Multiple cats urinating and marking?
by Carol Ann
We have a 5 cat household, and they are all spayed and neutered... 4 males and one female.
For the past few months we have noticed our one (youngest) yet biggest male (Bentley) has been peeing and marking out of the litter box.
Took him to the vet, had UTI, was on antibiotics for 30 days. All was well. Once off meds the peeing began again.
We also have a very timid male cat who always gets bullied. Not sure who the culprit is. We're currently using Feliway plugins.
Since we have 5 cats we cannot pinpoint who the culprit(s) is or are. We have 2 litter boxes that they seemed to have used for quite a long time without any issues.
Not sure if we should get more litter boxes, I read that each cat needs its own litter box. I cant imagine having 5 litter boxes?? Where would I put them all?
Anyone with any suggestions??
I'm sorry to hear your kitties are having issues, Carol Ann. With 5 cats, you're actually supposed to have 6 litter boxes!
Many people get away with fewer than that, but when you're having problems, adding a litter box may help.
If the problem is due to box guarding or ambushes, you may not solve it until the right number of litter boxes is reached. Even then, some intervention may be required.
If tensions are high, you might try adding Bach's Rescue Remedy into the mix, and make sure each cat has their own "time
out" area where they can be alone.
In addition to ensuring that each cat has their private space, I would ensure that a scratching post (or board) is always available, and make use of vertical space with climbing furniture.
I believe that increasing playtime and "feel good" activities with the gang together (treats, sock toss, fishing pole toys, etc.) may help with bullying. I would also give extra attention to the timid guy and try to increase his confidence.
One thing to note is that marking is different from inappropriate urination. Marking is usually associated with territorial instincts and perceived threats.
The classic marking pose for a cat is backed up to a vertical object (trees would probably be the preference, but a wall will do), tail raised and quivering with back feed treading.
I'm trying to get a mental picture of what your scenario is...
Bentley was peeing outside the box for sure. He had a UTI and while he was on antibiotics, he stopped his inappropriate urination?
After the meds, he started urinating outside the box again, or you just noticed that someone was urinating?
I believe it's worth considering that Bentley's UTI is not healed, or he has an additional problem as well. I think it's also possible that if he is urinating then someone else is following his lead -- so perhaps there are two culprits?
One way to narrow it down -- separation. Put 3 cats in one area and 2 in another. See what happens.
I hope that helps. Please keep us updated.