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Peeing outside the box

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just had an incident with Sparky.

Sparky was scratching in the bathtub and I knew he wanted to go potty there. It's annoying so I picked him up and scooted him out of the bathroom, assuming he'd use the litterbox. He often uses the tub when he isn't happy with the state of the box, either dirty or not enough litter or whatever. But this time Sparky went into my bedroom closet and just started to pee. He didn't scratch and it wasn't noisy, but I noticed a distinctive wiggle and an unusual stance. So I picked him up and shut him into the laundry room with the box and I assume he used it. At least he peed on an old bookbag of mine, so I can toss it into the washer.

I am planning a vet's appointment for him, but in the meantime, should I keep carrying him to the box or just let him use the tub? I mean, it's darn bothersome to be cleaning it all the time, but it's easier to clean the tub than the carpet. I also can't tell if he chose the closet as an alternative or if he was mad at me for moving him and peed on my bookbag as a personal insult.

Background: We have 2 males, 4-year-old Blackie who is neutered, and 8 month old Sparky who isn't yet. We also have a cat who visits us pretty regularly who we call Ditto (his real name is TJ, but he looks just like Sparky) and we have recently had an unexpected guest that we called Marmalaide. Both of these "part time" cats were intact males, they both come in the house to eat and nap, but one cries to go out and the other we know is not ours so they don't actually live here. Ditto hasn't been around in a few weeks, and Marmalaide hasn't visited us in 3 days. So I'm not sure if this is territorial or perhaps one of them didn't use the box and got Sparky started.
post #2 of 6
A vet trip is always a good idea. It sounds like it's a situation where he is unhappy about all the cats around and that's why he is using the tub. Yes, him peeing in your closet was probably a personal assault. If you can, I would add one or two more litter boxes so he has a larger choice. The more they have, the greater chance they have of using a box in private.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
We went to the vet yesterday.

Sparky got a shot for worms and 2 kinds of meds for the diarrhea, but there wasn't any sign of UTI.

The doctor did suggest that we neuter him soon because he is at the age to begin marking and that we stop letting the other male cats into the house. Since the other two (Ditto and Marmalaide) are intact males, even if they are perfect gentlemen, their presence could be triggering Sparky to mark. Or their using the box could also be upsetting him.

Which is a shame because I think we might have liked to end up with Marmalaide since he is so affectionate and clearly needs a home, but in this small apartment I don't have a good way to separate them until they get used to each other.
post #4 of 6
Do you use covered boxes? I had trouble with Sugarly peeing all over the house when I started here in Oct ( she is the reason I found TCS ). For her it was definately anti-social behaviour. Meds & covered boxes seemed to have cured her problem. She is now off the meds and back to her sweet self!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
No, it's an open box. It hasn't been a problem until the last week or so, so I was thinking it was probably an infection. But it seems to be several unrelated things happening at once.

Plus, we have one of those self-scoop boxes, so over time the litter clumps up and gets moved to the waste receptacle. When there isn't much litter in the box, Sparky won't use it. I don't understand why he uses the tub instead, since there's even less litter there!

At least it's the tub and easy to clean, except this one time in my closet. He hasn't done it since. I wonder if he's smart enough to figure out that doing that is what brought on the vet visit?
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Just as a follow-up:

There have been no incidents since going to the bet. The worms must have made pooping very uncomfortable. There has also been no pee smell or spray smell since then, even tho' Marmalaide did come in last night. So I think that was it.

(Poor Marmie, he was so pathetic. He is full of bites and scratches and some skin is peeled from his ear, but he is so affectionate! I can't understand why his people didn't want him or don't take better care of him! He climbed up on my lap and slept for hours. I could feel his cold little feet through the blanket. Poor thing! If he was still here, we would take him with us when we move today. He deserves better.)
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