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Ugh. New(ish) cat peeing on furniture. Why?

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  • Ugh. New(ish) cat peeing on furniture. Why?

    DH and I adopted two new cats after losing our Toby in May. They have been here for several weeks now, and they get along great with each other. One is male, now named Sid, age 2 1/2, the other is female, now named Steve age 1 1/2. Sid was an owner surrender (rental house) and Steve was a stray.

    We have four large dogs, and Sid lived with dogs in the past, and settled in with them immediately. Steve was terrified at first but has figured it out and is now totally fine.

    We started with one extra-large litter box downstairs. Late last week, Sid took a dump on the chair in the living room and peed on the couch across the room. We know it was Sid because in the timeframe between when it wasn't there and when it was there, Steve was downstairs with me the entire time. (That, and Sid is twice Steve's size, and trust me when I say that Steve COULD NOT have pooped that big )

    We want to help him. So we went to the store and got another XL litter box and found a place on the main floor, so now there is a huge litter box on the lower level and the main level of the house. The holiday weekend went by, and this morning I woke up to DH telling me that there was cat pee on the big chair in the living room. He had sprayed it down but most of the main floor smells awful.

    We use the pet forumulated cleaners that are supposed to neutralize the enzymes, so we shouldn't be having trouble with repeat "covering it up" issues.

    What's his deal? He's been here for several weeks and both incidents have just happened within the last 5 days. Everything else points to him settling in just fine, and he seems happy and totally comfortable.

    When I took him to our vet for his checkup after adoption, she asked why he was surrendered, because he's such an amazingly nice and handsome kitty. She said one of the top reasons cats are owner-surrendered is because of inappropriate urination. A pox on the previous owner for not saying so on the intake, if that is true

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Me me me!

    I just went through this with a 6 yr. old female cat, one of 4 cats. A month after starting the following management techniques, we have been pee-free that whole time.

    1) We increased from 3 to 4 litterboxes, and I have undertaken to be very thorough about keeping them scooped daily.

    2) I got the pee-er a pheromone collar, which she seems to love (purring when I put it on her, never tries to get rid of it, etc.)

    3) The peeing cat is taking a 5mg tablet of prozac every day.

    I wish you luck, this sucks. My vet swears by the Prozac and the collar. She says inappropriate elimination is often an anxiety thing, and those 2 things, plus the better litter box availability, will reduce your cat's anxiousness.

    Obviously, you will want to be sure that there are no urinary tract or other health issues going on.

    The faster you start these things, the better, because I think the peeing can become habitual, then you are screwed.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


    • #3
      Have you had him vet checked after these peeing incidents?

      My first thought is that he could have developed a UTI. I went through one with my boy weeks ago and it was a nightmare. But other than not being able to pee in the box and peeing on my bed, he acted completely normal.

      Take him in and get a urinalysis. The boys are much more prone to UTIs than the girls.
      Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars


      • #4
        Thank goodness I have not been thru this -- but have you tried a different litter in the boxes?

        I use Feline Pine, it's not scoopable, but my cats really seem to like it.

        We are thinking about getting another cat and these stories really scare me about it -- I don't have a peeing problem with my cats right now, and I don't want one!


        • #5
          Also, for time being, I would put some kind of impermeable covering on the chairs he has hit.
          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


          • Original Poster

            He's not anxious, though....he's totally laid back. He's also going in the litter boxes.


            • #7
              Try orange spray, too, on the chairs he has chosen ... sometimes that's a good repellant to keep them away.

              I would love to hear more about how people solve this problem.


              • #8
                I'd also suggest the feliway phermone plugins, maybe put 2 or 3 in outlets in the rooms they spend the most time in.

                It helps with my "pee monster" named peaches. She likes to mark, before we had new cats it was easily prevented by keeping clothes and things off the floor and making sure she stays inside.

                We got a new cat I think 2 or 3 months ago, a male named simon who is now about 11 months old. She hadn't been peeing, but since the feliway ran out, she's peeing again.

                We also have a 4 year old female named Violet, and a female named Misty who is about 10 months old.

                Peaches is 12 years old in case anyone wondered.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Schune View Post
                  Have you had him vet checked after these peeing incidents?

                  My first thought is that he could have developed a UTI. I went through one with my boy weeks ago and it was a nightmare. But other than not being able to pee in the box and peeing on my bed, he acted completely normal.

                  Take him in and get a urinalysis. The boys are much more prone to UTIs than the girls.
                  Same with one of my cats. He's great about using the litterbox unless he has a UTI, and he's quite prone to developing struvite crystals, so we really have to watch him, feed him special food, and so on.

