My cat is destroying my house with her marking.

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selpats

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Update!

I’ve moved another litter box, as well as some cat trees and houses into our spare room so the cats have room to spread out. I do think this has helped the litter box aggression, but after monitoring the cameras more, it seems that my cat is still marking our bookcase and surrounding carpet. I have also discovered that sometimes she uses the litter box 12 times in a 4hr period, while other days she only uses the box 6 times the whole day. It’s really inconsistent. I’ve spoken with her vet and we have decided to do a bladder ultrasound to determine if there is a medical component to this besides what she has already been tested for. That being said, her vet does believe, even if there’s something medical going on, this is also behavioral. Therefore, we put in an order for Prozac with Chewy. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, they’re a bit behind, so we won’t have them for a couple weeks. I decided today that I’m going to have to lock her up in my office. I really hate to do that, and I’m feeling really bad isolating her and our other cat because they’re good buddies, but it must be done for at least 2 months (that’s how long it takes the Prozac to build up in their system). I’m really hoping there’s nothing medical going on because I’ve already spent roughly $1000 over the last month (!!!) and I truly cannot spend anymore. Hopefully if she does, it’s an easy fix, and hopefully the Prozac helps with the behavioral component.

Here’s the current set up while she’s on lockdown: she has 2 litter boxes. I set up a camping chair with some pillow cases to give her an elevated place to sleep. There’s also a plushy rug in there she likes to sleep on I’m not attached to it if she pees on it - It’s old, so I’ll throw it away if she does. I put a large cat tree by the window for her, as well as a scratching structure/bed in the corner by her food and water. I work from home (all the time, not just because of the virus), so I’ll be in there for company most days. This evening I put the other cat in there with her for a couple hours so they could interact. Is there anything else I can do to make this comfortable for her? Should I keep the light off at night? Any suggestions would be great. Also, can anyone who has had their cat on Prozac for marking give me any encouragement or tips?

Thank you all again for your help.
 

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Should I keep the light off at night?
Unless she's restless at night, I think try leaving it off, and you could also try some cat music if you aren't already :) Spotify, Youtube, RelaxMyCat and MusicForCats are sources you could consider.
 
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selpats

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Unless she's restless at night, I think try leaving it off, and you could also try some cat music if you aren't already :) Spotify, Youtube, RelaxMyCat and MusicForCats are sources you could consider.
Ok I have it shut off currently, but there’s a lot of natural light in there, so she can be up with the sun. I did not know there was such a thing as cat music. How adorable! I’ll have to check that out for when she’s in there alone. Thank you!
 

JamesCalifornia

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I’m really hoping there’s nothing medical going on because I’ve already spent roughly $1000 over the last month (!!!)
☺~ I am certain that you are one of veterinarian's favorite customers. 💰Welcome to the club ! ( Its a really big club )
 

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Oh, tell me about it! I know the names of my vet, his wife and their two kids.

:lol:

I've never used Prozac on any of my cats, so I can't help you with what to expect there. I hope she gets a clean bill of health from your vet.
 
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selpats

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Oh, tell me about it! I know the names of my vet, his wife and their two kids.

:lol:

I've never used Prozac on any of my cats, so I can't help you with what to expect there. I hope she gets a clean bill of health from your vet.
Thank you! We hope so too!
 
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MOD NOTE: this post and some of the following posts have been merged into
an existing thread to keep all the information in one place.


*******************************************************************************************************


Hi all. I posted a few weeks ago about my spayed 10 year old cat marking around my house. To update those of you who didn't see it, I've had my cat since she was 10 weeks old, and she has had a history of behavioral inappropriate urination. Last year, we bought a house. When the weather started getting warmer last Spring, there was a horrid cat pee smell coming from the room we keep our cat boxes in. We could not figure out why the smell was so horrible. We thought it was the litter boxes all this time, but did discover last month that my cat was peeing on the carpet. I immediately took her to the vet to see if she had a UTI, and she did not. We ended up having to tear up the carpet in that room, and the amount of urine against one wall was SATURATED. I bought her a calming collar, and we replaced the carpet in that room with wood laminate flooring. I also purchased another litter box, in addition to the 2 we already had, in the hopes that giving her more options would help. Despite all this, I discovered recently that she has found more carpet in the house to urinate on. Through monitoring cameras I set up, I discovered that she is using the litter box an abnormal amount of times.

