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Neutered cat still sprays, resistant to treatment.

Betty Rockstead
June 30th, 2011, 06:38 PM
I'm at a point with one of my cats, where I'm not sure what else to try or if this is something I'm just going to have to live with. We rescued Dexter three years ago after his owners stopped feeding him and letting him inside. He was over a year old and pretty beat up, so we took him home, got him neutered and all cleaned up. But I think because he had been neutered so late, and had been surviving in the outdoors, he had picked up the habit of spraying/marking, and never got out of it.

He was into the vet for urine tests and other check-up stuff after a few months of the spraying, and everything was clear there, the vet said it was definitely behavioral and not medical. The vet tried him on an anti-anxiety pill for a few months, and this didn't help. Since then, over the past two years, we've tried him on Feliway, as well as another type of pheromone diffuser, and an anti-anxiety collar. None of these seemed to make much of a difference.

We clean the areas he is spraying with Nature's Miracle, and we have a blue light thing to help us find any spots we may have missed.

The trigger seems to be ANYTHING happening outside. He is indoors only and shows no desire to go outside, but he likes looking out the window. but if a cat walks by, or bird are irritating him, or etc etc, he gets stressed out and sprays. When I'm home to catch it, he gets aggravated for a bit, meowing and pacing, before he sprays.

Other than this, he is a completely happy cat. We have four cats and they are all buddies. He grooms with the other cats, cuddles them, plays with them, etc, etc. He gets tons of love. They eat Orijen. Litterbox is cleaned every day. He has lots of fun toys and a gigantic cat tree. He sleeps with his tummy up a lot and sits on my lap for cuddles. He is a fabulous sweet cat, but he sprays at least weekly, and sometimes multiple times daily.

Is there anything I am missing? I'm going to make it work regardless, and I'm thinking of taking him back to the vet for more advice, but I'm not sure what else they can suggest.

June 30th, 2011, 07:45 PM
First off, thank you for taking in this kitty who was thrown out like garbage by his last owners :angel:

I have a kitty that has the same problem (Jasper). Like your kitty he was neutered late in life by the SPCA and he gets very "antsy" when there is another kitty around and will spray inside if there is an un-neutered male around and he doesn't get out. What I have done is allowed him supervised outside time (he was trained on a leash and harness) to go spray his territory. He is taken out at the same time every day so he knows he will get a chance to get out. Since then, he hasn't sprayed inside, knock on wood. It's been a couple of years since he has sprayed.

Good luck. :goodvibes:

Betty Rockstead
June 30th, 2011, 08:48 PM
That is a really interesting idea. Dexter is not leash trained, and I confess I am a little nervous that he would be more prone to try and escape outside, but I'm interested enough to give it a try. I'll pick up a harness and leash soon. I'm not sure how he will feel about going outside, as I know his last experience in the outdoors world wasn't so great, and hes such a nervous little guy. But it certainly can't hurt to take him out and see how it goes. I'll let you know what happens :)

June 30th, 2011, 10:27 PM
We had a cat that was also neutered, and did fine for years. He started spraying after he snuck outside once, and never stopped. We weren't sure if one of our cats triggered him off, but his spraying started another one of our cats to spray. We gave him to our mother in law, thinking she only has one cat, and it would be calmer in her house. He was fine for a couple of months, and then started spraying again. We also tried Feliway, with no luck. Our vet put him on Fluoxetine, which worked well. He now takes it every other day, and hasn't had a problem since. We had tried Amitriptyline on our other cat, and had no luck at all. Good Luck.

July 1st, 2011, 05:10 AM
What I did with Jasper when I started to leash train him, was I just put the harness on him loosely for short periods of time and let him walk around the house with it on to get used to the feel, then I slowly introduced the leash. Once he was comfortable with the leash and harness inside, then we progressed to outside. Cats can easily slip their harness by wiggling backwards out of it. I find dropping the leash so it's not taunt will stop the escape.

Marking territory is natural for cats and to find a safe way to do so, makes kitty life much more enjoyable for all ;).

July 1st, 2011, 09:14 AM
I'm not sure this is the best idea but I'll throw it out there anyway in case the layout of your living space can accommodate.

If seeing other cats in the window when u aren't home is the there a way to deny your cat access to those windows. (only while u aren't home)

just throwin' it out there. :cat:

Betty Rockstead
July 6th, 2011, 07:36 PM
Hey guys. I talked to my vet about it, and everything about Dexter checks out as healthy once again. We decided on a medication called Buspirone. It's an anti-anxiety medication without the side effects a lot of the others have. Non-addicting, and there is a 50% chance I can wean him off it after several months. The only notable side effect is that it may make him extra affectionate. He's taking the pills very good in Pill Pocket. Takes about a week to see results.

I'll let you know how it goes.

July 7th, 2011, 01:06 PM
How long have you had him? It is possible, if he's only been with you a short time so far, that this will disappear as he gets more comfortable in his new surroundings. We took in an intact female who did this in our house till she got used to us. Yes, the girls can spray too. She still does but only outdoors. I don't know if spaying helped convince her not to spray in the house but she was not spayed immediately, being too far gone in pregnancy for our Vet to agree to spay.

Something you could try ..... When house training puppies a technique that can help is to feed or water them where they peed or pooped. Easier, since that is always on the floor. But what if you fed the cat where he has to stand to spray? Just an idea, never tried it myself but anything is worth a try.

We had to throw out some brand new luggage when Sadie-cat got inside it and sprayed. :(

Betty Rockstead
July 7th, 2011, 06:15 PM
I've had him for over three years now, and he was about a year when I got him. We had him neutered right away when we got him.