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Problems with cat urinating....lots

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi,

We have a female cat (8/9 years old). We have had her since she was born; she is a lovely cat, very loving. We moved house about 2 years ago and since then her behaviour changed, we suspect due to other cats in the neighbourhood (some are aggressive towards her). She rarely goes out and if she does she spends 20 mins or so growling at the cat flap. Rather than urinating outside she finds somewhere in the house (numerous places now)- basically she seems scared to go out. We have tried everything...feliway plug ins, cat litter trays (she has never used litter trays and is will not use), discouraging cats from coming in our garden etc. None of this has worked and we are at a loss to know how we can continue.

The vast majority of the urinating involves her squatting in a corner or by the skirting board; however she has on occasion 'sprayed' (vertically on to my TV equipment in the living room) without warning. We have taken her to the vest and he gave us some tablets to rule out infection etc. Basically it has got to the point where the house is becoming ruined and it can't go on. We have another female cat and they have both been together for 4-5 years- the other cat although sometimes cautious of going outside, it does not bother her anywhere near as much and she has never urinated in the house.

She is generally a happy cat, never stops purring and is constantly showing affection, however she suddenly changes when she needs to go outside for a wee and although she is never aggressive, she starts growling and hissing if we go near her (she thinks we are going to place her outside for her to wee). We feel like we have tried everything and desperately want to keep the cat; however it is seriously destroying our house now and costing us a fortune. Is there anything else at all that people can suggest other than moving house! ...e.g. cat psychologist??

Sorry for the long essay- Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Paul
post #2 of 14
It wasn't clear to me from your post if your cat has litterboxes inside or if she is supposed to go outside. If that's the case, I would definitely put litterboxes in the house for her. I won't go on if you already have them so I'll wait for your response!
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spookzilla View Post
It wasn't clear to me from your post if your cat has litterboxes inside or if she is supposed to go outside. If that's the case, I would definitely put litterboxes in the house for her. I won't go on if you already have them so I'll wait for your response!
he says she won't use inside litterboxes.
i'd recommend putting several litterboxes w/the Cat Attract litter in them & see if that solves the problem. altho it's available online, it's also carried by my local petsmart, so if there's one near you, you might try looking there first.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
he says she won't use inside litterboxes.

Sorry I missed that...

You have 2 options: she pees outside or inside. Since she seems afraid to go outside, you have to make it more appealing for her to go inside.

I agree with the Cat Attract idea. Also the idea of several litterboxes in different places. You mentioned she pees in a corner--I assume you don't want a box there permanently, but if she seems comfortable going there you might want to put one there initially and see if she uses it and gradually inch it away to a better location.

As for the idea of a cat psychologist--I had a pet behaviourist visit my house when I was having problems with my cats and I learned a lot about them!
post #5 of 14
I would have her checked by a vet, just in case, because if she's not just peeing in the wrong places, but doing it a lot, she could have diabetes (quite common in cats).
post #6 of 14
I too was going to recommend a check for diabetes.

Also, have you tried a litter pan with dirt in it? One of my cats (who was an outdoor cat/stray that I rescued several years ago) lives to pee in dirt. I guess it's a left over from when he lived outside. These days we take supervised trips in the backyard and it's the first thing he does. He'll also use houseplants if available.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your responses so far- as I mentioned we have already tried litter trays inside (3 in total) however she just simply refuses to go in them and will wee elsewhere (not always the same place). It seems to be whenever she gets excited (purring lots etc...) or if there is a minor change in her environment (e.g. we have visitors- she did a wonderful display of spraying right across the living room when they were here). The problem with putting litter trays down is that she just goes elsewhere- not always in corners- it is numerous rooms in the house and numerous places. I can sometimes see her looking at the cat flap as if she wants to go out and if I open the door and walk out she often follows me- however I can't do that all the time and in the meantime the house is getting wrecked. We have taken her top the vets numerous times- when we mentioned the other cats in the neighbourhood the vet associates this with the weeing and is quick to rule out any illness. Looks like another trip may well be in order and we'll have to be persistent!

