Yes, I know, cats are inherently evil, (Angie sent me this link as proof: http://www.catswhothrowupgrass.com/kill.php) so short of smothering sleeping infants there’s hardly anything a cat can do that would surprise anyone. Maybe that’s why they try so hard.
Our cats, specifically the three males (someone from the Greek chorus shouts “Why do you have three male cats to begin with?”) vent their anger, frustration or sheer meanness by what is euphemistically termed “spraying”. But you know what that really means, which is why, anytime you see a cat back up to draperies, furniture or the clothes you left laying on the floor, you go all Rambo and heave the closest heavy object in reach directly at said cat’s noggin.
Or you purchase large quantities of scat mats, which has been a chosen approach since neither of us has a decent aim.
According to the product description, a scat mat produces “startling, unpleasant static” and “memorable deterrence”, which, having mistakenly stepped on them numerous times in bare feet, I can attest to as being an accurate statement. Cats being cats, you can even buy “faux” scat mats, which look like the real ones but minus the battery apparatus, they cost a bit less. Don’t bother with these, because, cats being cats, they quickly figure out the ruse (Greek chorus in unison: “You expected less?”) and will spray defiantly on the bogus mat, leaving fragrant pools of cat urine for the man of the house to clean up.
Did I mention that cats are evil?
It wasn’t always thus. Harmony reigned until Dodger showed up. Maybe the other cats don’t like the color orange?
Whatever the reason, soonafter Dodger’s debut, the problems began. And persisted. Being the new kid on the block, Dodger was blamed and the CE laid down the law: “If he pees, he leaves”.
Here are the things you do when you have a cat that sprays:
1. Spend a fortune ordering “cat attract” litter and a black light (http://tallyville.com/litterboxhelp.html) that helps you identify where the cat is spraying so you can remove as much of the offending stain and odor as possible to deter the cat from returning to “his” spot.
2. Take your cat to the vet and spend another small fortune running tests to determine if he has a urinary problem
3. Skip steps one and two because (at least in our experience) they were a waste of time and money, and ask the vet for a Prozac prescription (for the cat, not yourself), as it has inexplicably been known to curb spraying behavior in cats. (Here is a good web site on the subject: http://tallyville.com/litterboxhelp.html)
Then, be patient. It takes awhile. Months. But amazingly, Dodger now greets me every morning and obediently jumps up on the counter so I can jam his Prozac pill down his throat.
This has worked so well with Dodger that as of this week, Dizzy and Cody have their own Prozac prescriptions. I’m choosing to ignore the Greek Chorus comments about just how dysfunctional my life must be if my cats are on anti-depressants and I am not. Perhaps it should be the other way around, but hey, I get the occasional jolt of electro-shock therapy from the scat mats, which keeps me sane enough to not bring home any new kittens…