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male cat not using litter box

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am at a loss of what to do with my male neutered cat Buddy. He is 4 years old and has been urinating on my bed for the past two years. I have taken him to two different vets and each time I was told he had a urinary tract infection and he was treated with antibiotics. I don't doubt this is true, but somehow I really feel that it is behavioral. He seems to act out when I have had an overnight guest or I have gone out of town. I have the bed covered with plastic when I go to work and I don't uncover it until I get ready for bed. Sometimes when I walk into my bedroom to get ready for bed, he has already urinated on it. Also, this year, he began urinating on it while I was in the bed asleep!! Now doesn't it seem as though he wants attention or is mad at me??
I have tried the Hills CD food recommended by the vet and Buddy just hates it. It is also so expensive and it is hard for me to justify buying it. Does anyone feel strongly either way about the vet recommended cat food? Does it really make a difference?
In looking at other posting on similar issues, it seems as though people are recommending that each cat in the household have there own litter box. Has that really worked? I am going to try this! Also, I am going to move the cat food further away from where I keep the litter box.
I have two cats, the other is a 3 year old female. They get along very well, playing and grooming each other. Buddy is the alpha-cat. The female, Molly, just follows along.
Any input would be helpful.
post #2 of 9
Well, to answer the first issue. Yes, cats can have recurrant infections. Especially male cats. It may not be an infection but crystals, blockage or a chronic problem. The best way to find out is to ask the vet to find out for sure. Yes, food is the only way to prevent and cure these types of things. It is necessary to make them eat it if need be. I would really want to rule this out before going to a behavioral issue.
Yes, cats can urinate because something is upsetting them. It is usually not very consistant. Litter boxes can be a problem. Some cats just don't like to share. I would add a box to the house as well. You may even try confining him if he is using the bed as a toilet. It may be he needs to re learn that the litter is the best place to urinate. Before taking some of the steps to the behavior modification I really would rule out those serious problems though.
post #3 of 9
If you find out that the condition is not medical then you need to do something very hard - keep him out of your bedroom for awhile. You may have to confine him in a room with his own litterbox and see if the problem is that he does not like sharing. I am going to assume he is not declawed as you did not say he was, and that he is neutered. Declawed cats tend to have behavioral problems, especially as they get older and not using the litter is one of them. I have a cat who has recurring Urinary tract infections and the way I find out is she looks at me and pees on the floor in front of me - then I know to put Molly on antibiotics right away. Also, do you have a good neutrilizer to get the smell out of your mattress so the cat does not keep smelling it? Something like XO or NockOut - neither of which can be bought in a store is what you need to neutrilize the smell.
post #4 of 9
How old was he when he was neutered? I ask this because I have had 2 different males in the past that were neutered later in life (both around 2-4 years old). Both of them urinated on things, which I believe they were spraying in the only way they could anymore. I have also had a male that was neutered later in life that DIDN'T do this, so I'm not saying this happens all the time. They still have the instict to mark territory, as do females at times. The way you are describing him would lead me to believe that this is the case. I lived with my one cat urinating on rugs for 8 years, I hated it and I lost alot of rugs because of him, but I learned to live with it (so did my husband who knew he would be out the door before the cat was). There are sprays that you can buy to either keep him away from areas that he does this on, but I feel they will just find a new place, and there are sprays to take the smell out. I would talk to your vet or a petstore to find something that is right for you. If you can pinpoint the reason or times that he is doing this, it may help trying to get him not to. It will take work! Good Luck!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for their input. It is sure nice to discuss this subject with other people who have similar experiences.
To answer some of the questions asked. Buddy is 4 years old. He was neutered at an early age around 3 months old. The urinating on the bed has been going on for about 2 years. He is not declawed.
I have a waterproof mattress cover, so the urine has not touched the mattress itself. Where would I be able to get XO or Nock Out as "Rene" suggested?
I went ahead and added another litter box and moved the cat food. I have thought about not allowing him on the bed at night. But I have two cats and they both would be miserable. Anyhow, I would end up with two cats scratching and ripping my carpet under the bedroom door.
Thanks for the input.
post #6 of 9
Provided any medical reason has been ruled out, also declawing, it seems that cats engage in inappropriate elimination if stressed - a new person or cat in the house mainly, but also the stress of confinement. Cats able to access the outdoors (also natural soil as litter if possible) seldom have these problems. Is it really unsafe for your cats to be outdoors, at least during the day? If so, can you build an outdoor enclosure or get one custom built? There are companies that do this commercially for a variety of situations and they can later be removed if you shift. Or you can DIY much cheaper. Get back to me if you are intersted and I'll willingly give you more details.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Mary13, Buddy is not declawed. I have gone back and forth about doing this and have decided against it. He spooks very easily and had a terrible incident once at the vet, so I try not to take him to the vet more than I have to. He is nervous enough, and doesn't really need this.
In regards to letting the cats outside. I have decided against that too. I know that it is their natural behavior to be outside and hunt. But after discussing this with various vets, it is safer to keep them indoors (heavy traffic, dogs etc). They seem pretty content and the windows and sliding doors are kept open for them during the day.
Thanks for the feedback,
post #8 of 9
I had the same problem with my kitten, T.C., when we first got her. I found her urinating on my daughters bed constantly, and she sleeps with her! I cleaned the comforter, using neutralizers, and got all the smell out. I even bought new comforters, too. I had two litter boxes and kept them both clean. The final straw was when she urinated on my bed, I have a down comforter, and my husband was sleeping in it. After that, I kept the bedroom doors closed all the time, and kept her in the bathroom during the night. My other cat needs to roam at night, so you can't close any bedroom doors at all. After a few months, she stopped.
Unfortunately, I found out that she had been urinating under my dining room table. So I've cleaned that, and am covering it with aluminum foil. She was confined to the bathroom again, and was under strict supervision when out. Now she has free roam again, and uses the litter box. We check this every morning and evening, and she seems to be back in the box again. By the time my carpets are dry, one more week, I'm going to have to cover the area with a large throw rug, and hope for the best.
I find that the best way is to keep the cat away from the area for an extended amount of time and get them used to using the box again. It's hard, and they may cry, but it's either that, or the smell of cat pee. My vet said that if all the behavioral modification things don't work, then kitty prozac is the last resort. He said that peeing out of the box is anxiety caused, and by making them less anxious, they won't do it.
post #9 of 9
I'm wondering if you misunderstood me about the declawing? It's declawing that can cause litter box problems in cats, not the reverse, they find it uncomfortable to dig. On another forum a refuge worker wrote in that many of the older cats they receive at the shelter are there because they have been declawed and developed inappropriate elimination behaviour - but I know this isn't the reason with your cat which hasn't been declawed. Just wanted to clear that up.
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