfriend of 4 years. Between us we had 4 animals - three cats and one dog. He has been in the hospital for the last two months, so I've been stuck caring for all 4 of them - and I'm totally overwelmed. He doesn't get out for 2 more weeks. When he does he will take one of the cats, but I think even with only three i will be overwelmed.

Here are the facts:
The oldest cat (female, 11 y/o) pees EVERYWHERE so has to be housed in her own room (which needs constant cleaning of the cat pee off the floor), & wear a diaper when out in the main house. She yowls constantly when in her room, but when she is out she fights with all the other animals (plus I have to follow her around and make sure she doesn't pull the diaper off). She is an outdoor cat at heart, but we currently can't let her roam outside as we live on a VERY BUSY high speed limit street, and have a massive family of racoons that live in the yard. <--- ex will be taking her when he gets out of the hospital in two weeks

The next oldest cat (male 10 y/o) is not eating and is loosing a bunch of weight. I've been taking him back & forth to the doctors. Narrowed it down to diabetes or pancreatitis.

The youngest cat (male 6 y/o 15 lbs HUGE cat) is very very very very hyper and has to be in the same room as people when you are home. He pulls pictures off the wall, chews on books, and knocks everything he can reach off shelves. He will nip your hair and hands for attention if you are not petting him all the time.

The dog (9 months old, 7 lbs Chin Pin) - very well behaved for the most part, has had obedience training. Biggest issue here is that the yard is not fenced, so you have to leash him and walk him around when ever he needs to go out.

I'm tired to the point of tears. The animals are my family but I can't keep this up, and one or more need to be rehomed.

Ex will be taking the female cat when he gets out. He is moving back home, and I was thinking of asking his mother if I can bring the kitty over now. Where they live they can have her outdoors and it will help a lot.

Thinking of trying to rehome the youngest kitty, the 6 y/o male. He doesn't spray, and he LOVES people and other cats/dogs. Only issue is the biting of hair and fingers when he wants to be pet, and the hyper-activeness (although I think part of this is because the older kitty is not running around playing with him anymore)

I will be moving out of this house to a small apartment in two weeks, and also think that it will be too small for all three animals (I wanted something bigger, but this was literally the only place I could find)

Any other advice? Tips on rehoming? I was going to rehome with the stipulation that the animal comes back to me if any issues, etc.

Gray Matter

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 03:54:24 PM »
I don't have any advice, just sympathy.  At my high-water mark, I had three kids under 5, three dogs, and two cats.  Yikes!  I have never been aware of my own limitations.

Now, through attrition due to illness and old age, I still have the three kids, and I have three (different) dogs, and a husband who has been out of the country since September, and I, too, am completely overwhelmed.  Honestly, the dogs are more trouble than the kids.  I think they are reacting to the change in routine and are acting out because of it.  In recent weeks, one that was housebroken has reverted to going in the house (decided she didn't want to go outside in the rain and has now decided it's nice to go in the house no matter what the weather).  And they have destroyed:  four razors, two hairbrushes, my daughter's headgear, two bags of her rubberbands, two rugs, homework, countless rolls of toilet paper (we have to keep it in drawers now), multiple toys, all my makeup (one dogs can unzip things and she got into my makeup bag--lipstick all over the bed--yeah, I was real happy about that), my card key for work...I could go on.

In my situation, my hubby is coming home at the end of the month and I think their world will feel more normal then, so rehoming isn't a consideration.  But if I were going to single parent forever, I would have to think of something.  Don't feel guilty about it--they can go to a home that's a better fit where they will be happier.  I would ask for vet references for anyone you will be giving a cat or dog to (who is unknown to you).

I know how hard this is--you're doing great taking care of them by yourself for now and will get past this difficult transition.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2014, 04:30:48 PM »
I don't have any advice, just sympathy.  At my high-water mark, I had three kids under 5, three dogs, and two cats.  Yikes!  I have never been aware of my own limitations.

