Cat Behaviorist Recommendation

OreoCoco

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Looking for a recommendation for a cat behaviorist. At my wits end with my 7-year-old male cat, Oreo. He has urinated again in the middle of my bed as well as on every upholstered furniture cushion in the house. I use Sofa Scrams on all of the furniture now. (Luckily, I have a dry cleaner who deodorizes everything.) He is neutered and healthy with no urinary tract issues. He is a rescue and has been difficult ever since I adopted him and his sister (Coco). The problem must be behavioral. In the past and currently I have tried everything on the market - Feliway, Jackson Galaxy Solutions, Homeo Pet, and sedatives from the vet. He is very difficult to pill. I end up with bites and scratches and the pills on the floor. (FYI...I am 75 and ill and am afraid of what will happen to both Oreo and Coco in the future.)

If you have used the services of a cat behaviorist and had positive results, I would appreciate a recommendation. Thank you.
 

LTS3

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Have you tried using Pill Pockets to hide the pills in? Or one of these suggestions:

Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills – TheCatSite Articles
The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...
Pilling Cats and Dogs Safely
How We Give Our Pill Hating Cat A Pill
Getting Cat To Take Pills... Post Tips Here.

Many medicines can be compounded into another form for easier giving such as a flavored chew treat or a transdermal gel. You can ask the vet about compounding the next time any medicine is prescribed.

You can search for a veterinary behaviorist here: Cat Behavior Consultants - The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

Are you sure the problem isn't with the litter box? How many litter boxes do you have? Are they covered or open or one of those robot / automatic ones? Is there an animal outside or something scary that is stressing out the one cat to not use the litter box?
 

FeebysOwner

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How long exactly have you had Oreo? And has he always had this issue? What do you mean by he has been difficult since you adopted him - meaning including the inappropriate urination, or is that a more recent event?

Nonetheless, I do think that you need someone else's help to figure all of this out - behaviorally based or not. So, try the link noted in the above post to see if you can find someone - as well as using some of the tips for pilling cats.

You are so kind to worry about the future of your cats and their wellbeing. I hope you find someone to work with you to get through these trying times and find a solution for Oreo, his sister, and you.
 
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OreoCoco

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Have you tried using Pill Pockets to hide the pills in? Or one of these suggestions:

Pilling Cats: Must-know Tips For Hiding Pills – TheCatSite Articles
The Best Pill-taking Secret I Know...
Pilling Cats and Dogs Safely
How We Give Our Pill Hating Cat A Pill
Getting Cat To Take Pills... Post Tips Here.

Many medicines can be compounded into another form for easier giving such as a flavored chew treat or a transdermal gel. You can ask the vet about compounding the next time any medicine is prescribed.

You can search for a veterinary behaviorist here: Cat Behavior Consultants - The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

Are you sure the problem isn't with the litter box? How many litter boxes do you have? Are they covered or open or one of those robot / automatic ones? Is there an animal outside or something scary that is stressing out the one cat to not use the litter box?
Thank you for the pilling tips. I've tried most of them already but not the baby food. Will get some this week. I will also look into compounding. Your message is greatly appreciated.
 
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OreoCoco

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How long exactly have you had Oreo? And has he always had this issue? What do you mean by he has been difficult since you adopted him - meaning including the inappropriate urination, or is that a more recent event?

Nonetheless, I do think that you need someone else's help to figure all of this out - behaviorally based or not. So, try the link noted in the above post to see if you can find someone - as well as using some of the tips for pilling cats.

You are so kind to worry about the future of your cats and their wellbeing. I hope you find someone to work with you to get through these trying times and find a solution for Oreo, his sister, and you.
Oreo and his sister (Coco) were going to be put down when I took them in. They were 2 years old. Coco has always been a great cat. I believe Oreo was abused. It took almost 2 years before I could pet him and hear him purr. He had UTI's but those issues have been resolved with proper diet. He is difficult to handle. Does not like being held and especially pilled.

Oreo urinates right before my eyes. This has happened 5 times in the last 7 months. He looks at me, squats, and urinates. That's why I think I need a behaviorist to be involved. Vet even did x-rays last year to see if there were any other issues and there were none.

