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What to do - grin and bare it or give him away? Long standing problem with urniation

Aniroc
January 15th, 2009, 09:51 PM
I'm not sure what to do. I have two cats that my husband and I rescued over 8 years ago. And while I love both of them very much, we have been having a long standing problem with the male cat. Ford (thats his name)has a bad behavorial habit of urinating outside the litter box.

He pees on our leather couch (which is ruined now, even though I've cleaned it with special enzyme solutions, every time you sit down - and its our only couch- you get a poof of cat pee smell), even our spare bed. We've had to resort to putting tarps over the furniture to stop him from urinating on them when we leave for any length of time. We keep the litter boxes clean, the food and water fresh and have taken him to the vet for medical check ups. Even the vet told us we couldn't live like that, and that was a few years ago!

We play with him all the time and still he continues to pee. We are at are wits end and seriously considering taking him to the pound or finding him a farm - but hes an older (8yrs) black cat. We feel terrible but what else can we do :cry:? Any advice? Thank you in advance for your support.

sugarcatmom
January 15th, 2009, 10:21 PM
Yikes, that's a long time for this to be going on. How many litter boxes (covered or not?) do you have and where in the house are they? What kind of litter do you use? There are a number of reasons cats stop using the litter box and it always means that something isn't right in their world, whether that be medical or psychological. You've ruled out the medical possibilities, so now it's time to look at what else there is. If there is only one litter box, you need to add at least one more, if not 2. Put them in different parts of the house. Try different litters. If the box is covered, try one that isn't.

How do the 2 cats get along? Any tension that you've noticed?

You should also try to find a product called Feliway. It's a synthetic pheromone that mimics the "happy" scent that cats rub on things with their cheeks. Makes them feel at ease and can help if there are stress or territorial reasons for the peeing. Comes in a spray and a room diffuser. I suggest getting both.

Here are some links for you to read regarding inappropriate elimination:
http://www.catinfo.org/litterbox.htm
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/inappro-elim.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/inappro-elim2.html
http://www.hdw-inc.com/litterbox.htm

Please don't take him to the pound. It would be a death sentence for him and it would be kinder of you to just euthanize him yourself and be there for him while he dies, instead of alone and under traumatic circumstances. But there are still options, so lets see if we can figure something out.

Oh ya, just want to make sure - he is neutered, right?

badger
January 15th, 2009, 10:50 PM
Wow, tough one. Does he pee in front of you or only when you're not watching? Does he pee on the floor or just on the furniture?

Does he ever pee in the litterboxes? Have you tried changing their location or the type of litter?

Feliway is a great idea. You never know what's going on in their little brains.

Aniroc
January 15th, 2009, 10:52 PM
Thanks Sugarcatmom, let me answer your questions one by one.

1) I have a total of 3 litter boxes in our tiny appartment. One is outside, and two are in the spare bedroom. The one outside is uncovered and the inside ones are covered. They are the largest ones I could find as my cats are really really big. Hubby prefers that they are covered. Although I am willing to try uncovered to save our kitty family.

2) Used to use World's Best Cat litter (corn based) but it was terrible to track everywhere, and really mucked up the balcony (he's a digger and litter flies everywhere). Currently using Dr. Elsey's Senior cat litter as we were having a problem with stool clinging to Ford's rear. This was the recommendation from the vet. Scarlet transitioned very well, but it too time for Ford to 'accept it' for pooping in. I'm not sure that I really like it as I can't clean out the urine, so I may try the pine that everyone has been talking about. I used to use that a very long time ago when I first got my two darlings.

3) Scarlet (the female) and Ford get along very well. He's the dominant cat and they fight, but more often than not very lovey dovey with each other. We often find them curled up together. He's really a sweetheart when he wants to be. But he's also a skiddish kind of cat, if you walk the wrong way or too fast, he freaks out and hides. You can't pick him up and the once a year bath is a nightmare experience as is clipping his claws. Get the picture!?! Scarlet is the exact opposite - a very easy going cat. Much more domesticated then our wild and feral Ford. I do worry about her psychological heath if we were to find him a new home, she'd be lonely and sad for sure.

4) Yes, he is neutered. He used to be able to go out and roam, but after condo construction he can't get down. I believe that is when the problems really started about 5 years ago.

So the dilemma continues. I'm making another appointment with the vet to make sure everything is okay medically before we make any final and devistating decisions. I don't want to take him to the pound, I'd rather find a home for him on a farm, he used to be a real mouser!

Thanks again for your input.

Aniroc
January 15th, 2009, 10:58 PM
Wow, tough one. Does he pee in front of you or only when you're not watching? Does he pee on the floor or just on the furniture?

Does he ever pee in the litterboxes? Have you tried changing their location or the type of litter?

Feliway is a great idea. You never know what's going on in their little brains.

Actually I use the Feliway products all the time, I have the diffuser and spray. Hubby caught him peeing on the bed today, he just looked up and stared as he finished his business. So far, its only been on furniture - our lone couch and the bed. Sometimes he pees in the litter box, other times he doesn't. When we go to work, we use tinfoil agains thte creases on the couch and when we go away for a weekend, we tarp EVERYTHING.

I can't really change the location of the litter boxes as our apartment is really small and tight, and I've put them where I can. This has been very frustrating and heart wrenching. We've talked at length about what to do, and we keep giving him more time and more love and more energy...

sugarcatmom
January 15th, 2009, 11:06 PM
There is a product called Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract that you can add to the litter, have you ever tried it? It does sound like this may be a stress related issue though. I'm not usually one to recommend drugs but there are some available which you may want to ask the vet about. Good luck at the vet and let us know if they find anything.