Now, through attrition due to illness and old age, I still have the three kids, and I have three (different) dogs, and a husband who has been out of the country since September, and I, too, am completely overwhelmed.  Honestly, the dogs are more trouble than the kids.  I think they are reacting to the change in routine and are acting out because of it.  In recent weeks, one that was housebroken has reverted to going in the house (decided she didn't want to go outside in the rain and has now decided it's nice to go in the house no matter what the weather).  And they have destroyed:  four razors, two hairbrushes, my daughter's headgear, two bags of her rubberbands, two rugs, homework, countless rolls of toilet paper (we have to keep it in drawers now), multiple toys, all my makeup (one dogs can unzip things and she got into my makeup bag--lipstick all over the bed--yeah, I was real happy about that), my card key for work...I could go on.

In my situation, my hubby is coming home at the end of the month and I think their world will feel more normal then, so rehoming isn't a consideration.  But if I were going to single parent forever, I would have to think of something.  Don't feel guilty about it--they can go to a home that's a better fit where they will be happier.  I would ask for vet references for anyone you will be giving a cat or dog to (who is unknown to you).

I know how hard this is--you're doing great taking care of them by yourself for now and will get past this difficult transition.

Yikes! My puppy chewed up a roll of toilet paper the kitty knocked off the shelf, and one of the cats threw up all over the bed right at bedtime, but that has been about the extent of it. Your situation sounds worse than mine!

totoro

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 04:36:20 PM »
I think it is okay to selectively rehome them if you cannot cope and it is too stressful.  You might even try for a dog share with another family.  We do this and works great.  Just put an ad on craigslist if you are interested.  Lots of people would love a pt pet that comes with vacation coverage and split vet bills.

DollarBill

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 04:58:07 PM »
Quote
So, I just recently split from my boyfriend of 4 years. He has been in the hospital for the last two months. He doesn't get out for 2 more weeks

Dang...talking about being down on your luck!

Quote
Here are the facts:
The oldest cat (female, 11 y/o) pees EVERYWHERE so has to be housed in her own room (which needs constant cleaning of the cat pee off the floor), & wear a diaper when out in the main house. She yowls constantly when in her room, but when she is out she fights with all the other animals (plus I have to follow her around and make sure she doesn't pull the diaper off). She is an outdoor cat at heart, but we currently can't let her roam outside as we live on a VERY BUSY high speed limit street, and have a massive family of racoons that live in the yard.

If I had this issue I would try propping open a door...busy street side!

Quote
The next oldest cat (male 10 y/o) is not eating and is loosing a bunch of weight. I've been taking him back & forth to the doctors.

I have this problem with two older dogs (14 yrs)...I've decided on a high fat diet. Mostly sticks on butter and bacon...hoping for quick results.

Disclaimer: Totally kidding but I do keep an eye on their quality of life and if vet bills gets too expensive (over $100) then I'll cross that path. If they were peeing in the house I would have to rehome (preferred) or put them down. I will cry like a baby.




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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 05:07:30 PM »
Your animals are even more stressed than you are.  How long have the behaviors been going on?  The entire four years, or is this recent?  Did your partner handle this in the past and now that he's in the hospital, you can't? 

Which animals came with which partner?  The first choice is to split them that way.  If the female is his, getting her out of your environment into one where she can go outdoors would be my first priority.  That alone may make it easier for the other ones.  However, I would not dump her on the ex's mother without preparation.  She's already going to have a lot on her plate when her son moves back in.

Second would be to complete the diagnosis on the 10 year old.  Pancreatitis resulting from stress and not eating is common.  It's a long and sometimes expensive process to bring these cats around.  A blood panel should tell the vet if the pancreas or the liver is the culprit, or if there is diabetes.  Bad teeth can also cause a cat to stop eating and go into fatty liver (hepatic lipidosis) or pancreatitis.  Diabetes can be helped by better food, weight loss, and insulin as the last resort.  If he does not survive, you will be down to two animals after placing the female.

Rehoming the 6 year old will be difficult because of the biting and destructive behavior.  If you must rehome him, be very careful.  Ask for a fee similar to what your local rescues ask.  That sweet girl that answers your Craigslist ad may be a front for a dog fighting ring looking for bait animals or an enabler for an animal abuser.  Those folks won't generally pay a substantial adoption fee.  Get him fully vetted first so the adopter gets a ready to go cat.  See if you can partner with a local rescue and let them screen potential adopters.

