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Cat pees in sink

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My 3 year old pees in our bathroom sinks!!! This has become a problem because simply rinsing it away is not enough - the urine soaks into the plastic pipes if we don't catch it right away and it takes days to get rid of the odor in the drain.
If we keep the door closed he'll use his litter box like he's supposed to but my hubby and potty training 2 yr old daughter often forget and leave it open. How do I break my cat of this habit??!!
He did have urinary blockage issues when he was a kitten and is on a special diet for that but this has been happening on a regular basis for the last 1-2 years. Since he goes just fine in the litter when he doesn't have access to the bathroom I don't think it's a health issue.
Moving the litter box to the bathroom isn't a solution either as our bathrooms aren't big enough for the litter box.
HELP!!!!
post #2 of 14
can you discuss with your husband and daughter how important it is to close the bathroom door? its probably your best way to break this habit.
post #3 of 14
If the cat has been checked recently, and recurrent urinary tract problems have been ruled out, then...

The first thing to do is make sure that the litter box is properly set up and is always clean. You can read more about the right way to set up and maintain your litter box here -
http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/29/Li...intenance.html

Don't give your cat any reason to try and look for another spot to eliminate at.

Next, you need to come up with a clever way of blocking access to the sink. Teaching a 2 years old to always close the door can be difficult (come to think of that, training your hubby may be even more difficult lol). One thing you could try, and this may sound a bit odd, is to try and place a small bowl with some dry cat food in it, inside the sink. The idea would be to signal to the cat that this is not a place used for elimination. Since cats eat and eliminate in different places, he may learn to associate the spot with food, rather then a toilet.

Remember though, getting the all-clear from your vet, and then keeping the litter box in prime condition are paramount for this to work.
post #4 of 14
I agree with the others. A vet visit is most important. Make sure you tell the vet what is happening so that she will test your cat for a urinary tract infection.

As Anne suggested, making the sink less attractive to the cat is a great idea (once illness is ruled out). You might try plugging the drain and keeping about an inch or two of water in the sink at all times. I'm pretty sure he won't want to stand there in water to do his thing?
post #5 of 14
has the kitty's urine been tested recently? crystals in the urine can make it painful to pee. the cat associates the litter box with pain and tries to pee somewhere more soothing. usually, it's the bathtub, but it could be the sink, too...

good luck! I hope it's not crystals!
post #6 of 14
I also agree, vet first.... and Anne's ideas sound great, but may I also suggest making sure you use something like ammonia or an enzyme cleaner to clean out the sink (if you're not already and it's ok for the pipes... I know next to squat about plumbing!)... if the cat can still smell his markings, he'll continue to think it's ok to peepee there (just like with carpet stains).... just an idea, but definitely hit the vet.... you may also want to place a sign by the bathroom door to at least remind your hubby on his way out of the john to shut the door and find ways to reward your baby when she remembers to close it too! (I'm sure your hubby would enjoy a reward cookie or two also when he remembers, haha)....
post #7 of 14
Have you seen your cat in the process of peeing in the sink? Most likely, he's getting all the way in as opposed to sitting on the edges. If this is the case, it might help to plug up your sink and fill it up with water. He'll soon learn to avoid it.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10
I also agree, vet first.... and Anne's ideas sound great, but may I also suggest making sure you use something like ammonia or an enzyme cleaner to clean out the sink (if you're not already and it's ok for the pipes... I know next to squat about plumbing!)... if the cat can still smell his markings, he'll continue to think it's ok to peepee there (just like with carpet stains).... just an idea, but definitely hit the vet.... you may also want to place a sign by the bathroom door to at least remind your hubby on his way out of the john to shut the door and find ways to reward your baby when she remembers to close it too! (I'm sure your hubby would enjoy a reward cookie or two also when he remembers, haha)....
An enzyme cleaner is a great idea, but Ammonia is actually not recommended. The scent of the ammonia may actually remind your cat of urine and attract him to that spot again.
post #9 of 14
Do you have 1 litter box or two?

