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casmeow
12-22-2000, 10:05 PM
We recently (4 mths ago) moved to CA & into a new (to us) house w/our 2 dogs & 4 cats. The previous owner had two cats and many carpet cleaners - now we know why! Since turning the heat on at night, we realized that her cats had used the livingrm carpet often as a litter box - which led 2 of our cats to do the same - in the same spots. Three days ago we had the carpet replaced - before the installer put down the new mat & carpet, my husband put Thompson's sealer over the concrete floor to seal in any additional smell from the cats. Lo & behold, our youngest cat(I think)went over to one of the areas prev used & peed. Luckily the new carpet had scotch-gard on it & we purchased some enzyme cleaner to remove any residual. Why in the world would she go back there if she couldn't smell anything on the new carpet? Today we put another litter box out near the livingrm - hopefully she'll use that! Any ideas?

4 feline house
12-23-2000, 11:30 PM
Since it's been four months, she's probably using that spot now out of habit instead of for the smell. Since cats will not soil where they sleep or eat, the best thing to do is put her food there. And don't put her litter box in the area (you indicate it's near) because that will reinforce to her that that's where she's supposed to be peeing. Of course, with that many animals, and since it's your living room, it may not be possible to move the feeding area, but if it can be done it's worth a try. When you think she may have broken her habit, start putting food back in the old feeding place, but keep a bowl in the pee spot, too. Start removing it for increasing periods of time until you are sure she is no longer interested in that area as a bathroom. If this doesn't work, or it is not feasible in your household, a large object covering the spot and/or a can of Feliway may be your best bets. Good luck, this is the most frustrating things that cats can do.

Troy
12-26-2000, 09:17 AM
...and don't forget that amonia based cleaners may encourage your cats to pee there because they may mistake for other cat spray/pee.

felixowner
12-26-2000, 09:27 AM
The things that have worked with Felix (see "peeing" below) are 1) putting the food dish where he used to pee 2) a new, large, superclean litterbox in the basement; he likes to be accompanied down there in the evening, and 3) spraying Feliway around the problem spots. The cat psychiatrist was a huge waste of money but she did suggest putting down an unpleasant surface like an old shower curtain, which sounds reasonable. Good luck!

casmeow
12-28-2000, 10:59 AM
Thanks to all of you. We took Wispurr Ann (aka the Princess) to the vet & it wasn't medical, it was behavioral. So we've used an enzyme cleaner (Rug Doctor brand) and are now using a strong sounding water spray bottle, which seems to be working. I also added another litter box, closer to the livingrm, which of course they ALL (4) like! But that's ok! I asked the vet about Feliway & he said he's used it & it is good - the only possible problem is that if a cat wants to mark it's territory - it will definitely stay away from the spot treated by Feliway, but then go looking for another place to mark.Anyway, we're doing much better & thanks again.

wolflady
01-22-2001, 05:01 PM
Wow, this topic sure hit home. Hi, I'm Karen and I'm new to this site, but I've really enjoyed reading all of the articles so far. Our problem is our Black and White cat Scooter. We're just about at our wits end with this one. He has a behavioral problem, and it's...you guessed it...randomly peeing on the baseboards in our home. He totally destroyed the carpet in my husband's old apartment(this is my husband's cat). We moved to CA about a year ago and bought a house. Determined to let our new carpet stay smelling and looking new, we put Scooter in the downstairs master bathroom(it's large and has a window view to the backyard..so we didn't feel bad about leaving him in there). We figured that we would put him in there anytime we were not home and couldn't watch him. My other cat has no litter box problems. Anyhow, it's wierd, because sometimes he'll go a long time without peeing on the floor, and other times it's a daily thing. We took him to the vet earlier several times just in case is was UTI, but it's not. Our new Dr. here in CA pinpointed the prob right away as behavioral. He suggested using drugs. We tried the valium, but it didn't seem to work(it made him really nice and cuddly though!). There was another kind of drug that we were hesitant to try because it could cause a type of cancer that would kill the cat. He said he hadn't seen that happen the 11 years he's been prescribing it, but that doesn't mean anything when it's your cat. So, now we've resorted to buying a cat playpen that we keep Scooter in while we're away and can't watch him. He's basically forced to use his covered litter box, because he's not going to pee in his food or on the shelves in the playpen. Is this a good approach, or is it too mean? We let him out as soon as we get home and watch him like a hawk. He's been pretty good lately, but we still don't trust him enough to let him roam free unsupervised. Once we feel a little more confident, we'll move him back into the bathroom and try that again. We've used the Dr. Fosters and Smith Stain Away for the places he's gone on the tile in the bathroom.
It's a very frustrating thing for him to do for no reason. Any suggestions? What is feliway and where do you get it?

Thanks!

Troy
01-22-2001, 07:42 PM
How long has Scooter been performing these random acts of peeing?

Has it been all his life or did he start more recently?

