PDA

View Full Version : Advice on cat who urinates outside litter box


RalGrl
January 28th 06, 05:01 AM
Hi all,
I have a question about my cats urinating outside the litter box. I'm
hoping someone here might have some advice. I'll try to give as much
details as possible, but if you need to know more please ask.

I have three cats. Two of them I got on the same day from the same
place (not biological sisters) in Nov 2001 when they were no older than
7-8 weeks old. The third one was rescued in July 2002 when she was
about 6-7 weeks old. The resuced cat was traumatized when we think she
was about five weeks old (six at the latest). We think she was hit by
a car (that's a WHOLE different story). One of the other two is
epileptic, though the cause is unknown. The third seems to be totally
fine.

I scoop their box daily. They have plenty of litter in it. But for a
while now occasionally one of them (well, who knows... could be all of
them rotating, I wouldn't know) urinates in my closet. It has always
been contained to my dirty clothes basket. Last week I noticed that
someone had urinated on a pair of sneakers I had on the floor by the
basket. Tonight I just discovered someone urinated on a pile of
clothes that are on a shelf at a minimum of four feet up (probably
closer to five feet). **This is the first time something like this has
ever happened**

Obviously this is a problem. An immediate response I have is to close
them off to my bedroom whenever I'm not here (no matter how long I'm
gone). BUT, of course this won't stop them if I'm downstairs and in
the house, or if I'm at work, or even when I'm asleep. This is clearly
becoming a problem. I don't think it's possible or even kind (for lack
of a better word) for me to close them off from the bedroom at all
other times. BUHLIEVE ME! I've tried to sleep with the door closed
(they take up so much of the bed :-) but they literally fling their
bodies up against the door -- I know, because someone outside the door
witnessed it. So, that's not really an option. If I close the door
even when I'm home then I'd feel like I'm really alienating them. They
hang in my room when I'm not here because it's *my* room.

Another thing I've thought of is setting up a webcam to surveil the
closet. I swear, I'd watch the footage - minute by minute - to figure
this out. I'm hoping to see that it's only one of them and then take
her to the vet to have her checked out.

So, I have questions. Is this behavioral? Is it medical? Is it just
one of them marking her territory, or could it be more than one of
them? Is there something else I should do?

I'm absolutely committed to giving them the best life possible. The
four of us are very tight: whenever I'm home the three of them stick to
me like white on rice! But something's wrong and I want to figure it
out. I thought I'd ask you to see if you can help!

Thanks so much!

majcm
January 28th 06, 05:46 AM
If you can do the webcam thing quickly, I'd try it to save money on taking
them all the the vet (although a web cam might cost more, I don't know) But
if it has just started in the last few days or weeks, one of them is most
likely ill. Males get kidney blockages fairly often and they start
associating the litter box with the pain of peeing. It also can kill them if
not caught quickly. My 14 yr old male developed diabetes and the first sign
was peeing outside box (also drinking A LOT and ravenously hungry all the
time). Extra drinking can also mean renal failure, which my 8 year old
female had after being born w/one kidney. If any of them are also drinking
more than usual, get them to the vet FAST. Both the diabetes and renal
failure are eventually fatal, but with commitment to either IV fluids or
insulin shots (vet can teach you to do both at home) and proper feeding,
Muffin (female) lived 3 more years and Domino (male) lived another year (he
also peed in our laundry baskets of clothes, too) So don't be afraid it's a
death sentence immediately if its one of those.

Probably it is one that started it and if the others are too, it's the smell
that says it's okay to pee there. Keep the closet closed and if you can't do
them webcam quickly, please take them all to the vet for a checkup. Good
luck and let us know how it goes.

