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Lock her up...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
and throw away the key?! I'm about ready to. For years Frankie has been having out of box experiences. I have tried everything (and I mean everything) except for medication and none of it seems to be a permanent fix. Ever since we started re-arranging for the baby she's been at it again after having been good for several months straight. She's still sticking to tile but I'm tired of living in tin-foil and even that's only effective 80% of the time.

Ok, I lied, I haven't tried shutting her into a smaller area. Both cats have free run of the house and now I'm thinking about shutting her in the laundry room during the night. Most of her "accidents" happen when we're asleep but my concern is that if I lock her up at night she'll just wait until I let her out and continue to pee on the floor.

I swear they are both trying to drive me crazy! I guess this is as much a vent as anything. I don't know what we're going to do if she's still acting up after the baby starts to crawl. Hopefully we'll have a house and a basement. I hate to keep her "locked up" all the time but it's the only option I see at this point. I can't give her up... who would want her. She's almost 12 years old and been doing this for the better part of 8 years!
post #2 of 16
I think putting her in a "safe" room at night is a great idea. Worth a try at least.
post #3 of 16
If she has been doing this for eight years the only thing that will stop her is chemicals. Prozac is generally the first drug they will try and it will alter her behavior. She may become depressed, drooly and sort of catatonic (no pun intended) It is not a nice drug to give (cats hate the taste and any cat of mine that has had it, hasn't gotten it but a few days) Perhaps an easier solution is give her an outside enclosure to get to from the house and put several large boxes in there for her. it is natural for cats to potty outside. It would be sad to lock her away for something that is commonplace for cats to do, just because it is smelly and frustrating for the rest of us. Dusty Rainbolt's latest book Cat Wrangling goes into great detail about what to do with outside the box piddlers. She speaks from experience and some of my own accountings are also in her chapters as we both live with multiple cats and this is a common problem for us to deal with from time to time.

Look for her to start really peeing on carpet etc once the baby arrives, because the baby will bring new smells and she will want the house to smell like something she is familar with. I would bet you are bringing new furniture and items into the house for baby? If you are, buy a large bottle of feliway spray and douse the items before you bring them inside so they smell friendly and not hostile.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
MA, That (and the fact that she's a terror to medicate) is exactly why we haven't gone that route. I do have a diffuser running but had forgotten about the spray. I'll have to get some next time we're out even though most of the new furniture is here already. I might try bringing her to bed with us at night and see if that helps. She usually stays in our room when I do and has NEVER had an out of box experience in there. I'll also see if I can't fidn that book. Thanks!

We do have a plan for the baby smell too. I'm going to take one or two of DH's undershirts and put them in bed with us for a few nights... then take them to the hospital and put them with the baby for a few hours then have DH bring them home. Hopefully, they'll associate his smell with ours and have an easier time accepting that it belongs here.
post #5 of 16
Will she take pills if given in a pill pocket?

If you want to try chemicals, I would definitely try Elavil (amytriptaline) over Prozac first. It's an old-line anti-depression medication that doesn't work very well for depression. But in cats it causes them to retain their pee, and for WHATEVER reason, they seem to use the box then. Don't ask me why, but our vet had great success with it. It's what we used with Spooky when we were at our wit's end. That, and the Cat Attract additive sprinkled on top of the litter in the boxes every time we scoop. Spooky was on it four or five months before we successfully weaned her off of it.

She slept pretty much all of the time for the first three weeks, but after that she was basically back to her happy normal playful self. EXCEPT instead of peeing outside of the box on our bed or the couch, she peed once a day (a huge pee) in the box.

I think with Baby coming, it's really worth a try rather than locking her up.


P.S. Spooky is 11 pounds and took a 10mg pill once a day.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Never tried a pill pocket but I've tried hiding pills in everything from wet food to chicken (her favorite) and she always seems to eat around it. I'll definately consider talking to my vet about that though.

Oh, and my other thought was to contact a behaviorist. I was going to last summer but my appointment got canceled and by then she was back to using the box like a good kitty.
post #7 of 16
It can't hurt to try.

post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Will she take pills if given in a pill pocket?

If you want to try chemicals, I would definitely try Elavil (amytriptaline) over Prozac first. It's an old-line anti-depression medication that doesn't work very well for depression. But in cats it causes them to retain their pee, and for WHATEVER reason, they seem to use the box then.
Laurie, that's interesting since I believe it is Elavil (and other anti-depressants) that has been used in the past (not sure if it still is) for bedwetting children.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
And the urine retention doesn't cause any UTI's or anything like that?
post #10 of 16
Nope. No problem with UTIs. This guy, BTW, is a GREAT vet. He is the one that figured out what was wrong with Flowerbelle when the other vet practice almost killed her, and he's the one that saved Tuxedo's life. He totally goes above and beyond. Actually, once we moved back into the RV, we started going back to the old vet (10 minutes away vs. 45) and overheard someone discussing a behavioral peeing problem. They were going to put the cat on Prozac. We asked about elavil (amytriptaline) and the vet had never HEARD of it. !!!!!!!!!!!

So when it comes to this kind of stuff, I totally trust the (good) vet. And it did work - and via PMing with people here, I know it's worked for others. The best part (for most) is that it usually only needs to be used for 3 - 6 months. With your kitty, it may have to be a long term solution (if it works). I don't know what potential side effects are of long term use, but I'm waiting for a call back from our vet on a different issue, so I'll ask him about it.

I know it's used in humans for various things (though rarely as an anti-depressant ), but I didn't know it was used for children with bed wetting problems. My guess is that in humans it also causes us to retain our pee, and maybe that's why it helps kids make it through the night?

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Very interesting! I look forward to hearing what you vet says. In the mean time I think I'll buy some pill-pockets just to see how she handles them. With normal treats she doesn't even bother to chew them so maybe the pockets would work. Thank you Laurie!
post #12 of 16
Maybe you could find a compounding pharmacy to put them in a form she would eat?
post #13 of 16
Oh that is a GREAT idea! There are two compounding pharmacies out here, and they both do meds for pets - when we needed to medicate Tuxie with a bunch of stuff, we got it tuna flavored!

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
We've got a few compounding pharmacies. Of course, DH is totally against the idea of medicating her which surprises me a bit. I'd like to avoid meds too but I also can't have a child crawling around on a pee covered floor. I did bring her you bed with us last night and she stayed. So when we got up this morning I ushered her into the box where she went potty and got lots of love and treats.
post #15 of 16
Well, you may have already found your solution.

I did chat with my vet. He said that the only issue with long term use varies from cat-to-cat and it's just their ability to metabolise the drug, so to be safe, blood work to check liver enzymes should be done at least annually, and the vet who knows the kitty should decide if every six months would be appropriate. But normally there isn't an issue, and if one develops, it isn't permanent, it's solved by weaning kitty off the meds over a couple of week period.

So there's that info.

I hope you don't have to turn to meds either. No one wants to. We felt like failures when we made the decision. But it actually worked, for us, for Spooky. In the meantime, maybe buy the cat attract additive, and see if that helps too.

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank again Laurie. I'm not sure she's been good while we've been gone all day but I'll put her back in the box when I get home tonight. And I'm off Friday so I'm going to get a few things that I hope will help. A new box (the one they use is over a year old and probably saturated with smells), a new litter mat (cuz she pees on that too), some feliway spray, cat attrach additive, and the stuff to plant her some cat grass! She'd rather have grass than nip so I figure that might help improve her mood too if that has anything to so with it. This way she has the best start to the weekend possible since we're going away for the holiday.
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