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Help with inappropriate elimination

Evie

Savannah Super Cat
#3
Hi everyone, should I start a new thread? My question is about peeing outside the litter tray? I have followed the above link and would love to fill out the questionnaire but it doesn't look like I am able to. I have downloaded the advice sheet though and will read after posting this.
Kitoko has just pee'd in my bed. I woke up in a puddle! I had hoped I'd been able to manage this but obviously not. She sleeps in her quarantine room at night only now and the rest of the day she spends in the house. I sleep with her. There are three litter trays in the room with her. The last time she went outside the box was about ten days ago on a piece of her bedding on the window sill in the same room. I had seen her looking at something with great interest before I found the wet bedding and guessed that she may have seen another cat or fox and was marking her territory? I moved the bedding and she hasn't gone there since. I haven't found any wet patches throughout the house - yet! But have more trays around the house. She did pee on my foster daughters bed a couple of weeks ago but I put this down to excitement as she had only started spending time with my other two cats at that time. There were other instances shortly after she came home and I thought I had solved this by removing the cat beds/bedding she seemed attracted to. In the room we sleep in she has a couple of places she likes to sleep but has been under my covers by the morning for the past few nights. My friend is planning to move into this room soon and is happy to take over 'night duties' with Kitoko but it isn't fair to have her pee on the bed. I'm also worried about letting her roam the house in case she goes on my other bed or the sofas etc! I have been separating her from the other cats at night because she won't leave one of them alone for long. The boys are able to go outside - Morris is free to roam and Moses has an enclosure, which he will share with Kit eventually, Moses wants to be out quite a lot at the moment especially when the play gets a bit rough for him. On the positive side I picked my kitten up and moved her off the bed this morning which is a first!
I am starting to worry that things are not going to go well with my kitten. I already check the other cat beds and sofas etc on a regularl basis checking for wet patches. I can't get the mattress out of that room yet as my foster daughter is still sleeping and i don't want to disturb her. I guess I will need to replace that mattress now and get protectors. I really hoped we were moving forward. I don't know what to do as it seems so random. Please help I would be gutted if this got out of hand.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#4
First and most importantly, is Kitoko spayed? If not, that needs to happen asap. I agree her episodes seem to be random and sound like marking to me. If she is already spayed then you need to look for other triggers - the other cats in the house, or cats outside that she is aware of... if it is your cats then you will need to work on acceptance of each other. Clicker training can be very helpful is these type of situations: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cat.Clickers/?ref=br_tf

Be sure to use good enzyme cleaners when cleaning up linens and other spots. I'm not sure what is available in your neck of the woods but I use Anti-Icky-Poo which is available online: http://www.antiickypoo.com/Anti-IckyPooUnscented-s/1824.htm You can also try Cat Attract in your litter boxes. I don't use it solely but usually scatter it on top of the litter: http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Attract-2...8&qid=1407913977&sr=8-4&keywords=cat+attract0

If nothing seems to be working I would consider talking to a cat behavioralist such as Marilyn Krieger, she may have insight that can help you correct the behavior: www.thecatcoach.com
 

Evie

Savannah Super Cat
#5
First and most importantly, is Kitoko spayed? If not, that needs to happen asap. I agree her episodes seem to be random and sound like marking to me. If she is already spayed then you need to look for other triggers - the other cats in the house, or cats outside that she is aware of... if it is your cats then you will need to work on acceptance of each other. Clicker training can be very helpful is these type of situations: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cat.Clickers/?ref=br_tf

Be sure to use good enzyme cleaners when cleaning up linens and other spots. I'm not sure what is available in your neck of the woods but I use Anti-Icky-Poo which is available online: http://www.antiickypoo.com/Anti-IckyPooUnscented-s/1824.htm You can also try Cat Attract in your litter boxes. I don't use it solely but usually scatter it on top of the litter: http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Attract-20-oz/dp/B000O5JXKO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1407913977&sr=8-4&keywords=cat attract0

If nothing seems to be working I would consider talking to a cat behavioralist such as Marilyn Krieger, she may have insight that can help you correct the behavior: www.thecatcoach.com
Hi Patti, Kitoko isn't spayed as I was hoping to have a litter from her in the future if things go well. Is this going to be a problem with my other cats? They are both neutered boys.
The cats are doing well together but I wonder if she is getting stressed being apart from them at night. I wondered if she might need another cat bed as she has been under my covers the past few mornings. She must have been right beside me last night when she pee'd.
I have invested quite a lot of money on her, I initially wanted a boy but he died, after much thought and conversations with the breeder I decided to have a female and with the breeders support, consider having a litter from her.
I am going to buy some other products today as well as mattress protectors in the hope of avoiding another accident. I have been able to pick her up a few times this morning so maybe she can start spending some time in the enclosure?
I will definitely consider contacting the cat coach and thank you for all the advice. :)
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#6
Hi Patti, Kitoko isn't spayed as I was hoping to have a litter from her in the future if things go well.
Evie, Kitoko's behavior is normal for an unspayed female and something you'll have to learn to live with if you want to breed her. Sounds like territorial marking to me. How old is she? The spraying will become more pronounced as she nears and enters her first heat cycle. The risk of not spaying her is that the spraying may not go away or not go entirely away once she is spayed. I'm sure the breeders here, or Kitoko's breeder will give you advice on proper housing for her if you keep her intact.
 

