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Gay brother causing sibling to spray?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello all.

I haven't needed to post in a while, but now I REALLY need your help!!!!!

We have recently moved from Tennessee to Texas. After roughly two months of living in our new home -- brand new spec house; no previous owners -- our two-year-old golden Bengal boy has started urinating inappropriately in various places around the house.

He had never done this before and at first we figured it was because he was "marking" the new house or something. But now we are wondering... We noticed (again) last night our 2-1/2 year old male Egyptian Mau hunching, kneading, and biting on his Bengal brother. We have seen this happen a handful of times, but never thought too much about it. However, last night a light bulb went off...

The times we have seen this happen (and I'm sure it happens more times that we DON'T know about) it is quite clear that the Bengal boy does NOT like what is happening. And if I call the Mau's name out loud at this point, he gets a guilty look on his face -- like he knows he is doing something wrong?! When we have gently pulled the Mau off of the Bengal, the Mau quite clearly has (pardon me) a "woodie." If I take the Mau, then, and hold him snugly in my lap -- he will begin to purr strongly and quickly fall asleep!

Both boys were neutered quite early -- about four months old -- so we hadn't expected any continued sexual behavior.

OK, here's my thoughts on this and bear with me... years ago I worked as a rape crisis counselor. Perhaps I am simply transferring some of my training onto my kitties, but I can't help but see some similarities between sexually abused children and how our Bengal has been acting lately.

Is is quite common for sexually abused children to begin wetting their beds and reverting to other young child like behaviors. I'm wondering if our Bengal boy is not urinating in various places where perhaps he has been "attacked" as if to say, "This is MY space, you can't touch me here!"

Any thoughts out there? Suggestions on how to discourage this behavior from the Mau?

Simply trying to eliminate the urine and odors does not seem to be working very well. We have tried SEVERAL products on the market and have reverted to taping foil on the carpet alongside most every wall in the house! Not the most attractive decorations when guests come over!!!!!!

Please help!!!!!!!!!
post #2 of 10
I would think it is more of a dominence thing rather then sexual. Males do things like this to show dominence, that they are the alpha cat...

try some Feliway spray and plug ins and see if they help.
post #3 of 10
Have them checked by a vet to rule out UTI in the male. It might be a cause of an infection the smells like a female or something.

Its more dominate behavior IMO - not a sexual one. You might want to get some Bitter Apple spray (to stop them from chewing on things) and put just a little on the back of the neck of the Bengal where he cannot reach to lick. The Mau if he bite the neck would get the yucky taste and stop.
post #4 of 10
Agreed with above. Animals sometimes use dominance and mating rituals to mean the same thing. My female turtle will display turtle mating rituals to new objects in her tank. When a male does this to a female, it's usually mating behavior. But our female does the ritual to show dominance over new objects in her tank. After doing her little ritual, she usually starts attacking the object with biting and clawing since it doesn't back down

I suspect the same thing is happening with your cats. Your bengal is probably backing off, so no fighting ensues. The peeing could be related, just not in the way you're thinking. He might just be generally feeling threatened, so he urinates. I'd take him to the vet anyway to be sure.
post #5 of 10
Another vote for the vet! And let's hope it's something as simple and easy to handle as a mild UTI, and not a deepseated psychological issue.
post #6 of 10
Sounds like a stress related UTI. Poor guy is really getting the business from the Mau...is there anyway you can give him some "alone time"? He probably feels under constant attack as the Mau is trying to assert dominance.

I also would consider that someone may be guarding the litterbox. Do you have more than one in different parts of the house? The guarding can be a subtle as sitting near the doorway to the room with the box.
post #7 of 10
Annie's Bengals~~

You have received spot on replies. I can only reiterate:

A) Vet appts to rule out urinary tract infections

B) Try to give your Bengal a safe spot away from the Mau (even if this means specific bursts of separation). Even their feeding /water stations shouldn't be too close (at least for a while?) This will give your Bengal a chance to regroup and get more confidence and hopefully teach the Mau that he can't be bully whenever he wants. They may just need 'space'.

