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Question
Posted by: ANIMAL LOVER | 2004/01/09

Neutered Tom Cat Suddenly Sparying Again?

Please help. I have 7 cats - 5 females and 2 male. All are sterilised. All except one were sterilised young. The one male simply decided to leave home and move in with us, and after conversing with the completely disinterested previous owner, we discovered he had been neutered after 2 years of age. He is around 6 years now and his name is BC. My cats do have disagreements but they live well and are extremely healthy. We lock them inside the house at night for safety reasons, and all are quite happy with this arrangement except BC. He prowls and moans and hates it, so to compromise, we let him out again just before we go to bed, and he comes in through the one-way cat door whenever he wants to again. We got 2 sausage dogs about 9 months ago, and all the cats have adapted well - even if the dogs annoy them, they seem to cope. I also fell pregnant 4 months ago and BC has become extra loving to me, however if we go out at night and leave him locked inside the house for any period of time, he urinates inside the house - usually on the kitchen counter! Why is he doing this? They have 4 litter boxes which are always clean, and he never used to do this. I am sure it is him, because the other cats never have an issue with anything. He is the only one who has a problem with everything. He is happy and healthy and seems OK, but appears to be extremely unsettled at times. We do not want to give him away - we love all our pets, but what can we do? I do not want to keep throwing him outside. Could he be doing this because of the arrival of a baby? Or is something else bothering him? There is one of my female cats who hates him - she screams at the top of her voice if she sees him, but he usually ignores her. What do I do?

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Our expert says:
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Hi ANIMAL LOVER
You have quite a complicated setup and perhaps all the recent changes have upset BC. He may well sense that your hormones and behaviour are different. I have no idea why cats urinate on kitchen counters, other than perhaps this is where they eat or where the cats gather mostly - a territorial thing. Perhaps 4 litter trays are not enough, so try having a few more. It sounds as if he may respond well to Ovarid, which is progesterone, a hormone. You could try him on it for a couple of months, see if it works, and then wean him off and see if he has settled down. Felliway may also help, but ask your vet for all the information on this before buying it as it is very expensive. If your cats like catnip this can have a calming effect on them. Or you could try Valerian (either the plants or the tablets) if you think he is very stressed. There are also herbal remedies called Bach Flower Remedies which work well on cats - ask a naturopath.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

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