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Eponine & Urinating

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
OK, Bradley and I are about at our wits ends. We've had problems with Eppie urinating on the couches and bed for a while. She is prone to frequent UTIs, so it used to be that the vet prescribes the medicine, we give it to her until it's out, and then the urination clears up for a while. Plus, she is on a low-ph diet to help her urinary tract. She also has problems with anxiety, so she's also on amitriptyline (sp?). Despite all of this (and the fact that we have saturated our bed, comforters, couches, etc. with enzymatic cleaners), Eppie CONTINUES to pee on the couches and bed. When we're not on them, we cover the couches/bed with aluminum foil and cardboard covered in double-sided tape, but lately she's managed to burrow under that and still pee on the couch!
I literally think I've tried everything (including always having a full diffuser of Feliway in both the bedroom and living room) at this point. Does anyone have ANY suggestions on what else to try? I hate that my poor husband has to live his life always trying to remember to re-cover the couch with aluminum foil only to find out that Eppie peed on the couch again. And I hate this for Eppie b/c I just don't know what she's trying to tell us with all of this. What can we do???
post #2 of 16
You poor thing - bless you and Bradley for being so compassionate towards Eppie. Many, many other cats would be euthanized for less
Have you tried giving her a different type of litter box? After JC had crystals in his urine, he didn't want to use the regular box; reading that sometimes cats associate the box with pain, I offered "blanket boxes" filled with laying mash, plus "mud boxes" (that tile setters use) filled with JonnyCat clay litter. ALL my cats preferred them But it gave JC an alternative to rugs and newspapers. I kept the old, regular litterboxes in the garage and they are now being used by a former-semi-feral that I am in the process of taming.
Also, make sure that the litter is UNSCENTED. I can't stress that enough - my vet tries to get the word out that scents benefit the owners only. Perfumes are an assault on cats' noses.
You also might try new and interesting locations for the multiple boxes. When I first tried the idea of multiple boxes (2 per cat), I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of all the extra cleaning but it seems like less work since the boxes are only lightly soiled as the mess is distributed.
Poor Eppie - it sounds like she's really stressing about something - it could even be things that happened in her past that have nothing to do with you. The fact that she pees on the couch and bed seems to indicate that she feels safest with her people. Sending {{{calming and confidence prayers and vibes}}} out to your precious girl and a toast to her understanding and concerned owners
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the advice and kind words . Y'all know I would do ANYTHING for my little girls!! I'm not sure if their litter is scented or not (it's Arm & Hammer flushable), but I'll look into it. I've tried using new litter boxes in the past, but that didn't seem to have any effect on things. Each cat has her own litter box in an out-of-the-way place (guest bathroom for Cosette, laundry room for Eponine) and both of them are very respectful of the other's litterbox.
So is there anything else I can try in addition? (I'm going to look into that scented/unscented litter thing!)
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes View Post
Thank you so much for the advice and kind words . Y'all know I would do ANYTHING for my little girls!! I'm not sure if their litter is scented or not (it's Arm & Hammer flushable), but I'll look into it. I've tried using new litter boxes in the past, but that didn't seem to have any effect on things. Each cat has her own litter box in an out-of-the-way place (guest bathroom for Cosette, laundry room for Eponine) and both of them are very respectful of the other's litterbox.
So is there anything else I can try in addition? (I'm going to look into that scented/unscented litter thing!)
you might add some boxes in the general area of where she's been going. & try that cat attract litter. if you know it's not a medical problem, maybe she just needs a reminder?
also, have you used enzyme cleaners on the bed/sofa? if not, she can probably still smell the urine...
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
you might add some boxes in the general area of where she's been going. & try that cat attract litter. if you know it's not a medical problem, maybe she just needs a reminder?
also, have you used enzyme cleaners on the bed/sofa? if not, she can probably still smell the urine...
I haven't heard of Cat Attract litter. Is it developed for this specific problem? Interesting! If Bradley can handle a litter box in the TV room, maybe I can try that.
And yup, we've soaked the mattress in enzymatic cleaner and still the problem persists...
post #6 of 16
Poor Eppie.... I cannot sing enough praises for Cat Attact Litter!! When Ophelia was having "out of the box" experiences, she had crystals in her urine. Once they were gone, she didn't want to use the litterbox. I used Cat Attract only for a month, then slowly started mixing in a little bit on the normal litter. She now uses the normal litter again, but I would reccomend Cat Attract to anyone! Cat Attract wasn't sold near me, so they contacted the pet store that I use & asked him to carry it for me!

I don't remeber seeing any mention of trying Feliway....it might be a good idea to get a diffuser or two. You could also spray Feliway on the spots where Eppie like to urinate.

Have you blacklighted the spots where Eppie peed? I assumed I had gotten the stains out of the carpet here, but bought a blacklight anyways. Turns out, they were still there. So, I kept at them until they were gone.

Have you tried Zero Odor? I don't have a link to it, but was given a small bottle by a friend from the shelter. It worked to get urine stains out of their mattress. I use it on the litterboxes(without any problems with the cats not liking it) & I used it on a few tough urine stains.

I hope you can get this worked out! I know it's tough, but Eponine is one lucky kitty to have you two looking out for her!

ETA:Forgot to mention Cat Attract is marketed as litter to use for housetraining kittens & for cats who have litterbox problems. You can read more about it on their website.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Two endorsements for Cat Attract! Looks like that's my next step.
And yup, I mentioned in the original post that I have two Feliway diffusers (as well as the spray, which I neglected to mention) in the home, used to no avail. I've tried Zero Odor (very expensive, didn't work) and recently bought that Urine Gone (the kit that comes with the black light) and that doesn't seem to be working either. When I say I've tried almost everything, I mean I've tried almost everything!
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes View Post
Two endorsements for Cat Attract! Looks like that's my next step.
And yup, I mentioned in the original post that I have two Feliway diffusers (as well as the spray, which I neglected to mention) in the home, used to no avail. I've tried Zero Odor (very expensive, didn't work) and recently bought that Urine Gone (the kit that comes with the black light) and that doesn't seem to be working either. When I say I've tried almost everything, I mean I've tried almost everything!
Sorry, apparently I can't read....I see where you mentioned Feliway Diffusers now...

