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Things are getting worse :(

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Okay. I'm still doing everything that is recommended in making these cats get along. My 3 cats are taking to the new house so well. The problem now lies with the old cat. She's peed in 3 different spots in the house. Yesterday she peed on her cat bed that I put in the bedroom with her when I let my 3 out in the house for a few hours. Just a little bit ago she peed on the bathroom rug.. I have to put her in the bathroom while i round up the girls to get them out of the bedroom. And I just found a place about a foot away from her litterbox out in the computer room. Any advice on how I can stop this? It's been a week and it's stressing us both out!

earlier post... http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=118076
post #2 of 13
I think maybe she just has to get used to all the new stuff that is going on, just be patient with her.

I am sending hugs and prayers from Mississippi that things get better.



Please continue to keep us updated on her and how she is doing.
post #3 of 13
I would suggest a quick stop in at the vet with a urine sample from the old kitty who is peeing inappropriately. Stress in cats has been linked to causing a urinary tract upset. She just might need a little course of antibiotics to clear that up.
post #4 of 13
I'm glad to hear that your 3 are doing well! 3 out of 4 is pretty great success so far.

The resident cat is probably worried that she will be interrupted for using the litter box. Does she have her own in a safe place? If so, you might want to take her to the vet just to be sure it's not medical, and then you can start treating it as a behavioural issue.
post #5 of 13
I also suggest the vet. The stress of moving to a new place may have caused a urinary tract infection that can only be treated with medication. Peeing in the wrong places may be her only way to tell you she doesn't feel well.

If the vet rules that out, then maybe you can try something like a Feliway diffuser to make her feel more comfortable? As she's older, maybe the move is just more stressful to her in general - you could try doing what has been suggested with new kittens and put her in a single room, with food/water/litterbox until she calms down in that room, then slowly give her more and more access to the rest of the house as she becomes comfortable in each room. Best of luck, I know this is a frustrating problem.
post #6 of 13
I'm so glad you found TCS, and I hope we can help. We moved into a new home and had problems with Spooky - and they weren't medical. But I do know the stress you're talking about!

1) I realize the resident cat is not in a new home, but as Gaye pointed out, the stress of having three new "companions" she (right now) doesn't want could have caused a UTI. So it's best to at least eliminate that as the reason first. Peeing outside the box is not always due to medical problems, but when they have a UTI, they almost always pee outside the box. So it is best to rule that out (or in) first.

2) If it is not a medical problem, she is stressed, and that's why she's doing this. However, if even she begins to de-stress, the scent of where she peed before will encourage her to pee in those same places. The scent of where she peed outside of the box MUST be cleaned in such a way that she can no longer smell it - and their noses are far more sensitive than ours. If you haven't already, get an enzyme cleaner. This is the ONLY thing that will work. They sell stuff like Nature's Miracle in most pet stores and supermarkets. It works, but we found that we had to treat areas several times. This product always worked the first time around for us: http://www.nokout.com. Blot up the pee. Then you completely soak where she peed - and I mean completely. If on carpet, it's got to get down to the floor boards. Let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes, then soak up excess wetness. Then just let it dry - and depending upon the area, it may take up to a few days. We always put aluminum foil over it (just placed it over it) while it dries. If it's on something washable, you can add the nok-out (I don't know about Nature's Miracle) to your wash like you would a fabric softener, and that works.

3) Try the feliway diffusers. It can be expensive, but they often help. You can also consider also using Flower Essences - a Rescue Remedy or Multi-cat Harmony remedy may help as well: http://www.catfaeries.com

4) A lot of cats that don't have a peeing-outside-the-box problem sometimes pee on bathroom rugs. There's something about the backing on them that often smells like ammonia, which to cats means is a place to pee. We got rid of the bathroom rug that had a backing and use just a cloth one, and that worked just fine.

5) Add extra litterboxes and keep them REALLY clean. The rule of thumb is that you should have one more litter box than cats, and you should have litter boxes available on each floor the home has. She may not want to pee in a box if one of the other kitties already used it. So keeping the really clean and having lots of boxes can help relieve the problem. If you already have four boxes out, consider adding another one or two. I know it's a lot of work - but the extra work can be worth the relief of not having a cat pee outside the box.

6) Your boyfriend (and you) should be giving her lots of extra love, attention and reassurance (I'm sure you already are). Positive reinforcement can really help. Any time you see her use a box, praise her to high heaven and even give her treats. Try to avoid getting upset with her, as she doesn't understand that what she's doing is wrong, and yelling at her when she's peeing outside the box can make the situation worse. A sound, firm "No" won't hurt, but leave it at that.

