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Please help... last resort.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've had Spaaz since he was about 8 weeks old. He's now 8 years old. As for breed, he's just a run-of-the-mill big gray tabby. He was neutered at 12 weeks.

Ever since he hit "puberty", he's been a bit of a problem cat. He began spraying to such a degree that he no longer peed in the litter box at all, and relieved all his urine on my walls and carpet. I tried all the usual diciplinary actions, including the firm "NO", the spray bottle, the whole nine yards. He also spent a year going to and from the vet office, trying every medication on the market to try and help this behavior, from hormones, anti-anxiety drugs, you name it. Finally, the vet explained to me that a small percentage of cats simply cannot be indoor cats.

So, this summer, I slowly weaned him to the outside. For chilly nights, I set him up a heated cat house out on the back porch. At first, he would yowl and yowl at our window all night long, but slowly, he got used to it. The whole process of weaning took about two months. I could deal with it, since I worked in the afternoons, and school wasn't in. I would feed him at night as he would go outside, to associate the outdoors with good emotions. There is little risk from cars, because our apartment complex is cut off from all major roads by a running creek. For the longest time, we've been keeping him in when we're home and awake, and he would ask to go out to use the bathroom.

A couple weeks ago, it got cold enough that I didn't trust my heated kitty house for outdoors, possible snow storm. So, we kept him in overnight. Ever since, he's back to his old habits of yowling outside our bedroom window in the middle of the night, all night long. Now, I work a professional job early in the morning. I'm a full-time student. I'm no longer in a position where I can work my sleep schedule around Spaaz's habits. My job and my classes are really starting to suffer. This whole situation is starting to put undue stress on my marriage, as well.

I think that part of the problem may be that I've become cat mom to the whole neighborhood. Word has gotten around that food magically appears on our porch, so I'm constantly trying to chase away four or five other cats from my porch with a spray bottle. One of them decided she liked Spaaz's cat house, and bullies him away from it. But, if I don't feed him as he goes outside, the yowling starts as soon as I crawl into bed, instead of at 3am.

Personality wise, Spaaz is a dear. His nickname is the "Gentle Giant", because I really don't think he's capable of ever making an aggressive move against anyone. He's affectionate, and his favorite place in the world is to be curled up in my lap at the computer or television. I love this cat. He's my fuzzy buddy. He also gets along really well with my other cat, Monkey, a brown tabby female (fixed). They often-times sleep in a "pile of kitties", play together, lick each other, and generally snuggle. He's also been there for me through the hardest parts of my life, and the idea of losing him breaks my heart. I also fear for the well-being of Monkey if I get rid of Spaaz. But, he's ruining my life.

Last time things were this bad with him, I looked for a new home for him. But, I had NO luck. No one wants a cat that won't use the litter box, and yowls all night long. As a last resort, I've been considering taking him to a local no-kill shelter, but I question the amount of affection he'll receive, and his quality of life. I simply do not know what else to do.

So, I'm coming here to see if any of you have any ideas/suggestions I might try as a last effort before I say goodbye to my beloved Spaaz. Please help if you're able.

post #2 of 20
I totally understand your pain because I remember myself when my cat peed on every piece of furniture I had including my bed while I was asleep in it.

However, later on, after moments of total desperation, I figured that she was just unhappy about bunch of things. I tried to work hard to eliminate them and keep her happy as much as I can. I succeeded in the end and so far we had no accidents for a while.

I can tell for sure that cats are pretty clear on the fact that them peeing on stuff makes people *really* upset.

Spaaz does sound as a nice calm cat. However, does he ever get frantic and nervous? I mean besides those shifts to going outside or in. Did he ever spray on anything right when you were looking at him? What was he doing right before that if yes?

Before we conclude that he is just mentally not able to grasp the idea of the littler box we need to exclude that he doesn’t get upset by something. I think if he really liked to spray around on stuff he wouldn’t ask to let him outside from those times you described…

You probably went though that already but just in case… Have you tried a different kind of litter box as covered vs. open, different size, location? Have you tried some other kind of litter? Maybe putting second litter box somewhere because at times they like to know that there is more than *that one* place?

There is also lots of useful information in the topic "Inappropriate Peeing Problems Answered"

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9563
post #3 of 20
umm thats a tough one ! I think its a matter of eliminating things to identify what the actual problem (s) are.
The 1st thing I thing might need looking at.........
I am right to say the food you put out is only for your cat ? and other cats come for a free lunch This might also be stressing him out and you have said he gets bullied. Could you start to feed him indoors - get him in to feed, then let him out straight away. Hopefully in time the other cats will soon know there is no food. I know its will take time to establish this new routine but I really do think you will have to go through one thing at a time - as already mentioned by 'twocatperson'

Good luck and keep us posted
post #4 of 20
Now this may sound a bit odd, as you say he's been neutered - but all that behaviour sounds like that of an entire mature tomcat.

