I just spent $395 to go to a cat behavioral psychologist. Patches spraying was driving me nuts. Last week he peed on the bed and sprayed the side of it. He does not have a urinary tract infection. He only sprays near where Mimi likes to sit and sleep so I knew it had something to do with her. They don't hate each other but they're not good friends either.
The doctor spent two hours counseling me about Patches and Mimi so he could understand why Patches was spraying. Patches was spraying because he's upset by outdoor cats spraying the outside of the house. He's also not that comfortable with Mimi. I thought I'd share this counseling session so that it might help others (and they could save the $395!) So far I've done everything the doctor said to do and Patches hasn't sprayed. It's only been a week. I'll keep you updated in another few weeks to see if he really stops spraying for good. I transcribed the below from the big behavioral prescription he gave me.

Dr. Polsky http://www.drpolsky.com
Behavioral therapy interview
Problem: Cat is spraying to communicate. He is upset by other cats spraying the outside of the house. He is upset by other inside cat. He is basically not very confident psychologically so he sprays.
Solution: Keep outside cats away from the house so they can't spray the exterior doors and upset him. Make spraying cat feel more comfortable with other cat. Make it so he doesn't have to compete for resources, has his own cat tree, extra litter boxes. Make it so he eventually will like the other cat more by associating closeness to the other cat with positive things such as food, brushing, play time. Make previously sprayed areas unattractive by cleaning and making it impossible for him to spray there again.

A. Increase number of litter boxes from one to four so cat won't feel competition for resources. Switch to sand litter which they both prefer. Keep very clean. Two boxes in the living room, one in the office, one in the dining room.
B. Keep music room closed. Cat was spraying in there and it's easy to block off that room for the time being.
C. Feed both cats at very close distance, bowls touching. You may have to slowly move the bowls together. This will make the sprayer associate the other cat with good things such as food.
D. Brush cat at close distance to other cat so he will associate good things with the other cat. He likes being brushed.
E. Teach cats to come in command for food treat together so they associate each others presence with good things.
F. Mutual play sessions in each others presence. Include both of them playing with a toy.
G. Mutual grooming. Hold finger with petromalt or other yummy food on finger. Put finger near other cat. Let spraying cat lick food off finger very close to other cat. Eventually put finger on other cat then put food on other cat so he can lick off. This should encourage mutual grooming.

H. Provide ample marking locations for spraying cat so he can rub his face and scratch on posts or brushes to mark using his scent glands instead of spraying.
I. Add a cat tree for spraying cat in location that doesn't have view of street. View of street may upset him if he sees other cats or dogs. He needs his own cat tree to sit on because other cat is on other tree.

J. Abut previously marked areas with upside down carpet runners with the sharp plastic points up so he can't back up and spray areas again.

K. Keep outside cats away from exterior of house with ultrasonice devices, upside down carpet runners so they can't spray exterior doors and mousetraps (won't hurt cats, just scare them.)
L. Use Feliway where he has sprayed before. Clean sprayed areas with anti-icky-poo enzymatic cleaner.
M. Drug administration. buspirone (Buspar Rx)
5-10 mg. BID (2.5 x day).
http://www.petalia.com.au/templates/StoryTemplate Process.cfm?Story No=305 http://www.hssv.org/behavior/cat/cat spray.htm
http://www.ivis.org/advances/Behavior Houpt/seksel/chapter frm.asp?LA=1
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Interesting, Mary. How long is he supposed to be on the buspar and does it make him act differently, lethargic or dopey? I certainly hope it all works out. I've been very fortunate to never have this problem (just knocked on wood) and hope my luck holds.
Candace
(take the litter out before replying by e-mail)
See my cats:

"One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human." (Loren Eisely)
I also have a spraying cat. The animal behaviorist I consulted with did not recommend using buspar with my cat because my cat was too confident..recommended using prozac instead which has helped. Just goes to show you that there always isn't a "one-size-fits-all" fix. You have to determine what is causing the cat to spray.
Good luck, Mary. I hope Patches continues his non-spraying behavior.

Sue
Very interesting Mary. Thanks for posting that. Keep us posted on Patches progress.
Karen
How long is he supposed to be on the buspar and does it make him act differently, lethargic or dopey?

As per the research Buspar is 55% effective in eliminating spraying. It does not make them dopey while the other medications do. They supposedly will feel happier. A friend of mine tried Buspar with her cats and she said it just made them happier sprayers and didn't help. Patchy seems okay so far. I'm giving him tons of love. He's following me around like a dog, even to the bathroom in the middle of the night. He's my tuxedo escort.
Actually I think a good animal psychic might work. I remember my mom telling me that my aunt used one for one of her show dogs to find out why the animal was so upset. It seemed that the dog did not like one of the judges. I am sure they are also helpful with cats as well but I have never had to take my two felines to one.

Panther TEK: Staying On Top Of All Your Computer Needs! www.members.cox.net/catprotector/panthertek
Cat Galaxy: All Cats, All The Time!
www.catgalaxymedia.com
Do you know of any Cat Psychic 800 number I could call? Anyway, when my cat was spraying and the vet recommended a behaviorist, I just laughed. I became the behaviorist. I associated my cat's spraying with him feeling some pain and the absence of treats. He's not spraying anymore.
Ray
It is not a joke. There are animal psychics out there. Look in the phone book.

Panther TEK: Staying On Top Of All Your Computer Needs! www.members.cox.net/catprotector/panthertek
Cat Galaxy: All Cats, All The Time!
www.catgalaxymedia.com
was He likes hate could upset by comfortable help doctor ... finger. close to so he and spraying. needs sharp mousetraps

http://www.petalia.com.au/templates/StoryTemplate Process.cfm?Story No=305
http://www.ivis.org/advances/Behavior Houpt/seksel/chapter frm.asp?LA=1
circa Sun, 7 Dec 2003 11:45:23 -0700, in rec.pets.cats.health+behav, Cat Protector (Email Removed) said,
It is not a joke. There are animal psychics out there. Look in the phone book.

You can find animal psychics where you live, but not a shelter that takes FIV or FeLV positive cats? Give me a break.
Laura

I am Dyslexia of Borg,
Your ass will be laminated.
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