Cats/Long time problem
Hi there. We have three cats currently and all are female. In 2004 we got our first cat, Mika, and she is a calico tabby mix. She was six months at the time we got her and had no problems. Approximately five to six months later, we noticed that she started to pee outside of the litter box at times. She has never pooped outside of the box. It was always in the same corner on the carpet. At that time, we brought her to the vet also because she was vomiting frequently. Lab work was done and she was given a clean bill of health but, we were told that she may be lonely as she is by herself during the day. We brought home our second female cat, Nala, who is calico and was six months old at the time. Mika continued to urinate outside the box sometimes.
We moved into a new home a few years ago and we hoped that with tile flooring it might deter her from urinating on the floor. No such luck. At one point, Mika had urinated on a pillow that sat in a chair. It took us a while to figure out where she was peeing. When we did figure it out, the chair was so saturated that we had to throw it out. This was about two years ago.
Last summer we brought home another cat, Luna, that is a tabby and approximately three months old. The two younger ones get along great but, Mika frequently hisses at Luna though they generally tolerate each other.
Usually Mika urinates on the stairs, on the tile under the table, in front of the door, and on the tile next to the litter box. We have managed to get her to pretty much stop peeing under the table and in front of the door by bleaching the floor than throughly cleaning the area with soap and water. This took us about two years and we are still unsure if it has been successful. Recently we have noticed that she has started to urinate on the couch. We were in the process of cleaning the couch when we got up the next morning to find that there was urine on it that was fresh. We know that Nala religiously uses the litter box and has to be the first one to use it when it is cleaned. Luna we are pretty sure that she uses the litter box and haven't noticed her straying away from the box. We are pretty much at a loss on what to do to retrain Mika to use the litter. We have three litter boxes and two of them are open and one that is enclosed. We have tried changing litter brands and scents and have removed all air fresheners from the area. In one area that Mika usually urinates, a puppy pad was placed. She would pee on the pad. We would then take the pad and Mika and put them both in the litter box. Although this has not worked. We love Mika dearly and don't really want to give her up although, we have no idea what to do. Where she has been urinating we have been spraying the area with Petzyme (that is supposed to remove pet stains and odors) and Febreeze. Do you have any other ideas that we could try especially since we would like to keep our furniture and the cat. Thanks so much
Mandy and Jen
this will be a difficult habit to break as it has been going on for so long now.
normally a cat won't use the litter tray for a number of reasons, it could be that the litter trays are too close to each other and this is intimidating as cats don't like to smell other cats urine, it could be that she feels very insecure in her home environment and is constantly using her urine as a territory marker in the house or it be that she is a very timid cats na and gets threaten by the other cats easily and is urinating because of nerves.
It is difficult to know exactly what the problem could be. My suggestion is to give her a week of intensive litter box training (see my link here ) /cat-litter-box.html
This is where you keep your cat in a separate room all week with her litter tray, it helps to make them feel secure in a smaller area , it takes away the threat of the other cats and it helps her to become familiar with the litter tray. This is really one of the best ways to do this.
I really wish you all the best with this problem but as it has gone on for so long it may have become a hard habit for your cat to break, but do try my suggestion for a week and then see what happens if it starts again try it again, often repeated training is the best solution.
Also make sure that there is no traces of urine anywhere in the house as this will also encourage her to go there again. See my page about this here