Fiddle strings (or cat advice needed quickly)!

Mods - feel free to move if I am in the wrong forum).

Help! I need your advice in a hurry (before my husband has some new strings for his fiddle). The story is this:

We had two cats, a middle-aged (Miss Murphy -11 years) female and a feisty younger male (Bernie - 5 years). Both are neutered and declawed. They got along as well as could be expected. Then a new cat was introduced into the household. Georges is young (3 years), neutered and declawed, huge (19 pounds) and comes from a household of many cats. He was introduced into our household in May with what appeared to be a minimum of hissing and spitting and, until recently, things were good. Everyone hung out at the patio window birdwatching or generally lazed about on various pieces of furniture. They are all fed twice daily and the very large self-cleaning litter box is always clean. They are all indoor cats.

Lately, Georges has begun bullying and harassing Miss Murphy, who only wants to be left alone to snooze in her basket and he is also picking fights with Bernie, who can match him in size but not in mass. There is much stürm und drang and Herr 'spiel is kept pretty busy with the squirt gun.

Here’s the kicker – somebody began peeing on the furniture and we can’t figure out who the “peepetrator” is. Our couch and chair were ruined inside of a week and had to be thrown out. Since we needed something to sit on, we went and bought a new couch and chair and brought them into the house last night. As a precaution, DH covered them with plastic before we went to bed. It didn’t work. We awoke this morning to a soaked couch and a puddle on the floor. DH is beyond livid and is threatening a musical career for all three cats.

I need your advice! How do I keep them off the furniture and using the litter box? I am pretty sure this is a “power struggle” kind of thing – they are all recently vet-checked and in good physical health.

It sounds like someone is acting out. My best guess is the newest member. It sounds like he is trying to force his dominate hand. The sudden aggresion and and peeing/spraying indicate this.

You could try getting cat attract. It is a litter that attracts cats to go pee/poo in it. It sounds like more of a behavioral problem though.

I would suggest you go here. They have a whole section on behavior and it has sticked threads at the top that address this type of problem.

There are a lot of great people on that site that can help.

Good Luck

I don’t think a normal cat should be able to soak a couch and leave a puddle on the floor in one night. Heck I don’t even think all 3 cats together should produce that much urine in one night. When you say “vet-checked” did that include lab work, specifically a chemistry/electrolyte panel, cbc and a urinalysis? Because that much urine could indicate kidney issues or diabetes. Your most likely candidates are the 11 year old and the 19 pounder. Fat cats often end up diabetic. Diabetes in the big guy could also explain the crankiness. Do you notice if they are drinking a lot of water?

Also, you need one litter box per cat. I realize that the self-cleaning one is probably very convenient and clean but sometimes cats just don’t like to share and some prefer certain litters or boxes over others.

If you did not get lab work done you need to take at least the oldest and the biggest cats in and have that done. If you’d prefer to do one at a time then start with the big guy because he’s the one with the behavior changes. If they check out okay, then talk to your vet about behavior problems and possible medications for it. You may not want a drugged cat but it’s better than fiddle strings and wet couches. The aggression could be another case of redirected aggression. Check out some cat behavior sites online - try to stick with those sponsored by veterinary hospitals or colleges for the most accurate info.

And if there’s no medical problem, consider trying Feliway. I’ve never used it, but several members here have reported some success in modifying behaviors by using Feliway.

Used it. Love it.
We have a cat who used to have peeing issues…one thing we heard (though we never substantiated it) is that it could have been because she was declawed. It’s an emotionally traumatic procedure, and if we find the people responsible, I’ll cut their fingertips off to see how they like it.
sorry. got sidetracked.
Anyway, Zelda also got chased around by the new kittens in the house, so she may have been trying to assert her status. We covered the couch in plastic and got Feliway. After a couple of weeks (and a new couch), she stopped.
Still, don’t rule out a medical cause. I’d take Georges to the vet to rule out the possibility of a bladder or urinary tract infection which is fairly easy to clear up, or as Wile E pointed out, kidney disease or diabetes, which can be controlled.

At any rate, good on ya for adopting Georges. declawed kitties need loving homes.

I had good results with the plug-in.

And you really do need at least one more litter box, preferably in a different place than the first. If someone is getting ambushed while they’re trying to do their business, they’re going to be reluctant to go.

One of my guys started peeing in the tub because he had crystals in his urine that made urinating painful, so in his little brain litter box= ouchy peter. Thank goodness it was in the tub, not on the couch.

Third for Feliway.

Another litter box. Yes, you might need two.

I aslo second a trip to the Vet.

Feliway can help in certain behavioural FIE situations (Feline Inappropriate Elimination). Anyone with two happy cats should think long and hard before getting number three. Statistically, this is where territorial problems arise.

I have a ton of success with Diazepam and Buspirone, two drugs that modify territorial stress. I would discuss things with your veterinarian. There are ways to determine who the pee-er is, usually involving fluorescent dyes and black lights- fun for the whole family.

