Kitten Accidents... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Kitten Accidents...

Hi,

Sorry, this is SUPER long, but I want people to know all the details before giving advice...please read through before suggesting anything, as I do have a lot of ideas already listed below I'm not a first time cat owner either, by the way. I've owned countless cats throughout my life, but this is the first kitten that I've had this much of a problem with.

I got my youngest kitten when he was 7 weeks old, he will be 4 months at the beginning of March. For the record we also have a 9 month old neutered male cat (who is his older brother) and a dog (who all get along great). He's a fantastic kitten in every way...but where he pees. When we got him, because he was extra young, I don't think he had learned much from his mother in this regard, so I spent at least 2 weeks taking him to the litter box many times a day and keeping track of what he was doing. I figured after 2 weeks he pretty much had it down (he was going there on his own) so I stopped bringing him there and everything seemed peachy.

Shortly after we noticed he started peeing on the dogs bed. The dog is good friends with the cats, they all play, drink and eat together, snuggle, etc.. the dog thinks she's a big cat. He was only peeing on the dogs bed in the bedroom, so we threw it out (it was just a blanket) and that seemed to have stopped that. He has had a few other accidents (one time by the food dish, one time on the couch, one time in the laundry) but I chocked that up to house breaking, took him to the spot, let him sniff it, then brought him to his litter box and made him dig around. I always clean the areas thoroughly using vinagre afterwards to mask any residual scent. Perhaps investing in an enzymatic cleanser would be better?

The dog got a new bed for Christmas, and the first day we had it we caught him peeing on it (it seemed like an emergency pee, he would have still been under 8 weeks at the time). I stopped him mid pee and brought him to the litter box (where he finished his pee). Even though I corrected this the very first time, he has decided the dogs bed is a good place to pee. Then, the other day, we went to get into bed and he took a pee right in the middle of our bed . We cleaned it, cleaned the duvet, sheets, etc.. and flipped the mattress, but now this means business! The cats don't have free range of the bedroom anyhow, but now they're outright banned (for the time being!).

Here is my game plan at this point, any additional suggestions are much appreciated!

1. I have cleaned the dog bed thoroughly, as well as the rug underneith it. If he pee's on it again I will...

2. Move the dog bed to the bedroom where they are not allowed. If he finds somewhere else to pee I will...

3. Add a 2nd litter box (he is very picky about his litter being clean, I clean it once a day but maybe that's not good enough for him). The only problem about this is that we live in a 2 bedroom apartment so I don't really have a good place to put a 2nd litter box that the dog can't get to (although she's never actually tried to raid a litter box). If he still isn't peeing in the litter box I will...

4. Try a different litter in the 2nd litter box. If we are still having problems I will...

5. Get the dogs old crate out and crate him when we're asleep or not at home.

Final notes:

It's not health related, for anyone who was going to suggest that, just bad habbits.

I know he is the one doing this, our other cat is a hardcore litter user (if there is not a litter box available he will hold and hold and hold) and has never gone anywhere but the litter box.

He ALWAYS poops in the litter box.

For the record, we never catch him in the act anymore. He only does this when we're not around or not looking.

He has peed in the litter box before, so he WILL pee where poops, but perhaps he doesn't like to?


How's that sound? Any other ideas? Thanks!!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 09:48 AM
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Re: Kitten Accidents...

Ok...a lot to address here...

First, you say this is not a health issue....but unless you've had him checked for a UTI by the vet, you don't know that it isn't. His issues early on may have been due to training issues, but now he's developed a UTI and that's why you're seeing escalation. And it is possible for a young kitten to have a UTI, Kobi had one at exactly the same age. I was trying all the things you are talking about doing, not believing it could be a UTI and finally took him to the vet and that's what it was. So don't be so fast to rule it out, get the vet check done.

You do need to use an enzymatic cleaner. The only way to get rid of the urine smell is to break down the urine into it's chemical components. Vinegar or other cleaners won't do that. It may mask the scent to out noses, but a cat can still smell the urine. And if they've gone there before, they consider it a good place to go again. Showing him the spot and letting him sniff it then taking him to the litter box is not a message to not go there, quite the opposite. When you clean with the enzymatic cleaner, you need to pour it on in a quantity large enough to soak down past where the urine soaked to, you can't just clean the surface. Let it dry thoroughly and you may need to do a second application.

