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A slightly different "peeing" problem

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Okay, here's my issue.
My 12 year old Himalayan has ALWAYS had problems with carpets.
She's neutered, by the way.
Anyway, when we lived in a house with wall to wall, she urinated almost everywhere, INCLUDING her 3 litter boxes (she never stopped using them as well)

Eventually we moved to a house with wood floors and only a few rugs.. well you may have already guessed that she's urinated on every rug until we reached the point where they are all gone.
She uses the litter box with no problems and she's healthy.

but now we are moving to a new house that has wall to wall carpets almost everywhere and , like our older house, 4 levels as well.
I know already that she's going to be as "confused" as ever by the carpets.. but having her go EVERYWHERE is simply not an option.

ANY help? ideas?

i really do think she simply cannot tell carpet from soil... but understanding isn't presenting a solution.
It's not that she's avoiding the litter... it's that to her, the carpet IS litter.

thanks for any ideas...
post #2 of 24
Cant help with the 'problem' but I can sympathise - my Dirt gets confused with carpet, so downstairs carpet has been changed to wooden floors. If this is not an option in your new place Im sure someone will come up with a solution (one that I will be intested in as well as I have some really nice Persian rugs in my bedroom that are gradually changing colour!)
There is some very good advise on the threads at the beginning of the Behavioural section - well worth a look.
post #3 of 24
Yours is not an uncommon problem. Please click here to read a long list of things to do to stop the inappropriate behavior.

You will find that the most important thing to do is to take your cat to the vet to be checked for a urinary tract problem. Inappropriate urination is the #1 symptom of urinary tract problems. A typical annual check-up won't detect these problems, so you need to tell the vet about her peeing behavior.

Make sure you make all of the changes noted in the thread. Cat's change their preferences over the years, so litter she once liked, may now irritate her, etc.

Good luck!
post #4 of 24
You also want to be sure that your vet catches the urine from the bladder directly by using a needle.That is the best way for the vet to find a problem- a clean catch if you will. But a vet visit is definitely warranted, a very thorough visit too!
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
As ALREADY stated she just had a vet visit and there's nothing wrong with her.
PLUS this isn't a new "symptom" and she does NOT reject her litter. (and it doesn't "irritate" her)
She simply urinates on carpet (if she finds one) in ADDITION.
And as, when there's no carpet, she urinates normally in the litter box, there is no sign of a urinary tract or bladder infection.

these are, you'll excuse me, knee jerk responses.
This is clearly a BEHAVIOURAL problem.
post #6 of 24
Wow! I don't understand your hostile response to our attempts to help. I re-read your post and still didn't see where you said you had taken her to the vet. You said she is healthy, but that doesn't mean that a vet has checked her for urinary tract problems or diabetes or any of the many other illnesses that can cause this behavior. hmmm.....

Did you read the thread on stopping inappropriate urination? It has numerous things to try to stop this behavior. And, it is important to remember that just because something worked or didn't work in the past doesn't mean it won't work this time.

Please remember that we are all nice people who are here to help. There is no need to be hostile to people who are taking time out of their days, for free, to help others who are having problems with their cats.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sorry if I came off as hostile, read it instead as frustrated.

Seemed to me that the repsonses were not to my specific situation, which I tried to be clear about, but rather to a generic "not using the litter box" problem; which again is NOT the issue.

I also did say that this has been her pattern for 10 years.. not something that developed or appeared.
Believe me, if she'd had a urinary infetion or feline diabetes for 10 years, I and her vet would have known.

SImilarly, everything I find in the referenced thread has to do with a cat suddenly not usaing the litter or developing a problem with urination.
This cat has ALWAYS gone on carpets as if they were litter to her.

