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Cat's bathroom mishaps. Health or obedience???

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Demon

Fatty
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 14, '06 7:58pm PST 
I have 3 cats that have been together for about 1 year now. They all get along, well behaved, I was feeling truly blessed.
Well lately, my older cat has been going to the bathroom all over! In the last 3 weeks I've caught him peeing in the bathroom twice and once in my closet. One night when I came home from work, there was poo on the bathroom floor. Then I was picking up some dirty laundry, pee all over the clothes! Then just today I find poo behind my elliptical machine.
Yes, I have 3 cats but I have 2 litter boxes and I clean them daily. Each time this accident has happened, I've checked the boxes and they're fine. Also, he seems (because I swear its the same one) to be going to the bathroom fine. Its a continuous stream and he doesnt howl or anything when he goes, so I didnt think its an infection.
What am I do to? I am at the point where I want to lock him in a dog cage because I am so embarassed he is smelling up my place. This is the first time this has ever happened to me and I dont understand it! He's my buddy, he sleeps with me every night. We lay together and watch tv on the couch. I have always treated him like my favorite and now he's a disaster.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? What should I do?

Thanks for your help!!!
Melissa
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Arthur (Miss- You!- '93-'09)

Bucket of Fuzz

moderator
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 14, '06 9:16pm PST 
I'd still have him checked out by the vet. Cats can be really good at hiding pain, so it's not always easy to tell if they have an infection. And if it turns out to be a medical cause, then it's likely treatable and then your problem will be solved.

Other than that... I'm assuming he's neutered and so it's unlikely that he's scent-marking?

Is there anything about their litterboxes that are different lately? New litter? Some cats don't like litter with strong perfumes. Are their boxes in a new location?

Is there any kind of commotion going on that he might find disturbing?

Those are just some thoughts I had, I'm sure other cats can come up with some more ideas!

One thing--make sure you clean all the places where's he's gone with a good, enzyme-based urine remover, so hopefully he won't smell that he's used a spot before and feel the urge to go there again.

Good luck, Demon! I hope you can overcome this problem soon!
*purrs*

Hunter

Lazy, Lazy, Lazy
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 15, '06 9:15am PST 
You should definitley go into the vet to make sure it is not an infection. You can try all the behavioral treatments in the world, but if it's medical, nothing you do will change this behavior until it's treated. The vet will take some urine and run a test. If ther is bacteria in it, you will be sent home on antibiotics. They ususally last 10-14 days, and w/in a couple days, you will feel much better.
If the vet says the urine isn't infected, then you need to get rec. on rectifying this new behavioral problem. Please go to the vet first.
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Phoebe- ♥

Purring for my- Boo Bear
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 15, '06 4:19pm PST 
Hi Melissa, This is a very shocking thing to have happen when you think everything is going great, but don't panic!! Taking him to the vet is very important, and then if it turns out to be behavioral, there are lots of things you can try!! He might not like the brand of litter you are using. Most cats like the soft, scoopable clay litter with no fragrances. You can buy a different litter and put it in one box, and leave the old brand in the other box and see if that helps. If he favors the new litter, you can gradually mix it into the old litter and switch to the one he likes!
Is your litter box placed on carpeting? Some cats can confuse the feel of carpet with litter, so all litter boxes that are on carpet should be placed on plastic mats.
Has anything happened in the house lately that could have stressed the cat? My girl started to pee around after we had our apartment painted and she was stressed. Have you had any new people in, or loud noises, or did you get new furniture delivered?