The one thing that confuses me is that sometimes she squats and wees (as if she is weeing normally outside) and other times she sprays (horizontally) so that the wee goes up the wall or into a shelf. Does anyone know if this signifies anything?
post #8 of 14
Spraying is more of marking territory. But you really should take her to the vet and have a check up. She could have a UTI (urinary infection). If its not medically related, then its behavior related.
post #9 of 14
Spraying is behavioral in most cases - however sometimes it is not.

I would take her to the vet. The vet needs to test a sample of her urine for any infection or crystals. I know you said he gave you pills to rule out an infection, but the only way to know if there are crystals present is by testing a urine sample. At her age, I would also run a blood panel.

What kind of litterboxes have you tried? Is there a chance it's the shape of the box?

Also, make sure you clean where she's peed/sprayed with an enzymatic cleaner.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kippers View Post
Thanks for all your responses so far- as I mentioned we have already tried litter trays inside (3 in total) however she just simply refuses to go in them and will wee elsewhere (not always the same place).
yes, but have you tried them w/dirt or Cat Attract?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kippers View Post
Looks like another trip may well be in order and we'll have to be persistent!
some vets will give drugs to help if the peeing is behavioral.
post #11 of 14
Highlighting what whitecatlover said--have you cleaned the areas she has peed in/on with the proper cleaner? You may also want to use the black light to be sure you have gotten all the places she has peed in the house.

Please don't give up on her. Is there anyway you could seclude her to one room until she gets the hang of a litter box?

Leslie
post #12 of 14
You could try retraining her to go outside. If the cause of the urination is behavior related then you can try rewarding her with treats whenever she goes out of the cat flap (to pee or not). If you use this method make the treats really count and try doing it over a weekend where you can be with her and be consistent with the treats every time. If it's a behavior issue and if the treats are going to work it probably won't take more than two or three days of giving her the treats for it to work.

However, if you're not convinced that it's behavioral you may consider another vet for a second opinion. It never hurts to be sure and so, so often urination in the wrong places is a sign of illness as opposed to a behavioral issue.
post #13 of 14
I have to second the opinions about trying dirt - or dirt WITH the cat attract additive added to it.

You said she hasn't used the trays - but perhaps the problem isn't the trays themselves, it's the litter.

We work with feral cats and kittens. When first rescued, they often have no idea what a litter box is for. They won't use it - unless it has dirt in it. That's what they use outside, and they know what to do with that. So we provide litter boxes with dirt in them. When they start using that, we change the pan to one with litter - but with a layer of dirt on top. For the final switch, we usually take a lump of "pee dirt" (which is now dirt mixed with litter) and put it in a box that's just litter, and that usually does the trick.

Also, if you have not used some type of enzyme cleaner (NOT ammonia or bleach or lysol or anything) to clean up the pee, it is really a must. I'd recommend getting a small hand held black light (cheap at Walmart). At night with the lights out, go through the house with it. Any place she's peed that needs to be cleaned will show up as an orange splotch. I'd also clean up the old places she's gone. Each "pee place" MUST be completely soaked with the enzyme cleaner (Nature's Miracle is an example of an enzyme cleaner that's available at most pet stores and supermarkets). After letting it sit for 10 - 15 minutes, soak up all the excess moisture, then just let it air dry.

Hope the dirt suggestion will help.

Laurie
post #14 of 14
You say you have tried litter boxes and she won't use them but....I have to echo what others have said: try using actual dirt in the litter box instead of conventional cat litter to start with. Put cat attract in the box mixed with the dirt. Also, I would start with a large uncovered box. (Cat Attract is a product by Dr. Elsey, it's sold at PetSmart and I think PetCo. It's a mix-in that you can mix with dirt, litter, etc. The same company also makes a litter with the stuff already mixed in (I think).

Cats can be picky about types of litter. Just because your cat won't use the type of box and litter you have tried doesn't mean she won't ever use a box. You have to start with the dirt and slowly transition her to regular litter. There are many types of litter too - the clumping clay and non-clumping clay, but also pellets, corn-based, newspaper-based, crystals, etc.

Some cats are also very picky about how clean the litter box is. You must scoop every day. I don't think that's the issue here because it sounds like she wasn't using it in the first place.

And I also want to agree with what people have said about using an enzyme cleaner. To the cat, that stuff is all still there even if you can't see it. I like Nature's Miracle products.
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