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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive whatever of this is repeat from other posts I might have made (I don't remember how much I posted on here or what) and it will be long but I've been working at this problem for 6 months and there is a lot of background.

Something like 6 years ago I scraped a little typical farm tabby 3 week old kitten off the highway and somehow it survived. 4 years pass without issue except my cat is a little "off" (got hit in the head by a car). There were some initial litterbox training issues because she was so adhd that the shifting litter while she was getting ready to potty would distract her and she'd forgot what she was doing until she ended up going right outside the box. We also gained some strawberry soda stains on the carpet because of her attraction to shiny things. Well we solved all that as she got older and recovered more. She went years with no issues. I get married 2 1/2 years ago now and still no issues but an older cat I had decided she hated my husband and moved in with the elderly neighbor. It worked out best for all.

Now last March we move from a house with land to a condo and my tabby becomes indoor only. She also has lumps and sores that won't heal which is determined to be an immune system problem and she's now on prednisone. Being a hyperactive cat with brain damage who is now on prednisone and stuck in a condo with tons of other pets (we did downgrade over time as we've been here) we try our best to find her a new home but no one wants special needs when there are healthy kittens galore in farm country and we question taking her to the shelter.

So despite the smaller space, 2 dogs, some birds(half as many now), sugar gliders (down to 1), rabbits, gerbils, and hamsters we decide to try to make another cat work to provide a friend. We've always wanted a bengal but weren't too picky about quality so we got a ~4 year old (I'd have to check the paper) adult that someone couldn't keep anymore and is just as hyperactive as ours making them drive all other cats insane. After some confusion on how to handle each other they get along wonderfully and we are all happy for the first time except the objects that tend to scatter off every surface while they play and the several expensive video game discs that may not be recoverable because they were in the line of fire while being sorted from their individual cases to binders for space saving.

Then the trouble starts. Probably a month in to having him, Kazuki pees in an open box. Note that we are still moving in and lots of boxes are coming up and down. It happens again this time with stuff in it so rule is made no boxes sitting around that aren't in a tight closed stack. Problem solved for a few weeks. Then a closed box gets peed on. So all boxes go away. During this time we are using swheat scoop litter with 2 rubbermaid containers as litterboxes and cleaning daily as often as possible but some days do get missed.

A few more weeks and the peeing happens on some papers that fell on the floor. Then a pillow. Another pillow. Lots of crying and pacing but whether it's because of discomfort or boredom I have no idea. Off to the vet we go.

Urine ph is off (I want to say low) but we'd only had him on the new diet for less than 2 months and before that he was eating one of those lowest quality brands from walmart. No crystals, no infection. We up the diet to canned grain free wellness to increase water intake. The peeing continues. We pick up the house as best we can but anything can get peed on. We try a covered litter box. We try some clay litter like he was used to.

Squeaky starts peeing where Kazuki has. Every blanket, towel, piece of clothing, dog bed, box, plastic, paper.... within range is peed on. Finally after pulling out a plastic bag of rabbit pine shavings and getting soaked in pee past my elbows from everything on the bag in desperation and frustration cats are confined to the bathroom which is stripped of everything but a litterbox and water bowl with twice daily meals of canned wellness. Return vet trip checks out everyone healthy. Kazuki's coat and muscle tone have improved tremendously even if he still looks rather skinny.

We try another brand of litter I forget and they seem to be using the litterbox fine so they are given towels as beds which they do not pee on. I custom cut a new rubbermaid litterbox with door so we can have a covered version of a very large container. I decide this one will sit in the small animal room closet and the other open top in the bathroom still.

Cats are released with supervision and shown the new litterbox. Within 20mins Kazuki pees on the laminate floor with nothing around and right next to me.

Back to the bathroom. We begin a partial raw diet and after research start using the petco cat litter recommended on several sites plus putting the bigger custom cut covered box in the bathroom (you have to sit a bit sideways on the toilet now). I try to get more fresh water down kazuki just in case it still is a health issue by letting water drip from the faucet in to a bowl so that it fills about 2 or 3 times a day which is how often we were dumping it to provide fresh water. He pees in. Typical bengal behavior. Idea scrapped. He then uses a light cover next to the sink for awhile until broken of that habit.

