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My cat won't pee in the litter box anymore!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have an eight year old that that has become quite the problem cat. She is spayed, healthy and affectionate. I have over 20 years of cat ownership experience. The problem is urinating outside the box, and only in the family room. Yet she always poops in the litter box. This started a few months ago when we could smell cat pee but wasn't sure where it was from. Then we caught her peeing right under the dining room table. I took her to the vet the following Monday and they said nothing was wrong with her. I cleaned every stain I could find got two additional litter boxes, one of those pheromone diffusers and the problem has only gotten worse.


Recently I had the carpet professionally cleaned to remove pet stains which cost hundreds of dollars. Then last night I stayed up almost all night to watch the cat, she started sniffing around her favorite pee spots, every time I would pick her up and put her in a litter box (all of them clean). She would never use it. After about five rounds of this she started standing next to the front door. I let her out. We live in a condo so she was just out in the hallway. Which is carpeted and it is easy to get outside into the grounds. She just stayed next to the front door.  I check on her in two hours and she is still by the door. She wants to come in. Immediately she starts sniffing around where she tends to pee. I put her in the litter box again! Then maybe fifteen minutes later when I’m not paying attention she pees on the carpet! I spot her mid-stream and she darts out of the room knowing she is deep trouble.


I’m at my wits end; I cannot tolerate living in a house that smells like cat piss, and this cat is so suborn she would rather pee on my family room carpet instead of outside or the box! I would have considered the hallway carpet a small victory. I think my choices left are, keep her in a cage with a litter box, Give her away (if I can find any takers), turn her into the animal shelter, or euthanasia.  We are very strongly considering the last option.


Anyone have any ideas beyond these?

post #2 of 12

First off, she needs to go to the vet to rule out any medical problems.  Then, clean every spot with an enzymatic cleaner.  Also, try Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter and maybe even put her in the bathroom for a few days to retrain her on using the box.  Have you tried Feliway?  That might help, too.

post #3 of 12

Was she specifically checked for a UTI or just a general health check?


Did the professional cleaners use an enzyme cleaner? You need a cleaner that removes all traces, there are several pet stain products on the market or you can use a biological laundry detergent mixed with water, soak the area quite well since it's been happening for a little while.


Some cats do react negatively to Feliway and similar plug ins too.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 


The Vet ruled out a UTI and other medical problems like kidney failure, and concluded that the problem is behavior.

We have a Feliway diffuser setup.

I have cleaned and re-cleaned with a enzyme cleaner probably into that over 100 bucks, and have recently had a professional remove the pet stains using an enzyme cleaner as well, then steamed it after.


I might try the cat attractant litter and possibly additional confinement. I've been confined her somewhat but I might need to step it up to 24/7 until/if she learns to use the litter box.

post #5 of 12

Welcome to TCS!  wavey.gif


I had one kitty who suddenly acted the same way.

I cleaned the litter boxes, rinsed well, and bought 2 additional types of litter,

so they had 3 different types to choose from - problem solved immediately.   agree.gif


BTW - I had been using Pine Pellets (still do in one box)

and I began using Exquisicat clumping Wheat in one (the new favorite - much better than Swheat Scoop)

and Exquisicat Clumping Pine & Corn in another.


I'm sure she will come around - if you try my suggestion and it does not work,

let us know - we will figure it out.  catman.gif

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I like this three litter idea. I'll give it a try, hopefully this will work I feel like I have tried everything else.

post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by hendem View Post

I like this three litter idea. I'll give it a try, hopefully this will work I feel like I have tried everything else.

Glad to hear it - my Kitties really prefer these natural types of litter, and they are much better for them and the environment than clay  catman.gif


Please let us know how it goes!

post #8 of 12

I'll just make my long story short. After many UTIs and kidney "insufficiency" as my vet puts it, my girl was still going outside the box from time to time.

The vet said she thought it could be stress-related cystitis (I'm gone all day and she is very needy with loving)  and  put her on a tiny dose of Amiltryptiline, which is an antidepressant of all things. First few weeks were rough and I felt terrible because she looked so out of it and was a zombie, but now she's acting fine and happy and the peeing issues have all but stopped.

Pet Naturals also makes a treat called Calming which has an amino acid L-Theanine, she also gets one of those a day, broken up since they are kind of hard.

She's chill purr kitty now... and keep in mind she's almost 17.


I was at my wits end with the peeing though, esp when the vet said no infection present. that was always the fall back to why she wasn't peeing in the box.


I could give you the whole story but just don't feel like typing so if you have any questions just let me know. Good luck! I can sympathize.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Wow thanks.

I'm going to give those calming treats a try. I think some kind of anxiety is also an issue with our cat, since we are not home all that much.

post #10 of 12

I laughed when someone suggested that my girlcat could be stressed because she has quite the cushy life, but then when I thought about it - she's very needy with affection (me only) and ALWAYS on my lap... so me being at work all day with commute time on top if it, she might very well be stressed. Could be an issue with yours too? Both my kitties really like the Calming treats though, and they are picky.


Also, Nok-Out (only availalbe online I think) was the best enzyme cat pee neutralizer I've found over the years.


Good luck!

post #11 of 12

I think you have gotten a lot of good advice. The main things I would try are: 1) really re-cleaning the areas with an enzyme remover (like Natures Miracle), and 2) trying some different kinds of litters (and I second Dr. Elsey's cat attract litter- it's good stuff)! 


Also, have you tried putting a box on the spots where she likes to go? There may be something about that area that is comforting to her. You could also try putting her food and water dishes on the spot- cats don't like to pee where they eat. It may be an inconvenient spot for you but I suppose if it works it's better than pee on the carpet! 


I know it's frustrating but hopefully one or more of these things will work and you guys can find the balance again. If it doesn't keep posting and we will keep trying to think of solutions! 

post #12 of 12
So pleased to have found this site! I'm having the same problem with my 17 yr old cat, she has stopped wee'ing in the littler tray but will still poo there.
The vet has checked her out & all tests came back perfect, much better than usual for her age apparently. Over the past year she has moved house twice, has another adult, 2 teenagers, a dog & a cat move in with her. She's been stopped from keeping on my bed and hated the other cat when it arrived.
Before we moved into our house I put in 2 cat doors but she will only use them to get outside to use, not to a litter tray. We've had a Feliway diffuser going for a week , put out 2 more litter trays and watching her ever move when she is inside but she still manages to wee in the same spot on tiles next to the 2 litter trays! Thinking of trying drugs next but I really don't know how much longer we can have her wee'ing on the floor.

I'm really hoping I can figure out what's going on otherwise she will either become an outside cat, or have to be euthanised soon!
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