"RalGrl" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Hi all,
> I have a question about my cats urinating outside the litter box. I'm
> hoping someone here might have some advice. I'll try to give as much
> details as possible, but if you need to know more please ask.
>
> I have three cats. Two of them I got on the same day from the same
> place (not biological sisters) in Nov 2001 when they were no older than
> 7-8 weeks old. The third one was rescued in July 2002 when she was
> about 6-7 weeks old. The resuced cat was traumatized when we think she
> was about five weeks old (six at the latest). We think she was hit by
> a car (that's a WHOLE different story). One of the other two is
> epileptic, though the cause is unknown. The third seems to be totally
> fine.
>
> I scoop their box daily. They have plenty of litter in it. But for a
> while now occasionally one of them (well, who knows... could be all of
> them rotating, I wouldn't know) urinates in my closet. It has always
> been contained to my dirty clothes basket. Last week I noticed that
> someone had urinated on a pair of sneakers I had on the floor by the
> basket. Tonight I just discovered someone urinated on a pile of
> clothes that are on a shelf at a minimum of four feet up (probably
> closer to five feet). **This is the first time something like this has
> ever happened**
>
> Obviously this is a problem. An immediate response I have is to close
> them off to my bedroom whenever I'm not here (no matter how long I'm
> gone). BUT, of course this won't stop them if I'm downstairs and in
> the house, or if I'm at work, or even when I'm asleep. This is clearly
> becoming a problem. I don't think it's possible or even kind (for lack
> of a better word) for me to close them off from the bedroom at all
> other times. BUHLIEVE ME! I've tried to sleep with the door closed
> (they take up so much of the bed :-) but they literally fling their
> bodies up against the door -- I know, because someone outside the door
> witnessed it. So, that's not really an option. If I close the door
> even when I'm home then I'd feel like I'm really alienating them. They
> hang in my room when I'm not here because it's *my* room.
>
> Another thing I've thought of is setting up a webcam to surveil the
> closet. I swear, I'd watch the footage - minute by minute - to figure
> this out. I'm hoping to see that it's only one of them and then take
> her to the vet to have her checked out.
>
> So, I have questions. Is this behavioral? Is it medical? Is it just
> one of them marking her territory, or could it be more than one of
> them? Is there something else I should do?
>
> I'm absolutely committed to giving them the best life possible. The
> four of us are very tight: whenever I'm home the three of them stick to
> me like white on rice! But something's wrong and I want to figure it
> out. I thought I'd ask you to see if you can help!
>
> Thanks so much!
>

Judy
January 28th 06, 05:50 AM
"RalGrl" > wrote in message
oups.com...
Snip, snip.

> So, I have questions. Is this behavioral? Is it medical? Is it just
> one of them marking her territory, or could it be more than one of
> them? Is there something else I should do?

When it comes to inappropriate urination, the first step to take is a step
in the direction of a vet to determine whether or not it's a medical problem
and then go from there.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Phil P.
January 28th 06, 07:04 AM
"RalGrl" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Hi all,
> I have a question about my cats urinating outside the litter box. I'm
> hoping someone here might have some advice. I'll try to give as much
> details as possible, but if you need to know more please ask.
>
> I have three cats. Two of them I got on the same day from the same
> place (not biological sisters) in Nov 2001 when they were no older than
> 7-8 weeks old. The third one was rescued in July 2002 when she was
> about 6-7 weeks old. The resuced cat was traumatized when we think she
> was about five weeks old (six at the latest). We think she was hit by
> a car (that's a WHOLE different story). One of the other two is
> epileptic, though the cause is unknown. The third seems to be totally
> fine.
>
> I scoop their box daily. They have plenty of litter in it. But for a
> while now occasionally one of them (well, who knows... could be all of
> them rotating, I wouldn't know) urinates in my closet. It has always
> been contained to my dirty clothes basket. Last week I noticed that
> someone had urinated on a pair of sneakers I had on the floor by the
> basket. Tonight I just discovered someone urinated on a pile of
> clothes that are on a shelf at a minimum of four feet up (probably
> closer to five feet). **This is the first time something like this has
> ever happened**
>
> Obviously this is a problem. An immediate response I have is to close
> them off to my bedroom whenever I'm not here (no matter how long I'm
> gone). BUT, of course this won't stop them if I'm downstairs and in
> the house, or if I'm at work, or even when I'm asleep. This is clearly
> becoming a problem. I don't think it's possible or even kind (for lack
> of a better word) for me to close them off from the bedroom at all
> other times. BUHLIEVE ME! I've tried to sleep with the door closed
> (they take up so much of the bed :-) but they literally fling their
> bodies up against the door -- I know, because someone outside the door
> witnessed it. So, that's not really an option. If I close the door
> even when I'm home then I'd feel like I'm really alienating them. They
> hang in my room when I'm not here because it's *my* room.
>
> Another thing I've thought of is setting up a webcam to surveil the
> closet. I swear, I'd watch the footage - minute by minute - to figure
> this out. I'm hoping to see that it's only one of them and then take
> her to the vet to have her checked out.
>
> So, I have questions. Is this behavioral? Is it medical? Is it just
> one of them marking her territory, or could it be more than one of
> them? Is there something else I should do?

Inappropriate urination can be a sign of lower urinary disease or systemic
illness. Thus, the first order of business is to rule out illness before
even trying behavioral modification.

To identify the culprit, ask your vet (or ophthalmologist) for some
fluorescein test strips. Cut the strips into tiny pieces and put them into a
#4 gelcap (available at any compounding pharmacy). Give one gelcap to one
cat. If the inappropriate urine flouresces bright candy apple green under a
black light (available at Petsmart for ~$15), you've found the culprit to
take to the vet.

