Peeing / Spraying (vibes needed)

tx_kat

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Gidget (2.5 years old) is our "middle child", and she's a typical middle child.  Actually, she's somewhat of a bully.

Angel and Demon were around 6 months old when we rescued Gidget, and Angel and Gidget have had dominance issues since ... but nothing bad - mainly just posturing.  One year ago, we rescued a litter of kittens, and ended up keeping Casper and Abby.  They have been integrated into the family for the past 8 months.  Gidget has never really liked them, but seems more scared of them than anything.  When they come near her, she hisses and runs away.  Things have gotten better, and she lets them near her once in a while and even plays with them on occasion (taking turns playfully chasing each other).

Two months ago we rescued an injured kitten (Tommy), with the intention of either returning him to the feral colony he came from or giving him to a rescue organization to be adopted.  It took 6 weeks for him to be healed enough to go to the rescue, and he stayed in the guest room the entire time - away from the other cats.  A couple of weeks after Tommy came to stay with us, Gidget started hissing when she walked near the door to the guest room, so we blocked off the hallway so none of the cats could go near the door.  Three weeks in, Gidget squatted on the kitchen counter and peed on one of the kitchen towels.  We got her checked and everything was fine, so we chalked it up to her being stressed over Tommy's presence.  I made an effort to spend even more time with her to help reassure her that she is still loved and this is her home. 

A couple of days before Tommy left for his new home, Gidget again peed on a towel on the kitchen counter.  She and Angel also started fighting again, a little more intensely than they have in the past.  I cleaned the room he was in thoroughly (vacuumed, wiped everything down, changed the sheets, etc.) before letting any of the cats in the room.  Also, this is the room where I sleep on days that my husband and I both work (he snores, plus he lets refuses to keep the cats out of the room and they wake me up multiple times during the course of my sleep).

A week ago, one week after Tommy was re-homed, I came home after work to a strong odor of urine.  I didn't figure out where the smell came from until I sat in my recliner.  Yep, Gidget peed in my chair (and I think sprayed because of what the black light showed).  The thing is, that's also where Abby sleeps most nights.  I've tried to clean the recliner with enzymatic cleaner, but getting the smell out is harder than I hoped it would be - who knows how long it sat and soaked into the chair.  The past couple of days, Gidget has peed in a plastic bag that was left on the counter.  Last night she peed on the counter again and jumped down and sprayed the door from the kitchen to the garage.

Other information:

- we have four large litter boxes that get scooped twice daily (we don't have room for anymore at this time due to home renovations),

- we have multiple Feliway plug-ins throughout the house (which worked in the past),

- Gidget has had a "calming collar" for a week now, with no signs of calming her,

- Gidget doesn't like to play, especially when the other cats are around,

- I tried to spend "mommy / Gidget time" with her in a separate room, but she gets spooked if one of the other cats comes near the door.

Any thoughts?  Comments?  Ideas?

Mainly, I just need vibes until Gidget gets back to feeling secure in her own home.  I've told my husband that under no circumstances will another rescue cat enter our home.  I've convinced him that he needs to move the food for the ferals to a location in the yard instead of on the back patio, in case Gidget's stressed/threatened by them being so close to the house.  And vibes for me so I keep calm during this stressful time and don't get mad and yell.

 
 

di and bob

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There's nothing worse then when a cat starts spraying for reasons only known to them! My Burt has stopped finally after 3 years, I think he's finally more comfortable with the feral that comes to the door. ( or he's doing it in a place I haven't found yet) If anyone knows of a GOOD enzymatic cleaner to use, please let me know, that has got to be one of the worst odors ever, except for intact male spray.I'm sending you vibes to calm both of you! 
 
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tx_kat

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Thanks for the vibes. 

I took Gidget to the vet.  He couldn't get any urine from her, so he couldn't confirm whether she had a UTI or not.  He put her on an antibiotic "just in case" and said to call if her behavior didn't change and he would give her a prescription for Prozac.  In the past week, she has not sprayed at all and has peed inappropriately only once (that I have noticed).  She's also been more lovey with me, and hasn't been as mean to the younger cats as she had been. 

HOWEVER, I think her behavior change may be due more to changes we made in our home.  Until a year ago, the cats had access to the front room (my office) and that's where one of the litter boxes was (it got moved to the end of the hallway where there is no traffic), and until about six months ago, they also had access to the large guest bedroom.  Basically, for the past six months we've been two humans and five cats living in a kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms ... then we took in that kitten to rehab, which took away one of the bedrooms.  I was feeling a little crowded and stressed so I can only imagine that the cats were, too!

The day after Gidget went to the vet, I my husband and I cleared out the front room, which had become a hot mess of disorganized storage.  As we cleared out the room, we noticed at least 3 spots where she had peed on various items - three large garbage bads full of things - and three spots where she had sprayed the wall, which will have to be repainted as the paint has peeled.  All spots have been cleaned with Natures Miracle Urine Destroyer.  I can't smell anything, and she hasn't gone back to pee or spray in the area.  I have also put another litter box in that room (#5 in the house), and I am going to put a chair / ottoman back in the room since she used to sleep in the chair that was in that room.

I just hope that getting the front room back to normal helps her (and all the cats) and that Gidget keeps up the good behavior (although I think a short course of Prozac or Buspar could definitely help Gidget with her anxiety issues around the younger cats).
 
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