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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Out of Ideas...Out of Hope

I'm writing in despiration. We rescued a kitty last summer, knowing he had a history of not using the litter box, so we started him off in a small room, giving him more space as he did well. Unfortunately that has not stayed true. He's peeing in several places in our home, and as soon as we clean one and block his access, he finds another. Below are the things we've done.

  • New boxes
  • yes I've read the sticky on urine problems, didn't see anything "new" that we haven't done
  • More boxes
  • Using Natures Miracle Urine Destroyer (& blacklight)
  • FULL vet workup (all negative)
  • put him on amitriptyline (for about 10 days now)
  • Gone back to locking him in small room -- which stresses him out and only works while he's in there - this is NOT a practical solution as it would need to be indefinite
  • Using Cat Attract litter
  • Changing litter brands
  • Changing litter depth
  • Using HUGE litter boxes
  • Cleaning boxes often
  • He's eating blue buffalo wilderness with water (to increase water consumption - unfortunately this only means more pee on the floor)
  • He uses the litter boxes, but at this point once a day or so he's NOT
  • he has pooped outside the box but only a few times
  • We do have another cat, but he is a kitten who has only been here a few months. The 2nd cat has not affected the frequency of inappropriate urination at all, and I'm afraid the kitten is going to learn this behavior and I will have to give them both up.

Basically we have done EVERYTHING that i can find to do. And if he wasn't my fiances' cat, he would already be out of this house. And I worked in shelters and I work in rescue, so I'm certainly not the person to ever give up on a pet that I take in, but this is completely outrageous and I refuse to clean up cat pee for the next 10-15 years.

Is there ANY hope?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 11:42 AM
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Has he been to the vet for a thorough checkup?
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 11:54 AM
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he says:
FULL vet workup (all negative)

I can see you have tried lots...perhaps he needs retrained? I am sure someone can help you here..
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 12:04 PM
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Oh, I'm sorry. I see it now.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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I had a cysto done on him--a full U/A and kidney workup. Nothing out of the ordinary.


Rowan (cattle dog)
Luka (Italian greyhound)
Siri (kitty)
Raven, Roo, & Tala (chinchillas)
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 01:32 PM
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Is he declawed?

Have you tried using something like shredded paper in the litter box?

Retraining might be useful - get a large crate, big enough for a shelf to be put up (for a blanket to be put on it), a large litter box, and a food and water dish. Put this large crate in a fairly central area where you are often so he isn't lonely. He doesn't get let out of the crate for a while (never done this before, I would assume it needs to be months?).



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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 01:40 PM
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It seems you have tried everything, and I'd be at my wits end too.
I would continue to work with your vet on getting the right combination of drugs for behavioral problems. And it may in fact be a combination, not only the one drug. Plus most anti-depressants/anti anxiety drugs take a while to become effective, like a month.
Good luck!
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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We have not tried shredded paper--i would think the smell of that would make things worse. I can't imagine that being sanitary.
He is front declawed. He came to us that way (I do not agree with it).
We tried the "retraining" thing from the very beginning with him. He started out in a small bathroom and progressed to a bedroom and eventually on to other rooms. When we realized he wad peeing elsewhere we went back to the small space. This went on for several months. He does fine with the box that way, but as soon as he gets more space (or escapes his confinement) he does ok for a while and then it starts all over. He does not do well confined now that he knows what he is missing. He yowls all day and night and tries to escape and run and hide every chance he gets. It is not at all practical, nor do I think it does any good, since he is so obviously stressed about it. Not to mention it has never 'fixed' the behavior.


Rowan (cattle dog)
Luka (Italian greyhound)
Siri (kitty)
Raven, Roo, & Tala (chinchillas)
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 02:51 PM
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Oh my....

If I were you, I would try the big crate. Do you live in an apartment or a house? 'cause according to your description, he will cry and cry if you put him there inside. But if you can survive the crying and just keep him there, he'll have no other choice but to go in the litter box.

A friend of mine had a rescued kitten inside a room, and the little one refused to go inside the litter box. He (my friend) covered all the floor with this plastic...I think you call it stretch film or stretch wrap? (sorry). I thought he was crazy, but the kitten started using the litter box because -I guess- it was too uncomfortable for him to go over a plastic surface...

Another suggestion I have is Bach flowers. I did not believe in them at all. But the vet recommended a Bach flower treatment for my cat Gatito who is extremely nervous. he has been under treatment for 2 months now and I've seen some amazing changes (he even purrs now...just for 5 minute and then he bites again, but hey, it is an improvement ) It could be coincidental, but who knows...

Good luck! Hang in there!
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 03:02 PM
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I've been going through similar things with one of my four cats for a while. I've found a few unconventional things that help the interim step. So, you know he's using the box appropriately in the small room, he needs slightly more freedom but not too much.

Our solution is that when we are home Doran was harnessed and tethered to a cat post. Within he reach he had a litter box, toys, and attention. (no water or he'd make a lake...but I would offer it to him periodically) We started him with a range of about 4 feet, he had about 2 perches and the floor to lay on, and was always fairly close to the litter box. When I brought him out of his room I'd put him in the litterbox and say "Box." Then I'd block the door and wait, usually he'd pee right away, problem solved. if he didn't I'd let him out of the box, but watch him very closely until he did pee in the box. When he did pee he'd get either a small treat or a big fuss of attention.

Once he'd gone 1 month with no mistakes we lengthened the tether to 8 feet.

After a month of no accidents with the longer tether I allowed him off the tether but VERY closely supervised and he HAD to pee in the box first. I'd watch him really closely, like follow him around the whole time he was off the tether, and if I thought he was too interested in smelling something I'd distract him with a toy and say "Leave it".

I know that 'my way' isn't the way people usually work with cats, but I've found it really effective. Doran has mostly stopped spraying and any time he has sprayed it's been on a day where I've been more slack about the litter boxes and supervision than I should.

The catch to 'my way' is that you have to start with getting the cat used to a harness, and be willing to spend some serious time changing the behavior. It's more work, but IMO it has a better likelyhood of working than going from a confining room to freedom! with no in between.
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