Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, my Lucy has been peeing where she shouldn't for almost a year now, and it is getting worse and worse.

I adopted her in April 2011, when she was exactly a year old. She had always lived with other cats, and I had fostered her for 3 months before I adopted her with no pee issues. In August or September of last year, she started peeing on all sorts of things. We took her to the vet, and she had a UTI. This was treated and her urine has been checked multiple times since, always comes back clear of any problems.

At that point, we'd find something once in a while that had been peed on--the dustpan, rugs, piles of laundry. Since then the problem has increased dramatically; everyday our washer is filled with load after load of clothes, pillows, blankets/bedspreads, etc etc. She will pee on just about anything--furniture, our beds, the top of the dining room table...anything. She will also pee on things standing up--like boys do when they spray, which I thought was really weird.

I have tried everything I can think of. I clean the litter more often, I use bleach to try and remove the scent, I even bought the expensive 'Cat Attract' litter. The thing is, she uses the litter too. Often when I clean the litter, she comes in and pees in it as I'm cleaning it. And sometimes, if I catch her about to go on something else, I can tell her 'come with me' and we'll go to the litter box, and she'll get in and go there instead.

I should mention I have 6 other cats. At about the same time Lucy had the UTI, one of my other cats, Maxie, started bullying her and trying to take possession of my room, where Lucy likes to sleep. I thought this may be at least part of the cause of the peeing, so I have been closing off the upstairs at night and only letting Lucy in (this leaves her my room and 2 other rooms to sleep in as she chooses). I haven't seen any decrease in peeing from doing this, though. :fust

I am out of ideas and have no idea what to do. If anyone has any suggestions for things I could try, I would really appreciate it. The vet's only other suggestions were putting her on Prozac (!) or using the Comfort Zone plug-ins--but she said they only really work in small, enclosed spaces.

Sorry for the novel!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,474 Posts
Does she pee in your presence,[ or only when you can't see or supervise her? It's good that she goes with you to the litter box and she should be praised for that. Since this is so longstanding, I think you really have to retrain her to the box. I would keep her confined to a large size dog crate at night and during all times that you can't supervise her. Have her litter pan in the crate, a cat bed, water and feed her all her meals there. At least this will cut down on the amount of laundry you are doing.
Hopefully she will realize she gets more and more freedom if she uses the litter box consistently. Depending on her response this may take a few weeks or longer, but I think is your last hope. It could be that she still feels bullied by Maxie, but the crate will come to be regarded as her safe haven. I think it's worth a try and I know this method has worked for many cats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
I think you have to use an enzyme cleaner (Natures Miracle for Cats is one brand) to remove all of the urine scent. I think she can still smell where she has gone in the past. While bleach makes it so we can't smell the urine cats still can.

I also think you need to confine her until she starts using the litter box all of the time. I have had a lot of luck using the Feliway plugins. I think they are the same as Comfort Zone. I have one in every room my cats go into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses!

@catloverami--She does do it in front of me as well as when I'm not around. Anytime I see her pee in the litterbox I make sure to shower her with praises--she looks at me like I'm half crazy, I get so excited! :p

@sunset97--I didn't know that about the bleach! I'll have to get something else (I think I have seen the Nature's Miracle at Petsmart) and try cleaning/shampooing things with that. I hadn't thought of putting the plug-ins in every room--I can't afford to do that right now, but when I find a job (I am a student right now, but I finish in August) I will give that a try.

As far as confining her...I really have almost no extra money right now to buy a crate, but what if I confined her in a room by herself? Could that work? I have a small 'bedroom' upstairs (too small to use as a bedroom, though) that used to be used as an office and now has almost nothing in it--a desk, a tv/stand, and a fireplace. Otherwise I guess I could borrow a crate from the rescue I work with, but ours are pretty small and I know she would hate it and fight me like crazy. As much as I want the peeing to stop, I am the only person this cat has bonded with and I don't want to lose her trust. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Has Lucy been fixed? I have been told that females can have the same problems as unfixed males IE: when threatened marking territory, or just hormones.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
I have had good luck re-training in the past by confining the cat to a bathroom with a litterbox for a while. One of mine is really picky too, she likes the litter to be totally clean and she likes privacy. If I walk up on her and she is about to go in the box, she'll stop, so if I see her in there I pretend like I don't. She also doesn't like other cats walking up on her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
The point about neutering is a good one. Un-neutered females are inclined to mark territory. This often gets worse according to their cycle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,474 Posts
If you can't get a crate, confine her to the small "office" room when you can't supervise her and at night. Buy some Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter. This should help to get her interested in using the litter box all the time. After a while you may only need to sprinkle a think layer on the top of your old litter. Scoop the litter box 2x/day. She may be one of those cats that want 2 boxes, one for pee the other for poo. Hope something works. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
I'm seconding both the spaying and keeping her in a bathroom (not bedroom, bathroom).

