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Cat gone crazy?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My 5 year old male cat has been acting very strange for the past week or so. He has been spayed and has always had problems peeing and marking his territory, but now he's spraying everywhere - on the dining room furniture, stairs, couch, everything.. He has gotten extremely timid to the point of backing into the corner, growling and peeing when my husband or I walk into the room. I have 3 other cats, one of which picks on him some but not any more than he picks on the others. I am at my wits end.. he is ruining my house but I don't know what to do. I've tried shutting him in the bathroom with his own litter box, food and water, and he pees/sprays all over the counter and rugs. Any ideas why he has gone nuts all the sudden? I haven't moved furniture, gotten new animals, been on vacation, etc any time recently.
post #2 of 3
Time to see your vet!
My vet described innapropriate peeing to me like this:

If it's a urinary tract infection, the cat starts peeing outside of the box because they think the box is what's causing the pain. They try different areas, different surfaces, all trying to find comfort. When nothing is working, they start doing it in places you can't miss, because that's the only way they have to tell you something is wrong.

If it's behavioural, same thing, only they'll often pick very odd surfaces (plastic bags, personal belongings) so you can't help but find it. Again, they're telling you something is wrong, they're not happy.

The vet can help you figure out which it is and then how to proceed. Based on your cats sudden change in behaviour, I'm guessing he's sick. Cats hide illness very well and will often mask it with agressiveness, as in the wild, any signs of illness can mean a death sentence.

Tell your vet what you've told us, complete with strange behaviour. There's also a sticky at the top of this forum that give many helpful tips to help get your kitty back to using the litter box.

post #3 of 3
Yes, first things first, you need to have your cat checked by the vet. If you're sure that your cat is spraying (rather than peeing) all over the house, then it's probably not FLUTD - Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. However, you need to check to make sure. You also need to have the cat looked over to see that there is no sign of any other illness, as pain can cause a cat to act very weird.

Once you have the all clear, you can start looking into behavioral issues. Spraying is usually associated with territorial stress and it can take some effort to stop. You may need the assistance of a professional behaviorist to work out a plan for your cat. It really is one of the more persistent cat behavior problems. Keep in mind that as with any other behavrioal issue, you won't be able to "cure" the problem until you find the solution to whatever it is that's bothering the cat. Confinment to the bathroom won't help at this point and may actually increase his stress levels and make things worse. Another important thing is to never punish him, not even yell at him. Generally avoid anything that might add to his stress level.

Read more about spraying and how to deal with it here.
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