C) Additional litter boxes is optimum, even just for 2 cats. Issues like this tend to crop up and your Bengal may be intimidated when he is trying to go.

D) Again, this is definitely a dominance issue as opposed to sexual; the two are often interchangeable in the animal and insect world. Thinking of it as such helps your approach to solving the problem.

E) The Feliway sprays and diffusers greatly reduce or end most urine marking. The Feliway websites go into good detail about this and how to most effectively use the product. Here's one: http://www.biovets.com/feliway.htm

F) I used Simple Solution (specific to cat urine) from DrsFoster&Smith and it worked WONDERS at removing marking on a couch. Then I sprayed Feliway every day on the site and now all the cats just curl up and sleep there-no repeat marking. SS:http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...pc=1&N=0&Nty=1

G) Foiling seems so ridiculous, I know. I am using it now on sills that were marked. But you know, that is the name of the game in behavior modification. It can take the 'ridiculous' and lots of patience & consistancy. Eventually the idea is you can remove the foil ( I use Feliway in conjunction, and there has been zero repeat marking in 3 weeks).

In closing (heh), your situation is a smidge more complicated due to dominant/submissive behavior at work. But just stay positive!

Your cats must be gorgeous!
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for your speedy replies. Some points have been raised, though, that I want to clarify:

1) Because the Bengal seems to mark only alongside walls and never in the middle of a room, I am fairly confident it is not a UTI situation. (We've had a cat with kidney/bladder problem before and it was not like this!)

2) Someone suggested the possibility of a female cat spraying around outside our home. However, we live in a fairly new subdivision and are surrounded by mostly empty lots. We have lived here four months now and I am yet to see any cats in the neighborhood! Several dogs, who enjoy barking at each other late at night and whom I see being walked by their owners at various times. But no cats?!

Also, the media room -- which is not used for media, but rather as their bedroom at night -- is the most heavily marked room and is on the second story. I don't quite understand how a female kitty could spray outside and cause the Bengal to urinate upstairs. Please let me know if this can be the case.

3) Feliway: been there, done that. We bought almost $200 worth of Feliway diffusers, refills and spray bottles, which we used over the course of about two months and the Bengal continues to mark. Luckily, PetsMart did refund all my money!

4) I've also tried citrus scented air fresheners -- the plug in kind, spray kind and solid kind. Not to cover anything up, but I read somewhere that cats hate the smell of citrus so it might be used as a bit of a deterrent.

I appreciate everyone's help and concern and look forward to your responses.

Anne Marie
post #9 of 10
I dont' particularly think this has anything to do with outside critters. That is actually been *MY recent issue, though it can be a contributor to any anxieties. I do think it sounds like a dominance/Alpha cat situation.

I am assuming your boys are neutered (I should never assume that of course).

I would treat the marked room meticulously with whatever arsenal of anti marking supplies you prefer. Simple Solution for odor and deterrent, Feliway (even though you said it wasnt' helpful previously), and keep up the foil for behavior modification.

It sounds like that cat who is marking wants his own space. I am just guessing but like I suggested earlier, you may want to implement some boundaries, even if just for specific times a day. If one cat prefers the media room to sleep in, let them have that room at night (with litter box and water dish).

Maybe every time the Mau goes into that room, it sets off a threat to the Bengal. Are you sure it's just the bengal who is marking? Sometimes, in a multi cat household, one will begin marking resulting in another responding in kind so that it becomes a competition of sort.

In any case, I would give your guys their own space so they reestablish boundaries of 'self'. It may only take a short time but they sound like they need to 'regroup'.

One other option: Close off the media room entirely as you treat it. THe cats won't have that room to 'compete' over and might give them a 'fresh slate'. The risk comes in when you take away a 'haven' for one cat (this is assuming that one of your cats loves that room for sleeping).

I know it's frustrating One of these days our cats will just tell us what the problem is
post #10 of 10
If you're certain it's not a UTI, then it is a behavioral problem. Still sounds as though you have dominance issues here that are making one kitty very unhappy and insecure.
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