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Separation/Urinating Problems

Riddick

Savannah Super Cat
I have to problems that I am trying to fix with my savannah cat.

Separation Problems - At night when we are ready to go to bed we will let our savannah stay in the bed room until we start falling asleep. We would love to have him sleep with us but he will constantly be into stuff making noise or will mess with you and never let you get any sleep. After awhile every night, I will take him out of the room with our other cat and let them have the whole house to themselves. Usually starting sometime in the middle of the night or early morning he will start meowing and scratching at the door. This will not stop until you let him in. Once you let him in it he will never lay down and go to sleep, it is back to the messing with you or something in the room. Does anyone have any advice on what to do about this?

Urinating Problems - Our savannah is really good about using his litter box, there was a week or so when he had some diarrhea problems that he had a few accidents but that is about it. This weekend he was in my closet with me like always and I had my gym bag on the floor. He hopped in it and started peeing, he has done this once before but with a different bag in a different part of the house. He has 2 litter boxes in the house and both times this has happened, he hadn't been to far from them. I don't feel like it was an accident. Do you think he is mistaking a bag or something like that for a litter box or is he marking his territory? I also always clean the accidents up with natures miracle.

Any advice on these 2 topics would be greatly appreciated.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Separation problems... Given your current routine, I would suggest just NOT letting your cat in when he scratches on the door. It will mean a few frustrating mornings listen to him beg and whine... but with some patience and consistency he will learn that when put out the door doesn't open until you get up in the morning.

With our kittens, we find that if we let them sleep on the bed with us (like all our cats and dog do), they do wake at 3-4am and think the bed is their playground. So it is a week or two of disturbed sleep where I have to round them up and evict them at that hour of the morning. And listen to them cry and scratch at the door wanting back in. But within that time they do learn the rules, and they learn it is better to leave our room to have playtime and have the option of coming back for snuggles later on. Some are more persistent than others of course!

Urination problems... I don't think Nature's Miracle is a good enzyme cleaner, it's pretty dilute and ineffective. You really need to soak those bags repeatedly in that to hope to remove all odor. We in Savannah Rescue recommend Anti Icky Poo and Unique Distributors Odor Eliminator.

With it being your gym bag, I'm thinking it's the smelly nature of the bag that inspired the peeing. Or it just might be bags, and you need to be careful not to leave an open bag out! It's a relatively simple fix. I think it's pretty generally reported that some cats see an open bag as a place to pee... suitcases etc. Maybe it is because they over time absorb smells or maybe it is a litterbox type feel to the bag I don't know!
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
Are all the bags that he pees in a gym bag? I had a non-SV male that would pee in gym bags that were left open. Very nice thing to discover at the gym!
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
I agree with Brigitte that you are rewarding him by letting him into your bedroom when he's whining and scratching. You should try to tough it out and ignore him, if you do the behavior will likely go away although it may take several days since he is used to getting his way now. Play some music if possible to try to drown out his noises. Also, you might want to try some hard and vigorous play for at least 30 minutes just before bedtime to see if that will settle him down.

You asked if you thought he might be marking his territory when he peed in the gym bags, so I have to ask - is he neutered? If not, then any marking behavior will only get worse, and once he starts marking neutering him may not necessarily stop the behavior (although it usually does). If he is already neutered and never marked before his surgery then it is unlikely to be marking behavior. As Brigitte says some cats (not just Savannahs) like to pee in bags, purses, suitcases, etc, and the smelly gym aroma is probably very attractive to him. Keeping the bag off the floor and closed will alleviate the problem, and using one of the products Brigitte mentioned will alleviate the pee smell.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
I agree with Brigitte on both accounts, and the gym bag issue doesn't sound like animal stirrings as much as it's just stinky and somewhat resembles a litter box.

I'm definitely a fan of Anti Icky Poo as with our problem pee'r it was what finally enabled us to solve the issues.

Lastly, might want to change up litters and with two boxes you can see if there's a preference. Might also be a very hygienic cat who won't use a dirty litter box and you might need to step up the cleaning schedule.
 

Riddick

Savannah Super Cat
Thanks everyone for your advice.. Patti, Riddick is not yet neutered, he is about 4 1/2 months old. My vet had suggested waiting until he was more developed to neuter. The other bag was not a gym bag it was just a regular plastic bag type. He has played in our suitcases before and there has been no accidents. I have sprayed natures miracle on the carpet where some of the pee had gotten, he has been going in there with his mouth open smelling but hasn't had an accident. I am going to order the other brands mentioned above and try them.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Plastic bags are common culprits for kitty pee, he's pretty normal as cat for that!

but if Riddick is only 4.5 months old then you could also chalk the couple incidents down to being a kitten. If your house is large for example, sometimes with kittens you are safer having more litterboxes in more locations as a kitten might forget until too late and need one close by...

Spraying is not enough, you need to DRENCH carpet to have a hope of really getting rid of all traces of urine odor. The urine hasn't stayed on the surface of the carpet but has likely dripped down into the underlay... if your kitten is open mouthed smelling there, you haven't rid it of all scent. Anti Icky Poo even markets a carpet injection unit, a syringe and "needle" to inject the enzymes right down into the carpet layers.
 
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