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Help! We can't take the peeing anymore!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm really hoping someone here has a new idea- because we're all out.

We wrote an e-mail to the local Humane Society- and their response is that they think this problem is behavioral and that we're probably just going to have to put him down. This isn't an acceptable solution to us- we're just not ok with putting down a cat that, in almost all ways, is a great, loving cat. Here is the story- as written by my wife in her e-mail to the Humane Society. Any and all suggestions are greatly, greatly appreciated- because if we can't fix this, we might just have to bring him back regardless of what we want to do...

First, let me tell you a bit about our cats: Missy is 21 yrs. old and I've had her since she was a newborn kitten.Pickles is 8 yrs. old and we got her when she was six weeks old from a family who was selling their kittens. Buddy is 10 yrs. old and we got him in Jan/Feb 2007 at your place (the local Humane Society). To introduce Missy and Pickles to Buddy, we had them separated, rubbed all three down with towels, leaving Buddy's towel out where Missy and Pickles could smell it and their towels where Buddy could smell it. Then we put Buddy into whatwe call the "general population", but it didn't work out very well. My husband had called quite a while back to return him, but we love him somuch, we kept him instead and have been trying to figure out how to control his improper elimination. His name at NAHS was Schnookums.

I'm not sure if we've done everything, but it almost seems like it. I'd like to go into more detail, in case we missed something that you can pickup on that we haven't. Buddy did have a unrinary tract infection when we first got him, but he was cleared with the vet after about a month or so (I don't remember exactly). He actually didn't have the elimination problem until after that. We can bring him to the vet again. We read last night(we've been doing tons of research trying to find more things to try) that someone had a cat who had diabetes and did the same thing. Getting him tested again for the urinary tract infection and the diabetes will at least rule it out.

We have four litter boxes throughout the house and used to use clay litter with a liner. We started using the clump litter with a liner, but later took out the liner. As of now, Buddy only has use of one litter box because he is again separated from the other two (explained below). He had a covered litter box, but urinated on the cover, which we took to mean that he preferred the open box. The box is positioned so there are three sides for him to leap out if he feels the need. I don't think it's in a noisy/high traffic area. The food/water bowls are on another side of the room, we keep the litter clean and the LitterMate out of the area.

We've tried tin foil, which only deters him as long as it's on the chairs. A couple of times he has actually removed the tin foil to urinate on the chair arm. As an interesting note, he only goes on chairs (recliner, two one-seater chairs in the basement, and both of our office chairs), he has yet to urinate on the couches/loveseats we have, although he has also gone on a laundry basket full of clean clothes and the cat bed we bought for him when we had to separate him from the other two. We've also made sure that his playtime is spent while we sit in the chairs with him, and given him treats on the chairs. We haven't been very successful finding citrus scents, so we tried Feliway. That hasn't been successful either. We've also tried CalmEase (?), a liquid you add to the water bowl. We could put his food bowl on one of the chairs, but he likes to urinate on two of the chairs we have in the basement. We do entertain, so I'm not too thrilled about leaving cat food all over the place, however, if you feel this is probably the answer, we will give it a shot.

We've had to separate Buddy from Missy and Pickles because he fights with them. Missy and Pickles aren't blameless in this, but he's the stronger of the three. We're worried he may injure one of them. Pickles has never been an outdoor cat and doesn't know how to protect herself and Missy has arthritis (vet diagnosis). We're worried that with him being a healthy, strong cat he could really hurt one of them.

From what we've noticed, I believe it's an environmental stress thing. It seems to me that he doesn't like other people coming over. We do take him out of the basement and put him in our office (the other two are put in ourbedroom) when we have people over. Both rooms always have a litter box and food/water bowls. We do this for their safety, but it's not like he's going to understand that. I think he's very territorial (with both areas of the house and with us). He seems to enjoy being with us alone in the basement. He purrs, rubs up against us, head butts us, and even drools when we're petting him (he doesn't drool other than when we pet him, I know this can bea sign of something wrong too). He's extremely affectionate, but doesn't like to share. He has urinated on both chairs two days in a row this week. This is a bit much even for him, so I don't know if it's getting worse or what. Also, last night while we were in the basement spending time with him, Pickles jumped over the baby gate. She immediately started hissing and growling, and Buddy immediately stopped purring. They eventually got into a fight.

He's not the only one to blame for the stress. Missy and Pickles just refuse to get along with him. I don't know if it's because he wants to be "top cat" or what, but if he's at the baby gate, both will occasionally walk up to it just to hiss at him. He'll just sit there and eventually they walkaway. I don't think any of his "accidents" have happened immediately after this, but it doesn't make for a stress-free environment for him.