If the urine fluoresces normal, wait 36 hours before giving a fluorescein
gelcap to the next cat. Repeat the process with your other cats until you
find the culprit. It takes about 36 hours for a cat to completely clear
fluorescein from their urine. This technique works- but its useless if more
than one cat is urinating fluorescein. So, just be sure to wait at least 36
hours before giving the next cat fluorescein.

Feline urine normally fluoresces a yellowish-green. Look at normal urine in
the litterbox under the black light first so you'll be able to distinguish
normal urine from urine with fluorescein.. The blacklight works best in
dark rooms.

The black light (Wood's light) will also help you find other spots where
your cat urinated- so its a good investment.

Best of luck,

Phil

January 28th 06, 10:01 AM
You've received good advice, but a low-tech way to start might be just
to add another box. Sometimes three cats start having issues w/sharing
a box. Coud you put a covered box in the bedroom near the closet (maybe
just temporarily)?

---MIKE---
January 28th 06, 04:55 PM
For three cats you should have AT LEAST three litter boxes (four is even
better). Some cats prefer to pee in one box and poo in another.


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')

January 28th 06, 10:17 PM
RalGrl wrote:
> Hi all,
> I have a question about my cats urinating outside the litter box. I'm
> hoping someone here might have some advice. I'll try to give as much
> details as possible, but if you need to know more please ask.

Step one is to take them to the vet to rule out possible medical
problems. Anything from a UTI to something else which has
inappropriate urination as a secondary symptom. You can start with the
cat(s) you most suspect & work from there, or take all 3 at one fell
swoop. The fact that it's on a pair of sneakers & a pile of laundry
causes me to think "UTI" as a possibility right away.

Plus, with 3 cats, it'd probably help to have at least 2 litter boxes.

Once these 2 things are done - vet check & extra box, if the problem
still persists, then go from there. But either may solve the problem.

Cathy


> I have three cats. Two of them I got on the same day from the same
> place (not biological sisters) in Nov 2001 when they were no older than
> 7-8 weeks old. The third one was rescued in July 2002 when she was
> about 6-7 weeks old. The resuced cat was traumatized when we think she
> was about five weeks old (six at the latest). We think she was hit by
> a car (that's a WHOLE different story). One of the other two is
> epileptic, though the cause is unknown. The third seems to be totally
> fine.
>
> I scoop their box daily. They have plenty of litter in it. But for a
> while now occasionally one of them (well, who knows... could be all of
> them rotating, I wouldn't know) urinates in my closet. It has always
> been contained to my dirty clothes basket. Last week I noticed that
> someone had urinated on a pair of sneakers I had on the floor by the
> basket. Tonight I just discovered someone urinated on a pile of
> clothes that are on a shelf at a minimum of four feet up (probably
> closer to five feet). **This is the first time something like this has
> ever happened**
>
> Obviously this is a problem. An immediate response I have is to close
> them off to my bedroom whenever I'm not here (no matter how long I'm
> gone). BUT, of course this won't stop them if I'm downstairs and in
> the house, or if I'm at work, or even when I'm asleep. This is clearly
> becoming a problem. I don't think it's possible or even kind (for lack
> of a better word) for me to close them off from the bedroom at all
> other times. BUHLIEVE ME! I've tried to sleep with the door closed
> (they take up so much of the bed :-) but they literally fling their
> bodies up against the door -- I know, because someone outside the door
> witnessed it. So, that's not really an option. If I close the door
> even when I'm home then I'd feel like I'm really alienating them. They
> hang in my room when I'm not here because it's *my* room.
>
> Another thing I've thought of is setting up a webcam to surveil the
> closet. I swear, I'd watch the footage - minute by minute - to figure
> this out. I'm hoping to see that it's only one of them and then take
> her to the vet to have her checked out.
>
> So, I have questions. Is this behavioral? Is it medical? Is it just
> one of them marking her territory, or could it be more than one of
> them? Is there something else I should do?
>
> I'm absolutely committed to giving them the best life possible. The
> four of us are very tight: whenever I'm home the three of them stick to
> me like white on rice! But something's wrong and I want to figure it
> out. I thought I'd ask you to see if you can help!
>
> Thanks so much!