Release attempt 2 but this time we'll let them see the condo a little at a time so I empty the animal room of everything possible (like bags of bedding) and attempt to build a barrier that will allow them to the bathroom with the litterbox they know and down the hallway to the small pet room with another litterbox. They destroyed all my barriers including multiple baby gates nearly to the ceiling. When I got the barrier too high to jump, covered in a blanket so they couldn't climb, Squeaky who is slightly fat (prednisone probably) finally launched herself kamikazi in to the top gate so by weight the whole system crashed down with her on the other side having access to the whole condo again. Now she does not pee if he does not pee but she refuses to stay confined to a given area without a door on it and most of the condo is open. That let's him escape or if separated one has no litterbox and they may just start yowling back and forth.

I have found no connection in the peeing. It's not on certain types of objects or sometimes any objects. It's not on things with certain smell or areas with certain smell. It's been in every room of the house. It is not always next to someone or a specific person. The vet says he's healthy. There's no more wandering yowling but then he's locked in the bathroom with towels and toys so he can't wander and yell in boredom if that was the reason.

Like I said long but that's the background of my cats, the things we've tried (I'm sure I missed something), the failures, the diet changes, the health checks.... Now what or do I have bathroom cats forever?
 

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Have you thought of, or can you by Home owners assoc. build a Catio? I need to build one this spring for my cats. Maybe Squeaky wants to go out, and It bothers Kazuki that she is nuts? Animals can tell when things (People, Other animals) aren't in their right state of mind. My cat has a pooping out of the problem thank goodness, or he would have been gone months ago. Finally it has come to making sure the boxes are pristine, and scrubbed weekly, and no one including Fieldy has used them before he needs to. Cats are funny that way. Another thought is, why is Squeaky being cordoned off if she isn't causing any problems? I am sure she is confused of why she can't go where ever in the house. Do they have good vantage out of the house? How about Bird feeders? I am by no means an expert, but to me it sounds like boredom, and maybe acting out due to it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nothing would be allowed to be built in the yard and we are on the 3rd floor anyway. There is a tiny porch I plan to put netting around come spring since I don't trust Squeaky's sense of heights but we can't figure out a way to put in a cat door without cutting a hole, it has a swinging door, and we'd like to move back to a house in a year so permanent hole cutting would preferably be avoided. We'd only be able to leave it open during good weather which isn't very many days of the year here. Either the heat or the ac runs pretty much yearly.

Squeaky doesn't seem to care about out anyway. It was more an idea for him to watch things outside and the rabbits could get some fresh air if the whole thing was blocked from falls through the rails. Squeaky's incident on the highway as a kitten has left her panicked of traffic noises and while out in the country she'd sometimes follow me outside and make short trips to the chicken coop (where she stalked and failed to catch rodents) and back the constant traffic here makes her not even care to look out the screen door. She goes to sleep somewhere until it's closed again. She does not care about noise so long as she is safely inside 4 walls and can't see it so she is not constantly stressed. Only when she can see the outside world without a barrier. Mostly at the old house she hunted mice (pretty unsuccessfully) in the basement all day and came across the occasional nest of young mice to decimate since she was inept at catching the adults. We have raised feeder gerbils for her to replace the mice. Although she doesn't get to catch those live unless she learns to kill them humanely so for right now she gets prekilled gerbils, along with rabbit legs, chicken wings, and grain free canned.

She is stuck in with him because they don't want to be separated and they both go insane if they are separated without each other to play with. Then they still just sit there complaining about the barrier only from both sides of it instead of one. We tried putting those 2 together in the first place because they don't exist well without the other. They are both so hyper no other cat can handle them and alone they get destructive after a few days of no other cat to annoy. Kazuki had caused the other woman's cats to start acting out violently toward her as well because they were so stressed and annoyed. Since they are equally like that though they got along great nearly right away and being a previous feral kitten who knows how to hide that is fully clawed Squeaky easily dodges him to somewhere he can't find her if she gets annoyed. Then he would normally give up and sleep on the couch until she came back out to play. They will play their version of tag for 10 hours out of the day and watch critters the rest that they aren't sleeping.

They have gerbils, rabbits, and birds in the house to observe which they did a lot when they were out. That's why I was trying to route them to the small pet room so they had entertainment besides toys, more space, and another place to train them to another litterbox but squeaky won't allow half way. She wants the whole house or to remain locked in the bathroom where she can open all the cupboards to hide and he can't because his previous owners declawed all 4 paws and that keeps him from hooking the doors.