Some cats simply cannot stand to urinate and deficate in the same box.
post #10 of 14
Rather than make a visit to the vet, try calling and asking about it. If they think a vet checkup might be necessary, they'll say so. I find sometimes calling and asking is a great way to get some free advise from those that work there (even if you're not talking directly w/ the vet). Still, it may be good just to ensure it's not a health problem (if it seems it could be).

Checking the box is key. My friend Alicia has a cat named Nala, who will NOT use a litterbox that is not cleaned--if the box has been used, she won't use it! She has three litter boxes for her two cats b/c of this problem w/ Nala (the other cat, Remy, is not as fussy).

Also, it could be just a force of habit for your cat now, or your cats' way of trying to imitate using a toilet. Once a cat (or dog) is used to using one spot for urination or defecation, they will continue to return to that spot for that purpose. I like the idea of putting a small bowl with food in the sink. Another consideration I had woudl be to take a board, or cutting board or something to cover the sink when not in use. If the cat can't get into the sink, it may go to the box instead. Or if the bathroom is large enough, try keeping a box in the bathroom (I do that all the time.. nothing quite as interesting as using the toilet and your cat coming in to use their box.. almost like communal toilet use!). Obviously your cat realises what hte washroom is used for, so providing his/her own "toilet" may help, combined with deterrent methods from the sink, specifically.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiomom9977
My 3 year old pees in our bathroom sinks!!! This has become a problem because simply rinsing it away is not enough - the urine soaks into the plastic pipes if we don't catch it right away and it takes days to get rid of the odor in the drain.
If we keep the door closed he'll use his litter box like he's supposed to but my hubby and potty training 2 yr old daughter often forget and leave it open. How do I break my cat of this habit??!!
He did have urinary blockage issues when he was a kitten and is on a special diet for that but this has been happening on a regular basis for the last 1-2 years. Since he goes just fine in the litter when he doesn't have access to the bathroom I don't think it's a health issue.
Moving the litter box to the bathroom isn't a solution either as our bathrooms aren't big enough for the litter box.
HELP!!!!
Is there a way to make a habit that every morning and every night you run the water in the sink. Use the Teflon cleaner once a week maybe. Can you stick to potty training in another bathroom,. Built hubby a thrown in the garage
post #12 of 14
Hmm... this sure does sound like an interesting situation. On one hand it doesn't sound like a health issue, but then again, it could be. Just because he uses the box sometimes and the sink others doesn't necessarily rule that out. I've had a few expereiences with bladder infections/stones in cats and they will still use the box, too, plus a place to make sure you see what's happening. And you said he has had urinary issues in the past -- he could definitely have a slight infection returning, and the sink is his way of showing you that. My George had a few bladder infections in his younger days, and he always opted for the bathroom sink, whereas when Jasmine had her bladder stones later in life, she opted for doorways. It sure sounds like he's trying to tell you something. Just because he's on the special diet for the blockage issues does not mean they can't recur. Jasmine was on the special food for years and still had a number of flareups.
I'd definitely get him checked out, and then try some of the other great ideas about dissuading him from the sink, just in case he does just think it's an acceptable place. Otherwise you just might make him find another place to try and show you that something's wrong, that's even harder to clean.
And by the way, my husband's a plumber...I'll ask him if he has any suggestions for your pipes.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the suggestions - they've been helpful. We tried keeping a little water in the sink and out stopper didn't hold it - and then he peed in it anyways so that one didn't work. We now have a small dish of food in both bathroom sinks (yes, he pees in both of our bathrooms) and that's worked for a few days now. He's been going just fine in the litter box with no problems.
I'm going to keep monitoring the situation and hopefully I'll be able to update this soon to say he's being a good kitty again!
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiomom9977
Thanks for all of the suggestions - they've been helpful. We tried keeping a little water in the sink and out stopper didn't hold it - and then he peed in it anyways so that one didn't work. We now have a small dish of food in both bathroom sinks (yes, he pees in both of our bathrooms) and that's worked for a few days now. He's been going just fine in the litter box with no problems.
I'm going to keep monitoring the situation and hopefully I'll be able to update this soon to say he's being a good kitty again!
Yes please let us know. Also the food in the sink he might eat it. Just watch the weight
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