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  #1  
Old 01-14-2011, 01:38 AM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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My Cat Won’t Stop Peeing On My Stuff…Advice Desperately Needed

I am posting this thread with a very heavy heart as if we can’t find a solution we may be forced to give away a beloved family pet.

Max, my one and a half year old cat, found his way into our home and our hearts in the summer of last year. He was a stray that chose us to be his lucky family. Soon after we found Max we also took in another stray, Pumpkin, a beautiful orange tabby. The two became the best of friends and the best pets a family could possibly ask for. They both never bit or scratched, and loved to cuddle.

Max’s peeing troubles started in early November of this year. He was peeing everywhere – our bed, piles of laundry, etc. We took him to the vet who diagnosed him with a bladder infection. He was treated with antibiotics which quickly fixed him right up.

Fast forward to mid-December. We had just moved into a new house. Max started peeing again outside his littler box. Another trip to the vet revealed another bladder infection. He has gone through two different antibiotics to no avail. The vet is convinced that something else is now causing him to continue spraying. After the first round of meds didn’t work, we tried anti-anxiety meds – kitty Prozac, if you will. He’s been on these for about 3 weeks or so to see if anxiety over the move is causing it. They haven’t worked either. Thinking it may be a behavioral thing, we also got a pheromone diffuser. Nothing.

My husband and I are at our wits end with the whole thing. Few smells are worse than cat urine and it’s really hard to get out of the bedding, mattresses, clothing, and furniture he’s peed on. We’re trying to deal with it as best we can but he’s going after our three-year-old daughter’s stuff as well. He’s peed on her brand new bed numerous times and just sprayed her winter coat about an hour ago. It kills me to think she is now sleeping on a mattress that probably has a lingering odor of cat urine. I will probably just throw her coat out tomorrow and buy her a new one. It’s in the wash now with detergent and a half cup of apple-cider vinegar but I doubt that will be enough.

I have been in near-constant contact with our amazing vet to try to figure out what’s going on. If it’s a medical problem I want to do everything possible to get him cured. If it’s a behavioral problem I don’t know how much we can do. The vet thinks it’s one of four possible scenarios:

1) Feline urinary tract disease (or something of the sort) – basically, he would be very prone to getting recurrent, nearly constant urinary tract infections. I just don’t know if we can handle this if it means he will be constantly peeing everywhere.

2) An anxiety over the move – should be at least curbed by the anxiety meds by now, so not really likely.

3) A behavior problem – again, could be related to the move. Should also be curbed by the anxiety meds and/or the pheromone diffuser.

4) Kidney stones – we would have to have x-rays done to find them. Then medication and/or surgery to break them up and/or remove them. The x-rays run around $200 but I didn’t even ask about the surgery cost yet. I doubt it’s something we could afford right now.


We’re at our absolute wits end right now. I’m up at 1:30 in the morning posting here only because my husband just found Max peeing on our daughter’s winter coat. It brought me to tears thinking of what we may have to do. I really desperately don’t want to give him away but unless we can fix this problem we may not have any other choice.

So now I turn to you, fellow dopers. Partly in an attempt to just vent and get this all off my chest but mostly to get possible solutions. The vet really thinks it’s behavioral in nature so I’m looking for some tips on how to curb this smelly behavior.
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2011, 01:55 AM
Silver Tyger Silver Tyger is offline
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When I lived with my sister we had a tortoise-shell cat who insisted on peeing on beds when she was upset - sometimes with my sister in it.

I have no ideas except keeping things away from the cat. Hang up clothes and close the closet. Don't leave things on the floor. Either close bedroom doors or cover the bed with some sort of plastic (I used a cheap plastic table cloth - it was easy to wipe off and I could throw it away).

It's possible to get the smell out of the mattress - at least to your nose - but you have to be persistent.

Unfortunately, it seems like once a cat starts to piss around it doesn't stop. Hopefully someone more knowledge than me has more encouraging advice.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:50 AM
chizzuk chizzuk is online now
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We had a cat that did this, although on carpets, not beds. We too thought it was behavioral. Then the cat died very suddenly one afternoon around 5 years old of acute kidney failure. The vet performed an autopsy and it turned out that he had a congenital renal insufficiency and was basically a walking time bomb.

Does your cat like to drink a lot? Ours did, and in hindsight that was probably the #1 indicator that something was wrong, which we missed. He was crazy about getting into bathrooms so he could drink from dripping taps. I am not sure how the vet would have diagnosed the issue before it became catastrophic, but by the time we figured it out it was way too late. He just started acting incredibly sick one afternoon and that was it. They figured out that it was kidney failure and were going to try emergency dialysis but he died before they could get it started. It was horrible.

This is not to say that your cat might not well have a behavioral problem. I would just encourage you to investigate the kidney angle a little further, because I don't think we've ever fully forgiven ourselves for our cat's sudden death. We should have been more thorough.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:54 AM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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The only advice I have is to get rid of Max. To me, this isn't a tough choice - I like animals and all, and I could forgive an occasional "accident," but my daughter's bed? And her winter coat? Oh HELL naw!