One thing no one has mentioned that has been a part of my personal nightmare in the past *fingers crossed it stays in the past*. In a multicat house when one cat starts peeing in inappropriate places the others are more likely to do it too. I'd suggest putting the known pee-er in the bathroom and the rest of them in another/other rooms when you can watch and until you get a superclean done.

To be honest you need to steam clean any carpets, upholstered couches, and deep clean every where else. Until that's done the cats shouldn't be out to prevent the peeing continuing.

Take all the cats to the vet, if one gas an infection and is peeing and you're thinking its the problem pee-er the problem will never go away.

...I know how awful this all is. We have four cats and after Muffin had a urinary infection all if them started peeing outside of the boxes. I had to have them all vet checked, clean everything, and confine them unless they were supervised. It took a ton of work, but we did get past it and this summer has been much better so far. (Doran's trigger is cat's outside, which we don't see during the winter.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for all the info!

I somehow forgot to mention Lucy is spayed--oops! Is there a chance she might still be marking territory?

Thanks for the link, hoofmaiden. I had a cat with cystitis years ago, and our vet at the time told us to feed her the DRY prescription diet! It wasn't until years later, with the increase in in-depth information on the internet, that I discovered how wrong this was. I read an article a while back about the tendency toward dehydration in cats on all-dry diets, so I now feed a combination of wet and dry food.

The bathroom does sound like the best option for confining her, since there is very little to pee on in there :p The 'Cat Attract' litter did seem to get her attention last time, but I'm out of it, so I'll have to get some more for her litter box. I never thought of her wanting 2 separate boxes...maybe I'll set up 2 and see what happens!

oh, librarychick, i hope that does not happen!! I can't imagine how I would confine all 7--we have only a couple of rooms that actually close off, and although my cats tolerate each other, they'd probably go crazy closed up together! I definitely plan to do a thorough cleaning of everything, though. I think I will get Lucy set up in the bathroom and go from there...then if I see new spots on things I've cleaned I'll know I have to resort to confining the others...what a nightmare, lol!

Thanks again everyone! I'll let you know how it goes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,474 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
oh, librarychick, i hope that does not happen!! I can't imagine how I would confine all 7--we have only a couple of rooms that actually close off, and although my cats tolerate each other, they'd probably go crazy closed up together! I definitely plan to do a thorough cleaning of everything, though. I think I will get Lucy set up in the bathroom and go from there...then if I see new spots on things I've cleaned I'll know I have to resort to confining the others...what a nightmare, lol!

Thanks again everyone! I'll let you know how it goes!
It's likely that it's already happening. I thought the same as you until I locked up who we thought was the culprit...but kept finding pee spots! It was soon obvious that they were all doing it.

If I were in your shoes I wouldn't wait. You have two kittens who are learning bad habits, a new puppy who will be impossible to housetrain with pee smells everywhere, AND your stressed out adults. If you don't get on top of this ASAP you'll have all your pets peeing in the house forever.

You should NOT lock them all up in one room. Thats not going to work at all.

CC and any adult pets she has known for longer than 1 year, and gets along with well, can go in one room.

The kittens in another.

The puppy in a third, or his/her kennel.

The kittens, puppy, and any adult animals other than CC can come out under direct supervision, so you know if they're peeing, when, and where. If you aren't watching put them away.

CC can come out when everyone else (other than the animals he can be in a room with) is put away so his free time is still low stress, and you watch him like a hawk. If he goes to spray somewhere you take him to his box immediately!

Keep in mind this isn't permament, just until you can get a super clean done, give the NM a chance to work, and get CC's stress under control.

Since you have three babies in the house who are learning bad habits from this I really can't stress how important this is. I was serious when I said you could end up with all of them just peeing wherever. Bad potty habits are formed in the first year of life, if they don't learn good habits now it will be WAY harder to teach them as they get older. The longeryou wait the more of a nightmare this will become.

Also hoofmaiden is right, all wet is the best way to go. You should do this for all the cats in the home. I'd also get a blacklight, I got mine for $20 at petsmart and it really helped...I cried the first time I saw how bad it was.

A tip for the blacklight. Wait until it's dark, then close your blinds. Put all the pets away and get a jar of pennies. Turn off the lights and crawl around with the balcklight 2-3 inches from the floor/walls/furniture. Mark every glowing spot with pennies for cleaning. Turn the lights on, and get scrubbing.

Nature's Miracle is a great product, but since it uses enzymes to work it takes time. You need to keep the spots wet for at least 12 hours, then let them dry completely. Check with the blacklight again and if it still glows repeat.

