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Peeing problem HELP!!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know, I've read the sticky posts, and they just haven't helped. We're desperate here.

We adopted Nikita and her sister Mystique last March. They were fostered, litter trained, everything was fantastic.

About 4 months ago, we noticed Nikita was peeing on the furniture. We hadn't changed her litter or anything. Fearing an infection, we took her to the vet, no infection, but we did the antibiotic just in case. We paid more attention to her, thinking maybe it was lack of it, no change. We cleaned the couch with every cleaner we could find to try and get the smell out, and nothing worked (we are now about to get rid of the couch).

We went on vacation, had a cat sitter come EVERYDAY, and when we got home, there was pee in the couch, recliner, love seat, and the bed...she pooped on the bed as well.

Again, we cleaned everything (though they still smell...nothing seems to work!), she is only allowed in the bedroom when we are in there, we got another litter box (we live in a SMALL apartment, and didn't think two were necessary) just in case her sister was being dominant and not letting her use the first one, now they both ONLY use the new one and Nikita STILL pees on the couches....

We know we need to replace the couches because they still smell like cat pee and so she thinks it is okay, but we are afraid that if we buy new ones, she will ruin those as well...

WE NEED HELP!!! I am on the brink of finding her and her sister a new home (we wouldn't dare separate them, they would be miserable)
post #2 of 10
Welcome to TCS!
Having just gone through 2 months of inappropriate peeing with my Sammy, I can understand your frustration, aggravation, and yet how much you care for your girls.

If you can afford it, please please make an appt with your vet or a vet who truly is a feline specialist. Vent to your vet, get it all out, and then ask for perhaps an anti-anxiety light dose Rx, and a blood test - see what they say. I just went through this, and I am not the type of put any animal on meds, but I was losing sleep at 4 a.m. when Sammy was "marking". Because your girl has peed on everything - and pooped as well, that's seems to be a sign far beyond just marking, that's a lot of anxiety and/or internal stress of some kind. My thread is on this Board, but I used behavioral modification instead of meds over a period of weeks for our success - however your situation is much more severe. But my thread might help you in terms of the information from other members.

The fact that the episodes really escalated when you were away signals, to me, high abandonment anxiety, and something may have transpired between the sisters that you didn't know about. Also, she might have extreme jealousy over affection. They are in their own kitty world with their own rules, and as much as I try and decipher my kits, sometimes I am at a loss and can't always speak cat.

Please keep us posted. I would very much like hear. Please don't give up on her, there are things that can ease the anxiety and help.
post #3 of 10
Have you tried different types of litter? Unscented vs scented? She may just hate the kind you buy now, maybe it hurts her feet or something. Is the box closed vs topless? lot of cats hate box tops. if you make a change, stand her in the new stuff for 5 secs. and gently 'walk' her front paws in the litter so she realizes it's there (and new), then give her a chance to use it.
post #4 of 10
Oh boy. This has got to be *so* frustrating for you. Congrats on trying the things suggested in the sticky posts. Below is another article on inappropriate feline elimination problems. It may not add much in way of how to deal with the problem but I think it does a great job of explaining the causes.


I think you imply in your post that N & M get along well, right? If so, maybe anxiety isn't too likely although I certainly wouldn't rule it out completely.

Are there any other animals in the house?

How old are they?

I know you said you live in a small apartment, but is there any way N can be closed up in a room so she can have a clean litter box all to herself?

Where is the litter box located now? I think your post implies that she sometimes does use the box, right? If it isn't someplace where you can see it, maybe you could temporarily move it so that you can watch her behavior when she needs to go. Does she approach the box, sniff it, then walk to the couch and go there? In other words, if she is sometimes using the box and
sometimes rejecting it what is different about the box when she rejects it? Some cats won't use a box after another cat has. So maybe she only uses it when it is clean?

Have you used Natures Miracle to get rid of the pee smell? If you use it as per the directions it should get rid of the odor. I've also used UrineGone with good success.

Please keep us updated and don't give up.
post #5 of 10
I agree with all the suggestions you got above, and I know from experience how frustrating this is. First, bless you for your patience. and, yeah, see the vet - I took mine in, and even had a bladder scan done to be sure there was nothing physical happening.

Second, have you tried the Feliway diffuser? That can help (maybe not overnight, but I honestly notice a difference with my two cats). Also, if you're in the States, I'd really suggest trying Cat Attract litter (available at Petsmart, that I know of) or the Cat Attract additive added to your current litter, if you're sure your cats do like that litter. I swear by Cat Attract - it was honestly a God-send for me.

I ended up getting a couple of different type of boxes (open, closed, high sides etc), and I wash them out with Ivory soap when I dump the litter.

And, Nature's Miracle is super - if you look in the dog aisle, they have the really giant economy size, which can be helpful.

good luck!
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your advice. Her and her sister DO get along well, they play all the time. Nikita KNOWS she is doing something wrong, for example, just the other day I happened to be home and she was walking on the couch, scratching like she does before she pees, I yelled at her to get off, she did, tried it again, I yelled at her again, and then she went and used the litter box. So she knows it is there, just likes the couch better.

We've taken her to the vet, had blood and urine done, and she was clean.

We tried natures miracle for cleaning, it didn't work...our couches have attached cushions so the urine has just soaked down SO far nothing seems to reach it, we even tried steam cleaning. We've used vinegar, newspapers, and plastic trash bags...nothing has worked...though the trash bags have kept it from getting on the cushions...but who wants to not be able to sit on thier couch because of trash bags?

