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Unread 09-19-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Not another urinating thread...

I rescued a tiny black kitten whose litter had been ran over (and we think killed ) by a back hoe. We didn't name her for fear she wouldn't last the night. She was malnourished, dehydrated and overheated. I believe it had reached 102 that day. Texas in the summer is rough on a black long hair! The next day we got some milk in her tummy...and on her face, chin and chest...and figured out her age. She was barely three weeks old. It didn't take long before she was back on her feet and exploring my tiny apartment.

She's always been tiny. She's always been mischievous. But she's usually behaved pretty well.

When she was about eight months old, my boyfriend and I decided that we would move him into my apartment with his two year old male cat. Nym hadn't been spayed yet, because when she was six months, the vet was still nervous about her tiny figure. But my boyfriend's cat Kon was neutered, so we thought it was no big deal. Kon had lived with another cat before, and Nym loved playful dogs, so I figured a playmate would be good for her.

Move in day comes. Both cats are curious but nervous, and generally spend the day staring at each other from different rooms. We had decided to let one have the bedroom and the other the living room when we weren't home or were sleeping, so there would be no fighting. We get Chris's larger mattress into the bedroom. Chris and I both sit down on it for a bit, since we're tired after moving his furniture in. Nym promptly comes into the bedroom, sniffs the mattress, and urinates on it! She's never done this before. Chris and I decide that maybe it's the smell of the other cat and she's "marking". It's the only thing I can think of. So I start cleaning the mattress the best I can. We get a new comforter/sheet set. She urinates on them the moment we take them out of the bag. We decide not to let her sleep with us.

When the two cats were starting to enjoy each other's company, we kept both outside of our room at all times. We only slept and changed in there, so it wasn't so bad. After a month or so of no incidents, I left my snuggie on the floor next to my computer desk when I went to bed. I thought it was no big deal because so far she had only urinated on things that didn't smell like me. When I went to pick it up the next morning, it was full of urine.

We got her spayed, but she continues to do this.

We can keep her from having "accidents" by not letting her in our bedroom and keeping piles of clothes/blankets off the floor. But now we have a problem. We're moving into a large apartment with some friends who have a dog. Both cats have gotten along with dogs before but we plan on putting a baby gate on our bedroom door so the cats can get away from him if he gets too rough. So both cats will constantly be in our bedroom and bathroom. AND the new apartment is completely carpeted whereas this one is hard wood floors. What should I do?? I'm not even sure what's causing her to urinate on things!

We do have two litter boxes. I am bad about not scooping them every single day, but Nym's never been finicky before. Kon does use both litter boxes; I know he doesn't have a preference. I have thought of maybe that she doesn't like using the same litter box as him, but we go months with no "accidents", as long as there are no blankets on the floor.

Anybody have any ideas?? Nym is my baby, my rescue. I raised her from three weeks old, and she's a beautiful sweetheart. I don't know what I'll do if I have to get rid of her.

Sorry for the long thread but I have to find out why MY cat is having this problem. I've been reading other posts and trying all the suggestions, but my situation seems different than all those.

Last edited by Nymarie; 09-19-2010 at 03:24 AM.
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Unread 09-19-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

The peeing will probably get worse with the stress of the move, and the dog.

Have the carpet cleaned with a special enzymatic cleaner before moving in. You don't know, there may be other pets been peeing on that carpet. Cleaning it with an enzyme cleaner will at least give you a head start.

The very first thing you need to do is take her to the vet to be checked for a urinary tract infection and crystals. The vet should send the sample out to a lab for a culture. A culture takes longer and costs more but it is more thorough. She may need to be on a special diet.

Your vet may recommend certain mood altering medications if the problem continues after all health issues have been ruled out.

Next: you need to add at least one more litter box. Two cats=three boxes, but because of her issue, I would add two more.

And keep them clean. Cats hate dirty bathrooms. Would you like to have to step in a ton of pee and poop just to do your business? Of course you wouldn't, and cats don't either. Cats are fastidious creatures.

Scoop the boxes at least once a day, twice is better, and dump and scrub once a week, but no less often than every two weeks.

I keep two sets of boxes. One set is in use while the other set is being cleaned.

Third, install some feliway plug in diffusers to help with territorial feelings. This will help her feel less need to mark, and will help reduce stress. This will be beneficial for both cats.

Amazon.com: Feliway Plug-In Diffuser with Refill, 48 Milliliters: Home & Garden

How much attention and play time from you does she get? You should be playing interactive games with her and brushing her every day. This bonding time with you will go a long way toward easing her anxiety.

She should have a cat tree or something tall that she can jump and perch on for exercise and to feel safe up high. Especially now as she is going to be confined to a smaller area.

