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Dog Foster question

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
First of all I have used this site for all sorts of questions regarding my cats. This is something I haven't seen before and really need help. I am a labrador retriever foster and have been for years. I have 2 labs, 10 yrs and 6 yrs. I also have a 12 yr male n. long haired cat and a 2-3 yr domestic shorthair female, sp. who we got from the shelter about 18 mos ago. I have always fostered since we have had her. I usually foster one dog at a time and most are young adults who have had somewhat limited exposure to cats. Our older cat does well - our younger cat was doing well but lately I have found that she pees around the house whenever I foster. She has a three litter boxes and does not do this when I have homed a dog. But while I have the foster (which can be for a week or a month or whatever) she will do this behavior.

Needless to say this is not going over well with the family since this last time she peed on the clean laundry pile. I have tried limiting her in the house to certain rooms when I can't watch her but I think it may make it worse. I have tried sprays to no avail. She does not have this problem when there are no fosters so how do I get this to stop?
post #2 of 2
Obviously your younger cat does not like the presence of the foster dogs. At all. And she is trying to reinforce her scent (and possibly extinguish the dog's) by urinating outside of the litter boxes. Since you said that this behavior only occurs while you are fostering, it certainly sounds like it is purely a behavioral issue and not a medical one.

She's apparently OK with your two resident dogs, having gotten used to them in the year and a half that she has lived with them, but the constant parade (at least in her mind --- I have no idea how often there is "turnover") of new dogs seems to push her over the edge. Maybe there was an unpleasant incident with one of them and now she's come to associate bad doggie behavior with all of the newcomers?

Possible approaches that come to mind involve a liberal use of Feliway and/or Rescue Remedy, and making sure that she receives the same amount of playtime and attention from you as she does when you aren't fostering. I have no idea how likely any of those are to actually work. The presence of foster dogs might be something with which she will never be comfortable.
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