Cat aggression and urination issues.

by Megan Steele
(Owensville, IN, USA)

Dear Kate,

My family has an odd assortment of three cats. We have two neutered males and a recently spayed female. One neutered male, Patches, is about five years old, and has belonged to my husband since he was a kitten. My husband had Patches neutered when he was about six months old, and he claims that Patches never started spraying before he was neutered.

He also claims that Patches never displayed any problems with urinating outside the litter box until after we moved in together. When we first moved in together (three years ago) I had a neutered male cat of my own who was close to Patches in age (sadly, we lost that cat, and another, to feline leukemia last year.) The two cats got along pretty well, but Patches began peeing in the corners of carpeted rooms. He was not "spraying" but actually squatting and urinating just as he would in the litter box. He also still peed in the litterbox, and never defecated anywhwere other than the litterbox. We first thought that he was having issues with sharing a litterbox with my cat, and so we bought another litterbox...but the urinating in corners of carpeted rooms, and sometimes on objects such as pillows or clothing that was left on the floor, continued. It was not ALL the time, but still fairly frequent. We now have moved to a house with all hardwood floors, and I have noticed that he does not urinate on the floor nearly as much...but he DOES still do it sometimes...the other day he squatted behind the television and urinated directly on top of the power strip that has all of our electrical components plugged into it!! We just can't figure out why he does this. We keep our (multiple) litterboxes very clean, and the people who lived in our house before us did not have a it is unlikely that there is any scent left from another cat that he could be trying to cover with his scent. This behavior continued even during the six months or so that he was an "only cat" after the deaths of the other two cats we had when we first got married. So we don't think it has anthing to do with other cats. Any ideas?

Answer by Kate
This sort of behavior is linked with things like insecurity and territorial marking. Even neutered and spayed cats do it. Scent is a powerful communication tool for a cat. Can i suggest that you read through my page about this issue for more information on why this happens and also how you can try to prevent it. here is the page

Another issue we have is between our other two cats. One is a neutered male (neutered since five months of age) named Jarrak. The other is a spayed female (spayed only recently)named Topaz. Jarrak is about four years old,and belonged to my sister since he was a kitten. A few months ago, she moved to an apartment that would not allow her to keep him, and we took him in. About three months after we got him, we adopted a young female stray. She was pregnant when we took her in, and from the first moment they saw each other-Topaz and Jarrak have VIOLENTLY hated each other! Topaz gets along well with Patches, as does Jarrak. I thought perhaps after her kittens were born and gone to new homes, their hatred would calm down-but if anything it has increased! As soon as her kitten (only one of the two kittens she had survivied) was weaned we got her spayed, and I hoped that might solve some issues, but it has not.
Poor Topaz is literally 1/3 the size and weight of Jarrak, and he barely even allows her to get a drink of water or eat. We have a basement (which is where the litterboxes and food are located) and Jarrak rarely allows Topaz to come to the main level of the house (which is where the water is.) If he sees her, he savagely attacks her on sight. There is little she can do to defend herself against a cat so much larger than her. Her pretty young face is already becoming covered with scars from him.
We are at our wits end about what to do with them. We have tried to keep them apart, but the way our house is laid out, that also involves segregating one or the other from contact with the rest of the family and we don't feel that is fair to them. All of our cats are strictly indoor cats. We live near a major highway and allowing any of them to become outdoor cats would surely be a death sentence waiting to happen. We have put out feelers about finding another home for Topaz (Jarrak was here first and I promised my sister that I would not re-home him) but so far, after three months of asking around, nobody has been willing to take her. I do not want to dump her at the humane society. They are so overrun with homeless cats in this area and about 80% of them are euthanized. I would not condemn her to die just because she gets beat up by our other cat...she has done nothing wrong and is a very sweet and pretty young cat! Any tips on this thorny situation?
Thank You, Megan

Answer by Kate
I don't know how you first introduced these two ats to each other but it is important that cats can build up a level of confidence in each other without fear of injury for them to have any hope of getting along. of course sometimes cats just don't like another cat and often what happens in this case is that a pecking order is established with spats breaking out now and again as this order is maintained. It is rear for real injury to occur as this is simple just not in a cats best interest, instead it is often lots of noise and hissing and bats.

Any way it may be worth trying the introduction method with these two cats now, it may need a good week of this and may have to be repeated but it may be worth it in the end. the method is described here

best wishes Kate

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