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post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I found this site doing some digging on-line. I am in desperate need of help here. I have five cats (crazy I know), they are 9,7, & 5 years old. All cats are neut/spayed.

Unfortunatley we lost our home in the mortgage over appraisal mess and had to move. So now we are back to renting. We live in a new construction so no previous animals have lived here. I have 7 (YES 7!!) litter boxes for all of the cats. Two on the main level in our bathroom, one upstairs in the bathroom, and 4 in our basement. I have made the basement ones conducive to cats and have a large area rug (NON rubber backed) under the litter boxes for their feet. It seems as though one of my cats has always had a small problem. Here and there I would smell cat pee. I dealt with it, cleaned it, added boxes, whatever. We now have a two year old son. My one cat Reggie (7) is the only cat that I have ever caught peeing. The last time I caught him was about a year ago, which leads me to believe he is the problem. Three of the five cats are very easy going, go with the flow personalities. My youngest is a little bit of a bully, and will attack the cats out of nowhere, she is however the most affectionate towards my son and us. We moved about 4 months ago, I acclimated the cats with the boxes. Everyone has been using them just fine. Until recently. I noticed that two of the cat beds were peed in, I threw them out. Then I noticed that a bathroom rug was peed on, threw it out, $50 new down the drain! Then I found out that my son’s toy box in his room was peed against. I cleaned that up the best that I could. Last week I found cat pee in the basement along the cement wall and floor; it was a HUGE pile of pee. So I added yet one more litter box in that exact spot. Now last night I was in my son’s toy room and smelt it yet again. After looking I found that my brand new $750 dresser was peed on and he must have been peeing on it for some time. There was literally a yellow line of pee along the entire bottom of the dresser. We have tired feliway plug ins, and Reggie is currently on an anti-depressant buispurone. (sp?) His dosage was twice a day and I have been giving it to him once a day. So last night I upped this to twice a day now hoping that this may help! (Assuming that this is Reggie) he has even started peeing outside of many of the boxes, directly in front of them or to the side. His last UTI was over 4 years ago. Since then he has been on the special Purina RX diet which is very expensive. Being that I could not get just him to eat it I have to feed all 5 cats this food. Costing me about $140 a month alone. :O( Can I afford it, NO! But I only buy it beacuse I know that he needs it. In the pee that I have found nothing apears to have any blood in it, and we he does use the box there is no straining or anything like that. I have a pretty good knowledge of this being that I have had cats all my life. We scoop the boxes on a daily basis and also change the litter out every four weeks completely.

I do not know what else to do. I am to the point of giving up. I swear that this has to be Reggie. It bothers me because when my son goes to bed, he is the first out purring in your face wanting to be pet. He is a true sweetheart. I think that when I added my last cat 5 years ago, that added to my problem, and then having my son has made things worse. When my son is up and playing the cat is nowhere to be found, and is very skittish around him. My son does not chase the cats, pull tails, or anything like that. He never has. I try to give the cat extra attention,etc. but nothing seems to matter. I can only devote so much time to him working two jobs and having a two year old running around. I am out of money and running out of time. My landlord was not keen on the idea of having two cats in his new property that was never meant to be a rental. But I kept all five, never was an option to get rid of them. He obviously has no idea that I have 5 running around since he does not live in the area.

Don’t get me wrong I love my cats. I have always been a HUGE animal lover which is why I have rescued so many. I now realize that I have made a terrible mistake and should have stuck with my original two. Just being honest, the bond is not the same once I had my son. I have always been one to critisize anyone who gets rid of pets when they have children, it erks me to death. But I feel as if I am left with no option myself. Now that we are renting I can not put up with this any longer. I feel that I have tried everything and do not know what to do.