If it is indeed environmental stress, what can we possibly do about it? We really adore him and would like to keep him, but is that what's best for Buddy? Would he be happier in another home? We don't know the answers and we don't want to make him miserable and stressed out. We want to make this work, we just don't know what to do. It's been very disheartening that he's urinated two days in a row, even though we've been giving him affection and treats on a daily basis.
post #2 of 21
Buddy is 10 years old, so he must be neutered. Usually un-neutered males do things like that.

Has he had a bath since you have adopted him? I know cats are clean, but, a nice bath will make him feel 'new' again.

He has been around for 10 years, who knows what his previous life was like. Then he was in a shelter. Maybe the bath will wash some of that away too.
He will know you really love him if you give him a bath.

Your other cats will need a bath too so they won't get jealous.
post #3 of 21
That is SUCH a difficult situation you have. I am so sorry I wish I knew something that could be of use to you. I'm hoping the kitty veterans here can offer up some advice to you on helping him.

It's so wonderful that you're working so hard to help him! I know it's difficult but hang in there, I am sure you can find a solution.
post #4 of 21
Welcome to TCS!

Hmmm.....my advice requires some quesitons answered first! Hopefully, it will help some!

How recently was he tested for a UTI?
Have you cleaned the urine spots with an enzymatic cleaner & used a blacklight to find them?
Have you done a complete physical & complete blood panel?
Is he declawed?
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help and the welcome!
The bath suggestion is an interesting one- and we have not given them baths since we got him. His previous life is also interesting- he lived in a house with a woman who was arrested for selling crack- so they collected him and he was at the Humane Society for a while. His lost most of both of his ears at some point, as well. However, he is very, very well-tempered, and although a little skittish when people walk at him, he is not afraid of strangers at all.

To answer your questions
He has not had a UTI test in around 4 months or so- that time, they did whatever the more expensive of the tests are and verified that there were no crystals in his urine. We are going to bring him back to the vet before we make any final decision.
We have cleaned his urine with the orange Nature's Miracle
He is both front and back declawed (not our decision- we wouldn't do that!)
He has not had a complete blood panel/physical other than whatever the humane society did....we can definitely check on that with them.
post #6 of 21
Well, I shall be the bearer of bad news. Often, declawed kitties urinate inappriopraitely for no reason. I do suggest that you take him for a UTI check. I also suggest you run a blood panel. It can serve as a baseline later down the road & also could reveal any underlying condition that *might* be causing the Out of the Box experiences.

Then, find a behaviorist in your area.

Also, the ears....if he is missing most of his ears, he will look like his ears are down all the time....which is a fearful/aggressive thing. Which could very well be why he doesn't get along well with other cats. They think he is always acting fearful/aggressive.
post #7 of 21
Poor thing, what a terrible life this poor cat had. Good thing he has you to take care of him.


Did you say he lost his ears? Or did you mean he lost his hearing? I hope he did not lose his ears.


If I were taking care of him, I would have given him a nice bath the day I brought him home to wash away his previous life and all the germs that came with it. This just might be the answer or help somehow.

And, of course, another vet visit like the previous poster suggested.

I have a declawed stray (I did not do it) and she goes in her box.

You might want to get a huge bottle of white vinegar for those pee stains.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
No- he hears well enough- at some point he lost the top part of both of his ears- we assume they froze off, but there's no way to know.

That's a really interesting idea about why they don't get along- the ears appearing to be back- we've never thought of that. Any ideas on how to fix that issue?

And in searching for a behaviorist- is there specific accreditation or anything we should look for when choosing someone? Pretty much- we want to avoid paying several hundred dollars to someone for suggestions on things we've done and done again.
post #9 of 21
I've never went to a behaviorist, so I'm no help there.

As for the ears issue, I do not think there is anything that can be done.

Have you tried Feliway diffusers(I saw mention of feliway in the original post)?
What about Rescue Remedy?
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpena23 View Post
And in searching for a behaviorist- is there specific accreditation or anything we should look for when choosing someone? Pretty much- we want to avoid paying several hundred dollars to someone for suggestions on things we've done and done again.
My behaviorist charges about $50 an hour and she'll come to your home to observe him. Mind you, this is in Atlanta, Georgia. The best thing you can do to find one is call a few different vets and ask if they have a behaviorist on staff or can recommend one. Most will be willing to talk to you for a few minutes about your problem and then either schedule a time to come by or give you advice over the phone.

