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Peeing on my things

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I took all three to the vet last week to rule out UTI, and all litter boxes are clean.


One cat is peeing on anything that is laying around - clothes, towels, rugs or just the floor on cords.  Today I come to find that my purse was peed on last night and I left it laying on the counter.


How to you curb this behavior?


Also need some help narrowing it down who it might be.


I have three cats, all male, all fixed and all around the same age 4-5 years old.  Have had Avery and Cooper together since kittenish age and got Bailey this summer.


Avery - He didn't take to Bailey and keeps Bailey cooped up on the 3rd floor.  Anytime Bailey starts to come down the stairs Avery will chase him back up.  I'm thinking Avery might be doing the peeing as a territorial claiming thing?


Bailey - I doubt it's him because he never is allowed to come down from the 3rd floor.


Cooper - He is a handful, if he doesn't get what he wants then he gets destructive.  I could see him starting to pee to further his destructive patterns.  For example, if he wants more food (he is the largest cat of the 3, while not obese he could stand to lose some weight) he will come to where I am, look up at me and start scratching the furniture up.  He does the same when he wants to go outside - he was adopted from a young age but I"m thinking that the previous owner had him outside because he wants to go outside all the time.  During the summer I'll allow him out on the patio because it's inclosed and there's nowhere for him to wander off too.  But now it's cold and snow/ice out and I don't want him which he is being a destructive butthead.


Also I should mention that Avery/Cooper get along, Cooper/Bailey get along it's just the Avery/Bailey combo that doesn't.  My house is starting to smell of cat pee, last night I couldn't even eat in my dinning room the smell was so strong.  Speaking of, what's a good cleaner to use on hardwood floors to get the smell out?

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

I just noticed something odd while feeding tonight.


Avery was scratching the counter top around his food dish like cats do in their litter.  


Also I went to dinner at my parent's house, and my mom kindly asked if I would leave early as I smelled of cat urine.  Rather embaressing that I went the entire day without noticing it and just states how big this problem really is.  


I have a nice house that smells like cat urine and I have no idea how to combat the root of the problem.

post #3 of 21
I'd love to know the answer. Our cat Ella used to pee on most things. Mostly plastic bags. Now our jaws and bumblebee are peeing on plastic bags too
Edited by rawrmonster - 12/12/12 at 3:44am
post #4 of 21

Well, I've never had this problem, but here are some ideas about things I would try to combat this. First, make sure there's nothing physically wrong.  UTIs can cause this kind of behaviour.  Also make sure there's nothing about their litter boxes that might be putting them off.  Also, make sure they have enough litter boxes.  You should have at least one per cat, plus an extra and preferably, one on each floor of the house.  This is particularly true if they don't get along because they may not want to use the same litter box as the cat they don't like, or they may not want to go to the litter box if they'd have to walk past the other cat to get there.  


After that, I would probably start confining them to a very small area where they have fewer options as far as things to pee on.  You could even start with a kennel with just a bed, water dish, and a litter box.  If you make the choice easier, they're more likely to get it right, and getting things right over and over again is how animals learn.  You could then gradually give them more freedom, like maybe a larger enclosure or a small room, and only let them out if you're watching them.  That way you will catch them in the act and you will rush them back to the litter box so they get the idea.  


Also, you need to really make sure the smell is gone, because they're more likely to pee where there's pee already.  Use an enzyme-based cleaner like Nature's Miracle to really get rid of the smell.  A small amount of bleach afterward is good, because I think the strong, unnatural smell of it makes them less likely to use that place again.  Also, cats don't generally go out in the open and they generally prefer to bury their leavings, so they will probably be more likely to go in a pile of laundry, or something a little more concealing than just flat, bare ground.  For this reason, it's a good idea to pick everything up off the floor and just make it inconvenient for them to pee on.  If they like peeing on plastic bags (again, because they can "dig" it more than the ground) then make sure there aren't any around. 


Finally, I just have to say that I would absolutely not tolerate cats peeing all over my house.  I mean... blech!  I'd definitely keep them confined until they figure it out.  Of all the behavioural problems out there, peeing on things is definitely the least tolerable.  I think you need to take whatever measure you can to stop them immediately and if the only way to do that is to make it so they aren't physically able to reach the places they pee, then so be it.  

post #5 of 21
Originally Posted by socksy 

<snip>  A small amount of bleach afterward is good, because I think the strong, unnatural smell of it makes them less likely to use that place again. <snip>


Some cats find bleach attractive - I've seen a kitten tripping on it - so in my view, NO bleach.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rawrmonster View Post

I'd love to know the answer. Our cat Ella used to pee on most things. Mostly plastic bags. Now our jaws and bumblebee are peeing on plastic bags too


OMG yes plastic bags, I learned that fast.  If plastic bags are left out they will get peed on 100% of the time.


