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another potty problem

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have two beautiful kitties named Gwen and Lacey. Here is some background on the problem...

last year I had a baby. Gwen started urinating in strange places (my bed, my hubby's clothes...) We started locking both cats out of the bedroom. Then, Gwen kittens used a bath mat in our basement as a toilet (didn't know when until it was way too late) and Lacey decided that it was okay for her to go there too. I'm sure it was her, but can't prove it. I washed them and bleached them and fabreezed them. She just kept using it. Them, our main bath mats started getting used. I was keeping up with the litter box the best I could (with a brand new baby and all) we have a Littermaid. We then moved across the country and stayed with my mom for 5 months while our house was being built. Gwen started using my mom's couch as a litter box! I was pretty sure it was her, because we caught her a few times. She actually went into a 2 month long heat just after arriving there and that's when I noticed the urinating problems with both cats. It mostly occurred when they were in heat. So, I had my wonderful momma cat spayed but it didn't help. She kept going back. My mom even set up another litter box next to the couch. Now, we are in our new house and have unpacked the old bath mats (it's been 5+ months) and they are back to using them. I'm not positive who is doing it.

So, here are some of my questions...
1) I'm pretty sure that the baby had a little to do with this, but the baby is not going away. Do I have to get rid of my cats?
2) I thought that after 5+ months that it wouldn't be a problem. But, it's like it's ingrained in them. Do I have to get new bath mats?
3) I have one littermaid in the laundry room on the main floor. Do I need another one? I have a "multi-level" home.
4) What is this enzimatic cleaner I keep hearing about?
5) How do I find out who's doing this? I feel locking one cat up would be stressful enough to make bad behaviour come out. So then I wouldn't know for sure. I kept both cats in the bathroom\\laundry for several days with short excursions around the new house to acclimate them. I was hoping it would engrain where the potty is and maybe retrain both of them.

What can I do?
post #2 of 6
Please take the cat to the vet and tell the vet what she is doing. You need to specify that the cat is urinating outside the box so that the vet knows what to look for. Peeing outside the litter box is the #1 symptom of urinary tract problems!

If the vet says she is okay, then consider making a few changes.

If you use a covered litter box, take off the lid. Many cats refuse to use covered boxes.

Cats prefer fine grained unscented litter. So, you might try changing litter.

Make sure you have at least one litter box per cat.

Make sure you scoop the litter box daily, and with multiple cats, scoop twice daily. Cats often refuse to use dirty boxes.

If your litter boxes are real old, they may have absorbed odors even if you regularly clean them. So, try buying new boxes.

Make sure your litter boxes are in a place where the cat feels safe while going potty. If she is disturbed by you or your kids or the other cats or dog while he is trying to potty, she will choose to use a safer location. So, move the litter box to a location where she can see the comings and goings of the other people & animals in the house.

Put a litter box on each level (floor) of the house.

Make sure you thoroughly clean all old urine spots on the rug and elsewhere. If she can smell the old urine she will think that place is a good place to pee. Use a flourescent black light to find old urine and treat all old spots with an enzymatic cleanser.

Try putting a plastic carpet runner upside down on the places they like to pee....most cats don't like to walk on the "spikes" so they will avoid the covered spots.

Put something real smelly where she likes to pee...most cats hate the smell of citrus, so try
putting citrus scented air freshener or orange peels or citrus potpourri where she pees.

Get rid of the bath mats! When you buy new ones, get them without the rubberized backing. Some cats are drawn to the smell of the rubber and will pee on the mats because of that.

Good luck!!!
post #3 of 6
Enzymatic cleaners are special solutions that have enzymes in them that "eat" the urine. Since the urine is digested by the enzymes there is no more smell. There are lots of enzymatic cleansers out there...I hear that NokOut (?) is excellent.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Is it at Petsmart?
post #5 of 6
Sandie gave this link for Nok-Out.


There are enzymatic cleansers you can get at PetsMart or WalMart, but I trust Sandie, who says that Nok Out works better than any other.

Good Luck!
post #6 of 6
LOL, yes after all the trials on cleaners, I did find that the Nok Out does work best for ANY offensive odor. Of course I found out it REALLY worked well with urine because I had the same problem with a cat of mine. I also deal with whole males in occasion and it works wonders with that too.
Himy mom, first I would try everything that lotsocats suggested. In addition you can also try what you are doing now. Pick a room to keep them in together just for a week or two. See if they are doing it when taken out of every day life. I would also like to ask if there's been any other behavioral changes with either of them since this started.
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