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multiple cat problems...pooing, fighting, scratching

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
i have 3 cats a 12 year old girl ziggy, her son taz age 10 and another boy huey age 6. all cats are neutered, although the girl was originally a breeding queen until she was 7 and the young boy was a stud but never quite got the hang of it so was neutered at age 3. The girl and the stud never got on she would hiss at him whenever she saw him, if he answered back taz and boo (littermate of taz who passed last year) would see him off.

we moved at the start of the year and hope with a new environment the 3 remaining would all settle together, but no joy. ziggy still hissed as huey, taz either ignored them or broke it up, but gots on fine with both cats.
Things have got much worse since the summer.

Ziggy had a tumour removed from her right armpit, the vet believes from the type/size/behavior of the tumour the cancer has entered her lymph system and will return, being fatal in 6-24 months. Whilst recoving from her surgery she spent 3 weeks isolated from the others.

I now have huey fighting with ziggy, stalking and chasing her both in the house and garden.

ziggy has taken to messing in the most inaccessable parts of the house (behind the tv or sofa, under dinning chairs).

Huey has taken to clawing the top and bottom step and will not use the scratch posts though uses plenty of trees and stakes in the garden.

In the last couple of weeks Taz has also had a couple of pops at Ziggy (this has never happened before) so now she hisses at him too.

Ziggy has taken to sitting on my sons bed staring at the radiator nearly all day and has stopped cleaning herself properly (looking a bit grubby and oily down her back).

I am at my wits end trying to settle them all down. My husband is also losing patience, especially as we have just recarpeted. He is suggesting converting the shed putting in a catflap and banning them all. I do not think this will work if they cannot share a house, why would they share a shed. someone will sit all day in they cold. I have thought of rehoming one but which one, evan if i picked the kids would hate me. Maybe Taz recent dislikes means something more sinister is going on, can he smell a change a can't yet see?, does this mean the one way trip?
post #2 of 10
Oh honey, the first thing you need to do is take a deeeeeeep breath.

There, now. Isn't that better? You and your kitties have been through a lot together, huh?

Ok, let's try something real easy. Get some vanilla extract (the real stuff) and put just a tiny bit under each one's chin and on the base of the tail on the back.

That makes everyone smell the same and hopefully get people settled down so that we can handle the other things.

Let me know if it works. There will be others along to help also. Hang in there, all is not lost.

PS: Sorry, no manners at all. Welcome to TheCatSite!!!!
post #3 of 10
You'll also have to be careful to not allow the boys to give Ziggy a hard time in future - she may not feel well at all though it may not be obvious to you, plus she could have metastases to her brain (it's common) and that may account for some of her behaviour, which she can't help and you're not going to change at this point.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just thought i would give you an update. Have not used the vanilla yet but intend to give them all a good brush tommorrow and will do it them.

Taz and Ziggy have been ok today evan sleeping on the same bed.

Ziggy has messed on the carpet 3 times today. I have tried hoovering the carpet with a lemon scented carpet freshener but this has not had any effect.

Huey has spent most of the day outside eyeing up the squirrels in the tree. He did come in at luchtime and went to scratch the bottom step. I told him no, moved him to the scratch post, showed him how to scratch and made a fuss of him there (as i have done many times). Today i evan tried grabbing Taz who was nearby and put him on the post, Taz was more than happy to have a good scratch and getting a fuss for doing it was a bonus. Huey still showed no signs of wanting to scratch it. He is however happy to rub himself against in, climb it, sit on it.

I have not had to break up any fights today, However i do not think Huey has bumped in to Ziggy yet as she has been upstairs (apart from coming downstairs to mess) and he has been in the garden.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
as a footnote i was going to include a piccy of the terrible trio but could not work out how to attach them. If someone could give me a pinter i will include them with the next post
post #6 of 10
Is the cat that's messing not in the litterbox the one that's being picked on? It's possible he/she doesn't feel safe using the litterbox and that's why they're going in other places? How many litterboxes do you have for them?

