Advice for Troubled Cat

melkay

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In search of advice for my dad's cat. He is urinating and spraying often in random places, clothes, dining room table, countertops...He has lived with my dad since a kitten. He is now 10+ years old. My dad recently moved in with my brother and his family of four. Plus they have two cats and two dogs of their own. I am worried he is not adapting to his new home and situation. Plus I found out he was never neutered. My brother is threatening to take to a rescue. I am trying to avoid and find a resolution. He is not very friendly causing it hard for anyone to easily take him in. Can anyone offer any feedback or diagnosis of his behavior. Help. Thank you!
 

sunny578

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Hello! I have a cat who did this for years. A couple of things:

Neutering is the thing that is most likely to help.

It sounds like the cat is stressed out about his new situation. This is a big change! There's a lot you/he can do to manage this, but I think the first step is going through with the neutering surgery and then seeing if the behavior continues. I'm guessing your dad has his own bedroom in his new place, so the first step, after neutering, would be to make this the cat's safe space by putting in a baby gate that allows only cats to pass through. Then, at least he would have the option of having some peace from the dogs (and children?) He would most likely need to be confined in this space for some time while he gets used to the new smells/sounds/etc., and then, given the option of a slow introduction to the family. Many many litter boxes will be required in this multi-cat house (at least 4) and lots of nice cat things (cat trees, cat scratchers, multiple food stations, dog free space, etc, etc) in order for this to work out.

Going from living with just one person to living with a busy family with new pets and people is a huge huge huge adjustment for most cats, and the spraying/urinating is a very common and normal response. All parties are going to need to educate themselves on cat behavior and be willing to provide accommodations for the stressed out cat, and it sounds like there might be some resistance to this :-/

Please keep us posted and let me know how I can help!
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. To expound a bit on the above response - here are some articles on introductions that probably would be useful to you as well. It's never too late to start over with proper introductions. I am sure there are redundancies, but 'more is better' in this case.
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Safely Introduce A Cat And A Dog – TheCatSite Articles
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – TheCatSite Articles
 
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melkay

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Hello! I have a cat who did this for years. A couple of things:

Neutering is the thing that is most likely to help.

It sounds like the cat is stressed out about his new situation. This is a big change! There's a lot you/he can do to manage this, but I think the first step is going through with the neutering surgery and then seeing if the behavior continues. I'm guessing your dad has his own bedroom in his new place, so the first step, after neutering, would be to make this the cat's safe space by putting in a baby gate that allows only cats to pass through. Then, at least he would have the option of having some peace from the dogs (and children?) He would most likely need to be confined in this space for some time while he gets used to the new smells/sounds/etc., and then, given the option of a slow introduction to the family. Many many litter boxes will be required in this multi-cat house (at least 4) and lots of nice cat things (cat trees, cat scratchers, multiple food stations, dog free space, etc, etc) in order for this to work out.

Going from living with just one person to living with a busy family with new pets and people is a huge huge huge adjustment for most cats, and the spraying/urinating is a very common and normal response. All parties are going to need to educate themselves on cat behavior and be willing to provide accommodations for the stressed out cat, and it sounds like there might be some resistance to this :-/

Please keep us posted and let me know how I can help!
Thanks for the advice! I agree. He may end up coming to my house if needed.
 
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