11-24-20 Tuesday

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We have an update – and a request for advice. First, the update!

Two years ago we fostered Kristi and Katia and their kittens. Two of Kristi’s kittens were these two…

Tessa (left) and Ohno.

They were adopted together – their people came from North Carolina to adopt them! Ohno is still Ohno, and Tessa is now Heygo, and here they are today.

Heygo sings. I’m not sure I could love this picture more.

Ohno snoozes.

How SWEET are they??

And here is the request for advice – I’m throwing it out there to you, Love and Hisses community, in case you have a suggestion we haven’t thought of. Here is what Danielle said:

Oh how I wish I only had good things to share…. I’ll preface this and say we are 1000% keeping Ohno and Heygo. So don’t worry there. The hardship though is due to Ohno. She continues to be the most amazing cat even getting a comment at the vets office for being hands down the sweetest cat of the year they’ve had.

But…. She has been non-stop marking. You name it, towels, clothes, shoes, base of the stairs, kitchen table, kitchen and bathroom counters, dog beds, kids drawings, kids toys….the list goes on. We’ve had to get rid of a lot of things bc we can’t recover them. The floor which is wood will need to be replaced when we move bc she has damaged it that badly. My kitchen counters look like a hoarders dream bc I try to cover every available inch to limit where she can stand/pee.

We’ve tried so many things: textured mats, sound/shock mats(which she also pees on and have destroyed), feliway, other plug ins, calming collars, pheromone sprays, added more litter boxes. She’s on anxiety medication and we recently added another which is also a combo for inflammation just in case. The best thing we can do is block off the areas we can, leave nothing tempting lying around, and cross our fingers.

She and Heygo have a lot of their own space they hang out in. The older cats have actually accepted them and rub heads, sniff butts, the usual things with both. Ohno does remember some earlier disagreements though and continues to hold a grudge. If she’s not in the mood she’ll warn off an older cat with a growl and a menacing paw. We’ve caught them napping with both dogs. They put on a show of not liking each other when we’re around but they absolutely get along.

My husband is a saint in what he’ll put up with. Ohno’s behavior has pushed him to literal tears. I’m wracked with guilt and apologize constantly. We plan to move houses next year and the work we have to put in for house repairs from her is causing us added anxiety. We also need to keep them with friends and family for the first few months as we wait for this house to sell before buying another to avoid a double mortgage. We don’t want her to bring these issues upon someone else’s home.

To summarize: She has been to the vet. They have tried Feliway, calming collars, pheromone sprays, additional litter boxes and anxiety medication. This is all the obvious stuff, the list of things I would have recommended. I had a few more (medication) suggestions for Danielle to ask her vet about, but beyond that I’m at a loss for what to suggest. So if you have any suggestions here, no matter how remote, please chime in in the comments. I would really appreciate it!


I got that basket at Trader Joe’s in Nashville last year, and the kittens approve. (Candy Apple)

It’s a popular spot. (Snowcone)

As you can see! (Eclair)

Wild Bill’s all “Tell them to stop hoggin’ the basket! I wanna snooze there too!”

Ooh, Eclair-Buffalo Bill pie! My favorite!

Princess Calamity Jane takes a nap in the sun.

“What’s the weird lady doing?”
“I dunno, but it’s weird.”
(Probably waving a feather teaser around.)
Onion Ring (orange collar), Pretzel (in front of Onion Ring), Hush Puppy (back right) and Tater Tot (looking away.)

I love that you can see the reflection of Eclair in the window (and of course Annie Oakley in the crown bed.)

French Fry is such a sleek, glossy girl.

Tater Tot killed a(n Ikea) rat(tie), chewed some cardboard, and has a smug. It’s been a full day!

These 6 kittens are headed off for their spays and neuters today! Left to right we have: Funnel Cake (who had an elevated temperature last week, so couldn’t be done), Calamity Jane, Davy Crockett, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok. I expect things to go just fine, and will post on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter this evening when I’ve got them back home.


Alice has a grumpy.

YouTube link


2019: Fleur’s scheming little face is killing me.
2018: No entry.
2017: Khal has claimed that bed as his own.
2016: Happy Thanksgiving.
2015: “I don’t always lay on this scratcher, but when I do, I bite pieces off of it first and ptui them all over the kitchen floor.”
2014: “The better to slap you with, lady.”
2013: No entry.
2012: No entry.
2011: “Happy. Freakin’. Thanksgiving.”
2010: Have you ever seen a happier cat?
2009: “No! You go away! This are MY lap for snuggling in!”
2008: “Friends, Romans, countrycats, lend me your ears…”
2007: Awesome.
2006: No entry.