More than likely, taking any of the cats to an open admission shelter is a death sentence.  They don't meet the adoption standards of most shelters with which I have worked.  You can look around for a no-kill shelter, but they are few and far between.  Watch out for hoarders answering ads or masquerading as rescues.  Sadly, that's very common.

If your ex's situation allows, perhaps he can take another cat.  It sounds like you want to keep the dog, but having him go with the ex would be another option.

The outcomes for these animals may not be ideal, but make the best choices you can for them.  If the ex was involved in the adoptions, he may want to be involved in the decisions.  Good luck.

Rezdent

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 05:13:19 PM »
I think it is okay to selectively rehome them if you cannot cope and it is too stressful.  You might even try for a dog share with another family.  We do this and works great.  Just put an ad on craigslist if you are interested.  Lots of people would love a pt pet that comes with vacation coverage and split vet bills.
+1 for pet sharing.
If for some reason that won't work you might consider local rescue groups (not the public pound).
Rescue groups vary wildly in their models.  I know of one rescue group that specializes in giving permanent homes to cats that are not adoptable.   The staff seem to know each cat well and the cats look very healthy and happy.  There are kitty "playgrounds" and lots of space for the ones that prefer to be alone.  Good rescues are usually at capacity.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 05:21:13 PM »
Your animals are even more stressed than you are.  How long have the behaviors been going on?  The entire four years, or is this recent?  Did your partner handle this in the past and now that he's in the hospital, you can't? 

The peeing has been going on for years. It started when we rehomed her to one of ex's friends on Vashon Island (because she doesn't get along with other animals). She started peeing in their house, so they asked we take her back. She has done it constantly since we got her back a year and a half ago. And yes, before he was in the hospital the ex cleaned that room, took food and water up to her, etc.

Which animals came with which partner?  The first choice is to split them that way.  If the female is his, getting her out of your environment into one where she can go outdoors would be my first priority.  That alone may make it easier for the other ones.  However, I would not dump her on the ex's mother without preparation.  She's already going to have a lot on her plate when her son moves back in.

The female cat was my partner's, the boy cats were mine, and the dog we got while we were together.

The female cat will be going with him when he moves, and we were talking about doing a pet share with the dog (we haven't worked out a schedule yet - that will happen when he gets out of the hospital.)

I get along well with ex's mother. I need to call her about the u-haul date, and make sure it works for her, so I will ask her about the female cat if she could maybe take her early.

Second would be to complete the diagnosis on the 10 year old.  Pancreatitis resulting from stress and not eating is common.  It's a long and sometimes expensive process to bring these cats around.  A blood panel should tell the vet if the pancreas or the liver is the culprit, or if there is diabetes.  Bad teeth can also cause a cat to stop eating and go into fatty liver (hepatic lipidosis) or pancreatitis.  Diabetes can be helped by better food, weight loss, and insulin as the last resort.  If he does not survive, you will be down to two animals after placing the female.

Rehoming the 6 year old will be difficult because of the biting and destructive behavior.  If you must rehome him, be very careful.  Ask for a fee similar to what your local rescues ask.  That sweet girl that answers your Craigslist ad may be a front for a dog fighting ring looking for bait animals or an enabler for an animal abuser.  Those folks won't generally pay a substantial adoption fee.  Get him fully vetted first so the adopter gets a ready to go cat.  See if you can partner with a local rescue and let them screen potential adopters.

Already took the older boy to the vet - teeth are fine, and a blood panel ruled out liver disease, but the vet can't tell from the blood panel if it is diabetes or pancreatitis, or both - and needs to do more tests.

As far as the younger boy, that is what I was afraid of with his behavior. I thought about asking the ex to take him, but I don't think that is really ideal either, since his female cat doesn't like other animals. Plus he would have to live in the basement, and he is too social to be shut away from the humans upstairs.

The behaviour has always been going on, but it seems to have been worse while ex has been gone. He really really loves my ex, more than he likes me.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 05:25:05 PM by GamerGirl »

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 05:28:41 PM »
Quote
So, I just recently split from my boyfriend of 4 years. He has been in the hospital for the last two months. He doesn't get out for 2 more weeks

Dang...talking about being down on your luck!

Quote
The next oldest cat (male 10 y/o) is not eating and is loosing a bunch of weight. I've been taking him back & forth to the doctors.