The only possible bright light I see in this discussion is Feliway, but the results seem inconclusive.
I suppose I shall try to put up a Feliway plug-in and put down a small welcome mat sized rug in our current house. Typically she'd wet it within a week.
if she 'pees' on it that proves conclusively that Feliway did NOT work. but if she doesn't I don't know.. it;'s so hard to 'prove' a negative... and I don't want her having an acident in the brand new hous.
post #8 of 24
So, are you saying that you are not going to try any of the other suggestions in the thread?
post #9 of 24
I can sympathize with your frustration. IMHO, there is no such thing as "generic "not using the litter box" problem". Solving these cases often requires some detective work and it's anything but generic or "one solution fits all". I don't think that this is what lotsocats or hissy were giving you though. What they were trying to do is go with you through the basics of solving such a mystery. There are three avenues to follow for every litter box problem -

1. Medical (which must be cleared out of the way before any other explanation is tested).
2. Litter box setting.
3. Stress from another source (not related to the litter box).

Each of these is just a direction to go with and has so much behind every title. There are several medical conditions that can bring on litter box avoidance. Litter box setting has so many aspects, each of them can go wrong and has to be considered regarding each individual cat's preferences. And stress... well there can be so many causes of stress! Add to that the fact that you can and often do have a combination of either medical, setting or stress and you get an infinite number of situations. So, there is nothing "generic" here and yet you have to check for the same things with every cat - always starting with the medical condition (because if you miss something there your efforts in the other directions will be futile).

Would it be possible for you to hire a professional cat behaviorist? Someone that can visit your home, see the cat and its surroundings and sit with you for an in-depth analysis of the situation? I think that as you have already done a lot of reading and checking yourself, you may need professional help on a one-on-one basis. I do these kind of consultations here in Israel, and sometimes a home visit can tell me so much.

You try this link for a list of animal behaviorists -
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Can you see again how we seem to be at cross purposes?

you say:
1. Medical (which must be cleared out of the way before any other explanation is tested).
first of all, again, she has been evaluated and has no medical problems.. AND she uses the litter box every single day without poroblem, as long sa there is no carpet in the hosue. And when there IS a carpet she STILL uses the litter box, just the carpet as well! so it is in no way a "litter box avoidance" problem.

2. Litter box setting.
same as above. if the box or its location wer the problem, then the introduction of a doormat in the fornt hall would not have any impact on that.. and yet that doormat gets pee'd on within a week.

3. Stress from another source (not related to the litter box).
again, this stress only manifest itself when a carpet is present? Carpet is stressful?

i still believe it's a discrimination problem.. she simply cannot tell the DIFFERENCE between carpet and soil (her natural "litter")

a behaviourist may be a good suggestion.. but my time is short in this particualr case.

post #11 of 24
Could I ask one question? How many litter boxes do you have? Have you tried introducing other litter boxes besides just one to curb the problem. Is the litter pan being used by her for both peeing and pooping?

We are trying to help you- it is just hard to do so within the limits of the typed words. A cat behaviorist would be your best bet at this point and there are probably some close to you.

if you go to our sister site look under Behavior and then Specialists, perhaps you will find one close enough to you to help?
post #12 of 24
Hi...I do agree with the others suggestions and checking her out once again...maybe at a different vet? Maybe yours has missed something...
I am also on a perisian list and they reccomend the Feliway ....even for cats who have always done you might try that
also ....if she has been declawed...this can cause these problems also...
why is your time short? are you going to get rid of her if you cant solve this problem?
Please make sure that if you give her to someone who has experience in this...there are alot of cats put to sleep because of this...when it could have been solved.
I belong to a persian rescue list if you need help...
But i suggest following all the suggestions in this thread before you decide to give up your family member..
post #13 of 24
I just got this in my email...
wonderful ideas...please read!

