Marking the same visitors clothes again and again

We do have 5 cats and have had no problems with marking in the house except when our daughter visits. She sleeps in the down stairs guest room, if she forgets to close the door one of the cats will go in and mark only her cloths or suite case, there can be other persons clothing or luggage in the room and the cat will not touch it. This has happened several times, our daughter has been a good sport about this but we do need to figure out why and try and stop it. She does like the cats and will spend time with all of them. Please help we do not want her to stop visiting us.


I can sympathize with your situation. I had 5 cats (now its 6) and I encountered a similar issue except that Max didn't take issue with just one person. It was any visitor staying in the house that got nailed. At least it was easy to figure out who the culprit was because he has a penchant for marking when he's stressed that newcomers have entered his territory. Punishing a cat simply doesn't work so it's a matter of rewarding good behavior, or in Max's case, restricting access to our downstairs guest suite when it's occupied.

Anxiety and some jealousy make a cat stressed so first you have to figure out which of your cats is to blame for the marking. Once you know who it is you can stop access to the downstairs area for the duration of your daughter's visit. You can always open the door and let the innocent ones downstairs if you want. To help the offending cat to feel less stressed you might talk to your vet to see if he has a recommendation.

However, I've tried a few brands of cat chews that help to calm cats and lower their stress levels and most of them work fairly well. I had discovered them when I was having trouble with a couple of the cats getting really freaked with fireworks during certain holidays. Now, when a guest is expected, I start giving Max a few of the stress reducing cat chews a day before he gets a closed door greeting him at the top of the stairs that lead down to the guest area. He gets them daily to keep him a little mellow while visitors are using the guest area.

Unfortunately, the other cats are also barred from going downstairs because of the closed door but they adjust quickly since they don't have the stress levels that Max has. We never have any extended stay visitors so it's usually a 3-4 day regimen.

Each cat handles it's stress differently. Talk to your vet and if he/her has no suggestions that differ from the stress-relief cat chews then take a look at the Pet Products page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see a Stress Relief section with the chews (and the Feliway) that work for me. Click on each photo and it will take you to the vendor where you can read about the products. Some of these are carried at your local pet store if you prefer not to shop online.

This has worked for me and I hope it works for you...and perhaps some of our readers will add additional comments on their methods that work. We love our little critters but sometimes they present us with challenges. Good Luck.

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Question about cat diapers

by Pam


Do you know of any cat diaper that will also catch feces? Our cat is 16-years old and has had litterbox problems for years. We have tried literally everything multiple times.I don't want to put her down. She mostly poops wherever she feels like it, but now has begun to urinate as well. I've seen websites that have cat diapers for catching urine, but not for feces. Any thoughts?


It’s no fun when you have a beloved pet that has litterbox issues. However, the only difference with cat diapers for urine and those that will hold feces is the hole opening for the tail. In order to have it hold feces it can’t have a hole so the tail has to be held flat, laying up over the back held in place by the diaper waistband. You can make your own as described in the last paragraphs on the page Cat Diapers and simply eliminate the “cutting a hole” instruction or you can get them custom made at no extra charge by Castlepaws. The link is

One thing you have to remember is that you will need to apply a protective barrier to your cat’s skin because feces and urine being held in a diaper can cause irritations. Hospitals use 3M Cavilon Barrier Spray and it is sold to the public under the name NexCare No-Sting Liquid Bandage (available at many stores as well as You spray it on and it dries in 30 seconds and lasts up to 72 hours but it will stick to the fur so it would be wise to shave the area before applying or using diapers that will hold feces. If you are unable to shave the area easily, you can probably get your vet to do it for you.

You can use other creams or ointments other than NexCare but be sure not to use anything with zinc oxide in it because in the event your cat could get access to the hind area and lick it, the ingredient is poisonous to pets. Of course fresh air is good for the skin so if it’s at all possible to let your cat go without the diaper for a few hours each day, try to do so.

I hope that you can resolve this problem. Good Luck.

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Litter Box Problem

I have a male cat (neutered) approx 9 years old. He is a large cat (24 lbs) and recently underwent teeth/grooming but he is aggressive so they must sedate him to do his annual checkups. After the most recent visit to the vet my cat has decided he no longer likes the litter box and has chosen to poop/pee on the couches in my living room. I have been diligent about scooping everyday, spraying the couches with stay away spray. He has been with me since birth but I can not figure out what else to do to stop this NEW abnormal
behavior. It has gotten so bad that my husband would like to euthanize the cat because we can deal with this unacceptable behavior. Please help so I can keep my cat?


The main unacceptable cat behavior that accounts for a lot of cats being euthanized or sent to shelters is inappropriate elimination which entails not only spraying and urinating but defecating in the wrong places in the house. The fact that your cat is around 9 years old and this hasn’t been a problem in the past, points to a trauma during his visit to get his teeth/grooming done recently. Something triggered this behavior. Perhaps it was pain, fear, anger; it could have been a social conflict with another animal or anxiety caused from the veterinary environment etc. but I could guess all day and not arrive at the correct answer.

I can understand your frustration when you are scooping every day and keeping your couches clean. I can also understand that you don’t want to give up on your cat that you’ve had since a kitten. Assuming there is no medical condition that is causing this behavioral change, here are some suggestions…..

