The Continuing Saga of Rude the Dog

Words.  Escape.  Me.

But we all know I’ll get over it.

Rude the Dog, himself, is adjusting quite nicely.  He’s not perfect, but he’s not bad and he’s not destructive.  He is also, it seems, on the bright side of the canine spectrum (which is not to be confused with the terribly obedient side of the canine spectrum).  The lingering problem is his relationship with the cats, their relationship with him, and the continuing fallout.

Which is falling out all over my white living room carpet.

See, Rude the Dog thinks the cats are chase toys.  The verdict is out on whether or not he thinks they are also chew toys, since he’s not really ever caught one yet.  He terrorizes the cats.  He wants to chase them and bark at them and make jolly sport out of it all over my house.

The cats are not amused.  At all.  They hiss and spit and have actually left claws in his nose.

Additionally, the male cat has shared is disdain for the situation in no uncertain terms by marking the living room.  Lovely.  After a while of just spraying here and there, he apparently decided, “What the hey,” and began using the living room as his own personal liter box.

What is wrong with my cat?????

I have been scrubbing and spraying and scrubbing that carpet so much that . . . that . . . words. escape. me.

While we were gone over the weekend the cat, once again, decided, “What the hey,” and apparently used the living room exclusively while we were not home.  He hadn’t gone in there at all (let alone gone in there) in weeks.  But you know what they say, “When the people are away, the cats like to pee.”  Or something like that.

I am furious.

I am beyond grossed out.

The holidays are upon us.  The auto industry is tanking.  Our bread and butter (and the extra jam) all come from the auto industry.  This is just not the time I want to be putting money out on new flooring and ripping my house apart.  No, this is the time I want to be decorating my house, and stuffing money under my mattress, and buying wheat and freeze dried produce by the ton.

But this stain won’t come out even slightly.  My entire living room smells like chemicals and carpet soap with an ever-so-slight undertone of cat urine.

So the carpet comes up this weekend.  I’ll do some painting in there as well.  The hardwood flooring should be here next week.

Merry Christmas to me.  Right.  I should be excited about getting hardwood flooring in at least one room of my house, so I’m sounding all ungrateful here.  But the timing just sucks.

So now I have two questions for my amazing readers:

1.  What do I do about the damn cats?  How do I get them/him (I’m really not sure, but I’m blaming the male because it seems to be the thing to do) to stop going to the bathroom in the living room?  Will getting rid of the carpet and putting in hardwood be enough?  They are older cats.  Twelve and eleven.  So the idea of finding them a nice, new home probably wouldn’t work.  Plus?  I’ve always been kind of dedicated to family members, and pets are family members.  I don’t want to teach my children that living creatures are things we take in and get rid of on a whim.  Even if that whim involves copious amounts of whiz.

2.  What do you all know about bamboo flooring?  Any tips or tricks for installation and/or maintenance?

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is off to bang his head into a wall.  Preferably the wall between the living room and family room since we might be taking that out in this whole process anyway.  Grrrrr.  Didn’t know newts could growl, did’ja?

13 thoughts on “The Continuing Saga of Rude the Dog

  1. metaphase

    Actually, I have some handouts I’ll email you from my time working at the Humane Society. I hope you find them helpful, and I agree that getting rid of your cats isn’t really the answer.
    I would suggest crating Rude when you’re not home. My other German Shepherd, not Caleb, never grew accustomed to cats in all her days. I think it’s just the herding instinct in some is too great.

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  2. Rude actually stays outside when we aren’t home. At night, when we’re asleep, he is gated in our bedroom so that he can’t wander the house unsupervised. I’ll check my email for the handouts. Thanks!

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  3. m

    Is the cat neutered? If not get that done ASAP

    Also this stuff Urineoff is worth every penny. It will remove the smell for good and it will not come back. It has some special chemical that dissolves the smelly stuff. After trying several things “Natures Miracle” included and having it not work this stuff did.I ordered it off the internet

    urineoff.com

    Also be careful, we got a dog that loved to chase the cat last year. Unfortunately once the cat was on someone’s lap and the cat was so terrified when the dog bolted at her the cat bit into the person’s hand. This person ended up in the hospital within hours with a very complicated infection in their hand and has needed two surgeries. They were in the hospital a week. Her hand will never be the same.

    We kept them both but keep the cat outside or shut up in rooms stairs, and the dog on the ground floor. Yes, it is very complicated.

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  4. My suggestion is to lock the cats down when you leave. When my beloved cat started peeing outside the box, we started shutting her in the utility room with her litter box. Of course, she would just pee in the room, but at least the smell was mostly confined to a room we never entered. Having cats who pee out of spite ‘stinks’ 😉

    I’ve always wanted bamboo floors. I’m eager to hear how they hold up.

    Good Luck!

