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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18942
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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We recently added three kittens to our household. We have an

Customer Question

We recently added three kittens to our household. We have an adult female cat already, she is a shy cat and will not come out of hiding when anyone strange is in the house. Since inducing the three 5 month old kittens, she has started urinating on my bed. What can I do about this? All the Cats have been Spayed and neutered. I have two litter boxes set where they always were. Should I put one in another part of the house, hoping the adult cat will use it. Please help. The Kittens have been here three weeks now and they try to socialize with the adult cat to no avail.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Does SuzyQ spend most of her time in the room with this bed?

Are the kittens coming into the room?

Has she had any increased drinking, changes in appetite or weight?

Does her urine look normal? Any blood, small or large volumes, or strong odor to it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, Suzy spends most of her time in my home office and the basement. The kittens have free run of the house just like Suzy.
No increase in drinking, no lose of appetite or weight. Her urine is normal.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First as I am sure you can appreciate, unlike dogs, cats are not pack animals (they are like little tigers, not lions). If they were back in the wild, they’d tend to keep and hunt within a territory and do so alone. Even feral and outdoor kitties will naturally choose to spend a large portion of their time exploring, wandering around, and defending their territory alone. These cats only rarely interact with other cats, and in fact avoid interactions as much as possible (ie using spraying as a warning other cats that they are around and to stay away, etc). So, when we ask them to live together, we are asking them to go against what is instinctual or natural for them.

With this in mind, adding 3 kittens into the territory of an independent solitary female cat is going to be quite a challenge. Its good that you took things slow, but your lass is telling us that she is still quite displeased about the situation. Though instead of trying to drive the kittens away as a more aggressive cat would it sounds like she is instead showing a 'territorial' behavior and trying to claim the bed as her "spot."

Now in regards ***** ***** approaching this situation, since she is a timid cat anyway, the first step would be to try to addressing the anxiety that is making her feel like she needs to stake her claim here. Now there are a range of tools we can use to help provide a general peaceful environment for our cats. Often we will use Feliway, (also known as Comfort Zone in the pet stores) which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and help the stressed cat cope with the situation. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser (ideally used wherever she hangs out most). There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. There are also nutritional supplements available over the counter at the vets, like Kalmaid or Zylkene which can help. And there are treats like Composure and even a Bach Flower Remedy for cats that you can consider. And since these are not drugs persay, it is safe to use them in combination as needed to allay her anxiety over feeling that her territory is being invaded.

Finally, I would just note that when you are cleaning your bed and bedding, you do need to make sure to use an enzymatic odour neutralizing cleaner (ie Fizzion, Nature's Miracle). This is because normal cleaners will eliminate the smell to us but not necessarily for her. And if she can still smell her own scent, it can prompt her to choose to go there again. Her scent will be the red flag that its 'ok to pee here'. To make sure you get everywhere she has been, you can use a black light to illuminate any areas that she has urinated on. And if she is feeling threatened in the box but these wee ones at all, do also consider giving her a litter box in your bedroom for the short term.

Overall, inappropriate urination goes against kitty instinct to bury their wastes.Therefore, when kitties start to inappropriately urinate, it is a message that something is amiss. And in SuzyQ's case, she is telling us that she feels threatened with these kitten invaders. Therefore, do consider taking some of the above steps to help reduce her stress/anxiety here. Of course, if you are both struggling, then you could also consider following up with your vet to discuss drug management of this condition. There are drugs that can be used in environmental modification resistant cats that can decrease feline arousal and thus dampen their drive for anxious territory marking. These can be short term and long term treatments depending on the cat. Often it doesn’t have to get to that point and the above can usually calm this down. But if she is quite stressed and a stressy cat anyway, this too would be an option.

I hope this information ishelpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’llbe happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.