TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Peeing prob with declawed cat
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Peeing prob with declawed cat

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey guys! I'm a question-answerer on another site, and have a question that's been posed to me that I just can't seem to figure out. Can you guys help?

Here's the lady's question:

"Hi. "Misty", our five year old feline has begun peeing in our home. Misty was a stray (pregnant) cat taken in by a friend over three years ago. Misty was de-clawed and spayed shortly after delivering her litter.

As our friend was leaving for school abroad, Misty was in need of a new stable home. Misty has now been with us for one year. About three months ago, Misty started urinating on our couch in our living room. It was happening about once per day, for a few days, then she would stop and repeat the pattern. Her litter box is kept clean. Doing some online research, I read to put tinfoil on the problem area, while cleaning the urine out of the couch. I learned quickly that this was not distracting Misty, and we would always find paw prints and pee on the tinfoil. Our couch, which was purchased brand new about two months before taking Misty in, is just about destroyed. After replacing the tinfoil a few times, Misty stopped peeing again, and I thought all was OK. We then went away for a weekend, and as soon as we got back, we found more pee. I do wonder if this has anything to do with being left alone (our neighbour feeds and waters her twice a day for us in our absence) however, it happens whether we are home for weeks at a time or gone for two days. In the midst of doing online research, and trying home remedies, I took Misty to visit her vet, who told me it was likely behaviour induced, and to keep working on the 'tricks'. She was tested for any infections, but was given a clean bill of health.

Just this past Thursday, I had noticed that she peed on one of our spare beds (while I was in the room, back turned to her). This is a spot in which she often sleeps, so I was rather surprised that she did this. As we were planning on going away for the weekend, I removed the sheets to the wash, and shut the door. Returning home yesterday, I found that she had peed (and maybe several times) on the other spare bed. This is extremely frustrating, as my house is starting to reek! I am in dire need of some sort of solution!

In the house reside myself and my husband, as well, a three year old Chihuahua/Min. Pin who have lived there well before the cat. Misty's behaviour did not kick in until living at the house for 9 months. Please help!"

I've already asked her details, like has anything/anyone changed in the house, what's her relationship like with the dog, what's her litterbox setup like, etc. She's not having any probs with any of the three, so I'm kinda stumped.

So, I'm left thinking it could be that the kitty is declawed. Does anyone have any sites/information they can give me that might be able to assist this lady? I don't want to sit and preach to her about the fact that she shouldn't have declawed her kitty, and how wrong it was, because I believe it would be counter-productive at this point, since what's done is done. Know what I mean? I just want to help her figure out what she can do to improve the situation.

Any ideas/advice? I've never declawed or owned a declawed kitty, so I have zero experience with them.

Thanks guys!!
post #2 of 21
I believe that when declawed kitties start peeing in inappropriate places, it usually has to do with the fact that their paws are sensitive and so the litter hurts to walk on. However, after this long, I would think they should be less sensitive, especially as she has not had this problem before. Has your friend checked her kitty's paws to make sure they're okay? I know I've heard of claws regrowing, which would be incredibly painful. Otherwise, there is, in my opinion, probably another behavioral reason for her inappropriate elimination. Have you suggested to her cleaning with enzymatic cleaners to break down the urine so it doesn't smell like a litter box to the cat? I know it isn't much, but someone soon will be here who has a great answer!
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...that's a good idea, to have her check the paws.

One thing I've considered is letting her know about enzyme cleaner, except that she's saying that the cat isn't peeing in any specific spot more than once. Her kitty seems to be changing spots. If it were one specific (or even more than one, and continually) spot, I would have suggested it. I will suggest the cleaner if only to keep the place smelling decent. Could she also use it on mattresses?

I'm kinda stumped, to be honest. I'm usually quite able to find the problem for someone and be able to solve the problem with a simple idea or two. But with this one, all of the things I thought could be the issue, just aren't.

