What to do with old cats who are loved but bad for our house/life?
January 15, 2014 11:21 PM Subscribe
We have 2 cats who are about 15 (we got them when they were 4), and for many years they were like our children. They have grown old and gross, and now that we have real children, it feels like they are keeping us from being able to enjoy our life in our house. More details inside.
posted by anonymous to Pets & Animals (59 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The 2 cats have been part of our family for over a decade. One of them always has had a sensitive stomach, and would occasionally vomit around the house (once a week or so). This was something we could work around without much of a problem. The cats live in the downstairs of our house, and the litter box is contained in the bathroom down there. We used to let them upstairs from time to time when we were there and able to make sure they weren't going to destroy anything.
About 4 years ago we had our first kid. For the first year we would take him downstairs to play, always checking the floor beforehand for barf, and cleaning up as needed before letting him play. Around that time the barfing started to increase to several times a week. Fast forward another year, and now the cat was barfing every day. In addition to this, the other cat would miss the litter box from time to time, and every so often would pee in the living room downstairs.
This has grown worse and worse, to the point where now there is almost always poop or pee outside of the litter box (usually a few feet away), there is almost always barf somewhere underfoot, and there are usually streaks or chunks of poop dragged out of the litter box and into the living room.
We had them taken to the vet not too long ago, they said that one of them had some thyroid problems, but other than that they were fairly healthy, and that the thyroid issue would likely lead to an earlier death, but the cat wouldn't be in any pain because of it.
Both cats seem to be relatively happy, but it's hard to tell, because at this point we just don't go into the downstairs of our house more often than is needed to do laundry and clean up whatever messes we see on the floor or the litter box. I haven't allowed my kids down there in the last year and a half, and I can't imagine allowing our youngest, who isn't walking yet, to go anywhere near there.
When we are down there on occasion, the cats are happy to sit in laps and snuggle, and don't seem to be in any pain or discomfort.
It's breaking my heart that we have been talking about whether or not we should put them down, but at this point I don't know what we can do. For as much as they have been a part of our family, we no longer want to spend any time with them, because what little time we have to spend with them ends up being taken up by cleaning up vomit/urine/poop/etc. We literally have a third of our house which pretty much goes unused, even though this part of the house was remodeled 5 years ago partially to be a play space for our kids.
So, at this point I guess I'm asking if there is any alternative to putting the cats down? We don't have the money to take them to more vets just to keep be told that they are just getting old, and even if they could tell us why this is going on, we wouldn't be able to afford any treatments. I don't think there's any chance of finding someone who would be interested in taking them, but I don't know what else we can do. Maybe one of you out there has some suggestions.