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Old 10-14-2009, 07:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Two year old male cat, neutered, peeing various places

Hi there, I have been doing a bunch of reading on this topic lately, as I have 2 newly adopted cats (male 2YO, female 2YO, both fixed), and the male has been peeing outside of the litterbox periodically.

I am a cat owner of 30-some years, and in all this time, I have never had 'indescriminate urination' problems. So this is new territory for me, and i'm surprised that it is so common. I was under the impression from my own experience that it was not common at all. I've had lone cats, and two at a time, have never worried myself with the rule of 1 box for each cat, plus one.

So we bought the two home from the rescue society, and I had one domed litterbox from my previous duo (haven't had cats in a couple of yrs due to moving, etc.) ready for them to use. I did have enough litter leftover from before, to fill it up for them. They had their couple of days getting used to each other, and there were no litterbox problems. After a week, I needed more litter, so went to Costco and bought a giant box (of course this brand was different from what I initially used the week before). The day after this litter change, there was 1-2 peeing incidents from the male, per day. I was baffled until a woman in our pet store told me about her cat who wouldn't pee in the box once when she changed the litter. Our boy peed on a blanket on the leather couch, on the hardwood floor, again on the blanket on the couch. I did some reading, found that some cats don't like the "dome", and some won't use the same box as another cat. So I did the following:

1. got the plainest clumping, non-scented, cat litter i could find
2. got a second litterbox, tray (not dome) style

I didn't think it would be the dome, or the 1 box per cat thing, because all was well for a week until I changed the litter.

Anyway, all peeing stopped when I emptied, washed and refilled the boxes with the new unscented litter. two weeks later, I get this brainwave to try the flushable cat litter to try minimizing our garbage (and the stink for the collectors). Since they seemed to be using the tray litterbox more, I decided to empty the dome one to try the new litter in. I put the empty dome on its side so it wouldn't be attempted to be used while empty of litter, and went upstairs to get the flushable stuff. I should make note that the male was aware ff this movement with the dome as he was in the room when i did it. Shortly after (and before I replaced the litter in it), I found two pee spots on my son's bed, and one on the blanket on the leather couch. I rubbed his nose in the pee marks and popped him in his litter tray, then figured "well he's upset that i tipped the litterbox, I might as well try the new litter now, which he will probably hate anyway." So I filled it up with the flushable stuff, he went in and out of it 6 times, scratching, sniffing etc. Then left without doing anything. A while later, I caught him in "crouch position" on a different recliner chair with blanket on top, ready to pee, so I yelled NO, grabbed him, and confined him to the litter room (which is our laundry room). While confined, I went in, removed all the flushable litter, and refilled it with the plain clumping unscented stuff, and he has been fine since.

I am still concerned though, if he is so sensitive, will he get upset if we go away for a week (which we do twice a year, a neighbour comes in to clean the litter), and leave pee everywhere for me to find all dried up and awful? Or is he just finicky about his litter and litterbox? I noticed today that he has peed in the tray, and pooped in the dome, so he uses both, but perhaps one for each type of potty activity? I will obviously keep both litterboxes from this point, and will never change brands again. But lord help us if it is ever discontinued!!!

I used Nature's Miracle to clean up the leather, and am planning to get some Feliway. This is the nicest most sweet gentle cat, but there is no way my hubbby will let us keep him if this randomly keeps happening. Hopefully the litter solution does the trick. Any thoughts on this whole thing?
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Two year old male cat, neutered, peeing various places

Quote:
Originally Posted by donnar
I rubbed his nose in the pee marks
This is ineffective, especially when it's after the fact. The cat has already peed there and moved on, only to be brought over and have his human put his nose in a pee-soaked spot. The cat won't put two + two together.
The first thing that always crosses my mind with a cat urinating outside of the litter box would be to get the cat examined to rule out urinary tract issues.

Hopefully others will chime in and give you more advice.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Two year old male cat, neutered, peeing various places

have a vet appt booked for tomorrow, thanks for your reply.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Two year old male cat, neutered, peeing various places

Some cats are extremely finicky about their litter arrangements It does sound like he may be one. I would stick with the litter he uses. Some cats also like to poop in one box and pee in another. Go figure. So. although I've never had to have more than one either, I think you made a good choice to get another. And keep the boxes spotless! If it happens again, you may want to try Cat Attract litter.
But, as mentioned above, the number one cause of peeing outside the box is a urinary tract infection so a vet trip is certainly the first thing to do. They should run a urine test to make sure.
Also, make sure you really soak things with the Nature's Miracle. Don't use it sparingly!
Lastly, I agree that rubbing his nose in it is ineffective. they simply don't make the connection. Just confining him to his litter box is a better plan.
Since you say they are newly adopted, stress may be playing a part as well.
Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Two year old male cat, neutered, peeing various places

thanks Victoria. i will report back with vet findings. but i have a feeling it is litterbox/litter related since he only pees outside the box when i have made changes there. i will certainly not be messing with it again, except maybe to try the cat attract litter. has anyone ever just added a few scoops to the ordinary litter as an attractant rather than filling the box with it? it seems pricey. the litter he seems to like the best is $9 for a 18kg box at Walmart, and cat attract is $13.50 for 9kg (so 3-4 times the price of what we use now). but of course if it solves a peeing problem, its worth the cost. we adopted him 5wks ago, and he wasted no time calling our house home, i have never seen a cat settle in so quickly, he sure doesn't seem stressed about the new surroundings or his new buddy, but you never know. stress over me messing with his litter, for sure seems possible. the vet we are seeing already knows this cat, as he is the designated vet that works with the rescue where we adopted him from. so that will be good.

i didn't realize about using the nature's miracle generously, i will definitely do that!
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Two year old male cat, neutered, peeing various places

Well our kitty checked out a-ok. the vet confirmed my suspicions that kitty could be SUPER sensitive about his litter situation, and i had made that minor change to the litterbox configuration early on in the week, which is when he started peeing inappropriately. once I put everything back "as was", all was well. I did want to rule out anything health related, so I'm glad I did. I just find it strange that he's so sensitive about this issue? i doubt he had perfectly desirable litter conditions at the rescue and his foster home? was the litter brand the exact kind, unscented and not too fine, every time? Were there a certain number of boxes so he always had a 'choice'? In any event, he's picky about it now, so there is no way i will tamper with it ever again. And in the event we go away for a week the cats are going to the vet's boarding house. Better than coming home to a multitude of pee stains. He was such a good boy at the vet's, not stressed at all, which makes me so curious as to his apparent stress over even the slightest litter or litterbox variations. Oh well! What a quirky cat. In all my 40yrs of living with cats, I have never experienced this. But of course we still love him and hope to be able to permanently solve this stress problem!
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