Could her kitty's paws still be sensitive in general? Should I suggest having the vet check the paws to see if that's the problem? If it is, any ideas on how to handle that?

Thanks so much, guys!
post #4 of 21
Could she have changed brands of litter??
post #5 of 21
It could possibly be that she's changed litter (some folks do without a second thought), or that the litter she's been using all these months has caused her toes to get sore, or quite possibly(and very likely), the kitty has developed arthritis in those poor destroyed toes and it simply hurts.

Feline Pine or Good Mews (or similar) have always worked quite well for me when I've come up against sore declaws peeing inappropriately.
post #6 of 21
I would think that feline pine might be a little difficult for a cat that is declawed to try to cover with.

Has she tried Cat Attract?
Also confining the kitten to a small room, (bathroom?), with her food, waqter and litter box where she doesn't have a lot of places to go may be a good idea for retraining to use the box.

Also... try keeping two boxes because some cats don't like to do their poo and pee in one box.

My MIL has a cat that uses one box to pee and the other to poo.

Other than perusing the other threads in this forum specifically for peeing and pooing problems, that's all I can think of at the moment.
post #7 of 21
Has she taken the cat to a vet to rule out UTI's?
post #8 of 21
Unfortunately, many declawed cats have litter box problems. Most of it stems from the fact they were declawed. If the cat has no medical problems (urinary, etc.) and was using the pan BEFORE declawing then that is the reason she's not using the pan now.

And because of this, you see tons of cats to "rehome" in ads stating they are declawed. I'm willing to bet most want to kick them out cause of the litter box problems (or increased biting).

I suggest you try some pretty soft litter and confine her to one area when you can't supervise.

The one thing I tell cat owners who are considering declawing is that IF the cat starts having litter box problems or increased biting they are responsible to keep the cat and deal with the problems - NOT to rehome because they created something that didn't exist before the declawing!
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestions, guys!

One question: She mentioned in her reply to me asking things about the litterbox, etc. that her kitty still uses the litterbox, but has also been doing this outside the box.

So, apparently there are no issues with her not using the box at all...it sounds like that sometimes she prefers not to.

Any ideas about that?
post #10 of 21
Do a search for using rabit food pellets for litter. I think Hissy has a friend who does that for her declaw kitties and supposedly it works well.

She needs to use the enzymatic cleaner even though the kitty is using several different spots. One it will get rid of the stains and the smell and two, the cat could still becoming back to those spots and just peeing near them not on them because she can still smell the urine.

I would also reccommend she see her vet again and ask about arthritis or other problems that can be causing pain due to the declaw.

If it does all seem to be purely behavioural, then I would suggest retraining the cat to use the litter box. she can be confined to a spare room or roomy bathroom that has her litter box and food and water and a felliway room diffuser. If she goes in the litter box consistently for a week, she can have short, supervised trips around the house. Each week that is accident free should let her have longer and less supervised visits until it seems she is retrained again. her vet may also be will to prescribe some "Kitty mood medication" (an anti-anxiety drug) to see if that will help during the retraining (not meant as a long term solution).

meanwhile, i would suggest she invest in several cheap plastic shower curtain liners (you can get them at the dollar stores) and I would just completely cover up anything the kitty's been peeing on. It will give the enzymatic cleaners time to work without letting her "refresh" the spots she's been peeing on.

~Julia
post #11 of 21
I would just tell her it's because of the fact that she had it's toes cut off, but I guess that doesn't help the cat. Everyone's already said everything, Make sure the cat has been vet-checked for all problems, try two litterboxes with softer litter, and use the enzymatic cleaner on the spots she does pee on. Make sure to tell her to use a black light to find the pee spots, they're probably all over the house and she just doesn't know it.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Cool, Zissou'sMom...thanks very much!

Yeah, when I read things like that, ultimately my first reaction is, "well, you shouldn't have maimed your cat, then!" but I knew that ultimately wouldn't help the kitty's situation. Lol...no matter how badly I wanted to say it!

