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Jas76 05-19-2013 09:40 AM

Any cat experts out there?
 
I am in desperate need of help. My cat won't stop peeing outside the box.

We have 3 cats. Two are 15, one is 12. They've all been together for 10yrs.

My 15yr old calico will not stop peeing on everything. We had to replace the carpet (with pergo) bc of her. (Though we were going to anyhow.). Now she pees on the rug at the bottom of the stairs, or upstairs on the carpet about 3 feet from her box.

We have 4 boxes and we scoop them nightly.

I have tried putting a plastic drop cloth down over the entire area she likes to go in, and she will just pee next to it.

She's been to the vet. She had a bladder infection, and they have her antibiotics. It cleared up fine but the peeing (on the carpets) is still non-stop.

The vet wants to run all these expensive tests before trying anything behavioral. (And I'm fairly sure this is behavioral.)

I'm so irritated. I've read they need outside time, so we thought about an outdoor enclosure - the vet said it wouldn't help, and we'd have to get all 3 of our cats fully "outdoor cat" vaccinated.

The vet said to NOT change the litter - we had thought about that Cat Attract litter, bc a friend recommended it and I'd read a lot about it. She said that would be a huge mistake.

So I'm at a loss. I love my cats, and I don't really believe in getting rid of a pet. But I have two young kids at home, and I don't want them covered in cat pee, I don't have time to constantly be cleaning up after this cat, and I don't want all our stuff ruined. Plus come July it's our busy season and we won't be home as much to find the problem in time to clean it up.

HELP!!!!

Fifi.G 05-19-2013 10:01 AM

I really don't know what to recommend, because it sounds like you have already done the majority of what I would suggest.

Do you have the litter boxes spread as far apart as possible? I heard spreading them out is most beneficial.

I would think that this is anxiety. That is typically the number 1 cause of cats urinating outside of the litter box. *Especially in multi cat house holds*

Yoshimi 05-19-2013 10:22 AM

We had a cat who did this and it was a psychological issue, it stemmed from nervousness, I think we started giving her more attention and not letting the other cat dominate her as much, the problem then resolved itself.

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Hootenanny 05-19-2013 10:38 AM

Cats tend to do this if they are ill. I see that your kitty had a bladder infection and was put on antibiotics. I'm assuming the cat was re-tested for the infection after the antibiotics finished? (If not, you should have her checked again since sometimes antibiotics are not successful the first time around.) Also, cats her age frequently begin to have kidney problems, so it might be good to get her checked for this. You should also have her tested for diabetes, especially if your cats eat dry food only. Is she drinking more water than usual?

Assuming your kitty doesn't still have any traces of infection, and that her kidneys are okay, the problem for her is that she now associates the litter box with pain (the burning feeling she had when she had the infection). What you need to do is re-train her to associate the box with pleasure. So, if you see her going toward a spot outside the box and looking like she is going to pee, quickly scoop her up and put her in the box (this is what the mother cat did to train her as a baby!). Then, if she goes in the box, give her a treat. Do that as often as you can, and hopefully she will start using it again on her own.

As your vet said, do not change the litter. Doing that often makes these problems worse. Also, make sure you not cleaning up the places she is peeing with ammonia. Ammonia smells like another cat's pee to her, and she will then re-pee on the spot to cover up that smell. What you should buy to clean the pee up is called "Urine Off" (comes in a large grey bottle with a pic of cat on it). This stuff will get all traces of the pee smell out, AND replace the smell with an (undetectable to humans) scent that the cat doesn't like, thus discouraging her from peeing there again.

Hopefully things start going better for your kitty! :)

Jas76 05-19-2013 10:54 AM

Only have a second to reply, so that's the reason for my shortness! :)

Kitty was retested - no infection. No bacteria present at all.

Vet never mentioned kidneys even once, which I found really odd.

She has a list of tests you have to do in order. First is the urine culture. I would think next would be a blood panel, but no. She wants to do feline leukemia before anything else, followed by numerous other (expensive) tests before doing anything behavioral. And none of those tests had to do with her kidneys.

She is a very skinny cat - always has been. The vet wanted to check her thyroid because of that, which I was ok with, but she won't do that until she runs through the things on the list before that.

She said to never put the cat in the box. :/

I'm at a loss. I had read so many suggestions online (in articles written by vets) and a lot of her information seems to not match up with that.

Hootenanny 05-19-2013 11:11 AM

Hmmm, I agree with you Jas that some of what your vet is saying is quite different than what many other vets/books would say. I'm certainly not a vet, but I'm definitely a crazy cat mom and as soon as I got my cats four years ago, I bought every book out there on cat health and read them cover-to-cover! So I promise you I'm not just making up my advice! :)

I just don't see a reason why the kitty couldn't be tested for urinary-related issues (kidneys, etc), and for diabetes (this can cause excessive thirst and urination), which are relatively cheap tests, but as I said, I'm not a vet!

In terms of picking your kitty up and putting her in the box, I had to train one of my cats to use the box when she was young, and this is exactly what I did. She'd still be pooping on the floor today if I hadn't have done this! :shock: Is your kitty pooping in the box? Or not using it at all?