J. dvm
January 29th 06, 03:21 AM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
ink.net...
>
> To identify the culprit, ask your vet (or ophthalmologist) for some
> fluorescein test strips. Cut the strips into tiny pieces and put them into
> a
> #4 gelcap (available at any compounding pharmacy). Give one gelcap to one
> cat. If the inappropriate urine flouresces bright candy apple green under
> a
> black light (available at Petsmart for ~$15), you've found the culprit to
> take to the vet.
>

Hi Phil,
I just attended a lecture a couple of days ago on inappropriate urination
and the two behaviourists giving the lecture said that this approach is
falling out of favour. Apparently the original researcher who put forth
this idea was using equine fluorescein strips which are 7-10 times more
concentrated then the strips used in small animal medicine. Therefore you
need to use at least 30-35 strips to get the effect obtained in the original
paper. Also it turns out that it can be very difficult to get the
fluoroscein stain out of the carpet or fabric where the cat urinated. The
other point they made is that since all urine fluoresces under UV light you
need to first check previous urine stains before feeding the strips so you
can recognize the difference between normal urine and 'fluorescein urine'.
The behaviourists giving the lecture were recommending videotaping as a
means of IDing the culprit. Just thought you might be interested.

J.

Phil P.
January 29th 06, 05:57 AM
"J. dvm" > wrote in message
.. .
>
> "Phil P." > wrote in message
> ink.net...
> >
> > To identify the culprit, ask your vet (or ophthalmologist) for some
> > fluorescein test strips. Cut the strips into tiny pieces and put them
into
> > a
> > #4 gelcap (available at any compounding pharmacy). Give one gelcap to
one
> > cat. If the inappropriate urine flouresces bright candy apple green
under
> > a
> > black light (available at Petsmart for ~$15), you've found the culprit
to
> > take to the vet.
> >
>
> Hi Phil,
> I just attended a lecture a couple of days ago on inappropriate urination
> and the two behaviourists giving the lecture said that this approach is
> falling out of favour. Apparently the original researcher who put forth
> this idea was using equine fluorescein strips which are 7-10 times more
> concentrated then the strips used in small animal medicine. Therefore you
> need to use at least 30-35 strips to get the effect obtained in the
original
> paper.

Hi J,


Thanks! I didn't know that. I didn't even know there was a difference!
I've always gotten my fluorescein strips from my human ophthalmologist-
which seem to work. Maybe they're a little more concentrated than SA
strips. I can get about 5 or 6 strips into a #3 gelcap and a little less
into a #4. You'd need a #000 gelcap to fit 30 strips! I don't think a cat's
esophagus is wide enough for a #000! ;)



Also it turns out that it can be very difficult to get the
> fluoroscein stain out of the carpet or fabric where the cat urinated.


That's true. But it depends on the type of carpet, too. Also, many people
get very frustrated over inappropriate urination and sometimes resort to
drastic measures. If I was in the same situation- I would rather live with
a stain than in house that wreaked of urine odor. But your point is well
taken.


The
> other point they made is that since all urine fluoresces under UV light
you
> need to first check previous urine stains before feeding the strips so you
> can recognize the difference between normal urine and 'fluorescein urine'.


That's why I suggested that the OP to look at normal urine under the
blacklight first. The blacklight is also good for finding other spots where
the cat(s) have urinated.


> The behaviourists giving the lecture were recommending videotaping as a
> means of IDing the culprit. Just thought you might be interested.

I've thought about that.. You would need a vidcam with a motion-activated
feature. I have a few Linksys wireless video internet cameras that I use to
monitor cats at the shelter from home- or anywhere else. Each camera has its
own built-in stand-alone web server and URL and connects wirelessly to any
wireless router so you can watch real-time streaming video from any computer
that's connected to the internet. The camera records either continious,
scheduled or motion-activated. They run about $200- cheaper than replacing a
carpet! ;) Here's what it looks like.

http://www.maxshouse.com/Equipment/wireless_vidcam.jpg

Thanks for the info.

Phil

PS: What did you think of labwork?

RalGrl
January 29th 06, 07:11 AM
Hey all,
I want to thank all of you for replying to my message. I've learned a
lot! Of course, I'm really hoping this problem is behavioral, however
you all have put the fear of god in me (in a good way!) that there
might be something more serious going on with one of them. So, I added
another litter box to the house today ... right next to the original
one. They've clearly explored the new one, however they've yet to use
it, instead opting to use the original one. Maybe it's hard to teach
old cats new tricks?

In the meantime I'll be taking them in to the vet to get checked out.
They're all due for their shots anyway. I'll start with the one I
think is most likely the culprit and go from there (it gets expensive
all at once, doesn't it).

I forgot to mention in my original post that simply closing the closet
door is unfortunately not an option. When I bought the place I had the
door taken down and put into my storage room as I just didn't see the
need to have to open and close the door plus when the door is open it
gets in the way. That's why I'd have to close off the whole bedroom as
opposed to just the closet. I'm afraid of a couple of things (which
have been pointed out by other contributors to this thread) : 1. that
if I deny them access to the closet then they'll take to urinating on a
bed or the couch. Obviously it's not easy to put a mattress in the
closet. 2. That maybe it was started by one and then the others
smelled it and thought they could join in the fun.

