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I am so sad LittleFoot won't stop spraying

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am at my wits end. I wish there was a cat whisperer like on tv for dogs.

Actually my whole family wishes there was someone who could help us. I have called Davis Vet College and they want so much money to talk to you plus is extra amount for any other cat/pet involved.

I have 6 cats (3male 3 female) one of the males is a terrible marker. I understand he is protecting his space. I know he is the dominant male. I know a lot of things that bother him make him into this horrible marker that makes my life a living hell. Am so embarrassed to have people drop by sometimes, esp if it is early int he morning and I have not had time to clean up his markings after a night of prouling through our home.

I love this cat so much, heck I love them all. I try to catch him in the act and give him time outs. Didn't work he has gotten worse. Last few nights when I catch him marking I put him in the garage. In the morning he gets to come back into the home.

He will stop marking when my husband yells at him, and take off running. When I yell or squirt him with water or try to get his mind off it, he just continues to spray then runs. I don't know what to do. He is my problem kitty.

Since he has been locked in garage last few nights, the other cats seem at ease in the home. I guess it is my fault for pampering him for so long.

Not sure what to do at this point. I can't/won't give him away no one in there right mind would put up with his behavior issues. I won't put him outside to live. I won't put him to sleep.

I just so sad seems I spend so much time scrubbing and cleaning anymore to no avail. He even does it on my kitchen counters GAHHHHHHHHH even around the food dishes I put out up there because i read that a cat won't mark around his food. They have 10 little boxes in the house and I clean them daily. I have seen him use the little box, so not a problem there. He is just so high strung.

LittleFoot sleeping in a window bed right now. When I walk by he talks to me and I can tell he wants pets, but I am trying to ignore him so he knows he has been a bad kitty.

If anyone has any ideas please reply.

Oh and there are now three new non neutered males on the block that are outside kittys.

I know it is not all LF's fault, he is just being a cat. So I hate to be punishing him.

hugs Menou Lover
post #2 of 19
Is he neutered? If he is I have heard that hanging tinfoil on the places where he likes to spray can discourage it. If he is not, getting him neutered could help. You could also try products like feliway that calm tension between cats. Hope this helps! Also there is a thread on here that is about inappropriate peeing, here is the link:

post #3 of 19
Oh, please don't ignore him - first, he probably can't really relate his spraying to why you're ignoring him, so he may just be getting even more stressed out by not knowing why you 'don't love him anymore' and will spray some more.

That thread mentioned is great and I know Feliway helped me a lot with a male with litter box issues - and, is he neutered? How old is he? Are you using enzyme cleaners where he sprays?

Thank you for being patient with him - I know it can be so hard, but bless you for your heart and empathy with LF.
post #4 of 19
Originally Posted by Menou Lover View Post
I can't/won't give him away no one in there right mind would put up with his behavior issues.
First let me say I'm so sorry you're having this trouble.

Second, let me reply to the above quote by saying that limiting this option might not be the best thing for Little Foot. You might find that a home where he is the only cat eliminates his spraying.

However, I certainly wouldn't start with this option! There are several things you could try that I don't see mentioned in your post. For example, you didn't mention in this post if your regular vet has examined him for health issues. Sometimes we think our cat has behavior problems when really it's a health issue that causes their unwanted actions. Correcting any medical problems is the first step.

Also, have you tried Feliway? We also have a male cat we thought we'd have to re home due to his excessive spraying. I swear Feliway fixed him immediately. We plugged that thing in and it just stopped. I used to joke that if my job should fall through I could go to work selling Feliway because I believe in the product that strongly.

You are right. It's not totally his fault. He's doing his job being boss. If it is a behavior issue, your ultimate goal is to help him feel secure as alpha so marking is no longer necessary for him.

Good luck!
post #5 of 19
Hi, I am also having the same issues with my oldest boy, I know for sure its because of the cats outside. I have 6 other cats that don't bother, they could care less whose outside but my boy Molasses is kind of the big kauna. He's 10 years old, highest in the pecking order and feels he should protect the territory. I use feliway also and it made a big difference for quite a few months. He started it again lately, I'm gonna start using Feliway in every room, also making the windows a little harder to look out (which isn't fair to the other cats). The tin foil suggestion is worth a shot also.

Good luck.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies!

All our kids/kitties are fixed (we don't believe in unwanted babies).

I use tin foil and dishes of food all around the home.

I use Feliway and Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease plus

I use Urine off (at $100.00 gal), Petzyme, and two other brands I don't remember names right now. I use a black light and scrub till I am sure the stain is gone. LF will mark two feet from the last one I just scrubbed clean.

I have used cardboard to block out windows.