It would break my heart to put him down, as he is a healthy boy. He did have one UTI in the past and from that point he has been on the RX Purina food. Bought only at the vets office. Because I could not get just him to eat it, I have been having to feed all the cats this food. It costs me aprx. $140 a month to feed 5 cats this food. Shelters are overcrowded right now with millions losing their homes and beloved pets. On top of that who will want a cat that has a peeing problem and is expensive on a special diet? I have no family members or friends that can take him. I have tried. :O( I can not stomach the thought of him going to a new home and having someone loose a temper and hurt him if he were to pee. I also can not stomach the thought of him sitting in a cage for months and not getting a home. But then I would feel horrible putting down a healthy cat. My vet told me that people do do it sadly there are not many more options.

Does anyone have any advice for me?

I am going to drop him off tomorrow morning at the vets for one more urine sample just to make sure he does not have a UTI. I just tend to think with him going everywhere that this is 100% behavioral. :O(

Thank you so much!!
post #2 of 19
Have you had all of your cats tested for UTI's? I understand you suspect 1 to be the culprit, but what you are describing sounds like there is more than one cat involved.

What litter are you using? I have a chronic UTI boy that was going outside the litter box (and prompting others to follow his lead btw) that started using the box again once I switched over to Cat Attract. Yes, it more expensive than other litters, but the cost of the litter will be far less than having to throw things out all the time. Cat Attract is guaranteed to draw them to the box or your money back. Petsmart is now carrying it.

It sounds like your rental is big, but do the cats all have their own space? There are people on this site with more cats than you have that live in RV's, and they give their cats more territory by going vertical - tall cat condos. If your youngest is a bully as you stated, she could be threatening others sufficiently for them to pee outside the box. Giving them more territory often helps the problem.

Do you have a black light to find where they are going and what are you using to treat the spots? If you are not using a good odor neutralizer (my favorite is Nok Out), then they will continue to mark the same spots.

How often are you scooping the boxes, and how often are you cleaning the boxes themselves? I have 10 cats, and I can attest to the fact that they tell me in no uncertain terms when I get lazy with their boxes. I scoop at least daily. I own 2 sets of boxes and completely change out each one at least once a month. The dirty boxes are bleached (first with bleach, then bleached by the sun) before they are rotated back in.

If you have nothing but covered boxes, lose the covers on at least half of them. If you are using regular sized boxes, invest in rubbermaid or sterilite bins - you can get them half the price of litter boxes and you want to find ones with tall sides that are about twice the length/width of a normal litter box. My big bin boxes are used 10 times as often as my smaller boxes.

Someone else may have more ideas for you. Don't give up. Change what you are doing to attract the cats to your boxes and reduce the stress in your household.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the post.

We got rid of the lided boxes a few years back. Now I just have open boxes, I actually use the large rubbermaid bins.

Our home is about 1,500 sq. feet. I have a kitty condo, not many use it. There are three bedrooms and a HUGE basement. The basement is not finished but I have a large bedroom set down there with a bed that is made. One or two will sleep on it here and there.

I have taken all the cats in for their annual checkups and they checkout just fine. Since I have caught this one cat peeing in the past, I am determined to think that it is him. If I had two I could narrow it down to at least two of them, I am pretty sure of that.

While I would love to have them all tested, I can not afford it. Losing my home has left me house poor and broke. It has been devestating to say the least. I am spending $100 tomorrow to have him UTI tested which I really can not afford. But I feel I have to rule this out before putting him down.

I guess you just get to a point when you say a cat is just a cat, not a human. There is only so much money that I can spend on him, and only so much that I can put up with.

post #4 of 19
I suggest that you separate him from the others for a while and make sure that the others aren't still going outside the box. What you are describing to me is not the work of a single cat. If you were to get rid of him and the others continued, you will never forgive yourself. You have a lot of options still before you give up.

You also might want to read this thread:
post #5 of 19
Hi, I'm new here too with my own problems but I have given out a lot of advice to other people. I guess when its others, it looks a little simplier.

First you need to isolate the one that you think is peeing. Keep him in a bathroom or somewhere away from the other cats for a day or two with his own litter box. Then you will know for sure if you see any peeing elsewhere whether this one is the culprit.

