Suddenly NOT peeing in the Litterbox - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2009, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Suddenly NOT peeing in the Litterbox

Murphy is 3 years old. When he was 5-6 months old we had a plant in the home (I have no idea what it was but it was as tall as me and had huge leaves) and he took to peeing and pooping in the plant. I think he mistaked it as the litterbox for some odd reason. I learned from a friend I work with that she puts mouthballs into her garden to keep the deer out of it. The smell drives them away, and this proved affective with Murphy for up to two weeks. Soon the mouthballs would dissolve from watering the plant and more would have to be put in. Eventually the plant broke in two from the massive weight of it's limbs, and my mom had enough of dealing with the plant and just threw it away one day. Murphy hasn't really had a big problem since then. We had a female cat up until about 15-18 months ago that was peeing because she felt like she was protecting what was her's. She suddenly went from being a one dog one cat household to a three dog four cat household in a matter of a year due to the "one dog" she grew up with passing away, and in a year adopting two more, which she was okay with that. It was when my grandfather died and we had to take in his old golden retriever and the two elderly cats he had, plus I had adopted a kitten. That was when Miss Kitty really went insane and eventually she starting peeing in my father's bedroom, and we had to rehome her. She is happier now living with just one other cat (which is her buddy one moment and the enemy the next) and two other dogs. She still has some peeing insidence once or twice every three months, but the new owners love her and do not see this as a huge problem.

Anyways, after Miss Kitty left, Murphy found her favorite pee spot and started using it. As soon as we realized this it was cleaned as good as we could get it, and stuck my dad's guitar and case there, and have not had a problem until now. It is completely strange. About four days ago I changed the litterbox, dumped out all the litter and put some more in. We were running low on the litter (same stuff we had been using for at least six months) and the next day I went and bought some more cat litter for when I had to change the litterbox again. The change had about half the usual, which he has dealt with before in the past. Usually as soon as the box is changed he is right in it using it.

Well, about two days after I changed the box I noticed that there was no urine smell to it, but I thought maybe just by chance he was covering it up better than before. Well, tonight (night 4) I come home to my dad telling me my cat is destand to a new home just like Miss Kitty and if it continues I will have to find him a new home. Apparently he has been peeing behind my father's bedroom door, which is about four feet away from my dad's bedroom door. The litterbox and his cat food is in the upstairs hallway, and it has been there since we had to let Miss Kitty go.

Nothing has changed in his route. I am home sometimes around 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening or around 9 or 10 some days. I am a college student that commutes from home so he should be use to this. It just depends on my schedule as to when I come home or if I go out to dinner and movie with some friends to unwind from classes all day. He always has food in his dish (unless a dog comes up at decides to have a snack) but he doesn't have to wait long until my dad or my sisters stop and feed him. He's a fat cat, needless to say.

There is one problem that I can see that might cause him to not pee in the box. He does poop in it still, but not pee. The only problem I am visualizing is the fact that maybe the urine smell is staying to his box. I bought the same box I have now at Walmart when we had Miss Kitty, and when she started having the peeing issue I bought the box I have now. The old box seemed to have the inside "protective paint cover" I guess it would be called, had been "eaten" away, my guess is by the cat pee...Either that or the cat litter was scratching away the paint. Anyways, maybe the smell is staying in his box a little too much, whether I wash it or not. Tomorrow I am going to buy a new box and a different type of litter that I have used in the past for him.

I also moved the box back into my room where it use to be because maybe if it is away from my father's room he will not attempt to go into his room and pee in there (although his door is staying closed now)...I am also wondering if maybe because the dogs sometimes sneak into his food that maybe he is feeling violated this way and is resorting to marking my father's room. When I am not home he takes to my dad's room to be around him while he works on work papers.

Anyways, does anyone have any idea what is going through my cat's head right now? I am very attached (my friends think I am insane because I always refer to him as MY BEST FRIEND) but we have a special bond to each othe that no one understand but me. I've never seen a cat take to one person in a housefull of people. I have seen cats be fine with whomever in the house, but he specifically takes to me when I am at home with everyone. My dad said that he usually stays upstairs until he knows I am coming home. He knows I am coming home when I hit about two blocks from my house...Then he comes down the stairs and when I come to the front door he is meowing on the other side or is in the big bay window looking out at me meowing...This cat kept me sane through a terrible senior year of high school, through my grandparents' deaths (two died in a matter of 5 months) and I had to plan a graduation party and help my boyfriend (now fiance) move twice in a matter of months because living arrangements were not working out wherever he went...I also started working somewhere that I hated and what kept me going through work was the thought of coming home and seeing my "baby boy" and laying down to read a book with him...

Anyways, all that just to say what might be bothering him to make him pee all over the floor in my dad's room...Sorry, I get long winded.

Does anyone have any suggestions? In three years this is just the worse it has been, and this is the first in over a year, and everytime I put him into the litterbox he just cries and leeches to me as well. He will poo but not pee...I just do not get it...
Lady_Magoo is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2009, 01:55 AM
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Re: Suddenly NOT peeing in the Litterbox

I want to thank you for being so thorough in describing the changes in the household and the problem you are having with the kitty.

First, the number one reason cats pee inappropriately is a urinary tract infection (UTI), crystals in the urine and/or inflamation of the urinary tract, kidneys, bladder, et cetera. So, first would be a vet visit to get a urine sample analysis to determine if he is having a medical problem and get it treated. UTIs are painful and the cat associates the litterbox with the pain and then tries to go around the home to find softer places to pee, hoping it won't hurt to pee there.

Second, if you do not thoroughly remove the urine smell, it remains and advertises to the cat that it is a "potty area" and it is okay to go there. You need to use a blacklight (or your eyes/nose) to locate all pee'd areas and clean them thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner. I like these products: Nature's Miracle, OdoBan and Simple Solution. I like to sop up fresh urine, then I use a damp/wet white shop cloth to give the area a scrub and try to remove more of the urine. Then I soak the stained area with the enzymatic cleaner and give it another scrub with a clean, dry shop-cloth to remove as much more as I can, then I REALLY SOAK the pee's area with the enzymatic cleaner and let it air dry to give the enzymes time to break down the odor causing bacteria. You have to really soak it so the fluid reaches all the way down, through the carpet, through the pad and to the flooring underneath so it can reach all of the odor causing bacteria. You may need to clean a long-time potty-spot several times to fully remove the smell.

Finally, a cat's litter box needs to be in a quiet area so the cat can use it without being surprised or disturbed doing his business. Also, some cats have distinct preferences to litter and shape/size of litterbox container. Some refuse to use a hooded litterbox, others prefer a covered litterbox. It just takes trial/error to find what a cat likes to use.

Good luck!

Heidi n Q is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2009, 02:40 AM
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Re: Suddenly NOT peeing in the Litterbox

Heidi gave you great advice! First stop? Vet.
Just wanted to add that some cats also don't like to pee and poop in the same box so you may want to try two. And, yes, you should get a new box if it is starting to smell.
Also, check out the sticky at the top on "Things that saved my home...". It gives a great step by step on how to properly clean up urine stains.
Good luck!!

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