As far as the pictures, if you post your picture on a public photo site like photobucket or shutterfly, you can right click on the photo, go to properties and then C&P the location listed there into the text box that pops up with you click on the photo button (little picture of a mountain and sun I guess, when my mouse scrolls over it, it reads "Insert Image"). That should help.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes Ziggy is the cat being picked on and the cat messing.

My theory is that whilst she was recouperating Huey took a step up the ladder and now she is back he is not going to give it up. However i think Ziggy still believe she is entitled to the position as she was the first of the three (four if u count boo) and was matriac.

Taz is happy to stay out of it. I believe he is boss cat (oldest male) so will not tolerate her hissing too much (hence his odd spat with ziggy), but is happy enough to sit with her when she does not. He is also happy to sit back and let her go first at food/water bowls, after all, we all have to be nice to mum. She normally only gets hissy with Taz if Huey has been giving her a hard time (sometimes i can break Huey & Ziggy up a dozen times a day)

I think Huey's scratching is possibly him trying to mark a territory in the house to prove he deserves the position. I am not sure if his spats with Taz are, Taz putting him in his place or Huey is trying to usurp the crown.

as for litter trays they all shared a tray at out old house. At the new house they all decided to go outside and stoppped using a tray, so i eventually took it away. When she was recouperating Ziggy had a tray until she went out, then stopped using it again. so again i took it away.

I have tried putting a tray in the front room which is where she most frequently messes, but she still does not want to use it. coincdently this was the room i confined her to when she was ill. I have wondered ether she is pooping to scent mark and claim that room a space for her.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
here are the piccies, hope they come out ok.


and Huey
post #9 of 10
What I think the problem might be is this. You have one cat who is sick, cancer and what not. Not only did the trips to the vet cause her scent to change, but the cancer makes her smell different to. Scent is very important to cats. This could be why your other cats are not being too nice to her.

Also, all this change and vet trips and cancer and attacks from her former friends is probably stressing her out. Stress causes UTIs..another possbility to consider. I would definately add a couple litterboxes throughout the house. At least one per cat at first. Because even if it is only intended for one, the rest may use it too just because it is there or for dominence purposes. Plus, being older and sick, maybe she wants to just stay inside and lounge around. But she HAS to go out to go to the bathroom and sometimes just doesn't feel like it. If she tends to stay in a particular spot often, put a box near there.

I could be off on some things, or everything, but maybe what I said brought up some possibilities you haven't thought of yet.
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by lou cipher View Post
Ziggy has messed on the carpet 3 times today. I have tried hoovering the carpet with a lemon scented carpet freshener but this has not had any effect.
If you can, get yourself some Nature's Miracle. It works amazingly well in removing both stain and odor, so the cat won't use again on that spot. If you don't have access to Nature's Miracle get a product that is specifically designed to take away the odor and stain.

The reaon that when you hoovered the carpet and nothing happened, is because when they pee on the carpet, the pee soaks through all the way to the bottom of the caret and through to the padding underneath (which is why the ordor is soooo hard to get rid of). But once you get the Nature's Miracle it will help tremendously. Just make sure to thoroughly soak the stain.

As others have recommended get a couple of litter boxes. Make sure to show her where they are so she knows. Also make sure she can climb in and out of them easily. You may have to use some "Cat Attract" in the litter box to encourage her to use it.

You have probably already done this, but have you had her checked by your vet?

Also, you might want to consider turnning one of your bathrooms or a small room, hopefully one with a window, as a room which she can use as her "safe zone" when she wants to retreat from the other two. Put her favorite blanket and some toys there, along with a litter box, and her food and water.

If you can, watch them carefully to see who is starting the fighting. When it gets too intense, step in and say tho them something like "now, now that's enough you guys". Avoid physically interfering because you could get scratched or bit. Also you don't want to show favoritism, but at the same time Ziggy needs to know that you are there to protect her. And if this is a situation where she is being challenged for the "alpha" position, you don't want to interfere with that. That is something they will have to work out between themselves, but I think that if she has her own safe zone, it should help.

Hope this helps.
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