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petdrz
petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7267
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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I obtained a Siamese 3 months ago, about 9months old now. He

Customer Question

I obtained a Siamese 3 months ago, about 9months old now. He is neutered and has had shots but he attacks my 8 yr old female Ragdoll and has hurt her twice. He jumps on counters, tables and he has pee'd on my bathroom rug twice, on 2 different beds when we had company for Thanksgiving and when I first brought him home he pooped about 4 times beneath my bed.
I have tried spraying him with water, yelling at him (which I know I should not be doing), used citrus peels (he carries them around in his mouth) and silver foil as well as double sided tape which didn't faze him at all.
I am at my wit's end and I realize a lot of this may be stress on his part whis a result now of stress on my part.
Please help, I don't know what else to do.
Barbara
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 12 months ago.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Cooper today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

How many litter boxes totally do you have?

How many cats in total?

Have you had his urine analyzed by your veterinarian?

Does he continue to pass stool under the bed or was it only at the time you first brought him into your house?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
1 litter box covered.
No his urine has not been analyzed.
No more pooping under bed , it was just the first 3 days after I brought him home.
I have 2 indoor cats. Have had Cammy (female Ragdoll) for 8 yrs, she is timid and very laid back, frightens easily.
I just put down my male Ragdoll at 16 yrs of age in June and before that had a black shorthair for 15 yrs. My male Ragdoll, Oliver, was with the black cat for 8 yrs and with Cammy for 8 yrs and I never had a problem with any of them.
I realize Cooper is still a kitten but his peeing out of the box periodically is driving me crazy. My next step is to change the litter but I don't know if that will help.
I have company coming after New Year's and my grandson is moving in with us on Jan 10 for awhile. Outside of closed doors, I'm afraid he will pee on the beds again because one bed is in the family room and will have to be used. That's where the cat trees are and Cooper pushes Cammy off the top of the high tree every time she's up there. He can be a little terror.
Expert:  petdrz replied 12 months ago.

Thank you for the reply.

The very first thing I would do it to have a urinalysis performed on Cooper. Even though there is likely a behavior component to it, there may be an underlying medical issue at play as well and if it is not identified and corrected, you will never get the behavior under control. The condition called feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) can occur intermittently in cats with higher levels of anxiety and the stress or anxiety may not even be something we recognize, but having to share living quarters with other cats can be one of them. FIC can cause inflammation of the bladder which may or may not result in visible blood in the urine, but it is usually visible microscopically. This can lead to discomfort and some cats going through it will spray or otherwise eliminate in inappropriate areas. It is thought that they can develop an aversion to their litter box as they associate the litter box with pain. The problem can wax and wane on it's own and present very intermittently, so it would be best to check a urine sample close to the time that the inappropriate urination is occurring.

Once a medical condition is eliminated, or if he is found to be free of disease, then you can focus on getting him back to the litterbox. The goal is to make the litter boxes the most attractive place in the house and the other spots less attractive. The general rule of thumb is to have one more litter pan than you have cats. Since there are two cats, you should have at least 3 litter pans in the house if not more. You can have 2 of them side by side if need be. Some cats develop a preference of one for stool and one for urine. Maybe try one covered and one uncovered to find his preference. Clumping litters seem to be preferred by most cats because it is soft. It also allows you to keep it cleaner as there shouldn't be a wet bottom. You may need to experiment with different litters, different types of boxes (short sided, tall sided, etc) and different amount of litter in the boxes. You must scoop daily! Cat's are very texture specific so look at the places he is choosing to go. If it is a carpet, you may want to put a piece of scrap carpeting in a litter box for him and slowly add more litter as he starts to use it. Some cats, mine included, prefer to urinate in an empty litter pan with no litter at all. There is also a litter box additive called Cat Attract® which works very well. PRECIOUS CAT LITTERS LINK You may have already tried these, but they are suggestions that have helped many of my clients. Litter pan hygiene is key. This is to help with the problem of the inappropriate urine and stools that is more likely a substrate preference or litter box aversion. If he is spraying (vertical urination) or urinating on things that is usually a marking behavior and more a sign of anxiety.

When dealing with anxiety in a multi cat house, it is best to try to identify the source of the anxiety. In Cooper's case, it is being forced to share living space with Cammy If the cats do not like to live with one another we have to strive to provide an environment where all cats are able to find a place where they feel "safe". That begins by creating an environment of "plenty." There should be plenty of litter boxes, food bowls, climbing towers, toys and resting areas in multiple locations. All the litter boxes and food bowls cannot be clumped all in one place because that forces the cats together, something they don't want to do.

If that is not possible due to the layout of your home, another option is to create a time sharing plan. One cat is out in the house for a bit, then put into a room and other is then allowed out. In some cases we just use a screen door on a bedroom to keep the cat separate, they can see each other but not interact, this can be very helpful. If the attacks are happening daily then separation is a must, no cat should be terrorized this way. When they are separated, we can then proceed to limited introductions, where the cats are rewarded for being calm around each other.

Finally, in some situations it helps to put a quick release cat collar with a small bell on the Cooper. This way Cammy can hear him coming and get out of his way.This can often help a great deal.

Next, you want to make the other spots unattractive or unavailable, confinement is one way. Maybe keep him from the places it is occurring if possible, especially when you are not home, unless that is where the litter pans are. Enzyme products are needed to break down the odor causing components of the urine. There are a few products that work very well to do that: Nature's Miracle® (link here), Anti-icky poo® (link here) or Zero odor® (link here) Deterrents are needed after that. Carpet runners (with plastic spikes) turned upside down work great for large areas. There are also "scat mats" which give off a small electrical charge. These are not harmful to him. Another option is an indoor invisible fence to keep him out of certain areas of the house. They are very effective. LINK HERE

There are small devices that can keep her from going through a doorway as well LINK HERE. Also there are motion detector type products that work very well on counters and are inexpensive.

LINK 1

LINK 2

One thing I would suggest is a product called Feliway®. LINK HERE Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the natural chemicals that a cat secretes. It creates a comforting, reassuring feeling that has a calming effect. It has been shown to decrease urine marking and spraying within 30 days with a 95% success rate. It is also calming to cats in stressful situations such as transport, hospitalization, veterinarian visits, boarding, new environments, pets or people. Feliway® is a product that can be sprayed or used as a room diffuser. It can be purchased through veterinarians and pet stores. I would definitely put a few of these around the house.

There are drugs that can be tried, but I would try the other things first. Even if you have to resort to drug therapy for a while, these are changes that should be incorporated at the same time. Anti-anxiety meds such as Prozac have been shown to effectively reduce urine spraying.

This is a hard subject to cover adequately in a few paragraphs. I am including a link that may give you a few more ideas. Work with your veterinarian who should have experience with this also as this is a very common problem, but can be solved in many cases especially since she is still a young cat. I am also including links to a website that offer suggestions to provide environmental enrichment for indoor cats. This has become a very important subject as we have now identified that many cat behavior and medical disorders stem from the fact that they are confined indoors and forced to share territory with other cats, which is not how cats naturally choose to live. This "stress" can lead to physical and behavioral problems.

Feline house soiling

OSU Indoor Pet Initiative

As frustrating as it is, I would urge you to avoid spraying him with water or yelling at him as that only raises anxiety levels all around.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z