Author Topic: Statements about my cat - rude?  (Read 7861 times)

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ettiquit

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2013, 02:26:57 PM »
I know people who have put down cats for this very reason.  I find the practice abhorrent. 

I also have a 16 year old cat who has had bathroom problems pretty much since I got him (floor only).  It's frustrating, embarrassing, and yes, disgusting.  Probably anyone who made comments like the ones said to the OP would be told that they should never be pet owners. 

OP - I'm glad your kitty is getting better, and I'm sure you are thoroughly cleaning the spots on the couch so that they're safe to sit on.

TurtleDove

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2013, 02:31:53 PM »
I am allergic to cats and don't really care to be around animals in general.  I would never say anything like what the people said in the OP.  That is out of line, and the OP has gotten plenty of good advice on what to say to them.

I just wanted to add my POD to the posters who are a bit disturbed by the situation in general.  I would not want to hear about the cat peeing, and I most definitely would not want to walk through, sit, or eat anything in a house where I now know a cat pees outside its litter box (litter boxes gross me out in general, but I grasp that what cats use).  It's not a judgment on the OP, it's a fact of life.   I don't ever want to touch cat pee in any shape or form.

I think it's a know your audience kind of thing.  OP, don't invite people who have said rude things about your cats to your house.  Also, for me, being told, "My cat peed where you are sitting, but don't worry - I cleaned it," would have the same effect as "my cat peed where you are sitting." :)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 02:33:41 PM by TurtleDove »

edgypeanuts

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2013, 02:38:27 PM »
I am a cat vet and I hear these comments somewhat regularly.  From clients, I try to explain the problem from the cat's point of view and how we can fix it, but socially, I have little tolarance, esp if the people know what I do for a living.

I have been known to thank people for their input and tell them that I hope their children will give them the same consideration when picking out their nursing homes.  I do not hide my disgust. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2013, 02:43:56 PM »
To clarify - the last time the actual couch upholstery was peed on was the beginning of September, and it's been thoroughly cleaned since then.  What she pees on now are disposable or washable incontinence pads and a cotton cover which is sanitized each time.  In warning people I also offer other seats to them (some of which aren't even upholstery, so clearly not peed upon) and no one has ever taken me up on it - they've just checked that the spot they were about to use wasn't wet and sat down.  They've also come back to enjoy my hospitality since then.    We are actually the ones in our circle who host the most, and I'm pretty sure my friends don't consider my house so disgusting that I shouldn't have people over.

It sounds like I need to keep on the track I'm on - keep working on correcting the problem, don't bring it up to people any more, and speak politely the phrases mentioned here when someone says something untoward.  Thank you all for the feedback!

Don't you remove the pee pads before people sit down?

I can see that if this is your coping mechanism, you do have to mention why they're there, etc.

When people say those things, I think almost any comeback you can think of is fine. Or, a mild, "well, it's not like it's permanent or dangerous--hate to give up years of fuzzy company because of three months of annoyance."

And if they persist, then maybe say, "Perhaps we should cut this visit short."

NutellaNut

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2013, 02:54:56 PM »

Don't you remove the pee pads before people sit down?

I can see that if this is your coping mechanism, you do have to mention why they're there, etc.


Back in August/September, when it was frequent, the cat would sometimes go when we had just left the room to go to the sewing room, or the back deck, or wherever.  So the pads, and the nice-looking cotton cover, were left on so the urine wouldn't get to the actual sofa cushions (which I obviously would prefer to keep pee-free since they are harder to clean).  Now that it hasn't happened in a bit, I think I can just check that everything's clear (which I do several times a day anyway) right before the people arrive, and not worry about it anymore.  I'm really hoping we've figured out why she started doing it, and can keep her on track for the future.

