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Old 05-13-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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Unhappy Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

We've had 2 cats in our family for years (well before DS was born). I hate to say this, but they are just plain annoying and I've really lost any enjoyment of being a cat owner. The girl cat is a typical cat -- window sitter, doesn't like to be played with, will bite DS if he gets too close. We got this cat simply as a companion for our other, more needy cat. The boy cat is a ridiculously friendly and needy cat and frankly, we don't have the time any more to give him the attention he needs to keep him happy. He is constantly waking me up at night and sprays out the edge of the litter tray (we tape doggy training pads to the walls, which helps with the cleanup, but seriously, in this season, I clean up about 2 sprays/day).

I don't know how much longer I can keep up with this, and we want to have another baby soon, so I can't even fathom taking care of my toddler and a baby, and then having even more sleep disruptions and cat pee smells in the house.

The problem? DS really loves the cats, as any toddler would. He keeps a respectful distance from the mean one, but the friendly one, oh man, he gives him hugs all day, tells him he loves him, picks up a cat toy, picks off the lint and then gives it to the cat... I just don't know how I would get rid of a cat that he loves so much.

Anyone have any experience or advice on the matter? I am so sick of my house smelling like cat pee (mostly an issue in the winter and summer when I can't air out the house as much... otherwise, I can clean it up and air out the room and it's not so bad). DH doesn't seem bothered by it, but I think he just doesn't smell it. Plus, I'm the one cleaning the litter tray, so maybe that's why it bothers me more.

ETA: Both cats are fixed and indoor-only cats. DH does not want outdoor cats due to possible diseases and injury (there are lots of cats in our neighborhood, and some of them seem pretty rough).

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Last edited by littleleaf; 05-13-2011 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:31 PM   #2
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

we have four cats. All of whom we got years before having children. Mine also wake me in the middle of the night and we also have one that hates all people and another that is so darn needy. I'm struggling with them as well. I won't get rid of them because I firmly believe they are mine for life, but I am having trouble balancing my two children and trying to fit them in for attention as well. I feel so bad for them. I used to spend a lot of time per day with each of them and now they only get a few minutes here or there.

Just wanted to say that I know exactly how you feel and the guilt SUCKS.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

Oh I forgot to say that we bought two of these HUGE BOXES for our cats that were pooing on the floor because we did a lot of research and found out that there should be one box per cat and they should be longer than the cat is. IDK if that is true, but it worked for us. They are started using the box again and quit going on the floor in front of the box. Also we scoop daily.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #4
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

I feel you. We are actually re-homing our cat tonight. We got him as a companion to my childhood (read: elderly!) cat before my oldest son was born. Well, the older cat died 3 months after my 4 year old was born and we've had just the one cat since. He wakes us constantly at night and needs way more love and attention then we can give him.

I found a good home for him with a marine on the base here. I haven't told my 4 year old yet and will probably tell him shortly before the man comes to pick him up. Yes, he will be sad, but he's 4 and he will forget about him within days. And he doesn't really play with the cat other than to chase him around (which annoys the cat) every now and then.

You need to make the best decision for your family situation and the animal. Perhaps you could get him a fish or hermit crab something that doesn't need quite as much hands on care?
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

Karol - good luck! Let me know how it goes...

L&A - yeah, I thought about getting another tray, but we don't have any other place in the house for one. so unless I put it right next to the existing tray...

We also scoop daily, although, with the increased spraying (spring mating season, even though the cats are fixed... weird), I've been scooping 2-3 times/day.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

we did the unthinkable and got older dd a puppy when she was 2 we already had a husky and the pup was a mutt. well puppy(that was her name lol) was HORRIBLE. she nipped the kids, peed and poo'd all over(even in her crate) adn was allergic to every food we ever tried(including homemade) and never EVER had a solid poop. she also had to be with the other dog or she howled and yipped. so we had to leave lola outside with her(despite the fact that lola is great with the kids and never has an accident) bc otherwise the neighbors would complain that puppy barked all the time. i think we had her a year before we rehomed her older dd loved loved LOVED her puppy. but it took her 3 months to even mention that she was gone every once in a while one of the kids will ask if puppy is happy at her new house but other than that nothing. the kids would play with puppy all day long. she was their "baby". but really they were not upset at all. they just wanted to know that she was happy. older dd was a little over 3 when she left, younger dd was 1.5, my nieces were4.5 and 2. dont stress too much over it. he'll be fine.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

I feel like you are the parent, so it's your decision. Sure, our kids may not be happy with some of the choices we make for them, but they will be okay. We have (had, one disappeared two days ago) two cats and they are part of our family, but if they were really problematic I would definitely consider getting rid of them. I am sure the kids would miss them, but kids are a lot more resilient than we realize, I think. They also tend to have a very short-term memory, kind of an out of sight, out of mind thing. You may be surprised.

We used to have pet rats when DD was smaller....when she was 4 they both ended up dying (on separate occasions). I was totally torn up and sad, but she was completely cool with it. We buried them in the yard, had a little funeral, and that was that. Now that she is older I don't know how she would take it (she doesn't yet know that our cat is gone, she's at her dad's right now). I'm considering just not saying anything about the missing cat to see if she even notices, lol.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:38 PM   #8
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

......we took a vote in our house.....DH and DS (he is only 18 months lol) won, the cat stays.......I could scream some days....ok I do yell at the cat some days. No advice just a "I know how ya' feel."
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #9
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

.

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Old 05-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #10
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Re: Feeling selfish... want to get rid of a pet but DS would cry

Just wanted to let you know that my son didn't even bat an eye when I told him. Well, he said "But we need to have a cat or a dog!" lol Don't know where he got that from. But when the family showed up to take the cat he wasn't upset at all. He asked a couple times why and we were honest and told him that the cat needed more playmates then we could give him (this family has 3 kids older than mine and 2 dogs as well) and he accepted it.

Good luck!
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