or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Multi cat household with multi problems
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Multi cat household with multi problems

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
(Sorry for the long post)
I have been looking around at some of the behavioral posts and I don't see any that address my issue(s). There are probably posts that address each issue I am having, but I didn't know if what I should do would change considering the other issues I'm having.

A little background:
We have 4 cats and we live in a heavy traffic area so all four cats stay inside (we do have a screened in porch so they do get to see the real world quite often). Petra is our oldest cat, she's about 11 years old. Cleo is about 5 or 6. We had both of them before we moved into our current house. They seemed to get along fine, no agression as a matter of fact it was common to see Petra grooming Cleo. (We think Cleo may be Petra's grand daughter if that means anything in cat world) After we were living here a year or so we rescued a kitten on our road that was in pretty bad shape. We kept her in the basement for a while until she got healthy enough to find her a home. But, of course by that time we had gotten atached to her and given her the name Connie so we brought her upstairs. After this Petra started pooping outside the cat box on the floor surounding the box. Petra and Cleo never have really taken to Connie but I've not noticed any agression towards her. There was the occasional spraying by Cleo as she was not fixed at this time. We had Connie fixed not too long after she was old enough to do so. Now, about a year ago we rescued another small kitten on the road while visiting my parents. We brought her in cleaned her up, named her Leela and took her to the vet several times to get her healthy. Up until about two months ago we had two "teams", Cleo and Petra go along and interacted fine and Connie and Leela would play and get along together. Then Leela went into heat and Petra attacked her and Connie soon followed. Now Connie and Leela can't be in the same room together with out Connie attacking Leela. Petra also attacks her but not as often. Leela will not leave the bedroom unless she follows one of us out in the morning. Cleo seems to care less about any of it. Connie has also started spraying.

So, to recap, my problems are:
1) How do we get Petra to start using the box again.
2) How can we mend the relationship between Leela and Connie/Petra.
3) How can we get Connie to stop spraying (I'm guessing if we fix #2 this will stop also)

After reading a few articles online this is what we are currently planning on doing. We are going to shut Connie up in the upstairs bathroom with a personal litter box and food/water vessel. We are going to shut Leela up in the downstairs office with the same items and we are going to leave them in there 24hrs a day for several days/weeks. This way Connie has her territory, Leela will be safe and maybe since Connie and Leela won't be using any of the "Public" cat boxes Petra will start doing #2 inside the box again.
Whattya think? Should that work? I hate to lock them up, I'm affraid they'll think we are punishing them but I don't know what else to do.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to make sure I gave every detail. We are very stressed about this and we really don't want to have to get rid of any of them.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

post #2 of 7
Hi, you didn't say if any or all were spayed, and that can make a big difference to their attitudes (if you're lucky :-), but they should be done. There should be as many boxes as there are cats, if not more. And shutting a cat in a bathroom is not going to help anything, maybe make her even wilder. The baby(s) though should have safe places for when you're not around, and attention should be given to all of them at separate times in the main part of the house. Get some Feliway if you can, because I think it could help in the situation, and aside from protecting the younger cats, the only thing you may be able to do is wait - weeks or months, because that's what can make a difference.
post #3 of 7
Hi Matt! Welcome to The Cat Site

I hope we can help with your kitty issues

First, if I am understanding this correctly, neither Cleo or Leela are fixed? If not they need to get done ASAP, the other fixed gilrs are probably reacting to the non-fixed girls' scents and that is why they are spraying/being aggressive. I would clean all pee spots with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle to get the smell out, because cats will remark a spot continuously. Larke's suggestion of Feliway is a good one too, it is a plug-in diffuser that emits kitty phermones that is supposed to be very calming, many members have used it with great success.

Now for Petra's litter box problems- since she is what is considered a senior kitty, have you taken her to the vet to rule out any health problems? Kitties can't tell us when they're sick so sometimes they act out as a way to communicate, unfortunately. I also echo the idea to get a few more litterboxes, Petra may not like to share litterboxes with that many kitties, I have a kitty like that. the rule of thumb is one percat plus one, so since you have 4, you should ideally have 5 litterboxes. maybe even try a couple new kinds of litter, sometimes kitties wil ldecide out of the blue that they don't like the litter they've been using for 10 years.

I really wouldn't advise the locking up thing, at least for 24 hrs a day, maybe just when you aren't home and can't supervise. I really think spaying the unaltered girls will help a lot as well as cleaning the pee spots up really well.

Please keep us updated!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok, well I wish I had waited for your response before acting. We closed Leela up in the bathroom and Connie in the office last night and we barely slept a wink, and the bathroom carpet is now ruined. Leela is the only cat that is not fixed. We just had Cleo fixed a few weeks ago. Petra has been checked out and other than being over weight she is healthy for an 11 year old cat.
I got the idea of shutting them up in different room from this site.

The thing about shutting them up while we are away is tricky. We have 4 cats that pretty much have run of the place for about 16 to 20 hours a day. We are at work 8hrs and then when we sleep 8hrs. It's hard to change their behavior.

We have tried the multi cat box thing. I think Petra doesn't want to use a box that has been used by the other cats at all. And the other cats will use whatever box they are closest to. If it was Leela I would make a cover with a small opening that only she could get into, but Petra is the largest cat we have.
post #5 of 7
Ack! sorry bout the sleepless night and the carpet

How many boxes do you have right now? if you already have the recommended amount, the only other thing I can suggest is to scoop 2 maybe even 3 times a day, like in the morning, when you get home from work and then again before you go to bed. I would definitely suggest getting Leela spayed ASAP and like Larke and I suggested, get some Feliway, you can find it at most big box pet stores, it can be a bit expensive, but might just do that trick
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I think we currently have four, so we are one short of the +1 rule that was mentioned. Do you think the agression towards Leela is because she has not been spayed? I was (for some reason) under the impression that you would only get agression between two cats that had not been fixed.

And I think we will be getting some Feliway ASAP as well.
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by Matt B View Post
I think we currently have four, so we are one short of the +1 rule that was mentioned. Do you think the agression towards Leela is because she has not been spayed? I was (for some reason) under the impression that you would only get agression between two cats that had not been fixed.

And I think we will be getting some Feliway ASAP as well.
I wouldn't rule anything out when it comes to cats I am going to guess that Leela is getting picked on because she isn't fixed, though, cats are so scent driven, even the littlest whiff of something they don't like can really set them off Good luck with the Feliway, I really hope that it works it's magic for you and your crew
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Multi cat household with multi problems