Alright, here's what I have done/are planning on doing.


I bought some of that Nature's Miracle and should have it by Thursday - on Saturday I am using it on every single piece of flooring - and counter tops (because my purse was on a counter).  I am washing EVERY single piece of clothing and fabric I have in the house - auto soak for 30 minutes with hot water with double detergent.


If it is Cooper doing it then he's doing it because he wants to go outside which means he may be bored.  So last night I browsed craigslist and bought a tall cat tree that I plan to put up against some large bay windows I have so they can look outside and I also bought this cat condo play pen type thing that I'll put downstairs.  That way he'll have something on each level.


I am also going to clean out a closet I have on the bottom level that I use for storage and add another litter box there.  Currently I have 2 litter boxes on the bottom floor that are close to eachother and 2 on the top floor - there is no place to put one on the middle floor.  I'm thinking that the separation of the litter boxes on the bottom floor could help.


I have also started shutting doors to places like bedrooms and bathrooms so they can't have access to them - I do have to leave my bedroom door open at night or I will hear a non-stop howling because Cooper and Avery sleep with me/my dog.


I'm hoping that this will help and if it doesn't well I don't know what to do.  I don't want to get rid of my cats but I can't stand the way my house smells and how I smell.  Speaking of which, I put my purse through the washing machine last night (auto soak for 30 minutes with hot water and double the detergent) and the strap still smells - any tips on how to get the smell out?

post #7 of 21
Evaluate diet. If you are feeding a dry diet, stop. Transition them to a wet diet. They may not have infections in their urinary tracts, but it's quite possible they (all or one of them) has inflammation.

Dry diets keep a cat perpetually dehydrated which makes the urine highly concentrated. This can cause discomfort when urinating. (highly concentrated urine can burn) The cat blames the litter box for the discomfort, so pees elsewhere.

Inflammation can also be caused by a dry diet. Again, peeing hurts, so they pee elsewhere.

Keep stuff off the floor.

Add litter boxes.

Keep boxes clean.

Use Cat Attract litter.

Install feliway plug in diffusers to help with stress and territorial feelings.

Give Krill oil daily to reduce inflammation.

(edit) You may have to contain them to one room for retraining, while you eliminate the urine odor in the house. There are many different products from Nature's Miracle, to Nok-Out to Odor-B-Gone.

I would use the Cat Attract litter, especially during retraining.
Edited by otto - 12/12/12 at 6:46am
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have tried the Feliway plugs before (not for peeing) but it had no effect on them.


This Cat Attract litter sounds interesting - I will look into it.


As for diet, both Avery and Bailey eat a combination of wet/dry (Wet twice a day and I leave dry out during the day), Cooper outright refuses to eat wet, even if I do a mix of wet/dry he won't touch it.


I'm thinking of confining Avery and Cooper to the downstairs which has my PC/Fish room (which I normally occupy in the evenings to unwind) the utility room that currently has 2 litter box, the storage closet which will be having the 3rd box and a bathroom.  This will also be a nice break for Bailey because without Avery keeping him holed up on the 3rd floor he will come down to the 2nd/main floor.

