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HELP!!! My female cat sprayed ME!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I sure hope someone can help me. I have a 5 year old spayed female, Aspen, who I've had for 1.5 years. I also have a roughly 10 year old neutered male cat named Pumpkin who I've had for 8 years. About a year ago, they both started spraying in the house. At first it was just on a new couch I bought so I thought it was due to an unfamiliar object, but then they started doing it in other places. They've both been to the vet, so there are no apparent health problems. Pumpkin never sprayed before, even though I had two other cats in addition to him. He and Aspen's introduction was a littly dicey with some aggression, mostly on Aspen's part, in the beginning, but they seem to have come to a peaceful existence, and neither of them sprayed in the house until about 6 months after I had her. As a result I'm constantly cleaning. Fortunately, I planned for having pets by having hard wood floors and mostly leather furniture that's easily cleanable, but I don't want to spend all my time hunting out and cleaning cat urine.

Well, last night, while I was fast asleep, Aspen jumps on the bed, sprays ME on my arm and jumps down. I was, of course, thoroughly flabbergasted and disgusted. I got up to wash my arm off and tried to go back to sleep although I couldn't right away because I was scared she was going to do it again (fortunately she didn't). Pumpkin was asleep next to me on the bed on the other side.

This morning she seems normal and yesterday evening she spent the evening curled up next to me while I read. She's otherwise a great cat who loves people although she can be a bit rough with other cats. There is an outdoor cat who "lives" next door named Frank who's coming of age and no matter how many times I ask the owner if she's gotten him neutered, she still hasn't done it. I'm wondering if his presence outside the house is causing their spraying. During the summer I often leave the screen porch door cracked and my cats can go in and out during the day because there's a cat door into the house. I also wonder if some cat got in the house and caused them to start thinking they needed to mark their territory.

But, that doesn't explain why she decided to spray me. I know spraying is supposed to be marking territory, but I don't appreciate being her territory in that way. I would be happy with a nice face rub. The vet suggests I use Elavil which I was trying to avoid, but I'm thinking now I have no choice because she can't continue to spray me. I've also used Feliway in the past, but I'm not sure it helped much and as expensive as it is in this economy I don't want to buy things that aren't likely to work.

Just for information, they have three litter boxes in quiety, out of the way places, one on each floor of my house.

I hope someone can offer some useful advice about this problem. I really love her and she's otherwise a great cat, so I don't want to get rid of her.

Thanks.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
I called the vet who's a friend of mine and we met her at her office. She ultrasounded Aspen, took a urine sample (normal), and put her in a cage for a little while while we talked, and of course, Aspen immediately went in the litter box with no problem. They use clay litter instead of the clumping kind I use and she recommended I change to that. She also started her on Elavil. I'm not crazy about this idea, but under the circumstances I agreed. We'll see what happens.
post #3 of 9
Good luck, Ethiope.

I have not yet had to deal with any type of spraying/peeing problem so I don't have any advice for you. I can only imagine how you felt when you woke up!
post #4 of 9
My one 10 1/2 hear old male cat, Mo does this. He is the only one of my 9 cats that spray, it is without a doubt due to the other cats he sees outside. Mine are all 100% indoor cats. But Mo sprays everything, yes, including me. I was sitting at my table he jumped up on the table and the next thing I saw was a stream of pee coming towards my face. I couldn't believe it. What I have to do is try to keep him away from the windows and I also use a Feliway Difuser. Its an ongoing battle with Mo. Good luck.
post #5 of 9
besides the feliway [which can take up to a month or 2 before you see results, btw] you can try adding Rescue Remedy to their water.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
So far so good with the Elavil. I was worried she would be really tired or some other side effect, but fortunately she seems to be fine. The only thing I've noticed is she seems not to purr as easily (and I love her purr) but she still does it it just takes a little more petting.

I've cleaned up all the urine I can find and sleep with one eye open (just kidding). I've changed one litter box to clay and did it with her in the bathroom with me so she could see. She's lying here next to me right now, so at least I know she still loves me because to be honest, I just assumed she was spraying. Since I was half asleep I can't swear to whether she was standing up completely straight or was squating. I'd prefer spraying which would mean she was claiming me as her territory. Normal urination may mean she was mad about something. One thing I was wondering about is whether she did it because I had closed the cat door. I have to tape it up because they just will not push it to get out to the screen porch, but since it's so cold out I didn't want to let my heat out. She may have been mad about that although it's not the first time I've closed it. Who knows, cats are so complicated, but I'm going to continue with the Elavil (luckily she's eating it inside of a pill pocket) and see if we can redirect her back to her litter box. Thanks for your help and sympathy.
post #7 of 9
Cats don't do things because they get mad or want to 'pay you back', they aren't capable of that kind of reasoning.

They'd have to think, "I don't like that the cat door is closed (or going to the vet or the new cat in the house). My human is responsible for the cat door being closed (or my going to the vet or the new cat in the house). My human doesn't like to be peed on/have poop in the bed (this involves even more complex thought). Peeing on my human/pooping on the bed will make my human know I don't want the cat door closed (or to go to the vet or that new cat around). I will pee on my human/poop on the bed."

A cat could certainly pee or poop inappropriately because it's stressed out or feel it needs to mark its territory, but it won't, it can't, do it for revenge or anger.

So don't be worried that she may be angry with you.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I don't know. Cats I've had have done things that seemd pretty obviously because they were mad. Like my former cat, Velvet, who would urinate right in front of me while glaring at me. She was always being chased out of the room by her brother, Bud, when the family was in there. Once I started playing with her for an hour each day she stopped doing it.

Bud used to get mad at me and would sit right in front of me with his back turned until he got over whatever it was.

Pumpkin has gotten mad at me when I've been gone too long. When I return and try to pet him he'll do things like get under the bed just out of my reach (which he never usually does) or run away from me with a vocalization that clearly sounds upset. He gets over it pretty quickly (within 20-30 minutes), but he's clearly mad and irritated.

Also, my sister's cat pees only in her daughter's bed and her daughter is the only one who harrasses the cat.

I give cats a lot more credit for being able to reason then they often get.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
One other thing I forgot to write in the last post. Aspen does know that I'm the one who closed the cat door (or any door for that matter) and she knows I'm the one who can open it. Just like she comes to get me to feed her, I don't see why she couldn't come to get me to open the door and perhaps be not too happy that the door that has been open for a year is suddenly closed and show her displeasure. Who knows, maybe cats are evolving by living with humans to be able to communicate with us better and express their emotions (which I definitely believe they have) better.
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