He may want his own boxes, one for pee and one for poo. It sounds like he is stressed. I definately would go back on the same meds per your vet if medically it turns it ok. You may need to confine the cat so he's not peeing everywhere all the time.
I'm new to Feliway and its working for me with a spraying jealous cat.
Good Luck and don't give up !
post #6 of 19
Hmm, I don't see why you would need to put him down. Is there a reason you can't separate the cats to see which ones are using the box, and which aren't?

If you're determined to blame Reggie, then that's your call. I suppose there isn't a whole lot anyone can say to change your mind, although you haven't really tried to determine whether it's another cat doing this or not. So I don't really understand what you're looking for. Even if you don't have enough rooms in which to isolate all of them, you could isolate them one at a time over the course of a week.

Here's an idea... isolate Reggie to feed him the prescription food. That'll save you money that you can use to take them to the vet. Just because you can't see any blood in the urine doesn't mean it isn't there. (Although, if you're quite broke, I don't see why you would spend $750 on a new dresser and $50 on a new rug.)
post #7 of 19
Definitely isolate Reggie until you're sure it's him, as well as to feed only him the RX food so you can save some money. If it's not him, check the other cats for UTIs, too. I know you think it's Reggie, but it's very possible it's another cat doing it, or even a couple of them.
How often do you clean the litter boxes? If the box isn't clean enough cats will usually go somewhere else. Make sure to scrub the places you find him peeing with a good cleaner without ammonia, or he/they could be drawn to those spots again.

Why on earth would he need to be put down?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you gus for all of the advice! I am open to anything at this point. I never ever thought of isolating him from the other cats. NOT A BAD IDEA!

I will still be taking him in tomorrow just for th UTI check, just to be sure.

Trust me when I say that I REALLY do not want to put him down. This is my last resort. I am just at wits end here and can only take this for so much longer.

My biggest concern what what if it was not him doing this. So now I am going to heed your advice and seperate him from the rest. Awful as I will feel. So do you suggest a bedroom or a bathroom, etc? How long do I seperate him for? etc

For those that critizie me for my spending habits, go ahead. Obviously this is why I have lost everything and am trying to hang on to what I have left. My family and my cats. I think that considering what I have been through I have done well in managing to keep all my cats. I can not tell you how many people I come across on a daily basis giving up animals beacuse they move into places that will not let them have pets. This never would have been an option to me. Like I said in my first post, I adopted these animals beacuse I have a HUGE heart for animals. I have spent many hours advocating animal rights, and placing animals with good homes when I was a teen working for a humane society. There were so many animals that were put down on a daily basis due to overcrowding. It broke my heart. I am breaking a state and city law by having 5 cats, and also the condo association rules from where I live. If they told me to get rid of them, i'd pack my bags and move to the next place. To soothe your curiosity the dresser is part of a bedroom set that my mom bought for my son when he was born. Now I do not even want to sell that to somebody else incase they have a cat that will smell it and start the process all over again for another family.

This is a constant stresser every day.

To all that offered the good tips, I can not thank you enough. I truly appreciate it! I am just a mom of 5 cat babies and one real baby. I convinced a husband who never wanted any pets to get 5. So I need to nip this in the butt as soon as possible.

To answer the scooping question, I scoop the boxes everyday, sometimes twice a day. I change out the boxes completley once a year throwing out the old ones. I change the litter once a month.

I will keep you posted on our progress....

Thank you so much!
post #9 of 19
Please don't put him down
post #10 of 19
Don't underestimate Cat Attract litter. It really does draw them to the box.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am going to try everything I can to prevent this.
post #12 of 19
Hi, it depends what kind of floor you have. I would suggest the room with no carpet. Usually a bathroom works better, its smaller and just so many places to pee I've had to rearrange my house according to my cats. Right now, the spraying one is in my bedroom and bathroom only at night with me so i know she is not spraying anywhere else. This is not difficult. She has her litter box right now in my bathtub so I'm taking showers down in my husbands bath so you have to adjust to the situation. Its not perminent. She is doing well on feliway and will continue for a couple for months before I can start to trust her out at night and not spraying.