I have this problem with two older dogs (14 yrs)...I've decided on a high fat diet. Mostly sticks on butter and bacon...hoping for quick results.

Disclaimer: Totally kidding but I do keep an eye on their quality of life and if vet bills gets too expensive (over $100) then I'll cross that path. If they were peeing in the house I would have to rehome (preferred) or put them down. I will cry like a baby.

The ex is in the hospital for bio-polar 2; he got in an extreme manic/depressive cycle and they are having trouble getting him stable again.

As far as the kitty, vet bills are already over $150, and the vet wants to run more tests that will run between $35 and $200. Quality of life seems fine right now - he is being his cuddly, purring self, although he is not being as active as he usually is.

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 05:43:19 PM »
The vet should be able to tell from the blood panel whether there is inflammation.  In the absence of abnormal liver enzymes, pancreatitis is often suspected if there is evidence of inflammation and not infection.  Steroids, an appetite stimulant, anti-nausea drugs, subcutaneous fluids, and syringe feeding are the common treatments.

My guess is things will calm down once the female is gone and the ex's stuff is out of the house.  I would try to move her ASAP.  Your move will create more stress, but you will be a lot calmer.  Perhaps between you and the ex, you can find the 6 year old a home with a guy to hang out with.

Good luck.


DollarBill

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 05:43:34 PM »
Quote
So, I just recently split from my boyfriend of 4 years. He has been in the hospital for the last two months. He doesn't get out for 2 more weeks

Dang...talking about being down on your luck!

Quote
The next oldest cat (male 10 y/o) is not eating and is loosing a bunch of weight. I've been taking him back & forth to the doctors.

I have this problem with two older dogs (14 yrs)...I've decided on a high fat diet. Mostly sticks on butter and bacon...hoping for quick results.

Disclaimer: Totally kidding but I do keep an eye on their quality of life and if vet bills gets too expensive (over $100) then I'll cross that path. If they were peeing in the house I would have to rehome (preferred) or put them down. I will cry like a baby.

The ex is in the hospital for bio-polar 2; he got in an extreme manic/depressive cycle and they are having trouble getting him stable again.

As far as the kitty, vet bills are already over $150, and the vet wants to run more tests that will run between $35 and $200. Quality of life seems fine right now - he is being his cuddly, purring self, although he is not being as active as he usually is.

I totally had a different picture in my head...good to cut and run. Hope he gets the help he needs! I'm sure I would spend more than a $100 but that's just what I tell them so the don't get sick...shhh. I know they've had a good long happy life and I don't want to keep fighting to keep them alive for me to enjoy when they will suffer more in the long run.

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 06:16:36 PM »
I'm not a vet but I have 2 diabetic cats, one with chronic (and occasionally acute) pancreatitis.  Usually if the only issue is untreated diabetes, the cat will be ravenous and still be losing weight and will drink a lot of water and have excessive urination. A fructosamine test measures the glucose level average over the past few weeks (but it's a one time blood test) and is the best tool to diagnose diabetes.  A single glucose  reading with a meter, especially at the vet, is not a good way to diagnose diabetes as the stress can cause their glucose levels to rise.  If you find that the cat has diabetes, please pm me and I can point you to a number of good resources.

There is a blood test (I think it's the SpecFPL test) that can indicate pancreatitis (it's not 100% diagnostic but more of an indicator) or it is usually diagnosed with an ultrasound.  I don't remember the exact costs but the are over $100 each (prob closer to $200). My cat with pancreatitis has been doing fairly well lately (other than the diabetes) with proper diet management (knockonwood).  But it is definitely the trickier diagnosis to manage.

Thank you for doing what you can for your animals.   It's obvious that you care about them very much.  I agree that if you can rehome the ex's cat sooner than later that will help.  Especially if you are on good terms with his mother. It never hurts to ask nicely.

Best wishes for you.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2014, 06:36:19 PM »
I'm not a vet but I have 2 diabetic cats, one with chronic (and occasionally acute) pancreatitis.  Usually if the only issue is untreated diabetes, the cat will be ravenous and still be losing weight and will drink a lot of water and have excessive urination. A fructosamine test measures the glucose level average over the past few weeks (but it's a one time blood test) and is the best tool to diagnose diabetes.  A single glucose  reading with a meter, especially at the vet, is not a good way to diagnose diabetes as the stress can cause their glucose levels to rise.  If you find that the cat has diabetes, please pm me and I can point you to a number of good resources.