You're not a bad person if you get rid of him. You've definitely tried harder than most people to fix the situation. Vet bills add up fast and it'd be easy to break the bank trying to get a diagnosis, and if it's behavioral I daresay you're screwed - cats are gonna do what they wanna do.

*hug* I hope this doesn't come across as cold, I promise I don't mean to sound that way. I'm jealous of people that can have pets - I really want a puppy but we need to wait until we get a house and a little more disposable income first.

Good luck, whatever you decide
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:12 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Before you get rid of him, consider changing his cat food to one of the vet prescribed foods, like Science Diet or something similar. I'm surprised the vet hasn't already recommended that. That should cut out the UTI's, which in turn may cut down on the errant pissing.

As mentioned upthread, cats like to pee where they've peed before, so once that smell is there, it's hard to get them to stop.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:33 AM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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For the smell, try an enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle which you can get from a pet store. I've used it on rugs, bedding, etc. without a problem, it gets rid of the smell, and does so at a level that cats can't smell the residue either (which should help with repeat behavior if it's a behavior issue).

Another thought is that perhaps you can/should ask your vet about an ultrasound -- it will cost a little more, but it's a clearer image than an X-ray, and if money is an issue you don't really want to pay for an X-ray that doesn't tell you anything. You could also ask if it would be safe/reasonable to treat as if he had kidney stones (with medication) and see if he passes anything, without doing the radiology.

These things can be difficult to chase down. My cat's kidney had already failed from kidney stone blockage by the time he started peeing outside the box. He also had a host of other medical problems which I thought were behavior issues, stemming in part from a misdiagnosis four years ago. No one knew how sick he was. So I guess try not to write it off as behavioral until you've thoroughly searched for a physical cause.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:34 AM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Cat peeing on your rug? This sounds like unchecked aggression, dude.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:36 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is online now
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Having dealt with persistent peeing I know how heartbreaking and frustrating it is. My husband went through the same process with his adorable, sweet cat Baylee. He went through all the steps you described, and additionally got an automatic litter box so the litter would absolutely always be clean. Nothing changed the behavior and she became confined to smaller and smaller portions of the apartment until it was basically an untenable life for a cat.

Ultimately, she was not suited for indoor life. When I went to live on a horse farm, I took her with me and she became a barn cat. She can pee anywhere she wants now and is much beloved. (ironically, I caught her using a horse stall as a giant litter box!). Since I moved away, we still see her several times a year when we visit.

Can you give him to someone who can keep him as an outdoor cat?

I once a a rash of peeing incidents with my cat smokey. He would continually pee on my kitchen counter (gross!!). The only thing that broke the cycle was when the cats were temporarily moved to a friend's house when my place was repainted. For some reason, after being gone a few weeks, the behavior abruptly ceased and never re-occured when they returned to the house. My theory there is that the marking was triggered by a previous cat occupant, who I know was fed on the counter. The repainting covered up the "old cat smell" or at least enough that it didn't bother him anymore. Perhaps that is a possibility here.

BTW, to get the smell out, you need an enzyme based cleaner, such as "Nature's Miracle." Treat the stains directly and put a half-cup in the wash water. This works a charm on cottons and helps prevent re-peeing. However, you can never, ever get the smell out of nylon. Also, on hard surfaces, do not sanitize with bleach, for some reason people say it encourages remarking. Use ammonia (or ammonia-based cleaner, like Windex).

And keep your daughter's bedroom door closed!

Last edited by Hello Again; 01-14-2011 at 09:38 AM..
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:47 AM
saje saje is offline
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You might try a bit of remedial litter box training. Do you have a small room with a door and no carpet, or can you borrow a large dog crate? Basically enclose him in a small area with his box, and make sure the litter is as plain as possible. No scented stuff. If he comes out of there, it's under eagle eye supervision and for short stints only.

If you can't do that, have you tried many multiple of boxes, and tried a variety of litters? You might even line a box with those puppy pee pads, see if you can get him thinking about boxes again.

I'd also get away from dry food if you can, upping moisture in his diet via canned food may help the bladder issues.

For the already peed on places I've had great luck with stuff called Anti-Icky-Poo. Stupid name, great product!

I think this sounds physical more than behavioral, or it *was* physical, and now it's become a habit. It hurts to pee sometimes, and he's begun to associate the box with pain. Make 100% sure you've eliminated the pain, then try all the bhavior stuff agin.

