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stinky house, bad cat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

sorry this is looong...
My house stinks of spray and I have one cat that is a big problem. I'm giving a lot of details/history so perhaps somebody can better help me address my problems.

I have six cats. All stay inside 100% of the time. All are rescues except the 16 year old. I have had all of them since they were kittens.
1- 16 year old spayed female-Chanel (grumpy to other cats sometimes, but leaves them alone. She was the first cat I got and I have had her since I was 7.)
1- 6 year old neutered male-Pete (extremely non-territorial, very aloof, innocent, the bottom of the heirarchy ladder, gets picked on occasionally)
1- 5 year old neutered male-Baby (used to be an outside cat, likes to spray a lot, gets along with everyone 95% of the time, can be a bully occasionally, used to be number one until i got the 9 month olds)
1- 9 month neutered male-Viktor (still a kitten so he's very playful, gets along with everyone, confident, I don't think he's territorial. I fixed him before he started spraying.)
1- 9 month spayed female-Guinevere (playful, flirty, gets along with everyone, very sweet, Viktor's sister)

and then I have my problem cat who stays in a different part of the house than the others because he does not have good social skills and attacks/sprays/gets very scared all of the time:
3 year old un-neutered male-Hector

I got Hector and his brother Paris as kittens from a shelter. The 5 cats above were not living with me at the time (2 weren't born yet, obviously.) so the only cats in my apartment were Hector and Paris. They were really sweet cats. They never saw other cats or people. I had a bad habit of not cleaning the litterbox and it would get so full that they would just go wherever. (I assume this is part of the root of Hector's problem.) When I cleaned it, they would use it and the carpet. 2 years ago, I moved to a house and brought the first 3 cats with me, as well as Hector and Paris. The 2 groups did not get along well (Hector and Paris were the aggressors) so I gave Hector and Paris their own room. I was planning on introducing them slowly. One day, I came home to find that Paris had died suddenly. (Vet said it was a heart attack.) Hector seemed really depressed and didn't eat much. He used to be a little tubby, but ever since that, he's been pretty skinny and doesn't like to eat as much as other cats. I decided to slowly introduce him into the rest of the house (and honsetly, I don't remember how I did it.) He got along ok with the other cats. There would be hissing and sometimes fighting (he was always the instigator or he would mistake the other cats' playing with fighting) but they got along ok. I think he was with the other three for about 8 months, but eventually I seperated them again, giving half of the house to Hector (that part I'm in least often,) and the other half to the other 3 cats. Hector has destroyed his side by spraying everywhere. Baby has semi-destroyed the other side by spraying. (He seems to spray because he gets excited.) This is how it is today and has been for a year and a half.
Hector's part of the house is a little dark. The few windows are on the north side and/or shaded most of the day. I leave one of the kitchen lights on (fluorescent) 24 hours a day and wonder if either of these factors affect Hector's psyche.
If I open the door between the 2 sections, Hector might try to creep in and if he sees another one of the cats, he may or may not hiss. He gets scared very easily and has been known to randomly attack Pete, Baby or Chanel. I tried putting a screen door there so the cats could see and smell each other all of the time, but Hector still acted the same way. It was a cheap door and eventually broke, so I got rid of it.
I now have the kittens which Hector likes/doesn't mind. Sometimes I let them in his part of the house so he is not always alone. He used to be really interested in them (especially before I fixed them,) but now is just semi-interested. He'll watch them curiously from a few feet away but seems scared to play with them. When they playfully swat at him, he gets scared and jumps back.
Hector has also visciously attacked me twice when I came home smelling like outside cats. Both times, I petted him and talked to him first (he showed no signs of anything being wrong) and he waited until I had my back turned to attack me. Both times I screamed, blood started pouring out of my leg and I got really angry/upset and threw things at him. (I know I shouldn't have and will absolutely not do that again!)
Hector also sprays/pees on everything and his side of the house reeks. (the other side smells, but not as badly as Hector's.) The worst part is that he loves to spray/pee on my kitchen counter/counter walls. If it is spotless, he might or might not spray it. If I leave something out on the counter (like a cookbook, appliance, plastic bag, bag of flour, jar-ANYTHING!) he will spray it. He doesn't do it in front of me 95% of the time. It used to totally disgust me and I would yell at him for it. Unfortunatley, I've gotten used to it (I know, gross!) and just wipe it up and go on my way. If I leave clothes or other things on the floor he sprays those too. He pulls towels and clothes off of the towel bar in the bathroom and sprays them. I've seen him do it and it seems like he's just playing/having fun. I do not suspect any urinary tract problems. I've noticed he only pees in the litterbox sometimes. I guess he sprays so much, that there's not much left to pee in the litterbox.
My house is disgusting and I don't let anyone in it because it smells so bad. I keep all of the windows and the door open (all have screens) all day to keep the smell down. I'm going to rip up the carpet soon and am thinking of replacing all of my furniture with plastic furniture that I can wash off.
I love my cats and would never get rid of any of them, but the spraying (Hector and Baby) is driving me insane and the unclean environment is making me depressed. I don't think covering my whole house in aluminum foil is possible. My house is very small so I don't know about repellants either.