There is a blood test (I think it's the SpecFPL test) that can indicate pancreatitis (it's not 100% diagnostic but more of an indicator) or it is usually diagnosed with an ultrasound.  I don't remember the exact costs but the are over $100 each (prob closer to $200). My cat with pancreatitis has been doing fairly well lately (other than the diabetes) with proper diet management (knockonwood).  But it is definitely the trickier diagnosis to manage.

Thank you for doing what you can for your animals.   It's obvious that you care about them very much.  I agree that if you can rehome the ex's cat sooner than later that will help.  Especially if you are on good terms with his mother. It never hurts to ask nicely.

Best wishes for you.

The sick kitty has not been eating and I haven't seen him drinking any more than normal, either. The vet gave him an appetite stimulent on Saturday, and he has been doing a lot better - eating and drinking normally. She said it will wear off today, so I'm going to give him till this coming Saturday and see how he fares before I make any decisions.

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 09:31:32 PM »
Cats that get pancreatitis are often prone to getting it again.  If your cat stops eating again, call the vet so the problem can be treated immediately.  Your vet may prescribe an appetite stimulant in a pill form.  The commonly used medication is Periactin.  It's available as a generic now (cyproheptadine).  Once the cat starts eating normally, you can wean him off it. 

A lot of bad behavior and health issues in cats are induced by stress.  Rehoming the female and making your home a quiet, safe place for the boys will probably help as much as the medications.

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2014, 05:42:06 AM »
I don't have a lot of advice to offer, but I do want to offer you my sympathy on the whole situation.  It sounds incredibly stressful, between your boyfriend/ex-boyfriend's illness, your animals' illnesses and their behaviors, plus you having to move and go through a breakup, it's no wonder you feel stretched to your breaking point.

We have two cats, a dog, and a kid, and two adults working full time, and there have been many days I have thought, "Why did we get these $%*&ing pets!!??  But, we love them, so what are you going to do?

I do wonder how you will rehome sick animals or animals with bahavior problems.  At least it sounds like the one who would be the hardest one to rehome already has a place to go, so that's good.  Where I live all of the shelters are no-kill shelters, and many of them use fostering to care for the animals until there's somewhere for them to go permanently.  Personally, I would not use Craigslist to find a new home for an animal.  I would only rehome them to someone I know, or a friend of a friend, or surrender them to a reputable no-kill shelter.  I don't trust people when it comes to animals.

I do want to say something that I'm not sure others have said, and, this is obviously my own opinion.  I love my pets, and I can tell that you truly love yours, too.  However, you do not have to keep them and you don't have to feel guilty about that.  You really need to take care of yourself right now, and it's OK if you can't take care of them.  You're going through a lot, and it's no wonder you're overwhelmed!

With kind wishes,
Trina

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2014, 07:20:29 AM »
Personally, I would not use Craigslist to find a new home for an animal.  I would only rehome them to someone I know, or a friend of a friend, or surrender them to a reputable no-kill shelter.  I don't trust people when it comes to animals.

I do want to say something that I'm not sure others have said, and, this is obviously my own opinion.  I love my pets, and I can tell that you truly love yours, too.  However, you do not have to keep them and you don't have to feel guilty about that.  You really need to take care of yourself right now, and it's OK if you can't take care of them.

I'd like to emphasize these two points. If you feel the need to rehome the 6 year old cat or the puppy, find a shelter that will give him a home until he finds a permanent one. At the shelter I work at, animals live at the shelter until they get adopted, there's no time limit. Find a place with no time limit (ask them point blank, don't just assume) and surrender him. My shelter would take any of the animals, but the 6 year old and the puppy would be the two quickest to find homes, if that factors into your decision.

Don't feel guilty about rehoming a pet, as long as you do it responsibly. You have to put on your own oxygen mask first before you can care for others. If people try and make you feel bad about, they're assholes and you should ignore them. Often the loving and caring act is to make sure the pets are getting what they need, and if it's not with you then so be it. I'm always glad when someone surrenders a pet to us that they can't care for anymore, because it's the best option for the pet. It's hell on people though, for sure.