Good luck, I know how much this sucks.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:57 AM
saje saje is offline
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Oh, I have to put a plug in one more time for the Ssscat product: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2751025 Basically it's motion sensor spray that scares them off whatever they shouldn't be on or near. Doesn't really fix the problem, but it might at least keep the bed and couch safe :/

http://www.youtube.com/user/Multivet.../0/wlCzIr-_0GI

Last edited by saje; 01-14-2011 at 09:57 AM..
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:15 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is "has your cat been fixed?" My ex and I bought a cat from the humane society when he was about 2 years old. After having him for about a year he became peeing in a corner. Then it was two. Then it was in beds, all over the house, whereever he pleased. The smell was....ugh. Nature's Miracle did help and so does washing clothes with apple vinegar. We took him in to get checked out and they gave him stuff for a bladder infection (medicine and prescription kitty food). He did better for a bit then started peeing again. One time on me while I was in the middle of sleeping. And he liked me.

So back to a different vet who immediately noticed his niblets, turns out that he was late to drop, very late as it turns out, and the humane society must have just assumed he was fixed.

He was thusly fixed against his kitty will but the peeing did abate.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:15 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Before parting ways with the little pisser, do go online and look for cat forums. There are a lot of them and they'll be of varying quality, but when you find one that seems to be of good quality, repost this there and enlist aid of the experts. Worth a shot.

We have an occasional stealth urinator ourselves. He was semi-feral when we brought him indoors, he was pretty angry at us at first, and he's had three bouts of feline lower urinary tract disease (blocked urination, requiring catheterization and whopping vet bills)...we think all three factors probably play a role in his habit. We hardly ever see him doing it, but occasionally our noses or our blacklight find a spot. It's infrequent nowadays, so we're keeping a sharp eye/nose out and hoping he's getting over it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:35 AM
Pearson Flyer Pearson Flyer is offline
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One more piece of advice. Did you possibly change cat litter brands recently, or has the manufacturer changed formulations on your regular one?

Cats dislike change. Changing food, changing litter, changing anything will put them in distress, and a cat in distress is going to act out.

We have seven cats, 6 of them feral cats we took in. All have adapted well to litter training, with only the occasional misstep. But the 7th is 16 years old, and when something changes, he gets cranky, and that's when you're going to start to climb into bed only to discover he's peed right in the middle of your comforter.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:37 AM
Lasciel Lasciel is online now
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That sucks - however, my best friend had the same issue with her cat when they moved.

Short version: Two cats, they moved, Pee got stressed, Mellow was hunky dory.

They tried everything with Pee, vets, new food, moved the boxes, changed the litter, changed the layout of the house, Natures Miracle to keep the carpet somewhat bearable, rigid behavior for the humans re: leaving doors to bedrooms closed and always hanging up clothes and putting things away - nothing worked. (Small note to feel sorry for poor Mellow.)

Finally, at their wits end, they went around with Pee in a carrier to all their neighbors and let everyone know they were going to be letting him outside every day and to please watch out for him. (I know this isn't really the most desirable answer, or even possible in all areas or for all people, but it was this or Pee goes to the KillKitty Shelter.)

Now that he's indoor-outdoor, he goes mostly outside, or runs frantically inside and heads directly for the box to reinforce his smell there. Despite that, he's still having occasional "accidents" (about once every couple of months), and they have been in that house for 2 years now.

Based on all that, I wouldn't entirely rule out stress causing the initial problem and now he's just stuck - cats are really habit-based, and once they start something, it's hard to break them out of it.

The cat-brain reason I've heard that make sense is that it's a process like this:
Move/UTI/pain/new cat/whatever = stressed kitty.
Stressed kitty = need to consolidate and reinforce territory.
Territory = your house.
Reinforcing territory = pee everywhere!
(Big profit!)

Really frustrating for us, basic nationbuilding for cats.

Concrete suggestions:
Fix/spay kitty (makes 'territory' less of a vital concern)
Use Cider Vinegar and Nature's Miracle on all peed spots - toss what you can't clean. (undermines smell of previously marked territory to maintain with more pee.)
Move furniture to new places to cover peed on carpet spots if possible with furniture kitty can't get underneath (same as above)
Keep stuff off floors, keep beds covered. Consider incontinence pads for the beds/soft furniture - much better to buy and toss (or wash) than to forever have peed-mattress smell. (ditto)
Consider letting kitty outside or giving to somewhere that will be a new environment/larger area. (new areas in territory to focus on, or new territory entirely)

Sorry you're dealing with this - it sucks.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:38 AM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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1) More litter boxes.

or


2) Get rid of the cat.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:20 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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Ask people you know if they are or know someone who is very good with cats. Some people have amazing gifts working with animals as you can see on the show the Dog Whisperer. Some of them may sound 'New Age-y' and use terms like 'animal communicator' and may sound a bit 'nutty', but if there is genuine Love in their hearts for cats they could do amazing things.