This is information that may save the life of any cat you know!
> > Please save this information should you need it or to pass along to
> > anyone who's at their "wits end" with litterbox problems.
> > Soiling "outside the box" is the #1 reasons cats are abandoned or put
> > down so this information could save a cat's life!
> >
> > Last week I attended a lecture by Dr. Andrea Tasi of Kingstowne Cat
> > Clinic on "Litterbox Blues" and learned some very useful
> > information. You can print out more information about preventing
> > Litterbox Blues at:
> >
> >
> > RULE OUT MEDICAL CAUSES FIRST: Dr. Tasi said that over the course of
> > her practice she has found that medical problems are the #1 reason
> > cats stop using the box. So she encourages cat people to always rule
> > that out first. (I had urine withdrawn externally with a needle from
> > my 14-year-old cat last month. It really wasn't that bad and was
> > over in about 3 seconds; the cost was under $30 and was well-worth
> > doing.) Cats are "associative beings." That means that if they
> > associate the cat box, or type of litter, with painful urination or
> > defecation, even after curing the infection, they will "still
> > associate" pain with the litterbox. Therefore, in order to break
> > the "associative disorder" its advised to buy a NEW box and perhaps a
> > new litter type, and go from there. REMEMBER: Cats aren't trying to
> > get back at you by soiling, they are doing it for perfectly logical
> > reasons -- you need to think like a cat in order to change your cat's
> > behavior. Never, ever punish your cat as you will not change the
> > behavior, but only make your cat fear you.
> >
> > USE SANDY TEXTURES: As we all know, cats originated as desert
> > animals and, as such, they truly prefer SOFT, sandy textures. Dr.
> > Tasi said AVOID the new crystal products, and coarse litters, as they
> > are painful to the tender pads of many cats, and "just don't feel
> > right." Dr. Tasi generally recommends clumping litters, except for
> > kittens under 4 weeks, who can inhale or ingest the clumping
> > substance and develop health problems, sometimes fatal. She
> > especially likes a product called "Dr. Elsey's (unscented) Precious
> > Cat Litter." Dr. Elsey also makes another product called "Cat
> > Attract" that attracts them to the box. You can take a look at his
> > products at:, or call toll free at: 877-311
> > CATS (2287). If you want a clay free litter product, try "World's
> > Best" which is made with corn. Dr. Tasia recommends filling the box
> > 2-3" with litter.
> >
> > NEVER go into dark, enclosed spaces to eliminate because that puts
> > them in a very vulnerable position. So if a cat is avoiding a hooded
> > box, take the hood off or don't use one in the first place! It is
> > another "turn off" to cats and will often make them go elsewhere.
> > Dr. Tasi said that our cats' noses are 1000% more sensitive than ours
> > and hoods trap the odors and dust. Also, "out of sight, out of mind,"
> > may make us forget to scoop the box as often as we should (at least
> > twice a day). Would you want to go to the bathroom in a dirty
> > toilet? Your cat doesn't either! Cats also find the smells of roses
> > and cheap perfumes in the litter repulsive, so always choose
> > unscented litter. Try mixing about 1/2 cup baking soda into the box
> > if odor is a problem to your nostrils.
> >
> > TRY A DIFFERENT SIZED BOX: Especially for those overweight cats, or
> > cats whose urine sprays outside the box; go to Home Depot, Walmart,
> > etc and buy a BIG Rubbermaid or plastic storage box. If s/he's a
> > sprayer, get one that's very high and cut out an oval entrance in
> > front. If s/he has arthritis, put a little ramp up to the entrance.
> > If they kick litter all over the place, buy one of those large
> > plastic washing machine liners and put your box(es) into it. It's
> > much cheaper to buy these items at a department store than from a pet
> > store. BEST, CHEAPEST SCOOPER: Best scoopers are flat metal
> > utensils with little holes or slits -- I've found the best ones at
> > the dollar store!
> >
> > LOCATION OF BOX: Please put a box on EACH LEVEL of your house in a
> > quiet, out of the way location, that's not next to a heater, washing
> > machine or applicance that could suddenly start up and frighten your