Can you put up a dog run or something similar in your backyard? A 7 lb chin pin isn't going to be pulling tree trunks down while on a line, so you could probably gerry rig something if you've got any long leads at home. Also, watch some My Cat from Hell on netflix streaming if you can for some misery loves company heinous cat antics, and some insight on cat behaviors. It sounds like the 6 year old needs more stimulation and play time. And clear off your cat-accessible shelves as much as possible to save yourself some sanity. It took me quite a few broken vases to learn that lesson.

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2014, 07:30:20 AM »
The youngest cat (male 6 y/o 15 lbs HUGE cat) is very very very very hyper and has to be in the same room as people when you are home. He pulls pictures off the wall, chews on books, and knocks everything he can reach off shelves. He will nip your hair and hands for attention if you are not petting him all the time.

As a cat owner, I don't really consider these to be "behavior" problems. This is an attention problem. He needs more exercise and more attention, that's all. Make it clear in your ad that he's very energetic and needs a lot of playtime/attention. Mention that his ideal owner would be someone who is home all day and wants a constant companion.

Zamboni

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2014, 07:51:22 AM »
Oh, I am so sympathetic to your plight.  Extremely destructive or high maintenance pets can make it stressful at home instead of peaceful at home, and that's not good for anyone.

My Mom made a bit of a career of rehoming stray pets for awhile.  The small dog should be easy to rehome.  Younger cat won't be too bad either.  Older pets will be harder and I think taking the oldest to your ex's mom sooner rather than later is the way to go.

For rehoming, her ad was pretty simple.  Free cat/pet, will deliver. description of pet:  color, hair length, size, behavior such as how they are with other pets, children (in the younger cat's case very energetic and playful), contact info.  On Craigslist can include a photo. 

That delivery part was really important to her.  If people were not okay with delivery (so she could not see where cat/dog was going), then she would not deal with them.  She felt a lot better about finding the homes when she could see the homes.  She ALWAYS offered to take the pet back if it wasn't working out, so she'd leave them her contact information.  I did a similar thing when we randomly found an exhausted cockatiel outside and couldn't find the owners.  I can't handle having a bird, and it felt really good to leave the little guy with the wonderful lady who took him.

Usually she didn't hear from them again, but one cat she had to go back and retrieve twice.  The cat was really friendly but had grown up in a warehouse with only adults and wasn't used to being picked up or children, so it would scratch children.  The cat ended up living happily at my dad's work where there was a steady stream of adults coming and going. 

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2014, 10:14:47 AM »
The youngest cat (male 6 y/o 15 lbs HUGE cat) is very very very very hyper and has to be in the same room as people when you are home. He pulls pictures off the wall, chews on books, and knocks everything he can reach off shelves. He will nip your hair and hands for attention if you are not petting him all the time.

As a cat owner, I don't really consider these to be "behavior" problems. This is an attention problem. He needs more exercise and more attention, that's all. Make it clear in your ad that he's very energetic and needs a lot of playtime/attention. Mention that his ideal owner would be someone who is home all day and wants a constant companion.

Yeah, my ex doesn't work, so he was home all day with the cat - and there were NO desctruction issues during that time, and no nipping, etc. I really think its because he doesn't like being home all day alone while I am at work. Also why I think he likes the Ex more than me. If I rehome any of them it will be the 6 y/o cat, because I agree, I think he really needs someone who is home all day with him to give him lots of play and attention.

The people we got the puppy from have a standing offer to take him back if he doesn't work out - but I've gotten really attached to the puppy and don't know if I could give him up.

dodojojo

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2014, 10:56:22 AM »
For the 11 year old cat, assuming she's not peeing due to a health issue--I would consider some type of psych medication.  Fluoxentine is generic Prozac and very, very inexpensive.  You pick up a month's prescription for $5-10.  There are other meds as well.  Talk to your vet to see what s/he thinks works best.  It's not the optimal solution but she's been peeing outside of her box for years.  If it's not a physical ailment, she's obviously stressed and at this point, medication to give her a better quality of life isn't the worse thing in the world.  It would also make life easier for you and your ex once he takes her.