We live in a 3200 sq foot home with ceramic tiles used for walkways and carpet through most of the rooms. With a million windows, sliding doors and double French doors. I have scrubbed the tiles so much I had to reseal them. We have had to replace rooms full of carpet

We have built a screen enclosed outside patio with a million cat toys, cat trees with tunnels leading from one to the others.

We try to give each cat personal special time. LF was first and is spoiled, he is not a cat to us he is a human in action and personality. Accept he marks

Marking is not the same as peeing! He pee's in his little box! He marks with his anal gland (and boy does it smell) and he seems to have an over abundance of this liquid.

LF has been medically checked. He has cost us more than all of the other kitties combined. He has a rare disease where he is allergic to his own teeth, poor thing. (So he won't eat normal foods, he eats better than us. His diet is steak, chicken and turkey that is specially prepared for him. So that probably adds to his natural instincts of master.) He gets his teeth cleaned twice a year at a cost of appx $1200 for both cleanings. His next visit he will start having his teeth removed

Thank god I have the most wonderful husband in the world who loves our babies as much as I do.

I lost my job and now things are going to get really tight financially, so I need to find a solution and fix the problem. We might need to sell the house and no one going to want one that stinks.

Not sure what else I can tell you all. I have read a lot of web sights and tried most of what they suggest.

I have not tried getting glowing animal eyes or frightening smells to keep other cats away. Will do that today or tomorrow.

None of the other kittys mind the outside cats. They are curious and enjoy watching them.

I for one feel so sorry for the outside cats The weather here is over 100 on a lot of days, so I put out water bowls in the next door neighbors yard for them (I use rubber gloves so my smell not on the bowls). As much as I hate to see them in my yard... I WOULD NEVER HURT AN ANIMAL on purpose. I know they look in my home and wish they lived here. What cat wouldn't.

hugs Menou Lover
post #7 of 19
I have never had a sprayer, just a pee'er, so I cannot advise, but if all else fails, this might be worth a shot:

post #8 of 19
My Brothers Cat is just as bad as your Cat. He is fixed and even sprayed my brothers hair and the in the kitchen sink. Like you he dosent want to get rid of him. I hope your Cat will stop. I doubt Ash ever will.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have made an appointment for tomarrow (July 15) for LittleFoot to be seen by a specialist from UC Davis. My husband will take us so he knows what we need to do also.

They are going to check his urine and blood for problems first (again). Honestly you can't be to careful with animals, they can't talk so they trust us the owners to take care of them. He is male so he might have crystals in his urinary track dunnno.

From what I understand of Littlefoot's condition/problem:

He is an ALPHA male that is feeling threatened in his own territory, using his primal instincts to mark, is his way of feeling like he is doing his job. You see we feed them and love them and is instinct for them to pay us back somehow. Like puring is not something a cat will do for itself, they do it for us because we enjoy the sound, it sooths us. Some animals like to bring you dead pressys to snack on.

The more he feels he is loosing control the more he marks.

When he believes he is back in control and alpha male without anyone or anything threatening his position, he should stop marking.

Boy oh boy sounds like a job easier said than done.

I will let you all know in the next few days what we find out.

I have been crying at the thought of having to find him a home where he won't have to worry about the alpha aspect of his being. I really don't think I can do this in all honesty he is my little man and I would miss his conversations with me, would miss the dreamy look he gets in his eyes when he looks at me.

Without a doubt he is my best friend and I will do almost anything to ensure my best friend is healthy and happy.

I went and hugged him after reading your responses. He got up and talked to me a while then took off for the garage.

hugs Meno Lover
post #10 of 19
You can also try drugs, like Amitriptyline & Prozac ( search the forums on Prozac - a lot of threads on it lately).
post #11 of 19
Have you tried switching to Cat Attract Kitty Litter? I have never had a spraying cat, but I have heard people have good results. Otherwise the only other thing I can think of is the retraining process where he spends time in a cage for a while? I do have one other thought. This is a little strange, but if he is only spraying in one or two places, what about putting puppy training pads up in those spots? I knew someone who's cat always sprayed thier front door. She put the training pads up & it did a good job of controlling ordor & preventing additional damage to the door.
post #12 of 19
I feel the same way about my little molasses, I've had so many things I had to throw away or clothes and curtains that I have to wash all the time, all windows have been marked, all my clothes in closets, he even jumped up on my table with me sitting there and the next thing I saw was urine coming at me, he got my face before I could stop him, of course I was a little upset but I also realize that he is terrified that I will replace him with another cat or that he is protecting me some how, we have always been so close and we have been through a lot together both good times and bad. Some how we'll work it out, even if I have to douse the whole place with Feliway. I hope you will be able to do the same. Good luck.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I honestly don't believe in giving animals drugs unless is last resort, like antibiotics.

