Author Topic: Pee Problems- would love advice  (Read 1605 times)

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Pee Problems- would love advice
« on: February 07, 2009, 01:42:21 AM »
Okay, so I have three cats... Isabelle is my oldest, but she is only a year and a half old.  I love her to DEATH and she is the cutest thing EVER and she is the most well behaved out of all three (She listens when I tell her no or to get down off of something, even! And comes when I call!)

Except for one thing.  She pees.  When she was a tiny furball still litter training, she didn't get it at first.  She had this weird ~thing~ about going in corners.  She just liked corners for some reason.  So we penned her in the kitchen and put the litter pan in the only accessible corner and gently reprimanded her for going in any other corner... this worked and she was perfectly fine!  No litterbox issues ever again... until she was about a year old, and we moved.

She took alot of stress... we got a second cat.  Then we took in fosters and the eight kittens hung around for at least three months before we got them all except the one we kept adopted out.  Changing the litter, changing her food, changing her water bowl... rearranging the furniture and switching one of our roommates 6 months into her life... she could handle all that.  But for some reason, moving was just too much. 

Once we got into our new apartment, she started peeing again.  In corners.  Not every corner... Only carpeted corners.  I thought that she would see that it wasn't so bad and it was home once we unpacked and settled in and settle down... but the problem got worse.  At first, it was just a little bit.  Then it was a lotta bit.  Then every now and then I would find a piddle puddle somewhere not carpeted, like in a corner of our kitchen or under the dining room table, or by the front door.  I realized I had a very serious problem when one day I thought I was watching carefully, I caught her pee by the wall in our bedroom (which has wall-to-wall, not a runner or area that I can pull up and rinse or wash... I started shutting them out of the computer room and our bedroom almost as soon as we moved in because of this, which I hate to do... once they stop being so kittenish, I want them to be able to sleep with us at night :< )... then I caught each of our boys going on the same spot I guess as a dominance thing... or maybe they just think they can get away with it, I'm not sure.

Anyways, it's been months now, we moved into our new place in July.  Thankfully, it hasn't gotten worse than the peeing on the carpet... no pee on the furniture or anything like that.  It's not like she never uses the litterbox... she just doesn't always.  There's also and mystery pooper that sometimes poops right in front of the litterbox on the carpet scrap I put down to keep them from tracking the litter, I suspect that's her too but I haven't been able to catch her in the act. 

I am like 99.99999999999999999999999% sure all this is stress-related... and I have tried positive encouragment instead of negative reprimanding, extra attention and reassurance from both I and my husband, we've intervened when the boys start to pick on her, given her treats, added vitamins to her kibble, changed their kibble to a more expensive healthier kibble (actually I keep changing it, she and my little moospotted one get all meh and want a new flavor after one or two bags of one thing, so I switch between a few... I don't allow her to eat wet food because I have tried like two dozen kinds of wet food and her stomach can't handle them, even if she eats only and bit she urps it up later... on my carpet), I bought a second litterbox thinking that maybe one wasn't enough, started cleaning both more often... I don't know what else to do. 

I have seen these plug-in de-stressor things for cats but they're REALLY expensive and not exactly something I can return if I use it and it doesn't work, and frankly, I'm very skeptical...  also a similar room spray.  Has anybody ever used these?  Do they work?  How long would I have to use them?  Does anybody know?

What about the treats or supplement tabs that claim to help with stress?  Any experience with those?

Is there anything else I can do?  Could there be something actually wrong with her medically?  What could a vet do about it?  Are there anxiety meds for kitties (or is that the same as the supplement tabs I already mentioned)?

Also, what do you recommend for cleaning?  Once it gets a little warmer, I am dragging my area carpets out and to my mom's so I can use her garden hose and her patio... is there pet urine cleaner that will get out the smell completely so they can't even smell it that is safe for carpet that I can maybe buy in bulk or refill sized bottles for a job that size?  Also, I need one made for hardwood floors. 

Thanks so much for any advice or experiences or links or anything you can share with me...

Offline Lise

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 11:35:56 AM »
First I would take her to the vet just to completely rule out a cause for this such as a urinary tract infection.

Once that is ruled out, your vet will be able to talk to you about behavioural therapy.  Which could include an anti-anxiety drug such as Clomicalm.... cats tend to be sensitive to these drugs though and sometimes have sedative effects on them.

Have you tried adding a couple more litter boxes in different places??
|| Lise ||

The Boy: Simon  The Girls: Arizona | Karma | Pepper | Penelope 

& Always Remembered: Molly, Nora, Tevy, Lucy, Guinness, Seagram, Pixie, Cleopatra, Skye, Bella, Juno, Sasha, Gibson

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2009, 01:32:02 PM »
Sort of- and let me explain that vague answer.  Our apartment is set up so that when you walk in, you walk into our living room and dining room and kitchen which are all one big room which aren't really separated by anything (except there is an island counter extended from a wall dividing the living room and kitchen). From this one giant room leads a hallway back and it connects to our large master bedroom (which we keep shut off because I don't have a good way to wash that carpet like I said), and along the way there is a laundry room, the main bathroom, and the computer room (which is the other room we keep shut off).

We used to have one litter pan in the laundry room, then in a different corner of the same room were their food and water.  We had a second pan from fostering, and when it got to the point (about two months after we moved) where piddles appeared in the corners of my kitchen I thought "well, they won't pee where their food is... will they?". 

And so I had the bright idea to move their food and water into the kitchen, and put the second litter pan where the food and water had been. 

Everywhere else that she likes to pee isn't even like remotely practical for a litterbox... like behind the front door, in the corners of the hallway in front of my door (her absolute favorite), occaisionally in the corner of my dining room under a chair. 