It does sound like an behaviour problem but you must remember, like people, they do have a root cause.

wolflady
01-22-2001, 08:38 PM
This all started probably about 1 year after we got him. My husband suspects it all started one year when he got birthday balloons and put them on the kitchen counter. At the time, the litter box was somewhat close to the kitchen, but Scooter was scared of the balloons. Aaron thinks this is what caused it to start in the first place. Later, I read some articles over the internet that described Scooter's behavior, and it was a little startling because the articles were about declawing. They basically said that in some cats (it doesn't happen too often) years after the surgery was done, can develop behavioral problems, and it described Scooter's personality pretty much to a tee. That was a little surprising. So, we're really not sure what started it. Any suggestions?

Thanks!:-)

Troy
01-23-2001, 12:34 AM
Did the change in his behaviour coincide with any other dramatic change in his environment like a human moving in or out of the house or another cat arriving?

...I take it from your comments that Scooter has been declawed? If so, when did this happen in relation to his peeing around the house?

Have you tried retraining him? As horrid as it may seem literally rubbing his nose in it followed up by placing him in his cat box and some stern dissaproving words has always done wonders for me (or should I say my cats http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif ).

felixowner
01-23-2001, 10:54 AM
Everything i read suggested that punishing a cat will only confuse him, especially if it is done at any time distant from the "offense." The way i understand it, either they have an aversion to their box (covered boxes can seem claustrophobic and retain odors) or they develop a preference for the new site. So the goal is to make the box more appealing. This would be by putting it in a quiet place, not next to the boiler or washing machine; keeping it superclean, trying different brands of litter and different surfaces (ie if he likes floorboards maybe try no litter); ideally you could put down several kinds of litter boxes and see if he likes any of them. Next is make the spot he chooses unappealing. Putting double stick tape is supposed to be good, or plastic. Finally, if you can pinpoint any environmental change (other animals, people, etc) that provokes the events, that could help. Good luck to you and your cat.

wolflady
01-23-2001, 12:50 PM
Thank you for all the suggestions! :0) I will definitely experiment with them.
We can't really pinpoint any changes at the time besides the balloons that started Scooter's peeing spree. Aaron had him declawed the same time he was neutered (probably about 6mo of age). But the peeing spree didn't start until about 1 year after. Scooter has always been a little on the skittish side. We did buy 3 more litter boxes for him, so we'll see what happens. We have another appointment with our Dr. to talk about the other drug alternative that he had mentioned in our first visit. I'll keep you posted!

BTW, I am never getting a cat declawed again. If that is what caused all of this, not to mention the pain the poor kitties feel, it's not worth it. I use soft paws nail caps on my white cat, Marius and they work great!!:-)

------------------
"You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets."
- Nora Ephron

Pam
01-23-2001, 04:10 PM
Spencer you know I agree with 100% of your posts and you and Carrie are my "cat advisors/mentors/heroes." Now with that all said, I have to put in a word about the spraying/declawing relationship. As you know, I have confessed to declawing my kitties simply because I came from a "dog" background and really didn't know any other alternative to the problem of cats ruining furniture. Also, in my defense, everyone else that I knew at the time (in my immediate "cat circle" of friends) all had their cats declawed. With that all said, I can only put in my $.02 and say that neither of my cats has EVER gone anywhere except the litterbox.

I was a little worried about introducing Andy to Trevor (when Trevor was 3 yrs. old), thinking that maybe there might be territorial issues. Well I guess I worried for nothing (thankfully). There was a gradual acceptance of the "new cat" and now the rest is history. They really are pals.

I do have to say that I am almost obsessive/compulsive http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif about keeping their litter boxes clean. There are two litter boxes in my basement and I scoop at least once a day, and have even been known to scoop twice a day. I'm not saying that anyone that has a cat that sprays is not keeping things clean enough, but I do think that anything I can do to help discourage them from going anywhere else is worth the trouble.

I am wondering more about the neutering issue with spaying. I know some cats spray even after they have been neutered, but I was wondering if perhaps the age that the neutering took place or even, in the case of feral cats possibly, that there may have been some mating before the neutering and therefore "Mr. Kitty's" hormones still remember. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

I know my Andy was a feisty little kitten (although never sprayed or went "potty" where he shouldn't) but he calmed down considerably after "the operation." The same goes for Gabe (my daughter's cat).

I am not trying to get on a soapbox here because I am definitely not the "last word" on cat behavior. Far from it, until 1993 I didn't even really like cats. I guess all I am trying to say is that there may be other reasons for spraying without assuming that it has something to do with being declawed. Maybe I am defensive because of a little guilt about the declawing too. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/redface.gif

Pam
01-23-2001, 04:16 PM
One more thought and then I'll shut up. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif When cats rub their cheeks against things (the edges of furniture, doorways, etc.) and knead, isn't that a form of "marking their territory" too? Both of my cats do more than their share of that type of activity.