Prozac doesn't cure all, but an ultra-low dose may be enough to take the edge off and stop the random urination.   I've read where a temporary dosing period was enough to fix the problem.  There are also stories where the cat had to be on the medication for life to control the issue.  YMMV of course.

Threshkin

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2014, 11:59:31 AM »
You could also try crating.  Especially if you are out of the house at work.

Cats are stubborn but they can be trained.  They just need to realize that YOU are the boss.  Dogs are much easier to train because they like knowing where they are in the pack hierarchy.

This may sound cold but you might want to consider putting the older two cats down if your ex will not take them back.

Note: I am an animal lover and have had pets all my life.  They are family to me. 

Trede

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2014, 12:47:20 PM »
Scanning the suggestions, I don't think I see a cat pheremone diffuser mentioned yet.  I've not personally tried them myself, but my sister-in-law took in a stray with three cats already in the house, and she swears by using one to calm the cats and solicit better behavior.  Just looking on Amazon, one brand is Feliway and the product is called ComfortZone.  No idea if that's the one she used specifically, but cheap enough where might be worth a shot.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2014, 02:04:37 PM »
Scanning the suggestions, I don't think I see a cat pheremone diffuser mentioned yet.  I've not personally tried them myself, but my sister-in-law took in a stray with three cats already in the house, and she swears by using one to calm the cats and solicit better behavior.  Just looking on Amazon, one brand is Feliway and the product is called ComfortZone.  No idea if that's the one she used specifically, but cheap enough where might be worth a shot.

I've tried Feliway/Comfortzone a couple of times. I've had it work like a dream in two cases: 1) Spraying it on furniture stopped our kitten from scratching it; 2) spraying it around the house helped another cat acclimate to said kitten. In both cases, it also helps at the vet and in the car.

But I once tried it on a third cat and it didn't work at all. This cat had more serious anxiety issues, however. Pheromones have their limits!

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2014, 02:20:59 PM »
Scanning the suggestions, I don't think I see a cat pheremone diffuser mentioned yet.  I've not personally tried them myself, but my sister-in-law took in a stray with three cats already in the house, and she swears by using one to calm the cats and solicit better behavior.  Just looking on Amazon, one brand is Feliway and the product is called ComfortZone.  No idea if that's the one she used specifically, but cheap enough where might be worth a shot.

I've tried Feliway/Comfortzone a couple of times. I've had it work like a dream in two cases: 1) Spraying it on furniture stopped our kitten from scratching it; 2) spraying it around the house helped another cat acclimate to said kitten. In both cases, it also helps at the vet and in the car.

But I once tried it on a third cat and it didn't work at all. This cat had more serious anxiety issues, however. Pheromones have their limits!

I have tried both - they worked on the peeing cat... but it turns out *I* am HORRIBLY allergic to both, so we had to stop using it.

brycedoula

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2014, 02:44:48 PM »
I have a 5 year-old male Bengal cat(neutered). He's very sensitive to change of any kind(like moving! new dog roommate!), and has responded a few times by peeing inappropriately (on things we've left on the floor, like bags/suitcases/jackets/whatever). Once our vet ruled out a physical cause (like a UTI or bladder/kidney issues) he suggested a few things:

-Feliway diffusers & spray. It's basically a synthetic version of kitty phermones that can calm a stressed feline. (I believe there is a canine version as well). You plug the diffuser into a wall, like a Glade plug-in, and spray the spray on corners where the car would normally rub its face. I don't know if it works for every cat, but I think it has definitely made a difference for mine.

-ROYAL CANIN Veterinary Diet - "Calm" cat food. This dry food has amino acids added that are especially calming, as well as a B vitamin. Again I don't know if it works on every animal but it certainly appears to have calmed by cat down.

My fiance & I have also made a much bigger effort to play with him more. He can be a giant PITA when he's under-stimulated so we play "laser-tag" at least 10 times a day, he has a variety of scratching surfaces, paper balls to chase, etc.

Perhaps trying one or more of these things with your cat(s) would improve behaviour enough that you're not pulling your hair out, or at least make your life tolerable until a more permanent solution can be found.

