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Marking territory??

meghanboc

Savannah Child
We recently discovered what I think is Jax marking his territory and need some advice. We have a cat wheel that Jax (1 and a half years old) loves and uses all the time and Rupert (9 months) has always left alone. Rupert recently started trying it out and we came home today to find there’s been a secret pile of poop behind the wheel which I think is Jax marking his territory. I cleaned the area but am wondering what else to do to keep him away. We have two litter boxes which they’ve always used and I am unsure how to get him to stop this behavior. Any advice is appreciated!


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WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
1. First determine which cat is actually doing the marking. Maybe buy a security camera if you're not home all day so you can spy on them throughout the day. You also have to determine if the perpetrator is healthy so a trip to the vet is in order.

2. Do Jax and Rupert get along? Are they neutered? The behavior may be related to their maturing and establishing who is the boss.

3. I hired an animal behaviorist to evaluate my situation -- 4 SVs, territory marking, fighting -- and she advised that resource issues are a major component in inappropriate peeing/pooping. You may have to get another wheel, increase one-on-one time time with each cat, add more vertical surfaces to the house, add more litter boxes. It's not always easy to pin point the genesis of behavioral issues and without the professional advice of a behaviorist, all you can do is trial and error to see what works. Heck, even with a behaviorist, you'd have to experiment to see what works. I had 3 pages of suggested changes to make and things to try and out of around 100 suggestions, less than a dozen had an impact on their behavior but I had to work through the list to get to a solution.

Marilyn Krieger is a well respected behaviorist with whom the savannah community is well acquainted. She will do consults over zoom. https://www.thecatcoach.com/
 

meghanboc

Savannah Child
1. First determine which cat is actually doing the marking. Maybe buy a security camera if you're not home all day so you can spy on them throughout the day. You also have to determine if the perpetrator is healthy so a trip to the vet is in order.

2. Do Jax and Rupert get along? Are they neutered? The behavior may be related to their maturing and establishing who is the boss.

3. I hired an animal behaviorist to evaluate my situation -- 4 SVs, territory marking, fighting -- and she advised that resource issues are a major component in inappropriate peeing/pooping. You may have to get another wheel, increase one-on-one time time with each cat, add more vertical surfaces to the house, add more litter boxes. It's not always easy to pin point the genesis of behavioral issues and without the professional advice of a behaviorist, all you can do is trial and error to see what works. Heck, even with a behaviorist, you'd have to experiment to see what works. I had 3 pages of suggested changes to make and things to try and out of around 100 suggestions, less than a dozen had an impact on their behavior but I had to work through the list to get to a solution.

Marilyn Krieger is a well respected behaviorist with whom the savannah community is well acquainted. She will do consults over zoom. https://www.thecatcoach.com/

Thanks for the tips!

They are both neutered and I can tell they’re Jax’s poops. They get along but Rupert is very possessive of his toys so I think the wheel was jaxs last thing he didn’t have to share and now he’s upset! I did a deep clean and hope that now the smell is gone he’ll go away but if not we’ll be trying some of the above. Would you recommend putting a third litter box near the wheel or away from it?


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WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Would you recommend putting a third litter box near the wheel or away from it?
You can try it but if it's in a noisy area and he thinks he doesn't have sufficient privacy, it probably won't help the situation. Sounds as though it's a resource issue and poor Jax is unhappy. Is there a way for you to ensure Jax gets time alone on the wheel without Rupert around? One of the things I have to do is rotate my cats in the house. Two of them get to free roam half of the day, then they get locked in a room while the other 2 get free roam. I have the added challenge of horrible fighting -- and I mean to the death fighting -- between some of my boys and nothing has resolved that yet.

If Rupert turns out to be more dominant, you may have to give Jax a room of his own to escape to and decompress.
 

meghanboc

Savannah Child
It’s actually interesting because for the last week we’ve started doing just that and locking Rupert upstairs so we can play with Jax alone! Will give this all a try and see how it goes. Thanks!


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meghanboc

Savannah Child
We recently discovered what I think is Jax marking his territory and need some advice. We have a cat wheel that Jax (1 and a half years old) loves and uses all the time and Rupert (9 months) has always left alone. Rupert recently started trying it out and we came home today to find there’s been a secret pile of poop behind the wheel which I think is Jax marking his territory. I cleaned the area but am wondering what else to do to keep him away. We have two litter boxes which they’ve always used and I am unsure how to get him to stop this behavior. Any advice is appreciated!


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So it’s been a little over a week since we’ve put the wheel away and there have been no more accidents! Sad because Jax loves his wheel I think we will have to slowly bring it back out next week maybe? Worried it’s just going to happen again.


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Vito

Site Supporter
So it’s been a little over a week since we’ve put the wheel away and there have been no more accidents! Sad because Jax loves his wheel I think we will have to slowly bring it back out next week maybe? Worried it’s just going to happen again.


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Perhaps you could just bring the wheel out intermittently and see if that breaks the habit, fingers crossed.
 
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