...good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
Just a warning about the light - it will pick up other bodily fluids as well - human as well as animal - so don't freak too much at what it reveals! A dog who drools, for example, will also leave traces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
Just a warning about the light - it will pick up other bodily fluids as well - human as well as animal - so don't freak too much at what it reveals! A dog who drools, for example, will also leave traces.
While that is true in a home with 3 animals under a year old, and an adult cat who is spraying...It won't be pretty. To tell the difference between urine and other fluids I looked at shape/size of the glowing blotches. Sometimes it was drool, other times it clearly wasn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
GREAT idea to use a black light, that will help immensely. Thanks, librarychick, for the tips about finding and cleaning the spots! Definitely good to keep in mind that it will register other things besides pee--thanks Arianwen! I will get one as soon as I can get to Petsmart. I think I have to get the Nature's Miracle there too, I can't find it locally (we don't have a local Petsmart).

@librarychick, I'm a bit confused...Lucy is my youngest cat, and she is 2 years old. Also I do have a dog, but he is 11 years old--so no babies in the house. My other cats generally are not stressed; but they would be stressed and confused if I began confining them. 2 are former ferals who are perfectly content to sit in a window or curl up somewhere, but they freak out when you pick them up and won't tolerate being carried. The others would fight if confined together and I only have 2 rooms (besides the bathroom) with doors--the rest is all open. I just can't justify doing that to them unless I know for sure I have to, and I am ok with taking that risk. (I know--I'm a wimp, LOL!) Our house is old and nowhere near in perfect shape. I want the peeing to stop, of course, but the most important thing to me is that my cats feel safe and secure.

Also, all 6 of my other cats (besides Lucy) and my dog all lived with a cat who, her whole life, would not pee in the litter box(long story), and we never had any issues with the others picking up the habit. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm being disrespectful--that certainly is not my intention, and I really do appreciate the input and intend to put it all in practice if necessary--I guess it's just that having lived with pee issues for so long, I've lost the sense of urgency about it. Which is weird, I know. At least now I finally know what I should be cleaning with!!

I would like to feed all wet, but some of my cats won't eat much of it. One of the former ferals will barely touch it (this cat wouldn't even eat fresh chicken--??). The dry is mainly out for them. What I'd really like to do, if I had the money, is make their food myself--but I'd have to be really confident that the recipe I used addressed all of their needs.

Something interesting I observed today...we had a thunderstorm this afternoon, and Lucy was running around and meowing. I've never noticed her acting scared/excited during thunderstorms before, but, who knows. Anyway, she jumped up onto the dining room table in the middle of all this, and went over to a plastic bag sitting on the table. Something in the way she was acting made me think she was getting ready to pee, so I started to approach her and, sure enough, she goes running for the litter box. She wouldn't go until I started cleaning it, however, and once it was clean, she peed AND pooped. So, maybe she only wants to go in a totally clean litter box? Something to keep in mind, I guess.

Thanks again, everyone, for all of your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
@librarychick, I'm a bit confused...Lucy is my youngest cat, and she is 2 years old. Also I do have a dog, but he is 11 years old--so no babies in the house.
Oops, I'm getting you confused with another poster, sorry!

GREAT idea to use a black light, that will help immensely. Thanks, librarychick, for the tips about finding and cleaning the spots! Definitely good to keep in mind that it will register other things besides pee--thanks Arianwen! I will get one as soon as I can get to Petsmart. I think I have to get the Nature's Miracle there too, I can't find it locally (we don't have a local Petsmart).

@librarychick, I'm a bit confused...Lucy is my youngest cat, and she is 2 years old. Also I do have a dog, but he is 11 years old--so no babies in the house. My other cats generally are not stressed; but they would be stressed and confused if I began confining them. 2 are former ferals who are perfectly content to sit in a window or curl up somewhere, but they freak out when you pick them up and won't tolerate being carried. The others would fight if confined together and I only have 2 rooms (besides the bathroom) with doors--the rest is all open. I just can't justify doing that to them unless I know for sure I have to, and I am ok with taking that risk. (I know--I'm a wimp, LOL!) Our house is old and nowhere near in perfect shape. I want the peeing to stop, of course, but the most important thing to me is that my cats feel safe and secure.

Also, all 6 of my other cats (besides Lucy) and my dog all lived with a cat who, her whole life, would not pee in the litter box(long story), and we never had any issues with the others picking up the habit. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm being disrespectful--that certainly is not my intention, and I really do appreciate the input and intend to put it all in practice if necessary--I guess it's just that having lived with pee issues for so long, I've lost the sense of urgency about it. Which is weird, I know. At least now I finally know what I should be cleaning with!!

I would like to feed all wet, but some of my cats won't eat much of it. One of the former ferals will barely touch it (this cat wouldn't even eat fresh chicken--??). The dry is mainly out for them. What I'd really like to do, if I had the money, is make their food myself--but I'd have to be really confident that the recipe I used addressed all of their needs.