You might want to consider building an outdoor enclosure for her, if possible, for her to get a change of scenery for a little while every day. Not to make her live out there, and not in the heat of the day unless it is deeply shaded, just to give her a dog-free and other cat-free place to be for a few hours every day.

Please don't even consider "getting rid of her". She belongs to you, she is family, you don't dump a family member when they have problems.

What would you do with her? Put her in a shelter? She'd never be adopted, no one else is going to take on a problem cat. No one adopts black cats either.

She'd be doomed to live her life in a cold cage without her mother, never understanding why you don't love her and want her anymore, or euthanized, which, IMO would be better for her if you do dump her.

If the shelter did not disclose her problem, and someone else did take her, she'd likely end up kicked out on the street to fend for herself.

No, you don't do that to family. You bend over backwards to accommodate her problems.

Please keep us posted.Hopefully someone else will have ideas to add to mine, but what I have recommended are the standard steps for dealing with inappropriate peeing.
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Unread 09-19-2010   #3 (permalink)
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She is completely healthy. The vet says it sounds like she's "acting out", but she's perfectly happy. I groom her every day and at the moment, I'm unemployed so I am able to spend lots of time with her.
She has lots of toys and a scratch post. She spends most of her time playing with me or the other cat or sleeping in my lap. She adores her new housemates. She's just as close to Chris as she is me and cannot stand to be separated from Kon.

People can keep saying cats are fastidious creatures. I have to disagree. This one is not, and never has been. I caught her doing it one day when I know the litter boxes were clean. One was brand new, because we had just replaced an old smaller one.

There is absolutely no reason for her behavior. My vet is stumped. We've gone through all the usual reasons a cat would do this and we cannot figure it out.

And again, I disagree. If I am unable to live with a family member, I'd ask them to move out or I would move out myself. If we cannot fix this problem by the time we move, she has to go. It will hurt me. But there is nothing I can do. My vet has offered to help me find a home for her and I know some people who would take her. She's made friends of all of my friends. She's a hilarious and sweet cat, I know at least a few of my friends who could make her an outside cat for their family.
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Why don't you consider trying some of my solutions,

Sounds to me like you are looking for the easy way out.
Things like this take time to fix, and the move is going to add more stress which may cause more problems at first.

Quote:
If I am unable to live with a family member, I'd ask them to move out or I would move out myself.
You're comparing humans, who can take care of themselves to cats, who cannot. It's ludicrous.

"make her an outside cat" What crap. I'd like to make you an outside....

to quote you:
Quote:
Texas in the summer is rough on a black long hair!
I have no time for someone who would dump a cat because of a problem. I think it's ROTTEN.

And you won't get any joy over that decision in the other forum you posted this in either. Most of the people in that forum work in rescue and what they think of people who will dump a cat because of something like this, you may not want to hear.

You don't love that cat, or you wouldn't even be considering this. What a cat box full of crap.

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Unread 09-19-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, I'm not "dumping" her. I would NEVER dump her. You are being ridiculous. I just told you that I would find a good home for her. I love her dearly, but if my financial situation causes me to be unable to take care of her because of her urinating issue then I have to do something. I'm not going to be able to continuously clean after her in the new apartment, and I can't just expect my new housemates to be okay with my cat peeing all over their stuff.

But if you can't understand that, then fine, don't help me. Just please leave me alone. But you need to get over yourself and realize that not everything is sunshine and rainbows when it comes to pets and SOME people don't have the time and money to take care of an animal like this.
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I DID help you. Did you even read my first post?

You are looking for an easy fix. There are none.

A problem cat takes work.

If you are too lazy or don't care enough to work at it, I guess she would be better off away from you anyway.

Sounds to me like you have plenty of time.

I hate people who dump cats.
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Easy way out? How about cheapest way out? I'm not made of money. I'm having financial issues...

The last thing I can try, but I doubt it will do anything is to keep those litter boxes spotless. The reason I have trouble with this is because I really don't have the money to replace the litter as often as I should. That stuff is expensive. I used to be really good about it, but then I lost my job and a few other things happened that caused my boyfriend and I to struggle. As soon as we move, I will start my new job and we'll be able to have a new big bag of litter every week.

I've tried using this spray, enzyme break down or something or other that's supposed to keep her from peeing in the same spot, but that does nothing. She doesn't seem to have a spot. Just as long as it's our bed or a cluster of blankets.

Do you even know what dumping means??????

You are really not helping. Every time I think of living in the new apartment without her, I end up in tears, so please, just leave my thread alone and let someone who's less heartless help me.

You may be a cat lover and wonderful to cats and all that, but you're heartless. You sit here and insult me, and you have NO idea how hard it is for me to even think of giving her to someone else. I would gladly live with her here if I could stay here, but I have to move to an apartment where I cannot keep her if she keeps doing this.