post #9 of 21
Some cats confuse stuff on the floor with litter. A lot of cats are attracted to clothes on the floor in particular. I would start by not leaving anything on the floor, even pick up the throw rugs and put them away for now, close the bathroom door etc.
When cats pee like this you have two problems, the first is figuring out what started it and fix that, and the second is to clean up all the pee really good- because cats are creatures of habit, and often after the original problem is solved, they forget why they peed out of the box in the first place and will just return to it bc pee smell is there and they are used to going there. Also you can have a problem with "re-pee-ers" ie cats that didn't start the pee, but mark on top of it, which makes it hard for you to figure out who is the original pee cat.
Since you added a cat this summer, I think that is what started the problem, and that it is a pecking order thing and that it is territory marking. I also rule out Bailey, I think whichever kitty in your house who feels most upset by the addition of Bailey is doing it. Also it could be that Bailey explores the downstairs at night and has been caught by Avery who has decided stronger measures are needed to claim territory.
There is a really good book that you can get which will help you manage the relations between your kitties, it is called cat vs cat, keeping peace when you have more than one cat, here is the link
if Avery is getting less attention now, or thinks he is getting less, you need to reassure him and make sure he gets his share. Also the new kitty may have upset the routine the others are used to, and you aren't happy with the current state of things, so you need to help settle them in a new routine in a proactive way, like doing a playtime befor bed or after dinner at the same time each day, and making time for each one of them, and getting them ready for bed (like infants lol), give them fleeces to lay on and set them there at nite before you go to bed (even if they dont stay they will know what it means over time) all at the same time daily, it is a way of taking charge so that whichever one of them who has taken matters into their own hands, will stop and let mommy fix it so all is well again. There are other good things in the book, you need to get it.
For pee cleaning, throw away whatever you can afford to do without. I use odo-ban, it has a strong odor but it removes the pee smell. I saturate the pee area with it bc anything less, the smell will still be there. I also use bleach wherever possible. You can always wash over the bleach once it gets the pee smell out. If there are any pee areas you can completely cover after washing, like putting a rug pee spot under the couch, do that. After you have cleaned all the pee, you need to keep your cats from returning to the spots. Put loose sheets of aluminum foil over the spots, also you can try upside down plastic carpet runners with the spikes up. I also have used a product called scaat on amazon, it has a sensor and emits a loud hiss if a cat comes near the area that is off limits. This may not work if you have a lot of pee areas all over.
Good luck, this should resolve but you do need to plan this like a project, with the master plan and each step, and above all, stick to the new routine as this is key to keeping them distracted from their infighting and eyes on mommy, the structure will help them feel secure too.
post #10 of 21
I would not introduce the cat tree until you read the book cat vs cat since height is dominance to cats, and there may be a cat tree war lol. Also you need go really smell that tree and make sure it isn't peed on before u bring it inside.
On the utility room I would make sure that whatever you do, don't give bailey prime real estate bc that is probably why kitties are marking to begin with.
post #11 of 21
Re Cooper and the enclosed patio, I would smell along the patio perimeter to see if he marked there. If he did not, then it's not likely him who marked inside. If he did mark the patio, it doesn't mean he marked inside, it just means you can't eliminate him smile.gif
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Well, Avery has never really liked me much even as a kitten.  He doesn't like to be picked up, petted or really anything to do with me - he has never purred for me either.  Avery is my dog's boy, follows her around, purrs like crazy around her, does the pawing thing to her, sits with her, lays with her and etc.


My avatar image is when Avery was a kitten...below is last week - nothing has changed.



I do think you're right that it's a territorial thing with Avery in regards to Bailey.  I'm going to get that book you linked (thank you for that) and hopefully come up with a long term game plan.  I think for the time being that I'll keep Avery on the bottom floor with multiple boxes so he isn't so obsessed with keeping Bailey holed up on the 3rd floor.  It's crazy, I've even caught Avery at night sitting at the bottom of the stairs to the 3rd floor just making sure Bailey stays up there. 

post #13 of 21
Also if Bailey has been downstairs and rubbed his face or paws on anything, cats have scent glands on their mouths and front paws (which is why they claw scratchy boards and furniture even after being declawed). So Avery could be smelling that, plus he is marking stuff bailey has access to, that you have set down in the Avery area?
Maybe with Avery it is just real estate and routine, and not attention, so start with being mindful of his real estate needs when you create your plan? I think you figure in there too for Avery, and just observe him, maybe if the dog follows you then he isn't getting is doggie time smile.gif when u r with bailey? that is such a great pic of them! Do you ever play with them with toys or string? Maybe try that as part of the new plan even if just a little bit, that may help cooper too since u mention he may be bored?
post #14 of 21

I feel that when Thunder doesn't get attention she poops on our clothes. I do want to hold her but she doesn't want to get close. Just when I open a can of tuna will she be a gem. She has only pooped on our clothes 2 times now she did get in trouble for it. I was wondering should you rub the cats nose in it does it help her to understand she shouldn't doit again ? But remember you have to clean it off the nose.



post #15 of 21
Originally Posted by dejolane View Post

I feel that when Thunder doesn't get attention she poops on our clothes. I do want to hold her but she doesn't want to get close. Just when I open a can of tuna will she be a gem. She has only pooped on our clothes 2 times now she did get in trouble for it. I was wondering should you rub the cats nose in it does it help her to understand she shouldn't doit again ? But remember you have to clean it off the nose.


No, rubbing a cat's nose in her poop will teach her nothing but to fear you. Please do not do this, ever. Neither should you punish her for this, ever. She is not doing it to be "bad" or because she is "mad at you". She is trying to tell you something is wrong in her world.

When cats avoid the litter box there is a reason for it.

Either you don't have enough litter boxes, or the litter boxes are too dirty, or she has some kind of physical problem. Constipation is most common, but there are other illnesses that can cause this.

You should have at least two litter boxes for one cat. Many cats prefer to use one box for pee and one for poop. This is an instinctive behavior, not something that can be "fixed".

If you have more than one cat, you should have at least as many litter boxes as you do cats. Preferably one extra box more that the number of cats. Sometimes, with multiple cats, one cat will block another from getting to the boxes. So at least one litter box should be put in a different spot, if this is a problem.

