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Old 01-28-2008, 12:43 AM   #1
boyforpele13
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kitty pee - help
no, not a typo, although i wish i was here asking about kitty pi. ;-)

my darling kitty has started "making water" outside of her litter box. (I wish it smelled like water, what kind of euphemism is that anyway?) This started when I was away a lot. I pet-sit on the side, and can't take her with me. It is always locally, so I visit with her frequently, of course to make sure she has enough food and water, but also just to visit with her because I miss her. It started during a particularly busy time for me when I was away a lot, and I have been told by many that it is not terribly unusual for a cat to "act out" like that. I am taking her to the vet to rule out a UTI or kidney problem just to be on the safe side, but I really don't think that's the case as she is showing no other symptoms, does indeed go in the litter box at times, and I know cats often select cold hard places like tile or bathtubs to go in when they have a UTI and she is going in my laundry basket and bags of yarn. (Yes, bags of yarn, and I think that further supports the "acting out" theory since they do know how to get you, don't they?)

I have not been away in a month and it has not stopped. I am spending extra time with her and giving her even more love and attention than usual, as that is what has been suggested. I also changed her litter to one of the nice soft wheat formulas and am scooping obsessively to try to make it more attractive to her, but none of this seems to be helping.

Assuming this is behavioral, which I really do think it is, does anyone have any suggestions for me as to how to stop this? I love my kitty dearly and I would never get rid of her or put her down over something like this, but after some time, it is definitely going to cause some animosity between us. Since I don't have a washer and dryer at home and make trips to the laundry, I can do my best to keep piles of clothes away from her, but I know she will just find more spots (like yarn, although I am also trying to keep that under wraps, of course) Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated. I will ask the vet too, of course, but I know there's lots of kitty lovers out there.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:48 AM   #2
saracidaltendencies
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I sure wish I had an answer! One (or maybe more) of my 5 cats has a horrible habit of peeing on my bed. Thing is, all the cats also use the litter box. I was at a loss as to what to do...I would like to keep the bedroom door closed, but, the cats also have a habit of hiding under the bed (which is a mess) so I don't want to close the door with a cat in there.

Eventually I started putting my recently worn clothes (not clean clothes) on the bed, like pajamas...things that smell like me. Whenever I have my clothes on the bed they don't pee on it, which has led me to believe it's a territorial thing. I know that, with some cats, spraying them with a water bottle when they do something bad helps, but, in my case, I have no idea which cat is doing it (because whichever one it is is smart enough to know not to do it when I'm not around...lol) so I can't attempt to correct their behavior.

Maybe if you put something that smells like you wherever the cat is peeing, it may help. Or, spray some of your cologne in the area the cat is going. If it's a territorial thing, that may be enough to break the habit.

Wish I had more advice!
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:50 AM   #3
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oh i feel your pain. My cat elena did this to me when I bought home my second cat lola. She would open the dryer and pee on the clean clothes. yes you read that right. she could open the dryer and pee on the clean clothes.

my solution was having her see me lock lola up and let her hear lola cry for an hour. while a pet her outside the door. that was the only thing that worked. but since you only have one cat and she obviously is missing you and it seems like you are doing what i'm would do i really am at a loss. besides locking everything up. I know they sell these sprays but i think they would effect the yarn. maybe if you spray the container you hold the yarn and the laundry basket itself?

good luck!
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:47 AM   #4
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Alot of the time, the problem is, once a cat has started spraying an area, even if the thing that started it is corrected, they will continue. It's particularly an issue for male cats....territorial and all that.

I remember we had a cat that jumped on my bed, looked me in the eye and piddled right in front of me. I think it was the first time I'd ever seen a cat fly. We bought a cleaner for the mattress that promised to prevent future incidents, and the cat never once peed on anything other than her box again. (Which is what led me to believe that my ex-husband was lying when he said it was the cat that peed on my new husband's sweat shirt....I've had babies, I know what human pee smells like....but that's a different story).

Anyways, there are also sprays....chemical and non chemical varieties that will (or are supposed to) deter the animal from gallavanting in the area. I personally tried the "Bitter Apple" variety to keep the cat away from the couch, but realized as she was licking it up that it wasn't exactly working for her.