I thought the idea of using the flourescent strips was a great idea
until another poster stated some concerns he(?) had heard about at a
lecture. I think talking to the vet (who deals only with cats) is a
good first move. In the meantime, I'll hope they take to the
additional litter box and I'll continue to lock them out of my bedroom
when I'm at least not here.

Thanks again, all, to replying to my post. I hope to get this taken
care of for their sakes. My cats are Daisy, Josie, and Butterball, and
they're the best girlies I could have hoped for! :-)

Thanks!

J. dvm
January 29th 06, 06:38 PM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
ink.net...
>
> PS: What did you think of labwork?
>
Are you referring to the blood results for your hyperthryoid cat? I
remember you mentioning you'd like me to look at the bloodwork but I thought
you didn't send it yet. Maybe it was bundled in with all the files you sent
me and I overlooked it. Send them again and I'll check them out and get
back to you

J.

Phil P.
January 30th 06, 01:38 PM
"RalGrl" > wrote in message
oups.com...

So, I added
> another litter box to the house today ... right next to the original
> one.

I don't think you should place the boxes right next to each another. This
might make one box inaccessible to the other cat if one cat is using one of
the boxes. Different rooms might be better. Put the boxes in quiet,
low-traffic area so that it provides privacy and security- cats feel very
vulnerable when they're doing their business. Make sure you can see the
boxes from a distance without disturbing the cat so you can observe their
litterbox behavior for signs of straining or pain.

Also, make sure there's more than one way out of the box so the cat won't
feel trapped in the box if the other cat approaches. One last suggestion:
don't put the boxes near any appliances or heating ducts that can go on
suddenly and startle the cat. If that happens just once- the cat won't use
that box again.


>
> In the meantime I'll be taking them in to the vet to get checked out.

Good plan. Always rule out medical problems first.

Best of luck,

Phil

Phil P.
January 30th 06, 01:39 PM
"J. dvm" > wrote in message
...
>
> "Phil P." > wrote in message
> ink.net...
> >
> > PS: What did you think of labwork?
> >
> Are you referring to the blood results for your hyperthryoid cat? I
> remember you mentioning you'd like me to look at the bloodwork but I
thought
> you didn't send it yet. Maybe it was bundled in with all the files you
sent
> me and I overlooked it. Send them again and I'll check them out and get
> back to you
>
> J.

I sent them separately- I'll send them again.

Btw, who were the behaviorists giving the lecture about the fluorescein
strips?

Phil

RalGrl
January 30th 06, 04:01 PM
Phil P. wrote:
> "RalGrl" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
>
> So, I added
> > another litter box to the house today ... right next to the original
> > one.
>
> I don't think you should place the boxes right next to each another. This
> might make one box inaccessible to the other cat if one cat is using one of
> the boxes. Different rooms might be better. Put the boxes in quiet,
> low-traffic area so that it provides privacy and security- cats feel very
> vulnerable when they're doing their business. Make sure you can see the
> boxes from a distance without disturbing the cat so you can observe their
> litterbox behavior for signs of straining or pain.
>
> Also, make sure there's more than one way out of the box so the cat won't
> feel trapped in the box if the other cat approaches. One last suggestion:
> don't put the boxes near any appliances or heating ducts that can go on
> suddenly and startle the cat. If that happens just once- the cat won't use
> that box again.
>
>
> >
> > In the meantime I'll be taking them in to the vet to get checked out.
>
> Good plan. Always rule out medical problems first.
>
> Best of luck,
>
> Phil


Thank you very much for this advice. I just got off the phone with
their vet, and they want a urine sample from the one cat I'm taking in
first. This means locking her in my half-bathroom (a small space) with
a completely empty cat pan so that once she urinates I can collect that
sample and take her in. I feel SO BAD for having to confine her
because it's not like she understands. Breaks my heart. So, when I
get home from work tonight I guess I'll set that in motion. UGH!

Anyway, once again: thanks for the advice. It's very much appreciated.

RalGrl
January 31st 06, 05:15 AM
Here's an update:
I called the vet today and explained the situation to the girl who
answered. She said I needed to bring in a urine sample along with the
cat. I've chosen to take the one I think is the culprit (Josie) first
and then take the others in a little later (stagger it week by week).
So, I came home over lunch today and put an empty cat pan in my half
bathroom and then put in a bowl each of food and water. I closed the
toilet lid and then put Josie in the bathroom and left.

Let me tell you... it broke my heart to be at work for the rest of the
day attending meetings, assigning out work, keeping things running,
doing my normal tasks knowing that that cat was stuck alone without her
sisters scared to death not understanding what was happening to her.

