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post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am at my wits end. My seven year old male has recently started spraying the furniture. What can I do to correct this behavior? I work nights so when I am sleeping during the day, I confine him to the bathroom with food and water and his litterbox. When I am awake, I put him outside. I can't trust him in the house. He uses his litterbox normally but has started spraying a recliner. Unfortunately, I don't think confining him to the bathroom and keeping him outside will resolve the problem and my husband thinks it will make it worse. HELP!!!
post #2 of 17
is he neutered? I don't know anywhere near what others on this forum do, but I know that would be their first question.
post #3 of 17
Airprincess is right, that IS my first question...if your boy is NOT neutered, that could very well be the reason. Intact males will spray - for many reasons - but mainly to "mark" their territory. If even a stray male cat moves casually through your front yard on his way to another house, your boy will know it and begin spraying.

The fact that he is using a recliner may be telling in nad of itself. Is this a new addition to your home, this chair? What is the history of the chair? What is it covered with (fabric or leather?) Did you buy it new or had someone owned it previously that may have had animals?

Now, all this being said - letting him go outside may not be the best solution as there are things he can get into (and can GET him!) that aren't good for him. Do you have an enclosed area such as a screened porch or other place where he can be safe?


post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, Willie is neutered. He was neutered when he was six months old and he's seven now. The chair he is spraying has been in the house since before he arrived. Unfortunately, outside is the only place I can confine him, which he loves. Sometimes, I think he prefers to be outside because he's always at the door wanting out. I don't have a screened porch area and I have two cats so confining Willie to the bathroom with the litterbox wouldn't be fair to my other cat, Harley. I'm trying not to make Willie feel like he's being punished but I am so angry at him. The pound isn't an option for me either.

We clean the chair but he must be able to detect the scent because he does it again. Should I get rid of the chair or will it matter? He could just pick another piece of furniture.
post #5 of 17
Yes, thats one reason..he may still pick up on the smell. What are you using for a cleaner? It it an odor neutralizer? Also, is the chair by a window or have you moved the chair in recent months?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
We use a stain remover called Folex and then my husband uses the carpet shampooer to finish cleaning it. I don't know if there's an odor neutralizer. Probably not. What do you recommend for neutralizing the odor?
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh and the chair is not by a window and hasn't been moved to another location for years. We try not to move the furniture because it seems to stress them out. But I don't know why.
post #8 of 17
Hmmm..I am going to have to think about that one. You might want to try a product called NOKOUT. It takes the odor away completley. You can research it a bit at www.kalever.com. I give this some more thought and post while I am awake (its only 540am).
post #9 of 17
Believe it or not, you're lucky -- he is spraying one place rather than all over the house. This will make it a little easier to solve. Try the following ideas:

1. Ask your vet or your local pet supply store for Feliway. It has a pheramone in it that keeps the cat from wanting to spray in that spot.

2. Try putting a strip of aluminum foil on the chair where he sprays. When he sprays it will make a startling sound and will splash some of the spray back on him. He will avoid that aversive experience in the future (maybe!)

3. You can also try putting a plastic carpet runner, spikey side up, in the place where he stands in order to spray. He will avoid the spot because he won't want to stand on the runner.

4. If you see him getting ready to spray make a loud noise and immediately put him in time-out for about 3-5 minutes. The loud noise will startle him into stopping.

5. If you think the spraying is stress related you can try giving him Bach's Rescue Remedy, an herbal supplement. Your vet can talk to you about stronger medications such as Valium, though I would try the herbal first.

Good luck and bravo to you for wanting to help rather than just giving up on your cat!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I have had him since he was four weeks old and consider him my baby. Throwing him away is unthinkable to me and unfortunately other people have that very reaction when I tell them what's happening. I have to try to do what I can to correct the problem.
post #11 of 17
If you choose to try the feliway, it is not a cleaner or neutralizer. It sais on the bottle to clean area well before using. It leaves a scent similar to the one left by a cats cheek. It is to help make the cat think there is no threat. So make sure you clean the area real well if you give it a go.
post #12 of 17
I agree. You must get the smell out. He may have been having a bad day when he sprayed the first time and now he continues to smell it so he will continue to do it. I have found by working in rescue that it usually takes about a month to completely break a habit. I had my female urinating in the same place all the time and I had to start putting her in the bathroom when I wasn't home. You will need two litterboxes for this but it will be well worth it. Put him in there while you are gone and then when you are home, let him roam in your house. Just sticking him outside will not clue him in to what he is being "punished" for. Punishment doesn't work but your best chance is to catch him in the act and clap or startle him. Do this several times, try the time out thing immediately following the behavior, and keep him in the bathroom while you are not at home. After around a month, he will hopefully forget if the smell is completely gone.
post #13 of 17
Good point about Feliway not being a cleaner! Silly me!

The enzymatic cleaners you can get at Wal Mart or your local pet supply store work quite well. I have used OUT! with great success. Make sure you really saturate the area with the cleaner so that it gets to all of the urine that has soaked in.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Have any of you had any experience or success with the products that Petsmart sells like Stink Free? I'm going to Petsmart later today to check out a spray to control litterbox odor and to the health store for some Rescue Remedy.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I picked up some Rescue Remedy at Vitamin World today but it doesn't say how often I should give it to him. I'm assuming it is to be given orally, which isn't going to be easy. He fights me on the hairball remedy goop I try to give him.

At Petsmart, I found a cleaner called PetZyme that claims to do the trick not only with urine and spray but with vomit too. They must be reading my mind.

I still want to get him into see the vet to make sure the spraying isn't being caused by something medical. At any rate, the Rescue Remedy should (hopefully) calm him enough that it's not WWIII taking him. He hates riding in the car and doesn't like "strangers" around him. I ask myself how I got saddled with this cat. His brother/littermate is the complete opposite in everyway.

I sure appreciate all the fabulous help and tips and info you all have provided. It has been a tremendous help.

post #16 of 17
Try mixing the Rescue Remedy in a little bit of canned food. Depending on the size of your cat you should use between 2 to 4 drops. Start with the lower dosage and then increase if necessary. One dose in the morning and one at night should do the trick.

Also, you can put drops in the cat's water, though I'm not sure what the water to drops ratio should be.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion of mixing it in with canned food. They love canned and will gobble it up. I hadn't thought about adding it to the water bowl. That would work too.

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