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  5. lauren

    I can’t help at all about the bamboo floors (although they sound cool), but here are just some general ideas about the cat.
    – I think taking out the carpet will help: most cats don’t like to urinate on a hard surface, and, as you have figured out, once a cat starts marking an area, the smell is almost impossible to get rid of, and he/she can quickly develop a habit of going in there.
    – If the cat always goes in the same spot in the room, sometimes moving a piece of furniture to block that spot off can help. If you can keep the cat out of the room altogether, thats even better.
    – Does it appear that the cat has an aversion to his litterbox? I always tell clients to try different types of litter and different kinds of boxes (open vs closed), to try to help that sort of situation. You also want to have several litterboxes available – at least one for each cat.
    – This may sound kind of mean, but for bad cases, sometimes it helps to confine a cat to an area that doesn’t have carpet, like a bathroom or utility room, with a litter box, to try to ‘retrain’ the cat to use the box.
    – And of course, as a last resort, and this will sound to some even meaner, an inside cat can always become an outside cat – outside cats have a considerably shorter life-span than inside cats, but you also cant have your house smelling like cat pee. Alternatively, could Rude spend even more time outside, away from the cats he tortures?
    – Is your cat neutered – I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t be, because an inside intact male cat is pretty unusual, given their tendency to mark, and their general smell, but just have to ask.
    – although it certainly seems like more of a behavior problem, I’d also advise the following:
    – If he is neutered, I’d advise having a vet check him out – many times peeing outside the box can be a sign of urinary tract problems, especially for neutered male cats.
    – Also, given his age, checking for general health problems like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease is a good idea – those are all problems that can result in urinating outside the box
    My 2 cents :).

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  6. I can’t help with the cats (can’t have them because my kids have allergies) or the bamboo floor. I guess all I can offer is my sympathy and wish you luck with all of it!

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  7. I’ve got the cat problem too, but you’ve been given good advice there. I also have bamboo floors, and I’d do it again (renewable and really pretty), BUT: they do seem to scratch fairly easily — or ours do. Make sure you put felt on the bottoms of all your furniture — that’s what’s left the biggest marks. “Normal” dogs tearing around like they’re possessed by a devil will leave an occassional mark or two, but not horrible. Mainly it’s the furniture.

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  8. I wish I had no advice on this one. LOL. First I am SO jealous of your bamboo floors. I would take any hardwood at this point but bamboo is my dream. Hate carpet, hate tile. miss my hardwood. sniff.

    Ok onto the cats. I had a neurotic cat like this. The carpet will likely be enough. Some cats end up with a preference for certain materials. I had a cat who peed on leather and ruined a couch and a chair. Another cat that peed on any material on the floor (socks, plastic bags right after grocery shopping, etc). Fun times.

    There are phermones that you can release in the area that might help – they sell them in plug-in dispensers that plug into an outlet. Some people have great luck with them. Along with all the things Lauren mentioned and the pheremones, we ended up using a shock collar on her to keep her away from our furniture. It isn’t as mean as it sounds and it works instantly. Only practical if the problem is isolated to one room or area though.

    As for the cats and dog, I would focus on the problem cat first and foremost and see if you can do some positive behavioral stuff. Two adults – one for each pet – and lots of treats each pet love can go a long long way. Reward any positive interaction from either pet with lots of attention and treats.

    And by way of hope, we have a cat who is generally ornery and a dog who is generally playful and they fought like crazy for a long time. We’ve had our dog for almost a year and I actually can’t remember the last time they got into it. I think the combo of the claws to the face and allowing our cats space in the house that is no-dogs-allowed managed to create a sort of waving of the white flag. They aren’t friends or anything – I couldn’t purposely bring the cat near the dog without her freaking out but they have made their own peace.

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  9. I am so sorry I just laughed hysterically at this post-but I did 🙂 I hope you’ll forgive me. But, the way you put it out there was hysterical, not the issue itself. That is maddening. I’m sorry….

    I have no advice for you. When the cat and dog couldn’t get along the cat went to live outside and she’s much happier there. I hope you like your new flooring and that the dog learns some manners real soon and the cat learns where to pee-again 🙂

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  10. Well, unfortunately I can feel your pain on this one to the nth degree. I think you have gotten lots of great advice, here’s my two cents’ worth as well. First, years ago our family cat started peeing on the carpet when my parents went out of town and she got mad. She kept doing it and my mom relegated her to the laundry room for the remaining years of her life. To be honest, I still regret that more than I can tell you – that my poor cat (she was “mine” but lived there thru my college years) spent most of her last years locked up in a laundry room. I just wish I’d been more insistent in trying other options, but I’ve learned a lot since then. Then my Abbie was my neurotic peeing cat – started with my bed, became the couches, clothes on the floor, bags on the floor, etc. Luckily I found a great vet and we tried anti-depressants. Pills were miserable so we ended up doing a gel-like substance that I put a drop of in her ear every night. I still went through many ups and downs with her, but it worked miracles for her. Unfortunately last year with going out of town for Christmas, then leaving again for D and coming back with that little baby, it was too much for Abbie and she never qutie bounced back to where she had been before the changes. But it did help immensely. And the diffuser Nicki mentioned worked well for us too – I want to say it’s Feliway or something like that. Wish I’d remembered to use those through this year during our rough patch! Sorry so long (I should have just emailed you!). I know what you mean about how they ARE members of our family – hopefully you can fold all this advice together to find some solutions. It is such a frustrating problem, I know. Good luck!

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  11. quiregirl

    I will be no help WRT the cats. But I am excited about your bamboo floor! It’s hip. It’s in. It’s green. (As in environmentally friendly.) You are so cutting edge! 🙂

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  12. Dianna

    Definitely have the vet check him out, although it seems like an attitude problem and not a medical problem 🙂 My Cleo did that in one area of the hallway and it turned out to be a symptom of her diabetes. On a practical note, we put down layers and layers of towels, with plastic underneath, in the area she liked to pee. Then at least it wasn’t soaking into my carpet. We were slowly moving the towels toward her litter box when we found out about the diabetes, at which point I just dealt with it until I put her to sleep.

    Amazing what we’ll put up with for ‘family’.

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