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A long post about Tux and his pee-hole

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay, I anticipate this being long, but I'll try to sum up as best I can.

Tuxedo came to us as a stray about 5 years ago. He was already neutered and super friendly with people, dogs and cats. Obviously someone's pet they kicked out. We could never understand why. He was and is a truly fabulous cat.

Not long after we got him, he blocked and we had to take him to the E-vet. My vet unblocked him, and said that his pee-hole was just full of scar tissue and it had been difficult to put a catheter in. He thought this was not his first unblocking, so we figure someone got sick of spending money on him and booted him outside. Tux stayed at the vet for a week. He did not do very well, one day he would pee on his own, the next they would catheter, then have to squeeze his bladder, he would sometimes eat, othertimes not, etc, etc. Finally my vet called and said to come get him, that he was not getting better and maybe he would feel better at home.

Tux was very happy to be home, and was instantly back to his old self. Except that he had bladder atony (sp?) and would leak while he was sleeping. Thankfully that went away after a few weeks.

He has had no blocking or crystal issues since.

The last two years he has started to pee around the house. I am unsure whether he is peeing or marking, as he stopped squatting to pee after he was sick. He stands and just lets it fire out the back now. But he does the back-twitch, tail-jiggle when he pees outside of the box.

It has gotten very very bad the last year, to the point that he is now confined to a large dog crate 24/7. He uses his litterbox fine in his crate, let him out and he walks around the house peeing on things. My camerabag, shoerack, stove, fridge, cabinets, dog beds, etc etc. The list is endless, and it's not the same things over and over. It seems to be random. I have had him pee on my kitchen counter, the top of my stove, and on food. That's right, on food we were planning to eat. It is very disgusting and very frustrating.

I have tried everything I can think of, and if I can't come up with anything else, I fear he may have to be euthanized. Don't flame me, this is not something we consider lightly. We just feel we are out of options with him.

We have tried changing litters, have used every litter on the market. Dr. Elsey's worked the best, but even that wasn't enough to keep him in the box. I have changed boxes, location of boxes, number of boxes, styles of boxes, cleaning of boxes, even his own personal box in another room. We have had him to the vet for urinary and blood workups, all came back perfectly normal. All of our cats are fixed, so there are no females going in and out of heat, for example.

I have cleaned my house with Nature's Miracle from top to bottom, it makes no difference, he pees everywhere. Oh yeah, and he poops in front of my toilet all the time, too.

He's not stressed, he doesn't care about other cats or the dogs. He's a very very mellow guy. I have spoken to vets and ospca's about rehoming him (incase it was the other cats or dogs that were the problem), but to no avail. He has a medical condition and is over 4, so the ospca would euthanize him as soon as he arrived. And I can't find anyone who will take a 7+ year old cat with a medical condition that won't use the litterbox.

We are open to any and all suggestions. We DO NOT want to put him to sleep, but life in a cage is no life at all.
post #2 of 15
As someone who's dealing with a spraying cat, I feel so bad for both you and your cat. This is a combination of a medical issue and a behavior issue. Frankly, to cut right to the heart of it, chances are this won't be resolvable by just doing more of the same. It sounds like you've covered most of the usual bases already. But I've got two more suggestions: first, medication. I've got the go-ahead to put Rocket on Prozac, and my vet says that for him there's a high likelyhood of success. (But then, his case isn't nearly so severe as yours.) The second suggestion is to make him an outdoor cat, if it's possible where you live. Like you say, life in a cage is no life at all. But a life outdoors is far superior to euthanization. And Rocket has just loved being outside. Unfortunately we have an anti-roaming ordinance here, so I can't let it go on. But I hope that gives you a couple options to consider, so you don't think you're at the rope's end yet.
post #3 of 15
Can I suggest him wearing stud pants when allowed out to run around?
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Can I suggest him wearing stud pants when allowed out to run around?
They have these? That's GREAT! Best thing since bird diapers.

And I also wanted to say that I definately sympathize with you. Luna, my girl cat, didn't go all over her house, but for many months (maybe almost a year) she'd consistently pee out front of her box. On her mat, the rug, the floor etc. And for such a small cat, she had a lot of pee. I had a very small place at the time, so it was really noticable when it smelled like pee. I hope you find something that works for Tux and don't have to euthanize him. That's such a hard decision. Sending good to you and Tux
post #5 of 15
First, let me just say that I feel and share your frustration.

My boy Tonka is an intact breeding male. And yes, he sprays. Prolifically. If allowed, he would regularly hose my house down like it is on fire. And intact male "stud" spray is the absolute stinkiest, grossest, most disgusting odor in the world.

