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At my wits end!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have a common problem with one of my kitties.

I have read through about 10 forums including this one for the answer in the last year or so and tried what seems like everything under the sun with no improvment.


My b/f and I adopted two 8 week old sibling kittens from our local cats protection, both girls. They used the litter tray with no issues until about 6 months in when we both went on holiday and the person in charge of their care, deicded to leave the litter for a week. We returned to a ruined lounge and two cats with infections from holding it in for ages.

They both went to the vet, the catbox was replaced and so were any pillows etc in the lounge with anying else coated in enzyme remover and we started fresh. Suzie has had no further issues with using the littler like a good girl. Loki how ever, is driving me mad. Her reasons seem nurmerous.

If we have people over night: She'll pee in the guest room if allowed access so now we urge any guests to keep the door closed, and we live with it closed.

If the catbox is dirty: An obvious one, so we clean it twice a day and change out the litter once a week and pressure wash the tray along with antibacterial spray . She will pee anyway even after the change out if she feels like it. We've tried various litters, multiple trays for upstairs and down.

Anything left on the floor, bed, or an unmade bed: We have changed our entire bed, and she still does it. She will also pull towels off racks to make a pile to pee in.

We've tried taking the lid off the cat box, no help, we've tried moving it. We clean anything she's peed on with enzyme remover multiple times. We spray her litter with catnip (helps a little, she WILL 100% pee outside the box without it). We've tried restricting her access to upstairs, but it seems too mean. She will use the catbox if I catch her about to pee and put her in front of the box with no protest. We lavish both with affection equally. I just don't get it. I'd never get rid of her, but I'd like to know why she seems unhappy with her litter? She can go weeks with no problem, then out of the blue, decide to do it, and go back normal again. I spend all my time now washing up after her and replacing things.
post #2 of 28
What a thing that you are going through, I hope you can find some soultions here and welcome to you and your kitty girls.

Have you tried adding more litter boxes? Some cats just do not like to go pee where they poo. You also mentioned stairs, do you have litter boxes on each floor? I would have at least 2 litter boxes for each floor. Their bladders are very small and when they have to go, they have to go, then.

Have you changed their food, since they developed infections? Because if not, the infection can very likely happen again.

Good Luck, I know it must be frustrating.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
It really is quite frustrating. After their infections were treated, we were told to eliminate dry food and add water to their wet food, which we do and both kitties seem to enjoy the extra gravy. Their water bowl is cleaned and refreshed morning, lunch and dinner, so they always have access to clean fresh water. Ever since that they have been on the same diet with a very rigid daily routine. One of us always travels home at lunch so they aren't alone all day.

We've done the multiple litter tray on both floors, taken the door(s) off the trays, removed the lids etc. Neither cat torment one another near the tray, they were both spayed early, and they do pretty much everything together except for the piddling on mom's bed thing. We've even started tking her to the tray first thing in the morning when one of us wakes up, just in case. I've taken her to the vet twice since the infection just to make sure she isn't suffering with anything, and she's always fine.

I couldn't ever give her up, and realistally Suzie would have to go with her since they're sisters and very close, which is so out of the question. I love my little Loki to death, and know she doesn't mean to stress out her mom so much, so the best I can do at the moment is just wash the house from top to bottem ever few days and keep my cool with the little terror
post #4 of 28
Wow, it sounds like you've done everything possible to try to remedy the problem. I don't have any suggestions to offer (sorry); I just wanted to say bless you for your patience and determination. She's a very lucky cat.
post #5 of 28
That's weird. I wish i had an answer for that one,never heard that one before if i hear anything i will let ya know.......jojosweet52
post #6 of 28
First of all, thank you so much for not giving up on your kitty!

The first thing I would do is purchase two more litter boxes and put them in low traffic but easy to access areas. The next thing I'd do is change all the litter to Cat Attract litter. This seems to really help a lot of cats having box issues that aren't medical.

If you're absolutely certain there is no more medical problem (and while it may not be a UTI - has she had blood work done - I know she's young, but could she have a tooth that hurts? Sometimes cats in pain will pee outside of the box and it isn't a UTI or bladder infection.... ), have you also tried spraying the house with Feliway (or purchasing the plug-ins) - and perhaps a calming Flower Essence? You can check them out here: http://www.catfaeries.com

You may want to consider trying a different enzyme cleaner: http://www.nokout.com You can add it to the laundry.