MandyM

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2014, 02:47:07 PM »
On re-homing, I actually don't think that Craigslist is a bad way to go. But you have to be aware of the issues and put in a little effort. I helped a friend re-home a dog using Craigslist. We visited 3 homes before we found the family that was right for him. We also charged a fee (I think $50).

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2014, 02:55:17 PM »
I have a 5 year-old male Bengal cat(neutered). He's very sensitive to change of any kind(like moving! new dog roommate!), and has responded a few times by peeing inappropriately

My fiance & I have also made a much bigger effort to play with him more. He can be a giant PITA when he's under-stimulated so we play "laser-tag" at least 10 times a day, he has a variety of scratching surfaces, paper balls to chase, etc.

Perhaps trying one or more of these things with your cat(s) would improve behaviour enough that you're not pulling your hair out, or at least make your life tolerable until a more permanent solution can be found.

My PITA 6 y/o Cat is also a Bengal (mix) - half Bengal/half alley cat. I got him from my mother's neighbor after their purebreed female Bengal got out of the house and came back with kittens. I honestly would not have taken him if I had known how crazy hyper they can be.

Another Reader

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2014, 03:01:23 PM »
Even though he is only half Bengal, a Bengal rescue might help you with rehoming him.  Breed specific rescues often will do courtesy adoption posts on their websites.  If he has the Bengal look, a Bengal group might even take and place him.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2014, 04:00:57 PM »
Even though he is only half Bengal, a Bengal rescue might help you with rehoming him.  Breed specific rescues often will do courtesy adoption posts on their websites.  If he has the Bengal look, a Bengal group might even take and place him.

He actually looks like a purebreed bengal except for one white paw, so that is a good idea. I'll look into that, thanks!

Indy (6 y/o male), is on the left. The other two older kitties are on the right (Black is the 10 y/o male, black/red is the 11 y/o female).

higgins2013

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2014, 05:19:43 PM »
There's a great relatively inexpensive drug for dogs that is very effective for urinary incontinence: PROIN 50 mg.  (Costco Pharmacy fills vet prescriptions, a big cost-saver.)  Perhaps there's a similar drug for cats.


Wolf_Stache

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2014, 07:27:33 PM »
There's a great relatively inexpensive drug for dogs that is very effective for urinary incontinence: PROIN 50 mg.  (Costco Pharmacy fills vet prescriptions, a big cost-saver.)  Perhaps there's a similar drug for cats.

Oh, we took her to the vet. Nothing wrong with her. its just onry-ness - probably at being kept inside all the time in a house with two male kitties

zurich78

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2014, 07:38:39 PM »
I can't speak for cats because I've never owned a cat, but for dogs, the best thing I have found to curb bad or stressed behavior is to exercise them.  A lot.  Take the dog on a long walk, for a run, put it on a treadmill, anything to get the dog some exercise.

He or she will become an angel.  Most of the time =)

DollarBill

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2014, 09:08:22 PM »
I know it sound cruel but I swear buy the shock collar...for dogs. Your able to correct a dog without being physical if you're physical then you take away a trust. I can leave my dogs in the yard without them leaving and I can walk them without a leash.   

samburger

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2014, 09:14:50 AM »
I can't speak for cats because I've never owned a cat, but for dogs, the best thing I have found to curb bad or stressed behavior is to exercise them.  A lot.  Take the dog on a long walk, for a run, put it on a treadmill, anything to get the dog some exercise.

He or she will become an angel.  Most of the time =)

Agreed! Even more powerful than physical exercise is mental exercise. You can pick up a few books on dog training, find a method you like, and spend a little time each day shaping the dog's behaviors. It's extremely challenging for them when done correctly, takes it right out of them.

The catch is that it's no small feat to become an effective trainer, so if that's not interesting for you, physical exercise is your best bet.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Pets - Overwelmed, advice?
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2014, 09:28:13 AM »
Given what you've described, I'd consider the following:

1) Ex takes peeing kitty as planned.
2) Contact the no-kill or low-kill shelters in your region about your 6 year old. Tell them you are moving, your ex is ill and you're splitting up, you just can't handle four animals. Will they take the most adoptable?
3) Consider re-homing the pup on your own if 1 dog + 1 cat is too much.

I'm sorry you have to go through all this. :(