Last edited by kanicbird; 01-14-2011 at 11:21 AM..
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2011, 12:16 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Thank you all for the kind words and multitude of suggestions. To answer several posters' question both kitties are fixed. The very first time Max started peeing was when he matured so he was neutered within a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Tyger Girl View Post
[snip]

I have no ideas except keeping things away from the cat. Hang up clothes and close the closet. Don't leave things on the floor. Either close bedroom doors or cover the bed with some sort of plastic (I used a cheap plastic table cloth - it was easy to wipe off and I could throw it away).
We have been really vigilant, but apparently not enough if my daughter's coat went unnoticed. She took it off, left it on the couch, and I didn't even realize it was there. When the cats are allowed upstairs the doors are always shut but on the rare occasion we forget to close them he gets in and pees. We live in a rancher so my three-year-old daughter has easy access to her bedroom and sometimes she isn't the best as closing her door all the way.

Quote:
Unfortunately, it seems like once a cat starts to piss around it doesn't stop.
This is my biggest fear. I just can't handle having a cat that pees on my stuff at least once every two days or so. And it's not fair to expect him to live the rest of his life in my unfinished basement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chizzuk View Post
[snip]

This is not to say that your cat might not well have a behavioral problem. I would just encourage you to investigate the kidney angle a little further, because I don't think we've ever fully forgiven ourselves for our cat's sudden death. We should have been more thorough.
I will be calling the vet later on today to schedule some sort of radiology - either an x-ray or ultrasound it it's not too much more expensive. My cats are really good, calm, well-behaved cats. This is totally out of his nature to act like this. Having had two UTI's in only a month or so means he probably has some underlying physiological cause of either FLUTD or kidney stones.

PandaBear77, we are definitely considering giving Max away. But if there is a medical cause I want to do my best to figure it out before going that route. I can handle giving him away. It's my young daughter and our other cat that I really worry about. And if he winds up with another family and starts this back up again who know how it would be handled and how he would be treated. I can't bear that thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilbo523 View Post
Before you get rid of him, consider changing his cat food to one of the vet prescribed foods, like Science Diet or something similar. I'm surprised the vet hasn't already recommended that. That should cut out the UTI's, which in turn may cut down on the errant pissing.

As mentioned upthread, cats like to pee where they've peed before, so once that smell is there, it's hard to get them to stop.
Great idea! I will get some new food asap.


For everyone who suggested Nature's Miracle... I will also be getting some of that as well. I have something similar at home but I'm not sure how good it is. I'll give this stuff a shot.

Hello Again, we have strongly considered allowing Max to be an outdoor cat. He lived outside for some time before finding us. But it's winter here now and we just had a big snowstorm. I worry about him getting out there and not knowing how to survive especially considering the weather.

When we bought our new house we got all new rugs and are slowly working on painting every room. He only pees on our brand new stuff - brand new comforters, brand new couch, etc. So I don't think he's trying to cover up an old cat's scent. I could certainly be wrong though...
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:21 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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saje, he consistently goes in the litter box when confined to the basement. He only pees on stuff when he's upstairs. He seems to only go on soft stuff. Since there's only hard surfaces in the basement he isn't going elsewhere down there (at least that I have found).

I will be getting a few more litter boxes and will even try some new softer litter. Their box in the basement gets filled quickly even when cleaned every other day.

I don't think we'll be able to try the motion sensor as we have nowhere stable to put it that wouldn't also be triggered by my daughter. But thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:11 PM
LegsAkimbo LegsAkimbo is offline
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It just sounds behavioral. We have gone through this with indoor-outdoor cats and just toughed it out (they only went on loose soft things--laundry, jacket tossed on a chair, Christmas tree skirt, easy to eliminate the triggers). I feel terrible for you in this situation. Sounds like you are very close to that line between being responsible for the well-being of this cat you brought into your family and not compromising your life to an unacceptable degree. Definitely try to get feedback on this from as many sources as possible--there might be some totally radical solution that you would never think of on your own. Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:46 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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my winken the wonderful had very bad bladder infections. as she was a very good girl at the vets i had an ultrasound done. turned out that she had kidney stones and only one kidney as well as the bladder infections.

for a while we did extra fluids (she only tolerated these at the vets) and antibiotics. kept all bedroom doors closed and her in one room until she finished the antibiotics. things cleared up rather well and she was back to her usual wonderful ways. no outside the box again.

i kept her on special food until her passing 3 years later (heart troubles).

i would go for an ultrasound if you can. it will give you a better idea of what is going on with his bladder and kidneys. it seems to me from what you wrote that something is going on with him physically.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:56 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is online now
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I would say, as the weather warms up consider transitioning him to outdoor life, providng a "cat house" - a small insulated den for next winter. Urban Cat League of NYC has some suggestions for all-weather cat shelters. I can understand not wanting to summarily chuck him out in the snow, but if he did live outside before, he can live outside again. Properly acclimated, he will grow a thick coat of fur and just needs protection from the wet.

