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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #5
I had a cysto done on him--a full U/A and kidney workup. Nothing out of the ordinary.
 

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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?).

Goodluck.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

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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! :patback
 

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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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Sometimes declawing can cause pain and therefore an aversion to the litter box. Have you considereing putting him on a trial of lowdose pain meds (prescribed by vet) to see if this helps? The idea behind the shredded paper (or somesuch) is that it is soft on his feet (the declawed portions) - so the soft paper in a box he knows is for potty would entice him to use it more often. You would clearly have to clean this 2-3 times a day, but better that then your carpets right? :) Has the vet looked into doing a "clean up" job on his front toes? Maybe the vet who preformed the procedure left some nerve endings or something he could fix?

That certainly is too bad about the crate. :(
 

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Diana, good on you for trying so many things. Id be with you though. There'd be no shame in surrendering your cat at this stage, as you've exhausted all avenues. Despite what some say on this particular forum, toileting behavioural problems are not 'fixable'. If it was a dog, then yes, re-training is a good option, with cats- No! Seriously, you cannot get rid of this particular problem. So many people have told me this (as has experience) including staff who work at shelters in my area. This is the reason that our Audrey is on her final chance with us :-( One more pee and she's gone. Such a hard decision, but your dead right, one cant live what that problem (or SMELL) forever! Good luck. All the best to you.
Rather presumptuous of you don't you think? You've only just joined Cat Forum and you can make a judgment like that? Though I've been fortunate enough not to have had any cats having the issues that OP's cat is having, there are others here who have had success in getting their cat to stop peeing inappropriately.

OP, have you tried cleaning the places that your cat pees with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle? If a cat can still smell the pee, even though you may not, he/she will continue to pee in that spot. Nature's Miracle (or other cleaners like it) will break down enzymes in cat urine so that it is completely cleaned up.

Also, have you tried a cat pheromone diffuser like Feliway? Maybe your cat is stressed and the Feliway may help calm him/her down.
 

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It CAN be fixed. It requires a lot of determination and perseverance, but there's no such thing as "this behavior cannot be fixed". It is an uninformed generalization.
I'm sure you have some other tricks to try before giving up. Good luck and ánimo! I'm sure more people in this forum can help you with great ideas.
 

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Question:

When you let the cat have the run of the house, and use mutiple litter boxes, are the additional boxes in areas where he spends time (or not very far away)?

I guess I'm wondering if litter box placement could be part of the explanation...?

I'm no expert, but have dealt with a few pee problems with our kitten.
 

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Actually, a lot of people have "fixed" their cats with our advice, so I don't know what experience that is coming off of.

The difference with the crate is that he is with you in the main room, not locked away where you can't see him. If he is in there for a few weeks, not days, his behavior will be retrained totally.
 

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Omg dont give the kitty an ultimatum, I know its hard. I'm with you I have trained some cats at the shelter. It's annoying to clean up after them and the smell can make you sick. But it's so worth it once they get retrained. It's completely possible, it will just take a lot of patience, I agree with previous posters about the declawing, some kitties just hate the texture of the litter and need something softer. we use newspaper on top of our kitty littler when we are trying to retrain. and giving treats when he does use the littler does wonders. Good luck dont give up :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OP, have you tried cleaning the places that your cat pees with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle? If a cat can still smell the pee, even though you may not, he/she will continue to pee in that spot. Nature's Miracle (or other cleaners like it) will break down enzymes in cat urine so that it is completely cleaned up.

Unfortunately after my last few posts we found out he'd been peeing in a lot more places than we originally thought :( One place in particular is located mere FEET from his main litter box. It's also the place where he used to nap most often, so I'm really confused why he would start using it as a toilet. I SOAKED this spot with NM (Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer) - I'd say I used about 1/2 gallon on a spot about the size of a dinner plate. I resprayed at least 4 times over several weeks. And it still smells. I can smell it, so I KNOW he can smell it. We added yet another litter box in the adjacent room, to no avail. The place he uses most frequently is carpeted and in a hallway, and it's not possible to put a box there. Well...possible, but it's not happening. Having a litter box nearby has never kept him from using the floor, whether it was 5 inches or 15 feet from a clean box.

I wanted to give his meds time to "work"....and even after increasing his dose he is still peeing on the floor if we let him out of his room. Right now he is living in one room of the house. Unfortunately he doesn't get much if any attention or exercise and I don't feel like it's any quality of life, but he's just not giving us any options. As long as he is confined in there he uses the box 100% of the time.

Also, have you tried a cat pheromone diffuser like Feliway? Maybe your cat is stressed and the Feliway may help calm him/her down.
I have tried a similar product, it's in spray form, but I've never seen any improvement while using it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Question:

When you let the cat have the run of the house, and use mutiple litter boxes, are the additional boxes in areas where he spends time (or not very far away)?

I guess I'm wondering if litter box placement could be part of the explanation...?

I'm no expert, but have dealt with a few pee problems with our kitten.
Yes - our house is 3 levels but most of our time is spent on the main floor, which is only about 1200 sq ft. There are two boxes in that space, he is gated off from the upstairs and downstairs, so I don't think that's his problem (I wish it was!)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So...does anyone want a really sweet and beautiful, but high-maintenance kitty? I'm kidding of course...but maybe not. It's getting stressful to always worry if he escapes his room, or always wondering if we need to blacklight the whole house because someone let the cat out for 15 minutes. Not to mention any other animal that comes in the house might (and has) tried to mark OVER where he's peed. :(

 

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Unfortunately, I have no advice. You have obviously tried everything, and it doesn't seem to be working. Though maybe you could try Feliway diffuser, instead of the spray...it might work, as it is continuous, not just for a little while after you spritz some on somewhere. There's also a collar (I'm trying that next).

I'm having about the same problem with Nebbie. She will pee in the box, but not poop...I have 4 litter boxes in one room, but it doesn't matter to her. I guess it's not so bad, as solids I can just pick up and put in the trash. But lately she's had diarrhea, and it sticks in the carpet!
Paizly also has some peeing issues, but that's because of a deformed pelvis and problems with the nerves to the bladder.
I have resorted to just saving up money and I'm going to have all my carpet removed and put in solid floors (hardwood, vinyl, tile, whatever is cheapest). My friend's house is all solid floors, and SOOOO much easier to clean up! Any messes of pee, diarrhea, vomit...just spritz with some cleaner and wipe up with a paper towel - done! No scrubbing carpets and soaking with chemicals and vacuuming, etc.
I can't wait until I have solid floors!
 
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