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Discussion Starter #1
We brought Gratch into our apartment with our other 3 males about 7 months ago (all are neutered). He was 9 months old at the time (what the vet said) and we got him neutered then. He's very sweet and SUPER cute and we don't want to give him up. His only fault is marking his territory.

So far all we've done is used a spray bottle filled with water to stop him while he's doing it when we see it happen and spray a mixture of water and vinegar on the spots we find or one he just made. I also take him directly to the litter box after and won't let him leave until he pees in it and he always does (I'm not mean, I just speak to him softly saying, "come on, go pee pee." Then I praise him afterward, well like you would a dog actually).

This method just isn't working. I don't know if it's the time of year or what cause he's started doing it more frequently within the past week. Are there any sprays out there that will actually work? Is there something else I should be doing?

Edit: Yes he is actually spraying, not peeing.

Gratch!



He likes getting mohawks

 

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Well the question is, is he actually spraying, or is he just peeing? Does he actually do that funny backing up with his tail up to spray, or does he squat like he is about to pee? Because if he is just peeing, it could be a urinary health issue, like a UTI or crystals. If that is the case, you need to take him to the vet and they need to do a urinalysis to determine if there is anything wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been raising cats for years. He's spraying. He sniffs and turns his butt and his tail twitches and he's left some pee.

We'll stop him and not even 10 minutes later he tries again somewhere else.

And when I put him in the litter box, that's the only time he squats to pee.
 

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http://hermitagecats.org/?page_id=106

THE HERMITAGE CAT SHELTER
PIDDLE PROGRAM
The Hermitage Cat Shelter has started adopting out cats who don’t always go inside the box. They have developed the Piddle Program for those kitties who need a little help in being reintroduced to their litter boxes. They have had 100% success with this program so far.

I talked with the director of this shelter and these were cats that were doomed to live their lives out at the shelter. This has been a miracle program for them, to get them homes. I hope this helps you too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm sorry but that is not a program that Gratch or any of my future cats will be doing. Thanks anyway.
 

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I wouldnt suggest using a spray bottle thinking that will stop him. Im sure he just thinks your being agressive with him. Its a negative reinforcement and doesnt show him what you want from him. You need things that are possitive, like cat attract litter so he will use a cat box. Feliway and Bach essences to calm him and bring him into a different state of mind. He is a very sweet looking guy. Handsome! :luv
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So the point of the cat attract litter is to get him to want to mark the litter box instead? Cause that's what spraying is mainly for, to mark their territory. Honestly I don't think it will help the behavior.

After reading more on spraying, it just seems like this cat in particular doesn't like something in the house (supposedly but I don't believe that animals are capable of abstract thought). He's been here for 7 months and there aren't any new cats or any new furniture or any changes for that matter. If he's starting to think that there are too many cats in the house suddenly, well then that's too bad cause I'm not down sizing for him.

I will continue to use the spray bottle because its more effective at ending the behavior right away rather than clapping ones hands or physically moving them. We also use the spray bottle for when they are doing any other unwanted behavior so its not like he's the only kitty who gets a little squirt of water. It's one of the few forms of negative reinforcement I use. But I also use positive reinforcement such as praising when he does something good or using the litter box without me putting him in it. And the only time I put him in the litter box is when I see him try to spray on something. He usually uses it just fine on his own.
 

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The only other thing I can think of that could help, is maybe try getting another litter box. How many cats do you have? And how many litter boxes do you have? The general rule is 1 box per cat plus 1 extra. Also, some cats like really big litter boxes, I have the extra giant ones, two are covered and one isnt. Investing in another litter box is cheap, so I would give that a try, and if he sprays in the same general area each time, try putting it there for a bit and see if that changes anything. What kind of litter do you use? Maybe he doesn't like it if it has a strong scent or something? I use the corn based litter called World's Best, but I used to use the Fresh4Life clay litter. My cats both don't like litters that have scent. Hope this gives you some ideas, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I want to get another litter box but my boyfriend doesn't want litter boxes all over the house so they are only in 2 areas of the house but may only be in one area of the house if we get another roommate within the next month. Isn't it best for the litter boxes to be in different areas of the house (we only have a 2 bedroom apartment)? We have 4 cats and 4 litter boxes. None are covered because I have 2 cats who refuse to go in covered litter boxes.