I don't know about your kitty but trying to give LF medications daily is like making him the most unhappy cat in the world. If you look at quality vs quantity somethings are just not a good idea for some cats.

And regarding the puppy pads, thanks for idea but the house is huge and he just moves a few feet away and marks a new area

will see what vet says tomorrow.

hugs menou lover
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
We went to see the specialist on Tuesday. She took down a lot of information on what is going on with Littlefoot.

She says he is in perfect health and can tell that we take great care of him also, the blood and urine tests came back negative

So know we know for sure it is not a medical problem. She said that spraying can be broken but it will take time and patience. This is not something that will stop over night.

Things she suggested to help with the peeing issue.

Kitty prozac: The specialist does not believe in over medicating pets and neither do we, but it is an option.

Feliway (plug-ins to sooth cat)

Electric (low voltage) wire for the area outside (I bought one it cost appx $50 for 350 feet, at a FEED store (not pet store). Does not hurt the kitty permanently but will make them uncomfortable.

The feed store also carried a powder that can be applied to the outside area that is suppose to keep cats out of your yard.

Cover windows and door windows just enough so cats can't see out.

Put tin-foil in areas were cat marks, also try food dishes.

I changed all the litter boxes to new. You can get a plastic box from kmart or walmart for appx $4.50.

I have been working a couple of days to implement her suggestions and see if this lowers Littlefoots anxiety level. We have another appointment with her on Friday. She didn't want to go into a lot of details before we knew if it was a medical problem.

Will update ya'll soon on what we discuss Friday or what I find to work or not work.

hugs Menou Lover

ps the felway seemed to lower the anxiety in the home for the other cats. which is good i don't need all the males marking
post #15 of 19
You have numerous things to try, I hope they work for you. Some of those suggestions I'm going to try, especially covering the windows, I was looking at window film, it lets the light in but it has designs on it like etched glass or stained glass but is a plastic type paper that sticks to the window pane. I have nothing to lose so I might as well try it.

Good luck.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
It has been two months since I posted about my problem with spraying in our home.

LittleFoot got a clean bill of health from the vet. The specialist who seen him gave us a couple of ideas (other than what we have already tried).

1. Capture all the non-neutered males in the neighborhood and turn them in.
2. Put Littlefoot in a cage or make his home in the garage
3. Start to let him out again so he can protect his property
4. Find him a home where he is indoors (basically an apartment without other cats in area)
5. Put electric fence everywhere (tried this they just jump over it)

Not liking any of these ideas, I purchased 4 books on cat behavior and read them.

Well I could have saved the money. There is not much you can do when there is an outside force (non-neutered males) in the mix.

Gentle people you need to understand that it IS NOT all the cats fault. To own pets you need to take the time to understand them. It is a cats nature to protect his property. To share his caught food with you because they love you. Cats are not dogs you can't punish them in the same way. You will only hurt your cat.

So what have I done so far to fix my problem.

1. We let LittleFoot outside again.

I know each time he goes out that it was my decision and I have to live with it. He is good boy and pretty much stays on our property unless he is chasing a cat off. I watch him very closely when he is outside. It is rather funny to watch him do the THIS IS MY PROPERTY DANCE when a cat enters our yard. I tell him what a good boy he is and he runs to me for approval and pets.

I try not to leave him outside more than 2 hours at a time. He comes when I call and I give him treats and more bravado pets (good boy). Then when he starts getting finicky I let him out again. This seems to have helped LittleFoot a lot, he is calmer now.

But now Cuddles (one of the white male twins) has started to spray because he lost his territory when LittleFoot went crazy in the house.

I guess owning pets is a never ending job. Who would have thought!

Will work with Cuddles now and see what he needs to feel more secure in his home.

hugs Menou Lover
post #17 of 19
good luck and hopefully everything turns out for the better for you
post #18 of 19
I hope things improve with Cuddles now that LittleFoot is getting better. I am interested to know if you were able to catch/trap any of the males in the neighborhood and have them neutered or moved. I have 7 cats and am hoping to avoid what you are going through. Mine are inside only (bad traffic for cats) and have plenty of room with up/downstairs. Some people in my area let their cats out for the night and they do come around here to visit. Not much of a problem yet, but I will be tempted to catch and neuter any unaltered males that show up. Hey, they are strays at that point on my property. Will hope things stay calm. Good luck with your crew.
post #19 of 19
I would strongly consider the prozac. I have2 cats here on it, and it has not affected their personality(except the peeing and aggression) in any way. I use Pill Pockets. They work great with one cat, he just eats it right off the floor. Bert, I just scruff him and put it in his mouth, and he swallows. So it really is no problem at all. And it's a human med and is only $4 a month, which is great.
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