We have vet a appointment later this month. I hope to be able to pill him using the ham and gravy baby food.

Thank you for the response.
 

FeebysOwner

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I hope to be able to pill him using the ham and gravy baby food.
It is in one of the pilling articles above, but another option could be the pill pockets. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Feeby would eat those, but she does. I put 3 down, one with the pill hidden in it along with a number of her favorite treats, and she eats it all! I give her more than one so that she does not get 'suspicious'.

I have also gotten a pill masker - I am sure noted in the articles above - and have wrapped a pill in it too. The one I get is bacon flavored and Feeby loves the taste of bacon. So, I have even resorted to taking some of the pill masker and 'melting' it in some water in the microwave in order to make a gooey slurry that I can add powered meds (or, crushed pills) into it. So far, that has worked as well.
 
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OreoCoco

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It is in one of the pilling articles above, but another option could be the pill pockets. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Feeby would eat those, but she does. I put 3 down, one with the pill hidden in it along with a number of her favorite treats, and she eats it all! I give her more than one so that she does not get 'suspicious'.

I have also gotten a pill masker - I am sure noted in the articles above - and have wrapped a pill in it too. The one I get is bacon flavored and Feeby loves the taste of bacon. So, I have even resorted to taking some of the pill masker and 'melting' it in some water in the microwave in order to make a gooey slurry that I can add powered meds (or, crushed pills) into it. So far, that has worked as well.
I like the idea of giving Oreo multiple pill pockets.
 

sunny578

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Hello! I'm getting here late, but I am happy to help while you are waiting to get in touch with a vet and or behaviorist!

I'd be interested in hearing about your litter box set up--how many they are, where they are located, whether or not they are covered.

My cat did this for years, so I am somewhat of an unfortunate expert on the topic of illegal urinating. I wouldn't give much credence to the fact that he urinates right in front of you. He's not being deliberately rebellious or anything like that. I'm guessing that there is something not quite right about his territory and litter box set up.

Please keep us posted! Good on you for taking these two in!
 
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OreoCoco

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Hello! I'm getting here late, but I am happy to help while you are waiting to get in touch with a vet and or behaviorist!

I'd be interested in hearing about your litter box set up--how many they are, where they are located, whether or not they are covered.

My cat did this for years, so I am somewhat of an unfortunate expert on the topic of illegal urinating. I wouldn't give much credence to the fact that he urinates right in front of you. He's not being deliberately rebellious or anything like that. I'm guessing that there is something not quite right about his territory and litter box set up.

Please keep us posted! Good on you for taking these two in!
I've aways had two large litter boxes with a partial cover on both. I live in a condo and have had the boxes on a screened porch since we moved in January 2018. Before that the litter boxes were on the lower level of a house.

This problem started in mid 2021. I cannot think of any changes or issues in our condo that may have triggered this behavior but i know it happened once not long after I tried to pill him for a vet appointment.

After he urinated on the bed last week, the bedroom was off limits for a while. Then I covered the bed with plastic sheeting and put a towel in the middle of the bed for the last three days and left the door open during the day. Came home today and there was urine on the towel.

Vet appointment isn't until June 28 but I will definitely talk to someone before them.

Everyone's concern and input are greatly appreciated.
 

IndyJones

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Maybe try taking the cover off one of the boxes and leaving it on the other.

Both my cats have covered boxes with no door and won't use uncovered boxes. But all cats are different, some like privacy and others don't.

Is this screened porch opened to the elements at all? Windows, doors, insulated etc. Maybe another animal is marking their territory on the wall and he can smell it?

Has anything changed in the house or your routine? (New baby, housemate, construction, movers etc)
 
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OreoCoco

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Here is a photo of the boxes. They are on a third-floor screened porch that is covered with roofing (and overhang) all around. There is a cat door in the sliding door and they go in/out as they please. Occasionally, the other side of the porch will get a little rain or snow but not where the boxes are. They are usually not that close together. Both cats love the porch. I think I'll take the cover off one box and see what happens. Maybe I need new boxes. These look pretty shabby.

You asked if there were any changes in the house or routine. I was going to say no but I did start a part time job last August and am away from the house more now. Need to think more about this. Maybe he needs more attention.

