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Tigger needs help

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I am cross posting from another forum I belong to with the hope someone can help Tigger.

My husband and I need some advice...since we got Tigger from his coworker 4 years ago he has had this bad habit of urinating on stuff. Anything from clothes in clothes baskets, to anything laying on the floor (including dog toys), on rugs etc. I'm sure you get the picture. We have done everything we can think of. We took him to the vet to make sure nothing was wrong, he's fine. We had done the feliway (I think thats what that stuff is called) thing. I have tried making sure there is nothing for him to urinate on sitting on the floor (like towels or clothes) and that is when he started going on the dogs toys. I have tried cleaning the litter box everyday to make sure it stays clean. Nothing has helped. In the last week he has gone into the bathroom twice (where his litter box is) and urinated on the bathroom rugs instead of in the box. We do have two litter boxes one for each cat, but it was their decision to share. The cats use which ever on is closer to them when they need to go.

We live in an apartment at the moment; however, we are in the process of purchasing our first house. This is where the problem is, we love Tigger dearly but we do not want him ruining our house. We have discussed trying to find him a new home but he has Indolent Ulcers in his mouth, so I don't think it would be very easy to adopt him out. Not to mention the stress of the situation will make his mouth swell up. So we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are going to be investing alot of money into this house, but we also don't take having a pet lightly. We made a commitment when we got him and I feel really bad for wanting to get rid of him. All of our friends and family say we should have gotten rid of him a long time ago because of this, but we have stuck with him hoping he would grow out of it. At his age now it's a learned behavior and I do not see any way to get him to stop. I would appreciate any advice you can give. We will be closing on our house sometime in June, so we have less than a month to figure out what to do. Help please!!!!

post #2 of 2
Hey Helen....I posted a really excellent reply from another forum in another post here...let me find it:

By all means have the pet examined to rule out underlying medical diseases. But keep this in mind..Medication is NEVER the answer to behavior problems. The answer is behavior modification. If the cat will not use the box for urination and defecation then you have a litter aversion. There is something wrong with the box, the litter, it's location etc. Either it is in the wrong place,( too noisy) or the box is the wrong type ( covered vs uncovered), or there aren't enough boxes ( 1 box per cat in the house is the rule), or it's not being cleaned correctly ( using Lysol and other disinfectants) repels cats.

If all possible litter box concerns have been ruled out then one may be dealing also with a marking behavior. The young one is maturing and may be challenging the status quo for his place in the hierarchy. there's no way I can tell with the scant history provided.

The cat needs a COMPLETE behavior work up so that the proper behavior modification protocols can be formulated. If your vet doesn't have the time/interest/expertise then get a referral to one who does. Medication is ONLY indicated in specific circumstances. For example if the problem is anxiety related and the level of anxiety is such that the cat cannot learn the behavior modification protocols. Too many vets and owners rely on drugs as a quick bandage. There ARE no quick fixes with behavior problems. You have to have a LOT of patience, dedication and willingness to take the time it requires to solve the problem. Often it'll require trying many different approaches before finding one that works.

I suggest you read the article on Inappropriate Elimination in the Library. that'll give you some basic information. then search the forum because this subject has been covered MANY times. In addition these sites provide good legitimate information:

Margaret Muns DVM
Staff Veterinarian

You may want to suggest this girl posts over at the Best Friends forum:{6F39C1B0-1BC3-4C53-A330-B974A876EEAA} another post she wrote:

What surface dose she prefer to "go" in? If it's carpet, try putting out a box with a scrap of carpet in it. If it is bare floor, put out an empty one. You can always slowly retrain to litter once the cat is INSIDE the box again.

Is is a location issue? Because of the illness she may be sensitized to the sensation of having to GO and go NOW! If that urge strikes when she is upstairs and the box is down stairs she may seek alternative substrates rather than risk "not making it". So putting a box or two in the areas she frequents the most may be needed initially. Once she starts using them then you slowly move it to the right location.

Margaret Muns DVM
Staff Veterinarian
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