1. Scrub the litter box thoroughly (or get a new one) and change the location of his litter box. Oftentimes a cat has a painful bowel movement or urination. Sometimes medications to sedate a cat can cause constipation for a day or two. This could have happened after he returned home and he could now be associating his litter box with this pain and avoiding it. Relocate the box to a safe, quiet area away from noisy washer/dryers, furnaces, etc. You can always move it back if that doesn’t help.

2. Change the litter brand for a couple of days. He could have developed an aversion to the scent after his sedation.

3. While you are trying this litter box variation protect your sofa with plastic. At different times when I’ve had issues with adopting a new stray cat I’ve covered the seating area of the sofa with plastic (available at most fabric stores by the yard). Cats don’t like the feel of the plastic so that tends to be deterrent but if inappropriate soiling is done; there is less damage to your furniture.

4. His anxiety level may have been elevated with his experience at the vet. Try pheromone therapy with a product such as Feliway. Feliway is an analog of the facial pheromone deposited when cats facially rub or bunt on objects—a behavior performed when cats feel comfortable with their environment. Cats do not typically perform inappropriate eliminations where these facial pheromones are deposited. Available in both spray and liquid with a diffuser, Feliway has a calming effect on many cats that are stressed or anxious. I use it all the time because I have 6 cats and want to keep anxiety levels down. The diffuser is a plug-in mini-bottle that lasts for about a month. You can find the link to the cheapest supplier I’ve found (Entirely Pets) on my Pet Products page. At their website simply enter Feliway into their search box. (Another place that sometimes has it at a reasonable price is Amazon.)

5. Drug therapy is another alternative that has some merit. I try to avoid using drugs for behavioural problems but there are times when nothing else works and it’s a viable option. Some drugs such as diazepam have fallen out of favour because of potential side effects while azapirone and buspirone have shown some promise. Clomipramine (a tricyclic antidepressant) has been considered effective because of its serotonin-enhancing properties that are effective at reducing anxiety. However, there are side effects such as constipation, urine retention and appetite changes so it is given in smaller dosages. There are studies being done now on the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine. One study showed 100% had a 90% reduction in marking behaviors but a couple of side effects are decreased appetite and lethargy. Finicky eaters or obese cats would be at a disadvantage with this one. So, this will be an alternative that you should discuss with your vet if that is the route you have to go.

6. As a last resort to enable you to keep your cat yet not have the messy clean-ups are cat diapers. I have a page with this topic that shows where to get the diapers etc. See Cat Diapers. Also read my page on Animal Behaviorists

Punishment should be avoided in marking and other inappropriate elimination issues. Because many of the problems are based in anxiety or social conflict, punishment is likely to just make the problem worse. Another option is confining your cat to one room where there is food, water and litter. You can allow him access to the rest of the house only when you are there to supervise.

I wish you success. This is not an easy issue to deal with.

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kitten incontinence

by Larry
(Springfield Virginia)

I rescued a kitten five weeks ago and it can't control urine/feces. It's now 9 weeks and has been treated for eye herpes, upper respiratory infection, roundworms and is still testing positive for roundworm eggs. We've had her x-rayed and she's been to an Internist. There may be a problem with her coxs, (base of her tail), that may have had some type of trauma. Everything else about the kitty is healthy but she does have a funny gait when she walks. Any ideas what might be wrong?


First, let me commend you for helping a very needy kitten. Although there have been numerous problems that you have already dealt with, this does sound like a spinal cord injury. For example...if the kitty's tail was caught in a door and she pulled away it could have separated the sacral-lumbar or coccygeal vertebrae which is a common cause of bladder paralysis and incontinence. Spinal cord diseases and brain diseases can also lead to loss of bladder and bowel control.

Here is an excerpt from my article on the cat spine:
"The dominant gene that produces taillessness in Manx cats can also cause spina bifida...the failure of the vertebrae in the lower back to close over the spinal cord. Cats with spina bifida may also have nerve-cord malformations that lead to bladder and bowel-control difficulties and back leg weakness."
You will find the full article here: Cat Spine

There are cases of very young kittens having nerve issues from injuries that resolve themselves as the animal matures. Perhaps this will occur with your kitty. If not, then there are cat diapers available. Go to Cat Diapers

Hopefully you’ll be able to discover if the trauma to her tail (that you suspect happened) is a less serious issue that she’ll outgrow or if it’s more serious and needs some form of therapy that your vet can recommend. I wish you both lots of luck and success.

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How can I stop my cat from peeing everywhere. She has been to the vet and is heathly. We have other cats that she has been around since we got her (3years ago) I keep the boxes clean. She has a high spot just her own. Now what do I do??? Kimberly


First, I apologize for taking so long to answer you. I am currently travelling in Europe and internet access has been unreliable. Since I won't be returning until Sept.10th, and I have none of my reference materials here...I am going to give you pages on my site that may give you some information on the problem you are experiencing.

Animal Behaviorists

Cat Litter Boxes

Cat Spraying

Cat Behavior Medications

Cat Urine Remover

Cat Behavior Problems

Feline Bad Habits

I hope that at least one of these pages will help you. Good Luck.

Comments for pee

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May 26, 2017
Weird deformation
by: Anonymous

Have you ever heard of a cat of a cats poop coming through the urine hole

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