Something interesting I observed today...we had a thunderstorm this afternoon, and Lucy was running around and meowing. I've never noticed her acting scared/excited during thunderstorms before, but, who knows. Anyway, she jumped up onto the dining room table in the middle of all this, and went over to a plastic bag sitting on the table. Something in the way she was acting made me think she was getting ready to pee, so I started to approach her and, sure enough, she goes running for the litter box. She wouldn't go until I started cleaning it, however, and once it was clean, she peed AND pooped. So, maybe she only wants to go in a totally clean litter box? Something to keep in mind, I guess.

Thanks again, everyone, for all of your help.
As far as confining them that makes a bit more sense now that I realized I had you confused with another poster. I would confine your suspected problem kitty still...but be prepared that you'll probably still find new spots after you've done that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I thought I'd give a bit of an update and see if anyone has any hints for me. (I know this is an old thread--please let me know if I should have started a new one).

It's been two months now, and this is still going on. :fust Lucy is still confined to my bedroom (an upgrade from the bathroom). She has done quite well using her litter box within the room, and also when I let her out upstairs (I block off the stairs so she has a bedroom, an office, and the bathroom to roam in). She has only had one accident while upstairs, and that was on sheets that I had taken off the bed and sat on the floor. Otherwise, I haven't found any pee outside the litterbox upstairs.

I have tried letting her come downstairs a few times, but she is all over the house (very energetic) so it is hard to watch her all of the time. A couple of times, I found something with pee on it afterward, and each time that happened I kept her confined upstairs for a while before letting her down again. Aside from that one accident, she always does fine up there. This week I tried again, and after 2 uneventful nights spending 1-2 hours downstairs, I let her down this morning and she peed on a blanket after about 5 minutes.

I'm just wondering whether I haven't kept her confined long enough, or if this is something that will just never go away. I guess it's not the end of the world for her to live upstairs, but she doesn't like it and is always trying to 'escape' down here. I can't understand why she does it downstairs but not upstairs--unless it's the other cats downstairs, which can't go upstairs since i have it blocked off. She lived with other cats before I adopted her though, so that shouldn't be a problem. I did the 'black light test' and cleaned everything she peed on, but now she is going on things she never used before. Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
I feel your pain. Not all cats can successfully be rehabilitated... or if they can, the right combination just hasn't hit. I wouldn't give up yet, but I wouldn't hold out a huge amount of hope, either. I see tons of cats at the cat sanctuary that pee or poop out of the box. Some simply do it as learned behavior from the other cats.

My own cat pees outside of the box, too. He wrecked an entire apartment that way. We're still renovating it, and still finding various locations where drywall needs to be replaced, and have had all the crown molding replaced. Luckily, all the carpeted floors had very thick underlay, so the concrete underneath looks good.

When we moved him to another house we couldn't have that again (it's my grandfather's home...) so he's shut in the ~200 square foot laundry room. For the first 6 months or so he was good, didn't spray or pee anywhere but the litter box. Eventually he probably figured it was his home, and began inappropriately marking in there. Usually against one wall we now line with newspaper, but we also have found pees occasionally in other locations. When we let him out of the room to wander any other room of the house within minutes on his own he's spraying. Because, hey, a whole room he hasn't marked up yet! *sigh* So we let him out in the backyard every few days to spray to his heart's content. It's important to note that he isn't just spraying though, it's also usual pees... I'd say 1 in 10 ends up in the litter box.

Maybe I missed it, but have to tried litter boxes with and without lids? Some cats are fussy that way. There is one thing I will suggest that we had moderate success with back at the apartment (but we eventually just gave up on the whole thing... continually finding pee in the house is a huge motivation killer) ... we had a litter box filled with a cut up old bathroom mat that he'd been peeing on. He started peeing in that litter box most of the time, so we figure he just doesn't like to pee in a litter box with regular litter, maybe something to do with the feel of carpet-like material or something. I don't know what he's are think... but it carries over to him also peeing on his bedding occasionally, as it's a soft material.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
My kitten, Bear, was living outside when I got him, and had never used a litter box. When I brought him home he used it most of the time, but if there was something soft that he could "dig" in (a wadded up towel, plush rug, etc) then he would sometimes go there as well. I also spilled his litter box into a cat bed once and then cleaned it off... but it must have still smelled to him because he started peeing in it too. He'd keep peeing on stuff until I used Nature's Miracle to clean it off... but I see you've tried that. Just remember to keep using it on anything new she pees on, or if she's like Bear, she'll keep peeing in that "new" place. For him, he'll also avoid the box if he thinks it's too dirty (aka I haven't scooped it yet that particular day), and he won't pee in the other cats' boxes. I'm wondering if maybe Lucy uses the box upstairs because it's just her pee, but goes on other stuff downstairs since the other cats have used those boxes? If that's the case then I'm not really sure how to keep a box there that the other cats don't use... but it's something to think about.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top