The cats are about 1yr 2 months old

The problem I have with closing her up in a room is then we have to move the food, or get additional food for Mystique, and then they can't play with eachother while we are gone, which was really the whole purpose of getting both of them.

We are going to buy the Cat Attract litter today and try that, I know we use scented litter that is probably not the best for them, but in a small apartment you can really tell when they've used the cat box, especially Nikita, she tends not to cover when she uses it.

Both the boxed are covered, I guess we can try taking the cover off one and see if that changes it...

I don't think Nikita is jealous of anything, she is THE attention getting in our house, and forbids anyone to get attention if she isn't getting any, therefore she usually gets petted more often, and is much more a lap kitty than her sister, who is very laid back.

We'll try the new litter today and I'll let you know. She has gotten better since we've been home, but even once or twice a week is enough to ruin the furniture and is unacceptable...
post #7 of 10
My cats won't use scented litter or closed boxes, so good luck!
post #8 of 10
I feel your pain. Been there ourselves.

The first time we had a problem with Spooky, what we did was

1) buy the plug-in diffusers,

2) added Cat Attract to the litter (I don't think the Cat Attract Litter existed as such yet),

3) gave Spooky 10 - 15 minutes of extra play time both morning and evening.

4) We purchased Multicat Household Harmony flower essences - I think you should try the Calm & Serene flower essences (available here: http://www.catfaeries.com )

5) That same site sells large quantity Anti-Icky Poo enzyme cleaner. It may work better than what you've been using. And with a gallon bottle, you can shake it up and pour it on the cushions and in the cracks of the couch. We used about half a gallon each application. If urine can get down there, another liquid can get down there. On our couch with the attached cushions, we purchased Nok-Out (http://www.nokout.com). It is safe for animals and leaves your couch smelling slightly like bleach. We had to apply it three times before the smell went completely away. It took at least a week to dry with each application - though it was summer and more humid. We covered the cushions with aluminum foil and kept a throw blanket handy. When we wanted to sit on the couch, we put the throw blanket down over the foil and sat on it like that, and we folded it up and set it on the mantle when we weren't using it - but this way it doesn't matter how long it takes to dry.

6) We also set the litterbox on the couch with the cat attract additive on the litter when we weren't using the couch. Then we set it on the floor in front of the couch. Then we set it next to the couch. Then we moved it about a foot a day until it was where we wanted it.

7) Thankfully Spooky only peed on the end of the mattress (where are feet are). But it doesn't much matter - we poured about 1/2 a gallon of Nok-Out in the area, covered it with thick towels, and then made the bed. We changed the thick towels under the sheets every day for three days - it was dry enough on the top of the mattress to just leave a thick towel in that spot after that. We placed a litter box on the bed over where she peed when we weren't using the bed - when we were, we placed it on the floor at the foot of the bed. Then we did the same thing there - we moved the box about a foot a day (with the cat attract additive in the box) until it was back where we wanted it (in the hallway outside the bedroom). Thankfully the mattress didn't need another application after that.

If you have two litter boxes, I'd consider adding a third - and perhaps do try one with out a cover. With your covered ones, if you have the swinging doors on them, consider taking the swinging door off of one of them.

I know you live in a small apartment - but for two years we lived in an RV that was 8' wide by 37' long with five cats. We had 3 litter boxes, and I scooped probably 3x a day. It never smelled of kitty pee or poop unless kitty had just taken a stinky poop. We have several cats that don't do a good job of covering their business.

Also, have you purchased a black light to go through the house to make sure you've gotten all the spots?

The next step after all of that is confining her to a very large crate or small room. I know you don't want to do the litter box retraining because of her sister, so if you don't want to go that route, then you'd really have to consider an anti-anxiety medication.

The next time we had a problem with Spooky all this stuff didn't work. We used an anti-anxiety medication, Elavil (amitryptaline). Others recommend Buspar. Buspar you can just stop - Elavil you have to wean them off the med, you can't just stop giving it. We used it on Spooky for four months then weaned her off over a couple weeks. She slept a lot for the first three weeks on it, but the peeing outside the box stopped pretty much immediately. And once we weaned her off of it, it didn't start again.

A couple months ago she peed outside the box. I freaked - I thought it was happening again. But we took her to the vet - it turned out she had two teeth that were hurting her. They needed to be pulled. When she came home - no more peeing outside the box. So it was just her way of letting us know she was in pain. *phew*

post #9 of 10
It sure sounds to me like there is something she doesn't like about the litter box.

I meant to suggest that she be closed in a room *temporarily* just for the purpose of trying to understand what is going on. That is, to try to establish if the box (or the litter in it) is the problem or if there is something else bothering her. Put an old sheet in the room with her and the box. If she consistently uses the box you know she is OK with the box. If she consistently uses the sheet you know there is something she doesn't like about the box. You can let her out of the room for a while right after she relieves herself because you know she won't go again for a while.
post #10 of 10
I have the same problem lately except my Teddy is only 3 m/o. He has used the litter tray since he was tiny but it is like he is getting lazy. This is what we r doing and it seems to be working so far. At night we put him in the laundry with his litter tray, food, toys and water. He seems to be getting the picture. Also when he does go in his litter I give him treats and tell him he's a good boy. I found that he liked to pee next to the pot plant and sometimes poo under my art table. I just put vinegar in these areas and he hasn't been back there since.
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