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Question
I have two cats, one I've had since a small kitten, the alpha male, and is 11
years old now. My other cat, the omega female was over a year when we
adopted her as a walk-in stray nearly 7 years ago. Both are spayed and
neutered, the male is declawed and the female is timid, friendly and has
never had any clawing problems living as an excellent inside outside, hunting
cat without litter issues. About a year ago, we got a puppy after the passing
of our old dog, this new mini-daschund finds sport in chasing the timid
female, and she runs while my much larger male cat has established
dominance through hierarchy aggression, and "cat vs. dog wars" are not an
issue. Approximately six months ago, we adopted a shih tzu puppy,and now,
however less aggressive and domineering, this pup has unfortunately adopted
the same characteristic cat chasing. They block her from entering and exiting
the house, my room and the basement(her safe place as the dogs will not go
down stairs) The litter boxes and food, water are all in the basement but
recently (within the last month) she has begun urinating in my room. at first
it was random, but now in a single spot. She's done it three times this week
and a problem needs to be solved or she will become an outside cat only. I
suspect chiefly that it is out of anxiety, she is doing this, or perhaps the dogs
won't give her a chance to dash to the basement (which shouldn't be too
frightening for her, the doors are literally a foot a part.) Dirty litter has never
been an issue for her not using them, this problem has never occurred
before. What do you suggest we do? It's impossible to give up the puppies(as
much as I'd like to, they're simply not mine to give)

Answer
Hi
this is a unfortunate situation. To be honest it simply sounds like your female cat is too timid and is not happy living in a home with young energetic puppies. The urination is a classic sign of a cat feeling unsettled in their own  home. the urination is her way of making the house smell more like her and this calms her down.

The only thing i can suggest is that you give her some time to settle down and also get use to using the litter tray again. This is done by confining your cat to a room for a few days, where no other animals can get in and she can become confident again in a small space. it also reintroduces her to using the litter tray.

During her time in the room , make sure she has all her things around her, her bed, toys litter tray, water etc. Also you must some time with her in her room, playing, stroking, just being with her.

After the a few days start to let her out for short periods, making the time as calm as possible. Make sure she has somewhere she can bolt to if the dogs gets to boisterous for her.

I hope this works out, if not you may have to consider allowing your cat to spend more time outside rather than in, provide somewhere warm for her to sleep outside if need be. It may just be that she will be happier if she is not confined with the dogs for long periods.

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best wishes kate

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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

Publications
I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Education/Credentials
Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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