Aniroc
January 15th, 2009, 11:11 PM
The litter I'm using has Cat Attract embeded in it, but I know there is a separate product you can buy. I could try that as well.

I had thought about asking the vet for an antianxiety medication for him to see if that would help him. It would have to be in shot form as he does not take pills at all. The vet tried to give him a steroid pill once (for a URTI) and he told me not to try, he's just not one of those kind of cats. I can give shots no problem, and the vet has showed me before how to give them (and I have lots of experiencing giving shots to humans)

Aniroc
January 15th, 2009, 11:14 PM
Going to call the vet first thing tomorrow morning for an appointment, and I'll let you all know how it turned out. I'm really crossing my fingers and holding my breath. Already getting teary thinking that if I won't be able to find him a home I may have to euthanize him....

badger
January 15th, 2009, 11:31 PM
So, when he pees in front of you, what do you do? This happens with one of my cats from time to time and my reaction has always been to bellow loudly, grab him, and put him in the litterbox. Of course, he's finished by then :frustrated: The fact that Ford is a bit skittish is in your favour, your disapproval will make a deeper impression.

Ask the vet to check the ph of his urine. Maybe it burns or something and he has to go immediately, not necessarily an infection but some kind of imbalance? I'm grasping at straws here.

Don't get weepy just yet. You'd be surprised the number of 'intractable' problems we solve on this board...

sugarcatmom
January 15th, 2009, 11:32 PM
The litter I'm using has Cat Attract embeded in it, but I know there is a separate product you can buy.

Ah, okay. Well my suggestions at this point would be to try the boxes without their covers, maybe try a different cat litter (offer a "buffet" of a different kind in each box) and see what the vet has to say.

It would have to be in shot form as he does not take pills at all.

I know what that's like. I would way rather give my guy a shot than a pill any day! Are Pill Pockets an option? Or if the meds aren't terrible tasting, perhaps they can be mixed into some wet food. I'm getting ahead of myself here, but that makes me think of one last thing: what do your cats eat? Diet plays a huge role in the overall health and even mental well-being of cats and I'm a big proponent of feeding cats species-appropriate wet food (ideally a balanced raw diet). Maybe something as basic as a diet change would be helpful.

Gosh, this must be frustrating and traumatic for your whole family. I really hope you can find a solution. Check out those links and perhaps there will be something useful to go on. :grouphug:

Aniroc
January 15th, 2009, 11:48 PM
The Pill Pocket is definatly not an option, Ford almost took out the vet when he tried it and which is why shots are probably the best option. If there is another thing I could try...it would be changing their diet. I have to admit that I'm probably not using the best food (a grocery store kibble) but I've been a FT student so the wallet has been a little tight these last few years. But in the end if that means staving off an agonizing death for all of us, I'd rather become a little poorer. Now that I think of it, he really likes his wet food, so it would probably be an easy transition for him. I was reading in some other posts about your recommendations and thoughts about dry vs. wet.

And thanks for the links, I've done research on and off for years about the problems which is why I feel there is not much else I can do - since I have tired most ideas (except the food). But you're suggestions are well thought out and between that and the vet visit, I hope we can find some success...even if its only temporary it will be a reprieve - I've cleaned cat pee on furniture 3 times this week (sneaky guy pushed the tinfoil off) and I had to keep visitors away while the couch was still a stinkbomb.

Aniroc
January 15th, 2009, 11:56 PM
So, when he pees in front of you, what do you do? This happens with one of my cats from time to time and my reaction has always been to bellow loudly, grab him, and put him in the litterbox. Of course, he's finished by then :frustrated: The fact that Ford is a bit skittish is in your favour, your disapproval will make a deeper impression.

Ask the vet to check the ph of his urine. Maybe it burns or something and he has to go immediately, not necessarily an infection but some kind of imbalance? I'm grasping at straws here.

Don't get weepy just yet. You'd be surprised the number of 'intractable' problems we solve on this board...

Well, I've learned not to yell at him...that just makes him hide from us and he becomes more skiddish. We do talk loudly and he knows were upset, but we don't spray or spank him or rub his nose. He's very apt at reading our reactions and emotions. I know they say cats aren't vindictive, but when we used to get really upset and mad...we'd find that he'd poop in the house and pee even more. So, we do our best with showing our disapproval but not too much. Its very hard - hubby now growls at me instead!

When I take him to the vet, he'll likely pee in the box as I transport him (he'll be upset and frightened, as he hates the box) and I'm sure the vet will take a sample to check for infection and the like. I'm crossing my fingers and really appreciate all of your well wishes and support. Will let you know how it turns out.

Tundra_Queen
January 16th, 2009, 12:49 AM
I am so sorry u are goin thru this with your kitty. I have a 6 yr old male cat and he has stopped using the litter box for the simplest reasons. One he pooped on the floor cause I had turned the opening in his litter box cover in the other direction. Once I put it back he was fine. The last time, about a week or two ago he peed on the floor right in front of me! I couldn't believe it! He was about six inches away from the litter box too. I went and looked at the box and the bath bench I had over it, wasn't "quite" touching the wall...so he didn't want to go into the box. The bench is over the box and he would have to duck his head another inch to get in it. He still had lots of room but it was different and he did have 3 other boxes he could of used. So I fixed it and he was fine afterwards. My point, all though it be a long winded one, :) cats can be very fussy if things have been changed one inch.

