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5 Yr Old Female Cat started Spraying...?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Lizzi, Oct 2, 2013.


  1. Lizzi

    Lizzi PetForums Newbie

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    Hi.
    We are a 4 cat household. Originally 3, (2 females and a male, not related, but all around 5 years old.) Titch (who is now not so small :wink:) has always been the quiet, timid one, but got on ok with the others.
    Then, we unexpectedly got a 12 week old female kitten in May. Did everything by the book : Kitten stayed in a safe room for a couple of weeks, and then slowly introduced her to the others. All seemed to be going ok; a few hisses etc, but nothing major. Kitten seems to have settled well, and is especially friendly and playful with our male cat.
    So we thought all was ok; until the other day, when I caught Titch spraying onto a radiator in the lounge! Then my daughter caught her again doing it in her bedroom, where the kitten has her food / water and litter tray etc. Not nice! We have tried to keep Titch happy through all this, and she seems quite playful at times with the kitten, so not sure how we can stop this before it gets too out of control? (We live in a 4 bed house, so they have plenty of 'quiet' spots to hide.) Also they are all out doors cats, as we are quite rural, so apart from the first couple of months, when we had to keep the kitten in, so had to lock the cat flap, they can all now come and go as they please again.
    We did get a couple of Feliway diffusers at the start to try and calm things, but didn't seem to make any noticeable difference?!
    Can anyone advise on how to stop this, and also what the best thing is to clean the sprayed areas, so she doesn't go back time and again to the same places...?:eek:
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi Lizzi, I have noticed it will often be the case that a rather timid cat, who is low down in the "pecking order" in a multicat household will not have any territorial issues with the other cats in the house who arrived before, or at the same time as the timid cat. But as soon as a new cat or kitten is subsequently brought in, the timid cat will fear or resent the new cat and will make his/her feelings known by scent marking with urine.

    This is happening with one of my neutered male cats (Pixie) at present, since I recently adopted 2 rescued female kittens. Pixie is the bottom of the pecking order of my 3 adult cats. He has shown no aggression to the kittens, has even sniffed noses with them (through the screen door to the kittens' room). But he has internalised his fears, and has stopped using his litter tray (which he used at night) and started peeing on the floor in different places.
    Luckily he has only done this twice so far.

    My response has been to give Pixie more of my attention, lots of fuss and cuddles (which he loves) and a bigger share of my time, even though it means the other cats are losing out (temporarily I hope). I am keeping the kittens out of Pixie's favourite room (my bedroom), so there is no scent of them in the room, so he feels at least one room is his safe place. I am also giving him Zylkene.

    Zylkene Capsules - Priced Per Tablet - 75mg - Animed Direct

    I think you will need to start a reassurance programme with Titch. Spend more time with her, fuss her, give treats, play interactively with her. Almost single her out for your attention at present. Make her feel how important she is to you. Ensure there are areas of the house where Titch can go for a snooze, where the kitten never goes. Maybe it would be best also to feed the kitten in a room where Titch and the others are not allowed to go, so the kitten can have her food without risk of it being scent-marked by Titch.

    Basically I would give Titch and the kitten limited access to each other at present, so that Titch does not feel the kitten has moved in and taken over her territory. Titch can see the kitten is smaller and weaker than her, but in spite of this Titch is afraid the kitten will usurp her place in the household. The same is true of my cat Pixie atm. So it is up to us to reassure them this won't happen, so matter how long it takes.

    Re: cleaning - use an enzymatic cleaner such as Urine Off, or a warm water solution of Biotex. I also use Surgical Spirit on hard surfaces, after the enzymatic cleaner, as it seems to have a deterrent effect to some extent.

    Good luck!:)
     
  3. muffin789

    muffin789 PetForums Senior

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    Brillian advice :D I have nothing useful to add, other than to say take CM's advice and I hope things settle down soon :)

    I had a neutered boy who sprayed, so I know how horrible it can be - now I understand the cat psyche and how they interact and think (thanks to this place), I hope I"d have some ideas (and support!) for dealing with the problem if faced with it again.

    Good luck xxx

    ETA - difficult to stress how important the proper cleaning regime is!! When I was having problems, I knew to avoid bleach-based products, but didn't understand the need to use an enzymatic cleaner - it'll make a big difference!
     
    #3 muffin789, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  4. Jiskefet

    Jiskefet Slave to the Hairy Hikers

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    I think your kitten is growing up and the two cats may be locked into a 'battle for supremacy'.

    I experienced something similar with my first two cats, who were rehomed from a lady who could not keep them due to her moving in with her new love, whose cat did not accept her two ladies.

    In her house, Tuppence was top cat, but she did not adapt to the move as quickly as Steffie, so in our house, Steffie was the boss. When Tuppence had finally settled, she tried to resume her old role of 'boss', but Steffie was not willing to give up her superior rank that easily and started spraying to mark our house as her territory. She simply 'told' Tuppence she could not claim the rule of our house like she did in their old home.

    In our case, a feliway evaporator and constant thorough cleaning of the spray areas with odour remover solved the problem, though it took some time.

    In your case, if the younger cat has not been spayed as yet, this may be at the root of your problem, as an entire queen will be more territorial than a neutered one, so the little one may be more inclined to back down after neutering.
     
  5. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Lizzi, Jiskefet has raised a good point -- has your kitten been spayed yet?
    She must be about 7 mths old by now so I had made the assumption she must have been spayed and thus did not ask in my post.

    If she has NOT been spayed, this would certainly be contributing to the territorial battle with Titch, and I would recommend getting kitty spayed a.s.a.p.
     
  6. gentoo1980

    gentoo1980 PetForums Member

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    It's possible that she's spraying because she has a bladder infection and it's just a coincidence that it's happened at a time that you've introduced a new kitty to the house hold. Also the new kitty could have caused your cat stress which can bring them on as well.

    Keep a close eye on her and if you're concern it's a bladder infection seek mediacl attention.

    Best way to remove cat wee is making up your own none toxic solution using Hydrogen Peroxide 3% white vinegar with a squirt of washing up liquid in and backing soda.

    It breaks something down in the urine that causes the smell. There's a certian way to apply it all. If I find the website I'll reply back. You can smell the vinegar a bit but it goes after a while, unless I just got used to it.
     
    #6 gentoo1980, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  7. gentoo1980

    gentoo1980 PetForums Member

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    This isn't the way I did it but it's similar.

    Cat Urine Tips & Advice | Cat Urine Tips

    I used wine or apple cider vinegar but I think that's because it's stronger. I was removing the smell floorboards so a bit different.
     
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