                  Although a lot of cat peeing problems are not so easily solved, it makes sense to rule out the easily treatable conditions first.
                  "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                  -Edward Hoagland


                  • #10
                    I have a two year old male I got from the shelter about 10 months ago. Like your guy, super sweet, beautiful cat.

                    About 6 months after I got him he started peeing on the guest bed.

                    Raging UTI and crystals.

                    We switched food and gave meds for the UTI. But the vet also told me to "start over" with him too....so he went in a room with a litter box and nothing bad he could pee on, with a pheramone plug in until he was done with his meds.

                    I spent time in the room with him every day, to make sure he didn't feel abandoned.

                    Then we started letting him out in the main areas of the house for limited, supervised interaction time and also placed a pheramone plug-in in that area of the house.

                    I still don't leave him loose in the house, or allow him to hang out in any bedroom without supervision.

                    Bummer, I'll likely never trust him 100% again, but I have a workable solution.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by asb_own_me View Post
                      He's not anxious, though....he's totally laid back. He's also going in the litter boxes.
                      Are you sure that the pee is Sid's and not your other cat's (in the litterbox)?

                      Allen would go in and squat (he likes to go right at the front of the box with his tail hanging out of the flap) like he was peeing, but nothing would come out.
                      Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars


                      • Original Poster

                        Yes, I'm sure that he is peeing in the litterbox.

                        Ran him up to the local vet (3 miles from here) and confirmed that he does not have a UTI

                        Shut him back in the downstairs room with Steve for now. No issues down there thus far, and had been no issues before when they were there for the first week.

                        Came up to poke around the chair some more to try and figure out why the smell hadn't dissipated At. All., despite windows and front door open and fans, Febreze, enzyme cleaner and baking soda.

                        Oh. That's because he hadn't so much urinated on it as SPRAYED. The entire side and back is damp with cat urine as well. So much for the UTI/urination theory. He's spraying/marking. Uncool.


                        • #13
                          Yeah that's what Peaches does, she marks sometimes. I think only male cats are able to spray and do spray. Forgive me for asking but is he neutered? If so, was he neutered late as an adult?

                          Anyway not sure what preventative advice on the feline side to give you.
                          I'd suggest covering furniture in plastic, or what you're doing now shutting him downstairs.

                          But be sure to try the "happy calm cat" pheromones


                          • #14
                            asb_own_me, I'm so sorry, it really is the worst.

                            I know that you may think this sounds nutty, but I am having excellent results with prozac for my cat. It's a tiny dose - 5mg -- and it's not hard to administer each day.

                            I know some don't think you should go straight to a drug, but it's better than feeling like you have no other choice than euthanasia.
                            I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                            I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                            • Original Poster

                              Yes, he's neutered, and *from the owner history given on the surrender form* he was neutered as a youngster. There was also no mention of spraying/marking. But as my vet mentioned, that's one of the top reasons, if not the #1 reason people relinquish cats.....and who's to say they are honest when they are turning Kitty in? They think it's not their problem, Kitty will get a new home and maybe Kitty either won't do it to New Owners, or New Owners won't care.

                              I can see it now:
                              Shelter: "Does Kitty have any behavior issues?"
                              Dumbass: "Oh, no," cough, cough, look away, "Kitty is WONDERFUL, but we are moving/having a baby/getting new furniture that he won't coordinate with."
                              Shelter: "Uh huh."

                              So, newsflash. New Owners WILL CARE, and Kitty WILL continue bad behavior.


                              Plus, he's front-declawed, so he can't go be a barn cat.


                              • #16
                                Any chance that there's another cat hanging around outside making him feel territorial? Otherwise, Feliway plug-in +/- prozac are your friends


                                • #17
                                  I have known people to have neutered males start spraying years after no problem with them at all. In fact a friend was going to a work event, and we noticed something strange about her vest, she looked and realized kitty had sprayed it (I think she put her clothes out the night before, and it was hanging from a door knob or something), she takes the vest off and the blouse under it is even worse, and there was nothing she could do about it but put the vest back on (it was much less noticeable) and go anyway.

                                  Maybe it is an adjustment/dominance thing? Or it could be that he's all of a sudden marking his territory, or maybe he's been marking the sides and back of the chair all along and you didn't notice until the more recent incidents showed you what's going on. They can be pretty sneaky sometimes, and maybe he's better off downstairs for now.

                                  A friend had a cat just show up outside the door on a very cold night, so they let her into the garage (it was heated) and then a few days later when she stayed they adopted her. The cat had severe litterbox anxiety, and would go next to it on the bathmat. Gradually she became totally reliable, and the vet's theory was that the cat had formerly been left home alone or just not had the box cleaned for a ridiculously long time. And as a result the cat the best she could to adapt to this, and started going next to the filthy box. Once she realized the cat box was always going to be clean then she was just fine.
                                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White