I checked on her after coming home from work and she hadn't peed in the
litter box. I had plans for dinner and did that. When I got home I
went in the bathroom to just hang with her. Bless her heart: there's
clumps of fur all over the little room and when I was in there she was
rubbing all over me. And then I discovered that she had peed down the
sink! Stupid me, I forgot to stop the drain on the sink. So as soon
as I realized that, I covered the sink with saran wrap and kept her in
there for a couple more hours. She was CONSTANTLY screaming. Finally,
I let her out. I'm going to take her to the vet and make THEM get the
urine sample. The amount of stress that she was going through, as well
as her sisters and me, was just too much. Let the vet deal with that.
That's part of their job.

Think about it: I put that precious little girl through 10+ hours of
solitary confinement for the sole purpose of collecting a urine sample
and it didn't happen. In the meantime, she was absolutely miserable,
and her sisters were mighty confused. Oh, and I was sad, too.

So, that's the update. But, the upside is that I now have physically
three litter boxes in the house, and just today they used the second
litter box (that was added two days ago).

Again, I just want to thank those of you who posted about this. These
girlies mean the world to me and I'm totally comitted to giving them
the best life I can. They're so rotten!!!!

Thanks all!!!



majcm wrote:
> If you can do the webcam thing quickly, I'd try it to save money on taking
> them all the the vet (although a web cam might cost more, I don't know) But
> if it has just started in the last few days or weeks, one of them is most
> likely ill. Males get kidney blockages fairly often and they start
> associating the litter box with the pain of peeing. It also can kill them if
> not caught quickly. My 14 yr old male developed diabetes and the first sign
> was peeing outside box (also drinking A LOT and ravenously hungry all the
> time). Extra drinking can also mean renal failure, which my 8 year old
> female had after being born w/one kidney. If any of them are also drinking
> more than usual, get them to the vet FAST. Both the diabetes and renal
> failure are eventually fatal, but with commitment to either IV fluids or
> insulin shots (vet can teach you to do both at home) and proper feeding,
> Muffin (female) lived 3 more years and Domino (male) lived another year (he
> also peed in our laundry baskets of clothes, too) So don't be afraid it's a
> death sentence immediately if its one of those.
>
> Probably it is one that started it and if the others are too, it's the smell
> that says it's okay to pee there. Keep the closet closed and if you can't do
> them webcam quickly, please take them all to the vet for a checkup. Good
> luck and let us know how it goes.
>
> "RalGrl" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
> > Hi all,
> > I have a question about my cats urinating outside the litter box. I'm
> > hoping someone here might have some advice. I'll try to give as much
> > details as possible, but if you need to know more please ask.
> >
> > I have three cats. Two of them I got on the same day from the same
> > place (not biological sisters) in Nov 2001 when they were no older than
> > 7-8 weeks old. The third one was rescued in July 2002 when she was
> > about 6-7 weeks old. The resuced cat was traumatized when we think she
> > was about five weeks old (six at the latest). We think she was hit by
> > a car (that's a WHOLE different story). One of the other two is
> > epileptic, though the cause is unknown. The third seems to be totally
> > fine.
> >
> > I scoop their box daily. They have plenty of litter in it. But for a
> > while now occasionally one of them (well, who knows... could be all of
> > them rotating, I wouldn't know) urinates in my closet. It has always
> > been contained to my dirty clothes basket. Last week I noticed that
> > someone had urinated on a pair of sneakers I had on the floor by the
> > basket. Tonight I just discovered someone urinated on a pile of
> > clothes that are on a shelf at a minimum of four feet up (probably
> > closer to five feet). **This is the first time something like this has
> > ever happened**
> >
> > Obviously this is a problem. An immediate response I have is to close
> > them off to my bedroom whenever I'm not here (no matter how long I'm
> > gone). BUT, of course this won't stop them if I'm downstairs and in
> > the house, or if I'm at work, or even when I'm asleep. This is clearly
> > becoming a problem. I don't think it's possible or even kind (for lack
> > of a better word) for me to close them off from the bedroom at all
> > other times. BUHLIEVE ME! I've tried to sleep with the door closed
> > (they take up so much of the bed :-) but they literally fling their
> > bodies up against the door -- I know, because someone outside the door
> > witnessed it. So, that's not really an option. If I close the door
> > even when I'm home then I'd feel like I'm really alienating them. They
> > hang in my room when I'm not here because it's *my* room.
> >
> > Another thing I've thought of is setting up a webcam to surveil the
> > closet. I swear, I'd watch the footage - minute by minute - to figure
> > this out. I'm hoping to see that it's only one of them and then take
> > her to the vet to have her checked out.
> >
> > So, I have questions. Is this behavioral? Is it medical? Is it just
> > one of them marking her territory, or could it be more than one of
> > them? Is there something else I should do?
> >
> > I'm absolutely committed to giving them the best life possible. The
> > four of us are very tight: whenever I'm home the three of them stick to
> > me like white on rice! But something's wrong and I want to figure it
> > out. I thought I'd ask you to see if you can help!
> >
> > Thanks so much!
> >