You have one box for two cats? The recommended number would be 3. So adding at least one more box would be a good idea. Where is the one box in relation to where he's been peeing? If it's far away, you may still be dealing with training issues. I know that it took Holly till she was over 4 months to realize that she had to go upstairs for the litterbox. A kitten that age is like a toddler, they get to playing and when the realize they have to go it's an emergency.

I would try Cat/Kitten Attract litter, it contains an herbal mix that entices the cat to the litter.

Also, don't rule out that it could be your other cat. UTIs can be brought on by stress. Addind a new kitten to the home is one of the most stressful things that can happen to the existing cat, even if they are getting along.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Kitten Accidents...

Thanks for the reply!

Neither of them have UTI's, they were at the vet's last week. I'm a vet tech, so don't worry, it's not a health problem. Sorry I didn't state that they had infact been to the vet.

I've always had one (quite) large litter for all my cats and never had a problem personally. I unfortunately don't have room for a three, only because the dog will get into the litter, which restricts where I am able to put one. I am going to find a place for a second though.

I will take a look out for Cat/Kitten Attract litter at the pet shop next time I'm there!

George (my older kitten) wasn't even a little stressed when we brought his brother home. He's a very dog-like cat, he loves meeting new people and new animals (dogs and cats alike) and has been extensively socialized both in and out of the house, he even goes out for cat walks on his cat leash! I mean, it's always a possibility, but I really don't think it's the case.

Quote:
You do need to use an enzymatic cleaner.
I'm willing to give it a shot. I've had much luck in the past with vinagre, but it may just not be tough enough for this little guy! I will also get some of that next time I'm at the pet store.

Quote:
Showing him the spot and letting him sniff it then taking him to the litter box is not a message to not go there, quite the opposite.
How so? It's the same technique I would use to train a dog (showing them the spot, then taking them outside and encouraging pee), why does this not work with cats? I'm not yelling at him or hitting him or anything, just letting him think about pee, then putting him in the spot where he is SUPPOSED to pee and encouraging him to do so. What would be a better way of correcting this, since I never catch him actually peeing?

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 01:11 PM
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Re: Kitten Accidents...

Quote:
Showing him the spot and letting him sniff it then taking him to the litter box is not a message to not go there, quite the opposite.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeMichael
How so? It's the same technique I would use to train a dog...
Your cat is not a dog, that is why it is ineffective. With a cat, show them where you want them to go, not where you don't want them to go. Sort of the out-of-sight, out-of-mind principle.

I have an idea for how you could get a third litterbox available to the kitties. How big is your dog? ...and how athletic/determined to get in the cat's litterbox? Many people buy Rubbermaid or Sterlite containers with lids and cut a hole in the top for the cats to get in/out but keeps litter in ...and dogs out! Maybe you could try that?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Kitten Accidents...

Quote:
I have an idea for how you could get a third litterbox available to the kitties. How big is your dog? ...and how athletic/determined to get in the cat's litterbox? Many people buy Rubbermaid or Sterlite containers with lids and cut a hole in the top for the cats to get in/out but keeps litter in ...and dogs out! Maybe you could try that?
Good idea, I was thinking about something along those lines, and I think that's what I'm going to have to do. The dog is large (a small large, but still) and so far I haven't ever seen her all that determined to get to the litter box...if she tried hard enough she COULD get to their current box, but she never has. It IS quite out of the way though, so we'll see once there is one right in her living room.

Thanks for the ideas again guys!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 06:57 PM
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Re: Kitten Accidents...

The Hermitage No Kill shelter started a piddle program for their cats which were released to them because of this issue. Take a look at the website about what they did to resolve this. http://www.hermitagecatshelter.org/piddle_program.html

We had a foster kitten who started peeing on the foster familys bed. We had him tested and found out he had coccidia. Treated him and it resolved the issue. You just never know.
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