When this happened with us we got our carpets professionally steam cleaned with an enzyme cleaner. You might want to purchase some Feliway spray or a Feliway diffuser. They have it on amazon.com, and it helps calm stressed cats and helps with marking.
There is another thing you can do if it is behavioral is a thing called re-training. You basically enclose the cat in a small space like a bathroom or cage with just enough room for a litter box, bed, and food and water (on the opposite side as the litter box). If the cat only has enough room for those things, he will HAVE to pee in the box, or else he will be living in his own waste, and he should re-learn to use the box within three or four days. But don't foget to visit with him and leave some toys!
There is a REALLY GREAT book called "Think Like a Cat- How To Raise A Well Adjusted Cat and Not A Sour Puss" by Pam Johnson-Bennett, and it has all kinds of info on how to deal with this, as well as anything else you could ever want to know about cats. It really saved us more than once!!!
Another good thing to try is a litter called Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract sold at Petsmart. It comes with a little booklet in the bag with great tips and info on inappropriate urination. It is a little expensive, so I buy cheap scoopable fragrance free litter and mix this in.
The most important thing, though, is be patient and don't give up on the poor kitty!! He loves you! and if you are stressed and freaked out, he will be too! He definetly has a reason for this, whether its an infection, or terriorial issues, but it can be fixed!! Good Luck and let us know what happens at the vet!!! Take Care! Phoebe's Mamma
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Demon

Fatty
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 16, '06 4:56am PST 
Oh the plot thickens!!! Demon does not have an infection. So I didnt know what his problem is. Then this morning as I was lying in bed, I heard a cat peeing. I get up to turn on the light expecting to see Demon and its my other male, Peeves, going in my hamper! I grab him and take him to the litter box. He scurries away. Then while I'm cleaning the boxes, Demon squats and attempted to go right in front of me! I yelled NO at him and he took off.
Are these 2 males having some sort of spraying battle? Perhaps all this time I thought it was Demon, it was actually both of them marking territory or something.
I am going to purchase some of the Feliway Comfort Zone since I've heard so many great recommendations on it. Hopefully that will help. I dont know what else to do with my guys. This hasnt happened before and they've been together for 2 years now.
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Phoebe- ♥

Purring for my- Boo Bear
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 16, '06 8:25am PST 
Is it possible that maybe Peeves is the one with the infection, and Demon just started peeing to mark his territory after Peeves peed? Maybe Peeves should be checked, too. We're keeping our fingers & toes crossed for you that this gets figured out soon!
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Hannah♥- ;

My Heart Is True
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 16, '06 3:43pm PST 
This is just a sidenote. We have been dealing with this problem for years, to the point our home was nearly ruined. All the advice from previous posters is excellent, but also when you wash up the soiled items, use some Febrese or Oxifresh made for handling odors in the wash. I learned that what smells clean to me, might still have trace odors they can pick up with their sensitive noses. We actually had to resort to giving our bad boy some "calmative" pills, which did help, but we didn't continue. Good Luck, I feel for you, as I have shed buckets of tears over this problem! Love, Hannah's Mom (Teri)
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Hunter

Lazy, Lazy, Lazy
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 16, '06 4:27pm PST 
I agree w/ Phoebe. Have Peeves tested too, just to make sure he is not infected. If not, you have some behavior modification to work on.
Here are some links to try if they both turn out to be healthy.
http://www.perfectpaws.com/litter.html
http://snipurl.com /v1v0
http://snipurl.com/tg96
http://www.perfectpaws.com/train.htm l
http://www.clydesight.com/livecat/catdisc.html
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Demon

Fatty
 
 
Purred: Wed Sep 13, '06 8:42pm PST 
Hey, I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice and feedback. It is so appreciated! I was feeling so confused and unsure of how to proceed with this situation. However, I am pleased to tell everyone that all has turned out well!!! I purchased some Nature's Miracle and cleaned every bit of carpet along with the bathmats and such. I also purchased the Comfort Zone with Feliway that was recommended and it has worked out so well. I had the cats closed off from my bedroom for a while but since they have been accident free, I've allowed them back in. Things have been great! No accidents and my little friends are enjoying being able to stretch out on my bed once again. It was a long expensive test of patience but I'm so glad we all worked through it.

Again, thank you everyone for your support!!!
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