> > cat. Be mindful of older cats who may suffer from arthritis and
> > bladder problems and might find a long trip to the basement painful
> > and difficult (put a ramp or phone book in front of the box entrance
> > to help them step up). Though cats see better than us in low light,
> > CATS CAN'T SEE IN THE DARK, so please don't put their box in a pitch
> > dark basement. Also, the general rule of thumb is to have one box
> > for each cat and put each box in a different location so they aren't
> > competing for the box. And don't place them next to their food or
> > water. Would you want to eat next to your toilet?
> >
> > back to that 1000% nose, look at the box itself next time you clean
> > it. After scrubbing it with soap and water and perhaps a bit of
> > bleach, rinse it out thoroughly. You may want to place it in the sun
> > to dry as sunshine is a natural disinfectent. Then put your nose
> > into the box and take a deep sniff. If there's a lingering odor or
> > it's covered in scratches and discoloration, throw it out and buy a
> > nice new one at Walmart or Home Depot.
> >
> > enzymatic cleaner to get rid of those stains and odors. Remember
> > your cat's 1000% nose will bring him back to previous elimination
> > spots and s/he will pee/poop there again. There's some great
> > products available, including "Simple Solution" Stain & Odor
> > Remover. Dr. Tasi's favorite product is "Anti-Icky-Poo" in
> > Veterinary Practice Strength (she doesn't like it in "regular"
> > strength) . Check your vet's office for it or order online at:
> > Dr. Tasi said you must first
> > SATURATE the spot with solution and KEEP IT WET for 24 hours,
> > covering it with pastic & spraying it several times. Remember that
> > the urine soaked in deeply and then spread horizontally throughout
> > the fibers, so you must get the product deeply into whatever is
> > because of its "urine-like" scent to a cat.
> >
> > OTHER TIPS: Dr. Tasi also recommends another product
> > called "Feliway." This smells like friendly
> > pheromones to a cat and when sprayed in a cat's environment, it
> > creates a comforting, reassuring feeling that reduces the impulse to
> > urine mark or scratch. (A cat's pheromones are between his eye and
> > ear; when s/he rubs his head against you, s/he's putting friendly
> > pheromones on you.)
> >
> > says that many elimination problems stem from boredom. Cats are
> > designed to be hunters and become incredibly bored and frustrated
> > when they are denied the opportunity. She says to spend at least 15
> > minutes each day playing with your cat. Toys like "da bird" are
> > excellent (ask for it at your local pet store); anything interactive
> > that makes your cat run and chase. Dr. Tasi says laser toys are OK --
> > NEVER shine in your cat's eyes -- but can frustrate the cat as they
> > are never able to catch anything. Be sure your cat has plenty of
> > toys to stalk and chase. Here's a great site for toys:
> > You might also want to consider acquiring
> > another cat or two so your pet has somebody to play with. CAUTION:
> > Do not leave string toys lying around as your cat can choke to death
> > on string or it can end up wrapped around his internal organs and
> > intestines.
> >
> > a Cat to a New Home" instructions which are another topic in itself,
> > I learned this simple new tip: While keeping the cats separated in
> > different rooms, try wiping each cat's fur with a separate towel
> > daily. Then place each cat's food dish on top of the other cat's
> > towel. They will associate each other's scent with the positive
> > experience of being fed, and grow tolerant of each other quickl!
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
post #14 of 24
How long has it been since you lived in a house with carpet? Maybe she won't do it any more if she has been away from it for a long time. I have a cat that likes to urinate on some of the door matts, but that is about it. She doesn't do it all the time either. Maybe there is something in the home that was stressing her? Is she the only cat? This does seem like a tough problem to solve, but there are many people here that may be able to help. Please listen to their suggestions
post #15 of 24
I still don't understand why you are unwilling to try the many suggestions offered in this thread. What would it hurt to try these things?

