13 Yo Tabby Spraying...

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by KatyM717, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. KatyM717

    KatyM717 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jun 18, 2017
    This is going to be a bit lengthy but want to make sure I give as much insight as possible.

    Dory is a 13 year old tabby, who I have had since she was 8 weeks old. She's a little love, and I can't imagine life without her. It's just me and my two kids in my house and of course, Dory. Dory is well loved and has plenty of cuddle and play time. Even has her own indoor cat garden where she nibbles on cat friendly greens.

    She's always been great about using her box. A few months ago, she started pooping right outside of her box. Tried new litters. Moving her boxes(she has two). She still continued. I figured I could live with it if it was just that.

    I clean Dory's boxes every day. Two weeks ago, I went to clean her box and nothing was there.I saw two spots that she sprayed right up against the wall(and on the thin carpet). I immediately called the vet to make an appointment but they couldnt get Dory in until a week later. In the meantime, I tried three different litters, moved her boxes to a different location. I also blocked off the area that she was spraying. So she started spraying in other areas of the basement(is a finished basement). She would pee on some of my daughter's soft toys(Barbie clothing, felt play food, etc)Didn't matter if I was home or not.

    The vet did blood and urine analysis. Blood came back great. Urine had struvite crystals and white blood cells. So we have started her on antibiotics for a UTI, and transitioning her to a urinary health cat food. It's only day 4 of the antibiotic. I also purchased 2 of the Feline Pheromone plug-ins that have been going since Wednesday.

    I absolutely can not have her spraying and making my house smell. I try to be quick about locating the spots to clean. Have been using Nature's Miracle. While I am at work, I have quarantined her to an area in my house with old linoleum. When quarantined, she will sometimes use the box, and then sometimes still pee and poop on the floor. I feel terrible for having to keep her in my laundry room while I am away and now at night too(She is use to sleeping with me).I'm sure its not helping the situation. It doesn't matter if I am home or not, she won't use her box. Just yesterday, I bought her a new box that has lower sides.

    I feel like I have done almost everything I can do. The vet said once the course of antibiotics is done, we will do another urinalysis. If after everything, she still isn't using her box, the vet said we can put her one a medicine to alter her behavior. So I am leaning towards that this is more behavior than ailment. Nothing has changed in my household.

    Does anyone have any other insight? Experience?
  2. susanm9006

    susanm9006 TCS Member Super Cat

    Feb 20, 2011
    If she has a UTI that could definitely cause the peeing. It may take a few days for the mds but did the blood analysis also include glucose testing?
  3. KatyM717

    KatyM717 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jun 18, 2017
    She was tested for her thyroid, kidneys and diabetes. Hoping a couple more days of her meds and this will be a non issue.
  4. Anne

    Anne Site Owner Staff Member Admin

    Oct 23, 2000
    On TCS
    Dory is very lucky to have such a dedicated and responsible owner. You've done everything "by the book" - well done!
    Spraying (as opposed to urinating outside the box) is usually stress-related. Often it's territorial stress. I wonder if maybe she's seeing a new cat outside and reacting to that?

    It's great that you caught the UTI infection. The pain from that could be adding to her stress levels as well. I think right now you should focus on locating any source of perceived threat and new sources of stress in general. You mentioned she has an enclosed garden (lucky cat!) Could it be that a strange cat enters the garden during night time? Or maybe there's a whole (non-neutered) tomcat next door that's spraying the other side of your fence? Also, take a look at this list of stressors and see if there's anything new (not necessarily related to a territorial threat). With urine spraying, the goal should be to reduce stress. Sometimes even by using medication. Try to assess her stress levels, see if the causes an be addressed and then go over this list of stress-fighting strategies for cat owners.

    Let us know what you come up with. Dealing with spraying can be very frustrating so I hope we can offer some support from our community members. :grouphug:
  5. KatyM717

    KatyM717 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jun 18, 2017
    Aw, thank you Anne. It is reassuring to hear that I have done everything that I can so far. While at work today and enclosed in the "safe" area, Dory did use 2 of the three boxes, and also peed on the floor twice.

    To clarify, I live in a ranch style home. Dory's cat garden is inside my house, just a couple potted plants for her in the dining room. Maybe "garden" was being generous?! Now since the weather has been nicer, I have a screened in back patio that I let her outside(with the slider cracked so she can come back in when she wants). She usually only stays out about 30 minutes. I have not noticed any cats around my house. Absolutely none since I even moved here over a year ago. My back yard does butt up to a busy street. But I will pay more attention just to see.

    I will look over the other stressors and strategies to reduce stress. My heart does go out to her and desperately want to help her(and also have my sleeping buddy back).

    I'll keep you updated!
    Anne purraised this.
  6. KatyM717

    KatyM717 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jun 18, 2017

    ***I wanted to give an update as it's been almost a month. Dory finished her antibiotics and transitioned onto the urinary diet food. I've had the pheromone plug in's going since a month ago(on my 2nd refill). Unfortunately, she is still not using her box when she is allowed to roam. A couple days, maybe a boycott, when she was in the quarantined room, she decided to again pee on the floor and not her box. Infact, I had an empty small tupperware container on the floor, and she opted to pee in there?! The past week, she has been good when in the room while I am away. She is only peeing 1-2 times during the 8-10 hours I am away. So I consulted my vet again to give her an update and she decided to try her on the behavioral medication, which I found out is prozac for cats. I figured it would be no issue getting the pill in her as she took the pill pockets beautifully when it was her antibiotic. Now she has managed to spit the pill out. SO I tried two pill pockets, with the halves of the pill in each. Nope. Called the vet and she thought may crushing them and mixing it in some wet food. No go. So I am at a loss. I love Dory dearly, and I just don't have it in me to put her in the room overnight, plus while I am working and to only spend time with her in the evening or the weekends. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get her to take the medication which is to be daily? I've read about pill shooters but am unsure of the success I will have with Dory. She is a smart one. Thank you for reading!

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