Puck Threatens My Marriage

“I am so sick of this _______ cat _______ and _______ all over the house! (You can fill in the blanks). I can’t take it anymore. If this doesn’t stop I’m leaving you. I’m not kidding, Chuck. You are going to come home and find me gone!” That was Friday afternoon.

Earlier that week, my wife, Rose, ordered new furniture. She never liked that sofa in the cat’s room and wanted to get rid of it. We really just bought it because it converted to a bed for company but we rarely have company. When we do have an overnight guest, it is usually Rose’s son, Nick, who prefers to sleep on the sofa unopened. It is also uncomfortable and, most importantly, the introduction of that sofa two years ago was the start of Puck pooping outside the box. You might remember we found poop on the couch and blamed Chris (see here).

I put the sofa on Craigslist for $100 but the woman that came out to buy it saw claw marks on the arm and didn’t want it. We had it covered since the first pooping incident and I did not realize the arm had little claw holes in it.  When she left I relisted it for free and someone picked it up later that day.

We brought the love seat from the living room and put it where the sofa was. I suggested covering it but Rose said that Puck never pooped or peed on it in the living room so it should be okay. The next morning Thursday, there was poop on our uncovered loveseat. Now we have it covered again so we can’t use it.

We got rid of two of our three chairs Thursday by bringing them to the dumpster. We then cleared everything out of the living room that we could to prepare for the Friday morning delivery of the sectional sofa that Rose bought. When I moved the coffee table I found a collection of mice and balls of paper that Floki lost there.


The new sofa was delivered and set up by late morning. All the cats were interested in it, especially Chris.

About four hours after the new furniture arrived, I noticed one of the cushions was wet. PUCK PEED ON IT. Please refer to the first paragraph for what happened next.

I know this makes my wife seem insensitive but believe me, she is not. She is a very compassionate person and she loves our cats but she is also a very clean and organized person and having to deal with poop and pee on the floor almost every day goes against her nature.

In addition, her nose is like a bloodhound. It is not an exaggeration to say her sense of smell is ten times greater than mine. I can walk into the house after a long day at work and not notice anything but to Rose, it is like walking into a sewer.

Then there is the issue of Puck peeing on our brand new sofa before she even got a chance to relax and enjoy it for the first time. I totally understand her reaction but there was nothing I could say in Puck’s defense. I really thought I could solve his problem before now but it is way more difficult than I ever dreamed it would be.

She did get over her anger and I covered the sofa in pee pads until we could figure something out. Of course, that is not a long-term solution.

We left the next morning to spend a couple of days in St. Augustine for our eighteenth anniversary. We had a good time and my marriage was back on track. Our cat sitter, Lynn, reported a few pooping “accidents” while we were away but she did not have to clean up pee, which was encouraging. The sofa also survived our absence without being soiled.

I do believe I have discovered the cause, or at least a contributing factor, to Puck’s problem. I think Frankie is stressing him out. Frankie has been “marking” the litter boxes. That has caused Chris to mark the litter boxes too. Sometimes they will pee up the side of the box and over the top. Last week Rose smelled urine in the house and was convinced Puck peed somewhere but I found the underside of one of the litter boxes was saturated with urine. This has been going on for longer than Puck’s problem but I think it happens more often now.

If that is not enough, Frankie and Puck fight quite often. Sometimes I come home and see large chunks of black fur on the floor. Puck is not afraid of Frankie and has no problem fighting back but I am sure it doesn’t help his stress level. Puck also fights with Floki but it is not the same kind of fighting. The reality is that every cat fights with every other cat except for Chris and Puck. They never fight.

During the last week or so we locked Puck in our bedroom three times. I put pee pads on our bed and I put food, water and a litter box in the room.


I also made sure I wiped down the sides of the box so he wouldn’t smell Frankie. The first day I found pee in the box but the next two times he went all day without peeing or pooping and then he peed and pooped on the floor after I let him out.

I’m going to keep trying because I want him to get used to using the box again but if this doesn’t work I don’t know how long I can stay married.

The encouraging thing is that since the incident, Puck has pooped but not peed on the floor and he has not done anything bad on the sofa. What is amazing is that it has now been more than five and a half days since Puck peed outside the box. I don’t know. Maybe Rose scared him straight. I hope so.


40 thoughts on “Puck Threatens My Marriage

  1. easyweimaraner

    I sometimes wish they could talk to us so we could help much faster when something is wrong… I wish you all the best and I hope the poop&pee-events will happen only super rarely or never… POTP to Puck …

  2. jebusandandrea

    That’s tough, I feel for you. Right now I have 2 buys and this is the least work I’ve ever done. Before I have a bunch of neutered territorial males; one would pee and the other on top of it! Don’t know what to say. Good luck. Sounds like you are right on track about how Puck is feeling. Cats wish they could tell us what they need or be color coded – green for I have a tummy ache, pink for nauseous, etc

  3. Rumpy's Kitty Siblings

    The time has come to think seriously about how far you’re willing to go with this. There are options, but. One are easy.

