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Running out of options (long)

Sugarpop69
June 14th, 2006, 10:44 PM
Good evening. I'm a first time poster here, and I'm searching for any ideas. I feel like we've already run through all we've got. I have two kitties (as in my picture). Mikey is the orange tabby and Catalina is the black and white tabby.

We've had them both for almost three years now. We got them both fixed immediately. Catalina came from a shelter. Mikey was a ferile that we rescued from under my mother's house. They get along well. They scrap as cats will do, but they have fun too.

We moved from an apartment to a condo last June, so we're about to celebrate one year in our new home. The move was a little rough for them, but they adjusted well.

Ever since our Chicago winter thawed though, Mikey has been peeing all over the house. Multiple times per day. He will use the litter box, he's never pooped outside of it... We took him to the vet. We've tested his urine. He's healthy as a horse, but apparently crazy as a bedbug. We're thinking he's freaking out about some neighborhood strays running around. The last few weeks he's been doing nothing but keeping watch at the window, and running from room to room, window to window. He won't even snuggle with us on the couch anymore because he's "on duty". He's absolutely ruined my curtains in the living and dining rooms. It's a REAL problem!

We've done it all. New litter boxes, clean litter boxes, with a lid, without a lid... no litter changes (even after a horrible run-in with Tidy Cat's "NEW" formula... grrr). We've tried the feliway spray. He's been on valium in the past for his anxiety (from having been a ferile). The vet changed him to Busiprone recently because of possible long-term liver effects of valium. And it's not getting any better.

The only suggestion she had left was to either cage him at home or board him at the vet for a little while, hoping to break the cycle. Afraid that sending him to the vet would freak him out even more (he's the worst 'fraidy cat I've ever seen, again, ferile!) we went to look at cages today. They're all like $200 and BREAK my heart. I just can't imagine him in a cage all day. And I don't know when we could ever let him out, since he'll pee on the floor whether we're sitting right next to him or not.

If anyone has ANY suggestions, or similar stories, or words of wisdom, or prayers, we really could use some help right now.

Thanks in advance!
~Heather

catsnatcher-CDN
June 14th, 2006, 11:11 PM
I'm sorry the transition was not as smooth as you expected. I want to take this opportunity to crongratulate you on your patients and willingness to work with your babies!

Perhaps if you confine the cat to one room at a time. Perhaps having had the run of the house is a bit too much for him. If you put the litterbox and cat in one room and slowly give him access to other rooms ( using baby gates to bar his access to the full house) he may adjust easier.

Lucky Rescue
June 14th, 2006, 11:25 PM
Healthy cats who pee around usually do it from stress of some sort.

We're thinking he's freaking out about some neighborhood strays running around. The last few weeks he's been doing nothing but keeping watch at the window, and running from room to room, window to window.

This is no doubt why he's peeing. He's an easily stressed ex-feral cat and feels threatened by intact cats near his turf, so he pees to reassure himself that the territory is his.

Is there any way to block his view of the other cats?

There are a couple products you can try to help his severe anxiety. One is called "Rescue Remedy". You may find it in health stores near you or can order it online. Mix it with wet food and give several times a day. It takes awhile to work but can really help. I had a freaked out cat like yours and although she didn't pee, she was a nervous wreck. This product helped her calm down a bit.

You can also try Feliway, a pheramone diffuser. Some people like this product.

Whatever you do, don't punish him in any way for his peeing, since that will make the situation much worse. I agree that caging him could do more harm than good.

However, it might be a good idea to temporarily confine him to a small space like a bathroom/powder room with his box, food in several bowls, and beds - taking up a lot of floor space so he'll have to use the box. During this time, give him the Rescue Remedy and go in and visit him often and bring toys and catnip for further relaxation.

This is one of the most frustrating problems of cat owners, and I also commend you on your patience and caring!:)

we3beagles
June 15th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Have you considered the possibility that he doesn't feel safe and maybe a crate will give him a safe spot. There are some at my Salvation Army right now and I'm sure there are some at thrift stores near you. Also look at ebay or bargain finder type sites for a better price. I only have dogs so I cannot speak from kitty experience, but the dogs love their crates as it is the one spot that is theirs alone. They all have special toys they get only in their crates to keep them occupied. Did the previous owner of the condo (if there was one) have cats? If so he may be looking for them and spraying over the spots where they did. I know it is frustrating when your animals aren't happy and hope it works out for you. Good luck.:fingerscr

CyberKitten
June 15th, 2006, 04:22 PM
I agree with the notion that stress is the factor here. I would try Rescue Remedy - see that you already did Feliway but you might be surprised by RR (give it awhile to see if it works tho). He prob had to fend for himself as a feral and heaven knows what might have happened to him. I am assuming he is neutered. Cats do not mind small spaces for a short period and it might make him feel secure enuf till he can adjust - I would try one room, tho not a cage. He may have reverted to some estent to his feral status and feral cats usually need to be confined before you can really socialize them. (and it requires patience, time and love!)

Good luck!!

Sugarpop69
June 16th, 2006, 03:00 PM
Thanks for your suggestions.

We're headed back to the vet today. One of the three (!) times he peed outside of his box yesterday was all red and viscous, so I'm worried about that. Plus we're going out of town for the weekend, so we may HAVE to board him at the vet after all.

I'll also find out if the Rescue Remedy would conflict badly with the Busiprone that we're already giving him.

I thought about covering the windows with like a faux stained glass thing or frosting so that he can't see out, but we're concerned that he might still smell them outside.

Thanks!
Heather

badger
June 16th, 2006, 03:24 PM
In a way that is good news because 'red and viscous' means infection and that is undoubtedly the main reason for his behaviour and then the other stuff (stray males) is an additional trigger.
When he recovers, I'd take him off the meds and try rescue remedy for awhile. Before you proceed to the faux stained glass thing, cover your windows (or at least the ones where he can see the other males) with white tissue paper or some of that opaque stick-on film you get at the hardware, and see how he does. One step at a time.
Oh, and lots of cuddles and some individual play to boost his bruised little ego lol

Lucky Rescue
June 16th, 2006, 03:37 PM
One of the three (!) times he peed outside of his box yesterday was all red and viscous

OH! Definitely infection, crystals or stones - all very common in neutered male cats and they will always urinate outside the box when in pain from these problems.

Glad he's going right to the vet!:)

Sugarpop69
June 19th, 2006, 11:32 PM
Hey guys. Thanks for your help. Just wanted to give you an update. We took Mikey to the vet on Friday, and they did an exam, and kept him for the weekend while we were out of town. He did indeed have a kidney infection. Poor guy! I'm glad that he got the help he needed!

He was pretty traumatized at the vet trip, and didn't eat until Sunday night, but now that he's home he's very calm and we just had a long snuggle session. :thumbs up

I'm a little annoyed that they couldn't diagnose him with the first vet trip and urinalysis, but at least we're on the road to recovery now!

Love
Heather