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Kitten Pee - Need Advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I never thought I'd be visiting a forum for my kitty problems, but I'm very glad I found thecatsite. I've spent the last few hours reading about cat behavior, nutrition, and stories. After work, I'm immediately driving to a pet store I never knew existed to buy supplies I never knew existed thanks to my time on this site today.

My girlfriend and I bought Imba a few months ago. We live in a quiet house without children or excessive noise with 2 roomates. Our roomates have a 3-4 year old male cat named Milo. Milo is a very sweet cat with a huge head. Imba absolutely terrorizes him - he'll run, hiss, growl, but never bite or claw at her. It's almost unfair to watch, so we typically let him outside during the day.

Imba was born on December 6th, and is a female Siamese (much to our chagrin after thinking she was male for quite some time - our Vet informed us of this on April Fools day - you can imagine our confusion). We had her spayed at the 4 month mark, and aside from a bumpy belly, that went very well.

A short time prior to having her spayed, the smell in our room began getting worse and worse, and we realized she had been urinating in 2 out of 4 corners of the room - seemingly since we brought her home. Armed with a black light and a spray bottle of Nature's Miracle, we proceeded to spray down a good 1/5th of the surface area of the room that was simply covered in urine. We also noticed she had picked a spot downstairs next to the television where some wires were uncovered to deposit urine (she likes peeing on wires).

At that point, she had been staying in our bedroom while we were at work, with her litter box (filled with the crystal litter) in the bathroom and her food next to our bed (we had only fed her dry food at this time). Our bed and bathroom are relatively large as far as rooms go, so she had plenty of space to move around. Instead of giving her free roam over the bed and bathroom during the day, we made the (wrong?) decision to keep her shut in the bathroom while we were at work. That worked for a time, but she began urinating on the tile right in front of her litter box, or behind the toilet.

Shortly thereafter, I escalated my buying practices and continued my quest to get the darn cat to pee in the litter box. I purchased a Bissell green machine carpet cleaner, a gallon of Natures Miracle, 3 more litter boxes, and a seemingly lifetime supply of 'Cat Attract' kitten litter. We also switched her food away from 'Science Diet' to 'Blue' dry food, and began feeding her half a small can of wet food daily.

I took her to the vet for a full checkup and she was cleared of any possible UTI (she did have pink eye, which we have since cured with medication the vet sold us). We then spent quite some time going around the room with the black light expunging the infamous orange spots on the floor with the Bissell and enzyme cleaner. We gradually switched her over to the new litter, and added the 3 more litter boxes around the room.

That was about 2 weeks ago. Since then, she has definitely adapted to using the litter boxes as her primary target for urination. Every once in a while, in the middle of the night, however, I'll look over and she's peeing on the floor next to the litter box! Although she has made a real improvement, she still refuses to pee in her box and I'm still finding orange spots in the same corners.

To date, we have constantly kept her boxes clean, changed her litter, added more boxes, neutralized all urine spots, added/removed various carpets/covers/pads from around the litter boxes, and overall done everything listed in the large pee topic in this forum.

I'm at my wits end here! Can anyone think of anything else I can try to get her to go in her boxes?
post #2 of 8
You might want to have her rechecked for UTI first. Do you know if the other cat is keeping her away from the litter box? What kind of litter are you using now?
post #3 of 8
Are you using the crystal litter again? I've found that many cats just flat don't like the feel on their paws. You might want to try a mixture of the Cat Attract and the finest clumping litter you can find (the good news is that the plastic jugs of the stuff aren't sealed, so you can look inside to see it). Both Tidy Cat and Cat's Pride make stuff that's pretty small.

And cats DO have preferences. You cat may not like a box with high sides. Or there may be something making noise that she doesn't like. We had our litter box in the utility room and when we got our new washer (high-efficiency front-loader), the cats made it clear they really didn't like going in there while it was running, so we moved the litter box.

And, some cats just never seem to "get it."
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I will have her checked for a UTI again (the vet charged me 140$ the last time, and 175$ for the medication for the pink eye :/) .

The other cat is scared of her, and tends to stay as far away from her as possible, typically outside. The other cat does not go into our room, and has his own litter box in another room in the house.

I am using Kitten Attract litter exclusively at this point. It's apparent she likes it, because she will go into the litter box sometimes and does not pee or poop. There are no noises (no dryer, no construction, no kids, just silence) in the room -- we often complain it's too quiet. Also, she pees in the middle of the night when no one is awake. That's typically when I see her pee on the floor, but there is quite a bit I miss not being in the room 24/7.

We also have 4 litterboxes in the room -- 2 have tops, 2 don't. 1 has a rubber rug in front, one has a plastic mat under it and in front of it, 1 is on tile, and 1 is on the carpet with nothing under it.
post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by JimImba View Post
I will have her checked for a UTI again (the vet charged me 140$ the last time, and 175$ for the medication for the pink eye :/)
Whoa! Find a new vet! That is crazy! Other then that good luck, you are doing everything right. Maybe just try a different brand of litter in each box?
post #6 of 8
I'd check around for a new vet - I had litter box issues with my male, and took him in for UTI check, including a ultra sound of his bladder, and I paid well under $100 - but, what tests did your vet do? Maybe that explains the pricing?

I think you're doing everything right - maybe just try the whole Dr. Elsey line while you're at it (Cat Attract, Precious Cat, etc). Oh, my boy has indicated that he likes it best when I sort of slope the litter after cleaning - rather than 2-3 inches level throughout, I slope up from about an inch at one end to a mini-mountain in the back. Who knows why!

Are you playing with her a lot - giving her a lot of attention and playing with her? You and your girlfriend sound like such wonderful patient parents I'm sure you are, but since you're doing everything right I'm just grasping at straws myself here.
post #7 of 8
As other people have mentioned, it really does sound like you've been pretty thorough in trying to combat this problem. And they've also given you sound advice.

You said in your first post that you're still finding evidence of her peeing in the same corners. Are those areas carpeted? Because my initial thought was that perhaps the Nature's Miracle isn't quite getting the job done --- at least not as far as your cat's nose is concerned. You probably know this already, but if your cat can still smell evidence of her urine in those corners (and you know how great their sense of smell is), she's being given the message that it's OK to continue to use those areas to do her business.

So, you've switched litters, switched foods and added new and different types of boxes. You might want to also switch cleaners, just for completeness' sake. There are many alternatives to Nature's Miracle. One of our members, LDG, always recommends Nok-Out. Another member, pee-cleaner, has come up with a homemade solution that is supposedly superior to stuff that is commercially available. You can do a search by member name to find out exactly what the formula is.

Honestly, chances are the problem runs deeper than the type of cleaning product that you're using. But switching might be worth a shot. Good luck!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, I took her back to the vet to get re-tested for a UTI. The vet said she was fine, and perscribed two medications: an antibiotic and a "behavioral" medication which he said was similar to an anti-depressant. I am reluctant to administer either of those to Imba, so they're sitting on top of the fridge.

I think she's using the boxes a little more, but I'll continue trying new things until our floors are safe again. To answer the previous question, yes, our lives pretty much focus around the kitten. We play with her constantly, and she sleeps with us at night and during naps. She prefers to be held like a stuffed animal with our arm wrapped around her. I'm a 'dog person,' but I can certainly appreciate 'cat people' now.
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