Evie

Savannah Super Cat
#7
Hi Deborah, Kit is four and a half months now. I feel a bit gutted that the breeder didn't explain that this might happen and I will call her. I will do my best to manage this but is the behavior stressful for Kitoko? I don't intend to be anything other than a small breeder and I also only want her to have two or three litters depending on how she copes as a mum. I really didn't want a cat that lives outside, although I have an enclosure for her to spend time in once she is ready, she seems happiest with the boys but she also seems to be bonding quite well with me, I have managed to pick her up a couple of times, very briefly but its a start. I welcome anyone else's advice on keeping us all happy at home! I have bought an enzyme cleaner today and mattress covers - I can't bear to shut her out of my room. I did wonder if I should try and let her share the house with the boys now instead of having her with me - but it has been working up to now. There just seems no pattern to this - I did find another wee in their play tunnel today though.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#8
Every breeder who is a member here would advocate that, not only should you do your own research before engaging in breeding, but you should also have a mentor -- an experienced breeder -- to help you along the way. I hope the person you bought Kitoko from is willing to mentor you. Breeding is, imho, hard work and there's more involved than just putting a fertile female and male together and letting nature take its course.

Some breeds can go into their first heat at 4 months; others take longer, around 10 months of age. It's possible that your baby's hormones are gearing up. Since I'm not a breeder, I can't give any advice or insight in this area.

Some things I would ask Kit's breeder is what do you do to help her go through her heat cycles until she is old enough to breed; what type of housing should you have for her during her cycles; what type of behavior can you expect from her during each phase of her cycles. How old should she be before she has her first litter?

Also, who will she mate with? Some breeders will not loan out their males. Are you planning on purchasing a breeding male? If not, from whom will you acquire stud services.
 

Evie

Savannah Super Cat
#9
Every breeder who is a member here would advocate that, not only should you do your own research before engaging in breeding, but you should also have a mentor -- an experienced breeder -- to help you along the way. I hope the person you bought Kitoko from is willing to mentor you. Breeding is, imho, hard work and there's more involved than just putting a fertile female and male together and letting nature take its course.

Some breeds can go into their first heat at 4 months; others take longer, around 10 months of age. It's possible that your baby's hormones are gearing up. Since I'm not a breeder, I can't give any advice or insight in this area.

Some things I would ask Kit's breeder is what do you do to help her go through her heat cycles until she is old enough to breed; what type of housing should you have for her during her cycles; what type of behavior can you expect from her during each phase of her cycles. How old should she be before she has her first litter?

Also, who will she mate with? Some breeders will not loan out their males. Are you planning on purchasing a breeding male? If not, from whom will you acquire stud services.
Hi Deborah, The breeder has offered to help me and knows that this will be my first litter. She has also agreed to lend me a male when the time is right. They tend to wait until their girls are around their first birthday and as long as they are healthy and happy they go ahead. I was told that litter box problems weren't the norm which worries me a bit. Thank you for the advice as I will email tonight asking about housing and supporting her through her cycles. I have tried to read up on what I might expect and what I need to be aware of in terms of breeding but I will ask her any advice more specific to savannah's. Your advice has been really helpful already and although peeing everywhere isn't nice just knowing why it's happening is really helpful. Thank you very much :)
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#10
Although 4-1/2 months is a bit young to start, if a urinary tract infection has been ruled out (she should definitely be checked for that if she hasn't already) then I have no doubt that you are witnessing her hormones kicking in, and it will likely only get worse. Both male and female cats will spray when left intact. This is a bit of a dilemma for you since you have had some difficulty bonding with her, although it sounds as though that is getting better. However, putting her out in an enclosure could easily sabotage all of the progress you have made so far.

One option you may have is to dedicate a room to her (e.g., a spare bedroom). Strip it down, put vinyl or other water resistant covering on the floor and make sure anything you put in there is washable. Paint the walls with washable paint or better yet, use FRP panels to cover the walls (expensive, but can be washed or hosed down). One nice thing about vinyl is that you can actually roll it up the walls a few feet to protect them. Of course, if you have a six foot cat tree in the room you will have spray six feet (or higher) up your walls.

Other things you can try are feliway diffusers and/or a feliway collar. That probably won't stop the marking, but might slow it down. You will need a really good enzyme cleaner - the stuff you can buy at the pet store usually isn't effective enough to completely remove the urine. You might want to invest in a good black light as well (black lights can also be ineffective, so make sure you find one of good quality) and check the areas before and after you've treated them to make sure the urine has been completely eliminated.

It is unfortunate that your breeder didn't talk to you about these things prior to you committing to keeping an intact female. Did she discuss the possibility of pyometra if Kitoko repetitively cycles without being bred? What about setting up a nursery and supplies you should have on hand for when the kittens are born? Or the howling that can go on day and night when she is in heat? Some cats are worse than others so you won't know how vocal she's going to be until she actually goes into a full fledged heat.

There is a Savannah Mentors Yahoo group you might want to consider joining. It was created specifically for people like you who are new to breeding and in need of some guidance. Even experienced breeders learn from the group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SVBreedMentors/info