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Cat Peeing...and I've tried everything - HELP

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have grown up with animals all of my life mostly dogs but over the last 10 years, I have had two cats. One passed away almost three years ago due to age while the second cat still remains with me. H is part Persian part mutt – black and white. Probably one of the cutest cats you’ll ever encounter not to mention he is incredibly sweet and loves everyone meets and vice versa.

My cat was barely a year old when I adopted him from a shelter. He was abandoned by the original owners after they moved out of their apartment and left him. He ran out of food, water, and attention and was discovered two weeks later by the apartment manager. I adopted him three days after being found. He horded his food and was attention starved as I’m sure you can imagine. Over the years, my cat was fine with attention because he also had another cat, however, when the other cat passed in 2008, my cat started to become incredibly destructive. He wants consistent attention the entire time I’m around him and I try to give it to him but it seems like he wants attention 24/7 while the other cat I had was an normal cat all around.
My cat is a long-haired cat due to the Persian genes which was manageable but over the last year he has begun to shed so much its not manageable. The best thing to do is to keep his hair short so problem solved right – well there is one other item that makes this situation even worse. When my cat doesn’t get the attention he thinks he deserves OR if his box isn’t exactly perfect all the time, he pees. Its not like he pees near his box, no…this cat pees on everything. The sofa, the bed, the floor, on anything that’s lying on the floor – doesn’t matter what it is. If he feels he can do it, then he will. He destroyed my last apartment to the point of where it was not acceptable. I moved into a house thinking that wood floors would resolve the issue plus I was sick of carpet anyway so it was a win-win. No that didn’t work either because it didn’t stop him; he continues. He doesn’t have a UTI and is neutered. I’ve tried the Comfort Zone Feliway Room Plug In thinking it could be stress but its not. He’s peeing and not spraying also to clear that up. I’ve had him look at me even though I’ve give him a little attention when I get home and am in the middle of something will choose something and just sit there and pee on it trying to get my attention.

This cat has been with me through Cancer and other devastating events in my life and I can’t turn him over to a shelter because they already told me that because he’s 10 and has behavioral issues he will be hard to adopt out to a new family. They said he could remain in the shelter for a long time.

I’m at a crossroad because I can’t have this continue and it’s affecting too much of my life in the end. I need to now move into a new location and I know his behavior will continue. This is all about attention for him and I give him as much as I can but I can’t do it 24/7. He’s strictly an indoor cat and I don’t feel he has the smarts per se to be outdoors. If it were a farm with a lot of land that might be different.

If he wouldn’t have this behavioral issue, I wouldn’t consider getting rid of him but I feel like I have no choice. If you were me…what would you do?
post #2 of 7
I just went through something very similar. I have a cat that was peeing everywhere in my house (counters, tub, floors, rugs, laundry etc) every day!!! I brought her to the vet and nothing was medically wrong. She had been through bouts of UTI's in the past and thats when the litter box avoidance had started. Apparently she just stuck with the behavior even after the infections were cured. So- the vet diagnosed her with a behaviorial issue. She reccommended medication. I had already tried different types of litter, more boxes, feliaway plugs etc. Nothing worked. I was against meds.....but at this point it was my last resort. So I know this sounds crazy, but they put her on prozac and within days she was not peeing anywhere!!!!!! Its been a miracle so far.......I didn't think this would work either but it did!!!! She is even running around playing now. Before she would lay around all day.....a lump. Now she's lost weight and is so much more active and happy. So you might want to talk to your vet about trying medication. My vet did say that it won't be permanent......we are just trying it for a few months and then will wean her off. She's been on it just over a month now.
post #3 of 7
Even if you're going to give medication a try, there are a number of things you should do.

1) You have been cleaning everything with an enzyme cleaner? They're not all created equal, and the best one we've found is Nok Out:

2) You've gone through your home with a black light to find all the affected spots/clothes/furniture? Cushions/couches often need a second or third treatment, because pee wicks and you MUST get everywhere the pee went with the enzyme cleaner, or the smell of pee outside of the box just continues to encourage kitty to go outside the box.

3) I'd replace the boxes, put them in new spots, and use Cat Attract litter.

4) Continue to use Feliway. It's not just to stop spraying, but to reduce stress. Your kitty is clearly unhappy.