Debbie

babymomma
January 16th, 2009, 06:15 AM
I am so sorry u are goin thru this with your kitty. I have a 6 yr old male cat and he has stopped using the litter box for the simplest reasons. One he pooped on the floor cause I had turned the opening in his litter box cover in the other direction. Once I put it back he was fine. The last time, about a week or two ago he peed on the floor right in front of me! I couldn't believe it! He was about six inches away from the litter box too. I went and looked at the box and the bath bench I had over it, wasn't "quite" touching the wall...so he didn't want to go into the box. The bench is over the box and he would have to duck his head another inch to get in it. He still had lots of room but it was different and he did have 3 other boxes he could of used. So I fixed it and he was fine afterwards. My point, all though it be a long winded one, :) cats can be very fussy if things have been changed one inch.

Debbie

whoa, OCD much? lol

Khari
January 16th, 2009, 06:36 AM
My sister has two male brother cats. The dominant male has done this for years.....he started doing this when she moved back home with her cats and my parents had cats in their house in the past. The scent of the former cats made him crazy we think :eek: My sister has found that he will pee on her stuff when she hasn't been around or hasn't given him much attention??? Could you close your bedroom door when you go to work? She has tried many things as well but one thing she won't do is take him to the pound....it is behavioural and this is not his fault. Some cats are more dominant then others. He is kind of a loner cat as well....not skiddish....just a loner! So, his outcome would definately be put to sleep and so this is not an option for her.

sugarcatmom
January 16th, 2009, 06:48 AM
The Pill Pocket is definatly not an option, Ford almost took out the vet when he tried it and which is why shots are probably the best option.

You might be thinking of a pill gun. Greenies makes a moist treat called a Pill Pocket that you can wrap around the pill and hopefully the cat likes it enough to eat pill and all. Doesn't work so great for cats that chew their food though :rolleyes:. Couple other options, just so you know that they're out there, are having meds compounded into either a transdermal gel that you rub on the insides of ears, or a flavoured chewable treat or paste. Only mentioning those in case it does come to trying an anti-anxiety drug and it isn't available as an injectable.

If there is another thing I could try...it would be changing their diet. I have to admit that I'm probably not using the best food (a grocery store kibble) but I've been a FT student so the wallet has been a little tight these last few years.

It's worth trying, if possible. I totally understand how finances can be an issue and you can't get blood from a stone, so to speak. Not sure how you (or your cats) would feel about a raw diet, but this can sometimes be the cheapest option, even more so than kibble. Just takes more time to sort out.

And thanks for the links, I've done research on and off for years about the problems which is why I feel there is not much else I can do -

It certainly looks like you've covered all the bases. I'm glad to hear you're not yelling at him when he does this as it would only make his own stress worse, and I really think that's a big part of his issue. My one other last ditch suggestion would be to talk to a holistic vet, but this could be quite pricey. Another member on here, growler, also lives in Vancouver and takes her cat to one which she loves. Sometimes they have other treatment modalities in their repertoire that can be very useful, plus they tend to look at the whole animal, not just the ailment.

Good luck!

Khari
January 16th, 2009, 06:53 AM
Good advice about the holistic vet Sugarcatmom.....I was going to recommend a holistic vet or homeopathy. Homeopathy focuses on the one problem (my holistic vet recommended homeopathy for my cat with stress issues because this may be a problem leading to her constipation issues)

kaylie
January 16th, 2009, 07:03 AM
have you tried using get off spray on ur carpets and areas u do not want him to pee?? You can get sprays which smell quite nice too. things like egg shells, & citrus rind are supposed to stop them going in un wanted areas, however this would be difficult in your situation as i am sure you dont want to sit on egg shells! Do you work full time?

Love4himies
January 16th, 2009, 07:19 AM
Oh no, poor you. I understand your frustration with cats peeing on your furniture, Jasper does this, not as often as your kitty though, only when there is a male stray in the area.

Have you noticed any cats wondering around outside? Could they be un-neutered males? If so, he maybe marking his territory???

I am surprised your vet has not recommended the transdermal gel. I use some on Sweet Pea for her aggression against Puddles as she is IMPOSSIBLE to pill, and is very easy to do. I am currently using amitriptyline. It does come with regular vet monitoring/bloodwork though, so it is not cheap.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_amitriptyline.html

Good luck.

chico2
January 16th, 2009, 07:28 AM
My Rocky is going on 13yrs,he's been spraying since he was about 6 yrs old.
There is an alternative to pills,my vet gave me a transdermal(I think that's what it's called:confused:)gel,that goes on the inside of the ear,
It was a calming medicin,unfortunately Rocky developed a rash,so I had to quit,but maybe your Ford can tolerate it.
It's a great alternative to pills.
He is now on pills for Hyperthyroidism and I mash up one pill in a teaspoon of his favorite food(Wellness no grain canned)and he licks it up with no problem,then gets the rest of his food.

I too have been using Feliway diffusers for quiet a while and they have worked really well,I'd say the spraying is now only occasional.
I know when he starts pacing that he would spray,but since his meds for HyperT and Feliway,he is much calmer.
I know the frustration,but please,no HS or farm:fingerscr
.

ancientgirl
January 16th, 2009, 08:00 AM
I'm sorry you are having this issue, but thank you for trying to figure out how to solve the problem and not just dumping him in some shelter.

You have some great suggestions. Since you seem to have covered most of the bases, hopefully going the medicated route will work. Feliway is certainly something you should try. As Chico mentioned, it's been working very well for her. Also, I'm all for medication. I had my Czari on prozac for about 6 months while trying to integrate her and I found the easiest thing to do is either get a pill pocket, or I found Pounce treats work well too. They have some moist ones you can mash together and put the pill in there and they also have a little pillow type one, I used to slide the pill in there. Czari never knew she was having a pill.

I wish you the utmost luck. Ford should be spending his senior years with his family.:fingerscr:goodvibes:

sugarcatmom
January 16th, 2009, 08:59 AM
The vet tried to give him a steroid pill once (for a URTI)

For some reason I missed this part before. Do you mean a UTI, as in urinary tract inflammation, or are you referring to an upper respiratory infection? If it was a UTI, that could be a very big clue. In that case, it's of utmost importance that you feed him wet food. This could be a case of cystitis, which might be making it painful for him to pee.