7) You may have to confine her to a small room for litterbox retraining. She should have food, water, and a litter box. Make sure you spend time in there with her, reading, or whatever. It doesn't only have to include interacting with her while you're in there. When she's successfully peeing only in the box, let her out for a few hours at a time, and keep increasing the amount of time she's allowed out.

8) If she totally stresses at being confined to a room, talk to your vet.

The last resort: A lot of people do not like to medicate their cats. We not only moved to a new home, but we adopted a troubled teenage daughter. We did all of the above, and ended up having to confine Spooky to one room for litterbox retraining. She started obsessively licking. That day. By the next day, she had some large scabby bare patches. It was just too much. We talked to the vet, and decided to put Spooky on Elavil. It is an antidepressant - but it also causes the cat to retain urine, so she doesn't want to pee frequently. From day one on Elavil, we had no more peeing outside the box problems. She would take one really large pee every day, and it was always in a box (that we still kept really clean). We kept her on Elavil for about 3 months, then slowly weaned her off of it, and everything's been fine since.

Thank you for wanting to do the right thing for all the kitties and working through the problem

Laurie
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info. I've had a Feliway diffuser in the house for quite a few days now. Plus, I've been using the spray. I've been using Natures Miracle on all the pee spots as soon as they happen. She's just so stubborn! She peed on my boyfriend's pillow last night! Plus, the past few days she's been climbing the screen when it's the girls time to explore the house. I'll keep plugging away at it. I'm determined to get this cat to except them! Lol, my poor kitties are so ready to break out of that room. They keep trying to dart out of it when I enter the room. Poor dears. If I let them out I know it's going to result in a nasty chase.
post #8 of 13
Hi carriedee -- I don't have any advice (in fact, I will be going through a similar introduction with my kitties fairly shortly, so I'm learning a lot from your thread). I just wanted to commend you for your patience and positive attitude!
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriedee View Post
Thanks for all the info. I've had a Feliway diffuser in the house for quite a few days now. Plus, I've been using the spray. I've been using Natures Miracle on all the pee spots as soon as they happen. She's just so stubborn! She peed on my boyfriend's pillow last night! Plus, the past few days she's been climbing the screen when it's the girls time to explore the house. I'll keep plugging away at it. I'm determined to get this cat to except them! Lol, my poor kitties are so ready to break out of that room. They keep trying to dart out of it when I enter the room. Poor dears. If I let them out I know it's going to result in a nasty chase.


Peeing on the pillow is definitely a sign of stress. Her scent mixes with his, and it helps calm her down.

I'd still head to the vet to make sure there isn't a UTI that's developed because of the stress.

In the meantime, you can also try the "scent switching" trick. I know you've done it with socks &etc., but this one is where you rub each of the new kitties with a cloth, and put treats out on them for the older resident kitty. You can also rub the older kitty with three cloths and put treats out on them for the new kitties. Do this at least once a day, every day at the same time (wouldn't hurt to do it mornings and evenings). It helps by "teaching" the kitties to associate good things with each others' smells.

Hang in there! And you may want to give the nok-out a try instead of the Nature's Miracle.

Laurie
post #10 of 13
I wonder if it would be easier for her to be introduced to one of your girls at a time? So instead of letting all 3 out for a visit, just let out the most patient and gentle one. I'll bet it's very overwhelming to suddently have 3 new roomates and she can feel more at ease when she's not outnumbered (even though your 3 cats sound very kind, it can be scary to be the odd one out!)

Keep smiling and be patient! I agree that positive reinforcement is SO necessary. You are doing great so far! Hang in there.
post #11 of 13
You are being so very patient and keep it up. Everyone here has given you wonderful advice. I was just checking in on you and I am sending prayers and vibes from my household to yours that the situation gets better soon and everyone returns to normal.


(as a slight degradation: HYACINTHBUCKET as a username is HILARIOUS to me. I watched that show and love it )
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey all. Thanks again for all the positive feedback. I plan on taking the old cat to the vet to have her checked out as soon as I get paid... I know she's going to cost quite a bit of money. I don't think she's been to a vet in years. In the mean time, I was thinking about introducing one cat at a time. I read somewhere to introduce using a cat carrier. What do you guys think of this? I kind of thought it seemed a little forceful and mean to the new cat. They can't hide anywhere. They're forced to be face to face with the new cat. Should I try this method one cat at a time? The resident cat still has no interest in peeking in on my cats; still avoidant.
post #13 of 13
Someone who has tried the carrier method may be able to speak specifically about giving it a try, but it sounds conterproductive to me.

If the resident cat hasn't been to a vet in years, I'd be hesitant to have her mingling with the other cats anyway! Hope you can get her there soon and that she has a clean bill of health.
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