In the meantime, you might also consider confining him to the basement for the time being, if that's an appropriate place to be. It's not ideal, but you have your quality of life to consider. He'll be safe, warm, and have visits from the family.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:19 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
I would say, as the weather warms up consider transitioning him to outdoor life, providng a "cat house" - a small insulated den for next winter. Urban Cat League of NYC has some suggestions for all-weather cat shelters. I can understand not wanting to summarily chuck him out in the snow, but if he did live outside before, he can live outside again. Properly acclimated, he will grow a thick coat of fur and just needs protection from the wet.

In the meantime, you might also consider confining him to the basement for the time being, if that's an appropriate place to be. It's not ideal, but you have your quality of life to consider. He'll be safe, warm, and have visits from the family.
I was going to recommend the latter bit. I believe it will do less harm to your cat (and to your family) to confine him to the basement permanently than it will to give him away. But it would be even better if you could transition him back to being an outdoor cat. A cat hutch would work, or even better (if possible) a pet door that goes straight from the basement, up the stairs, and out the door. He wouldn't be allowed in the main part of the house, but would be allowed outdoors anytime he wanted, and if it gets too cold outside he could always come in. And you can always "cat-finish" the basement (put down some snuggly rug remnants that are cheap and just let him pee on them if he wants to, change them out if they get too stinky).

Anyway, it's just an idea. Don't make any major decisions until you find out the cause behind it. I also recommend getting the imaging done instead of the xray. I had a decent sized kidney stone a couple years back, and the ER doc wasted several hundred of my perfectly good dollars on an xray that didn't conclude anything.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 01-14-2011 at 09:21 PM..
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  #23  
Old 01-14-2011, 11:43 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I like the idea of Max outside or in a different situation if he just won't quit peeing. I had a male cat who was peeing, too, and I ended up giving him to a family that wanted him - I simply wouldn't have a cat in my house who would just pee anywhere.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:32 AM
Ogre Ogre is offline
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Retrain him. We just went through this with one of our cats. I had a vet's cage, and built an extension off the back so that she could lie down/eat in the cage part, and her litter was a few feet away.

She hated it. Goddamn, how she hated it. The first time, we left her in there for 3 days. It worked like a charm...for the next 5 days.

The second time, we left her for 3 more days. Worked again, for 7 days.

The third time, we left her alone, with almost no contact with her humans or her sister kitties, for 5 days. I would feed and water her, and change litter, give her a skritch or two, then leave.

She would howl for hours. She was miserable.

That was 6 months ago, and we have had no repeats of the problem. The cage is still in the basement, though, in case.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:25 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Nothing new. He needs to be fixed. He's a cat.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:58 AM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
Retrain him. We just went through this with one of our cats. I had a vet's cage, and built an extension off the back so that she could lie down/eat in the cage part, and her litter was a few feet away.

She hated it. Goddamn, how she hated it. The first time, we left her in there for 3 days. It worked like a charm...for the next 5 days.

The second time, we left her for 3 more days. Worked again, for 7 days.

The third time, we left her alone, with almost no contact with her humans or her sister kitties, for 5 days. I would feed and water her, and change litter, give her a skritch or two, then leave.

She would howl for hours. She was miserable.

That was 6 months ago, and we have had no repeats of the problem. The cage is still in the basement, though, in case.
I've had equal luck with attitude adjustments. I always picked my cats up by the nap of the neck so they retained the kitten handle. If I picked them up and gave then the evil eye and a thump on the head like I was testing a melon they got the message. The next step was isolation.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:24 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Okay, if I read this right, the problem started when he had a urinary tract infection, and since then he's had one other one, but antibiotics have fixed it, but he's still peeing outside the box. So there is at least one medical cause.

Cat has UTI, peeing hurts, he associates hurt with litterbox. Pees elsewhere, hurt goes away. Having a little cat brain, he associates the hurt going away with peeing elsewhere, not with those pills you forced down his throat.

If he's okay medically--and if he had two UTIs, I would worry about that a bit, and maybe change his food--then I would suggest a new box, a different kind of litter, and confining him until he's convinced that going in the box won't hurt. I had a cat who had to spend six months either in a small room with a concrete floor and a litterbox, or else carefully supervised, and by carefully supervised I mean in somebody's lap, but eventually he became a gentleman again.

Also there's a Nature's Miracle just for cat odors. I remember it working pretty well.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:36 AM
Hanna Hanna is offline
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I don't have a solution, but my male cat had a UTI and blocked last year and he started peeing on the sides of my litterboxes (spraying) instead of squatting and peeing into the litter. I use huge 37 gallon Rubbermaid storage totes for litterboxes which have really high sides, so I can use Nature's Miracle and clean the sides when he does this. He never went outside the boxes, but my point is that a cat that has had some sort of infection may hold onto undesirable habits after the infection has been healed. The cat may still associate the litterbox with painful peeing.

I hope you find a solution that works! I don't like outside cats, but it may be what works out best for you.