Maybe you could try getting a second opinion online? There are quite a few sites where you can ask a vet questions for free or for a small ($10-ish) fee. Explain everything that has happened just as you did here, and explain that you would like to try behavior modifications first. Don't mention what your vet said (cuz that might sway their response), and see what they have to say?

Finally, if you think she is stressing out about something, you could try getting a Feliway diffuser: FELIWAY - Official Site They are also available on Amazon and probably in some pet shops. Many people swear by these for reducing stress levels in cats.

I really hope things work out! :)

PerriP 05-19-2013 12:00 PM

I don't have cats but once lived with a very neurotic little cat, the feliway diffuser mentioned above made a huge difference for her.

I'd also suggest a second opinion, I have a dog and I know they're different but excessive urination tells me kidneys, bladder infection, or diabetes. A complete blood panel would point the vet in the right direction

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juanab 05-19-2013 12:18 PM

Hootenanny, would you mind listing the books that you purchased?

divegirl 05-19-2013 12:26 PM

Oh I feel your pain. I have one cat who has been peeing outside the box for 18 months now. She was put on Prozac and amitriptyline pretty quickly which helped for a while but then it started again. She was eventually diagnosed with struvite crystals in her urine, as well as some kind of bladder infection. So she is now on special food to dissolve the crystals, and I just finished a series of antibiotic injections.

So in the absence of medical reasons, your cat is now probably in the habit of peeing outside the box so that's the behavior you need to change. Anti anxiety medications may help. You may also need to remove her access to those areas. I have Curie (my cat) confined to my screened porch during the day and anytime I cannot supervise her so she doesn't have access to the spots where she was peeing. I also bought one of these http://Midwest Homes for Pets 36 inc...com/B000I1M76Q which is another option for confining cats. The crate is big enough for food, water, and litterbox. Of course, my cat escaped from this crate but you might have better luck!

Jas76 05-19-2013 12:41 PM

We used feliway a few years back when we "blended our cat family". My two moved in with his. We were only in that apartment for a couple of months before moving again. They all got along GREAT until we moved to the new place. Then things got hairy. We moved again and things were better, but still not great. That's when we tried the feliway. His cat is crazy. She's kind of mean and will tear her hair out when she gets nervous.

My cat never did this until we moved into our new house. We thought perhaps it was because the previous owners had dogs and a cat?

Idk. I have thought about a 2nd opinion. I, too, have read several books and articles, etc, and I've had cats all my life, so I totally agree that the info isn't quite adding up.

And I'm really not comfortable with "you have to do all these tests in order before we'll try anything behavioral" thing. I really feel like that's manipulative.

Don't get me wrong - I'm totally willing to run tests on her! I just don't agree with the methodology here.

Jas76 05-19-2013 12:58 PM

My vet said if I let the cat out in any capacity, even confined, we'll have to get her and all our cats fully vaccinated. Apparently their are air born viruses that she could get and contaminate the other cats with? Which makes me confused - are we not able to open the windows ever then? Or open a door to go in and out of the house? And should we pay thousands of dollars to have our house made air tight? Come on.

Idk. My husband really liked her and said she was really nice, etc. But I just question some of what she's saying, and don't really like the way she's going about everything.


And I'm also wondering if I still have my feliway diffusers somewhere!!

juanab 05-19-2013 01:10 PM

Jas, this just screams second opinion to me. I wouldn't be comfortable with a vet insisting upon a strict regimen of expensive tests especially when it contradicts other things I have read. She doesn't seem to have given a good reason not administer the other tests you mentioned.

RedCatWaves 05-19-2013 01:34 PM

I had an elderly cat who had similar peeing problems. We tried everything we could...confining, behavior mod...which didn't work. And we did medical testing...but at some point it just became too expensive to invest in extreme medical care for an old cat. In the end, we put her down. The vet really thought she was at the end of her life and probably couldn't be cured, so we felt good about the decision. Other vets might not be so honest and will take your money as long as you are willing to spend it.

My current cat is "only" 10, and when we got a new puppy last fall, she suddenly started peeing on the floor by the front door. I managed to solve the problem by moving her litter box to that spot. Now, she reliably pees in the box...but I have the unfortunate situation of having a litter box right inside the formal entrance of my house! Every time I try to move the box, she regresses to peeing on the floor again.

Cat pee is horrible stuff, and I don't think an incurable peeing problem is something many people would put up with. So, you're going to need to do what is best for your family.

Hootenanny 05-19-2013 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by juanab (Post 2171685)
Hootenanny, would you mind listing the books that you purchased?