For me, because I chose to keep an intact male in my home, caging is of a necessity. For others who don't breed, maybe not so much. But the whole point is that I disagree that caging is no life. Tonka's cage is roomy and spacious, located out right in the living room where all the normal household activity goes on, he regularly gets loving attention from not only myself but anyone else who comes into my home, he has a multitude of toys to play with hanging from the top bars of his cage (I declare it looks like Studio 54 in there!!), a comfy bed and HUGE litterbox to dig to China when he gets the notion and honestly, he is happier in there than out of there. Out of his cage, he is anxious, nervous and aggressive, not to mention the spraying issue, but in the cage, he is loving, sweet and only sprays if he gets upset.

All summed and totaled, I would much rather put a cat with unchangable spraying issues into a cage than to euthanize or make him an outdoor cat. But that's just me ... your milage may vary.
post #6 of 15
Yes they do - check some of the online catalog for stud pants. I know the cat shows sometimes have them (vendors).
post #7 of 15
Nice post, gayef. That's an eloquently-put viewpoint on caging that I haven't considered before. What really got my attention is when you said he's happier in the cage than out of it. I hadn't considered that to be possible for a cat.

But I guess that depends on the cat and the situation, too. When I see how much Rocket loves being outside: how he lifts his head and closes his eyes to sniff the breeze; how he slinks through tall grass on the hunt for mice; his pride when he catches one and brings it back to show it off; how he rolls on the warm concrete to scratch his back; how he trots off like he owns the world; how he runs....oh, my, how he runs!! With ears and tail flying he's just the picture of joy unrestrained. I feel like I'm watching "Born Free." And being outside has been so good for him. He looks wonderful. Like a real king of the jungle. And his whole demeanor is more mature and more confident.

Yet he comes back to his home and he wants in. He misses his huggies and his scratchies, and he knows he's safe. There are relatively few dangers outside here. Mostly just the parasites he's picking up from the mice he's eating. But it's not possible to allow him to continue much longer. My neighborhood's tolerance might be wearing down. There's an anti-roaming ordinance here.

I don't know....this summer has been an eye-opener. I don't think Rocket would ever be happy in a cage. He needs space. I think it's worth considering as an option for this cat, too, if the circumstances support it.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Tux can't become an outside cat, for various reasons. There are a ton of cats in my area, and many very aggressive toms (I realize this may be part of Tux's problem, but I can't do anything about other people's stray cats). He would be beat up, and severely. I will not put him through that. I also live on a busy street. Plus, there are a lot of loose dogs around here as well. And since he needs a special diet, I won't risk him eating something to throw his system off and cause him to block again. That would be a very painful way to die (assuming it happens when he is not around our property, so we can't get to him). I appreciate the suggestion, but it just wouldn't work I'm afraid.

Perhaps living in a cage isn't bad for certain cats (and it sounds like you boy is very happy in his), but Tux is not enjoying it. We can't take him out and hold him, as he wants to wander, look around, stretch his legs and scratch things. If we try to keep him on the couch and pet him he wants to get down. He cries in his cage when we walk past, and reaches his little feet out to pat us. Breaks my heart when he does that. I can just hear him say 'mama, why am I in here? I'm a good boy, right?'

I let him out for a bit tonight and followed him around. He was pretty good and sat in the window for an hour or so. I put him away once he got down and started to sniff things, though.

I don't mind the idea of cat pants, assuming he would keep them on. I may look into that. I wish our house were larger, I'd have a designated 'Tuxedo room' where everything was wipe-able and he could look out the window, lounge and pee to his heart's content. I'm going to look into that 'Feliway' that was mentioned in another thread as well. I don't know if it will help him, as bad as he is, but it's definitely worth a try. Perhaps a combination of crating, pants when out and Feliway would work.

I wish I could get into his little cat head and ask him why he pees on everything.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
I wanted to add that I can't even call animal control to come for the stray toms, because they won't. Our municipality has put a ban on the pound picking up, or accepting, stray cats (any cats for that matter, even pets). The only way they'll come is if you run over the cat, and then they MAY come to euthanize it.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Nice post, gayef. That's an eloquently-put viewpoint on caging that I haven't considered before. What really got my attention is when you said he's happier in the cage than out of it. I hadn't considered that to be possible for a cat.
Thank you. It broke my heart when it was determined that Tonk could no longer have the run of my home. I can honestly say that I haven't cried as much as I did upon having to make that decision since my father passed away 2 years prior. I still desperately miss Tonka's wiggly little warm body in bed with us at night ... he is such a sweet and loving little boy. But whole males ~will~ be whole males and they do what they do for valid reasons. Not all males will spray, but Tonka most certainly will and nearly $3500 worth of kitchen appliances needed to be replaced due to his spraying into the circuit boards before I was forced to adjust our home. I did try to let him have free range, but for Tonka, it just wasn't to be.

