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Old October 24th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Location: Calgary, AB
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Originally Posted by VERB View Post
As I mentioned previously, he's extremely needy and very demanding of attention.
Has he always been like this, or is this something recent?

Originally Posted by VERB View Post
It seems that if I don't give him attention exactly when he demands it, he punishes me by urinating somewhere in the apartment.
Cat's aren't vindictive like that. A more likely scenario is that he's in pain from something like cystitis and his attempts to elicit your attention are for comfort, or the stress of not receiving the attention he craves (OCD?) causes painful urination that he tries to alleviate by peeing in places other than his litter box. Cystitis and stress often go hand-in-hand.

Originally Posted by VERB View Post
He has no health issues that contribute to this behavior.
What lab work (blood/urinalysis/ultrasound?) was done, and when? Do you have any results you can post?

Originally Posted by VERB View Post
The litter boxes will be clean and he still urinates outside of the litter boxes.
How old are the litter boxes? You should replace them once a year, as the plastic retains odours after a while no matter how well you clean them. Speaking of which, what do you clean them with? If you use a strong-smelling detergent, that can put some cats off. Unscented is the way to go, with very thorough rinsing.

Was there perhaps a time when the boxes weren't so clean? Litter boxes should be cleaned at least once a day, preferably twice. It could it be that Frederick got fed up with a dirty box at one point, and a precedent has been set so that it doesn't matter how clean the box is now. Also whether a box is covered or uncovered can play a role. I'd say that for most cats, uncovered is preferable, especially since the litter boxes sold in pet stores are woefully small.

If you haven't bought a new box lately, I'd suggest doing that, but get one or two of those Rubbermaid under-the-bed storage boxes. Lots of room for cats to maneuver around in.

Originally Posted by VERB View Post
I've tried various types of litter and that still doesn't work.
Which ones have you tried (ie scented? clay? pine? pellets?)? There is one litter called Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract which has herbs added to it that cats find irresistible to pee on. If you haven't used it before, run, don't walk, to the nearest Petsmart to pick some up.

You could also offer up a buffet of different litters in 2 or 3 different boxes and see what Frederick prefers. Put clumping pine in one, Dr. Elsey's in another and after a week, keep the one that he consistently chooses. Then the next week, try a new one against last week's winner.

Originally Posted by VERB View Post
My only guess is for this problem is that if he's not getting the tremendous amount of attention that he wants, he urinates somewhere in the apartment.
He may indeed have a bit of an OCD, which is causing him stress, which then causes him to pee elsewhere. Try not to view it as him trying to manipulate you. Something is not right in his world (whether medical or mental or environmental) and you need to find out what that is, and to help him overcome it. Could he be really bored and lonely? Does he have any other cat companions in the home?

Originally Posted by VERB View Post
Does anyone have any suggestions before I reach a point of desperation and take him to a shelter?
First would be a thorough vet check if it's been a while.

Change the boxes (and their locations: he could be associating where they are with something unpleasant).

Change the litter to Dr. Elsey's.

Growler's suggestion of Feliway is excellent. Both some room diffusers and a bottle of the spray to use in places that he pees.

Flower essences would be something else worth looking into, or if you have access to a holistic or homeopathic vet, they can develop a treatment plan customized to Frederick's needs.

Pick up all blankets, clothes, area rugs, etc, - whatever you can that you think Frederick might pee on. Put tinfoil over places that you can't move. Cover the sofa with plastic or plasticized sheets when you aren't around to supervise (I know it's a pain, but you need to make those spots less appealing to him, while making the places you want him to pee as appealing as possible).

If boredom is a factor and you think Frederick would be okay with a feline friend, maybe adopting another (cat-friendly) cat is the answer. Or at least setting aside some time (at the same time everyday - cats thrive on routine) for quality play sessions. Invest in new toys and rotate the toys around so they stay "fresh" and interesting.

And lastly, while I don't usually advocate drugs for these situations, there are some cases where anti-anxiety meds can be useful. Especially if all else has failed. But hopefully things resolve themselves before that.

Originally Posted by VERB View Post
All the local no-kill shelters are full and I hate to think of him being euthanized if I take him to a regular shelter.
This is going to sound harsh, but it's something to think about. It would be kinder, if absolutely nothing else works and you truly have exhausted all avenues, to take Frederick to the vet and have him PTS yourself. Passing the buck by dumping a 12 yr old cat with litter box issues at the shelter, even a no-kill one, is cowardly. It is a death sentence either way. I'm sure Frederick would prefer for his last moments to be spent cradled in the arms of someone he adores, rather than languishing for months/years in a no-kill shelter, or being sent down the assembly-line of death at a regular shelter.

My that you and Frederick can make this work. Please keep us updated on his progress.
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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