Putting your cat in the bathroom for a couple of days to determine if he's spraying shouldn't be a problem. He's safe there. Put some toys in or a paper bag to give him something to do.

You will find out soon enough what the problem is.
Maybe he sees your stressed , hence the cat is stressed too ! Let us know what happens.
post #13 of 19
I know this is a frusturating situation for you to be in. My sister has 2 male brother cats. When she first took them in as kittens they lived in a one bedroom apartment. No accidents no spraying. She had to move back home with our parents. That's when the problems began. Her one cat Dragon all of a sudden starting spraying everywhere. My parents had many cats over the years. There were many accidents throughout the house from different cats. And we think that Dragon became territorial and didn't like the smell of the other cats. She would get him tested for UTI's and the tests came out clean. The vet thought it was a territorial thing. Her cats are indoor cats and are only allowed outside supervised. Many different neighbourhood cats wandering around that would come up onto my parents deck and Dragon would go ballistic. The spraying went on off and on for 8 years. She tried many things to curb the spraying.

So, we did alot of research on spraying cats (she got him checked again for a UTI, etc. and he turned up clean) because she had found a 1 bedroom apartment on the third floor of a building with a balcony. Joined many different forums and learned of different ways to help curb the situation. She has now been in the apartment for 3 months and so far NO SPRAYING....this is a miracle for her cat....

This is what she has been doing....

Before she moved out she started both her cats on a canned food grainfree diet. A week before she moved out she started to apply Bach Pet Rescue Remedy to both cats (this helps relieve stressful situations for pets). As soon as she moved in she plugged in 2 Feliway diffusers (in a one bedroom apartment - if I had a bigger place I would get more than 2 - you can purchase them for cheap on EBAY). When she moved in she brought NOTHING that had Dragon's spray on it (ie: dressers, rubbermaid containers, clothes, blankets, etc.). She purchased a "Spraying Cat" flower essence formula from Anaflora Flower Essences and started applying this a week before she moved in as well.

It has now been almost 3 months and Dragon HAS NOT sprayed. He actually has become a much more friendly cat. And much more pleasant to be around. He even loves to cuddle now.

Your cat may be under alot of stress from having so many other cats around. It is very common in cats. It becomes a territorial thing with some cats. Cats feed off of their owners stress as well. So the cat may be feeling your stress. You can also check out some of the other essences that may work for the situation your kitties are in. You may have to treat all the cats with the stress reliever. You can even buy one for yourself. You can even contact some of these sites and discuss what formula would be best for your cat. And sometimes combining one or two different formula's works the best. I know you may be thinking Flower Essences - I'm not getting this for my cats. I was like that at first as well but now I am a believer. Flower Essences are very gentle for the cat compared to the medicines vets pump into our kitties on a daily basis to relieve stress. On antoher note my sister has now stopped the Bach Pet Rescue Remedy and the Spraying cat formula. But leaves in the Feliway diffusers. She now feels she can trust that he won't spray. She will continue with the diffusers for a longtime.

Here are a few other sites for you to check out as well:

Spirit Essences

Australian Bush Flowers

Also, I would suggest you to stop feeding all cats the RX diet. I have heard that this is not healthy for normal cats without UTI's to eat the RX diets for UTI's. It can actually make them get UTI's. Personally I would get them ALL off of dry food and onto a grainfree canned diet

I hope you find a solution to your kitties problems. But you must step back and look at the whole picture and not just focus on the UTI. The environment the cats are living in plays a big role as well...

Please keep me posted on your kitties progress I don't think it is fair for cat owners to put a cat down for something that CAN be fixed and is not life threatening. And I think it is great that you are now seeking ways to make the situation better by coming to this forum....
post #14 of 19
What area of the country are you in? There are numerous cat sanctuaries - and more springing up because of the financial emergency we're all in - where you might be able to take him in a worst case scenario.

