excessive drinking/peeing - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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excessive drinking/peeing

Hi everyone, I'm new here.
I adopted a stray cat 3 weeks ago, from the abandoned apt above my office. (its a long story) Anyhow, she's been spayed, she's had her shots, she's doing great.
But she drinks constantly and pees A LOT.
She's not diabetic, her kidneys are fine, her bloodwork looks great--so I assume this is behavioral.
The problem is that she pees so much liquid that it literally (haha) soaks the litterbox. And once all the litter is wet, she pees in my bed. Luckily her pee is so dilute that it cleans up pretty easy and doesn't even smell (but I use enzymatic cleaner just in case).
If I give her less water to drink, she goes ballistic.

advice please!!! I can't go on--she goes through 30 lbs of litter a week!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 01:00 PM
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Peeing a huge quantity is not behavioral.

Peeing where you shouldn't may or may not be behavioral. However, the manufacture of urine is physical, not behavioral. If she is drinking an abnormal amount of water, which its very difficult to know, there is a reason. If she isn't, then you must find out why it's not being used by her body.

I say, back to the vet, or another vet....something isn't right if your assessment of way too much pee is accurate. Additional tests may be called for.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 01:18 PM
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I'd like to second NewRagdoll's post. It's time to get a second opinion. Try a vet outside of your current vet's office.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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New Ragdoll--I'm sorry if it wasn't clear in my post, but this cat has had extensive workups and there is nothing medically wrong with her. I am well aware that "the manufacture of urine is physical," thanks--it's a physical reaction to her drinking too much water, just like you or me after a bit too much soda at the movie theater. What I was thinking was that perhaps there is a behavioral reason to explain her excessive drinking. I have had several cats in the past and I have never seen a cat so thirsty. My assessment of excessive drinking and urination have been confirmed by two vets at this point. The only problem I have with her excessive drinking is that she is slowly peeing her way through my bank account as I have spent inordinate amounts of money on vets, litter and laundry. I am reluctant to take her to yet another vet to get the same results as the first two.

So, if anyone knows a behavioral reason my cat might be drinking too much, could they post suggestions? thanks.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 03:46 PM
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I think you've got us stumped. I've never heard of a behavioral reason for excessive drinking. I don't doubt your analysis. I'm just not sure you've come to the right conclusion, and in spite of the vet's reports, they may still be wrong. Just as with people, some obscure medical conditions require seeking out someone who knows the cause. I just think maybe at this point you need to consult a specialist. Consult with a behavior specialist to find out if, as you believe, there's a behavioral reason for this.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 04:14 PM
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A professional behaviorist might be just the way to go. Try Jackson Galaxy at littlebigcat.com. Good luck!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 04:50 PM
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What kind of water is she getting....city, spring, well.....what kind of dish.....is there anything that could be especially attractive. Certainly if it is behavioral, a behaviorist makes sense. However, I still believe there is something physical (either with the cat's condition or with the water or dish itself) that is causing this. And, while I am glad to hear and respect that you have had her checked by two vets, there are still very unusual circumstances that the average vet isn't familiar with. I hate to be stubborn, but let me ask you this.....think of humans.....you know many humans who over or under eat because of psychological issues. However, have you ever known a human who drank too much water because of one? I just think the answer is missed to this point, but believe there is an explanation. From a behavior standpoint, I have never known a cat to drink too much water....many have been known to drink too little. Hopefully, someone will show up who has seen this before.

I would also experiment with her food. Maybe there is something in it that is driving her to drink. For instance, Fancy Feast is quite salty.....I can imagine a cat that didn't like the salty residual taste and kept drinking to get rid of it. I would look at all possible variables that might be changed or tried.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 10:11 PM
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I think until you find out what the cause of it is you have a few options.

First, more than one litterbox (or changing her current box more often. Do you blame her for not wanting to pee in a urine soaked box? She'll stop peeing on your things if she gets a nice clean box more often. As for going through a ton of litter, you could just buy a cheaper kind until you figure it out (think Walmart, Special Kitty).


"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2005, 10:17 PM
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some help from someone else who has been through this...

When we got Scully he came from a home where he was fed human food (quite like a stray) when we started feeding him dry with our other cats he drank a lot of water because he wasn't used to the dryness of the food (at least this is the only thing a vet could come up with after estensive tests).

He won't eat wet food still, but will eat Chicken Soup dry and still drinks quite a lot of water but is calming down (this is 10 months later). He no longer soaks the litter box though so is drinking more normally.

I would advise getting a few more litter boxes so you aren't changing them every hour or anything, and use a cheaper litter if it is in the box for that little time.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I am at my wits end...I change the litter daily, which prevents her peeing on my bed, but she will only use Fresh Step clay litter. I've tried different kinds of litter but when she doesn't like the litter she tells me by peeing on my bed. I even tried the ultra expensive Fresh Step crystals, in the hopes that it would at least save me time by lasting longer, but she was not down with the crystals (I'm not sure why). I can't use clumping litter because she pees so much in volume, it just results in half the litterbox becoming one big clump. I am going to buy another litterbox today.
She eats mostly wet food, she's not a big fan of dry food (except Meow Mix which is what we fed her when she first showed up in my office). She eats mostly Wellness, Max Cat and Science Diet wet food. She seems to like every type of wet food I put in front of her. Are these salty? In the morning I feed her a smaller amount of wet food and put dry food (eukanuba) in another bowl in case she gets hungry while I am at work. I estimate that she eats about 3 tablespoons worth of the dry food.
One of my co-workers said that her dog used to drink a lot of water when he was stressed out. Penelope doesn't seem stressed out--she's very affectionate, and very playful. The only time she acts stressed is when her water bowl is empty, at which point she cries. She also will get really hyper if she's thirsty late at night, then calms down when I give her water.
Other than the cost of the litter, the other major inconvenience is that i have to rush home from work every day in order to make sure that her litter is clean and ready for her. No more stopping at the grocery store on the way home or doing any sort of errand that will get me home past 5:30 PM. I take the subway every day, and delays are common, so I am getting a little stressed out myself! Maybe I'll try drinking some water
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