PS - I put my cat on a canned only, grain free diet and so far he has had no more urinary problems. Cats tend not to drink as much water out of a water bowl as they need, so the added water in canned food helps get more water into them. Dry food is bad as it has no water, and even if it seems like they drink from a water bowl frequently, they may not be getting as much water as they need.
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  #29  
Old 01-15-2011, 10:07 PM
fluiddruid fluiddruid is offline
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My mom's cat had a ton of problems with this, especially after they moved. Stress was a huge trigger, but she definitely had a few infections in there too. All in all, she was conditioned to avoid the box by a combination of accidental factors, so she had to be reconditioned back to normalcy.

It took a long time, but they finally managed to get her back on track by a) removing stress as much as possible - getting an automatic scheduled cat feeder, for example, mellowed her behavior out a ton since the smallest change to her schedule seemed to cause anxiety; b) avoiding triggers - for her, accidents became most common on this wool rug they bought, so they got an electric collar with a proximity detector to keep her away from it; c) going on the prescription diet for her urinary tract, and d) heavy use of enzymatic cleaners.

It took awhile, but she's back to normal now.

Last edited by fluiddruid; 01-15-2011 at 10:08 PM..
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  #30  
Old 01-16-2011, 12:50 PM
Ogre Ogre is offline
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I'd like to hear the OP's intentions as far as retraining, etc. It sounds like behavior modification is the only thing that will likely work for her.
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  #31  
Old 01-17-2011, 11:52 AM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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I spoke with my vet once again. He also recommended a lot of the same things. Based on what he and you all recommended we have been/will be doing the following:

Litter
We bought two new litter boxes as we only had one. We are also trying new dust free litter. No success with the new litter yet, but it may just take some time. I need to rub their paw in it again. We have also been more vigilant in cleaning out the boxes.

Cleaning
We have been putting a lot of renewed effort into cleaning up the spots Max had already peed on. We have been using a cleaner meant for cleaning up pet urine, throw, etc. My husband is at the pet store now buying Nature's Miracle. They even have a special blend meant just for cat urine.

I want a black light to detect urine but I'm almost afraid of what it'll find. Any thoughts?

Meds
Max is tolerating his anti-anxiety meds much better. Instead of being a rather bitter pill it's now in a lotion form that's rubbed onto the inside of his ears, so we have been able to give it to him on a much more regular basis than before when they were nasty bitter pills. I can't be sure but I think they're really helping him.

Food
We are still allowing the cats constant access to dry food but we also added in an additional can of wet food. So they now get one can of wet food in the morning specially formulated for urinary tract health plus one other can in the evening.

I'm almost afraid to type this but Max hasn't had an accident in about 3 days now, since I first started this thread. Previously the longest he had gone without an accident was 2 days. He's still upstairs but not allowed in the bedrooms. All the coats are away but he still had access to the couches and the rare pillow/blanket accidentally left on the couch.

So far so good. I'll keep updating!
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  #32  
Old 01-17-2011, 07:56 PM
phouka phouka is offline
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Hurray for the people! Hurray for the kitty! I hope it keeps up.
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  #33  
Old 01-26-2011, 04:55 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is online now
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well????
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  #34  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:11 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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How much did that lotion cost?


I'm having problems with my cat. I know that it is because I have a dog living with us now and she doesn't like the dog.

But being unemployed, I'm on a tight budget.
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  #35  
Old 01-27-2011, 07:54 AM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Well...

Since the 14th when I started this thread, Max has had only 1 accident on a plastic tarp we had put down for painting. I threw out the tarp and moved on.

I'm not sure what exactly worked since we tried so much, but I'll take it!

Zebra, the lotion came as a prescription from the vet. It cost $26 for a month's supply.
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  #36  
Old 01-19-2012, 11:13 PM
bak62066 bak62066 is offline
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Sorry for your troubles. It definitely sounds like a behavioral thing and honestly, veterinarians are not skilled in this area. I would bet anything that it has to do with the move AND I'm quite certain that he's not happy with the litter-pan(s) situation you currently have. Since there are two cats in the house, there should be AT LEAST two very large litter-pans WITHOUT covers. The larger the litter-pan, the better, especially with boys. It's important that you kept those litter-pans clean by scooping every morning and every night. Also make sure the litter-pans are very easy for the kitty to get to. Don't keep them in the basement if it means your cat has to go downstairs to get to them. Something like that is enough to make a cat pee elsewhere in the house. Make sure you're using a litter that has little to no dust and doesn't have a very strong perfume scent. Right now, you should be adding a litter called "CAT ATTRACT" to your current litter, this litter is guaranteed to make your cat go in the litter-pan. If the areas that have been previously soiled in the house are not throughly cleaned, your kitty will keep treating them like a toilet. Throw out what you can and bleach what you can. There is also a product called Nature's Miracle that you can use for things you can't bleach. If you can smell urine in any of the areas he's soiled, then he will surely pee there again. You may need to go to very extreme measures and start over with him by "caging" your kitty for at least a week so he will be retrained to use the litter-box. Purchase two large dog crates (they're much cheaper on Ebay than the pet store) and connect the two crates together to make one very large enclosure. Place the crates up on a table to make life easier for yourself and so the kitty is not on the floor. You can also make shelves by cutting wood to fit the cage from front to back and put screws on each end of the wood to sit on the bars to hold the shelves in place and use pull ties to secure the screws to the cage so the shelves don't move when he jumps on them. Make sure you use the CAT ATTRACT in the litter-pan with your current litter and I'm sure your boy will be using the litter-pan...make sure the litter-pan is large. When you release him from the cage, make sure the very large litter-pans in the house are easily accessible and also have the CAT ATTRACT in them. This all may sound like alot of work, but honestly it's not and it's a small price to pay to have your home back. Good Luck!
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  #37  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:11 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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But zombie cats pee whereever they damn well want to.
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  #38  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:21 AM
diggerwam diggerwam is offline
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We have two cats. Frankie suffered with a persistant bladder infection. While on meds we isolated her in kitchen. Once her infection was cured we got a second litter box and filled it up with the good ARM and hammer litter. We eased her back into life with the family. I as convinced that we'd have to put her down. She is 15 years old. Luckily this worked. If it hadn't. We would have had her put down. You can't live with cat peeing all over the house. At some point humans become more imoortant than the pet.
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  #39  
Old 01-20-2012, 01:43 PM
corvidae corvidae is offline
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Oy, my sympathies!