So I guess I'm asking for any advice that would help Hector become more sociable and stop spraying everything I own. I know the obvious answer for the spraying is to neuter him and I really don't have a good reason for not neutering him. I waited until Baby was 2 to neuter him and he still sprays as much and acts the same as he did before. (I guess that's my excuse for why I haven't fixed Hector.) Would those comfortzone plug ins help Hector? Would they help Baby spray less? Please help my cats and me!

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 10
I know exactly what you are going through right now, I have a post going on the forums for a problem similar to yours. Alot of helpful advice is in it if you want to check that out.

But, I would say in your case the 2 major reasons could be that he might have a UTI and the fact he is not neutered. The first thing to do is get him checked out at the vet for UTI's.

I have also had to rip all my carpet up and replace furniture. I think that you may have a good chance with him if you get him neutered. There are alot of different things you could try that I hope will work for situation right now is almost desperate because I have tried several things all with no success.

Hang in there though, you have come to the right place by posting your problems here, the people here are amazing and will try to help anyway they can
post #3 of 10
Get him neutered
post #4 of 10
And clean out those boxes.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
And clean out those boxes.
The boxes are clean.
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by garden View Post
The boxes are clean.
How often do you clean them out and how long does it usually take you? I clean ours out twice a day and it takes at least 5 minutes because I will literally sit there with the scoop and pick out every last little crumb of used litter.

It takes the OH less than a minute tops and today one of our boys thanked him by weeing on his trousers, it's always his clothes that they choose to take their revenge on as well.
post #7 of 10
It's just that you were the one to say you didn't clean them (at one time.. and it's not clear whether or not that time is overwith).
post #8 of 10
Here are a couple suggestions - stuff I've figured out and learned from other ppl. Once you've gotten him neutered and ruled out a UTI (for both Baby AND Hector!!):

1). Try the feliway plugins - if your house is small, use one diffuser for each side.
2). Try and enzimatic cleaner for all the places that smell like pee (Use a blacklight to find stubborn spots. This really works, I've tried it!!) The enzyme cleaner gets out the smell.
3). everytime he pees, clean it up then spray it w/ the Comfort Zone (feliway) spray.
4). You could try changing his litter...though if he's pooping in it, then that may not be the issue.
5). If there are any places he frequently pees, put those puppy training pads there (This is just an intermediate step that makes clean up SOOOOOOOO much easier).
6). Don't leave anything soft/absorbant (at the very least) anywhere where he can pee on it. I've noticed that Luna does the pee thing more when there are clothes, cardboard or plastic bags on the floor.
7). Is his litterbox covered? B/C when mine was covered Luna used it WAY less. Even if it was clean.
8). I've heard that orange peels or orange scented stuff deters cats from peeing (if it's a spot that they pee on a lot...)
9). and yeah, ripping up the carpet would probably help a lot w/ the smell. (also those odor-killing air fresheners work well temporarily)
10). Maybe more than 1 litterbox per side of the house would help?

I Hope this stuff helps. I'm still trying to figure out Luna's Peeing problem, (and most of this hasn't been helpful for me though she has stopped doing it most of the time, but has been helpful to a number of other ppl that I've talked to) I understand what you're going through, your situation does seem desperate . Good luck!
post #9 of 10
if he's been ve checked & is healthy, thin i recommend the CatAtract litter or the additive - it's really helped around here! my local Petsmart accaries it.
post #10 of 10
Getting him neutered would probably help, though as he's started spraying it's pretty much 50/50 as to whether he will stop or not but it will help his temperament.

As mentioned you need to get an enzyme cleaner to get things clean, many people I know who keep stud cats use Bio-Zet laundry detergent or other "oxy" cleaners.
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