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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I have an indoor cat, CC, who is constantly trying to get outside. He's done this since I've had him (I got CC when he was one year old and he is now 4). A few months ago, we moved into a home where the outdoors is accessible, unlike the apartment buildings we'd been living in before. Also, we now live with 2 dogs and two cats. CC has been spraying a lot lately and running outside whenever he has the chance.
I don't like the idea of having an outdoor cat because I'm not sure that he's safe out there and don't know whether he is savvy in the art of maneuvering around vehicles or avoiding other animals. Sometimes he stays outside for almost a whole day when I can't find him. I just have to leave the door open and hope for the best. Honestly, it's kind of embarrassing to admit that, but I don't know what else to do. Sometimes, when I go to retrieve him from the outdoors, from places like underneath our front deck, he claws and bites and hisses at me. Obviously, he wants to stay outside.
I love my cat and he is often loving and cuddly, but I don't know what to do. His spraying and escaping have gotten out of hand. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm already planning on doing the method involved in one of those "sticky" posts to reduce spraying.
I appreciate any and all advice you have!

 

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Yes, I should have mentioned this before. He's been neutered since he was one year old, when I got him. I believe he was spraying before we got him. His previous owner seems to have been dishonest about this. We just got our male kitten neutered two days ago (the female is still much too small to be spayed). I'm hoping this will eventually help.
 

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OK...so new house, 2 new kittens and 2 new dogs? All in a few months...Right? If all of that is true, I'd be spraying and running under the deck too.

I fear all these changes in a short period of time have pushed him over the edge. You could try confining him to one room, basically giving him a safe zone. Make sure you've eliminated all previous urine marks. I would make it a small room, maybe a bathroom (but it can't be used by the family during this process). Give him a litter box with Cat Attract litter, food, toys, a bed, a Feliway diffuser and keep him in there until he uses the box and doesn't spray. Go in and spend time with him regularly. Then gradually increase his space and exposure to the rest of the animals. This may take weeks or even months. And honestly, I'm not so sure this is a salvageable situation. You may want to consult with a behaviorist.
 

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WHAT DOODLEBUG SAID. I would add that a full veterinary workup is in order--CBC, blood chemistry, and urinalysis. Does he eat dry food? If so, switch to a high quality canned (all the cats). But understand that change is hard on cats--much more so than on dogs. And stress very often results in problems like this, esp. when there are latent underlying problems (caused not infrequently by dry food).
 

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Do I understand it right? He has been trying to get out for the last 3 years?

I would do all the suggestions in the stickys and the advice given so far has been good. Do that first.

If all else fails, he is use to your new home, you’ve done everything and he continues to spray I would let him be indoor outdoor. I know many on here won’t appreciate me saying that but he is trying to tell you that is what he wants. I’ve brought in a couple cats which really want to continue to be indoor outdoor. I know it’s a risk. But better a short life and happy than a long life, unhappy & frustrated. Commit yourself to vet bills because he may come home injured being out side.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the advice. I think a vet visit and some work on making him happier is definitely in order.
 

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Alternatively, you can build him a safe cat run in the yard, off of your door, so he can be outside, and safe at the same time.

Good luck with everythign!
 

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Alternatively, you can build him a safe cat run in the yard, off of your door, so he can be outside, and safe at the same time.
Just what I was going to say, no reason that outdoors can't be safe. Enclosures are easy to build and needn't be expensive, there's also purpose made fence capping - again that can be home made.
 

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I like with the OP, and we rent, so we can't really build anything outside. None of the doors would open into a suitable area to fence off anyway. He got out Monday evening and hasn't come home yet. What I find weird is that we moved here in march, and it was just him and my dog and that initial switch seemed to be the most stressful time. Clementine and Blitz were found Easter weekend at five weeks old but lived in a separate room for close to six weeks before they were let out freely in the house so there was plenty of time to get used to their smell. The puppy came home six weeks ago. The spraying started sporadically a few weeks ago, and escalated really quickly to the point of cleaning up pee multiple times a day with nature's miracle. Blitz was neutered last week at 16 weeks in case his getting older was part of the issue. CC likes Clem a whole lot more than Blitz.
 

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Cats are creatures of habit, comfort, and they are also territorial. For all of those changes to happen, even if YOU think it's gradual for him it's just piling on the stress.

A good example would be if you were moving, doing exams, working two jobs, adjusting to a new roommate, very short on cash, AND having problems with your significant other. It seems like everything is managable by itself, to some degree, but for CC it's just snowballing stress.

If you get him back *fingers crossed* you need to put him in ONE room, without all the other animals that he isn't used to. Give him a safe place where he won't be pestered by all these irritating babies (because that's about all they'll be to him, is babies with no manners), and he'll be able to de-stress. Use the cat attract litter, get a feliway plug or spray, look into rescue remedy for cats, and make him feel safe.

Once you've got the spraying (which is likely stress related if it isn't a health problem) then you can start a slow re-introduction. For that you should follow the guidelines hoofmaiden is using to intro her two camps of kitties. IMO she's got the right idea! If you do the same sort of things this story could still have a happy ending.

If you don't give him a room that the other animals aren't allowed into his behavior will likely get worse and worse, and he'll keep trying to run away. Cats don't handle stress well, and it could easily cause him to get sick on top of the behavior issues you're dealing with.

To sum up; CC needs his own room, with food station, litterbox (which he shouldn't be sharing!), scratcher, toys, ect. He needs a trip to the vet to rule out any urinary issues, then if he's clean she needs to stay in his room until you get the spraying cleared up. IF that goes well THEN you can think about reintroducing him to the other animals.

I hope you find the poor guy, he's had enough stress lately without being outsdie for so long.
 
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