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Terri
Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32384
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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We have 5 cats one of which has been marking since he was 1 year old. He is now 8. We

Customer Question

Hi, we have 5 cats one of which has been marking since he was 1 year old. He is now 8. We have done everything from Feliway pheromone, to various vets and behavioral specialists, changing litters, bowls, boxes, to regular playing and adding cat perches all over the house. There is nothing we have done that has helped. I have a 6 month old who is starting to become mobile and I can't have a urine filled house. This is a territorial issue and I see no other choice at this point but to re home (but who is going to take him, there are too many unwanted cats already) or euthanasia (which we would never do). We are not wealthy, I am a stay at home mom right now, and most people would have gotten rid of him a long time ago. We are at our wits end and it's not fair to him or us because we are all stressed out about it. What to do? Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
Thanks so much for requesting me.I am sorry you are dealing with this issue.
Please answer a few questions so I get a clear picture:
Are all your cats fixed?
Are you sure Thomas is the only one marking?
Does he poop in a box?
Have you tried him on amitriptyline (elavil)?
What does he eat?
After your reply please give me time to read over the info and type detailed answer.
Thanks,
Terri
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All the cats are fixed. He is the main one marking. His biological sister marks occasionally but she started this way after he was already into his behavior. However, she goes in the same places repeatedly while he goes everywhere. Yes, he poops in the box, always has. Have not tried elevil. He eats dry and wet food.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh I just want to add, that we didn't try any other antidepressants because Prozac did calm him down but he still urinated exactly the same. He was just slower. He is also a very friendly and affectionate cat. It's the main reason we have put up with this for 7 years. Plus, we are firm believers in being responsible pet owners.
Expert:  Terri replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much for your very helpful reply.I am so sorry your are going through this. It must be awful for you
It sounds as though Thomas has turned your home into his personal litter box. I see you have bent over backwards to stop this behavior. Most people would have thrown him out on the streets by now.In fact, the main reason cats are given to shelters or abandoned is due to poor litter box habits.
Thomas is VERY lucky to have YOU!
Bless you for being so caring and responsble!
WE have had remarkable success with amitriptyline in these cases:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-behavior/behavioral-medications-cats
BUT and this is very important. A cat that marks like this is VERY insecure. He "thinks" he has to mark everything to claim territory.
So we must do things to raise his self esteem so he feels more important. I can tell he is not sick and this is territorial marking because he poops in the litter box. If he was untrained he would do both things wherever he wanted.
You must clean with zero odor anything that is cleanable and throw out anything that cannot be cleaned.
Get him started on amitriptyline.
To raise his confidence watch for any cats bullying him and stop them.
Give him something that is his alone that other cats cannot touch. I would use a cardboard box with one of my old shirts inside so he can smell your scent as that will comfort him.
Get a small paint rolled, like the type we use on trim. Roll it all over his feet and neck (there are scent glands there). Then roll it all over furniture and other spots he is likely to pee. That gets his scent on things so he does not need to mark them with urine.
Use a feather want to urge him up high on things.
Cats that stay low feel unimportant. It raises his confidence to be "UP" high.
Exercise him till he pants to tire him out.
Please let me know how things go. If you need me I will always be here for you.
Love,
Terri

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