I almost want to suggest that you have a vet double check that he doesn't still have his 'bits and pieces' - mixups do happen, I know I have read several threads on this site where cats that people thought had been neutered or spayed actually hadn't (in some cases only finding out due to kittens on the way!) From the way you describe the behaviour it does sound like he has become an active tom. Very puzzling
post #5 of 20
I don't see anything 'active' there - he's yowling to come in, not go out and mate. But I wonder if now that he's been out so long, if you were to give him an entirely new box with Cat Attract litter in it, whether he couldn't have a second chance. Twelve is old to be banished like that. I would also get some Nature's Miracle, use it ALL over the house - every place you can think of that he's gone on, and get rid of all those associations (it's the best enzymatic cleaner and left over odors that only cats can smell really do go away) so there are no reminders. In fact, put the box in a new place too, but with some privacy .. and only a very thin layer (if that) of litter inside as some male cats just like a plain surface to go on. It may mean having to remove that waste daily, but then you could also VERY slowly try to build up the layer at least to where it can absorb some of the mess. Don't send him to a shelter!
post #6 of 20
I hate to say it.... but unless you can find help to trap and spay/neuter those cats, your cat problem is just going to continue to multiply.

I don't know where you're located. If in the US, you can try http://www.pets911.com to search for rescue groups that may be able to help. You can also contact the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets network: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehom...ts/thenetwork/
And you can search here: http://www.savesamoa.org/html/rescue.html

You can also consider contacting local vets or shelters to see if you can borrow a trap to do it yourself. But if finances are an issue (which they usually are for students!), you can search for low-cost or free spay/neuter services by clicking on the picture in my signature line.

The spray bottle won't work. The only thing that will work is not providing food. Which means there is a problem for Spaaz.

I have to agree - it does not sound like your kitty was properly neutered!

Also, if you used conventional cleaners to clean up his spraying, that wouldn't work. The only thing that will work is an enzyme cleaner. Nature's Miracle, available at most pet stores and supermarkets, is a very standard example of this type of cleaner. We, however, had great success with this product: http://www.nokout.com

The problem is that you have to soak through the wall and down into the floor boards for the smell to be gone from kitty's perspective.

You may want to take a look at this thread: Inappropriate Peeing Problems Answered for other ideas you may not yet have tried.



Laurie
post #7 of 20
I would seek out the most experienced vet you can find, maybe a cat specialist, and get a second opinion on Spazz's medical situation, just to be sure you really have exhausted all the possibilities. I've seen so much variation from one vet to another that I don't take anyone's word as gospel anymore!

The only thing I can think of that hasn't been mentioned is the possibility of an enclosure of some kind inside your house -- a very large and comfortable cage that Spazz could stay in most of the time, and in which the other cats could join him when they want. It would have to be located in a place where he could enjoy the company of the family even when he's caged.

No telling whether Spazz could adapt to living in such an enclosure... but if he came to understand that the only alternative is living outdoors, maybe he could accept it.

Bless his heart! And yours. I surely hope you find a good solution...
post #8 of 20
I know this is going to sound crazy, but I echo the other post that said it sounds like a mature tom.

I think so too. Is there any possibility that some "male" tissue may have been left inside of him? I realize this sounds kind of bizarre, but if the neutering was incomplete then there would still be some tissue there perhaps to cause a hormonal reaction.

I have had more male cats than you can shake a stick at, and after they were neutered at whatever age....NONE of them EVER sprayed again.

Could you talk to your vet and explore this?
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
When it comes to the other cats, unfortunately, there's not much I can really do with them. I live in a two bedroom apartment of a rather large complex, and the other cats are the pets of other residents. Unfortunately, due to the living situations, I can't really build him an indoors inclosure, either.

I've always thought it was weird that he's always acted so Tom-catish. when he was starting to develop, his "dangly bits" were extremely obvious, being that he was pretty light gray, and that was the only patch of solid black fur on his whole body. It earned him a few interesting nicknames. I always thought that if he wasn't completely neutered, we'd still see something down there, but I think I'm going to give the community's suggestion, and see if there may be something left.