    There are behavior specialists. Jackson Galaxy isn’t the only one.

    You can try behavior modification yourself. Puck can be confined until he uses a litter box and slowly given more freedoms.

    You could consider rehoming him.

    None is easy. But it’s past easy.

    Good luck. We will support you whatever you decide.

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Thanks. Rehoming is not an option. Nobody wants a black cat that pees and poops outside the box. I am going to start confining him to the bedroom when nobody is home for the day. Hopefully that will do something. Maybe he will relearn how to use the box.

  4. The Island Cats

    I know how frustrating this must be and I wish I had an easy answer for you. I previously had a cat that sprayed everywhere and peed on any clothes or bags that I left on the floor. This went on for years. I finally consulted with a behaviorist. Is there a vet behaviorist around you? You may want to consult with one. As much as I don’t like to give meds, I think you seriously have to think about an anti-anxiety med for Puck and maybe even Frankie too.

      1. The Island Cats

        The vet behaviorist prescribed prozac for my cat as well as using copious amounts of feliway. Other behavior modifications were suggested as well, some I was able to implement, some not so easy (my cat had an issue with cats he saw outside; the behaviorist suggested covering all the windows…not an easy thing to do and I never implemented that). While we were never able to get his spraying issue under control completely, we were able to get it to the point where it only happened once in awhile.

  5. Summer

    It sounds, really, like all your cats are stressed out, since they are all either fighting with each other, marking in the litter boxes, or eliminating inappropriately. Puck is the focus, since he’s the one with the behavior that affects you guys, the humans. I think one or two other commenters suggested enlisting a cat behaviorist, and I think that’s a great idea too – an outside, expert eye can figure out what’s going on with the feline dynamics of your household and offer solutions to make it workable. It might be the only way to come up with a longterm solution since nothing else seems to be working.

  6. The Swiss Cats

    Everything has been told : we agree with above, it’s time to need help and advice at a cat behaviorist, for the long-term well-being of all of your cats. Purrs

  7. Genevieve Petrillo

    Oh man. This is SUCH a tough problem to solve. The new sofa is so pretty and looks so comfy, but you can’t even enjoy it. It may be time to burn the house down and move. Just kidding, but aargh! This must be so frustrating!!

  8. Random Felines

    ugh….wish we had some brilliant idea. is it possible to keep them separate? mom would love to try that here but we just don’t have enough space. it can be VERY frustrating and please know we all understand

  9. 15andmeowing

    I am sorry you are going through this. I can understand Rose’s frustration, but clearly poor Puck is very stressed to act like this. I am usually against rehoming a cat, but if you could find someone that would have him as an only cat then he may be happier and not need to do that. I would never buy new furniture, I buy used now because I know the cats will do something. I always tell them I can’t have nice things because of them.

  10. Mary McNeil

    I am so sorry this is continuing ! In addition to a cat behaviorist, you might try to find an animal communicator. Yes, there really are such people who are legit – I have used one but I have to go through a friend of a friend of his . He helped me find a lost cat, and helped me talk to my Elkhound when he was dying of leukemia.

  11. databbiesotrouttowne

    this doesn’t help, at all, but I did want to say sorry….would that I had a better answer
    than one so …basic….I do hope that Puck being separated from the rest of the crew brings
    peace to everyone; the cats you and Rose. we send best thoughts and fishes and 984
    paws crossed ~~ ♥♥

  12. The Island Cats

    I’m back again. If you do want to consult with a behaviorist and there’s no one near you, Mieshelle Nagelschneider is an excellent cat behavorist. She is located in the Seattle area (I think) but does phone/skype consultations. She wrote a great book called “Cat Whisperer” which I highly recommend. If you google her name, you should be able to find her website. ~Island Cat Mom

  13. onespoiledcat

    Oh gosh….you really have been dealing with this as long as I’ve been following your blog and it has to be BEYOND frustrating. Thankfully as many cats as I’ve had, I’ve never had one who ever peed or pooped outside the litterbox. I did have a cat many years ago who ALSO peed and pooped in the bathtub but she did use the box as well. A behaviorist sounds like a good idea……we may think we understand what’s happening with our cats but not always – and Puck really may be an “only cat” trying to be a team player with the other cats but having no success. The fact there are fights may be the biggest hint…..Puck is telling you something for sure but maybe the behaviorist can “translate” !! It’s good that he’s modified his potty habits somewhat with no peeing outside the box but that was just his “compromise” I think…..he’s not happy or relaxed or SOMETHING. Good luck with finding a behaviorist down there – I bet you can.


    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Thanks Pam. He peed on the bathroom floor this morning and also on a rug, probably last night, so it’s not over yet but six days is good.

      We had a problem with Chris pooping outside the box for the first 3 or 4 years but he never peed. For him, spreading the boxes out was bad. He needed two next to each other because he would pee in one and then poop in another. I wish it didn’t take so long to figure that out.


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