Ginger G

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2013, 03:02:07 PM »
I've had people say some really abhorent things about cats when I just happened to mention in passing that I have cats.  Once at a department lunch, something about cats came up and the head of the department (someone in my opinion who should know better), announced loudly that he hated cats and "would shoot a cat".  He said this in front of me and another coworker who loves her cat.  I didn't say a word, just quietly left the room.  I have never felt the same way about him again, and I'm careful never to mention my cats in front of him. However, if her wasn't my boss, believe me I would have responded, probably not in an e-hell approved manner either. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2013, 03:09:14 PM »
It seems people are often quick to make comments about our beloved pets that they would never make about our children.  I have a cat who is very much a "one-person-cat" and likes to be left alone.  The cat and I have a very good understanding of each other and co-habit quite nicely. 

I have a friend (who does have cats herself) who often visits with her daughter (who isn't a kid - the daughter is 31) who won't leave the cat alone.  She pokes at her and teases her and then often gets clawed or bitten.

I finally had to yell at the mother who yelled at the cat for biting her daughter.  Any reasonable adult understands that if you poke and tease an animal, there will be consequences so don't yell at the animal!

Would you yell at one of my kids if they were being poked and then defended themselves?

I've been told many times that I should just get rid of the cat.  My response - "Really?  Why?"

I think you could use a similar response.

That's not necessarily true.  I've heard sentences started with "If that was my SON/DAUGHTER, I'd...."  with the sentiment being anywhere from kick them out of the house to skin them alive. 

And I must agree that I would be very uncomfortable with being offered a seat but being told to check for urine (human or other) first.

I'm a cat person, have one lounging on my desk right now.  But if a one of my beloved cats had decided to use a piece of furniture to urinate upon, that cat would not be allowed back into that room. If if it meant we would be missing out of our normal interactions.  If you know that there is a chance the cat could act up while a guest is there, can't you restrict them to other spaces? 

DavidH

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2013, 03:15:12 PM »
I'm not particularly a cat person, but I get that you feel very strongly.

I'd separate out two different type of comments. Comments around I'd do XYZ aren't about your cat, they are about how the other person would react to the situation.  You might not take that course of action.  It's fine to say, something along the lines of then we obviously don't agree on how to handle it, since that's clearly true.  If you find their viewpoint so extreme that you don't want to associate with them anymore, then that's fine as well.

Comments along the lines of what they think you should do are different.  There you can say that you weren't really asking for advice, don't agree with the advice or anything along those lines.

If you don't want any comment, then the solution is not the bring the subject up.  If you have to mention it, then rather than go into all the detail, you can just suggest a guest be careful where they sit since sometimes the cat has accidents.  It is much less likely to invite a comment than a long discussion of how often it happens, why it happens, and all that. 

AnnaJ

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2013, 03:16:45 PM »
I am a cat vet and I hear these comments somewhat regularly.  From clients, I try to explain the problem from the cat's point of view and how we can fix it, but socially, I have little tolarance, esp if the people know what I do for a living.

I have been known to thank people for their input and tell them that I hope their children will give them the same consideration when picking out their nursing homes.  I do not hide my disgust.

Thank you, I agree completely - I am appalled at the idea that animals are disposable bits of entertainment.  I am dealing with an elderly cat with health problems at the moment, and I will need to take him in soon to have him put down.

I have tried to address some of the opinions stated here politely, but there is no way so I have not posted.  I did, however, want to thank you for your post.

Oh Joy

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2013, 03:41:06 PM »
NutellaNut, I have all sorts of sympathy for your problems (fifteen years of dogs with health/behavior/housebreaking issues), but I suggest that you might be a bit close to the problem.  Here's a brief rewrite of your post to help you step back:

I have a pet with housebreaking issues.  Some people say it's cause for more extreme reactions than I'm comfortable with, either by saying it's what they'd do or what I should do.  How do I respond?

What would you suggest this person say?  My answer is the same stock phrase I use for lots of situations, including parenting.  A shrug along with 'Different things work for different people.'

