FIL's Cat: Why is he doing this, and how do we stop him?

My hubby works out of town. Fortunately, he works very close to where his elderly parents live, so he stays with them. This saves him rent, and it’s very helpful for them (aged 89 and 86) to have someone younger and healthy around!

Now to the problem: My FIL has a cat. When hubby is at his parent’s house, the cat is always following him around, jumping up in his lap, will come into his room and jump up on the bed to be petted, etc. Hubby doesn’t mind.

BUT a couple of weeks ago, hubby had to drive his father to the ER, and was there with him for a good six or seven hours. When he got back to the house, he found that the cat had taken a dump right on his bed. So he changed the sheets, etc. But then yesterday, it happened again.

I said it’s obvious the cat is irritated with him about something, and is showing his displeasure. That’s what cats do.

But short of catching the cat in the act, what can be done to stop it from happening in the future?

Stop being away from the house for 6-7 hours, since that seems to be what’s making the cat mad. Or, you know, make sure the cat can’t get into the bedroom when he’s not there.

Well, making sure the cat can’t get into the bedroom would seem like the simplest solution, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, my in-laws are hoarders, which frequently impacts the ability to close doors in their house. . .
When I talk to mr. new tonight, though, I’ll ask him how viable it would be to make his door completely functional.

Get rid of the cat.

Obviously, my husband does not have the right to get rid of his father’s cat. But that certainly would stop this from happening, wouldn’t it?

Maybe his kitty litter tray needs to be cleaned. (The cat’s. In case it wasn’t clear…)

Maybe, if he’s livin’ in Hoardertown, his tray’s been buried.

I would second this. Make absolutely sure the litter is clean and make sure the cat has easy access to at least 2 litter boxes that are in calm areas of the house. If the litter box is near a washer or water heater or something kitty may be frightened of the loud noise and refuse to use the box.

It would appear to me that your husband’s immediate choices are a) clear a path for the door to swing closed, or b) keep washing catshit off the bed. Sometimes, there is no choice “c.”

Does the cat shit outside the litter box anywhere else? In other words, is the bed a direct and deliberate target, or are there dessicated piles of cat shit hiding under all the rubble and stuff?

Is he helping them clear this stuff out now, or is the plan to shovel all the crap out of their house once they’ve gone to the hereafter?

Certainly good things to consider. I’m sure mr. new would rather clean out or even buy new litter boxes than continue to come home to find out his bed has been used instead! It’s quite possible that the litter doesn’t get cleaned often enough. My MIL has terrible arthritis in her hips, so her mobility is pretty impaired, and my FIL just got out of the hospital with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. . .

I’ll suggest the hubby check on this tonight.

I recommend buying them a self-cleaning catbox if they have mobility problems. They have electronic ones with motion sensors that will scoop out the litter after the cat leaves, every time. Then you just dump out the scooped poop tray every few days.

But honestly, maybe the cat is just really attached to him and likes how he smells (and by extension, how his bed smells) better than how the rest of the house smells. Hoarders’ places can get pretty rank. Would your hubby mind putting a litter box in his bedroom?

Also, it’s reflexive to put the litter box on the floor, but msot cats don’t mind if it’s up higher, some even prefer it. Maybe placing the litter box up on a box or end table would help MIL keep it clean?

Somehow, I missed your post last time I was here! The bottom line is that he would be more than happy to help them clear out, but they won’t get rid of anything. In fact, it used to be that when they were out for an evening, he’d haul out a few garbage bags full of what was clearly garbage (ten-year-old newspapers, clothing in rags, etc.), but neither of them can drive at night anymore (neither of them should be driving at all, but that’s another post), so when they have to go out for the evening, he’s their transportation.
They are two different sorts of hoarders: MIL is antiques, collectibles, yards and yards of fabric (even though she doesn’t sew anymore), etc. FIL is ham radio stuff and electronics. He has no fewer than 15 non-working TVs in the house, that he’s saving “in case he needs a part from one of them”. They are both convinced that their crap is treasure. I’m sure there is some treasure buried in there, but there’s an awful lot of crap. We’re going to have our hands full when they shuffle off this mortal coil. :smack:

Both good suggestions. I think he’d be willing to put a litter box in his room if it meant the cat would stop crapping on his bed!

Another good idea. Thanks!

I’d bring the cat to the scene of the crime and have words with it then reject it for the rest of the day. Every time the cat wants some loving I would get in it’s face and frown when rejecting it. Cat’s must be able to recognize frowning because they do it.

And of course, the bedroom door would be shut and I would clear the doorway to make it doable.

Another vote for making sure the litter box is cleaned. Also, the rule on how many litter boxes are needed is no. of cats + 1. So if there is one cat, there should be two litter boxes, etc.

I sympathize with the hoarding issue, but hopefully his parents will understand that sometimes you have to close a frikkin’ door.

The litterbox in the bedroom sounds like a good idea, too, especially since this cat seems to be very fond of your husband.

Well, I spoke with him just a while ago. It seems the problem with the door is not so much clutter in the way, as the fact that the door simply doesn’t latch closed, and the cat has figured out how to get a paw under there and pull it open. So when we talked, he was on his way to buy a latch for the bedroom door, so he can successfully keep the cat out when he’s not there.

He also really liked the idea of a self-cleaning/elevated litter pan to make cleaning a less onerous task for his parents.

Re: Self cleaning litter box. We got two kittens last November and shelled out for the very expensive Litter Robot. It really has been worth it. There is still litter tracked around, but there hasn’t been a “mistake” because of dirty litter yet.

They don’t have enough brain power to do that. Thinking that a cat would poop on someone’s bed to punish them would be about the same as thinking that a 2 year old kid would dirty their diaper because kid was trying to get even. It really doesn’t happen. Well, not with cats or dogs, some kids are smart enough to do it.

I’m in agreement with the others who say that the litterbox isn’t clean enough, but I’d also suggest a vet visit.

Most cats show their displeasure by peeing/pooping by the offending litterbox, not using the bed. Its where they sleep. Sick cats will learn to avoid the litterbox because it hurts to to their business in the box and will try other places in the hope that it doesn’t hurt.

I have a friend who is a hoarder. It really bites. I’ve got him down to 6 cats now but none of them miss the litterbox because they are healthy and the litterboxes are cleaned every day.

You have my best wishes for the hoarding stuff. When my friend is in the hospital, or in jail, I do such a cleaning that I take trailor loads off. I know that I’m going to have to deal with it when he’s dead and I have to be able to find the litterboxes.

Give your hubby hugs for doing his best. And send him with some enzime cleaner for his bed. I’d rather sleep in my car than on a catpoop bed.

Cat’s don’t get upset? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Sure they do. Every year for 19 years I had to put up with one pissed off cat when I got home from vacation. She had all kinds of different meows and they were easily recognizable for what they were. Cat’s may not be very good at writing down phone messages but they are capable of more than processing food.

norinew, your FIL has a spare…