How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18390
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Kara is online now

we have a cat that sprays around the house we have used fellaway

This answer was rated:

we have a cat that sprays around the house we have used fellaway but it does not seem to have worked can you reccomend anything else
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear about your fellow's behavior. Cats stop using their litter box and start marking behavior for a few reasons:
1) They don't feel well and associate pain with their litter box so go elsewhere hoping not to experience discomfort.
2) Their litter box is dirty, hard to get to or in or out of, not big enough to comfortably use, they don't like the litter in the box, or they don't have enough privacy in it or feel trapped in the location it is in.
3) Other cats (can be indoors or outdoor strays) or people are scaring them when they are in the box or trying to get to the box.
4) Social stress and overcrowding. Cats in the wild do not live together. It is socially stressful for them to have to be confined together. That is likely why many cats stop "marking territory" once they are allowed to go outside. They are less "socially stressed" because they have more room and get more exercise. Even if you don't have more cats if you have strays hanging around outside then they may be stressing him as well.
First I recommend getting a larger, low sided litter box so he has plenty of room to go in and it is easy to get in and out of. The large low sided plastic containers for slipping under beds or furniture sometimes work well.
If he is marking vertical surfaces sometimes a covered box with sides for him to mark may satisfy his need to do so.
If there are particular areas he likes to go I recommend plastic matts set upside down (nubby side up) or tin foil on those areas to protect the floors and so it is uncomfortable to stand and urinate on. The longer this goes on the more it becomes a habit so we do want to discourage his behavior. Make sure to clean all areas he has marked with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle to remove all traces. If the scent is present he will try to return to the area.
I also highly recommend a physical examination to make sure all is well. Make sure his urine is checked for any signs of crystals or infection and cultured to make sure a subclinical low grade infection is part of the problem. Spinal arthritis that makes it painful for him to get into and stay in position to go is another possible problem. Perhaps he is starting to develop back pain or arthritis and he is associating the litter box with pain.
If he is not neutered I encourage you to neuter. Intact males are more likely to mark. Neutering isn't a cure all, sometimes if a male has been intact for a while this becomes a learned behavior too.
Make sure his litter boxes are spotlessly clean, scoop stools daily, change litter completely weekly and clean the box itself. If the litter box is older than a year definitely get a new one. Many cats don't like odor and an old litter box stinks to them.
Make sure he has privacy when he goes.
If you are using scented litter I recommend plain clay litter or plain scoop litter. Most cats find scented litter objectionable. I also recommend at least one more box than the number of cats. Some cats prefer to urinate and defecate in separate areas.
In most cases a cat that was previously well trained and is now not using their box has a medical condition or is socially stressed so please be patient with him.
To help ease social stress you can try using Feliway sprays or diffusors. These are synthetic pheromones which mimic those produced to mark areas as safe and many cats find them soothing. I see that you tried this product but it's possible that it needs to be used along with the litter box changes I recommended. You can also use pheromone calming collars as well. See this link for some examples:
If these measures aren't enough you can try a homeopathic calming oral medication called Bach's Rescue Remedy. It can be used in conjunction with Feliway. See this link for further information:
And you could discuss oral medications with your veterinarian as well such as fluoxetine or amitriptyline as calming agents to decrease his stress. They may not need to be forever, just long enough to retrain him and then slow withdrawal.
Finally if he does better when allowed to go out you may wish to construct an outdoor cat pen so he can safely spend time outside. Here is a link to some examples:
Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

anyone can copy and paste information

I use a similar write up for any cat that is spraying around the house, because the reasons behind this behavior are similar. However all of this information was written by me and is helpful and accurate.
The only thing that you have tried so far is using Feliway, according to your write up, thus I gave you several other things to consider. I'm not sure what you were looking for as far as a response, especially with such a brief history. I don't believe my answer, nor my information, was in any way "bad".
If you have further questions I will be happy to answer them specifically.
Dr. Kara and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you