I would definitely have three litter boxes for two cats - this in combo with all of the above may help (if you haven't already done this). I'd have two litter pans without lids and one with a lid, the Cat Attract litter, the Feliway sprayed around the house, and give the Flower Essences a try.

She's unhappy about something if she's not in pain.

Have you also tried extra attention, extra play time?

If all of the above doesn't do it, then it's time to consider retraining her. To do this, she would need to be confined to a small room - like a bathroom if large enough - or a large dog crate (or one of those multiple level crates for cats like they use in shelters). If she uses the litter box in the small room or crate consistently for a few days, then she can be released from the crate into one room. If she continues using the litter box in the small room, then she can be released for multiple hours a day into the house (while you're home) - but reconfined to the room at night for a few more days. If she continues using the box, then release her.

I'd even consider using the guest room for this (if you're not expecting guests for the next few weeks to a month) - and covering the bed and furniture with aluminum foil - and covering anywhere she's gone in there with aluminum foil. Obviously (apart from food and water) put a kitty bed (if she has one she uses) and toys - and even a cat tree, if you have one you can move - in there with her.

If, like with our kitty, she starts stressing out from being confined (our kitty started obsessively licking), then it's time to talk to a vet about an anti-anxiety medication. At least for the near-term to give all of you a much needed break. We used Elavil (amitryptaline). Many on TCS don't like it - but it worked for us and Spooky. It did change her behavior - she immediately started using the boxes again, though she did sleep most of the day. That lasted for about 3 weeks - then she started acting more like herself - except she kept using the boxes. We weaned her off the meds after about 4 months, and the only other time she went out of the box was because (as it turned out) her teeth were hurting - she needed to have two of them pulled.

In the meantime, whenever you see her using the box, praise her to high heaven and give her treats when she's done.

Hope this helps your poor baby girl,

Laurie
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply, I have taken her to the vet, just to see if there is anything out of the ordinary with her just in case she is trying to tell me something, but always comes away %100 healthy, even her little teeth, she does enjoy the car ride though. I'm pretty much willing to try anything with her to be honest even re training, I'm not sure how many more washings my poor sheets can take!

Other than this issue, she'd a delight to have around and really enjoys play time, they both have a plethora of toys that we all play with with them, and supervised outside adventures. If anything I'd say they're spoiled rotten, but she's def not okay with something it seems.

I'd be nice if just once she could just actually tell me what it is! Even if it was just that she dislikes my bedroom color scheme/ towel choices
post #8 of 28
Wow... this sounds very familiar. Frankie pees on my kitchen floor at her whim. Sometimes I understand why (we shut her out of the bedroom, I forgot to scoop in the morning) other times I think she does it just to be a pain in my butt. I've tried EVERY detterant I caould think or or seen recomended. Sometimes they work... but only ever temporarily. Recently I had some luck using tin-foil but after a month or so she began peeing on it too.

I did have an idea reading though... you said she'll actually pull towels off the bar to pee on. Makes me think she doesn't like the litter. Have to tried something like "yesterdays news" litter or if you have towels you don't mind sacrificing you could use those to line a litter pan. It would be gross but then you could "drop" the solids in the toilet and launder the towels.

Some days I'm at my breaking point with Frankie but I know a new home would not change her behavior and another owner might not be as forgiving. It's been going on for years and my view is that I'm stuck with her because anyone else would have her PTS and the very thought of it breaks my heart.

The only thing I haven't tried is confining her... and I'm to the point where I'm about to try this. I just hate to have her peeing on fabrics (right now it's tile floors) or feeling neglected or rejected because she has always (she's 9) had free roaming privileges.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormae View Post
I'd be nice if just once she could just actually tell me what it is! Even if it was just that she dislikes my bedroom color scheme/ towel choices
I SO hear you and totally relate! Hubby was so close to giving up on Spooky at times (though he really woudn't have) - but it sure made things tense around the house - which, of course, didn't help the situation.

I just kept thinking of her like a little kid - just like them, even if she could talk - even a little - even she probably doesn't know what the problem is - just that she's stressed about something. And the tension in the home makes the problem escalate.

Like I said - I'd go for the extra boxes, the cat attract litter, the feliway and the rescue remedy. If these don't work, then I'd do the retraining. With our Spook, she almost immediately started obsessively licking - even though I completely stopped going to work and spent the entire day in the "isolation" room with her. Within three days she'd licked part of her back leg down to the skin and it was all scabby. I couldn't get her to stop - playing with her didn't help.

