or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Strange Cat Behaviour
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Strange Cat Behaviour

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I live with my in laws, and they have a whole figjam female. Within a few months of me living there, we found a little kitten which we adopted. Before Bastet (Our kitten) came along, Tippy (the figjam) had some minimal problems peeing on the floors, mostly near doors (Indoor dog and she doesn't like her, so we assumed scent marking.). Tippy is quite territorial, and when we started introducing Bastet and Tippy, she was quite agressive towards her. We were concerned at first, as Bastet is part feral at least, but soon realised Bastet is quite laid back in regards to other cats. Tippy's peeing increased with Bastet around, and a few times, I have even caught her rolling in her own pee, or even licking it up off the floor. Due to her peeing on furniture and in the hallway, Tippy often gets put in the bathroom as a 'time out' and also because the bathroom's easier to clean than the rest of the house.
She's also become quite aggressive towards me. Sometimes when I go to the toilet, and as I go to flush it, she jumps on the lid and scratches my hand, and sometimes, as I go to leave, she tries to attack me when I try to pick her up and move her from the door.
Bastet is also picking up on this behaviour. I caught her spraying the shower a few weeks ago, and she sprays the curtains on the run. However, when Tippy is locked away, she doesn't pee.
Tippy also only seems to tolerate Bastet when nobody's around. The rest of the time, it's 'stay 5 metres away at all times!'. I'm assuming again, territorial issues. Poor Bastet is so tolerant to take her crap with only a swipe or two in return for being hissed at and chased.
I lost my favourite and warmest jacket, which was a gift from my best friend to all this peeing. I set it on the table, and Bastet curled up on it. Tippy got upset and peed on it. It was washed, aired, brought in and within minutes, more pee. Then repeat again. I can no longer wear it, and I don't know where I'm going to find another ankle length trenchcoat.

I've spoken to my in laws about taking Tippy to the vet to get checked for a UTI, to rule that out as part of her behaviour, after I stumbled over this site in a google search when I was at wits end. The problem with vets is that the local vet is known by a number of locals as 'Dr Death', as he is responsible for the deaths of many animals in the area due to lack of knowledge or maybe he shouldn't be practicing. A number of locals are strongly considering reporting him. (When the bills from the deaths of their animals are paid off. This is a vet who anaethetised a horse to do stitches from a wire cut and left while the horse was still under. Horses can die while under full anaesthetic, so a local is normally used. Ineptness?) So the next nearest vet is maybe 45 minutes away in the car, and I was wondering what steps we could take for the aggression and the strange behaviour until she can be taken in.
I'm getting rather frustrated at all of it... I can't go to the toilet without slippers on, or I get wet smelly feet. We tried switching to a eucalyptus floor wash, to kill the smell, she peed as soon as the water had dried from the floor. I'm going to wash the floor thoroughly with just hot water and then use citrus, but I doubt it will do much.
I'm hoping desexing will help change this behaviour, because it seems quite territorial to me.

I'll out down what we can't do, in case anyone knows any alternatives.

Things I can't do:
Tinfoil on the floor- I'd have to cover the tiles, shower, toilet, bath and sink.
Timeout just results in peeing elsewhere
The femiway stuff seems to be hard to find here in Australia
The litter is the same litter she has used her entire life, even from before they got her, so we don't see how changing it works. We tried a different litter, she hated it.
Litter tray is uncovered and cleaned every day or two, so we don't think that's it either. Both litter boxes are reasonably new, and get washed every few weeks. (Also, one's in the bathroom, the other in the hallway- two cats, two trays)

We have tried using odour eaters, no effect.

If anyone can offer any help, please do! This is driving me insane! We plan on getting our own house and definitely do not want our cat to learn to pee everywhere.
post #2 of 6
Glad you found us. Hope we can help.

As to the vet.... the local vet almost killed one of our cats, and he has a good reputation. Now we do drive 45 minutes to the great vet. So if I were you, I'd do the 45 minute drive. You DO need to rule out a health problem. Combined with the aggressiveness, I would really not be surprised to find out there is a problem. Our kitty Spooky pees outside the box, gets aggressive to the other cats, and talks when her teeth hurt.

But ruling out a health problem is important.

I would immediately add at least two more litter boxes. The rule of thumb for the number of litter boxes you should have is "the number of kitties plus one." But there is no such thing as too many boxes, and many cats are or become very picky about peeing in a box that has been used.

If it turns out it is a behavioral problem, here's what I'd do.

I would try to find Feliway. Feliway or Comfort Zone (a product with Feliway in it) are based on a very sound principle. It is a synthetic hormone that mimics the friendly markers in cats' cheeks. Something that smells like that marker is not a place to pee - so the smell is all wrong, which is why it's pretty effective.

