Friday, 02 November 2018 19:43

Porky & Buddy Column: Is Shadow Annoyed With Me?

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Dear Porky & Buddy: I woke up this morning to pee all over my kitchen counter. I know that my cat Shadow is the guilty party, as he is the only cat in the house. He was neutered when he was 5 months old, and he's two now, so I didn't think spraying would still be an issue. Why would he be doing this? Signed, Tom

Dear Tom,

There are two possibilities. The first is that there could be a health issue going on and so the first thing you should do is call your vet. Be prepared to answer all of her questions about any other changes in Shadow's behavior, appetite, thirst, sleep patterns, energy level, vocalizations, etc., that you may have noticed. Your vet will want to check for a number of possible physical problems, such as bladder infections, cystitis, arthritis, kidney problems, diabetes, and other medical issues.

If Shadow checks out healthy, then more likely than not he is annoyed at you. What have you done? Does he have at least two litter pans? The rule is one for each cat plus at least one extra, so two for Shadow. Are they big enough for him to use them comfortably? None of those stupid little ones from a discount store. Do you keep his litter pans clean by scooping regularly? Do you like a dirty unflushed toilet? Where are his litter pans? In an area for the whole world to see? Where do you keep your own toilet? Probably not in the center of the room or right next to a door that can open at any minute with no warning. We’re not saying Shadow needs his own private spa, complete with artwork and a built-in bar, but certainly a quiet clean place for him to do his business in peace.

Assuming he has that, have you brought a new irritant into the house? A dog, a child, a loud appliance? Is he stressed out by that? Even for a cat that has been neutered, like Shadow, anxiety-related marking can happen in response to a change in his environment, especially the area where he eats, sleeps, and plays. Cats often target items with new or unrecognized smells such as purses and shoes. Is there something like that on your counter? Marking behavior that starts at windows and doors usually suggests that the perceived threat is coming from outside the home. Marking in stairways, hallways, doorways, or the center of rooms usually indicates stress or threats from inside the home. What is making Shadow so upset? It’s your job to figure it out and stop upsetting him. Like any good servant would do. Good luck!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Located at 29 West Seneca Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email: [email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org

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