We've been dealing with peeing issues with our 12 year old cat this past year. Used to be, he'd pee on empty plastic bags when he'd find them, so we'd hide them. Then he'd pee in the closet, so we'd close the door. When he started peeing on my bed, we got him checked out. It seems he had a bladder stone, so we sold our firstborn and the cat had surgery to remove it. The situation improved immensely, until he started peeing here and there again - nowhere near as bad as before, but still! The vet figures the cat's got a kidney infection. Problem is, he's got to be on the antibiotics for two months straight to truly knock it out, and the antibiotics make him really sick. Poor kitty!

Anyway, this behaviorist at our vet clinic suggested putting old towels in the litter box, the logic being that if he enjoys peeing on soft stuff, he might as well be encouraged to do it in the box. The vet figures the peeing wasn't the result of a behavioral issue with our cat, so I haven't tried it yet, but it's probably worth a shot.
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  #40  
Old 01-20-2012, 01:52 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bak62066 View Post
<snip> "CAT ATTRACT"<snip> CAT ATTRACT<snip>CAT ATTRACT <snip>
You wouldn't be shilling for CAT ATTRACT by any chance, would you?
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  #41  
Old 01-20-2012, 01:59 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Haha, Cat Whisperer shouted in her post!
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  #42  
Old 01-20-2012, 02:07 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Look what bak62066 made me do.
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  #43  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:27 PM
Nolababe Nolababe is offline
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At my wits end!!!

Doperchic, I'm in the same boat. I have a cat that has been doing the same thing for years now. I've tried EVERYTHING! The last straw was after throwing away my sofa (I had to throw the love seat out last year). She decided to pee on the my bed again. I'm a mess about this and so is my daughter. I've done everything you've discribed, doctors, multiple litter boxes, diffusers, cleaners, vinegar, meds, cat food, and nothing has worked. I close doors like a crazy person. I just don't think it's fair for me or the cat. Please let me know if you've found anything that has worked. We've had our cat for six years, four if them dealing with this. I've thrown away more of my daughters tots, books, pillows, etc. I can't even count. Totally frustrated and empathetic for you.
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  #44  
Old 02-06-2012, 02:34 AM
clypsolady clypsolady is offline
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My male fixed since he was just a little guy never ha any pee problems at all until after my divorce when he decided that since I had to be gone alot for cancer treatments and he was not happy about that he would pee somewhere other then his litter box. I never had anymore problems till the next time I had an overnight or more appointments. Now he had my dad there to take care of him and I know his litter box was changed each day and he got spoiled from him. I moved away from where my parents live into a house instead of my motor home and he decided to pee every time he was left alone overnight. This happened weather I took my service dog or not.
I got a kitten for him to have company when I leave. We will see how things go. Punkin man is 9 years old and he smelled both of my cancers so I do believe that cats can get upset at what us humans do and do things just to upset us. I know that he would stay away from me for up to 2 days when I would get home from chemo. Then he was all over me like to tell me OK I am not mad at you now lets be friends. funny thing is that my service dog has done some things similar when he did not get to go when he thought he should and his was worse as he peed on my bed right where he sleeps. After i took off the sheets and the pad and washed them he jumped up and snuggled in and has not done it since. so I think that we do not give our animals credit for what they know and how they use what they know against us when they want to.
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  #45  
Old 02-06-2012, 09:03 AM
highrollinwooded highrollinwooded is offline
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Cats mark territory by spraying. My 12 year old cat started pissing on our beds recently(incidentally, where the dog lays with us.) Solution, short of getting rid of her, is to MAKE SURE the bedroom doors are shut at all times, even if we leave for a minute! She also will mark the dog bed that is in the living room, but I can easily throw that in the washer. If she EVER starts marking our couches, chairs,etc, I will have to do something drastic with her. I am not willing to have a cat wreck nice things that it has taken my entire life to get. It is not always a physical problem. Even though your 2 cats get along, does not mean that the pisser is not trying to mark territory because of the other cat. I would move him back outside, or give him to a home with no other animals.