5) Can you afford something like the Litter Robot? They're expensive, but they are FABULOUS. Easy to clean, easy to dump the litter, and they keep the box clean, so it's always perfect. Works much better than the rake systems.

We broke our kitty's cycle with elavil (amitryptaline). We've never used prozak. Elavil is not an effective anti-depressant, but it is the medication they give to kids to stop them wetting their beds. One of its side effects is urine retention. For some reason, in cats, this often results in them peeing once a day - and in a box. Worked for Spooky. It did make her dopey for about three weeks, and then she moved back to being normal. Some people get really upset seeing their kitty sleeping and kind of dopey - but it gave all of us the break we needed to clean up our home of pee. She was on it for about three months, then we weaned her off, and she was just fine. She's an 11 lb cat and was on 10mg given once a day - but it's not a med you just stop using, we halved it for two weeks, I think, then went to every other day... and I think that was it.
post #4 of 7
Everything she said: is the best advice! I would also add more litter boxes around your home. I do like the cleaner NOK out, and also Stink Free (Petsmart sells that along with the black light).

I had never heard of the Litter Robot, but just googled it. WOW, I think that is a very cool litter box, might just have to get one and try it out..

Good luck, and I am sorry you are dealing with this problem with your cat. Sounds like it has been going on a very long time, and has become a way of life for your cat. LDG's advice was spot on and I wish you the best. This is always the biggest nightmare for us cat lover's (the out-of-box issues).
post #5 of 7
I second Laurie's advice about using Nok Out and Cat Attract litter.

What specific medical tests have you done with your boy? Even if a vet ruled out a UTI, he could have crystals, which make urination painful, thus an avoidance to a litter box. The fact that his coat has become unmanageable is also a clear sign of a medical problem. And the medical issues may or may not have anything to do with his urinary tract. If he is 10 years old, he needs a complete geriatric exam, including a thorough check up on his urinary tract. Always rule out medical issues before pursuing behavioral modifications. Cats are remarkable about hiding their pain. A cat doesn't do things like this out of spite. They do it because something is wrong with them.
post #6 of 7
Actually, Amy makes a REALLY good point. I totally forgot to add - once we broke Spooky's stress peeing cycle, a year or so later, she peed outside the box. I thought "Oh no, here we go again!"

But being responsible kitty parents, we got her to the vet ASAP just to be sure. And lo and behold - she desperately needed a dental. We know she has plaque problems and for whatever reason that year we'd let the time slip by and didn't get her in for her six months dental. She was in pain.

Any time Spooky is sick with ANYTHING or in pain in her mouth, she pees outside the box. She's never had a behavioral problem after that one few month period - and I'm not even convinced that it wasn't that she was in pain in her mouth back then.

Also, our Tuxedo was peeing outside the box. X-rays indicated his bladder wall was inflamed, but no reason could be determined. It was labeled "idiopathic cystitis," though we knew he'd had a problem with crystals - and was already on a prescription diet. The vet suggested that we have a high resolution MRI done on his bladder - their MRI wasn't seeing anything. But before we went the route of exploratory surgery, he felt it was the best option. So we scheduled that. And yes, there it was - a very small clump of crystals embedded in his bladder wall. He required surgery to have them removed. He was clearly MUCH happier - and immediately stopped peeing outside the box.

I think that your kitty is a senior, and I'd explore every potential health issue - and if one vet gives him an all clear, and his blood work looks good - I'd take those results, and go get a second opinion from a different vet at a different practice. Ask around family and friends, and go to the one that someone is most passionate about.

These things I'd do in addition to the rather simple steps that can be taken at home in the meantime. And I would definitely want to rule out any health or pain-related problem before using medication to treat what may not be a behavior problem.
post #7 of 7
Regarding the peeing problem, I have nothing to add. You've gotten great advice above from very experienced cat people. I hope you can figure it out because you are right that your cat will have little chance in a shelter.

But when you do get that problem solved, sounds like there is another issue with your kitty being lonely as an only cat. Have you considered adopting another cat? Maybe another senior? I wouldn't do this, however, until the other problem is solved.

Hope you can solve your Kitty's problem. He's depending on you.

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