There are a couple of main reasons for cats to pee on things like couches or beds or clothing. One is because their owner's scent is concentrated there, which is comforting to the cat when they're feeling lousy. The other reason is that this scent, even after washing, still has a bit of an ammonia base to it, which can instigate some cats into marking over top of it. I would be more inclined to think this is a comfort thing for your cat rather than a marking thing. Definitely get a urinalysis done.

Love4himies
January 16th, 2009, 09:30 AM
4) Yes, he is neutered. He used to be able to go out and roam, but after condo construction he can't get down. I believe that is when the problems really started about 5 years ago.



If Jasper doesn't get outside to spray his territory when the stray kitty comes into our yard (I call him Mr C Tabby, tried to trap but have not been successful :frustrated:), then he will spray our leather couches. I am not suggesting that you allow your kitty to go free, but perhaps if all medical reasons are ruled out for his urinating, then perhaps you could walk him outside so he can leave his scent outside.

catlover2
January 16th, 2009, 11:09 AM
This is a longstanding problem with "Ford" that started when he could no longer go outside. My suggestion is to get a harness, let him get used to it in the apt. When you decide he's accepting of the harness, make sure it's snug on him, and take him outside. It's not that he doesn't know how to use the litter box, he does occasionally, but he wants to go outside. Let him guide you where he wants to walk. Since he's high strung & skitterish, take a towel with you to wrap him up if he throws a tantrum if you're trying to get him back to apt. Perhaps with 2 short walks a day, this will relieve his frustration, and hopefully he will be content to use the litter box. At times when you're away for any length of time, confine him to a medium dog-size crate with litter box, or the bathroom. Worth a try. :fingerscr

http://cats.about.com/cs/behavioralissues/ht/leashtrain.htm

Stacer
January 16th, 2009, 04:19 PM
Your problem sounds all too familiar. We have 2 cats as well, a male and a female. Our male has had urinary issues most of his life (1 bout of FLUTD and ongoing inappropriate urination). The last year has been the worst. He prefers to pee on clothing though (easier to clean than furiture, lol). This past summer he peed on both of the beds in the spare room (although I think my friends' little girl may have peed the bed before Angus decided to add his own pee to the mix and then he got locked in there all day accidentally and relieved himself on the second mattress:o ).

Anyways, our approach has been:

1) To eliminate all previous urine scents that might attract him to urinate in the same spot again. We got rid of the mattresses, replaced them with new ones and put mattress protectors on, so far so good. Since Ford has urinated on your bed many times, perhaps getting a new mattress might be in order (expensive, I know, but getting the scent of his urine out of the house is important. And purchase a good mattress protector (we got Protect-a-Bed covers) that is water proof.

2) Any clothing that has been urinated on has been soaked in enzyme stuff and triple washed with white vinegar. I've even went so far as to throw some clothes out that don't seem to lose the faint smell of his pee. We've also learned not to leave clothes lying around. I bought a hamper with a nice solid lid and we keep the closet door closed at all times.

3) Feliway diffusers and spray. Our vet recommed that we spray a collar down with Feliway and put it on him so that the calming aromas are around him all the time. It seems to make a difference and is way cheaper than putting diffusers all over the house.

4) Since his problem is definitely behavioural or idiopathic cystitis (recurrence of FLUTD has been ruled out several times), we switched the cats to exclusively canned food. Again, it seems to have helped.


I think our best move was to get rid of things that he's peed on, even the faintest odour that we couldn't smell, he defintely could and would pee in the same places over and over. Unfortunately, your Ford has been peeing on some big ticket items in your apartment that aren't as easily replaced. Could you get rid of your couch and replace it with a used one until you get his issues under control? Maybe having an environment free of his own urine scent will help him? Believe me, no matter how well you try to clean furniture or mattresses, the smell is still there and cats will always pee where the smell of urine is, guaranteed.

I think the key is diet and environment.

Goodluck!!

chico2
January 16th, 2009, 04:40 PM
We have kind of adjusted our house to Rocky,I suspect that the others too have sprayed on occasion..though.
No more carpeting in the house,bed-room door is closed in the day-time,we don't leave anything laying around that could be a marking spot.
They still have lots of room to fool around in.
I have 2 Feli-Way diffusers,in the rooms they are the most,I have been buying Natures Miracle,but got a recipe for home-made stuff,I think Sugarcatmom gave it to 14+ and I am going to try that,much cheaper than Natures Miracles.
I am surprised your leather-couch smells like cat-pee,usually leather is very washable,we have leather too,but spraying rather than peeing is mostly done on vertical surfaces.
After cleaning with NM,did you clean with a leather-cleaner?

Before you do anything drastic,make sure he does not have UTI,my Rocky has caused me all kinds of problems,but it's something I have to live with,I love him,I got him from a barn-cat momma as a baby and he's here to stay no matter what.:cat:

14+kitties
January 16th, 2009, 06:56 PM
I have 2 Feli-Way diffusers,in the rooms they are the most,I have been buying Natures Miracle,but got a recipe for home-made stuff,I think Sugarcatmom gave it to 14+ and I am going to try that,much cheaper than Natures Miracles.:cat:

Good memory chico. Except it was our lovely Frenchy that gave me the recipe.