I took her to the vet again this afternoon and discovered she has a bladder stone. Her vet recommended we put her on a prescription diet, which she needs to stay on for the rest of her life. It's $75/bag, even on Chewy, and I cannot afford it. Not to mention she'll need another follow-up ultrasound in about a month, and may even need surgery. On top of all that, her vet believes there is most likely also a behavioral component to this that may require she be put on additional medications. Therefore, I could spend even more on this than I already have, and she may still urinate outside the litter box. I have already spent roughly $1000 on renovating our home and her vet bills. To some, this may be insignificant, but to me, this is more money than I usually have in my bank account. I also lost my job in January, and while I have since found another one, the small savings I did have is completely gone. I don't have money to run more tests at the vet or to spend $75 a month on cat food for the rest of her life. In addition to the marking, she is also an older cat with a heart condition, which requires daily medication. I have asked a few local shelters if they would consider taking her, but all said she isn't adoptable because of all the health/behavioral conditions.

As much as it kills me, I brought up to her vet this evening that I was considering having her put down. It kills me because on the outside, she still seems perfectly healthy, but she has so many medical/behavioral conditions, and I can't afford to treat her. Her vet kind of made me feel like a villain for suggesting this, even though I'm only even considering it because I've ran out of other options. I can't find a shelter to take her, and I can't afford her treatments. I also do not qualify for pet assistance. So what am I do to? Let her suffer? Her vet seems to think there is a shelter who can take her or I can find a clinic with lower prices. It seems unlikely that a shelter will take her because all of the no-kill shelters I've called have said the same thing: that they can't take on a non-adoptable pet. And even if I did find a low income clinic, when will it end? I could spend $75/month on her new food, then another $200 on an ultra sound, only to have the stone still be there. Then she would need surgery. I could spend $1000s on this surgery, only for the inappropriate urination to continue. If I even got to that point, I'd be in debt up to my eyeballs and no further to finding the solution. I felt like a humane euthanasia was a fair solution, but now I feel backed into a corner. I don't what to put my cat down, but I don't know what else to do...
 
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I am so sorry for your position and your poor baby. It must be hard and I know cat bills can get up there. I know some vets cannot put down cats or chose not to if they do not feel like they have reached end of life. I understand that.

Perhaps you can seek a new forever home for her yourself? Anyone you know or maybe place an ad for a local family to take her? Some people really have a soft spot for special needs kiddos. You’d be surprised. I know it’s not easy though. You could take it day by day. I use Care Credit for large expenses for my older cats so I have a bit of time to pay it off. Most places give 12 months interest free. I know I’m not helping much. Best of luck 💞
 
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I am so sorry for your position and your poor baby. It must be hard and I know cat bills can get up there. I know some vets cannot put down cats or chose not to if they do not feel like they have reached end of life. I understand that.

Perhaps you can seek a new forever home for her yourself? Anyone you know or maybe place an ad for a local family to take her? Some people really have a soft spot for special needs kiddos. You’d be surprised. I know it’s not easy though. You could take it day by day. I use Care Credit for large expenses for my older cats so I have a bit of time to pay it off. Most places give 12 months interest free. I know I’m not helping much. Best of luck 💞
Thank you for being so kind. I understand how her vet must feel looking at this from the outside, but considering all her issues and the unlikelihood of finding her a new home I do feel that humane euthanasia a viable option. That being said, I don’t want to do that either. I just feel so trapped.

I’ve tried to ask family and friends, but no one can take on the burden of her medical expenses and the risk of her urinating in their homes. I won’t give her to a stranger because I don’t want her given to a kill shelter when they feel she’s too much. In my area there are stories of sick people taking cats or dogs like mine and using them as bait for fighting dogs, which also scares me. I do have a CareCredit, but I have a huge balance on that (from pet expenses). I’ve been paying it off for almost a year. It’s killing me financially, as well as my credit score, so I’m hesitant to use that either. Thank you again for you sympathy.
 