If you are unable to find Feliway or Comfort Zone in Australia, consider looking for Flower Essences. Totally different principal, but they sometimes help (they either work or they don't, but they're not expensive). Many health food stores carry them - I'd call around. You're looking for a "Calm and Serene" remedy or a "Rescue Remedy." You add a few drops to kitties' water dishes every day (when you clean them and put the fresh water in), and you can put some on a towel and dab it behind their ears.

In the meantime, to help stop kitty peeing some place, you MUST remove the smell from the cats' perspective. If you have not used an enzyme cleaner or "odor neutralizer," you really must. I don't know what products are available where you are, but you can either call around to pet stores to ask for an enzyme cleaner, or you can use a home-made cleaner. I'll have to go find the link to it. With the amount of peeing that's gone on, the affected areas (especially if not a hard surface) will most likely take several applications (at least).

To deter kitty from peeing on carpets, if you can, place aluminum foil over the area. In the bathroom, all you can do is clean the surfaces with the enzyme cleaner or the odor neutralizer. (Traditional cleansers will not work).

You can also work on getting the cats to get along better, if you suspect that is the basis of the problem. To do this, you have to work on getting Tippy to associate Bastet with "good" things. Rub Bastet all over with several clean rags. Put one under Tippy's food dish. Get some new toys of the kind Tippy likes. Whenever she's around Bastet not being aggressive, tell her WHAT a good girl she is and give her a new toy.

Play helps reduce stress. Play more with Tippy. At the end of a play session with an interactive wand toy or something, put treats down for tippy on another rag that smells like Bastet.

Cats learn best through positive feedback, so constantly rewarding and telling Tippy WHAT a good girl she is for being nice to Bastet will help. And treats and food on Bastet-scented rags/towels regularly will also help.

These are all things that take time, but with patience, you should see a change.

Also, do they have much vertical space? Having as much vertical space for them as possible will really help reduce territory/alpha aggression problems (and can help reduce the stress, helping to address the peeing problem). We have lots of cat trees. Don't know how your mom/parents feel about this, but if anyone's handy and they're into it, these are great and not too difficult to make on your own: http://www.katwallks.com/customerphotos.htm

I'll go look for the link for the home made cleaning solution.

...but please get kitty to the vet. It may be that easy.

post #3 of 6
Here's the link to the cleaning formula:


Good luck!

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you!

We have some very unusual vertical spaces. For example, behind some chairs is my double mattress, against the wall. Tippy likes to sit on it behind my mother in laws head. There's a box of blankets on one of the couches that Bastet likes to sleep on when she's not in front of the fire. We have a small scratching post at the moment, working on building a super massive high one. We're having some difficulties with the measurements, we need to make sure the base is wide enough to support the height, and also a certain nutball cat during crazy hour. (Or when she steals some of my partners coffee again!).

We've considered using a spray bottle with some lemon juice in it if they're fighting really bad... But I prefer the "let them sort it out like two little kids" way of doing things. (We spray all the chairs nightly with the lemon/water mix to avoid little accidents in the morning... And it stopped Bastet climbing the curtains. But that's completely different :P)

I'm going to speak to them again about taking her to the vet. I'd prefer it asap, but I don't have a car and can't drive, so I can't do it myself. Neither does my partner.

Thank you again for those links, I have them open in new tabs ready to look at and discuss with my partner.
post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by Tera-Cat View Post
they have a whole figjam female.
What is a figjam?

Feliway is available in Aus, most vets have it - but it's pricey. One way to save a bit is to only get the refils and use a Mortein mozzie plug in instead of the proper Feliway plug (they are the same shape/size)
You can also buy the refils online from places like VetnPetDirect. I know a lot of people who've used it and results are mixed, some say it works many say it makes no difference or even has the opposite reaction and makes things worse

For cleaning up the wee, get Bio-Zet either liquid or powder and mix with a bit of water - the enzymes get rid of all lingering odours to help eliminate remarking.

http://www.dealsdirect.com.au/ have lower priced cat trees.

You do need to get everyone desexed, entires often pee. Girls when calling, boys much of the time once mature.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yeah, Bastet's getting done within a few weeks, Tippy when my in laws have enough money.

A figjam is a name for cats that are dark with mottled lighter colours mixed in. I think it's a slang term, or maybe an older one.

We have a mortein mozzie plug in... I get really big bites from mozzies, so it was an essential summer item. We'll find somewhere with the refills then

I didn't know Bio-Zet worked like that.... it's one of the few things I can use on clothes that doesn't irritate my skin I'll be grabbing some of that. Now, if I can get my mother in law to part with using phenyle to disinfect peed on items.... /sigh

Thanks for letting me know this... I really have no clue where some things are concerned, lol.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Strange Cat Behaviour