It is:

1 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

Mix together in a spray bottle and spray. Of course you need to clean the spots as usual first.... blot the area as much as possible to get up as much of the urine before using the spray.
I have been reading this thread closely. It seems to me there has been tons of great advice given. I would for sure try to eliminate everything out of the apartment that has the smell of urine. If you can smell it Ford sure can. I am surprised your other kitty hasn't taken to using the couch and bed as well.
Uncover the litter boxes. Change litters if necessary. Place them apart, not close together. Feliway spray on the collar is great. Even the plug ins but they are pricey. Have him checked for UTI's. Change him to a high quality grain free food. All great suggestions!

One more thing.....
Make sure the other cat isn't sabatoging Ford when he is trying to use the litter. That would be enough to put him off using an enclosed box.

chico2
January 17th, 2009, 07:32 AM
Oh,Oh sorry Frenchy,my memory is often in la-la-land:laughing:
Aniroc,like 14+ mentioned,it is very likely your other kitty is also peeing,we used to blame Rocky all the time,until I caught my Chico in the act:yell:

Realizing you are in a smallish apartment,it's not possible to limit access for the cats,like I had to do,but hopefully you can at least keep the bed-room closed.

Khari
January 17th, 2009, 08:43 AM
1 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

Mix together in a spray bottle and spray. Of course you need to clean the spots as usual first.


Is this mixture to be used after you clean the problem area? If so, what would be suggested to clean it with first before spraying this mixture on?

Also, where do you get mattress protectors from? or furniture protectors? Her cat has also been known to spray on her dressers as well.

I am glad this thread has been started b/c my sister will be moving in the next couple of months into an apartment with her 2 cats (one male dominant sprayer) and I will pass along some of these great suggestions from this thread. I have 3 feliway diffusers that I will give her to use right from day one. And the collar idea is a great idea as well.

14+kitties
January 17th, 2009, 09:13 AM
Is this mixture to be used after you clean the problem area? If so, what would be suggested to clean it with first before spraying this mixture on?

So sorry. Guess the proper wording should have been "Blot the area as much as possible to get up as much of the urine before using the spray." It wouldn't make any sense to just spray it on top of the urine.

Stacer
January 17th, 2009, 09:20 AM
I got my 'Protect-a-Bed' matress protector at Home Outfitters. They're kinda pricey, but it's worth it to not have to replace a mattress ever again. They are completely waterproof, but it's not like having a rubber sheet on your bed, it's like a membrane on the underside and terry cloth on top. The other bonus is that the cover actually prolongs the life of the mattress by preventing sweat and dirt, mites, allergens etc... from getting in the mattress.

IKEA also sells mattress protectors much cheaper, but I'm not sure if they are as waterproof as the 'Protect-a-Bed'.

Aniroc
January 17th, 2009, 11:31 AM
My suggestion is to get a harness, let him get used to it in the apt.

http://cats.about.com/cs/behavioralissues/ht/leashtrain.htm

Funny thing is, a number of years ago I bought a harness and attempted to get him into it, as that was a miracle in and of itself - but once leashed he went crazy, flipping around everywhere mewling like he was in pain (but mostly scared). I had even let him walk around with just the harness on prior to leashing him and he ran round and round crying - poor guy, it tramatized him way too much.

Aniroc
January 17th, 2009, 11:34 AM
Actually, it was a URTI - he was coughing and breathing raspy so the vet suggested the steroid after having several xrays.

And thanks for the suggestion of the Greenies, that may work....he wolfs down his food so that could work. And the transdermal gels are a great suggestion. Going to the vet today to see what he as to say and I"m asking for a blood panel and a urinalysis

Aniroc
January 17th, 2009, 11:45 AM
Wow, I am really touched by all your suggestions and well wishes from everyone. You've all given me some additional things to try - and I don't want to give up on him, afterall he's my cute little booboo bear! He's really a cutie when he's not pissing everywhere, lol.

I'm seriously going to think about changing his diet to a more natural wet, no or low grain feed or even transition them to raw. And I think I'll get a few more Felliway diffusers.

Getting rid of the furniture really isn't an option but I'll try the Off-Spray mentioned earlier as well. I'll also try the home made scent removal spray as well and sell off my shares for Natures Miracle -lol-.

I'm also going to try keeping each litter box full of different litters to see if I can satisfy his need for comfortability when he needs to go, and that may mean bringing back Worlds Best.

Between all your suggestions and that from the vet who we'll be seeing this afternoon I hope that we can find some improvement in the situation. Heaven knows we really love this little (but large -21lbs!) guy. Thanks again everyone.

sugarcatmom
January 17th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Between all your suggestions and that from the vet who we'll be seeing this afternoon I hope that we can find some improvement in the situation.

Let us know how it goes. And kudos to you for trying so hard to find a solution!

Oh ya, one more thing: we're going to wanna see some pics of the furry pee monster and his sis, so you better get some ready to deflect the demanding hoards:laughing:!

14+kitties
January 17th, 2009, 12:23 PM
21 pounds! Yikes! Big boy. That in itself may be part of the issue. If he is that big it is possible he is just not comfortable in a normal sized kitty litter box. My suggestion would be to try one of those under the bed storage boxes. Not too high sided so he can get in and out of it comfortably.

I think you had mentioned before that two of your boxes are covered. So between the covered boxes and possibly being too small for him to be comfortable in it could lead to his not being a happy camper and peeing where he is most comfortable.... your couch or bed.

I know you said hubby doesn't like the uncovered ones but hubby isn't the one having to use it. I would think if it helped to stop the problem then hubby should just learn how to put up with an uncovered large box. :shrug:

rhartjr
January 17th, 2009, 01:03 PM
21 pounds! Yikes! Big boy. That in itself may be part of the issue. If he is that big it is possible he is just not comfortable in a normal sized kitty litter box. My suggestion would be to try one of those under the bed storage boxes. Not too high sided so he can get in and out of it comfortably.

