Q: I have two male and four female cats. They are all neutered. However, Cullen (male) and Bella (female) have a habit of peeing in random places. It does not seem to be a territorial issue as they do it almost anywhere in the house. Also, my other male cat, Jake, who is the more aggressive of the two boys, likes to pick a fight with Cullen. Does this have anything to do with Cullen’s erratic elimination habits? How do I get them to be litter trained again and how do I help them to get along?
A: First of all you need to provide adequate litter pans in the house. The rule of thumb is to have at least one litter pan for two cats as they prefer privacy. No more than two cats should share a pan. Put them in places that are accessible and discreet. Felines can be picky; they won’t pee or poo if they find their litter pan is dirty, or if they do not like the particular texture or smell of the litter used. Some may be too dusty; others may be gritty, causing discomfort to the cat when it enters the pan.
Once a cat eliminates outside the litter pan, chances are they will do it again. The odour of their pee will remain and cats will choose to eliminate at the same place. The odour of the urine has to be removed using special cleansing agents which can be found in pet shops. To facilitate this, you may want to reposition your cats’ litter pans to areas of their choosing. Another possibility could be that your felines are suffering from urinary tract infection (UTI). It might be a good idea to have your vet check on Cullen and Bella.
Cullen’s erratic elimination habit is not the reason why they are being aggressive towards each other. Sterilised male cats usually do not display dominance or territorial behaviour. If the males were sterilised late, their hormones would have already kicked in and it is likely that they will spray to mark their territory and fight when they feel threatened. When this happens, it may be hard to correct their behaviour now, but it is not impossible. Take note that peeing and spraying are totally different behaviours. Give them more room, feed them separately, and try to avoid having them in the same place at the same time for a start.
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