Should I try any of the calming things from the pet store before I take her to the vet?  Is Clomicalm expensive?  I don't know if I want to give her something that going to just make her sleep all day or something... but when I read the ingredients of some of the calmy-treat things in the pet store it sounded like they would make her drunk and that didn't sound any better!

As an aside, I've also tried bringing in catnip, and she wasn't too into it... so no catnip therapy lol

I guess if I have to take her to the vet I might go ahead and consider getting pet insurance for her... does anybody have any recommendations for that?  I also have rats so if I could find a company willing to insure them too...

Offline nakedrats

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 05:46:11 PM »

I use Nature's Miracle to clean pee spots.  It's supposed to be an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of the scent completely.  I like it a lot.  It's a white bottle with red lettering.  It does come in bulk too.  This may be important in retraining the cat so that she can't smell out her old spots.

I've also known people to use diapers on a cat.  One uses a reusable diaper with a maxi pad in for absorbance.  She would take the diaper off and place the cat in a litterpan and then rediaper the cat when it was finished.  This way, the cat gradually got out of the habit using other pee spots because it didn't work.  This also helped the other cats in the house not pee outside the litter box because the original culprit had stopped.  I can get you more information if you like.

Offline ZooKeeper83

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 02:00:25 PM »
My three year old cat, Stinky, was feral until I took her in at around 8 months old.  She was horrible with going in the litter box at all times.  Like yours, it's not that she wouldn't use it, she just didn't use it consistently.  The thing that saved me was Cat Attract cat litter.  You can buy it in some pet supply stores for around $20 for a large bag (not quite sure of exact size at the moment).  I was skeptical when I bought my first bag, but ever since I've made sure I'm never without a bag in this house.

When we moved last April she did fairly well, but after a few weeks she started peeing on certain carpets and in certain corners again on the unfinished concrete floor of our basement.  :confused:  We ended up throwing away a small bathroom carpet from our second bathroom near the kitchen and now keep the door closed at all times.  In the basement, I have the litter boxes in a dark safe spot in Stinky's favorite back corner where she was peeing with plastic under all the boxes in case someone misses.  I also ended up putting down 4 large litter boxes for 2 cats rather than the 3 I was previously using.  The litter boxes are all in the same place, but my cats seem to like having the options.  :P  Those small changes seemed to really help.  No accidents from her for months.  My next step, if the small movements and changes hadn't worked, was going to be the Feliway diffusers. 

After this happened, I ended up learning about a product called AntiIckyPoo from other members on here.  It can be fairly expensive (if you order it from their site it's $50/gal, but you can get 4 gallons for $100 on Amazon), but it's yet another product I'm never without now.  I've mainly needed it for my somewhat incontinent dog, but it's the only thing I've found that truly gets the urine smell out of the carpet (above various types of nature's miracle and vinegar - my previous pee cleaning products).

Good luck!
Owned by: Dopey the basset; Lacey the border mix, Stinky, Lila and Happy the kittehs; Diesel the ball python; Rosie the dumeril's boa; Chili the children's python; Angus the bearded; Petri the leopard gecko; Addy the crested gecko

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 02:30:57 PM »
I have fallen in love with the Arm & Hammer Super-scoop... but I will try to go find some cat attract litter.

Two questions though... I stocked up on lots of A&H a week ago when my work had a sale on the 28-lb box... so I have like 3 boxes right now.  Do you know what they put in Cat Attract that makes it work, and if I could maybe buy it as an additive to put in my current litter?

Also, I have enclosed litter pans right now to reduce mess... I assume Cat Attract works by smell, do I need to take the tops off of the pans when I get it to make it work properly?

Offline ZooKeeper83

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 02:48:36 PM »
The company that makes Cat Attract also makes an additive.  Here are their products: http://www.preciouscat.com/our-products-c-1.html

I read online while I was researching the litter that some people mix the Cat Attract with their current litter (since the normal litter is cheaper, they had a bunch around, etc) and found it was still working.

I'm not sure if enclosed litter pans would affect it, since I don't use them.  I don't see it being an issue, though.
Owned by: Dopey the basset; Lacey the border mix, Stinky, Lila and Happy the kittehs; Diesel the ball python; Rosie the dumeril's boa; Chili the children's python; Angus the bearded; Petri the leopard gecko; Addy the crested gecko

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 08:18:29 PM »
I had problems with my grumpy old man when we first got him 8yrs ago. He would pee in the laundry. The problem is that even though hes neutered his pee contains a super amount of musk so its super difficult to get the smell out of it.

We ended up getting an electric crap box,  a littermaid, that one lasted 7yr, weve had the second for a couple years.

Anyway, his problem was he didnt want to pee in a used box. That was  difficult feat to pull off while at work so the electric crap box took over.

We now have 4 cats and one littermaid isnt enough. Were either getting another or the litter genie litterbox that washes the litter.

I would also recommend the attract litter additive. Have you always used the arm and hammer? 

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2009, 10:27:43 PM »
I have *always* used A&H of some type, either multi-cat or super scoop... at one point when they were very young and I was superbly broke because we were foster the two litters we tried tidy cats and fresh step but switched back immediately because they both sucked royally IMO

Offline Dreamsing

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Re: Pee Problems- would love advice
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2009, 08:44:36 PM »
I've had great luck with the Feliway diffusers.  When we moved to a new apartment our neutered male (Chip) was horrible about marking.  We used the diffusers for a couple months and now he's comfortable enough here that he doesn't need them anymore.  They started working in about three hours  :o.  Of course, they don't work for all cats and are quite expensive, so I would recommend it as a last resort.  They do seem to make all cats happier though.  My babydoll Hugo is always mellow and lovey, but he was even more so with the diffusers.