We delt with huge cats and standard size litter boxes several years ago. Eight indoor cats and two litter boxes with five of them really big cats. Replaced one of the standard boxes with a large plastic tote with a hole cut in one end. The tote is big enough for our biggest ones to get in and have plenty of room to move around and do what they need to. Worked great for us. Hope you get things worked out.

14+kitties
January 17th, 2009, 02:53 PM
We delt with huge cats and standard size litter boxes several years ago. Eight indoor cats and two litter boxes with five of them really big cats. Replaced one of the standard boxes with a large plastic tote with a hole cut in one end. The tote is big enough for our biggest ones to get in and have plenty of room to move around and do what they need to. Worked great for us. Hope you get things worked out.

Yep, that would work too. :thumbs up Great idea!! :D

chico2
January 17th, 2009, 03:58 PM
Aniroc,of course we would all try to help,we do not want to see Ford lose his loving home and it is very obvious you love him:lovestruck:
As for the covered boxes,my cats did not like them,I tried them once.
I could imagine the smell is ten times worse in there,also they will breath in more dust.
I have 2 large rubbermaid boxes for 3 cats,I've tried all kinds of litters but I am back to Costco's clumping litter,I am not happy about it,but that's what the cats like,I am not taking any chances they would prefer to pee somewhere else.
May I ask where you get your Feli-Way,they are not available here anymore,so I buy mine off E-Bay,I just ordered 4 refills for $79US,I use the same seller in New York all the time.
The 4 refills will last for 2 months.
I almost hope there is something medically wrong with him,nothing serious,just so it can be corrected:fingerscr
21lb's is huge,my biggest kitty is 17,5 lb's :cat:
Please let us know what the vet says and pics please:fingerscr

Aniroc
January 18th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Replaced one of the standard boxes with a large plastic tote with a hole cut in one end.

Actually, the hubby and I recently "made" an extra large litter box by doing just such a thing from a how to segement I found on youtube. I think eventually, we will replace all the litter boxes with this alternative method to ensure that the cats are comfortable to use them.

Aniroc
January 18th, 2009, 04:44 PM
May I ask where you get your Feli-Way,they are not available here anymore,so I buy mine off E-Bay

Actually, I've purchased my Feli-way from both the vet and from the local PetSmart. I used both the diffuser and the spray but while they are expensive, I think that its worth keeping a stock of them in the apartment to make my kitties feel nice and relaxed :)

Aniroc
January 18th, 2009, 05:42 PM
Okay, here is the update on yesterday's visit to the vet.

First, was the experiencing of cornering Ford to pick him up and drop him into the towel lined crate, poor guy didn't like that too much! He cried and cried as we carried him down to the car, peeing in response to his fear. I just kept talking to him, hoping to calm him down.

We go to Allondale Animal Hospital. The staff and Vets there are phenomenal, I've always been so touched how they go the extra mile. They really take the time to listen and are always genuine in our discussions and suggestions. Its more than a business to them there, you know they care and I really appreciate it. Dr. Searle was wonderful with us and Ford.

She performed a full examination and after a thourough discussion about signs and symptoms along with her observations, she doubted there was any medical issues. However, on my request she did take blood and I am to obtain a urine specimen using a no-absorb litter.

As I suspected (as some of you) the problem seems to be behavorial. We had a long discussion about environments, cat behavior, diet and of course litters. One interesting thing she said was that Ford might be stressed out from being the dominant cat and may need to be relieved from those duties. We decided to try clomicalm, an oral antianxiety medication that I tried with some pill pockets she gave us. Thankfully, Ford took to the hidden medication with no problems (a few hours after we got home), what a relief! No needles or pill rockets required! I really appreciated Dr. Searle advising that Ford may not need to remain on the medication forever, that eventually he could be weaned off. She wants us to report back in two weeks and advised that if he didn't take the medications we'd get a refund.

When we talked about diet needs, she agreed like many of you, that kibble isn't natural and that a more natural diet could help. She didn't try to upsell us on any of the brands they sell at the hospital but suggested we try to find a brand the cats like and to slowly transition them.

After the vet, I stopped by the local pet store to find some more natural food and to look at the litters. At $1.99 a can (ouch!) I purchased a few cans of Go! Natural, grain free wet cat food. Ford and Scarlet really took to the Fresh Water Trout flavor, but I'll head to the big box store next week to check out some ingrediants and brands. I'm feeling really hopefull!

Also, while at the store I came across a new litter I'm excited to try in one of our 3 boxes. Its called Hygenicat, and its all natural, super absorbant and lightweight - made out of lava rock particles. I've read the reviews and it all seems positive, so I'm including a YouTube clip for you all to check out too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q48JbjGd6RY

I have given Ford his second pill today, an while I know I shouldn't expect to see any results right away (these things take awhile for a positive effect) he seems a bit recluse today. I think he's still upset with me for putting him in the crate. He won't purr when I pet him and he turns his body away from me. I'm sure he'll get over it, I just hope its sooner than later. Scarlet, we'll she's her cute lil self as usual. I'm including a few pictures of our cats below. Ford is the all black cat and Scarlet is the furry white and black lioness :) They are always so lovely dovey with each other.

I'll keep you all updated on how things go and the results of the lab tests.

47041

47042

Love4himies
January 18th, 2009, 05:49 PM
Awww they are beautiful, Ford sure loves his Scarlett.:flirt:

I wonder if Ford is like my Jasper. He loves his girls and I think he marks his territory inside in part because of them.

Aniroc
January 18th, 2009, 05:55 PM
Awww they are beautiful, Ford sure loves his Scarlett.:flirt:

I wonder if Ford is like my Jasper. He loves his girls and I think he marks his territory inside in part because of them.

