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FelineMed
FelineMed, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 353
Experience:  Accomplished LVT for over 10 years with a BS in Biology as well. Experience working in 2 feline specific hospitals.
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My name is XXXXX XXXXX im single and 3 years ago i took in a

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My name is XXXXX XXXXX im single and 3 years ago i took in a stray Burmese cat. He was about 6 months old when i found him. His name isXXXXX at first Mikey lived outside in my shed for the first 6 months after i found him, then after that for about a year he was an indoor/outdoor cat, outside for a few hours a day, then inside for the rest, but after he got in some fights and a couple injury's from other animals, i turned him into an indoor only cat, and has been indoor only for the past year.

Well when he first came into the house, he sprayed all over the place. The back doors, my bedroom window, the lower cabinet doors in the kitchen, the coffee table, and the side of my bed (the bed one is the most recent)...

He is fixed, i got that done right away when i got him, and that didn't stop it. So i loaded my place up with Feilaway diffusers, and that cut it down some, but he still would spray.. Then about 6 months ago i started using the fluoxetine trans-dermal gel pens, and it did cut down on the spray alot. He does not seem to mark territory anymore. The last two times he has sprayed, it was on the side of my bed, and both times it was because it wouldn't let him in my lap while i was working on the computer. Both times he tried to hop up in my lap, and i said no and kinda shooed him away, and both times he went over to my bed, and gave it a squirt!

Well 10 days ago the last time he did it, i researched the fluoxetine gel pens and found out that they only let about 10% of the medication in through the skin, so i called up my vet, and switched Mikey over too the pills, which should be more effective. Iv also (just today) started using the Feilaway spray on the spots as well. So he has been on those pills for about 10 days now. So far no new sprays, as i check the whole place with a blacklight when i get home from work.
And it seems to me he did it to get my attention. Iv done my best to clean up all his old spots with urine off, but some still smell a little, and you can smell the pee a bit when you come into my place, its more the cleaner smell now though.

So i know i just need to give him more time, give the medicine a chance to work, but my main concern is his breed, (Burmese) and their lower level of tolerance to being alone for long periods. See im single, and work 4 days a week and they are 12 hour shifts. (6:30am till about 6:00pm) So he's home alone all day on those days. My parents try to help out by going to visit him in the early afternoon, and spend about 30 minutes or so with him. Usually he's sleeping when they come down, so he isnt in the mood to play, but they spend time with him, give him some treats, then head back upstairs. When i get home i play with him for about 20 minutes, then feed him, then give him his pill. He's been living with my work schedule for almost 3 years now, so i guess hes used to it, but it makes me wonder if its one of the reasons he has been spraying since i got him. But i have to work, so there isnt much i can do about him being alone on those days, and i can't (don't want either) to get another cat for him to pal with while im gone, one cat is enough to deal with. On my off days im home all day with him, and have two play times with him on those days, one when we wake up in the morning, and one before he gets his dinner.

Now i know i need to give the pills time, it can take 3 to 6 weeks for them to actually go into effect. And a few months more before they would be considered ineffective (if he continues to spray while on them)...

So so far things seem to be going well, he has not sprayed since getting on the pills, and ill give them the time too work.. I also plan to have the professional carpet cleaners come in and clean the entire carpet, so any old spots or smells should be eliminated.

He has lots of toys to play with, two cat trees to play and climb on, and plenty of room downstairs in my place to run around and play. I give him as much attention as i can, of course on days i work, i give him his 20 minute playtime when i get home, but im usually tired, and after that its time for me to sit and relax, on my off days he gets all the attention i can give. And i no longer shoo him away when he wants in my lap, i just let him up there.

Is there anything else i can do to help ensure success and he stops spraying? Basically i feel as if im on my last option (the pills) and if they fail to work, i will have no choice but to give Mikey up. After 3 years of dealing with it, im sick of smelling pee, and the stress of just dealing with it has worn on me, plus the expense of the feilaway, medication, ect all adds up. Although spending the money doesn't really bother me.

Any advice?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  FelineMed replied 9 months ago.
Hi! I am a Licensed Veterinary Technician and have worked in 2 different cat hospitals for well over 10 years. I'm looking forward to assisting you!

Wow! Mikey has put you through a lot it sounds like! That is so great of you to stick through it with him so far. Most people would have given him away by now. It is very difficult to stop a previously non neutered male from spraying, so I think you have made leaps and bounds so far to get him to the point that he is at. I definitely understand your concern though, having any cat pee in your house can be quite the frustrating problem to have...plus as you mentioned, the cost can certainly add up. The good thing and bad thing at the same time is that cats are very habitual creatures, so they will do things out of habit, he is so used to spraying wherever he pleased previously, so it is hard for him to change this, but if we can continually get him to solely use the litter box, then you have the chance to create a new "good" habit within him of only going in the litter box.

I think switching to the pills was a great move because yes it is true that transdermal gels do not fully get utilized. Also, don't be disheartened if you end up feeling like the fluoxetine pills are not working well (although it sounds like so far they are), but there are other behavioral medications out there and sometimes one works better than another in a specific cat. Some other types are Buspirone, Elavil, and Clomicalm.


Definitely keep up using the Feliway diffusers (make sure you have plenty for the full square footage that Mikey has access to). If you can still smell urine in the areas where the Urine Off was used, then you may want to try either Nature's Miracle:

http://www.natures-miracle.com/

or Equalizer:

http://www.healthypets.com/eqcarstainan.html

These are the ones that I feel people tend to have the most success with. Anything that he has urinated on and that you are able to get rid of, I would...or at least pack away...anything such as throw rugs, or even your bedding, if you are able to replace it with a new set at least temporarily.