Litter boxes should be kept clean. Scoop out poop and pee every day, at least once a day, depending on how many cats and how many litter boxes. Twice a day is better, especially if you have a cat who does not like using a box that has already been used.

Once all these things have been seen to, if it continues, a trip to the vet and a diet change would be the next steps.
Edited by otto - 12/27/12 at 9:02am
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by otto View Post

Either you don't have enough litter boxes, or the litter boxes are too dirty, or she has some kind of physical problem. <snip>


Or she doesn't like the litter, or it's in the wrong place (too public maybe), or there is something between her and it when she really needs it she won't go past, or she feels unsafe in the house and feels she has to mark...  I'm sure there are other reasons as well.

post #17 of 21
Cats don't respond to negative reinforcement like dogs do, they do not make the connection. Some cats confuse clothes on the floor with litter boxes, they think you put that stuff down there just for them, and you just have to put clothes anywhere but the floor. Get Dr. Elsey cat attract litter or additive and use that, and be sure to get the smell out from wherever your kitty peed or pooped bc cats are creatures of habit and will return to the smell, forgetting why they went there to begin with.
post #18 of 21

I know who peed and pooped on our clothes that were in a basket. I blame this one on Thunder our 7 month old kitten. I have 2 boxes for 2 cats.Bella is a 3 year old American Shorthair (gray,white and blackstriped) cat.. She was here first and both are '' our girls'' since my 2 kids are grown now. 

I clean the box everytime they poop and change the litter as needed. I'm on it believe me ! I don't want the smell in my house.



post #19 of 21

I've had issues with this as well.... It started when I got a self cleaning litter box, it completely freaked out my anxious cat and he started peeing every where but the litter box. Once I realized he was freaked out over it, I got rid of it, but he still kept going in other places... I brought him to the vet, but he was perfectly fine and he's already on a diet for UTI's because of issues his brother had. Anyways, I got the Feliway diffusers, he seemed a little calmer, but still did not want to go where those litter boxes were.... I got the anxiety jacket for him, but for some reason he couldn't figure out how to walk straight in it and was walking around the house backwards, so I took that off of him. I finally got a few litter boxes and put them in different parts of the house, got cat attract litter and the Feliway collar for him and he finally stopped peeing on things!! Until on Christmas, I decided to move all litter boxes back to the cat room, he decided to use a blanket for his litter box last night... So time to move a litter box back to the living room for now... I just hate having it there because I have 3 cats and I swear there's a contest between them on who can use the litter box in the living room the most, so I am constantly cleaning the box out through the day.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Update time.


Caught Avery in the act, my thought on it was he was doing it to mark because of Bailey.  So for the past week and a half I have confined both Avery and Cooper to the bottom level of the house.  I put Cooper with Avery because they've been together since both were young and I didn't want to stress Avery out any more so.  Ever since that move there have been zero litter box problems.  The bottom level is decently sized and has a huge bay window and my 160 gallon aquarium and I went to eBay and bought a few more cat tree things (they seem to be cheap there and my cats love them).


Avery and Cooper aren't completely happy with this setup but it's not like they are being tortured.  The biggest plus side is that Bailey isn't holed up on the third floor anymore.  He has come down to the 2nd/main level and is such a lover boy.  I would have NEVER imagined he was such a lap cat, he sleeps on my chest, my head or in my arms.


I would imagine that the stress level for Avery has gone done as well because he was constantly guarding the stairs to make sure Bailey didn't come down from the third floor.  So he's doing well on the bottom level playing with Cooper and the toys and watching the fish.  I spend all my time between the bottom and 2nd/main level so all cats get attention, when Bailey was holed up on the 3rd floor it was difficult because there's nothing up there but storage so spending longer then an hour up there with him got rather long.


There is some interaction between Avery and Bailey between the door, Bailey comes down to the closed door and meows because he wants to be in my lap and Avery then goes to the door.  When this happens I make sure to put treats down and then shove some to the other side - I hope that they can then associate this as a happy treat time rather then a stressful cat fight time.  I have no idea how to break Avery from his aggressive territorial side.  Can only hope that it eases up over time.

post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by OrientalSlave View Post


Some cats find bleach attractive - I've seen a kitten tripping on it - so in my view, NO bleach.

Hester seriously hates bleach, but I've seen several people now say their cat likes it.  I had no idea!  Anyway, I'm resurrecting this thread because I made some cleaner that I think really does repel cats. It is essentially orange rinds soaked in vinegar.  Then you strain out the orange peels and the resulting liquid can be used as an all-purpose cleaner.  I have read that cats don't like citrus and all of my cats detest the smell.  You could soak a garlic clove in there, too, for extra cat-repelling action.  

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