Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Question...

A Question...

Hi furriends!

We have a little question from our city cousins. They are having a little trouble with this fella here~

His name is Sister and he is having peeing and pooping outside of the litter box issues. He is a nervous guy and tends to swat people when they walk by when he's agitated. He has had some of these bathroom problems before but never to this extent. He has quite a few places that he is peeing and he poops in only one spot. These *could* be some of the reasons why he is upset.
  • Spring thaw and he is going outside more (harness).
  • Crazy dogs next door that run over to see him and he doesn't like it. They are not on a leash.
  • Used to be cats with kittens upstairs in the apartment but they have since turned the upstairs back to being part of their home. It was been cleaned thoroughly.
  • Two tomcats hanging around and spraying outside. The people maybe bringing the scent inside.

Aunt C has bought some diffusers and they have been running for about a month now, not helping. She has ordered some Feliway Spray and it should be here this week. Sister has been peeing in weird spots too like on the counter and in Aunt C's fruit salad. He must have exquisite aim! He doesn't have any health issues.

Any suggestions on what they could do? They are trying to give him more attention but that's not helping either.


Anonymous said...

We had problems with Jelly Bean once. . . she was peeing and pooping on the couch. It turned out that she was protesting either:
1. She didn't like the litter we were using
2. She didn't like sharing a litter box.

We got her her own litter box and changed the type of litter, and she was fine.

Don't know if that will help, but it's our two cents worth.

Forever Foster said...

We hope Aunt C noticed the fruit salad was a bit off before she got too far into it!

Is there anything in common with the places he is urinating? For example, is it always underneath something like a table or chair while he has an open box, or always out in the open when his box is covered? It could be an indicator of something he doesn't like about his box. If he is always in a certain position (eg always up on a table) he might prefer for the box to be up higher for him.

Can he see any windows from his litterbox, or is it in a thoroughfare? If he has seen one of the toms or the dogs through a window, and is able to see the window from his box, it could be enough to make him feel that the litterbox is in a vulnerable location. If it's in a thoroughfare, he might not feel he has enough privacy.

Can he be 'surprised' in the box? For example, if his box is just off a corridor, is it possible that he is getting a fright when people walk past his doorway?

What about 'escape routes'? Is there only one way for him to get to and from the litter box? If he is feeling a bit intimidated by the outdoor kitties and dogs, it is possible that he is trying to stay in positions where he has multiple chances for escape (eg if his box is in a bathroom with one doorway, he might think it is somewhere he could be trapped).

Does he have a cat door? Apparently that can lead to inappropriate urination because a cat sees it as a weakness in the defence of their home. I think it is more likely to cause spraying though.

We have never used it, but some of our Catster friends swear by Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Litter.

Vicky Halls includes some really good information on inappropriate urination in her books. I've basically ripped off some of her information above:P I hope it is of some help.

Good luck to Sister and his family!

Cliff and Olivia said...

You should try Feliway. We've heard great things about it.

Parker said...

Good advice so far, Gandolf and Grayson had success with a calming collar - all of those issues that were mentioned could cause this as could a physical problem like crystals in his urine.
If they are sure he's healthy, it's behavioral.

Hansel said...

This might be out of the question but sometimes they say get more litter boxes, different kinds, and put them in the area they are going in inappropriately. (it's quite possibly the male cats spraying)

Def get a urine sample like parker said. If peeing hurts, he'll associate that with the litter box, and look for a new place. You should rename him TESLA.

If it were us we'd call animal control for the other cats to get them neutered- or take them to the local shelter to have them fixed. They'd stop upsetting my guys then.

Also, they have behavioral medication that can help. It's called Amitryptaline. I had to give it to Tesla for a month after she peed on the bed when it was just behavioral.

Marg said...

Lots of good advice in these comments. I think that the litter box has a little to do with it. But I know I have two male fixed cats and they come in the house and spray just because they smell all the other cats. It could be that smelling the other cats outside, he is marking his house inside. Cats love to mark their territory. Try not taking him out for a week and see if it gets a little better. Are there other cats in the house??? Also spray where ever he pees in the house with some lemon scented spray. I use 409 with lemon. Good luck. Hope he gets better. He looks like a cute cat.

Anonymous said...

Gandalf and Grayson's Mom here, and now Whitey and Gracie's Mom!

We had so many stress-factors going on. I stopped letting them Outside when a rather nasty Tom cat would not stop coming in our yard. We got Whitey. Gandalf developed crystals and that meant we had to change food. We started getting ready to move. We changed litter... so many stress factors within a 6-month period.

I tried all of the advice offered. Feliway diffusers in every room the cats have access to, Feliway spray sprayed daily at cat nose-level on all surfaces, Prozac, Nature's Miracle to clean and the Calming Collars Parker mentioned.