When my cat had peeing problems, the vet suggested Prozac and it worked great. We haven’t had and accident* in over six months now. Our issue was that a neighbors cat would come and sit under our poor indoor cat Kronks window and jump at the screen.

Consider your self lucky they are peeing on the couch, ours peed on our bed, several times.

If you are having trouble getting the smell out of your furniture here is a cheap recipe that my sister gave me that I have had a lot of success with.

2cups hydrogen perixide
2tblspoons baking soda
2drops dish soap.

Pour it ALL on the pee spot and let it air dry.

Test a small spot on the back of your coach for color fastness first. It works great, gets rid of the smell and stain like they never existed.

*Accident isn’t really the right word. It was totally on purpose.

In addition to all of the above, try putting aluminum foil on your furniture before bed instead of plastic. Cats HATE walking on foil, so it’s a great deterrent to keeping them off of things.

As a side note, we got our current kitty, Emma, because her previous owner returned her to the rescue group when she started peeing all over the house. She did that because the other cats and a dog were all tormenting her, especially the cats, who would attack her whenever she’d come out of the closet after having used the litter box (they put it in there to keep their new baby out of it). Would you keep using the litter box if you got attacked every time you did so? And instead of stopping the behavior that they caused, they just got rid of the cat that was doing the peeing. She’s never once had any sort of problem since we got her a year and a half ago. It still makes me mad when I think about how they treated her.

Good luck – I hope everybody’s healthy and can become happy again!

Oh my what a beautiful cat! She sure has made herself at home.

So Himself was sent off to PetSmart yesterday afternoon for some Feliway. He phoned me from the store screeching over the price (he’s Scots). He was told to get it anyway.

We plugged it in last night and noticed an almost immediate change in temprament in all three cats. Miz Murphy lounged on a dining room chair right above the diffuser. Georges wandered by and there was no hissing, spitting, right hooks or left jabs - just a mild acknowledgement of each other’s presence. Bernie remained Bernie-ish, only less manic.

We will also be installing another litterbox.

Thanks to everyone for their advice!

Before everyone asks, I will post pictures of all three once I figure out how to do it.

Thank you for reporting back and letting us know what worked! :cool:

I’m so glad that things are looking up! The Feliway is expensive (cheaper than a new couch!), but we only went through 4 refills or so before trying a week without it. I think it broke the bad habits they had, because my guys are fine now without it.

Cat1: " Hey weren’t we assholes before?"
Cat2: " I don’t remember nothin like that."
Cat3: “I can haz cheezburger?”

It worked! The smell is nearly gone and we don’t have a bleached-blonde couch - Herr Glas’ is very happy. The couch may need another treatment just to ensure that the smell has gone but the recipe definitely works!

The Feliway continues to work its magic - the cats are lined up against the patio window watching the chipmunk show on the deck. No swear words, no elbowing - just “lemme at 'em” chittering. I’ll be getting diffusers for all the other cat areas and the spray for the furniture and bed (just to deter further expressions of displeasure).

Also, just to make sure, we are going to get Miz Murphy and Georges (victim and perp) checked for kidney/diabetes. Note: Georges is not fat, he’s just huge. He’s obviously got Siamese in his background, crossed, I swear with lynx. He’s a polydacdtyl and does not have the Siamese voice. In fact, he sounds like Mike Tyson!

Sorry for the hijack, but feeding cats benzodiazepines or Prozac? I understand the present trend is for everybody to need medicating - Xanax, Ritalin, Prozac and the rest, but feeding this to a cat?

I’m sure the cat is going to love walking around feeling stoned, or getting tremors or having withdrawl symptoms when a dose is missed.

How did the poor creatures ever survive until humans turned up to feed them chemicals…

I could go on, but this isn’t The Pit.


It sure beats piss on the sofa. IME.

Last I checked, Felis silvestris catus (domestic cat) didn’t exist until humans had a say about it. And they sure didn’t live in homes, eat kibble, use litterboxes, etc. We made 'em, we have to fix 'em up when stuff goes wrong.

Kronk didn’t walk around stoned. The only change in his personality was that he stopped peeing on the furniture, our laudry hamper, the carpet, etc. You can only deal with so many accidents before you have to do something, and giving away my pets is not an option. The feliway didn’t work for Kronk, but the prozac did. He suffered no ill side effects. Don’t knock it until you have no other option. Then see what you are willing to do.

ETA:Das Glasperlenspiel I am glad the magic recipe worked so well for you. I will never spend $10.00 on a bottle of Nature Miracle again.:slight_smile:

Thanks for the recipe. I’ll definitely use that next time my Snowy has an accident (which is always my fault for not keeping the litter boxes suitably clean).

I also had luck with Febreeze getting cat pee smell out of a leather sofa.