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My kitten Ricky is five months old and he is already marking. It started out about a month ago, he was peeing on the floor and on my bed. I had him tested for UTI and he was negative. I changed his litter from pine to clay and this seems to have solved that problem. He was also peeing on vertical surfaces as well. I had him neutered last Tuesday, he was 5 months old. I assumed that once I had him neutered this would stop. So far he has marked three times since he has been neutered. He seems to do it only when we are not home. The only way that I notice it, is my dogs always seem to sniff out the "new" spot. I have had cats my whole life and never had one that did this. I am not quite sure how to remedy this problem. I have two cats and two litter boxes that are cleaned twice daily so this shouldn't be an issue.

I was thinking that I would start confining him to the bedroom with his litter box when we aren't home. I had also thought about using Feliway sprayed on a cloth collar since a plug in likely wouldn't work as he doesn't have a favourite spot, he marks in different areas. I hate the thought of having to confine him during the day since I work 12 hour shifts and I have to confine him to the computer room at night or he will drive us crazy and this would mean that on the days I work he wouldn't have the run of the house at all. I work nights as well and on the days when I am sleeping and he has the run of the house when I get up he has usually marked somewhere.

I simply cannot have Ricky doing this. I have heard horror stories about cats that never stop marking. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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First you need to determine if he is marking or peeing as they are two different things..have you caught him in the act? If so, did he squat or stand upright with his tail in the air?
 

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When you go out, keep him confined to one room with his litter box. Clean up any areas well with Nature's Miracle cleaner.Quite a number of CF members have had great success with Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Litter. You may not need to use this all the time, but for right now you really want to break him of his habit of spraying. It would have been better if he had been neutered at 4 mos., but it may take a few weeks for the testosterone hormone to work out of his system. All the best. Good luck!

Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Cat Litter - Litter - Cat - PetSmart

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3506557
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have not caught Ricky in the act however when I find the spots where he has gone they are always on a verticle surface, ie: back of the couch, wall, jackets hanging on chairs.

I have been cleaning with Nature's Miracle with what I think is success. I have not tried Cat Attract yet but have seen in the store. Do you think it would work since he does actually use the litter box quite frequently. He doesn't have an aversion to the box at all. It seems he does this only when I'm not home and keeping an eye on him. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the testosterone works itself out of his system and he is cured of this nasty habit. Is there any indication of how long this may take?
 

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Likely 3-4 weeks.
 

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The situation with Ricky is not improving. I have used Cat Attact and I have also used NM cleaner and Feliway spray on all his marking spots. He is down to marking about every other day now instead of every day. I am really at my wits end with this and would really, really appreciate any more help or advice anyone here can give me. If it does not stop I am going to have to rehome him and I do not want to have to do this. I have never rehomed an animal in my life. I own a rescue boxer with all kinds of issues and have had disabled pets, dogs in wheelchairs, etc., I can handle just about anything but this and its driving me to tears that I can't curb this habit.
 

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Have you tried confining him to a large size dog crate, with his food and litter box for a week or more? Yes, I can sympathize with your situation, it is very frustrating for sure. You say the "rescue Boxer" has "all sorts of issues". Do you think it's a possibility the dog or his behavior is bothering Ricky and marking is his way of showing his stress, annoyance and/or dominance. Have you tried separating Ricky from the dog by keeping Ricky in another room to see if there is any difference in marking? I would try some of these things before you think of rehoming him. Is the rescue Boxer on a foster basis or are you keeping it?
 

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The rescue boxer is mine for keeps! Her issues mainly deal with her health and are not behavioural. I have three dogs, two Boston terriers and a boxer. Ricky loves all of them! He actually seeks them out to play and to snuggle so I don't think the dogs are bothering him at all. When I am not home Ricky is confined to my bedroom with his litterbox. He is marking in the bedroom when I am not home and nowhere near the dogs. I have not tried the dog crate. Any time I have taken him in the car and he was in a crate he was absolutely frantic, crying and biting at the bars. I don't know if that would work for him being confined like that or if it would completely stress him out. Also I thought that cats didn't like their food near their litterbox? I'm willing to try anything at this point so perhaps I will have to get up in the rafters and pull out an old crate!

Thanks for your input catloverami. P.S., I am in Ontario too!
 

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The rescue boxer is mine for keeps! Her issues mainly deal with her health and are not behavioural. I have three dogs, two Boston terriers and a boxer. Ricky loves all of them! He actually seeks them out to play and to snuggle so I don't think the dogs are bothering him at all. When I am not home Ricky is confined to my bedroom with his litterbox. He is marking in the bedroom when I am not home and nowhere near the dogs. I have not tried the dog crate. Any time I have taken him in the car and he was in a crate he was absolutely frantic, crying and biting at the bars. I don't know if that would work for him being confined like that or if it would completely stress him out. Also I thought that cats didn't like their food near their litterbox? I'm willing to try anything at this point so perhaps I will have to get up in the rafters and pull out an old crate!

Thanks for your input catloverami. P.S., I am in Ontario too!
I would at least confine him to a small room (like a bathroom) and take away the rugs and such, leaving only his litterbox, food, and water (and maybe a towel to lay on, unless he starts peeing on the towel). The goal is to retrain him to only use the litterbox.

And IMO, there's basically nothing you could try that would stress him out more than re-homing would (unless the source of the spraying comes from a stressor in your home, like the dog)...especially because you'd have to admit he sprays, he probably wouldn't even get a home and would have to go to a shelter and/or be put to sleep.
 

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It doesn't sound like it's the dogs bothering him, since he seeks them out. I would still try the dog crate. If he isn't crate-trained, you can start by leaving it open and then feeding all treats and meals in the crate, so he doesn't have negative feelings about it. If he still objects by biting bars after all that, then try the bathroom, as you don't want him breaking his teeth! A crate has the advantage of being able to have him in the same room where the activity is or if you can't supervise. It's tough when cats decide they like to spray. I had an ex-stud cat who still sprayed after he was neutered, and he was pretty good about not spraying inside if I took him out once a day on a harness and leash and walked the perimeter of our half acre property where he sprayed to his content. Sometimes an outdoor enclosure is a solution. Hope something works out for you and Ricky.
 

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Hopefully things calm down for Ricky as that testosterone leaves him. I couldn't get Cloud fixed until he was a year old due to medical problems. Oh how he loved to spray, especially on daddy's leg! He was doing this 3 to 4 times a day. After he got fixed it took about 2 1/2 weeks for his testosterone to calm down. He now sprays maybe twice a month, much to my dismay. However I do know that spraying is very calming and makes kitties feel good, so once they've had their first go it's a hard habit to break lol :p Hopefully after Ricky's hormones go back down he will let up on you and, worse case scenario, only spray once in awhile. I think the harness/leash training that catloverami suggested would be a wonderful idea! Try confining him and see if it helps any, hopefully it works! Most likely if it is indeed spraying than it isn't about proper litter box urination. He wants to mark stuff.
 
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