I thought about that too, but who knows...and yes, they love each other very much. Often we find them curled up together, or licking each other or chasing one another, lol. I can't imagine life without either of them! I made a scrap book just of them too, so cute! :cat:

ancientgirl
January 18th, 2009, 06:36 PM
Your vet sounds like a great person. I'm so glad she agreed with changing his diet and didn't give you a hard time. I don't know about the pricing where you live, but Wellness makes a grain free that many members here feed their cats. I've been feeding mine Innova, Merrick and Evanger. Yes they are all a bit pricey, but in the long run it's so much better for them than dry.

Ford and Scarlett are just lovely. I love those pictures of them together. :lovestruck:

Aniroc
January 18th, 2009, 06:48 PM
[QUOTE=ancientgirl;733857]Your vet sounds like a great person. [QUOTE]

Dr. Searle and Dr. O'Grady, really are wonderful. When I took Ford in because of his constant wheezing, we decided that xrays were needed. Ford was a difficult client, and they had to take numerous xrays before they could get a clear picture. Even though many films were taken, they only charged me for one. This is the kind of vetrinary office that is more concerned with the client then their bottom dollar. I have nothing but good things to say about them.

Khari
January 18th, 2009, 06:58 PM
They are so cute :angel: I have a girl and a boy cat as well and they are always cuddling with eachother. I have to say - Ford looks almost exactly like my sisters cat that sprays....maybe they came from the same dominant dad :laughing:

Please keep us posted on the medication. My sister is moving out soon and if this medication works and does not seem to effect Ford too much negatively I would like to recommend it to my sister. :fingerscr

sugarcatmom
January 18th, 2009, 08:32 PM
Thanks for the update, and for showing us just how cute your 2 kitties are. Sounds like you have a good plan worked out (and a great vet!). I look forward to hearing how Ford does over the next while.

lUvMyLaB<3
January 18th, 2009, 08:59 PM
just reading all of this now and I just couldnt wait to say something!! I am glad that your kitty seems healthy though!

I have had many many many cats in the past, and foster mom cats and kittens often, have a mother and babies now.. So I have seen this problem before, YAY for you for sticking through it this long, I have been the recipient of many people not sticking it out like you!

I am glad you will change the food, I wanted to say that after I read your first post, neutered males and grocery store kibble... not a good combination! A good canned all meat food is what he should have.

Also I think it is behavioral, I had a cat once that never wanted to use the litter box again after the washing machine went into spin cycle when he was in the box, lucky I was there and saw so I could connect the dots, If I had not seen it I would have never known why he refused to go in there. Something like this could have scared your kitty at some point when you were not around and now associates the litter box with this traumatic event. I would try some positive reniforcement with the litter box and maybe research online some other desensitizing training methods, I really really hope that something works for you and your kitty GOOD LUCK!!:fingerscr

chico2
January 19th, 2009, 07:13 AM
Aniroc,Scarlet and Ford are beautiful :lovestruck::lovestruck:and sooo cute cuddling together.
The dominant issue seems a really valid one and I:fingerscrit will improve with the meds:fingerscr
Having a good vet,who really digs in to the problem and one you can trust is certainly more than half the battle.

Is it at all possible Ford sees other cats outside,if he has access to a window??
A strange cat would really get my Rocky going,protecting his home,even if the strange cat is outside and Rocky safely inside.

My new vet,also does not question my choice of food for my 3 guys,any vet must know,that kibbles is not what neutered male kitties should eat.
Mine are doing great on Wellness no grain,but I also have Eagle Pack,Innova Evo I will try.
Hubby grumbled at first about the cost,but it has eased off:laughing:

chico2
January 19th, 2009, 07:26 AM
About the Feli-Way,it was taken off store-shelves here and I was told it was not FDA approved,that happened just as I was starting to see positive results:yell:
Pet Value,Pet Smart were selling another brand but it did not have the same effect.
Now I get 4 Feli-Way refills every 2 months off E-Bay,at a good price.

catlover2
January 19th, 2009, 10:29 AM
You're very lucky to have such wonderful vets. And the pics of Scarlett & Ford together are priceless...maybe you should have called him Rhett? ;) :goodvibes:

Hope something works here, whether it's boxes or litter. You are to be congratulated for seeking out all solutions. Many people in your position would have dumped him off at the side of a road or a shelter by now. Good for you! :thumbs up

Daizy
January 19th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Actually, I've purchased my Feli-way from both the vet and from the local PetSmart. I used both the diffuser and the spray but while they are expensive, I think that its worth keeping a stock of them in the apartment to make my kitties feel nice and relaxed :)


Just an idea I got my Feliaway on ebay. Even with shipping it was so much cheaper!

Khari
January 19th, 2009, 01:27 PM
Just an idea I got my Feliaway on ebay. Even with shipping it was so much cheaper!

Do you have it shipped into Canada? And with the dollar exchange from US to Canadian? I will have to try figuring it out in price difference.

chico2
January 19th, 2009, 04:16 PM
Khari,I get mine from New York through E-Bay,refills are $16,95 US and I usually buy 4,with shipping and handling,it comes to $79 US.
I believe converted to Canadian $,it's just less than $100.
My vet used to charge $44C for a refill,$ 80 something with the diffuser,so I think it's a good deal.
Even if they start selling them here again,they will be too expensive.

Khari
January 19th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Great - thanks for the info. I will pass along to my sister :)

Aniroc
January 20th, 2009, 05:33 PM
Okay, so its day 4 for Ford and his new medical regime. So far, I think Ford has been a little doe-eyed from the medication, he's not quite himself but today I think he's coming around. I was a bit worried that maybe the medication doped him out, but I wanted to wait as long as possible to ensure that the medication is working through his system instead of asking the vet to reevaulate the dosage - I know these things can take a little while to work.