I guess all you can really do is try cat Attract now. I know that you just got married, could the stress of that have anything to do with this? Do she & Cosette get along? You can also try shutting her out of your bedroom & away from the bed. You can *try* to find a way to keep her away from the couch, but if your plac eis like mine, there's no way to do that. I'm just throwing out ideas hoping one of them will help or will give you an idea that will help.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Sorry, apparently I can't read....I see where you mentioned Feliway Diffusers now...

I guess all you can really do is try cat Attract now. I know that you just got married, could the stress of that have anything to do with this? Do she & Cosette get along? You can also try shutting her out of your bedroom & away from the bed. You can *try* to find a way to keep her away from the couch, but if your plac eis like mine, there's no way to do that. I'm just throwing out ideas hoping one of them will help or will give you an idea that will help.
Well, Bradley and I have lived together for almost two yearsand we've had Cosette just over a year and a half....so none of that is "new" and she and Cosy get along fine (just the occasional dominance spats) (good guesses though!). Lately we just the bedroom door when we're not home, which is a foolproof method to keeping her off the bed (she hasn't tried anything when we're IN the bed *knock on wood*). Bradley has suggested keeping her in the bathroom when we're gone but I just can't do that to my baby.
Cat Attract seems somewhat pricey...any suggestions on the cheapest place to get it??
post #10 of 16
I wonder if she has a more persistent condition like cystitis and not just repeated UTIs. Are they just checking the urine for bacteria or do they check for blood too?

If none of the wonderful ideas people have given you work, ask your vet to recommend a behavior specialist. Also, you can look for a booklet called "The Finicky Feline" It doesn't take long to read and contains a ton of helpful info.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurrPaws View Post
I wonder if she has a more persistent condition like cystitis and not just repeated UTIs. Are they just checking the urine for bacteria or do they check for blood too?

If none of the wonderful ideas people have given you work, ask your vet to recommend a behavior specialist. Also, you can look for a booklet called "The Finicky Feline" It doesn't take long to read and contains a ton of helpful info.
Thanks PurrPaws! I am going to start taking the girls to a different (and closer) vet that a coworker of mine recommends, so I may try to get her checked for cystitis. I don't think she's been tested for that in the past, but I'll go through her records at home.
Are behavior specialists in every city? I'm not sure if there are any here in Savannah but I'd love to find one of that's the case!
post #12 of 16
I know many people disagree with restricting cats to a small area, but I do think it is useful for serious problems like Epi peeing. I confined Festie to a crate for about 3 days when she had a bout of pooing all over the house. By staying in the crate, and using the litterbox, she overcame her fear or aversion to the litterbox and has done fine ever since.

We confined her to the crate unless we were able to watch her closely. Interestingly, my other cats at the time jumped into the crate with Festie, and stayed in the crate part of the time, too. Maybe if you put Epi, or both girls into the bathroom unless you can be watching her, it would help her, too. For Festie it really didn't take long. I'm sure she is a happier kitty living in a poop-free home, than if she were still making such a mess.
post #13 of 16
I just thought I'd add that there are sometimes coupons of Cat Attract in Cat Fancy magazine. Also, in every bag of Cat Attract you buy, there is a coupon for $1 off Cat Attract, Feliway spray coupon, a urine stain remover coupon, & I think there are a few others. I know that doesn't help on the price much, but every little bit helps! Were you able to find a local retailer of Cat Attract?
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes View Post
Thanks PurrPaws! I am going to start taking the girls to a different (and closer) vet that a coworker of mine recommends, so I may try to get her checked for cystitis. I don't think she's been tested for that in the past, but I'll go through her records at home.
Are behavior specialists in every city? I'm not sure if there are any here in Savannah but I'd love to find one of that's the case!
I'm not sure how prevelent behavior specialists are. I got lucky because my regular vet is a behavior specialist. It's amazing how much she knows about this kind of stuff. Hopefully, your regular vet can recommend one to you if it turns out Epi has a behavioral issue and not a medical one.

The only definitive test for cystitis is a biopsy of the bladder. Usually it's diagnosed by ruling out other conditions. Polly eventually had to get a biopsy, but before that, she was tentatively diagnosed because she had blood in her urine, normal x-rays, a normal ultrasound, no bacteria in the urine and a normal blood count.

The biopsy requires surgery, so it won't usually be done.

With cats, it's very important to know whether you're dealing with a medical issue or a behavioral one.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Oh eek, I hope it doesn't have to come to a biopsy But that is an excellent point, needing to discern whether this is a behavioral or medical problem -b/c we've had instances of BOTH with Eppie!
Becky, if all else fails, I may have to isolate Eppie to the bathroom for a couple of days (with a nightlight in there of course). It's encourating that that worked for your cat!
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes View Post
Oh eek, I hope it doesn't have to come to a biopsy But that is an excellent point, needing to discern whether this is a behavioral or medical problem -b/c we've had instances of BOTH with Eppie!
Becky, if all else fails, I may have to isolate Eppie to the bathroom for a couple of days (with a nightlight in there of course). It's encourating that that worked for your cat!
Well sometimes, it starts off with a medical problem but then becomes a behavioral problem. In that case, I agree that isolation is the way to go, just until she starts to use the box again.
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