Prior to being forced to cage Tonka, I was of the belief that cats weren't capable of living happily confined either. And for a short while, during the adjustment, Tonka wasn't happy. But he grew to enjoy having a much smaller territory to control and quickly learned that he wasn't being hidden away in some back room of the house with little to no human contact. Even though his beloved queen Lexus is now spayed and I am on a breeding hiatus, she still goes in and spends time with Tonka, grooming him, sleeping with him and stealing his food. *wink* As it stands now, I can leave the cage doors open wide and he ~chooses~ not to come out. I try to encourage him to come out but he won't. When he must come out for cleaning days or to visit his vet, it is nothing short of an act of God to force him to come out.

Quote:
But I guess that depends on the cat and the situation, too. When I see how much Rocket loves being outside: how he lifts his head and closes his eyes to sniff the breeze; how he slinks through tall grass on the hunt for mice; his pride when he catches one and brings it back to show it off; how he rolls on the warm concrete to scratch his back; how he trots off like he owns the world; how he runs....oh, my, how he runs!! With ears and tail flying he's just the picture of joy unrestrained. I feel like I'm watching "Born Free."
*smile* Yes, you are right in that the situation and the demeanor of the individual cat would certainly be factors when considering options. I loved your description of Rocket's personality outside. *grin* Such a fierce and proud boy you have!

Quote:
I don't know....this summer has been an eye-opener. I don't think Rocket would ever be happy in a cage. He needs space. I think it's worth considering as an option for this cat, too, if the circumstances support it.
What I find concerning about putting the OP's cat outside is if he became sick or blocked while roaming. The OP wouldn't know of it and the potential for harm or even catastrophic results would be too great.

Perhaps if the OP had a large, screened-in porch or deck area where they could keep a closer eye out for problems - that might be an option, but ... ?
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
Perhaps if the OP had a large, screened-in porch or deck area where they could keep a closer eye out for problems - that might be an option, but ... ?


Trust me, Tux would LOVE to live in a screened in porch. He would also LOVE to be an outside cat (until it got cold, hot or rained anyway). But unfortunately, not a possibility at our current house.

We hope to move in a couple years, so if we can find a solution to keep everyone moderately happy until then, things might change.

My mom is a seamstress, so we were looking at patterns online for cat pants. We're going to give that a go. Tux is pretty accepting of things (we used to shave him all the time and he liked it. He liked his harness right off the bat too) so I think once he realizes pants= freedom in house, he'll be happy to have them on.
post #12 of 15
How about a big dog crate--the size they put St. Bernards into? Temporary solution, but...
post #13 of 15
After reading your thread, you might want to consider that Tux has FLUTD he can be tested for this and if he does have it, then there is an operation for it. It does have its risks, but it might be something you would want to consider. Also, if you own your home and have a bit of land, you could build an outside enclosure for him. My cats live in one and love it- it is 35x18x6' tall. I have two active sprayers in my home and they unleash every time a new rescue arrives. Urine-Off has become my new best friend.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
How about a big dog crate--the size they put St. Bernards into? Temporary solution, but...

That's what he's in right now, a massive wire kennel.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy View Post
After reading your thread, you might want to consider that Tux has FLUTD he can be tested for this and if he does have it, then there is an operation for it. It does have its risks, but it might be something you would want to consider. Also, if you own your home and have a bit of land, you could build an outside enclosure for him. My cats live in one and love it- it is 35x18x6' tall. I have two active sprayers in my home and they unleash every time a new rescue arrives. Urine-Off has become my new best friend.

The operation is when they, in a sense, turn into a girl right? Remove the penis to make his urinary opening wider? We've discussed that with our vet, and plan to go that route, should Tux block again. My vet refuses to unblock him again, due to his build up of scar tissue, so the operation would be his only option. Like a friend of mine said 'he's already neutered, so he only uses his penis for peeing. If he can't pee, he might as well not even have it.' I can see her point.

We have a fairly large backyard, but the municipality has several bylaws in place for outdoor kennels, and they're such that it would be right in the middle of the yard, you have to buy kennel licenses, have it inspected a few times a year, etc. I would also worry about his getting hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Winters are brutal around here, and I don't know how I would heat it safely for him.
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