I also discovered quite by accident something that I believe has helped more than any other thing... I confined them to my office 24/7. At first it was just Gandalf, because he was the one spraying, but soon Whitey wanted to be in there with me and Gandalf (I work from my home). Then Grayson was asking to be let in and now Gracie, too! They somehow feel safe. And not once has there been any inappropriate marking in the office!

They are allowed to have full run of the house (with the exception of my parent's rooms and the guest room) and the love the screened patio during the day, but I'm still using the Calming Collars. What's funny is that when I say 'Who's ready for bed' now they all run to the office! The 3 boys now sleep in the office and Gracie sleeps with me.

Gandalf went 2 weeks without spraying and had a setback and right back into the office he went. He's been doing really well and I am hoping that he has now settled into his new home and is feeling more like his old sweet, mischievous self. If he has another setback, I'll just confine him to the office again!

I wish Aunt C the very best of luck. How well I know the frustration of it all!

Everycat said...

Sounds like there's plenty going on in Sister's life to upset his equillibrium a bit. Definately up the Feliway and use the spray daily at cat head height around all windows and doors. This helps with boundary issues. The diffusers only treat 70sq metres of homespace, open windows and draughts will reduce their effect.

More litter boxes - in all the places where he's choosing to pee and poop. Ensure he doesn't get ambushed by other pets/tiny children or disturbed when using the tray. Some cats like a hidey away litter box, some like the box to be out in the open so they can see all around. Trays shouldn't be in areas of high human traffic - keep them away from doorways. All boxes should be kept scrupulously clean.

Ensure he has some very safe and private places (sacred places where no human will even peek in when he is there) to rest up and sleep. Cats really need serious chillout time. If he can see those tomcats, then that will be freaking him out big time.

Don't wash his bedding very often, sounds like he needs a lot of his own smell to help him feel more secure.

Lots of play time with his humans. Throw toys, dancer wands. If he regularly lunges at ankles when humans walk past him, then give the humans some kibble treats to throw ahead of them and distract him. Lunging at ankles is often a sign of an adolescent cat in need of more exercise. Exercise/play will help to relax him.

Vertical and horizontal scratching pads/posts in boundary stress areas, near windows and doors are good. These give the cat a chance to release stress whenever they see/smell hear something that upsets them. The scratching is a number one stress relieving behaviour as well as important for scent marking.

Maybe have a word with the neighbours who own the crazy unleashed dogs. Possibly work out a daily time when they can keep the dogs in when Sister's owners take him out for a walk. Unleashed dogs bounding up to him will be absolutely terrifying for him. Even if they are on the other side of a fence. If the owners won't control the dogs, maybe get a stroller so they can at least get Sister in and out of the house safely. If Sister's humans can stay releaxed when taking him out, this will help him big time. Animals pick up on teensy human signals of stress big time.

The entire tom cats need neutering. Can Sister's owners find the owners and put them in touch with a local low cost spay/neuter scheme? Maybe get in contact with small feral rescue/tnr groups. They can be really useful in approaching owners of unneutered cats - also that way it avoids conflcts with neighbours ;)

Whilst Sister is working out his issues, use play as a stress reliever, but always finish on a good note. Try and stop play before he gets too wound up or excited. This may help with the swatting at passing humans issue.

Reclaiming the cat/kitten room has probably added to his worries a bit. Maybe put some of his used bedding in the room to get his smells around the place again. Playtimes in that room (with treat rewards) would help.

Above all, I'd get him to the vet first for a check up - pee analysis and physical examination. Although it does sound like a stress issue, it could be pain related and the rule is - exclude physical problems first, then consider the behavioural.

Hope that's helpful - bit of a book sorry. Sister is beautiful and I hope his problems can be resolved soonest :)

Whicky's ape.

The Monkeys said...

Unfortunately we don't have any experience with this, except when Samson has his interstitial cystitis episodes which are caused by stress. His bladder lining gets irritated and anytime he has any liquid in his bladder, he needs to vacate it immediately...and it's usually in strange places like a dust pan or a plastic bag.

Anonymous said...

My gosh, I might pee on the floor myself with all that going on. W.'ve never had such a situation, but are firm beleivers in the Calming collars, and lots of litter boxes.

The Creek Cats said...

All of the advice here sounds wonderful! We had problems with Maggie May peeing in inappropriate places and also attacking the other kitties in the house. We are treating her with Amitriptyline and it's working wonders for her behavioral problems. We've also tried feliway and calming collars and they have worked on our other kitties to help calm the stress. We wish Aunt C lots of luck because we know this is stressful on her as well!

Cory said...

