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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my name is Rebecca and I have been a cat owner for most of my life and love cats. My family rescued bonded kittens about 6 years ago. Bodhi (orange/white) and Johnny (black/white) are sweet loving male indoor cats and are a wonderful part of our family. About 4 years ago Johnny started urinating, spraying and pooping outside of the box. After about 6 months of changing litter brands, moving litter boxes in the house, adding more litter boxes I brought him to the vet to rule out any medical issues. There are no medical issues thankfully. Since then, I have tried everything to try and find a solution:
  • used Dr. Elseys Cat Attract Litter
  • clean the litter boxes all day
  • spent countless hours putting him in his litter box and encouraging and waiting for him to go
  • I have multiple boxes
  • tried different litter brands
  • put the litters in every area of our house.
4 years is a long time to be constantly cleaning after the cat. I use enzyme cleaner or other products that have been recommended, always watch for behavior that might indicate he is going to go the bathroom. We have had to throw away backpacks, papers, photos, books, gifts …you name it he has either urinated or sprayed on it.

He was neutered at the correct age but still sprays around the house...more so in the spring and summer months. He also poops out of the litter box usually on the basement floor. So basically, he refuses to use the litter box, there have been times I have gotten him to go by saying good boy and standing over him in the litter box for about 10 minutes....as I write this I am realizing how much time I have spent trying to fix this problem.

I am lost at what to do. My husband has been tolerant and is ready to surrender the cat. My kids love him but are also tired of this being a constant concern. At times it feels like our house is his personal litterbox. I am constantly on edge about when and where he is going to go to the bathroom. The other cat Bodhi thankfully has no problems and has never gone outside the litter box.

Need some advice because I have run out of options and the only one left seems to be surrendering the cat which none of us want to do and it would just be passing the behavior problem to someone who may not be as tolerant.



Thank you for all of your support!

Rebecca
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your difficulties. We've had two cats that pooped outside of the litter box and both had hyperthyroid disease. Sounds like Johnny is completely healthy. I've also had multiple cats over the years. Most have used the same litter box but experts say one litter box for each plus one. So 3 litter boxes for 2 cats. Not sure why, we've never done it, but you may want to try it. I'm sorry that I don't have any more advice. They are both adorable. I'd hate to see you have to give up Johnny.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for your advice. Sorry to hear that your cats had hyperthyroid disease. I also read about how many litter boxes for 2 cats and have had 3 litter boxes for a long time. Unfortunately Johnny does not like any of them :) I am hoping we find a solution soon
 

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Hi Rebecca. You've done everything right as far as the litter goes so it's truly a mystery here. You could ask your Vet if they've considered all possible medical problems and make sure they ran all the appropriate tests, or get a second opinion from another Vet. It could be his diet, which may cause constipation, allergies, or irritability. It could also be stress. You could discuss starting an anti-anxiety med and see if he improves. And some people have had good luck with Feliway spray or diffuser. I hope it all works out and you'll let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for responding. I had also had the idea of anti anxiety medication although he does not seem stressed. Have you heard of this helping with litter issues/spraying? I will look into Feliway spray as well.
 

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R. You said "there have been times I have gotten him to go by saying good boy and standing over him in the litter box for about 10 minutes". That may be either anxiety or constipation or both. Is he peeing outside the box as well or just pooping? What does the stool look like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For a while if we put him in his box and encouraged him to go it would work...but it was hit or miss sometimes he would just get out of the box and we would put him back in and then he would get out again. His stools are normal. I even tried putting fresh litter in the box right before I put him in and that would work sporadically. He is doing everything outside of the box and occasionally spraying. He had been pooping outside of the box in the basement but this past week pooped in the living room :( I really can't figure it out unless it is anxiety and if it is does medication even work? I really feel like I have exhausted all options.
 

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There is a difference between spraying and regular urination. Are you sure it is spraying? there are two things I would look at:
1) Is he urinating along an exterior wall and anywhere near a door or window? This can indicate there are strays coming around your property that he can see or smell and he may be marking his territory. And note, even if you do not see a cat, doesn’t mean he doesn’t.
2) If he is truly spraying… sometimes cats have tissue remaining after a spay/neuter. You can check with your vet about a test for testosterone to see if that might be the case for him.
 

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Probably you'll need to set Johnny up his own litter box. Some cats do not share, or since he is going outside also - remove the litter box. He will sit by or stare at the door to go out. Have you thought about getting him "fixed"? Cats that have been "fixed" are more obedient and respect their owners more than un"fixed" males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for your reply. He is urinating on surfaces for example desks if there are stacks of paper left out, our dining room table, a dust pan you name it. And the reason I know he is spraying is because it is much different than urine it is a sticky substance that has a different smell. He has sprayed in random places and it is not every day. I have thought to myself maybe he was not fully neutered and that is a good idea to check with the vet although I don’t know what they can do to remedy that. I am thankful for everyone’s response and hope there can be a solution.
 

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You have done your homework on this for sure.
If he was not fully neutered, I believe they can complete the surgery.
Such a frustrating problem. I feel for you.
 
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