11-24-20 Tuesday — 29 Comments

  1. Confine to a small area (ferret cage, bathroom) with only supervised time out to re-learn litterbox behavior? Also experiment with different types/brands/scents of litter and boxes (covered and not, etc.)?

  2. I’ve read about this method: Keep Ohno in a very confined area like a small bathroom with just her litter box, food, and water for several weeks, to retrain her to the litter box with a limited area for accidents. Use Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract litter, which is supposed to work in retraining cats with litter box problems. When you are boarding her prior to your move, you may want to use a condo cage, which is large enough to give her some room to move and climb, but confines her to a small enough area where she can’t do any damage to your friends/boarders home. Our rescue group uses condo cages to board cats at Petsmart while awaiting adoption, and they work fairly well. They are about 5 ft. high and give the cat some space to move around, so it’s not as confining as a regular cage.

  3. Things to try:

    Consult a veterinary nutritionist, or, swinging the other way, a holistic practitioner. (I’ve done both in my time; granted it was for a dog, but still.)

    Acupuncture (worked for my dog) and Reiki (which I haven’t personally tried for a pet, but I’ve heard it can help.)

    Consult an animal behaviorist. My own experience with a behaviorist (for a cat) was, alas, that *I* thought he was great but the cat wasn’t impressed. But others have had much better results.

    None of this is necessarily cheap, but I know what it feels like to be at one’s wits’ end with a pet’s unhappiness, pain, and difficult behavior. I wish you all the luck in the world.

  4. Two thoughts to help with Ohno’s marking problem. First, I have a friend with a multi-cat household. She had a lot of problems with marking until she started letting the cats out into the back yard. Suddenly it seemed to resolve. The second thought is trying Emotional Code therapy. It is done by proxy and I have seen it work wonders for myself. I also know friends who have had great results with using the technique on pets. I can recommend myglowessentials.com as a place to get started.

  5. Not a great long term solution but they do make diapers for cats… Hope things get better. I had a cat that hated my husband (he was not mean to her… they just did not get along) and she would deliberately pee on only his things… I unfortunately had to rehome her and the behavior stopped in her new home (where she is well loved 7 years later)

  6. no advice for Ohno and Heygo’s mom, but I wanted to acknowledge how awesome she is. She’s made multiple attempts to ensure there is nothing medically wrong and is still trying to find solutions to keep her furever family together. Thank you for providing such a good home for those babies!

  7. A couple of things I didn’t see suggested were to give Ohno some vertical space or a catwalk or some other way to get her off the same horizontal plane as everyone else, and per Jackson Galaxy, spend more time with her, loving, playing -playing is very big – which is supposed to give cats confidence, if confidence is her problem.

    I have a similar problem but have added catwalks; multiple, large litter boxes (which have saved my walls!); play sessions, and separate cuddle time for everyone affected by the disagreeing behavior (including [especially]) the offender who is able to go out at will via a cat door. I can tell you that having the ability to go out didn’t make a difference in the frequency or location and only gets worse in the winter when she won’t go out as often and is stuck in the house.

    Unfortunately, I think boredom has a little to do with it. She actually goes looking for trouble, IMHO, when she has nothing to do and in the house due to bad weather. We want to move, too, but I refuse to take her to a new place ’cause I know she’ll mess it up. I love my cats but not that behavior. I’m willing to do LOTS of different things and would never consider letting her go, so I keep trying. There are some great ideas I’d never heard of so I’ll look into those, myself.

    Jackson Galaxy goes into depth on this subject in his books, mainly because it’s the #1 reason cats are surrendered or euthanized. Understanding the why will help, then where (it happens). You have to be a detective to figure it out (so says Jackson). If you love this girl, just keep trying.

  8. My cat Chloe was an only cat until she was 8. When I got a second cat she started the same behavior,.causing a lot of damage…it had never been an issue before.

    My current cat Lily has been much much happier as an only cat, instead of being in a multiple cat household.

    Maybe Ohno would be happier as an only cat, instead of a large household with multiple cats, dogs, and people.

    Just a thought.

