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Problem Cat will not stop using floor as bathroom. I'm reaching end of my rope.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

A little background.

 

About three years ago, a friend was living with my partner and I.  He decided to get a cat, then a year later was forced to relocate to another city and find an apartment where he was unfortunately unable to have pets.  He left her with us, and we've been dealing with a fairly major problem since.

 

For the last two years, if the catbox is not _pristine_, she will not use it, if she uses it at all.  There are two other cats in the house, and we've had a single catbox and even two catboxes, but no matter what we do it seems that every day or every second day, she'll leave a "present" on the tile in the laundry room where the boxes are.  There are no other suitable locations in the house for a box to go, as the rest of the home is carpeted and there isn't a space where a catbox wouldn't be ridiculously onerous to the humans in the house.

 

We clean the boxes daily, have tried everything except for an automatic box that we just can't afford (and don't want to buy knowing there's a risk that disposable components may go out of supply) and have noticed that she's recently started to piss on the floor as well.

 

What can I do?  If this can't be solved, I cannot keep taking care of this cat. I feel that cats are members of the family, but I'm at the point where I'd have to consider putting grandma in the home.

 

post #2 of 5
Have you ever taken her to the vet for a urine culture and urinalysis? Urinating on a hard surface is usually a sign of some type of medical problem. About 80% of the time, when a cat urinates outside of the litter box, it is a medical problem. They have very few other ways to let us know there's an issue.

It may not even be a bladder or urinary tract infection, idiopathic cystitis, or kidney stones. Cats are great at hiding pain (as an instinctual survival mechanism), and urinating outside of the box is a big red flag that there's a problem. For our cat, it's when her teeth hurt and she needs a dental.

Cats are very senstive to stress, and as this has gone on since her daddy left, it may be a cycle of stress (although stress peeing is usually done on soft things, mixing the scent of the cat with other scents of people in the home).

If you haven't gotten her to the vet, that is the first thing you must do. I don't know if you've ever had a UTI, but they are very painful. If she's had a low grade problem for all these years, it's no wonder she associates the litter box with pain sometimes.

IF she gets an all clear, then you need to determine if her bladder wall is inflamed - a sign of idiopathic cystitis, basically caused by stress. There are many things that can be done to treat this, but we can address those if the vet determines that's the issue.

If she gets an all clear, and she does not have idiopathic cystitis and this is determined to be behavioral, there are many things you can do to help solve the problem. I don't know what you mean when you say there aren't any other places where a litter box wouldn't be onerous to the humans in the house. If the problem is behavioral, you may need to be a bit more flexible for the sake of your mental welfare given the problems caused by the kitty peeing outside the box.
post #3 of 5

As long as you clean the litter box regularly, there is no need for an automatic litterbox, so no need to worry about that one.

 

As Laurie said, your first step is to get a full vet checkup, including a urine culture. You can find some articles that may be relevant here - 

http://www.thecatsite.com/atype/45/Cat_Care/tag/36458/

 

We're here to help with specific guidance, but first things first, we need an all clear from the vet.

post #4 of 5

As LDG said, a vet visit would certainly be a good starting point. Couple other things:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TellarHK View Post

There are two other cats in the house, and we've had a single catbox and even two catboxes, but no matter what we do it seems that every day or every second day, she'll leave a "present" on the tile in the laundry room where the boxes are.  

 

We clean the boxes daily

 

 

With 3 cats and 2 boxes, you really should be cleaning the boxes multiple times a day. Either add at least 2 more boxes or 1 really large under-the-bed storage type box (can you put one in a closet somewhere, or under a table?) or start scooping like crazy! Like at least 3 or 4 times a day. If 3 cats each go pee an average of 3 times a day, and poop once or twice a day, that's at least 12 "items" a day that need scooping. Lots of cats won't use a litter box if they find even one thing in there already (I have a cat like that). 

 

Was there a change in the type of litter used since she's been living with you? Cats often develop strong preferences to litter texture and type and changing it quickly can cause them to look for other options. 

 

How well do all the cats get along? Anxious relationships between cats (even very subtle ones that might be hard to notice, such as a cat lying in a doorway to prevent another cat from going by) often manifest in inappropriate elimination. 

 

Here are a few links with more ideas that could help you figure out what's going on:

http://www.catinfo.org/?link=litterbox

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/inappro-elim.html

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/inappro-elim2.html

http://www.hdw-inc.com/litterbox.htm

post #5 of 5

I would wonder about placing a box or two in different rooms if you have a "safe" floor in another room. Just a thot.

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