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Neutered male cat peeing on bed...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My male cat is about a year old, neutered, and has been urinating on linens of late... He did this for a brief spell when he was very young; there were a few incidents in which he peed on piled up laundry, etc., so we no longer leave any bundled up clothing, towels or blankets on the floor. It seemed to be the wisest move to make... once we stopped leaving anything out FOR him to pee on, he quit doing it for a verrrry long time.

Three or four months ago he urinated on my bed while I was out of town for a while. My friends were feeding him, and I assumed it was a passive aggressive commentary on how he felt about being left alone with strangers coming in and out. He has a pretty nervous disposition... he has an extremely low key home life, but he's always behaved as if he's somewhat traumatized for whatever reason. I washed the bedding and mattress furiously, and again, nothing occurred for quite a while. I went out of town in June this year to visit family, and left him at my friend's house. He HATES riding in the car. He howls inconsolably throughout the trip, so when he got there he was pretty upset... but I couldn't leave him at home, since I was going to be gone for almost a month. When he was there, he really began urinating out of the litter box again. I don't think she was that vigilant about cleaning his litter, and that upsets him terribly, so I assumed that was the problem. But after bringing him back home, we've had some trouble with his toilet habits.

This past month, he's probably peed on my bed three times... once while I was IN the bed, under the blankets, which meant he was essentially pissing on my leg. He looked right at me while he did it, and I pushed him off the bed. He knows he's not SUPPOSED to do it... he acts very strangely when he has peed on something in the apartment, almost a guilty or frightened disposition, which is odd because I've never punished him for it. I know that doesn't work with cats. He isn't litter box avoidant--unless his litter is dirty--and the DH and I clean the litter out at LEAST once a day, so I don't suppose it has anything to do with him being upset about his box... I'm not sure why he keeps doing it, but I really have to do something about this, because having my bed urinated on constantly is pretty gross. It's soaked down into the mattress... I mean, he has SERIOUSLY peed on it. I'm going to have to put enzyme cleaner on it and will probably flip it over once I've done that, so he isn't tempted to regard the bed as his toilet.

Gah. Please, please, PLEASE give me some advice one this one - that doesn't involve a pet psychologist. ><;
post #2 of 11
Sounds like you may have to put a little more effort towards correcting the situation and except a lot more responsibility for creating it.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was seeking advice about helping my cat with his behavioral problem - NOT being talked down to as if I am an irresponsible pet owner because family issues compelled me to leave him in the care of a friend for a while...

I wouldn't bother giving a case history if I was not concerned about the underlying causes of his urinating problem - I just am not entirely sure what they are, or how to go about fixing them. I was under the impression that this *is* acceptance of my responsibility...

I'm not sure how to fix the problem without getting rid of the bed altogether!
post #4 of 11
Has he been to the vet to specifically have his urine tested to rule out a UTI? They are the most common cause of "out of the box" experiences - and the first step to getting to the bottom of this. Until you rule out a health problem, it's hard to address the issue not knowing if it's health related or behavioral.
post #5 of 11
Please take your cat to the vet, he very likely has a urinary tract problem.

The fact that he was looking at you while doing it says to me that he was trying to communicate with you. He can't tell you, "hey mom it hurts when I pee" in words, so he's doing it by peeing on you.

Inappropriate urination almost always is a sign of illness. It may be he is forming crystals, and sometimes they bother him and sometimes they don't. UTIs or crystals can be painful, and he blames the box for his pain, so tries peeing elsewhere.

I am going on the assumption that you keep his litter box clean, cats really hate dirty boxes and many refuse to use them.

Urinary tract problems in male cats are very serious. A male cat can block suddenly, even just from inflammation due to irritation. Once blocked a cat will die within 24 hours without emergency treatment. And it's a terrible way to go.

Please do get him to the vet right away. And..bring him with a full bladder, so the vet can get a good sample for testing. Do this by giving him a watery meal an hour or so before the appointment, then put him in his carrier until it's time to go to the vet.

(Once he's been treated you will have to remove all trace of urine odor with an enzymatic cleaner. Regular cleaners won't do it. Even if you can't smell it, he will be able to. But he needs to see the vet first thing. Please don't put it off.)

Please let us know how he does.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I suppose I should make him an appointment then... I wonder how much it will cost to have them check his urine, but it seems there's no other real option for now.

