Dear Joshua,

We have a cat who has been a part of our family for about 10 years. Our new neighborhood has many feral cats that torment him. To add insult to injury, a kitten was lost and needed a home so we took him in. Not sure which incident (or both) is causing his new behavior, but he has been “marking his territory” by urinating all over our house.

This is a new house, we have new furniture and carpets and so naturally, this is very upsetting to us. It’s been going on for months, we’ve attempted to medicate him (vet approved) but he refuses the pill – no matter how creative we get with ways to give it to him.

We are frustrated and now considering having him put down. Even the vet assistant has said that it may be the more humane option if he is so distressed and unhappy. However, I am personally struggling with this option for obvious reasons. What do we do?


Dear Jennifer,

You cannot create in the lives of others, you can only create in your experience. So, with this in mind, think about what you want, not what you think your cat wants. What do you want? You love your cat and want him to be happy. You know he is living his own experience and you want him to behave within your experience. Since he is not, you want to change the conditions so that you feel better.

Now think about what your cat wants. He wants to live a feline and adventurous life. He has ruled his kingdom in his previous environment. Now he is thrust into this new and strange environment. How exciting for him. He has new feline enemies to do battle with. He has an intruder in the house. How will he manifest what he wants from the new situation? He is using his creative abilities to build his own experience.

He is not opposed to the transition to nonphysical if it is to come either by your hands or the claws of his new enemies. However, there is much life in him and he is interested in the new challenge. Life in the old environment became a little boring and he had longed for this adventure. It’s funny to think that your cat had as much to do with the move (to your new home) as you did.

Since we are talking to you (instead of your cat), we are framing our answer in the larger perspective of your life. Why are you worried? Is it your job to protect your cat or does he have his own inner self who will do that for him. Must you feather the nests of all of those around you or can you allow them the adventure they seek? Can you relax in the knowing that whether the cat dies within this one adventure or through the seemingly easier transition under the care of your vet, either way he dies. Knowing that he seeks adventure, why not allow him a little more freedom. If he is marking his territory, let him do it outside the house. If he is seriously concerned about outside dangers, he will seek refuge inside and behave in a manner that insures his safety.

He is not unhappy, he is just finding his balance within the new environment. Cats are highly balanced beings and, one way or the other, he will be fine. If he was no longer interested in this existence, he would find his own way out naturally.