Bottom line...check with the vet, rule out a physical condition, and then maybe find a Dr. Phil for kitties.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:54 AM   #5
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I once had a cat that started peeing in the laundry basket, as well as her litter. We solved that by getting a hamper and making sure the lid was securely on it. You might try this to solve the laundry basket problem. You could also keep your yarn bags in a closet or somewhere else out of reach. I know it's a pain, but at least she couldn't use them for a bathroom. And your right,,, There is a chance she'll just find other places, but at least your yarn and clothes will be safe. I'm glad your taking her to the vet. It's always a good idea to rule out a health problem, first. Good luck. I'm glad your handling the situation with love and patience.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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oh those cats. I had a sick one that couldn't make it, but that was a different story. Try spraying the area with vinegar to neutralize the area and maybe try a different location for the box? I just moved my one cat's box, we had 2 cats until recently... :( But she HATES the new scoopable litter I just got her. She'll use it, but cries all night like a teen cat in heat!
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:01 AM   #7
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Yeah- she definitely sounds POed at you! My cat was doing number 1 and 2 on my couch when I first got her. I had no idea why. I had taken her to the vet and had all the appropriate tests done, but nothing was wrong. So I went out and bought two things- an enzyme cleaner and a spray to keep her away from the couch. I cleaned the spot MANY times according to directions and used the spray to keep her off the couch. This one didn't have a taste, just a smell that she didn't like. I also put towels and then newspaper on the couch when I wasn't there or when I was sleeping. She usually didn't want to walk on the paper, but if she did it helped absorb the mess. One issue is that they can smell where the went before and continue going there. Eventually it sort of just tapered off and she hasn't done it in months.
I guess I would recommend making sure you have any clothes and yarn put away or hidden. If she pees in the laundry basket when it's empty, it's not as bad as when it's full! Hope that she stops this soon, it's such a pain!
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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Please let us know what the vet says. It's been my experience that when my cats don't use the litter box, it's because of an illness. We've had this to happen with urinary infections, kidney stones, and diabetes. I hope your sweet baby is ok, and the issue can be addressed and resolved! I know it's frustrating, but before you chalk it up to behavior, let the vet check her out
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:51 PM   #9
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My cat used to do that after he had been in a fight with another cat, he's very insecure since an older cat got in through the cat flap when he was a kitten and beat him up and ate all his food. Now he wont go outside, is scared of other cats and is obese as he eats all his food in one go in case someone else steals it and he's not getting enough exercise.
We removed the cat flap about three years ago and he stopped peeing in the house - the weight problem got worse but he's on diet cat food now.
Really it was an insecurity issue for him
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:38 PM   #10
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thank you all SO much! it is really just WONDERFUL to know I'm not the only one who has had this problem!

I will definitely be taking her to the vet, although I was trying to stall it because I believe she is due for her rabies vaccination and I am anti-vaccine, but that is another post altogether. I do have some medical experience, though, and have been keeping a very close eye on her and examining her abdomen and other behaviors, and I really don't believe it is a physical problem, but it would be unfair to her to assume it's her cattitude, aside from being potentially dangerous to her health, not to take her into the vet as a precaution so I will definitely be doing that. Frankly, it isn't really frequent enough for me to believe it's a medical issue. I think it if it was a urinary issue, it would be a daily and consistent problem, but it's pretty sporadic and I hate to say this part, but I was convinced that it was behavioral so it's been going on long enough that if it was a health issue, I would have really known it by now, I think. I am having to re-establish with someone locally and I have my heart set on this vet in particular and she's a bit booked up, but I am getting her in definitely. She's my baby girl, peeing everywhere or not, so I would much rather be safe than sorry even if I am convinced it's behavior.

The Feliway and other sprays sound like great ideas! I do have enzyme cleansers I use and will continue to do that, as well. I have been way careful with the yarn since the first occurrence. thank goodness it was a bag of yarn that I had intended to donate to charity anyway, otherwise I would have immediately put her in diapers. ;-)

Thanks again, everyone!!!!
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