We decided at that point to take the vet's advice and use the meds. There are other anti-anxiety medications like Buspar, and others have used them with good success. We went with the elavil (amitriptalyn) because it also causes the cat to retain their pee - meaning they feel the need to pee less frequently - which apparently - at least in Spooky's case - helped. Immediately. It takes 2 weeks to get fully into the cat's system, but I remember the meds working right away. Maybe it was a couple of days.

Some people have tried it and were very bothered by seeing their kitty sleep so much. For the first 3 weeks, Spooky did not do much except sleep. For us, it bought us time to re-clean everything with the nok-out. We doused that couch twice with it - it took a week to dry each time. We doused the end of the mattress with it twice - we covered it with thick towels and then put the sheets over that. It took weeks to dry.

Then when we weaned her off the elavil - she just kept using the boxes. And she's been her happy (well - often bitchy to the other cats, actually ) playful - and needy - self since. (Spooky was abused and has always been a very needy little girl).



Laurie
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
I did have an idea reading though... you said she'll actually pull towels off the bar to pee on. Makes me think she doesn't like the litter. Have to tried something like "yesterdays news" litter or if you have towels you don't mind sacrificing you could use those to line a litter pan. It would be gross but then you could "drop" the solids in the toilet and launder the towels.
With Frankie, I really would consider trying the Cat Attract litter. It is amazing the success this stuff is having.

Laurie
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
I know what you mean, sometimes I know why she's done it, if one of us changed the litter and forgot to spray the catnip etc.


Her No 1 spot is to pull the bath mat off the bathtub and use that. I don' mind that since it's a toss and wash item, the last few days she has not had access to it because I've had to put so many items she's peed on in the bathtub and shut thr door to await being washed ( in the last 3 days she's done my sheets twice, my dressing gown,bath mat, and some other large hard to wash items) and my machine isn't big enough to do it all in one go, so she goes on the bed............never ending cycle.
post #12 of 28
Oh, how frustrating!

There is the Cat Attract Litter, and also Dr. Elsey (the same brand) makes an additive that you can add to any litter. It's green and I think it's just called Cat Attract.

The other thing I thought of were Feliway diffusers, which have been brought up also.


post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
With Frankie, I really would consider trying the Cat Attract litter. It is amazing the success this stuff is having.

Laurie
Ya know, I tried that once and as soon as I put it in the box she went in and used it. I think I'll have to buy a new bag and give it another go.
post #14 of 28
I have a male who had litter box issues after his adoption. Besides the really really cleaning well with Nature's Miracle or another enzyme cleaner that's always suggested in these cases, I'd truly suggest getting the Cat Attract Litter (Dr. Elsey) - there's also Kitten Attract now (your baby is still sort of young, right?) and there's an additive you can add to other litter.

I'd also start with new boxes altogether. Maybe even buy a couple of different type of boxes (low, high, open, closed) and try a few different litter types and see if any are definite favorites (although I swear by Cat Attract).

Bless you for your patience with your baby - I know there were times when I dreaded going home, but the Cat Attract and the Feliway diffuser have done wonders for my Dante and me.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks, their both nearly 2 years old now, but I think of them as babies since they never really grew very big at all, everyone thinks their still kittens when they see them.

At the moment I'm just keeping a very watchful eye on her when she's upstairs. we've gone 2 days now without an incident. I've also been giving her even more attention, which oddly has resulted in her sleeping under the covers with me 2 nights in a row. Gareth is giving Suzi extra affection so she doesn't feel left out, and she prefers him.


I had a theory though. She mainly likes doing it in our bed on his side, and she;s never taken to him very much, she normally only crawls into bed when he isn't there, and will leave as soon as he gets in. Could she just not like his smell in moms bed? lol Even when she crawled under the blankets lastnight she stuck to the edge of my side.
post #16 of 28
Sounds like she could still be associating the infection with the litter tray - have you bought new trays since the infection? If not, that might help. I have never seen Cat Attract in the UK but I would be tempted to try a different litter, what do you currently use? I have had cats refuse to use the Woodbased
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormae View Post
Thanks, their both nearly 2 years old now, but I think of them as babies since they never really grew very big at all, everyone thinks their still kittens when they see them.

At the moment I'm just keeping a very watchful eye on her when she's upstairs. we've gone 2 days now without an incident. I've also been giving her even more attention, which oddly has resulted in her sleeping under the covers with me 2 nights in a row. Gareth is giving Suzi extra affection so she doesn't feel left out, and she prefers him.