Truly, best wishes to you.

sweetonsno

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2013, 08:49:37 PM »
NutellaNut, I have all sorts of sympathy for your problems (fifteen years of dogs with health/behavior/housebreaking issues), but I suggest that you might be a bit close to the problem.  Here's a brief rewrite of your post to help you step back:

I have a pet with housebreaking issues.  Some people say it's cause for more extreme reactions than I'm comfortable with, either by saying it's what they'd do or what I should do.  How do I respond?

What would you suggest this person say?  My answer is the same stock phrase I use for lots of situations, including parenting.  A shrug along with 'Different things work for different people.'

Truly, best wishes to you.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Kicking an animal across the room crosses the line from "more extreme than I am comfortable with" to "abusive and possibly warranting criminal charges." In situations like that, I would not want to tacitly approve of such behavior (or "joking" about it) by suggesting that while it isn't for me, it may work in other situations.

I can see doing that if someone suggested something milder, like spraying the cat with water or trying to scare the cat by yelling, but I do think abuse merits a stronger response.

Lynn2000

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2013, 09:14:25 PM »
What about something like...  >:( "Look, if you don't want to hear any more about it, that's fine, but there's no need to talk about harming my pet." Or, "Look, I was just letting you know, so you could sit somewhere else if you wanted. There's no need to talk about hurting my cat."

They address what might be their underlying motivation, even if they don't realize it themselves, and hopefully point out how extreme their responses are in comparison. Like, "Assuming your goal was X minor thing, do you realize what a horrible thing you just said to achieve it?"

Probably if you sound too defensive, though, they might miss the message, so maybe just kind of... serious. And then if they go the "only joking" route you can respond, "Well, I don't think that kind of thing is very funny." Get them to think about what they're saying and how you're hearing it.
~Lynn2000

ladyknight1

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2013, 09:31:16 PM »
When I hear people say horrible things about animals, specifically what people said to the OP, it makes me distance myself from them. Even if someone feels that way, wouldn't they have enough self-control to not say something so horrible?

OP, I am glad you are working through this situation and I can certainly sympathize as my younger cat has some behavioral issues. I do think you should continue to limit your discussion of the issue, but when people are in your home and ask about something, there is only so much bean dip to go around.

TootsNYC

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2013, 10:24:33 PM »
When I hear people say horrible things about animals, specifically what people said to the OP, it makes me distance myself from them. Even if someone feels that way, wouldn't they have enough self-control to not say something so horrible?

yeah, that's an important point!

sevenday

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Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2013, 10:38:28 PM »
I have a cat who, since we got her (12+  years ago) refuses to use the litter box for #2.  She does, however, limit such activities to the area AROUND the box.  We've dealt with it by putting down plastic and cleaning up after her.  Recently SOMEONE (of our three) took to peeing on clothes left on the floor.  We responded by washing the items - and throwing away things that were just too far gone.  We don't have a couch - just 2 recliners and 2 beds.  None of those appear to have been peed on, just clothing items left on the floor.  No way to tell which of the 3 it was, and too expensive to take them all in to test for UTIs - no other signs like blood in the litter box, etc.  I think it was a protest against a recent litter change to pine pellets, because when I switched back to one-pine and one-clay box, the peeing seems to have stopped. 

As a cat owner I realize that sometimes things just happen.  In the case of the couch, I would have put a plastic cover over that, then a cotton/easily washable over that so it could be presentable for guests and quickly washable in case the cat peed or coughed up a hairball or whatever.  When we HAD a couch, we had a cover on it, not due to pee, but because of the random hairball or shed fur; it was easy to strip and wash then put it back on.  I would have warned a guest that the couch in question was a bit questionable due to cat behavior (I wouldn't have said WHAT behavior) and after I assured them the couch had been cleaned, offer alternate seating instead. 

And yes, I have been told to put down the cat in paragraph one.  I ignored that comment.  When the person kept repeating it, I replied, "I realize that's your opinion, but I'm not going to do that.  Please don't say it again."  The person did get huffy, but they didn't repeat it.  I was fully prepared to walk away if they did though.