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My wife's obsession with cats is making me consider divorce


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Okay I want to ask a question. I have been married since September of 2012. My wife and I have a three year old. I am working full time and she stays home. Sounds good.


Here is my question. We live in a small house. Two bedroom two baths, small kitchen area and about an acre of woods behind us so you understand the situation. We started off with two cats, then it became three , then four and now it is five. Every single one of them belongs to my wife. If I had my way we wouldn't have a single one of them. They stay the majority of the time in the house.


This has caused the following issues:


a.) cat feces in areas other than the litter box. Sometimes I will find old piles of feces, that has clearly been neglected for months


b.) cat urine outside the litter box


c.) cat vomit


d.) the cats fighting


e.) damaged furniture


My wife swears she will clean up after them but often times I have to point out where the cat "waste" is etc. Even if she cleans it she does a superficial job at best. I always have to clean the litter box because when she did it she did such a superficial job of it was barely better than not done. I have confronted her on this and she argues I should have to do this stuff because she stays at home taking care of our son who is a handful ( he probably has mild ADHD). I will say to her credit she does a good job with him.


I have told her in no uncertain terms over the years that I am tired of this but she always finds a way to deflect the argument. On Saturday I was doing a deep clean of the house ( I am in the National Guard so I tend to be cleanly) and I found two more hidden piles of crap. That was my proverbial last straw. I have told her in no uncertain terms the cats need to be outside on an almost permanent bases. ( I do understand they would be indoors in case of weather extremes etc). I have also suggested we consider adopting some out, cause five is excessive. She argued with me again on this one and I told her in no uncertain terms if this issues is not resolved I am seeking a divorce. The house is legally in my possession and she does have a home she owns too. It needs repairs but even after we got divorced I would agree to help pay for it, as we do have a child together and my states overwhelmingly is a joint custody state.


I am sick of taking care of her animals. I am sick of the fact she does not find the cat and urine outside of the litter box. She claims she is exhausted from our son but in the end they are still her cats and we have readily obvious solutions such as keeping them outdoors or adopting them out. She has agreed to keep them out but I know she will find excuses to bring them in more and more till we are in the same situation.


I do not want a divorce, however I refuse to live in a feces, urine and vomit filled house. I have reconciled myself to the idea of breaking up a family with the idea that when my son is with me at least he can live in a sanitary home. If the problem continued after the divorce I would seek primary custody as no one especially a child should live in such conditions.


Am I being unreasonable in pursuing such a path.




1.) I do not want a divorce mainly because of our son.

2.) Beside the issue with the cats she tends to be a good wife/mother

3.) I have no animosity toward the cats because they are acting like animals. They cannot help that. However my wife refuses to recognize they are animals. She considers them little people.

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You both need to compromise, I realise you are upset, but I'm concerned that not once in your thread have you said you love her - ?, I'm kinda hoping that's just as you are super upset and frustrated... Divorce is not a quick fix, it sounds like you are fed up with the whole marriage as she 'tends' to be a good wife/mother. Do you talk to her like that?, as it could affect her esteem, maybe the cats bring her comfort...


Do you think she may be depressed? Can you go to couples counselling?


She needs to be careful as your son could catch Toxoplasmosis ( ), especially dangerous if she would by chance fall pregnant again.


Good luck... I understand your frustration as cat mess = gross & smelly.

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I have to be honest. My first thoughts reading this were "Is she mentally ill in some way?". And also, "Or is she just lazy and entitled?".


Mental illness could be understood and addressed. Laziness and entitlement, well, that's a whole other issue.


The things she does and say though to me show a great lack of respect towards you and towards you having any say in what happens in this family. I actually have a hard time with the audacity that she would say she believes you are responsible for cleaning up cat s/t because she stays home and doesn't work. lol.


If this isn't due to mental illness, I'd say you are spotting early someone who is just not going to have your back when it really counts because things are about her.

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Do you have only 1 litter box for 5 cats?!? You need one for each cat plus one extra. Otherwise they will go outside the box. That means you would need 6 litter boxes in a tiny house. That is insanity. I have 2 cats in my small apartment and I can barely deal with it my roommates cat is disgusting, smelly and dirty. I lived there for 5 years with my cat and little to no cat smells, the second this cat moves in my house reeks of pee. I can't imagine have 5 cats in such a small place and I seriously love cats and all animals.


Their poop also has germs in it that could make you or your child really sick. This is not normal or a healthy situation.

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It sounds like she may be depressed or suffering from some sort of mental illness. I agree with you - bad conditions for the pets and your family and they are unacceptable. You two need to get to a place where you both see that this is unacceptable and you re-home most of the cats so your family is living someplace clean and safe. Have you considered therapy with her? How is she receptive to that idea? Heck, at this point, I would put a cat-centered episode on "hoarders" so she can see what "animal hoarding" is like. It may resonate with her and encourage you guys to talk.

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You might try installing a small dog door that they can use to go in and out. I have 3 cats and they use the bathroom outside 99% of the time, but are free to come in when they want to nap. They also don't destroy the house at all because they're getting enough stimulation outside.

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I have 2 cats, one litter box that I clean once or twice day. After 15 years they have never, ever once soiled the house with feces or urine.

She clearly is not providing adequate care for 5 cats and therefore, I agree with others, that she should not have that many.

This is equally your home and you have equal say about the conditions.

On behalf of your child and the welfare of the cats, you now have more say do.

She apparently isn't capable of being objective.

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