Also, a good general rule is to have 1 more litter box than the number of cats that you have and at least 1 per house level. The happier he is with his litter boxes the better chance of him only urinating in them. Of course make sure to clean them regularly and give him plenty of litter in each box. I would also give him a variety of types of boxes such as covered vs. uncovered so that you can see which type he prefers the most. Make sure the boxes are located in a secluded area too so he can have his "privacy."

You are right that Burmese cats do have a specific personality and need a lot of attention...but at the same time you have to what you have to do right now and he will have to learn to be ok with that. Certainly you could do some things such as playing a cat video while away or some cat music - I know some of this sounds funny, but cats do respond well to some chirping bird noises in the background or something similar. Maybe getting him a bed that sits on the window sill so he can keep himself busy looking out the window while you are gone and there are also some laser pointer toys that you can set to point at a wall and it moves in circles, etc. You can also take an empty water bottle and cut holes in it and put treats in it so that Mikey can spend some time batting around and gets treats out every now and then. I would just try plenty of things to keep him busy during the day...and help keep his mind off of the fact that you are not there.

I hope all of this has been helpful and don't give up yet! You have done a great job to get Mikey to the point where he is right now!

Please do not hesitate to ask any further questions. I aim to provide you with the best service possible. If you feel I have done so, then
an excellent rating is greatly appreciated! If not, please let me know how I can better assist you. Thanks! XXXXX
FelineMed
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the reply..


 


Yeah basically you told me the same stuff my vet, and others iv talked too in cat forums..


 


I will try a cat treat toy though so he can roll it around and get treats, ill do that next payday.


 


I did forget to mention he does have two cat trees.. One hugh one in his main room (the living room) and a 3 shelf one that sits in the window, and he sleeps up there alot.. I also stacked some tote boxes in my workshop, and put a thick blanket on top so he can lay on that and look out that window as well..


 


I don't have fielaway diffusers in every single room, they are so expensive to buy and keep filled. But i have 3 of them.. two of them are in the living room where he spends most of his time, and one in my bedroom.


 


I havent added a 2nd litter box, but he has never had a problem using his box, he always uses it.. Plus he has never "peed" outside the box, just sprayed.


 


But like i said, with the new pills, so far so good, and i just pray he keeps it up. Cause i literally can't take the stress of it much longer. Wondering everyday when i come home if im gonna find a new spot somewhere, cause i take my black light and inspect the while place when i first get home. And im sick of smelling pee and urine cleaner all the time, although once i get the carpets get steam cleaned that problem will be gone.


 


Plus if these pills just plain don't work, and he starts spraying again, my mom will probably force me to give him up so he doesn't destroy the house.


 


I know it sounds more like im venting about it than asking real questions, but it helps lower my stress levels to talk to someone like yourself about it.


 


any other advice?

Expert:  FelineMed replied 9 months ago.
I can imagine this is quite the stressful situation to have...and Mikey is over there not even realizing all of the trouble he is causing heh.

You really are doing a great job with what you have done so far and have done some great research on how to make Mikey as comfortable with his environment as possible. One other thing which I'm not sure whether you have seen or not is a calming collar, which is a way to ensure that this "happy cat pheromone" that Feliway diffuses, will follow him wherever he goes. Here is a link:

http://www.petco.com/product/109457/Sentry-Calming-Collar-for-Cats.aspx

Of course not all cats will wear a collar easily, but if he is one that will, then it could be an option.

I really do just think that with more time and with starting the pills, Mikey will learn to not mark anymore...with all of his progress so far, I think the chances are good that he will learn to behave himself : )

FelineMed
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for the link on the calming collars, i will try those on my next payday.. He shouldent mind wearing one, as he always used to wear one when he was indoor/outdoor, i would always make him wear a collar outside, and it never bothered him.


 


So if i combine the collar, with the feilaway plugins, and the feilaway spray on his spots, plus the pills, there isnt much else i can do lol..


 


I do keep a tin can with some pennies in it just in case i catch him trying to spray, ill give them a shake to "snap him out of it", but so far i have not had to use it.


 


I just gave him some turkey, and now hes laying down on his tower in the window, where he spends most of his time.


 


I just pray this works for him, cause hes gotta stop, my mom will probably make me give him up if after 4 or 5 months the pills don't work and he starts spraying again, which would literally crush me, as i love him so much. I mean other than his bad spraying habit, he is the most loving, and affectionate animal i have ever known. Very chatty too, he will talk right back to you.


 


Anyway, thanks for your time, and your advice, i will defiantly add the calming collar to my arsenal..

Expert:  FelineMed replied 9 months ago.
You're welcome!

I really hope that Mikey can come around...you have been so patient with him and I'm afraid that if given up, someone else would not be so patient. Keep in mind he means well, he just has a bad habit to break. I really think with more time and with all of the things you are doing, he can only improve.

Keep up the good work!

FelineMed
FelineMed, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 353
Experience: Accomplished LVT for over 10 years with a BS in Biology as well. Experience working in 2 feline specific hospitals.
FelineMed and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  FelineMed replied 9 months ago.
Hi Brian,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Mikey. How is everything going?

FelineMed
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

So far so good.. Still has not sprayed in the house..

Expert:  FelineMed replied 9 months ago.
Woo hoo! Thanks for the update and that is great news : )

FelineMed
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

yeah im really proud of him, he's doing really well.. I'll give you another update next week..

Expert:  FelineMed replied 9 months ago.
Sounds good! You both must be doing a great job! Looking forward to the next update.

FelineMed

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