We scoop the litter at least once a day because he is VERY finicky about its cleanliness, so I'm sure it can't be that. It did seem strange to me when he looked at me while peeing. It might be that I am paranoid, but it seems that lately when he is on the bed with me, he makes a slight squatting motion. I don't know if that might be any sort of indication of physical urinary distress... I can't say I've ever had a cat with a UTI before. :/

Thank you for the advice. I'll call this weekend and see when we can bring him in.
post #7 of 11
I agree with others that you need to rule out a physical health problem first. But even with a vet visit, I also suggest the following things. If you didn't clean the mattress with an odor neutralizer product, you need to do that so he doesn't smell the spots where he has already gone. While you may not be able to smell anything, his nose is a lot more sensitive than yours. And when I mean clean, I mean pour it on and completely saturate the spot, repeating as necessary. The product I found that works the best is Nok Out (sold online, google it).

Until this problem is behind you, invest in a plastic mattress pad for your bed. They sell them in bedding departments for any size mattress and put that under your regular mattress pad. If he repeats this before you get to the root cause, the urine won't saturate into the mattress again. And the plastic cover will also help to mask any residual smells.

And lastly, give him a stronger attraction to the litter box. Cat Attract litter works amazingly well for these situations. It's pricey, but it's less expensive than buying a new mattress. They sell it at Petsmart these days.

Good luck and please let us know what you find out about his health!
post #8 of 11
When you call, stress that you think he may have a UTI. This should not be put off, don't let some over bearing receptionist tell you it can wait.

It can become a matter of life and death in males very quickly. And emergency room visits cost a lot more than regular vet visits.

And watch him carefully. Make sure he is still peeing at least twice a day.

Squatting and straining is also a common sign of urinary tract trouble. The pain and irritation makes him feel like he has to go all the time. So he he squats. Nothing comes out because he already went. Or just little dots come out.

Of course nothing coming out can mean he's blocked, is why I say make sure you see him urinate at least twice a day and get him in on Monday to see the vet.

Please do keep us updated.
post #9 of 11
I'm just thinking out loud here but I wonder if you have lately changed anything like the kind of litter you use or the placement of the tray or anything at all.

I have found usually that if he is going on your leg and looking right at you while he is doing it than usually it has something to do with where he is supposed to go.

Different litter or location, could be something very small that he doesn't like.
Another thing is you can clean up the liter box with just a little bit of bleach and water when you completely change the litter and after that take a little arm and hammer baking soda and a little water rinse it out with that to remove the smell of the bleach.

I use a product called "zero odor" that works so good that a dirty litter box sprayed with this and you can't smell it even down close to the box.

Make sure it not something that he doesn't like and that its not a bad smell somewhere. Also soak the bed with zero odor or similar and that should help.

If he continues than you should call the vet.

Good Luck!

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your comments.

I took Gunther in to the vet, had a urinalysis done and UTI was ruled out. Physically he says he's very healthy! As for the urinating, I suppose it could be any other number of things... but at least a physical and potentially dangerous health problem is eliminated.

The vet also brought up the fact that Gunther might be troubled by changes in the proverbial pecking order, or wanting attention, which I never thought of. When I went out of town and left him and the other cats with my friend, I did not take into equation the fact that my oldest cat, a female with a very dominant, alpha cat personality, tends to become more aggressive when the order of things are upset, and she can be especially moody with Gunther. Since I've been paying more attention, I've noticed she takes swipes at him more often than I was aware of before... she doesn't physically hurt him really, but she does growl and get in some hits. She aims far more dominant displays at him than our other female cat, and I suppose he might feel threatened. That may be one of the reasons why he behaves so neurotically. Or maybe that's totally off base, but I guess it can't hurt to start somewhere.

I will put out another litter box in a different part of the apartment from the one she likes to use, so maybe he will be less litter box avoidant with some privacy. My cats use pine litter (they're used to it, so I don't think a sudden change had anything to do with Gunther's peeing) but I'm slowly phasing them back to granules to see if he prefers that... the pine litter breaks down over time as it accumulates moisture and gets stirred around, and though I keep it very clean, he may not like the fact that the wet feeling is retained in the litter since he's kind of a neat freak. We'll see how that goes.

The mattress is now cleaned and has a snappy new vinyl-backed waterproof liner in case he gets any further wise ideas. Oh well. What can you do, lol.
post #11 of 11
Thank you so much for the update! I'm so glad you took him in!

The relationship issues between the cats may indeed have a lot to do with his trouble. In addition to what you are planning with the extra litter box, there are ways you can help reduce Gunther's stress.

Feliway plug in diffusers can help him (and the female) feel less territorial, and it can also help the cats get along better with each other.

Rescue Remedy, also can help with stress.

The vanilla trick can help "level the playing field". I don't know if it would help in this case, but it certainly couldn't hurt. Put a dot of vanilla (cooking vanilla, not perfume) on the nose and tail of each cat. When everyone smells the same, sometimes the hostilities are forgotten.

While using the vanilla (or without it even) try getting involved in some interactive Games with both cats, to get them used to doing things near each other without the female going after Gunther.

Hope some of these ideas will help. Please keep us posted!
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