Sure, I'd be happy to! Better yet, I'll post some links to them. My favorites for medical advice/keeping up with my vet are:

Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, Fully Revised and Updated: Debra M. Eldredge DVM: 9780470095300: Amazon.com: Books

And:

The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Cat's Symptoms: Michael S. Garvey D.V.M., Anne E. Hohenhaus D.V.M., John E. Pinckney D.V.M., Katherine A. Houpt D.V.M., Melissa S. Wallace D.V.M., Elizabeth Randolph: 9780375752278: Amazon.com: Books

And for general veterinary info (not just for cats):

Mosby's Veterinary PDQ, 1e: Margi Sirois EdD MS RVT LAT: 9780323055758: Amazon.com: Books

For a more natural approach (also I just love the author's cat stories), plus some behavior advice:

The Natural Cat: The Comprehensive Guide to Optimum Care: Anitra Frazier, Norma Eckroate: 9780452289758: Amazon.com: Books

Finally, for primarily behavioral advice:

Amazon.com: Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss (9780143119791): Pam Johnson-Bennett: Books

Wow, I really am a crazy cat lady. :laughing6: In all seriousness, I considered a career in veterinary medicine at one point, so I find these books interesting in themselves (gave up on it because the job market for vets is a mess). While I never would try to self-diagnose a problem in my cats (or those of others), I have found that these books seem to agree with my vet's opinion in the few cases when my cats were ill, so I've come to trust them. And I found the behavioral ones to be quite successful in helping to modify undesirable behavior (in my own case, ways to remedy eliminating outside the box and food aggression).

Hootenanny 05-19-2013 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jas76 (Post 2171697)
My vet said if I let the cat out in any capacity, even confined, we'll have to get her and all our cats fully vaccinated. Apparently their are air born viruses that she could get and contaminate the other cats with? Which makes me confused - are we not able to open the windows ever then? Or open a door to go in and out of the house? And should we pay thousands of dollars to have our house made air tight? Come on.


Do they get any yearly vaccines right now, such as distemper or rabies?

tycho19 05-19-2013 02:29 PM

I strongly recommend the cat attract litter. It saved me and is now all we use. Also, clean the areas the cat has peed on with Anti Icky Poo to erradicate all smell. Inject it into carpet padding if you need to. Remove any covers from any litterboxes that have them.

divegirl 05-19-2013 02:36 PM

I'm not sure I understand why you would need to vaccinate all your cats if the one cat is confined outside. The crate I linked to can be used inside your house. I can understand heartworm being transmitted through mosquitoes but heartworm prevention doesn't need vaccinations if you use Advantage or some other monthly topical treatment.

Thankfully, Curie has not had a pee incident since I started confining her when she's not under supervision.

I am also transitioning Curie to being an indoor/outdoor cat because she has always been extremely interested in going outside and I figure she will much much prefer to pee outside than inside. I did make sure my cats' vaccinations were up-to-date before I started letting her outside though.

juanab 05-19-2013 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hootenanny (Post 2171712)
Quote:

Originally Posted by juanab (Post 2171685)
Hootenanny, would you mind listing the books that you purchased?

Sure, I'd be happy to! Better yet, I'll post some links to them. My favorites for medical advice/keeping up with my vet are:

Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, Fully Revised and Updated: Debra M. Eldredge DVM: 9780470095300: Amazon.com: Books

And:

The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Cat's Symptoms: Michael S. Garvey D.V.M., Anne E. Hohenhaus D.V.M., John E. Pinckney D.V.M., Katherine A. Houpt D.V.M., Melissa S. Wallace D.V.M., Elizabeth Randolph: 9780375752278: Amazon.com: Books

And for general veterinary info (not just for cats):

Mosby's Veterinary PDQ, 1e: Margi Sirois EdD MS RVT LAT: 9780323055758: Amazon.com: Books

For a more natural approach (also I just love the author's cat stories), plus some behavior advice:

The Natural Cat: The Comprehensive Guide to Optimum Care: Anitra Frazier, Norma Eckroate: 9780452289758: Amazon.com: Books

Finally, for primarily behavioral advice:

Amazon.com: Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss (9780143119791): Pam Johnson-Bennett: Books

Wow, I really am a crazy cat lady. :laughing6: In all seriousness, I considered a career in veterinary medicine at one point, so I find these books interesting in themselves (gave up on it because the job market for vets is a mess). While I never would try to self-diagnose a problem in my cats (or those of others), I have found that these books seem to agree with my vet's opinion in the few cases when my cats were ill, so I've come to trust them. And I found the behavioral ones to be quite successful in helping to modify undesirable behavior (in my own case, ways to remedy eliminating outside the box and food aggression).

Thank you! I want to be the best cat mommy I can be.

chupie 05-19-2013 02:47 PM

I think it's bunk not to try cat attract. I've known many it helped. However since she had a bladder infection it might not be cleared up. Also I'd at least spring for a diabetes test.

Make sure throw rugs don't have that rubber backing. Something about that attracts them.

Interstitial cyctiyis is common in cats and a common cause of inappropriate elimination. It has no test. The best thing is to switch to wet food, no dry. Put water all around and buy a Feliway diffuser for the main areas they stay in. Stress is a huge factor and if your stressed about her peeing she'll stress about you stressing and it'll make her feel like she needs to go all the time. Look up iC in cats on google.

Make sure no one is ambushing her from the catbox.

And water water water. Get a fountain as sometimes that helps. They can get urinary trouble from not enough water flushing their system (also the reason to remove dry).

I'll
Post back when I think if more. There are a lot of things that trigger this although IC, diabetes and kidney problems are highest on the list.

chupie 05-19-2013 02:48 PM

Felv???? For inappropriate peeing??? I've never heard such a thing.


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