Mine was an awesome lady. She gave me so much advice. Sadly I still have a bad situation on my hands with my stray....but through no fault of the behaviorist.

Best of luck!
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
We have a feliway diffuser in the basement. We have not tried Rescue Remedy- we haven't been able to find it.

Thanks for the info on behaviorists. The one referred to us by the Humane Society wants to charge $150 for the first consult- but our vet is a good place to go for that info since they're cat specific.
post #12 of 21
I found that when using Natures Miracle on furniture you have to saturate the area and let it completely dry out. I mean completely soak the arm of the chair.
post #13 of 21
Rescue Remedy is not something you'd find at a pet store. I actually used to use it for panic attacks... so you're more likely to find it in a health food store, or homeopathic store. Bach's Rescue Remedy is pretty common.

I'm not sure how you're supposed to give it to cats though. I didn't know you could.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani_Elle View Post
Rescue Remedy is not something you'd find at a pet store. I actually used to use it for panic attacks... so you're more likely to find it in a health food store, or homeopathic store. Bach's Rescue Remedy is pretty common.

I'm not sure how you're supposed to give it to cats though. I didn't know you could.
It can be given two ways that I know of. One in their water bowls and the second which I've done is rubbing it on their ears and the pads of the feet.

I've never used it for urination problems though just for nerves,skittish kitties.
post #15 of 21
There are numerous suggestions in this thread http://thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9563 . It sounds like the problem could very well be caused by anxiety. You may want to discuss the use of BuSpar (buspirone) with your Vet. Buspirone is on the list of $4 prescriptions at Walmart. I hope you find a solution and admire and appreciate you for trying so hard.
post #16 of 21
I give my Ophelia Rose Buspar for anxiety/aggression issues.
post #17 of 21
I might have missed this but has diabetes been eliminated as a possibility? One of my father-in-laws cats started peeing on things he knew people would notice (like his button up shirts) because he wasn't feeling well. They eventually (after MANY vet visits) determined it was diabetes and put him on a special food and he's done much better.

Also hearing the back ground that your cat has had he could have very possibly lived in an environment where nobody cared if he used the litter box.

I hope everything works out for you. My mom has a cat that pees on anything thats left sitting on the floor or on a chair and it's very difficult. You just love them so much. I have a male that we're trying to figure out why he pees on the bed. WE think we might have it under control at this point. Good luck and keep trying.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
We have not yet eliminated diabetes as a possibility- and we are going to bring him in for bloodwork to find out.

We did give them all baths last night- and let him out into the rest of the house again for the first time in a while. So far- we haven't found any pee- which is the first time he hasn't peed in a few days. However, we have all the chairs covered with either plastic or foil. Previously, he was peeing on the plastic though- so maybe we have a little progress.

Unfortunately, he still isn't getting along with the other 2.
post #19 of 21
The poor babies ears froze off!! You know I so sick of people (not you!!) who let things like this happen to animals, and how in the world does a crack head manage to pay for a front and back declaw, and why... lettme guess,he had some really nice furniture!! I am so annoyed at the way some animals are treated, Buddy is probaly traumatized, I really hope you find a solution because he seems like he really needs to know what a loving home is like!! Oh and whoever told you to kill a cat b/c it has a peeing issue is an idiot too!
post #20 of 21
Have you found this thread yet? http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67321

It is about introducing new cats into your household. There might be some very good ideas in that thread that might reduce the threat he is feeling. For the missing ears, I agree with White Cat Lover that the other cats might be responding to him as if he is aggressive to them. The idea about using vanilla extract in this thread comes to mind as a means to help them all smell the same and feel more comfortable with each other.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpena23 View Post
We have not yet eliminated diabetes as a possibility- and we are going to bring him in for bloodwork to find out.

We did give them all baths last night- and let him out into the rest of the house again for the first time in a while. So far- we haven't found any pee- which is the first time he hasn't peed in a few days. However, we have all the chairs covered with either plastic or foil. Previously, he was peeing on the plastic though- so maybe we have a little progress.

Unfortunately, he still isn't getting along with the other 2.
It took about a year before my 9 year old got along with the stray I adopted. This am, I was giving my stray, Cassy, her pill, and she went crazy and would not take it. My DD was in shock when Mittens came to help Cassy because she heard Cassy refusing to take her pill. Mittens looked at me like she wanted to tear me to pieces. They like each other now, I am so grateful, MIRACLES DO HAPPEN.
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