Cats are territorial and they need to feel safe. If there are 2 unneutered toms walking by that could be enough to trigger it. Once when my dear sweet angel Mikey started peeing by my computer desk I thought it was the oddest place for him to do that, but turns out that is the spot where he could see an unneutered tom cat walk by our window. Once I blocked the view, the peeing stopped immediately.

If they continue to have problems, I really recommend a cat behaviorist. That's what I did to help me figure out the problem.

Katnip Lounge said...

Gosh, all the advice is great. We have a tinkler at our house...We did Clomicalm for a bit and it did help a lot; it cut down on the puddles by about half and it stopped the spraying completely. One thing I do is to get the "culprit" to the box in regular intervals and pet & reassure her while she's there. Most of the time she'll settle in for a good wee, and then she gets a treat. We still get the ocassional puddle, but it's getting better.

xx the Lounge Kats Mommy

Jacqueline said...

All the litter advice is great; having his own litter box might help or even if he could have a room to himself for a little while?...It does sound like he is upset and cats like routine; maybe there are anti anxiety drugs the vet could try if he is stressed...Good luck...Who named a boy Sister??!MOL...xo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

The Island Cats said...

You've gotten lots of good advice already so we won't repeat it...but maybe it's because his name is Sister?? (heehee...we're just kidding!)

We hope Aunt C can get the inappropriate peeing under control.

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Maybe a week or two at Khamp Khyra would 'help'?

Seriously, we aren't khat issue savvy

Good lukhk!


Lisa Kolosey said...

Wow! All this information was great. I've learned some good stuff. Our two peers (Snafu and Nick) are on Amitriptyline and we have two Feliway diffusers. But our neighbors two unneutered Toms create the most unsettlement no matter what we do. So we live with it, clean up constantly, pill cats, use ZeroOder, and watch cat body language. Sometimes we run down to the cat bathroom holding a cat...
~Lisa Co9T


Ping our sprayer only did it when cats would roam up into our yard. I have yet to figure out how to stop Abby's poops outside the box. She has this immediate need to go where ever she is. So it's always a stop and drop.

Abby's Mom Debra

Cindy said...

Wish I could help, but I don't know. Everyone else has some good advice.

One Cats Nip said...

Havent had this problem personally but saw on animal planet once a cat having the same problem the trouble makers were some tomcats outside spraying. they said cats have very good noses and can smell that so the people had to throughly wash the outside of the house and bring in lots of neat things for the cat to play with so that he wouldnt notice those tomcats. They tried to put things up to keep the tomcats from coming and spraying but I dont know how that worked out

The Florida Furkids said...

Big hugs and purrs to you - that's a lot going on. We hope you find the answer. Tamir does "inappropriate" things and Mom has just given in to his two (easy to clean, out of the way) places. We tried Feliway, drugs, litter box changes...nothing helped.

Maybe he has gender issues and you could change his name to Brother???

Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

Tama-Chan, Benny, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Heloise, Momo, Ryu said...

We don't have any direct advice but we often find the book "The Cat Who Cried For Help" useful in offering helpful suggestions.

We hope the right solution is found soon!

PS: Maybe he needs a name change....?!

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

There is a lot of helpful advice there and we hope something works.

Becky's Barnyard said...

Wow, what a problem. I don't have an answer. Hope ya'll find one soon.

The Taylor CatSSSSS said...

WOWSIE....well Mommy thinks that you have gotten lots of wonderful advice and can't really add to it. We do hope that Sister improves his habits, although we do agree that maybe a name change is in order. MOL

Thank you so much for all the purrs for Spats. She is doing fine!

Love, uSSSSS

Mark's Mews (Marley, Lori, Loki, and Binq) said...

That all sounds like so much good advice that we cant add annything to it. Except mebbe HE is upset bein named SISTER... MOL!

Quill and Greyson said...

Oh darn Ayla took my answer!

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

Oh noes. This is worse than my sister PooPoo ever was.
Was there a change in the litter box litter? Maybe he does take offense to being called Sister? Maybe Brother would be more suitable.
We wish your cousins much luck!

Hansel said...

gandalf and gracies mom is totally right too- you should confine him.

I remember a vet telling an owner that you have to also 'retrain' a cat to a litterbox. Try that!

Teri and her Stylish Adventure Cats said...

You have gotten lots of good advice from everyone, our mewmie especially gives a thumbs up to Forever Foster and Whicky's advice. You might make a document of all the comments for you to review and try to follow and see what helps.

Some cats are just more comfortable being confined in a multi-cat home, with a box that is just theirs, and no need to feel challenged.

It may not be quite what you had in mind when they joined your family, but they are trying to tell you something is amiss...

T said...

any updates on kitty?

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