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I do know that with stones,the prescription food usualy will dissolve the stones fairly quickly, and then many people chose NOT to continue with the expensive food, but do switch to something better. Not sure what you are feeding now, but there are other food options that aren't so expensive, plus you can monitor her PH to make sure it's within normal levels to try to prevent future stones. Additionally, if you order medications via the internet, they are much less expensive, which could definitely help with finances. These are just suggestions to try to help you keep her. You have no idea whether or not she will urinate outside the box of the stones go away. Who knows, she might turn into the perfect cat!
 
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I do know that with stones,the prescription food usualy will dissolve the stones fairly quickly, and then many people chose NOT to continue with the expensive food, but do switch to something better. Not sure what you are feeding now, but there are other food options that aren't so expensive, plus you can monitor her PH to make sure it's within normal levels to try to prevent future stones. Additionally, if you order medications via the internet, they are much less expensive, which could definitely help with finances. These are just suggestions to try to help you keep her. You have no idea whether or not she will urinate outside the box of the stones go away. Who knows, she might turn into the perfect cat!
Hi there. Thanks for the response! I’m encouraged to hear that it’s possible to not keep her on the prescription diet, as there’s no way I could maintain that long term. That being said, I do think I could afford it long enough to dissolve the stone (as long as it’s not calcium based, which I’m told by her vet will require surgery). I did try the Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tracy dry food when I first suspected something was wrong, but both out cat’s refused to eat it, so I went back to their original kibble (Iams Naturals). Anything you recommend trying that’s not $75/bag? Also, I was thinking about trying a urinary health supplement instead of continuing the prescription diet after the stone dissolves. Have you heard of anything that might be a good option? And how can I test her pH for stones? Is there a kit I can buy? We do order her prescriptions online, but they are unfortunately still on the expensive side.
I do see what you mean about her hopefully being a good kitty who uses her box without the stones, but her vet and I do think there is an anxiety/behavioral component in this as well, as she’s done this before, and it’s been a long term issue. That being said, I can afford the kitty Prozac meds (which will hopefully help with the behavior aspect) with her heart meds, but because the food is so expensive, that’s where I’m struggling. Thank you SO MUCH for the advice. I’ve been so upset about this, and you’ve been super helpful.
 

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Hi. I would recommend you also give the Purina Pro in canned food a try as well (HIll's C/D and Royal Canin SO also come in canned, but are also expensive, just like the dry versions). Canned is better, due to a higher moisture content, if they will eat it. I have also heard of Wysong Uretic and Blue Buffalo - both in dry, if need be. I would just suggest you compare ingredients with the prescription foods to see what the differences are. Once the struvite (if that is what they are) stones are dissolved, and you could manage to get her to eat any canned food at all - that would go a long way in helping to prevent the formation of new stones. And, if you can't get her to eat anything but dry, find ways to get her to drink more - a water fountain, let her drink from a dripping faucet - what ever would entice her to take in more water.

As far as bladder health supplements, I have heard from members on this site that ingredients such as Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, and pure D-mannose are good. You can search for these online too, just look for "Bladder health supplements for cats". There are PH strips you can buy online to test urine - so look into those as well. I am not sure they would tell you if stones are reforming, but they would be an indicator that she has the proper PH balance to help reduce her odds of developing them again. If the PH testing shows a problem, you can always switch back to prescription food for a month or so.

Cat calming products might be a way to go before you head into the Prozac option. Many members use Feliway diffusers to help. Not all calming products work on all cats, so you might have to experiment with a few to see if any would help your girl. And, lastly but not least, chamomile tea can be used as a calming agent. Buy grocery store chamomile tea bags which are generally German (you don't want English, nor any additives/flavorings), brew a bag in water, cool it and either add some to a bit of water or you can use an oral syringe to feed her a small amount. You could give 3 teaspoonfuls up to 3 times a day.
 

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:yeah: You can use pretty much ANY human PH testing strips, and just hold them under her stream if you think she'll let you. If not, then there are also special litters you can get that will change color if the PH gets out of balance. And I believe you are looking to stay between 6 and 6.5 but you should ask your Vet on that. Here is a direct quote from one of our Forum Helpers, LTS3 LTS3 on collecting samples (it happened to be for diabetic samples, but works the same way):

Human urine test strips work just fine and what many diabetic cat owners use to monitor their cats in addition to blood glucose testing. You want the regular urine strips. Ketodiastix is one brand name. other brands of urine test strips work just as well and some may test for other things like ph.