You wouldn't believe the number of people that have this problem!! I don't know why people don't stop and think about what it DOES to a kitty! I sure did!!

Anyway, thanks for your advice! That's exactly what I'll let her know.
post #13 of 21
She didn't have the cat declawed, though, so lecturing her about that wouldn't be very helpful.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
That's pretty much another thing I had been thinking, now that you mention it.

Ultimately, making someone feel badly for something that happened (whether they had control over it or not) won't solve any problems that result from it. I always like to go about things from a more constructive point of view. Which is why I didn't approach things that way.

Ultimately, what someone decides to do is simply that...their decision. What's done is done...making them feel badly for it won't help a thing (though, as you said, and you're right, in her case she wasn't the one that made the decision).
post #15 of 21
On the off chance the cat is stressed about something, a Feliway plug-in may help calm her down. Just a thought...
post #16 of 21
Ah, I missed that it was her friend who did it. However, I would at least mention it because she should know that one of the root causes of this could be the declaw. Not accusatorily, but something like "declawed cats are more likely to have litterbox problems". Just in case she gets another cat some day so she knows not to declaw it.

Feliway also makes a spray you could tell her to put on the areas the cat is peeing, in addition to the plug-in already suggested.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much, guys, for your advice.

I will most certainly let her know all of those things, and will get back to you if I receive any sort of response back.

Thanks!!
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
Unfortunately, many declawed cats have litter box problems. Most of it stems from the fact they were declawed. If the cat has no medical problems (urinary, etc.) and was using the pan BEFORE declawing then that is the reason she's not using the pan now.

And because of this, you see tons of cats to "rehome" in ads stating they are declawed. I'm willing to bet most want to kick them out cause of the litter box problems (or increased biting).

I suggest you try some pretty soft litter and confine her to one area when you can't supervise.

The one thing I tell cat owners who are considering declawing is that IF the cat starts having litter box problems or increased biting they are responsible to keep the cat and deal with the problems - NOT to rehome because they created something that didn't exist before the declawing!

I think it is pretty hard to blame the declaw for the peeing when the cat has been declawed for 3 years and has never had a problem until now. The peeing-declaw correlation has never been proven -- I think it does an injustice to declawed cats in shelters that are seeking homes. If these cats are likely to pee outside the box since they are declawed then I think they should be put down -- not rehomed where they are going to make someones life miserable.
post #19 of 21
It doesn't sound like declawing is the cause here. My cat (not declawed) also had this problem when I got him home from the shelter. With some effort and the usual tricks (and also because he was more at home), he stopped... but when I went away for a few days he relapsed once. That seems like a common behavioral response to me -- the cat was lonely, afraid or angry.

Though the fact that the cat peed on a spot where the cat sleeps makes me think it might be some kind of physical problem. The woman is right that that's not something a cat normally likes to do. The random peeing all over the house and not in specific places suggests that also. Incontinence, UTI, something like that. But the cat's already been to the vet, so I don't know what to think. Did the vet miss something?

Or it could be that the dog is scaring the cat when it's trying to do its business, or else in those different places around the house... and the cat responds by peeing.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Cool...thanks guys! I combined all the advice here, and made sure to do it in a friendly, non-judgemental fashion.

Thank you!!
post #21 of 21
I really doubt it is because she is declawed. Declawed cats do have a problem with the litter for the first few weeks but after they are heeled up and don't usually have a problem not more then cats that arent declawed anyway. It is probably something else especially if your ca just started doing it out of the blue. My cat is not declawed and started peeing all over the house to. I never did figure out why. I think it was cause she didn't like the other animals and she was origionally an outdoor cat and I kept her in. When I started letting her out again for other reasons as well she stopped. I would definatley not let your cat out since it is declawed.
She might have some type of health problem. I would take the cat to the vet.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Peeing prob with declawed cat