  9. When we first got Minerva, she was terrified of everyone in the house except the dog. To get her comfortable with everyone, I put an older, smaller dog crate next to the big one and she claimed that as her space. We put a small litter box right beside it, which the other cats LOVED to use, but it seemed to help her get used to their scents. She eventually fell in love with our oldest cat and stopped using her crate (although she would still nap in the dog’s while she was running around)

  10. I also have a cat who will not use the litter box consistently. It’s maddening. Luckily, he doesn’t spray, just goes in the corner a lot. A few things I’ve tried with him that seem to work (most of the time). I have litter boxes with different kinds of litter. The other cats don’t like the other litter, but he’ll use them sometimes.
    Also, I scoop constantly. I think he hates using a dirty litter box. You’d think a cat I rescued from and alley wouldn’t be so fastidious. 🙂
    I read somewhere that after cleaning the urine with an enzymatic cleaner, wipe the area with isopropyl alcohol to help prevent re-sprays. I just started doing it and I think it’s helping.
    I’m so sorry for you, it is so hard when your kitty starts spraying. I have an outdoor semi-feral that I was trying to integrate, and he just won’t stop spraying so he’s not coming inside right now. I will try again.
    Good Luck.

  11. Dr. Elsey’s litter worked for my Noah, during a stressful time. His spraying was not as bad. I used kitten litter for him since he had been declawed–thought it would be easier on his paws. I added Dr. Elsey’s cat attract (green stuff ) until he had gotten over the problem.

  12. She could try Vicks vaporrub I’ve seen it in use when house training. The strong smell could deter her.

    I had a sprayer as well that helped when she still lived with my parent’s but she really only stopped when I brought her back home to ny apartment

  13. I echo the outside time as a possible solution. We had a cat who would pee everywhere – not marking his territory, just squat and pee. Allowing him outside time worked. In the morning he clearly held it until he get outside to go. We also got a motion- activator sprayer that chased him from his favored pee spots. Good luck!

  14. There is too much going on in your house for Ohno. It may be hard on your family but I think she would be better off in a house with less going on. Remember it’s not about you it’s about her and her happiness. Just some tough love! Good luck.

  15. If Ohno is truly spraying vs inappropriate peeing, I have a cat that has been on cyproheptadine twice a day for years. It’s like a miracle to stop cats spraying. It’s an antihistamine, so not sure if that is one of the drugs that has been tried already. Spraying was a near daily occurance until we started giving her this stuff. She’s been on it for 7 years and has sprayed only a handful of times since then. The only side effect we have encountered is hunger….it’s a appetite stimulant.

    It does need to be given twice a day, which is the unfortunate part. Drugs are never my first choice for behavior issues but it sounds like you’ve tried everything else.

  16. Is it possible she wasn’t spayed completely? We have a cat that had to be spayed 3 times, poor thing. First was with another owner at a quickie spay clinic. They apparently missed something because she kept going into heat and marking on any soft flat surface she could find. 2nd time was at our regular vet and she couldn’t find anything so when it continued we had to go to a vet school and do this whole protocol and then when they did the surgery it worked. Stopped it completely. Good luck!

  17. I went straight to the comment box without reading any previous comments, so forgive me if I am repeating anything above.

    She needs some “alone time”.

    Harness and leash, take her outside at least once a day. She can spray some bushes, eat some grass and just be AWAY from all the other animals and humans for a little while. Also, clean, clean, clean all areas where she has peed (I know, you already have. Keep at it.) If she will not accept the harness and leash; can you build a catio?

  18. Would you consider an animal communicator? A good one can work miracles – see the story of Anna Breytenbach and Diablo (now Spirit) the black leopard as an example. The story is on her website http://www.animalspirit.org, and many others too.

  19. Lots of good suggestions here. My only suggestion is to keep a log of when she does it, where, and what was going on. (If you’re able to catch her in the act). If there’s a pattern, you might be able to figure it out which would give you some clues as to what triggers her.

  20. Here are a couple of ideas for Ohno’s problem. My 16 1/2 year old black tortie was recently diagnosed with arthritis. Her doctor put her on the anti-inflammatory Onsior. She’s also taking Dasuquin and pet specific CBD oil to help reduce inflammation. I noticed that she’s calmer- loud noises used to scare her, now she’s doing much better – but isn’t sedated at all. She used to suffer from urinary tract issues but is doing great now especially for her age so the meds and supplements she’s taking for arthritis seem to be helping with the urinary issues too.
    Some vets recommend CBD oil and the supplement Dasuquin (among other things) for Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. Here’s an article on the condition, just scrolll down to the section on Feline Idiopathic Cystitis –
    Here’s info on CBD oil uses for cats, scroll down to third paragraph – http://www.petsafetycrusader.com/the-abcs-of-cbd/
    My kitty is using Pet Releaf Lipisome Hemp Oil 100 for dogs and cats. It’s formulated in fish oil and she gets the drops (the dosage is usually determined by the weight of your pet) on her canned food. When I called Pet Releaf – which was the brand recommended by a vet tech acquaintance – they were so helpful with telling me how to introduce the supplement slowly and to split the dose to twice daily. As an added benefit, my girl’s coat looks absolutely gorgeous from the fish oil! The supplement Dasuquin (a capsule you open and sprinkle on food) is supposed to help strengthen the bladder wall.