If all you do is say "yes that works for everyone else, but it won't work in my situation" the problem will never go away. Why not say, "well...I don't think it will work, but I'll try it anyway."

If you never make any changes I can guarantee that the problem will continue. Thinking that your situation is so unique that nothing will work will simply guarantee that the problem continues.

Realizing that you are just one of many many people who have had this problem and then trying what these others found works just might make your life (and your cat's life) better!

Try it, you'll like it!
post #16 of 24
Lotsocats - those are good words to live by in general! I am dealing with a cat pee problem, too, and some things work, others don't. It started as a UTI, and once he was cured he didn't go back to the two spots he went in. But, my kitten moved in with him during the day, and surprise! the litter box filled up twice as fast but I hadn't adjusted my schedule yet, oops! So he went back to an old haunt.

On a funny note, my cat actually tried to eat the orange peels that were suggested to repel him! But, the aluminum foil has worked great with the pee problems, and for many other cat behavior problems - but my home decor has suffered greatly . I now have a dresser with aluminum foil hanging out of its drawers - that's a cool look, isn't it? But at least my kitten isn't scaling it anymore - yay! Aluminum foil is great for thwarting my beasties in any situation!

Wittman - I'm sure you're stressed by the situation facing you. You have stated that your cat thinks carpet and litter are ok for peeing, but does she poop on the carpet, too? I'm just curious because if she can't tell the difference as you state, she probably would pee AND poop on carpet. Maybe there is something in carpeting (the glue or backing, perhaps) that she smells and really is marking it, rather than using it as an elimination spot. In that case, you may need to consider this a spraying problem, rather than a "using it as a litterbox" problem. Have you seen how she pees on the carpet? That would give some good clues, too. I had a spayed female that used to spray all the bushes outside, she assumed the same position as the males and only started when she saw a male spraying her bushes. I know your cat has done this all her life, so don't misinterpret this as I think this problem just started for your cat, I just want you to realize that being a female cat doesn't rule out territorial spraying.
post #17 of 24
Yes, females will mark their territories. Cats may also pee on things when they are upset. Take for instance, my Aurora. When I purchased my new computer desk, I had all the pieces in the room scattered about while I was assembling it. Aurora, as nosey as she is, had to keep coming in the room, lying on the paper that had all the directions on it, because I was not paying attention to her. I said to her, Aurora, you have to leave. I didn't want to hurt her by accidently stepping on her, this desk is huge and pieces were all over. She left the room and so did I to take a break. When I came back, Aurora was just leaving the room again after she peed all over the directions, like to say there, I'll show you. So, I guess my point is, maybe your cat just doesn't like carpet or they way it smells? I would just say, the heck with the carpet, especially if your home has wood floors. The wood looks better than carpet any day.
post #18 of 24
I read the other day that some backings on carpets smell like ammonia and the cat thinks they should go on the carpet...this was on a persian list I am on...
a lady on there was having problems with her persian peeing on throw rugs...
post #19 of 24
Bathroom rugs with rubber backings are favorite pee spots for many cats. In this situation I always suggest replacing these rugs with rugs without the rubber backing or to keep the rug on the side of the tub when not in use.
post #20 of 24
Some of my cats pee on the bathroom rug all the time, I can not leave it down.
post #21 of 24
One thing I found out a long time ago, any water on the bathroom floor, and I mean any water, will prompt even the best behaved cat to urinate either on the bathroom floor or the rug. But yes, rubber backed mats are appealing to cats and they will pee on them. My guess would be something they use in the manufacture of the rubber that stimulates the cats.
post #22 of 24
Amber pees in the bath tub right in the drain, silly bobcat
post #23 of 24
How did you come to have a bobcat inthe first place? I am just curious, I always thought it would be interesting to someday have a wild animal like that. I wouldn't want to like take it out of the wild or anything. It would have to be a rescue or if a mother had babies in captivity and they couldn't be realised into the wild. Do you have to have a permit for something like that? If you do, how do get one? What do you have to go through?

I know this doesn't have to do with anything on this thread but I just had to ask.
post #24 of 24
Jen, I will send you a PM with answers to your questions so we do no tie up this thread. I have to go to work, but I will write later
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