Pam
01-23-2001, 06:01 PM
Oh boy I hate e-mail because of no voice inflections, body language and smiles! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif Spencer, please don't feel the need to apologize. You were only stating what the book on the internet said. Believe me I realize that there are lots of folks who have studied a cat's mind in much more depth than I have and have had much more experience. I just thought I'd chime in. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

Just a thought here......maybe since Mr. Socks does so well at your grandmother's do you think she would like an ex-White House lookalike? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif It may solve a problem while offering you a chance to still visit with him.

Troy
01-23-2001, 08:35 PM
I have had some spraying/peeing problems with cats, none of which were declawed. Some have been male and some female, some neutered and some not. This was mainly due to environmental issues such as me going on holidays for too long (their cat-sitter had to deal with this), another cat being introduced or illness. I believe that there is a difference between a cat peeing and spraying and I think the reasons for doing either of these are different. I have always found spraying tends to be a result of insecurity, usually due to other animals or humans being around - particularly cats.

I feel that I must point out to felixowner that "rubbing a cat's nose in it" is not punishing. Punishing implies physical or emotional pain, of which this is neither. The "growling and rubbing nose the nose in it" method is no less severe than a kitten's own mother would employ. It is purely a method to force a cat to learn through association. What I do NOT believe in is any physical pain or screaming at an animal, all of my pets "know" when I am not happy with them purely by the tone of my voice.

I also agree with felixowner in that you can't tell a cat off hours after it has knocked your favourite vase of the shelf because it doesn't understand what you're trying to tell it. There is a subtle difference between that and peeing, pooping, or spraying because cats can recognise their own smell and will associate their "telling off" with this.

These comments are all made with a friendly debating attitude http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

4 feline house
01-24-2001, 10:50 PM
So many things to touch on and weigh in on-I hope I get to everything:

Wolflady: Stress is the cause of alot of sparying/inappropriate peeing. So if Scooter does not like being caged or left alone in a closed bedroom, you may be making the problem worse. Also, has your vet suggested Ovaban? It's been a number of years since I worked in a vet clinic, but my boss used to use it for behavior problems of all sorts in males and females. Also, I haven't had need of it, but alot of people in this forum swear by Feliway. If Scooter is indeed peeing as opposed to spraying, I would tend to think it might have been the balloons, especially since it started soon after.

Pam: Declawed cats that later develop pee problems usually do so because while they were healing the litter irritates their wounds. And you are correct in your assumption that neutering at an older age increases the chances that spraying will begin/continue. But, like people, cats' sex hormones do not originate strictly in the gonads, so removing the gonads does not cause cessation of the production all sex hormones. So it doesn't have anything to do with whether they mated first. This explains why some cats continue to spray, and even mount, after neutering. And yes, chinning, scratching and kneading are also ways to mark. I'm very lucky, I have never had a cat with spray/pee problems (unless you count one foster who liked to sleep in the litter box!), but they ALL have chinned alot!

Everyone: Spraying is erroneously associated solely with sex. It is simply a way to communicate. As is peeing (after all, it is urine that is being sprayed). This may be for the purpose of advertising one's sexual maturity (or season) but it is used just as often for non-sexual reasons such as marking territory or exhibiting dominance. Non-neutered males will almost certainly spray, even if not in the house, and cats who were neutered late will often retain the habit. But if an altered cat is spraying or inappropriately peeing, especially if it is a recent or lately acquired habit, it is almost always caused by stress/distress or a medical condition. This means aversion to the litter box, jealousy, UTI's or a myriad of causes. This is why it is so difficult to alleviate, because there is no way to see inside your cat's mind and see what has him upset. They feel like they are out of control of something and try to retain dominance by spraying.

That said, I have no solutions other than those already offered to Casmeow! I guess because I've been lucky enough to not have had the problem! Spencer is the "search engineer" of the forum, I'm sure he can offer some links if he weighs in on this topic again! In the meantime, maybe this information will explain spraying since there seems to be some confusion and questions.

Pam
01-25-2001, 07:24 AM
4 Feline House.....Thank you so much for the note which covered so many aspects to this issue! It certainly helps me understand what makes a cat "tick" a little better.

I know that stress played a part in my sister-in-law's kitties' litterbox problems when they first got their german shepherd puppy. They were actually afraid to go downstairs to their litter box location for fear of running into the dog. They added a second litterbox upstairs and over time, as the cats have learned that she was not an enemy ready to gobble them up, they have stopped their inappropriate peeing.

I know we have gotten away from Casmeow's original question, but in the meantime I think this topic has turned into a very informative one and has probably helped others as well as me! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

felixowner
01-25-2001, 10:35 AM
On the topic of websites, these are a couple i found helpful when trying to understand where felix was coming from: http://www.dr-cookie.com/ http://maxshouse.com/behavior__training.htm http://www.rescuers.com/menagerie/Litterbox.htm http://www.rescuers.com/menagerie/Litterbox.htm

felixowner
01-25-2001, 01:26 PM
oops!
the final one was meant to be: http://www.feliway.com/html2/shop.php3/index.html