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feeling threatened?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Help! We have 2 indoor only cats who are brothers from the same litter, Mickey and Luke. They are now over 2 yrs old, and were neutered at around 5 months old. Mickey likes to knock things over, but apart from that, they're great guys. We have a cat-loving dog, Rita, who is nearly 4-years-old. They all get along perfectly.

On our property are a number of stray cats - they've been here before we ever were, and each summer sees new kittens while each late winter/mating season sees males leaving and families changing. So some cats have been here a few years while some have left and some were just born. Right now, we have a mother and three 7-week-old babies living around our garage and the back of the house while the other three got "exiled" to the front of the house when her babies were born (she hisses at them when they tried to eat in the usual spot outside the garage). The three in the front are a 14-month-old female (whose litter this year all died) and a 5-month-old brother a sister. The 14-month-old seems to have become the surrogate mom of her half-siblings since the Mom rejected them in June to complete her pregnancy and have her babies.

It should also be mentioned that my sister is going to adopt two of the babies, so I am outside many times a day playing with them, being with them, giving them food and water, and scooping their litter. So when I come in, even though I wash my hands, I may smell like a little 7-week-old boy and girl.

We've had some problems the last week with somebody of ours going outside the litter box. Right NEXT to the litter box, one of our cats was making pee and poo. Yesterday, out of nowhere, it seemed like the whole house smelled of cat pee, and I just woke up to the same smell. As in I went to bed last night and the bedroom didn't smell of pee. Last night, Luke told me it was Mickey going outside the litter box because he's jealous of my efforts with the new babies, and I can see that as possible. Mickey sits in the window and meows and rolls around and claws at the screen while I'm out there. When I come in, he wants to smell my hands. Even last night, I went to play with him and I hadn't seen the babies in hours, but he wanted to smell my hands. However, with the kitchen windows' location, Mickey has had a view and sniff of the babies since they were born, so they are not new threats. And we used to go outside and spend lots of time playing with the 2 five-month-olds when they were this age, so us hanging with outside cat babies is nothing new. Giving them a tiny litter box IS, but that's about it.

BUT our house has a lot of windows in every room, and they are all open. Our bedroom air conditioning blows from a few feet away from where the three in exile now live. I am wondering if there is a competing pee smell coming in, perhaps from Mason or a father of the new babies (since they wander over now and then), that would be very recent and literally all around our house and coming into the windows. I haven't seen or heard Mickey spray, and so far, I can't find any wet spots or visible pee markings. So we have NO idea where this pee is coming from - it could be outside or inside... even the basement where the litter box is has 4 ground level windows that are all open. Two of them are near places I KNOW Mason at least used to "do his business."

Can anybody help guess what could be going on here? Could the female mother outside be trying to mark territory? Could the basement pee somehow be filling the whole house? There is no smell coming off the back of Mickey, so I can't say for sure that this is HIS pee (other than the out-of-litter-box protests). It's really confusing, and right now, the smell is HUGE and seems to be coming from everywhere.

If anybody has any questions, just post them as I'd be happy to answer anything about our animal-loving world. Meanwhile, today will be basement-cleaning day, and won't be easy as it's unfinished and uneven concrete everywhere.

post #2 of 5

Dear Debbie :angel2:

First, I'd like to welcome you to the CatSite and tell you how much you warmed my heart by sharing your photos with us. Thank you. I actually had tears in my eyes thinking of this very nice person that gives so much of herself to thes gorgeous animals. Again, I have to thank you...it's such a pleasure to see you here

Your family (indoor and outdoor) is just gorgeous. You and your husband;...Wow! All you see is Beauty! What a beautiful couple you make!

I'd like to tell you a little story about my kitties outside, well, they were outside, I have been here for over 15 years and my feral colony is now gone. I took all of them, at the time there were seven...(thank God there were no more than that)and had them spayed and nutered, so...that's why I have no more. My last two died last spring or never came back home for some reason. They left together and one day...never came home. I can appreciate your love for the kitties. I happened to take mine to the vets..we have a wonderful low cost spay/nueter program and for the ferals...it's free! So, that's why I had such a good opportunity to do that. I think it's becoming recognized on other counties here in Fla., but people really have to go to bat at the County Commission hearings and get veternarian's involved. It's such a beautiful thing. Anyway...let's get to talking about your situation here

Since I'm not an expert by any means, I have been studying a variety of websites for answers to many of these questions...so, let me send you to one of my favorite reads; here I think you may find the answer to your problem. It's helped me a great deal to learn about cat behaviour...I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Here's the URL for ya


Here's a little present for ya I hope it brings you smiles today!

Love, Peace &

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words and the link. I fell asleep in the LaZBoy for a few hours, and when I woke up, the house DIDN'T smell like pee. I don't know what happened. But I still plan to scrub the areas in the basement that have had stray poos or urine.

I read some articles at that site, and they seemed like good ideas, and many we're already doing. But we're still not too sure why we have found POO outside of the box as well. That doesn't seem to add up... unless they think the 100-yr-old dusty concrete basement floor is one big litter box! No, they haven't done that all along. We do keep the box scooped every day, and so on, so I'm just gonna see what happens after I vacuum and scrub the whole area with pet clean-up solution.

More links and ideas welcome!!

post #4 of 5
If they have 2 litter boxes, they are large enough and they like the litter then I would have to say it might be an aggrivation issue. Yes, the smell of outdoor cats can trigger this one. The poop may be because they are telling the outdoor cats that there is someone residing in the house and they dare not enter. When cats gets stressed and upset they tend to exibit these kinds of behaviors.
The only advise I can give in your case is to limit the smell and views of the outdoor cats. Also, I would look into what Catarina has done. If you can catch and get the cats altered you wont have this many problems next year. It will save you in the long run on food.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sandie. We will be trying to catch the females this winter now that we will have 3 of breeding power in the 2002 season. And we are getting the 3 "babies" adopted, 2 of them to my sister, and one to North Shore Animal League (for those of you on/near Long Island).

I cleaned out the basement today, and we closed the basement windows. The cats can still see the main hangout of Little Cat and the 3 babies from the kitchen window - not too much we can do there since Mickey seems very interested in them and would probably break the blinds to get a view. And I did smell the same pee smell in parts of our yard today, so I'm guessing that one of the outside cats is making a statement and Mickey was responding.

Thanks again!!!
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