I've tried most of the things you've suggested and none have worked. So far the litter boxes have been clean for a week; I've kept them clean every day. Today, we start letting her in our bedroom again. If she keeps doing it, I will ask a friend to take her. If we can stop it SOMEHOW, I will keep her and never let her go.

It was my vet's suggestion to make her an outside cat. He was afraid that the behavior could not be fixed and if so, she would have to be an outside cat. OBVIOUSLY, she would NOT be laying in the sun injured. She would be able to get out of the sun if she needed to.

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I am not heartless. My heart breaks for your cat, not for you, because she is your cat, and you should not be considering "getting rid of her".

Two more suggestions. Use Cat Attract in the litter boxes, and try a retraining.

Cat Attract also sells an additive you can try, rather than the litter itself, to save a little money.

Retraining is keeping the cat in a small space. Just enough room for her food dishes, a bed and her litter box. She will be forced to use the litter box then. Usually two weeks is considered the right amount of time to do this.

The thing is, you can't expect miracle results to happen, before you move.

You have to understand that she has already shown that she doesn't cope with stress well. Nym is obviously a very sensitive cat with special handling requirements. Moving into a new place with new people, and a dog, is going to cause even more stress and it will take her time to adjust. TIME.

Forcing her to live in an outside situation would be horrible. She already has trouble coping with stress.

Tell your boyfriend to shut his face and let you deal with your problem with your cat. She is YOUR cat and you should not be letting anyone else tell you to get rid of her. He has no right to tell you to do this.

Try feliway, cat attract and retraining. Ask your vet to allow you to put her on a medication called amitriptyline for a while, especially during the move. This will make her very drowsy all the time, but will help her cope with the changes. Once you are settled you can wean her off the medication.

I'm sorry I was so harsh. It's just that it infuriates me when I hear about boyfriends moving in, and the next thing you know the girlfriend is being forced to get rid of her cat. It just infuriates me.

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I NEVER mentioned that it was my boyfriend's idea. My boyfriend has continually said he will support me whether I keep her or take her somewhere. However, if it was his cat, he would probably do the same as me. Try everything, and if nothing works, give him away. But Kon is a perfect little angel so that's no issue.

She handles stress perfectly fine as far as I can tell. She grew up at my parents, around two big dogs and a six year old girl. She adores kids and dogs, and loves all people and animals. When we moved here, she thought it was an adventure, exploring everywhere. As soon as Kon moved in, she was overjoyed and she no longer seems lonely when I have to go somewhere during the day. If it's stress, I'm not sure what to do, because nothing has changed since April when Chris and Kon moved in.

I have a friend that has a large sunroom and wants a cat. He had said that he will take her if need be and her urinating issue won't be a problem there. Can we MOVE ON from this? Forget I mentioned that she won't be living with me. That's not my issue. The issue is trying to find a way that she and I can stay together.

I've tried retraining. It doesn't seem to be that she doesn't want to use the litter box. That was another thing my vet suggested. We actually had bed bugs, so we used our empty bedroom for the retraining, while we live in the living room. Right now, she sleeps in the empty bedroom and during the day, we put up the cots and blankets and let her have full rein of the apartment. I thought retraining worked for a couple weeks, and then she did it again.

In all this, I have never punished her. I don't want her to be scared of me or not understanding why she is being punished. I want her to be happy.

If my boyfriend told me to get rid of her, I would tell him to mind his own business. But the man is perfect and amazing and he doesn't want me to get rid of her. He wants me to keep her, because he knows that she is like my child and he has watched me break down in tears after seeing her do it again.

How expensive is Cat Attract? I may try that next.

Another thing to mention is that I use unscented litter and always have. I've been told that alot of cats actually don't like scented litter. I've always kept her on the same litter and same food since she was kitten. Heh, she eats better than I do.

Last edited by Nymarie; 09-19-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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Thank you for sharing more of her history. Your first post made it sound like she'd been with you alone all her life, and that as soon as your boyfriend moved in the peeing began.

So I made assumptions based on what you posted. If it's not stress, then it's illness. Whether it's mental illness or physical.

Mental illness can be controlled with medication. Physical illness can be controlled with diet (if she is forming crystals) and medication, if she has an infection.

I'd be looking for a new vet frankly.

If your boyfriend is so supportive let him buy the cat attract litter and the feliway plug in diffusers, and pay to have her urine tested for crystals.

Keep things up off the floor.

Medicate if possible. I'd rather medicate my cat than "get rid of her".

Dumping is just that, dumping. You have a cat who causes problems so you dump her. Whether its to a shelter, to another person, or dropped off in the woods in the dead of night, it's dumping.

Will your parents take her back?

Last edited by acerlt; 09-19-2010 at 10:20 AM. Reason: to add
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