Last edited by highrollinwooded; 02-06-2012 at 09:03 AM..
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  #46  
Old 06-19-2013, 05:30 PM
TabbyJo TabbyJo is offline
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I know the feeling

I too have had the same problem with my cat peeing on stuff randomly. At first we could not figure out which of the two cats it was until I caught the youngest one red handed. I had a baby almost 4 months ago and it started right before I had her. The litter box is cleaned regularly and I had changed the kind of litter but have since returned to the original brand to see if that was the issue. She pees on the couch and it's not a small spot either. It's on the back and the cushion. I have tried everything from Nature's Miracle (specifically for Cat Urine) Urine Destroyer, vinegar as well as baking soda solution. Also tried cleaning stuff from Melalucca. None of it worked. I have to say that the vinegar probably did the best of all of them though. Other than the couch, she pees in front of the door and will even leave a little present in front of the door too. I have concrete floors so there isn't anything like a rug or carpet in that area. Also she will pee on the bath mat. Started peeing a couple of times in the baby's room that has fresh paint, flooring and new furniture. This room is totally closed off from all things and she managed to sneak in there too. I dont really want to make her an outside cat because I'm afraid something would happen to her but I think that is where we are at. My baby will start crawling soon and also it really sucks sitting on the couch and still having the residue of the pee smell. Cat urine is the worst. Gonna try to get her fixed to see if that helps.
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  #47  
Old 06-19-2013, 07:54 PM
Noodles Fellicini Noodles Fellicini is offline
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I THOUGHT this story sounded familiar -- sorry to hear about your zombie cat. Only thing I can add to the thread is make sure you use unscented cat litter as sometimes they can connect the "fresh" smell to other "fresh" smelling things in the house, and two cats calls for two or more litterboxes to make sure sharing/cleanliness is not an issue.
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  #48  
Old 06-20-2013, 01:20 PM
Mauvaise Mauvaise is offline
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Ok, so this is a zombie thread, but I still thought I'd add one more tip:

Put the litter boxes in different areas. If all the litter boxes are in the basement, then it's possible that one cat is blocking access to the other. This can be as subtle as laying in such a way that one cat would have to cross the path of the other (or go directly over/past them) to get to the litter box. Depending on the dynamic/hierarchy, the other cat may not pass, so poor thing doesn't have a choice but to find somewhere else to pee.

If you put litter boxes in areas that are far enough apart, the dominate cat can't block access to two boxes at once.
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  #49  
Old 07-03-2013, 10:18 AM
TabbyJo TabbyJo is offline
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Update on the terror

Well we ended up having to replace the furniture due to the cat peeing on the couch but she hasn't gone back there since though (crossing fingers) and the previous owner had cats too. She has now started pooping in other areas of the house which is almost as bad as the peeing was. I think she just un-trained herself. I am going to try the multiple litter boxes to see if that helps but I have to be careful cause I have dogs that like to get into them if they have access. Hopefully we find a solution here.
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  #50  
Old 07-26-2013, 08:26 AM
TygerRRT TygerRRT is offline
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The question is, is this cat 'peeing' or 'spraying'? These are two different behaviors. If that cat is spraying, there is a territorial problem which may have to do with feral cats outside spraying in the yard making Max feel threatened. You could take Max outside to do his marking of the territory out there. I don't know what neighborhood you live in. You may need to walk him on a leash. You could place a cat tree by the window so Max can observe from a safe place. You didn't mention if Pumpkin does any of the marking. It is possible that Max lacks confidence. You could get him some cat toys (feather on a string on a stick) and let him chase them to increase his confidence.

If Max is peeing (squatting to pee) there may be other issues. Is he declawed? If yes, the litter may hurt his crippled paws. Declawing is a very painful thing for cats and going to the litterbox could cause a lifetime of agony. You would have to change litter to something very soft. Unfortunately, if this is the case, Max has already associated the litter box with pain and may be reluctant to go into it at all. You could try absorbent pads and gradually move them into a box and then cover them with the new, soft litter.

Always make sure you have at least one litterbox per cat. You may have to distribute several around the house for a while. If he has urgency due to a urinary tract problem, he may not be able to make it to the 'proper' room. Having an extra litterbox in every room may not be pleasant but stepping in pee in the middle of the night isnt' either.

Please don't give up on Max. Worst case, you should call the show 'My cat from hell' and see if Jackson Galaxy can help you.
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