Litter or pads may affect the reading. Try sticking the strip right into the urine as the cat is peeking. Or use a long handled spoon to collect the urine from the cat and then put the strip into that. If your cat isn't too fussy, get a new box and put some thoroughly rinsed fish tank pebbles or decorative glass craft pebbles into the box. After the cat pets, tip the box to pool up the the in a corner and put the strip into that.

BTW, stress can also cause crystals, so if it's possible she is or WAS stressed, as you mentioned in your other thread. That could also account for the behavioral issues, which you may have sleuthed out with your cameras. Since these crystals popped up at the same time, it's really hard to know whether everything is related or not, but it kind of sounds like it. I'm thinking if you can use the prescription food to dissolve the stones, then get her on at least some wet food, or get her to drink more water, add in some supplements as mentioned above, monitor her PH, and with moving the litter boxes and possibly adding more, and the other things you are doing, may do the trick :crossfingers:.
 
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selpats

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Hi. I would recommend you also give the Purina Pro in canned food a try as well (HIll's C/D and Royal Canin SO also come in canned, but are also expensive, just like the dry versions). Canned is better, due to a higher moisture content, if they will eat it. I have also heard of Wysong Uretic and Blue Buffalo - both in dry, if need be. I would just suggest you compare ingredients with the prescription foods to see what the differences are. Once the struvite (if that is what they are) stones are dissolved, and you could manage to get her to eat any canned food at all - that would go a long way in helping to prevent the formation of new stones. And, if you can't get her to eat anything but dry, find ways to get her to drink more - a water fountain, let her drink from a dripping faucet - what ever would entice her to take in more water.

As far as bladder health supplements, I have heard from members on this site that ingredients such as Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, and pure D-mannose are good. You can search for these online too, just look for "Bladder health supplements for cats". There are PH strips you can buy online to test urine - so look into those as well. I am not sure they would tell you if stones are reforming, but they would be an indicator that she has the proper PH balance to help reduce her odds of developing them again. If the PH testing shows a problem, you can always switch back to prescription food for a month or so.

Cat calming products might be a way to go before you head into the Prozac option. Many members use Feliway diffusers to help. Not all calming products work on all cats, so you might have to experiment with a few to see if any would help your girl. And, lastly but not least, chamomile tea can be used as a calming agent. Buy grocery store chamomile tea bags which are generally German (you don't want English, nor any additives/flavorings), brew a bag in water, cool it and either add some to a bit of water or you can use an oral syringe to feed her a small amount. You could give 3 teaspoonfuls up to 3 times a day.
I asked her vet this morning if there are any affordable alternatives and pointed out that I could try the wet food option of Purina Pro. I'm waiting on her response. I'm going to feed the prescription diet just long enough to dissolve the stone, then try to switch to something more affordable. I would like to put her on a wet food diet, but our other cat is a piggy for wet food, while my cat is more of a grazer. Feeding them both exclusively wet food would be pricey, as well as difficult to manage since one of them will eat the whole thing in one sitting, leaving none for the grazer. Any suggestions for feeding 2 cats different diets?

I also asked her vet if there are any supplements I could try in conjunction with a urinary health food, and I'll bring up the ones you mentioned when she responds. I'll look them up myself as well, so I'll be able to have an informed conversation with her. I really like the idea of the pH strips. I think it'll help me figure out if the new diet is doing it's job, or if the prescription diet is a must.

As far as the other calming methods, I have tried it all. Her vet didn't prescribe the Prozac until we had literally tried everything else. That being said, I'm going to hold off on giving it to her until I have the bladder stone worked out. If she's still marking when the bladder stone is gone, then I'll use Prozac as a last resort to treat the behavioral component once the medical component is figured out.

Thanks for all your helpful advice!!
 