But, I do have some questions about it. I always thought that neutering was a simple removal of the testes... is there something more to it than that? How precisely would an "incomplete neutering" happen? Also - What's the procedure for finding out if he's not neutered all the way? Is it an exploratory surgery, some sort of hormone test, or some sort of X-Ray/Ultrasound type test? What can I expect?
post #10 of 20
It is quite possible he wasn't neutered at all.

You said " when he was starting to develop, his "dangly bits" were extremely obvious, being that he was pretty light gray, "

when did he start to develop his 'dangly bits?at what age?

You said he was neutered at 12 weeks? alot of vets won't do it at that age because it
can cause problems in later life with blockages.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
He did have some problems for a while with blockage, actually. Poor fella spent a week at the vet's cathiterized after being brought in for a UTI... same vets that neutered him, actually.

We got him at about 8 weeks, and by twelve, they were starting to get pretty obvious. Also, keep in mind that the twelve week mark is more of a guess at this point, because it was so long back. He could've been up to 16 weeks old, but certainly under four months.
post #12 of 20
I would take him back to the vets and have him checked out.

It's quite possible that the vet knowing he already had a blockage in the past might
have delayed his neuter.

Does he still have any obvious bits?

This is how a mix up can happen-you take cat in for neuter-leave him in basket at vets-notes are put on his basket.
He goes in to see the vet-vet looks at history-decides against neuter at the time.
Transfers pet back to basket asks nurse to put note on basket.
Wrong notes put on basket.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, his bad UTI was a couple weeks after the neutering. He's got no physical signs of still having any bits left.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalisca View Post
Well, his bad UTI was a couple weeks after the neutering. He's got no physical signs of still having any bits left.
Well - it sounds like it's a long shot, but the behavior is just so that of a cat that wasn't (properly) neutered. If you're still using the same vet, I'd just take him to another to make sure there's nothing internal creating those male hormones. It's certainly worth the visit, regardless of the answer. It may BE the answer - and he can come back inside after you've soaked the walls, floors and carpet (and whatever else) with a proper enzyme cleaner. There are further suggestions from there - if he's coming back inside.

If not, we'll have to figure out something from there.

I read somewhere on here recently about a cat collar with a magnet that opens a door. Maybe there's a way to build him an enclosure outside that only he then opens? His bed, food and water could be just for him that way?


Laurie
post #15 of 20
In that case he had a blockage after the early neuter,Thats what can happen with early neuters.....another blockage would cause behaviour where he wouldn't want to use his litter box.

I would take him back to the vet.There are tests they can do to find out.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
The door-opening collar would be really awesome. I would build him the coolest kitty hut ever!
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I think I'm going to see if I can make him an appointment for spring break, maybe at my Mom's vet instead of my usual vet. Spaaz hasn't seen his neuter doctor since after his UTI - moved shortly there after.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKiya View Post
I know this is going to sound crazy, but I echo the other post that said it sounds like a mature tom.

I think so too. Is there any possibility that some "male" tissue may have been left inside of him? I realize this sounds kind of bizarre, but if the neutering was incomplete then there would still be some tissue there perhaps to cause a hormonal reaction.

I have had more male cats than you can shake a stick at, and after they were neutered at whatever age....NONE of them EVER sprayed again.

Could you talk to your vet and explore this?
Some neutered male cats (like Jamie) do continue to spray. Our last cat was neutered at a very late age (eight) and continued his marking behavior. Jamie was neutered at 6 months, and started marking about 5 years ago, around the age of three. When I asked about it on other cat forums, I was surprised at the number of people who had neutered cats who marked.

Cat flaps/doors with "keys" are available from this company: http://www.safepets.com/staywell.html
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Some neutered male cats (like Jamie) do continue to spray. Our last cat was neutered at a very late age (eight) and continued his marking behavior. Jamie was neutered at 6 months, and started marking about 5 years ago, around the age of three. When I asked about it on other cat forums, I was surprised at the number of people who had neutered cats who marked.

Cat flaps/doors with "keys" are available from this company: http://www.safepets.com/staywell.html
I'll have to keep that in mind... But, it's not really a feasible option in apartment living.

My friend was telling me something last night about a sort of diffuser that you plug into the wall, like an air freshener, and it's supposed to do something to keep cats from spraying, not sure what. Anyone ever heard of this?
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalisca View Post
I'll have to keep that in mind... But, it's not really a feasible option in apartment living.

My friend was telling me something last night about a sort of diffuser that you plug into the wall, like an air freshener, and it's supposed to do something to keep cats from spraying, not sure what. Anyone ever heard of this?
That would be the Feliway diffuser, and is definitely worth trying. http://www.parkvets.com/microsite/flutdfeliway.html
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