African servals, exotic cats as pets

Exotic Feline Behavior
Coping with Spraying and Litterbox Problems
Home | First Stop for Future Owners | Why Exotic Pets Should NOT be Banned | Species Profiles | Behavior and Training | Care | Veterinary Care | Vet Directory | Housing & Enrichment | Adoptions | Resources | Discussion Forum | Photos | Other Topics....


Failure to use the litter box consistantly is a common problem with exotic cats, and you have to come up with creative solutions.



If you have any suggestions to add, please email them to me at jetflair@gmail.com







Google
Web
www.AfricanServal.com
www.ExoticCatz.com




Grateful for the information? Click here to see how to support this site at no cost to you!

As my serval Sirocco reached about three years of age, it became obvious that his litterbox habits had declined to critical levels. At times he used his litterbox, and he often went to the bathroom in his outdoor enclosure. However, when I was gone he would regularly pee on my bed and in corners on my carpet. He also started occasionally spraying the wall while standing in his litterbox. I ended up having to completely remove the carpet and pad in my bedroom. I simply couldn't keep washing my bedding every day or let more damage to the flooring take place.

I did try most of the tactics in my article on solving litterbox problems without much success.

After much thought, I came up with a solution that is working very well. Sirocco has an outdoor enclosure which is connected to my bedroom through a dog door, but banishing him to life in the outdoor enclosure was unthinkable to me. He loves his outdoor enclosure, but some of his joys in life are snoozing indoors on top of a cozy bed and sleeping on my bed at night.

So I built an indoor enclosure within my bedroom that allows him to come in through the dog door to a cozy but indestructable den when I'm not around. The indoor area contains his litterbox and a platform with a soft bed on it. I built the enclosure with cleanability in mind; the basic structure is green coated welded wire with a 2x4 frame, but I covered the floor and the walls (up to about 3' high) with the paneling used in showers. It is impermeable and easy to disinfect and deodorize. It also makes a great feeding area because if he drags meat off his plate I can easily disinfect it.

When I home I still let him out to cuddle and explore, and he still sleeps on my bed at night. An arrangement like this is definately something to consider if you are at the end of your rope when it comes to your exotic cat's bathroom behavior.

Failure to use the litter box consistantly is a common problem with exotic cats, and we as owners are forced to come up with creative solutions to cope with it. Here are some other suggestions posted on an exotic feline message group. If you have any suggestions to add, please email them to me at jetflair@gmail.com


"After a year of research I finally pee proofed my house for my Serval Jimmy Dean. If anyone is in the process please email me at ifish4stock@btc-bci.com for more details. But, briefly we ended up using formica countertop sheets on our walls. They are 30" tall which is perfect for Jimmy who likes to pee on walls. We got the sheets at Menards, a Michigan/Ill./Indiana area store like home depot. The in stock sheets are less expensive than custom order and they have lots of nice options. Our floor is a vinyl called Earthscapes from Carpet One stores. We have a woodgrain that is gorgeous and in our big room a rock look. We then used a new kind of trim that is made from Foam and is water proof. It comes in white and alot of beautiful wood grain look colors from pine to oak etc..... It looks better than real trim. We then took clear silicone seal for the top and bottom of the baseboard trim. We then put matching chairrail along the top. You really have to put it together on the wall to see how well it looks."
CaroleSue


"I am in the process of building my house and am already planning on most floor areas being ceramic tile. I will have carpet in the bedroom only, and was planning on some carpet strips attached to a couple of places on the walls for scratching. The entryway floor will have Congoleum. My riser wall (I'm building a dome) is 30" high - perfect!"
Marsha


"Another thing I found useful for spraying, was also found at Home Depot & Lowes. You can buy clear plastic carpet runners by the foot. They are in the carpet section. The salesperson justs cuts off the amount you need from the roll. It is only around 35 cents a foot. I attached this partway up my wall with masking tape & let the other half lay on the floor. It is easy to wipe up puddles & disinfect for smell. It can also be removed in seconds if you have company coming over. No more carpet smells or urine in the carpet. Hope this helps !!"
Susan


Our 2 year old female Bobcat has started to spray and yes, she is spayed. I have many litter boxes in the house and I have tried Feliway. I feel that Feliway has made things worse when I use it (the diffuser). We do have many stray/feral cats that hang around our house, and since this is breeding season, she seemed to have started this spraying since many of the strays/ferals went into heat. She also hates the fact that I do feed some of these cats as well. I have gone out to feed them, only to notice our female Bobcat watching me. As soon as I come inside, she lets me know by spraying the wall. She even sprayed me once, before I went outside, as if to say hey, he is mine ;o) If we are gone for to long too, she will spray when we get home as if to say, how dare you leave me home alone.

Our male bobcat has just turned 1 year old and so far, he is very good with the litter box. However, he has the habit of starting out squatting while he urinates and then slowly raises his rear into the air while urinating. Even though I have some very large boxes, he still hit the wall. So, I put up panels on 3 sides of the box. These panels are about 1-2 feet high and go down into the litter box. So, he can spray these all he wants, the urine just runs down inside the box. In fact, I only have these panels on 2 of the 6 boxes I have and he seems to urinate only in the boxes with the panels.

I am still trying to think of what to do about our female's spraying however. The spraying has not been too bad, it has mainly been on the wall and not on the carpet...**knocks on wood**. I may try the Feliway spray on the areas she marks to see if this helps. I also have cardboard boxes in the house that Amber, our female, loves to spray. I figure well, she can spray these all she wants. I just toss them and get new ones when they get overly soiled. If anyone else has ideas about Bobcat spraying, please let me know. When I come up with other ideas, I will share them as well.
John


I found that llama bedding made of cardboard in their litter pan works for all my cats when there in the house, they love the smell of cardboard for some reason that makes them go look to use it only, not anywhere else. I tryed feliway spray and they only got worse on spraying. It worked for serval, jungles, and cougars. all my cats are intacted males and females.
Rusty





 

Home | First Stop for Future Owners | Why Exotic Pets Should NOT be Banned | Species Profiles | Behavior and Training | Care | Veterinary Care | Vet Directory | Housing & Enrichment | Adoptions | Resources | Discussion Forum | Photos | Other Topics....
© Jessi Clark-White, 2005
Dealing with spraying and litterbox problems in exotic cats