Inappropriate Urination - Learned?
I'm new to the forum and have an inappropriate urination issue. (Yeah, you've never heard that before, right?)
We have a 5 year old spayed female named Milla. She was a rescue of sorts. I used to work at a vet clinic, and the ex-husband of one of the girls I worked with found her on a golf course, covered in burrs, and brought her to his ex's home since she worked for a vet. She couldn't keep her because she had a dog that wasn't kitty friendly, so she brought her into the clinic. She was about 3 months old. On the day this girl was going to take her to the shelter, I had her tested for FIV and leukemia, and when she was negative for both I brought her home.
I never intended to keep her (bet you've never heard that before either). I had a friend whose mom worked in cat rescue and I thought she had a better chance at a good life through a rescue than the local shelter. But she was so cute, I brought her home on a Saturday and by the end of the weekend we knew we had to keep her.
We already had a cat. Seren was about 14 when Milla came home. Black spayed female that I would say was bipolar, if it's possible for a cat to be bipolar. My sister-in-law explained it best by calling her a "feral housecat." She preferred to be left alone, but once in a while crawled into your lap and purred, begging for affection. So you would pet her and about 30 seconds later she would hiss, bite your hand, give you a dirty look and then run off. And that was her most endearing quality.
My husband had her since she was a kitten. She was 13 years old when I entered the picture. And for all those years she would urinate on the carpet. My husband (then boyfriend) kept all the bedroom doors shut because he said she would get on the bed and pee on the sheets and pillows, etc.
Seren died last year (she was eighteen). In the years we have had Milla it seems that she learned from Seren that it's okay to pee on the floor.
Milla doesn't spray, she just squats on the floor to pee where ever she sees fit. It never mattered how many litter boxes there were or what kind of litter you used. Or where you put the boxes. It seems to me that because she was a stray I have no idea if she had seen a litter box before we brought her home. So where other kittens would learn from their mamas, she had Seren, who went where ever she wanted. Now Milla does the same. We still can't have the bedroom doors open, and she has peed on the carpet in the living room, dining room and the upstairs hall area outside the bedroom doors.
We have been through the health check with the vet. I did this many, many times when Seren was still with us. Urinalysis and bloodwork done multiple times on both cats. I will never know if there was some other underlying issue with Seren (I suspect there was) but Milla's seems to be like she learned it from the other cat, so to her that's just the way it is. When we ran out of ideas with Seren (she did this more frequently than Milla ever has) she was even on kitty valium because the thought was that maybe she was stressed. All the drugs ever did was make her so out of it that she even gave up on finding a spot to go, she just did it where ever she was.
I am going to get some Cat Attract litter, as I only recently heard of this. Two new litter boxes, one in the current location and another in a place yet to be decided. I need to do the black light thing and get the best cleaner I can to try to get what is still in the carpet up out of the carpet. (Advice on a best brand would be great - I was thinking the Nature's Miracle urine destroyer for cats.)
I am also going to switch her diet from the standard dry food to a high quality wet or raw diet. (We have a puppy that is eating a commercially made raw diet so I've recently done a lot of research on that.) I don't know that what she eats has anything to do with this, but while we're making the change we may as well go all the way and try to do anything and everything we can think of to try to remedy this problem.
Would love to get any advice and suggestions. My husband is close to being done with her, which I find kind of ironic when he put up with it for 18 years with the other cat. Seren was a psycho cat and Milla is a sweetheart in every other way, she just doesn't seem to get that she's not supposed to pee on the floor. I feel pretty strongly that had she gone straight into a home without a cat that peed on the floor, she never wouldn't be doing it now. But she did and it's in the carpet and I don't know the best way now to try to make it stop. I feel like we're all kind of victims of Seren's actions.