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Old 07-17-2007, 09:56 PM
688 posts, read 2,771,601 times
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I'm hoping someone has some great recommendations for a cat who pees around the house. About five years ago, we adopted a kitten as a playmate for our Maine Coon. After we had her a few months, we noticed she had peed on the floor. Thinking it was an anomaly, we put a little enzyme cleaner on it and went on.

Well, as time has gone by, she has continued to pee more and more frequently around the house. When we sold our last home, we had to invest in over $2000 in flooring repairs and replacement, not to mention several upholstered pieces that were thrown in the trash because they could not be saved.

Since moving into our new home, we have kept her mostly limited to the basement, where she has already christened about 2/3 of the space. I don't think that this is a good life for her, being stuck in a basement with limited contact with us. But we are at our wits' end because we can't afford to have our new home destroyed, and having a young infant crawling on the floor makes it not ok to have urine soaking in the carpets.

The problem isn't that she doesn't use her litterbox. She loves her litterboxes and uses them regularly with no hesitation. The trouble is that she will also pee anywhere else around the house - on blankets, in laundry baskets, in the bathtub, on plastic or paper bags, in the corner next to the couch, or anywhere that smells like our dog. And, our new home had no previous history of pets in it, so I know that she isn't simply peeing to "mark" over an old spot.

Things we've tried (unsuccessfully)
- offering several litter boxes with a variety of litters - right now we keep four litter boxes for two cats - two open and two with hoods, and we use two varieties of litter. We keep them cleaned and scooped. She will happily use any of the boxes.
- taking her to the vet - she has been given a clean bill of health by two different vets - no UTI's or other issues.
- keeping her closed in with a litter box and letting her out only for supervised visits - she has peed right in front us at any random moment despite using spray bottles, loud noises, etc as discipline.
- using herbal "calming" sprays - they had no effect
- using Feliway - the trouble is we would have to spray it all over our home, which is neither practical nor affordable.

Before recent months, she has had the run of the house and plenty of attention/cuddles/laps to sleep in, so it isn't boredom or lack of attention.

Help! My husband is ready to take her to the shelter and I don't know what to do. I am a firm believer that "adoption is for life" but I don't feel like we have many options right now. Since we've moved to the country, I have even considered converting her to an outdoor cat, which I've never been a fan of. But my thought is that being outside, even if she doesn't live as long, is better than being cooped up in our basement. And letting her pee throughout our living spaces is not an option right now. I've even thought about trying to fit her with a diaper like those sold for dogs. I know that if we take her to a shelter, she will most likely be euthanized - obviously not a good option for a healthy and loving cat that we've adopted "for life".

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Old 07-17-2007, 11:42 PM
Location: Camano Island, WA
1,913 posts, read 8,236,169 times
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Wow. You have tried a lot to remedy this. I will say cats totally do not like change or a disrupted routine.
Quick story...when I would visit my friends...they lived quite a distance away...I always brought my cat with me...and she did the same thing as you describe.
It took her a long while to get acclimated to the new surroundings, even if it was only for a couple days. She would do it every time. I stopped bringing her and hired a pet-sitter.

I'm a bit puzzled by your vet. They didn't try to help in any other way with suggestions of what could be going on?

I can't see the benefit of keeping her in the basement away from everyone? She could be responding to that, too.
Pets respond to stress just like we do.

Hopefully you can find an answer...and soon!
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:40 AM
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,657 posts, read 15,771,582 times
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Considering the options you've already tried and have been unsuccessful with have you always tried switching her food? I know it might be a reach, but can't hurt at this point can it?

You didn't mention it, so I'm wondering if she's spayed?
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:15 AM
13,773 posts, read 33,893,512 times
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I have a cat I got from the SPCA 8 years ago when she was a year old. Everything was fine until there was change in her life. When we went on vacation and my son stayed at our house to watch the animals, she pee'd on his clothes while he was getting ready for work, his bed and my bed. Every time there is something new added to the household she will pee on my bed or my clothes. My vet said it was her way of letting me know she was not happy with me. When I take her to the vet she will pee in the crate. I brought home a new dog, yep, pee'd in the bed. Since this is not an all the time problem my vet said it was just her way of telling me she wasn't happy with me when things changed in the house and I have to agree since she doesn't do this all the time.

Check this..
If the problem persists, try to consult an animal behaviorist. Spraying can be a difficult problem to solve. It's better to call in an expert quickly rather than let the problem get worse. Your vet can usually refer you to a local cat behaviorist. In some cases a behaviorist or a vet will recommend a course of medications to calm the cat down and reduce its stress level.
Now I have to ask since this is an ongoing issue and you can't pin point any one thing that is causing it, did your vet check her urine for crystals or infection? My vet checked Riki Tiki just to verify there was no underlying medical problem. Maybe check a holistic vet and see if they can offer you some help.

Let us know how it works out

Last edited by Keeper; 07-18-2007 at 07:24 AM.. Reason: added
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:34 AM
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 19,946,269 times
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It sounds to me like she is marking her territories. Is she fixed? I hope you find a solution
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:50 AM
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We had a fixed cat that did this. He had FUS or feline urological syndrome. Could your cat have or have had this in the past? It came from crystals in their urethra from cheap cat food. google it.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:35 AM
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,230,603 times
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One of my cats had the same problem.

Diapers are just cruel imo. But spaying your cat will stop the non-sensical peeing on things.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:50 AM
688 posts, read 2,771,601 times
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Thanks for the replies so far! She is spayed - we had it done when she was a young kitten, before the peeing incidents began.

I will look into some of the medical things again, and maybe make another vet appointment. I would love to find a holistic vet but don't think that there is one nearby.

We have her on a premium food. Previously she was on Wellness Holistic and we had to switch because our other cat was getting UTI's. So now both are on Premium Edge, which has been great for the other cat. We haven't seen a difference in the behavior of the urinating, though.

I do tend to think that it is a behavioral issue - she did it a lot when we were living in temporary housing before we closed on our new home. I know that keeping her in the basement is not going to help matters, but as soon as we let her upstairs she jaunts over to a couch pillow and squats to pee.

Keep posting if you have any ideas!
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:43 AM
434 posts, read 1,588,447 times
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Did I understand you to say that the cat marks where your dog has been? It is all other animals or just the dog?
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:56 AM
Location: Munich + FL, 32082
481 posts, read 2,041,450 times
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Obviously, cats do pee when something's wrong with their life, and we should "listen" carefully what they have to say. But you have already tried everything I would try myself if I was in a similar situation.

Keeping her in the basement, away from the family, will not help - she will pee even more because she doesn't like to be alone. And I would support her on that because it's not an acceptable way for a cat to live.

I would make her an indoor-outdoor cat. If it is safe in your area (no major roads, no unleashed cat-chasing dogs), your cat will be much happier outside. It is never boring for them, and she may even "forget" the problems that cause her to pee in the house now. Make sure you have a weather-proof place for her, like a small dog house with a blanket, so she has a shelter when needed. If your area is not really safe and you are afraid that she's being hit by a car, you can think of having a part of your lot (with access to the house) fenced in so that the cat is safe outside. I have friends who have fenced in their 3+ acres for their 15 cats. It's cats haven.

I wish you all good luck for the project.

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