furmanthecat
February 1st 06, 05:16 AM
Hi RalGrl,
Are the litter boxes on carpeting or on hard flooring? If they
are on carpet, you might want to invest in a thick plastic mat from a
hardware store to put under them. One of my cats used to confuse the
feel of the litter with the carpet, and then she started to pee on
other throw rugs and soft things around the house. I got the carpet
professionally cleaned with an enzyme cleaner, added another box, and
the plastic mats under them and she stopped! Have you tried using
Feliway in your closet? You might want to try that! When they use
the litter box do they perch on the rim and touch the litter as little
as possible? That could be a sign that they don't like the brand of
litter. Make sure you don't use scented litter, either...they might not
like that. Good luck to you!

p.s. I highly recommend the book "Think Like A Cat...How to Raise a
Well-djusted Cat, Not a Sour Puss" by Pam Johnson-Bennett. It explains
pretty much everything about cat behavior (like going pee-pee on
Mommy's cloths!!) and it really helped me when my cat was doing that!


RalGrl wrote:
> Here's an update:
> I called the vet today and explained the situation to the girl who
> answered. She said I needed to bring in a urine sample along with the
> cat. I've chosen to take the one I think is the culprit (Josie) first
> and then take the others in a little later (stagger it week by week).
> So, I came home over lunch today and put an empty cat pan in my half
> bathroom and then put in a bowl each of food and water. I closed the
> toilet lid and then put Josie in the bathroom and left.
>
> Let me tell you... it broke my heart to be at work for the rest of the
> day attending meetings, assigning out work, keeping things running,
> doing my normal tasks knowing that that cat was stuck alone without her
> sisters scared to death not understanding what was happening to her.
>
> I checked on her after coming home from work and she hadn't peed in the
> litter box. I had plans for dinner and did that. When I got home I
> went in the bathroom to just hang with her. Bless her heart: there's
> clumps of fur all over the little room and when I was in there she was
> rubbing all over me. And then I discovered that she had peed down the
> sink! Stupid me, I forgot to stop the drain on the sink. So as soon
> as I realized that, I covered the sink with saran wrap and kept her in
> there for a couple more hours. She was CONSTANTLY screaming. Finally,
> I let her out. I'm going to take her to the vet and make THEM get the
> urine sample. The amount of stress that she was going through, as well
> as her sisters and me, was just too much. Let the vet deal with that.
> That's part of their job.
>
> Think about it: I put that precious little girl through 10+ hours of
> solitary confinement for the sole purpose of collecting a urine sample
> and it didn't happen. In the meantime, she was absolutely miserable,
> and her sisters were mighty confused. Oh, and I was sad, too.
>
> So, that's the update. But, the upside is that I now have physically
> three litter boxes in the house, and just today they used the second
> litter box (that was added two days ago).
>
> Again, I just want to thank those of you who posted about this. These
> girlies mean the world to me and I'm totally comitted to giving them
> the best life I can. They're so rotten!!!!
>
> Thanks all!!!
>
>
>
> majcm wrote:
> > If you can do the webcam thing quickly, I'd try it to save money on taking
> > them all the the vet (although a web cam might cost more, I don't know) But
> > if it has just started in the last few days or weeks, one of them is most
> > likely ill. Males get kidney blockages fairly often and they start
> > associating the litter box with the pain of peeing. It also can kill them if
> > not caught quickly. My 14 yr old male developed diabetes and the first sign
> > was peeing outside box (also drinking A LOT and ravenously hungry all the
> > time). Extra drinking can also mean renal failure, which my 8 year old
> > female had after being born w/one kidney. If any of them are also drinking
> > more than usual, get them to the vet FAST. Both the diabetes and renal
> > failure are eventually fatal, but with commitment to either IV fluids or
> > insulin shots (vet can teach you to do both at home) and proper feeding,
> > Muffin (female) lived 3 more years and Domino (male) lived another year (he
> > also peed in our laundry baskets of clothes, too) So don't be afraid it's a
> > death sentence immediately if its one of those.
> >
> > Probably it is one that started it and if the others are too, it's the smell
> > that says it's okay to pee there. Keep the closet closed and if you can't do
> > them webcam quickly, please take them all to the vet for a checkup. Good
> > luck and let us know how it goes.
> >
> > "RalGrl" > wrote in message
> > oups.com...
> > > Hi all,
> > > I have a question about my cats urinating outside the litter box. I'm
> > > hoping someone here might have some advice. I'll try to give as much
> > > details as possible, but if you need to know more please ask.
> > >
> > > I have three cats. Two of them I got on the same day from the same
> > > place (not biological sisters) in Nov 2001 when they were no older than
> > > 7-8 weeks old. The third one was rescued in July 2002 when she was
> > > about 6-7 weeks old. The resuced cat was traumatized when we think she
> > > was about five weeks old (six at the latest). We think she was hit by
> > > a car (that's a WHOLE different story). One of the other two is
> > > epileptic, though the cause is unknown. The third seems to be totally
> > > fine.
> > >
> > > I scoop their box daily. They have plenty of litter in it. But for a
> > > while now occasionally one of them (well, who knows... could be all of
> > > them rotating, I wouldn't know) urinates in my closet. It has always
> > > been contained to my dirty clothes basket. Last week I noticed that
> > > someone had urinated on a pair of sneakers I had on the floor by the
> > > basket. Tonight I just discovered someone urinated on a pile of
> > > clothes that are on a shelf at a minimum of four feet up (probably
> > > closer to five feet). **This is the first time something like this has
> > > ever happened**
> > >
> > > Obviously this is a problem. An immediate response I have is to close
> > > them off to my bedroom whenever I'm not here (no matter how long I'm
> > > gone). BUT, of course this won't stop them if I'm downstairs and in
> > > the house, or if I'm at work, or even when I'm asleep. This is clearly
> > > becoming a problem. I don't think it's possible or even kind (for lack
> > > of a better word) for me to close them off from the bedroom at all
> > > other times. BUHLIEVE ME! I've tried to sleep with the door closed
> > > (they take up so much of the bed :-) but they literally fling their
> > > bodies up against the door -- I know, because someone outside the door
> > > witnessed it. So, that's not really an option. If I close the door
> > > even when I'm home then I'd feel like I'm really alienating them. They
> > > hang in my room when I'm not here because it's *my* room.
> > >
> > > Another thing I've thought of is setting up a webcam to surveil the
> > > closet. I swear, I'd watch the footage - minute by minute - to figure
> > > this out. I'm hoping to see that it's only one of them and then take
> > > her to the vet to have her checked out.
> > >
> > > So, I have questions. Is this behavioral? Is it medical? Is it just
> > > one of them marking her territory, or could it be more than one of
> > > them? Is there something else I should do?
> > >
> > > I'm absolutely committed to giving them the best life possible. The
> > > four of us are very tight: whenever I'm home the three of them stick to
> > > me like white on rice! But something's wrong and I want to figure it
> > > out. I thought I'd ask you to see if you can help!
> > >
> > > Thanks so much!
> > >

