Advice Needed(23 Posts)
Hi everyone, am hoping that I can get some advice here regarding my cat but need to give a bit of background so please bear with me.
Adopted 2 cats (who may be brother & sister 2 and a half years go from Animal Charity in HK and we believe they are now 4 and 5. We came back to the UK and they came with us. They came to the charity from a vets who had operated on him after he was run over (a woman took him in along with our female cat who was sitting by his body), he had head injuries but apart from being a little cross eyed came out unscathed. We know they were feral as her ear has been cut to indicate that she was spayed as part of a government spaying scheme.
He is a lovely cat but very neurotic. Since he came to us he has urinated all over our flat (whilst in HK) and now our house in the UK. There is no rhyme nor reason to where or when he does it for example he's peed on the sofa 3 times, all beds multiple, all pillows have been replaced, daughter's school bags, husbands trainers, various shopping bags, kitchen work surfaces - the list is endless!
Litter tray is kept spotless so we know that's not the problem and he does know how to use the litter tray, he's been treated for urinary tract infections so we know it's not that and we've used Feliway extensively with no effect, use biological powder to clean up etc.
Final straw for me today is that I stupidly didn't shut my bedroom door properly and whilst I was brushing my teeth he has urinated all over my daughter's duvet which I had taken into our room to stop him from doing it in her room! Vet has suggested keeping him in the kitchen for 6 months to try and break the habit but after 2 weeks he had peed all over washing in its basket, repeatedly on kitchen work surfaces, all over the bin, dustpan and brush and the dining table.
Sorry this was so long but I really don't know what to do anymore and would really appreciate any suggestions/advice. Many thanks.
Oh dear. How awful. You seem to have done everything we would normally recommend. Is he definitely urinating and not spraying? If it's spraying Ovarid can help (although vets don't like to give it, but you might be able to persuade one), if it's urinating then I really don't know.
Does he have access to the outside? Do you have a catflap?
You say that the litter tray is spotless - have you tried putting something that he has urinated on in the litter tray? Has he ever used the litter tray? How many litter trays have you got? Ideally cats need a litter tray each - it might help if you put something that he has pee'd on in his.....
He is neutered and is urinating and not spraying unfortunately. He has access to outside although we don't have a cat flat as we've just moved to a new house and need to get one put through the wall. I always leave a door or window open and they are both happy to use this as well. He seems happy to go outside but never leaves our garden - too nervous I think.
We have two litter trays for the cats and he uses it regularly on a daily basis as well as going to the toilet outside (and of course today the duvet!). Although he is a very gentle natured cat he does occasionally attack his 'sister' during play and at the moment she has two bites which we have antiseptic cream to put on - not sure whether she may have something to do with his behavior.
Have you thought about trying to get in contact with an animal behaviourist? (sp?)
Spent a small fortune on Feliway GobbySadcase and it had no effect at all.
I think that maybe we need to look at that ohfourfoxache - we're on the Essex/Herts border does anyone have any recommendations? I'm really at my wits end as to what to do. I don't think we could rehome him as he's likely to do the same thing somewhere else and then just find himself back where he started and the stress of it would be too much.
How does he generally get on with the girl, apart from the couple of attacks you mentioned ? I know they came together but cats can fall out with each other as well as people can and there's clearly some long term stress that's affecting him - so I was wondering if it was having another cat around.
(I'm leaving aside the issue of long term effects from the head injuries which I'm really not qualified to talk about.)
They generally get on very well even though they have hugely different personalities and he is quite reliant on her. We were advised that there were no long term head injuries from him being run over but before this we have no history other than that before he was rescued he was a feral cat in Hong Kong (and I put his nervous disposition down to this).
When we first got them you couldn't stroke or pick them up but even though they still don't like being picked up but are now happy to sit on our laps and be stroked (but always on their terms).
In my own experience, and cats being naturally clean, spraying means that they have some unhappiness and it's down to us to figure out what it is. I cant think what else you could do apart from getting that cat flap in and putting in yet another tray.
I notice you said, though, that he doesn't go far when he goes outside - is it possible that there's another (mean) cat around out there who is making him edgy? As an ex feral he might be extra sensitive to his environment.
Otherwise, I would be thinking it was her, I'm afraid.
Oh - and get a microchip cat flap when you get one. You don't need half the neighbourhood toms coming in.
Actually, scratch that bit about the mean tom - he was doing it in HK?
I reckon it's her.
You've put up with a lot off him. As an aside you can buy cat nappies with a hole for the tale to go through.
If he would tolerate them, it's not really a permanent solution.
Would it be worth finding a friend who could have the other cat for a month to see if it makes any difference .
I'd be thinking something along those lines. Unless you have an utterly huge house where you can set up a serious cordon sanitaire (eg she gets the South Wing), he'll know she's around if you just split them into separate rooms.
I was reminded of the tale of a former acquaintance of mine whose father was the Duke of XXXX (massively massive ancestral pile) and whose great grandfather kept his mistress in the South Wing and his wife in the North Wing.
But that's all a tale for another board and another night, eh?
It never occurred to me that it could be her as they came as a pair BUT it does fit as she was so standoffish when we got them that she wouldn't even be in the room with us but we were okay with that.
Over time she has become much more friendly and when he isn't around will happily come and sit on your lap for cuddles. If he realises that she is getting fuss he will come charging in and almost push her away - we joke that he's jealous but actually I'm thinking that it might actually not be a joke.
My husband and I have actually said she would be so much happier if he wasn't around . Can't believe that this could actually be the case and sadly our place isn't big enough to separate them properly. I may have a friend that may be able to take him to see if it makes a difference (only one though no-one else would let him anywhere near their houses!!).
Can't believe that we completely missed this (well hopefully she is the cause of his problems).
It's worth a try to see. I had this with Seniorboy and The Lodger and it was absolutely not curable I'm afraid. The Lodger was the most civilized and courteous cat in the world and he would have been fine - but Seniorboy simply wasn't prepared to share.
If you're thinking about sending him on holiday as a test, be sure that your friend is an organized and tolerant person. If he's given to spraying when upset, the move may cause it to carry on if he doesn't settle right away. Equally, if you decide to keep him with you and send her on holiday, be prepared for the spraying to go on for two or three days until such time as he's confident he's 'only cat'.
I would think it makes more sense to send her on the holiday and keep him at home . Hope it works .
I'd agree - if that's possible.
Let us know how you get on Hetfield.
Thanks everyone, should know by Thursday if my friend is able to take one of the cats - need to have family discussion about which one but I know that it makes sense for it to be her. My friend is very patient and calm and has grown up in family that foster dogs for the local home and knows both cats very well as she looks after them when we are away. I will come back and let you know what we do. Really appreciate all the advice and fingers crossed that we can get him sorted out.
Fingers crossed indeed.
My instinct is that sending her on holiday would be the better choice - she sounds more phlegmatic and capable of adjusting. Your first thought might be to send the boy away but I'd be taking into account that you might be having some negative feelings about him because of the continued spraying. He could be very different when by himself - just as she is.
(Even if you know the reason for it, it's difficult not to be irritated when a boy does it yet again and usually just when you're back from work and knackered or going out, putting the children to bed and so on. It's a PITA.)
Best of luck whatever you decide.
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