I had a theory though. She mainly likes doing it in our bed on his side, and she;s never taken to him very much, she normally only crawls into bed when he isn't there, and will leave as soon as he gets in. Could she just not like his smell in moms bed? lol Even when she crawled under the blankets lastnight she stuck to the edge of my side.
Good news! Wish I could say the same.

Ya know, I wonder if there isn't something to your theory. Did you have her/them before you and Gareth were living together? I'm pretty sure Frankie started when we moved into my parents. She was living with 2 small dogs (she'd lived with one before) and I wasn't home very often. Now, it's habit and she does it when ever she's miffed about something... and sometimes, I think, just to see how far she can push me.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
Sounds like she could still be associating the infection with the litter tray - have you bought new trays since the infection? If not, that might help. I have never seen Cat Attract in the UK but I would be tempted to try a different litter, what do you currently use? I have had cats refuse to use the Woodbased
. We use Bob Martin cat crystals, they seems to flat out refust to tread on anything else.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
Good news! Wish I could say the same.

Ya know, I wonder if there isn't something to your theory. Did you have her/them before you and Gareth were living together? I'm pretty sure Frankie started when we moved into my parents. She was living with 2 small dogs (she'd lived with one before) and I wasn't home very often. Now, it's habit and she does it when ever she's miffed about something... and sometimes, I think, just to see how far she can push me.

Well, previous to this last bout she had gone 3 weeks, she just seems to have a funny few days and then back to her usual self. Gareth and I picked out the kittens, we've had them for a year and a half, and we've been together for 4. Loki seemed to pick me as her "person" and Suzi much prefers Gareth as hers.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Not sure how long it will last, but it has now been a full week since the last time she did it.

She seems very happy recently since we've started paying her more attention then she was usually lavished with , I've started taking her with me when I leave the bedroom, but now she'll go around crying to be picked up and held, which means I do a lot of laundry etc one armed as she happlily burrys her face into my other arm. She's also taken to being held like a baby but then standing up on my shoulder to see things from up high I guess.


We'll see how she goes!
post #21 of 28
Sounds like you've got a new appendage!

Glad she's happier and not making you miserable with the peeing (though perhaps holding her most of the day is a different kind of misery. )

Got my fingers crossed!

Laurie
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Sounds like you've got a new appendage!

Glad she's happier and not making you miserable with the peeing (though perhaps holding her most of the day is a different kind of misery. )

Got my fingers crossed!

Laurie

I know! I used to have a cat that liked to be draped around my shoulders, she'd stay there for hours no matter what I walked around and did, but she was a ragdoll, so was pretty good at going very limp. Loki's not quite that placid, but she seems to be enjoying it. Frankly I'd rather hold her for a few hours than spend those hours ripping my bed apart. I get her one of those little baby back pack looking things and take her everywhere with me if i thought A: People at work would be okay with me having a cat strapped to my front and B: that it would stop her madness!


The niceiest thing is that she's started sleeping in the bed with me again.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormae View Post
The niceiest thing is that she's started sleeping in the bed with me again.


So.... does this mean she's still using the box?

....and a backpack for her would be too cute!

Laurie
post #24 of 28
Taylor, If you do get the pack, we'de love to see pics! Like Laurie, I'm hoping you last post means she's still using the box as well.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
Taylor, If you do get the pack, we'de love to see pics! Like Laurie, I'm hoping you last post means she's still using the box as well.

Yes, I pull up the mental image of her in it when I need a giggle, just the thought of her little legs dangling and her happy/sleepy little face as she's carried about everywhere.


So far she's still using the litter like she's supposed to.
post #26 of 28
I'm so glad she's being a good girl! You may not be getting quite the stress break you expected - but a new appendage is better than you-know-what everywhere!

Laurie
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
I'm so glad she's being a good girl! You may not be getting quite the stress break you expected - but a new appendage is better than you-know-what everywhere!

Laurie
Perhaps becoming an appendage would help Frankie... I've got cat attract in the boxes right now and nothing has changed.

Taylor, it's fantastic that she's doing so much better.
post #28 of 28
Well, I know my baby was using crystal litter when she got a UTI and then after associated crystals with her pain. Now she will ONLY use clay or feline pine/yesterdays news (along with beds/rugs/clothes and towels ). So if she starts up again try adding a box with a different litter and totally try the cat attract additive because that worked for us!
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