RalGrl
February 1st 06, 03:01 PM
furmanthecat wrote:
> Hi RalGrl,
> Are the litter boxes on carpeting or on hard flooring? If they
> are on carpet, you might want to invest in a thick plastic mat from a
> hardware store to put under them. One of my cats used to confuse the
> feel of the litter with the carpet, and then she started to pee on
> other throw rugs and soft things around the house. I got the carpet
> professionally cleaned with an enzyme cleaner, added another box, and
> the plastic mats under them and she stopped! Have you tried using
> Feliway in your closet? You might want to try that! When they use
> the litter box do they perch on the rim and touch the litter as little
> as possible? That could be a sign that they don't like the brand of
> litter. Make sure you don't use scented litter, either...they might not
> like that. Good luck to you!
>
> p.s. I highly recommend the book "Think Like A Cat...How to Raise a
> Well-djusted Cat, Not a Sour Puss" by Pam Johnson-Bennett. It explains
> pretty much everything about cat behavior (like going pee-pee on
> Mommy's cloths!!) and it really helped me when my cat was doing that!

Hey! Thanks for your post. Their litter boxes are in my guest
bathroom (which is never used by other humans), so their boxes are on
tile flooring. They have a tendency to pee near the very opening of
the box, and poop in other areas of the box -- but they never do any
business outside the box. Their main box (read: their first box) was
the largest I found at PetSmart the day I got it. There's a second box
in there now, but it's considerably smaller than their original one. I
think they like the bigger box better, but they've just started using
the second one some, but not alot (it was added to the house last
week). I clean it twice a day.

The one I think is the guilty party is going to the vet tomorrow for
her annual shots and will have a urine test done. Then her sisters
will go in probably next week for the same thing. It's easier to not
take all three all at once.