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selpats

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:yeah: You can use pretty much ANY human PH testing strips, and just hold them under her stream if you think she'll let you. If not, then there are also special litters you can get that will change color if the PH gets out of balance. And I believe you are looking to stay between 6 and 6.5 but you should ask your Vet on that. Here is a direct quote from one of our Forum Helpers, LTS3 LTS3 on collecting samples (it happened to be for diabetic samples, but works the same way):

Human urine test strips work just fine and what many diabetic cat owners use to monitor their cats in addition to blood glucose testing. You want the regular urine strips. Ketodiastix is one brand name. other brands of urine test strips work just as well and some may test for other things like ph.

Litter or pads may affect the reading. Try sticking the strip right into the urine as the cat is peeking. Or use a long handled spoon to collect the urine from the cat and then put the strip into that. If your cat isn't too fussy, get a new box and put some thoroughly rinsed fish tank pebbles or decorative glass craft pebbles into the box. After the cat pets, tip the box to pool up the the in a corner and put the strip into that.

BTW, stress can also cause crystals, so if it's possible she is or WAS stressed, as you mentioned in your other thread. That could also account for the behavioral issues, which you may have sleuthed out with your cameras. Since these crystals popped up at the same time, it's really hard to know whether everything is related or not, but it kind of sounds like it. I'm thinking if you can use the prescription food to dissolve the stones, then get her on at least some wet food, or get her to drink more water, add in some supplements as mentioned above, monitor her PH, and with moving the litter boxes and possibly adding more, and the other things you are doing, may do the trick :crossfingers:.

I'm definitely going to look into the pH strips. Collecting the urine is going to be difficult because she doesn't like being approached when she's doing her business. It makes her nervous (can't say I blame her there!). That being said, I'm sure I can figure something out. She uses the Tidy Cats Breeze system litter box (literally the best litter box I've ever had). It uses pellets, so I won't be able to use the special litter.

I definitely believe stress is a component in this. I've got the litter boxes spread out, and I added an extra. She's confined in her own room right now until I can get this figured out, as I don't want her peeing anywhere she shouldn't be in the meantime. I'm hoping that will help her stress levels when she's free. I'm hoping I won't have to use the Prozac once her bladder stones are gone, but if she's still marking after the medical component is treated, Prozac will be the last option.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Sounds like you have a good plan! About feeding two cats two different things - the easiest perhaps might be to consider automated feeders - opened only by the cat who either has a chip for it or wears a collar containing a chip. Your grazer could be the one with the chipped feeder maybe? The other thing, if you could tolerate it, would be to get multi-compartment timed feeders and only place so much in each slot - making your piggy one have to wait until the next timed session to eat more. Your grazer would probably pick up on the routine easier than your other one! Habits can be broken - and, it is usually a lot harder on the humans than it is on the cats (figures!).

I do know that Feeby used to be a dry food only grazer and at the ripe old age of 12-13 (she is now 15+), I converted her slowly from all dry to dry and canned, and then to specific feeding times with dry left out for the grazing part. She pretty much no longer grazes, or not like she used to anyway. She also has decided that the dry is an absolute last resort and hardly touches it anymore. Her only remaining issue is that there are just those days where eating all of one meal at one time doesn't cut it. I am lucky in that sense, as I can leave hers out without worry of another cat coming along and stealing it!

Oh yeah, try calming music to play in the room where she is isolated and see if that helps her calm a bit while confined to a specific space. Also, you could consider starting a new feeding routine for her away from the other cat and train them that they don't eat in the same location??
 

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I happen to have two cats, and they eat two totally different foods. One eats raw food, the other canned. One is a little piggy though, and sometimes decides that not only does he want HIS food, but also would like to sample some of his brothers food. To alleviate this issue, we feed them in two separate areas where we can keep an eye on the slower eater's food. We feed the piggy in the kitchen, and the other one eats wherever WE are. So if we're in the living room, that's where he eats, if I'm in my home office, that's where he eats, etc. He knows his food is safe because it's being watched over by his humans, but additionally, if the piggy walks over to see what's in that bowl, it's an incentive for the slower eater to dig in if he hasn't already! Cats are so weird :lol: BTW, I use placemats under their food bowls so food doesn't get on the floors/rugs. And they each know which is their placemat! They are different, of course.

Oh, and here are a couple of articles on how to put a cat on scheduled feedings AND how to switch them from one type of food to another:

Transitioning Free-fed Kibble Kitties To Timed Meals

Transitioning Your Cat From Kibble To A New Type Of Food
 
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