I'll suggest another litter box to him again to see what he thinks.
 

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I have three litter boxes now for three cats, and when I had four cats. That's plenty in my house. They mainly only use two of them, the third is the twins' bedroom and they only use that one when they go to bed.
 

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I have two cats with three litterboxes. I live in a two bedroom apartment, and I keep one in my room, one in the corner of the living room, and one in the corner of the hallway. All three of them are used equally because they are all in low traffic areas (the living room on is behind the couch against the wall so you cant see it, the hallway one is between a wall and a big laundry basket, and my bedroom one is in the corner between a wall and my dresser). I used to have one in my sisters room instead but they didnt use it since it was out in the open, they're picky about their privacy lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Assuming I get another litter box and his behavior doesn't stop which I don't think it will entirely, what can I do to prevent it? I can't pay attention to kitty 24/7 so I can't stop it myself every time. Do any of the sprays I hear about out there work to prevent spraying? I can't stand coming home to my house smelling like male cat urine. :p
 

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Kotick, this seems extreme, I know, but I doubt your cat would spray his own bed. I'd put him in a contained area--at night--at least, one large enough to hold a small litter tray. I hope that would help. It's much like crating a dog. Trying the urine attract litter wouldn't hurt. Spraying and urinating are two different things, I know, but if this doesn't work, try changing the litter, changing the location of the box, and keeping it scooped at all times. I have a Littermaid, but they're expensive, and if that didn't work, it would be an expensive mistake. :( If you can't find a solution, I'd ask the vet for some ideas. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I really don't see the point in crating in this situation. It's normal for cats to mark their territory and it's not uncommon for them to continue to spray even after being neutered. Yes I would crate him if he needed litter box training but he doesn't. So crating isn't going to happen.

I have a Littermaid but it's no longer being used the way it's supposed to be because one of my cats was deathly afraid of it and started using the floor instead. So it just sits there as a really expensive litter box. I also clean the litter boxes daily.
 

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Have you tried using an enzymatic cleaner to clean the spots he's sprayed on? Something like Nature's Miracle? Gratch may still be spraying because he can still smell his scent marking. An enzymatic cleaner will break down the urine and eliminate any odor. You may not be able to smell anything, but if Gratch is still spraying, then he's smelling something. Water and vinegar won't completely remove the smell. Only Nature's Miracle or something similar will. And you may want to invest in a black light to shine around your apartment to find urine spots. Urine will glow under a black light. I think you can get one at PetSmart or Petco, though I'm not sure.

Good luck and let us know if that helps. :)
 

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I know that some cats spray. But I've had only one who did. If I were in your situation, I'd try anything and everything suggested, unless it's unkind. I so hope you can solve your problem. What he's doing is now a habit, and it takes six weeks to break our habits, but it might take less for a cat. I would try it all!
 

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my4kitties said:
Have you tried using an enzymatic cleaner to clean the spots he's sprayed on? Something like Nature's Miracle? Gratch may still be spraying because he can still smell his scent marking. An enzymatic cleaner will break down the urine and eliminate any odor. You may not be able to smell anything, but if Gratch is still spraying, then he's smelling something. Water and vinegar won't completely remove the smell. Only Nature's Miracle or something similar will. And you may want to invest in a black light to shine around your apartment to find urine spots. Urine will glow under a black light. I think you can get one at PetSmart or Petco, though I'm not sure.

Good luck and let us know if that helps. :)
I haven't tried that stuff yet because I didn't want to buy anything that may not actually work. If it really works then I'll try it out for sure.

The black light won't be needed. I'll just use one of my other cats and put them down in front of spots and if they come back up with an "icky face" (means it smells icky) then I'll use it there. :p Cheap and effective.
 

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Everything that has been recomended is kind. None of it unkind. You should feel safe trying any of it mentioned. The only thing Id discourage is the spray bottle as I mentioned before since you arent sending possitive reinforcement as what you are tyring to get him to do. Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I believe in both positive and negative reinforcement. There's nothing wrong with the squirt bottle.
 
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