And don't rule out shelters either. Maybe in a home situation where he was an only cat, or something, the peeing problem might stop. There are really some alternatives aside from putting him down - it's just right now you're understandably tired and frustrated and want the problem to be over. But I think another solution will leave you much happier.
post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by 88shelly88 View Post
For those that critizie me for my spending habits, go ahead. Obviously this is why I have lost everything and am trying to hang on to what I have left. My family and my cats. I think that considering what I have been through I have done well in managing to keep all my cats. I can not tell you how many people I come across on a daily basis giving up animals beacuse they move into places that will not let them have pets.
I didn't mean to criticize your spending habits. You seemed concerned with the price of the items that were ruined by kitty piddle, but things are replaceable and lives aren't. It seemed to me that isolating Reggie would be a simple solution... possibly saving both money and a life. I realize you've got a tough time of it with two jobs and a little one, and you wouldn't ask for advice if you didn't care. I'm sorry if I offended you, in that regard

Saying that you were going to put him down really struck a nerve with me, however. When I was a little girl, my mom and her roommate put down their cat when we moved hundreds of miles away to live with family... also because of financial difficulties. In that case, the cat had been abused and they felt that she wouldn't have been able to adjust to such a big change. Personally, I think she (the cat) would have preferred to be alive than not, and they made a poor decision.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you Miss Kitty! I am going to try everything that I can. Thanks for the paper bag idea as well. It will kill me to lock him up but I am hoping that this will help solve our problem. :O)

post #17 of 19
I hope you realize as well that you have to deal with the stress factor for all these cats. It sounds like they are stressed out from what you have written. And the cat that you think has a UTI is abusive to the other cats. It sounds to me like there is more going on than inappropriate elimination/ are going to have to try new ways to relieve the stress. We are here for you and want to help you get through this....

Good luck at the vet today!
post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by 88shelly88 View Post
Thank you Miss Kitty! I am going to try everything that I can. Thanks for the paper bag idea as well. It will kill me to lock him up but I am hoping that this will help solve our problem. :O)

Please let us know ASAP what the vet says. I'm so sorry you're going through this, it isn't an easy thing.

I wouldn't be suprised at ALL if the stress of moving caused him to have an othejr UTI, especially if he's had them in the past, in spite of whatever foods you are feeding. Moving is very stressful and that would be a perfectly normal response. If that's all it is, careful cleaning and the antibiotics should cure the behaviour.

Thanks for having him checked out. Money is hard for everyone right now. I am a PhD student and both my cats got mortally ill last year and I had to spend over $3000 on them, believe me, not easy to come by when you are barely getting on month-month. But where there is a will (and a sweet wonderful kitty cat) there is a way.

Let us know,

Thanks and good vibes
post #19 of 19
I just reread your original post and something popped out at me that didn't strike me before. You have a 2 year old son. Your cat first showed signs of a UTI a year ago. Coincidence? Maybe not. You also had to go thru a tremendous amount of stress losing your home and moving into a condo.

I've consulted with 2 different cat specialists about my boy with chronic UTI's. Their concensus? A lot of UTI's, particularly in multi-cat households, are caused by stress. Whether that stress is between the cats, or the possibility that you are spending more time with your new son than you used to spend with your cats, or you are stressed by your housing situation, could trigger this. My chronic UTI cat actually got blocked one day when I found out a close friend died, and we spent the entire day away from the house helping the family. We got home at 1AM to find that my boy was so stressed by the situation of being left alone (and we were stressed also), that he blocked from it. The point is that his problems get worse when there is stress at home, and his condition triggers all sorts of behavior problems with the others.

Look at the time you are spending with your cats, and look at how they may pick up on the stress you have in your life right now. What you've gone thru can't be easy and they may have all picked up on it.
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