Cleaning litterboxes several times daily would be great but odds are it won't happen. I do not clean litterboxes. My husband agreed to care of the cats, not me. I was attempting to rehome Squeaky and I made mine go outside through the basement door at the old house. Prior to that we lived with barn cats who would come in sometimes to play or sleep and then want back out so care was not needed except spay/neuter, vaccines, and some outdoor kibble when they didn't have enough rodents. Really prior to that when I was less than 10 we lived in town and had a cat door still with no litterbox. One learned to use the toilet so he wouldn't have to go in the cold.

I will spend hours researching and mixing their food, give out pills, raise their rodents, kill and portion out their rodents or rabbits, and build litterbox designs. My husband takes their prepackaged container of food to them every day and is in charge of litterboxes. Getting daily cleaning out of him is difficult enough. I do lots of cat work, play, and all new ideas for entertainment are mine. I just don't do litterboxes and that was agreed upon before deciding to give up on finding a special needs home and trying another cat to keep them entertained. I can only pass along what he should do and threaten to write in permanent marker on his forehead to remember to clean the litterboxes.
 

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Cleaning litterboxes several times daily would be great but odds are it won't happen. I do not clean litterboxes. My husband agreed to care of the cats, not me.
I gotta be honest, imo you are going to get what you give in this arrangement. I wouldn't be willing to walk across 1+ days worth of feces and urine to use the toilet. I might be inclined to find somewhere else to go as well.

I'm really not trying to be rude, I swear but to take a high energy cat like a Bengal and stuff it into a condo with all those other animals, confine it to a small room most of the time, give it a dirty litterbox, and a brain damaged companion.... it seems kind of like asking for trouble.
 

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^^this.

Wow, I would have never added a bengal to this full house. I wouldn't have added any more animals.

I can understand why you don't want to clean the litter boxes, but while you and your hubby are playing Who Blinks First?, the only ones suffering are the cats.
 

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What is the reason you won't clean the boxes? Is it the smell, or what? Litter boxes should be scooped minimum morning and evening, washed out at least every other week. Can you not put on a mask and rubber gloves to do this chore? Most cats detest using a dirty box, and will go elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not cleaning boxes and that's that. If he fails to do what he agreed to then the cats will find a new home and I have made that clear several times. I do not need cats to look after when I have plenty of other animal projects. I have 35.75sq ft of rabbit cage to scoop daily and I clean one completely weekly plus now (we did not have them before cats) gerbils and hamsters. Though they aren't much work. From past experience I know I can care for 3 dozen gerbils in about 30mins a week.

We actually went down in pets when we moved to the condo and then got the cats by rehoming 3 sugar gliders and most of the birds of which we had a 8x4x8' h enclosure full at the old house. This is probably the lowest number of animals I've ever had if you don't count the 50 some rabbits and 4 horses that are at the horse stable not the condo. The cats were his deal and I don't care if you try to blame me for the problem. I am here for advice that I can apply and pass on.

Now in the meantime I got him to let me put up a screen door in the hallway that routes the cats safely to the small animal room where they have been entertained by gerbil cages. The small animals ignore them knowing they can't be eaten and will sit right under the mesh unconcerned while the cats bounce around on top of them. The birds I do get concerned about a little and cats are not allowed in the room after lights out for that reason. I made sure the room lacked pee spots except another new litterbox so they will have 3 or 4 to poop in before he cleans them. I also decided if Kazuki wants to pee in water then fine and put a dish back in the sink. Dumping a pee dish and rinsing is a fair trade off to peeing in random places but he hasn't repeated his behavior so far. They have spent 3 hrs, 1hr at a time, safely exploring the small pet room and hallway with no accidents. That makes up about 1/3rd of our condo. Squeaky spent some time wandering the whole condo and playing with the dogs.

We will slowly try to expand to having the whole condo again but there are a few areas I need solutions to blocking them from. They need to be kept off the fireplace somehow. I've debated some type of woven decorative item like bamboo or grass that we can see the items on the fireplace without cat breakage. I'm not sure of what would work though. I may have to take pictures of the spot. I also need to reinforce to my husband not to leave dvds out to get scratched even if I have to start hiding his dvds every time I find them until he wonders what happened to them.
 

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Maybe I'm reading your first post wrong, but didn't you have cats for a few years before you got married? Who cleaned those little boxes? I don't mean to be critical, but you've admitted you've always wanted a bengal cat, so it's not like the cats belong to your husband and you're putting up with them. They're yours, too, but you seem willing to just get rid of them now.

I do not need cats to look after when I have plenty of other animal projects.
Wow.
 
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