Thank you.
 

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OreoCoco

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Free ranging. Porch is "L" shaped and chairs with cushions. They each have their favorite. Also keep a bowl of water on the porch. The porch has two 6
 
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OreoCoco

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Free ranging. Porch is "L" shaped and chairs with cushions. They each have their favorite. The porch has two 6" sliding doors (one from the den and one from the living room). People use the den door and cats use the living room door. No one walks near or past the litter boxes and the cats have some privacy.
 

sunny578

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Thank you for the photos!

In your situation, I would try adding more uncovered boxes to the other levels of your home. It sounds like the illegal urinating started after Oreo's sister was adopted--maybe not right after, but sometime after? Even if the cats seem to be getting along just fine, having all the litter boxes in one area can be stressful, especially in multi-cat households. In this scenario, it's possible for a cat to feel like they can't access the litter boxes without dealing with the other resident cats, and for cats with a tenuous relationship with their box, we want to make litter box access easy and stress free. Since the accidents have been in the bedroom lately, I would first start by adding a simple uncovered box to the bedroom.

Also wondering if Oreo and Coco have any cat trees or high up areas they can jump to/hang out in? Adding a cat tree to our bedroom was key to getting our cat to stop urinating on our bed.

Also, I would check in with your scratching options. If Oreo is feeling a bit stressed and is trying to spread his scent in order to calm himself down, scratching is another way for him to achieve this goal.

I think I said this before, but I wouldn't give much credence to the fact that Oreo urinates in front of you. For stressed out cats, this isn't abnormal. I think people think that cats like to do their business in private, and while this is true for some cats, what's more important for other cats is that they feel safe while urinating/defecating, and in multi-pet households, going right in the middle of the action/in front of their owner can feel like the safest option. Anxious cats like to be able to see around them while in the litter box, so that they know they aren't going to be ambushed while in their most vulnerable state. Also, urinating in front of right in the middle of the room might be preferable right now because once the urinating is finished, Oreo has many points of exit and entry. This is why having multiple litter box areas is important, as is making sure that the boxes aren't covered, pushed up against a wall, in a closet, etc.

Not sure if punishment was mentioned, but I'd refrain from doing anything when Oreo urinates in front of you. Punishment/loud deterrents only add stress to an already stressed out cat.

You mentioned that he has a history of UTI's, so I'd also suggest making sure Oreo is as hydrated as possible to make urinating as comfortable as possible. You could do this by adding extra water bowls around the house that he can "discover." Cats tend to drink more when their water source isn't right next to their food. Also, if possible, I'd eliminate dry food from his diet.

Let me know what you think! Good luck, and please keep us posted!
 
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OreoCoco

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Coco and Oreo are litter mates and have been together since birth.

I like the idea of putting a box in the bedroom. I may also separate the boxes on the porch. My condo is all one floor. There are multiple places to climb and perch on the porch and I have window beds in the living room and bedroom. There also shelves and cabinets throughout the condo.

I agree that punishment is not the answer and not used.

A bowl of fresh water is on the porch (not near the litter boxes) and a fountain is in the kitchen.

Dry food was eliminated a few years and they both get Purina Pro Plan for UTIs. Oreo had Paraphimosis in 2020 but recovered. According to the vet his hair wrapped around his penis restricting urine flow and resulting in an infection. That was a tough time! Another reason to lightly sedate him is to cut his hair instead of having him fully sedated and "shaved" at the vet. It has been done several times and the sedation concerns me.

Oh my, I've just had a major revelation: I went away for a few days and my neighbor took care of feeding and litter box cleaning. When I returned, the cats were skittish and slinking around and my smoke alarm was beeping occasionally. According to my neighbor, it was sounding for a few days. The Sofa Scrams I use make the same sound. I think this could have setoff Oreo being extremely stressed. The alarm is just outside the bedroom.

Thank you for asking questions that made me think of this. I don't know what to do but this could be the cause of the recent problem.

The Sofa Scrams are on the furniture but not turned on.
 

sunny578

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Ok yeah those smoke alarms are stress inducing! Hope this is it, and please keep us posted!
 
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