  21. I have no advice only ((hugs)). Also, for a moment, I thought the sentence about keeping the cats was going to end with getting rid of the baby (just joking but she’s cute and I’m sure you could most definitely find a good placing for her). Good luck with Ohno and also your move.

  22. Is it possible she has a chronic occult urinary infection, that makes her feel urgency to go all the time?

    If not, I’ve had success–not 100%, but huge reduction in peeing here, there, and everywhere–with putting puppy pads in multiple place where a cat was fond of peeing. My advice is to not use cushy pads or litter mats around existing kitty litter. Instead, surround them with puppy pads on each side and in the front. Change as needed. Also put the pads by themselves in other places (on the floor) where she’s peeing. Some of my cats like the pads better than the litter, although they use both.

    My cats who’ve occasionally peed on top of things are much happier peeing on the floor on a puppy pad. I use the Amazon basic pads in size 22″ x 22″. I used to us another brand, which was great for years and then the quality deteriorated–they were see-through/absorbed nothing. The Amazon brand is okay–not as good as the others used to be, but still work.

    This is the link (note the 60,000+ ratings, many from cat people):


    You can always buy a bigger size, but I’ve found the 22 x 22 size to be most useful, since you’re not throwing away a big pad with one puddle of pee. You can also turn these around and put a peed-on end under the litter box.

    I’ve put them under tables where a cat wouldn’t stop peeing, and they always used the pad when it was clean. I would never put them *on* a table or counter–that’s just reinforcing behavior you want to completely stop.

    Okay, now for something different that you can do along with this, which may keep her from peeing elsewhere. If you like oranges, Cuties, etc., NEVER EVER throw away the peels. Just scatter them where any cat likes to pee. (But never near the puppy pads!!) I scatter the peels under certain tables, and they won’t go anywhere near them. The scent is strongest when the peels are fresh, but cats can still smell it when they’re dried out. My cats were peeing under a certain table and under a piano bench and they’ve completely stopped–and it’s been months. And you can always pick them up and put them in a bag when you have guests.

    I wouldn’t use any citrus essential oils, which could be poisonous to cats or kids. and I wouldn’t use anything orange-scented, like a spray, because you could induce an allergic reaction (and it also wouldn’t last). This is totally safe and amazingly effective. I’d recommend trying it in one of her favorite place to pee as a trial, and see what happens.

    Sorry to write a book! Hope this helps!

    • (also sorry for all the typos! “places” not “place”, “use” not “us”, and a few more. was typing fast!)

  23. I’m following these comments intently as I have a 8 year old girl cat who we love to pieces but she has destroyed our living room carpeting(s) from peeing on them since she was a kitten. We’ve tried everything (including most of what has been listed above except CBD oil and anti depressants). She’s been tested hundreds of times for bladder and kidney issues. Nuthin. My vet, bless his heart, is dumbfounded and has said, “maybe she just has a screw loose in her thinking.” She lives with her brother who doesn’t have any litter pan issues.

    I work from home, prior to covid lockdowns, and so my routine has been to take her to the litter pan, wait till she goes, go back up the stairs and then give her lots of praise when she races up the stairs in triumph. The litter pan must be pristine, smooth, no other footsteps or she straddles across it like it’s hot lava and won’t go. We are on a 8am/8pm schedule. Tiny cat, big bladder.

    We are embarrassed to have company over. We plan to replace the carpet (again!) with luxury laminate vinyl. BTW, she also will pee in the shower and up against the sliding glass doors.
    *shakes fists in the air*

  24. For Ohno and Heygo’s parents… are there enough water bowls distributed around the house? That helped for one of my friends’ cats where one kept peeing in different spots.

    I also have a feeling that maybe Ohno is overwhelmed in a larger/busier household and needs her alone space/time. I know it’s hard to consider, but I wonder if you could have her stay at a friend’s for a week where she’s the solo animal and see how she acts. Then you could make a decision about future home or something. Like maybe she can have her own bedroom that only adults can access (no animals or children). It’s super tough.

    Hang in there…

  25. I’m fairly sure you’ve thought of a bladder or kidney infection.
    So….when I was a pet sitter one of my jobs was to take care of 5 cats at my client’s home. There was an issue with one of them dealing with alopecia All the hair on his hind end was gone. He also marked spots in the house. The Vet ran tests, etc., but no diagnosis. My thought was that it may have been stress. Possibly too many cats at one home. Also one of the cats was a solo and didn’t particularly like other cats which became more evident the older they all got. Just a thought.