But I have noticed positive changes already - such as he doesn't freak out when I walk by him. On the downside, he won't cuddle or come around for pets yet, but he could still be getting over the visit to the vet.

For the dietary changes, I'm still offering their traditional kibble but upping the wet food capacity. I've been reading lots about what is appropriate for cats, so finding a wet food choice may be difficult since we humans tend to attribute our needs to cats - such as fruits, veggies and other stuff we like and is healthy for us, but not necessary for cats who are obligatory meat eaters. So far, a raw meat diet looks like the best option but I don't think I could switch them just like that. Besides, I need to find somewhere that offers it and see if Ford and Scarlet like it. Baby steps.

The litter situation has been good too, the new litter is working very well so far and I praise Ford every time he uses it offering a few treats after he goes. So far no accidents, but the tinfoil and tarps will remain in place for a while, a few months at least.

Still waiting for the lab results on the blood, and i'm going to get the no-absorb litter this evening.

Thats all for now! :cloud9:

Khari
January 20th, 2009, 05:39 PM
So, he hasn't urinated in 4 days? Is this normal? Let's hope the medication is helping :fingerscr

What new litter/litterbox? are you using? Why do you think no absorb will be better?

Aniroc
January 20th, 2009, 05:49 PM
So, he hasn't urinated in 4 days? Is this normal? Let's hope the medication is helping :fingerscr

What new litter/litterbox? are you using? Why do you think no absorb will be better?

No, he's urinated..just in the box, like a good kitty boy should! And we praise praise praise when he does...you can tell he's suspcious though..he's like ...well ya, so what? :laughing:

I mentioned in my previous update that I was to collect a urine specimen with a no-absorb litter, specfically made for that purpose. I'll close him in a room tomorrow to help him along and so Scarlet doesn't use it.

The other litter is a lava rock formulated heavy absorb type that I reviewed and talked to the people at the pet store about. It has some really good reviews and I'm trying to see what type he likes...I have a few on the go, lol. Hope that clears it up Khari :p

14+kitties
January 20th, 2009, 05:52 PM
:highfive: for Ford!! It will take a while for him to get over the vet visit. Hopefully after that he will get back to being his regular lover self.
Great that the litter is working well. Hopefully it will continue to. :fingerscr

Is it possible to not close him in a room tomorrow to use the no absorb? He could possibly misconstrue it as punishment for something and backslide a little. :shrug:

Good job so far for Ford and you!! :thumbs up

Khari
January 20th, 2009, 05:53 PM
No, he's urinated..just in the box, like a good kitty boy should! And we praise praise praise when he does...you can tell he's suspcious though..he's like ...well ya, so what? :laughing:

Ooops sorry, I meant urinated outside of the box....:D

ancientgirl
January 20th, 2009, 06:20 PM
I had Czari on Prozac for about 6 months. The first few weeks she was on it, she was very wary and it did take a while for it to get into her system. I imagine he'll be okay with a few more days. You should check places that sell ready made raw. I know one of the places I buy my gangs food sells Nature's Variety Raw food, and they have small packages that cost around $4. If you can get that then you can see if they will like it and nto pay a lot. But, I can tell you from my own gangs experience, it takes a while. My little guy Maks at first loved it, then stopped eating it. His sister, Kiska, wouldn't touch it, but I put some down not long ago and she dug in. :shrug:

sugarcatmom
January 20th, 2009, 07:19 PM
I've been reading lots about what is appropriate for cats, so finding a wet food choice may be difficult since we humans tend to attribute our needs to cats - such as fruits, veggies and other stuff we like and is healthy for us, but not necessary for cats who are obligatory meat eaters.

Ya, that's definitely the case with many pet foods. I know that some of them, like Wellness or Nature's Variety, don't really contain that much of the fruits and veggies because the "as fed" nutritional analysis shows the total carbohydrate content to be quite low.

So far, a raw meat diet looks like the best option but I don't think I could switch them just like that. Besides, I need to find somewhere that offers it and see if Ford and Scarlet like it. Baby steps.

Baby steps are good. Do you ever offer them pieces of fresh meat, say some lightly cooked chicken breast? That would be a good way to start gradually introducing them to raw, if you haven't already tried it.

There is a fantastic premade raw food that's made right in Vancouver from a company called Red Dog Deli (http://www.reddogdeli.com/). The chicken and turkey are complete (includes ground bone) but the venison and buffalo need additional calcium if they're to be used for more than intermittent/supplemental feeding.

Still waiting for the lab results on the blood, and i'm going to get the no-absorb litter this evening.

That No Sorb stuff is pretty pricey, and they only give you a miniscule amount. You could use clean aquarium gravel instead, if you prefer. I usually just stalk my cat with a shallow jar lid (a ladle or spoon also works) and slide it under his butt after he's started peeing. That wouldn't work so well if you have a shy "pee-er", though.

chico2
January 21st, 2009, 07:03 AM
I did the same when I needed urine from my Peppi(:rip:)I waited for him to go to the box,then I held a container to catch the pee,but he was a very calm cat.
Rocky stayed one day at the vet and they had to extract urine,not a pleasant experience for him,I am sure.

I am sooo pleased with Fords progress:thumbs up

Love4himies
January 21st, 2009, 08:17 AM
With Puddles, I had to follow her around the house with a clean, new kitten litter box with the no sorb in it, wait for her to just start her pee in her normal litter box and then swiftly pick her up and put her in the kitten litter box with the no sorb in it. Then I put the urine with the no sorb in the container to take to the vet.

Khari
February 4th, 2009, 05:38 AM
How is Ford coming along since the vet visit?