Beloved cat peeing on the floor: Last resort :(

GregA

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We adopted our cat TJ from a shelter about 7 years ago. He is neutered, indoor-only and and it's just me and my hubz in a large 2 bedroom apartment. About 2 years ago he started peeing in the bathtub but, very infrequently. A vet confirmed he was healthy. This fall, we rented a house in Florida for a month (we live in NYC) and he stayed home. Our cat sitter was to visit him 2x per day for two weeks and then our niece would house sit for two weeks. His litter boxes are in the basement and before we left I cleaned the basement and found evidence that he had pooped and peed a few times outside of his box. Well, when we went away he stopped using his box to pee and instead started to pee only in several specific areas on the basement floor. When we got home we took him to the vet. All fine. She prescribed a sedative and it only made him pass out. We had a cat behaviorist visit our home. Tried all her recommendations: hormonal collar, cat attract, more litter boxes (he now has 4), litter box on both floors, different cat litter, Valerian root (calming), sprays that prevent re-marking, positive reinforcement, etc. etc. No improvement. It is beyond frustrating. I understand that it has been a stressful time. He is not used to us at home all the time (COVID) and then our absence for a month must have been shocking and traumatizing. And, there has been another cat in the parking lot behind our apartment (I am working with a local rescue agency to get the cat to a shelter) which I'm sure has compounded his stress. That said he has food, water, toys, tons of affection and seems happy in general. He is very sweet, and we love him, but this has to stop. :(
 

cataholic07

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Hmm has he been checked for FIC? Do you feed him only wet food and 3 to 4 times a day?
 

FeebysOwner

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Well, when we went away he stopped using his box to pee and instead started to pee only in several specific areas on the basement floor. When we got home we took him to the vet. All fine.
Hi. Have you thoroughly cleaned the specific areas that he is peeing in the basement? If the pee penetrated the concrete (assuming your base floor is concrete) it will take some serious ionic or enzymatic cleaners to remove the smell. Concrete is very porous. He can smell much better than you can, and being able to smell his own scent is just an invitation to go in those same spots over and over again.

All is fine at the vets - but what tests were run? I am gathering a urinalysis (in addition to full scale blood work)? Perhaps, an ultrasound (or, maybe an x-ray) to see if his bladder is inflamed? I tend to think FIC also. If the bladder is inflamed, he will likely need to be put on anti-inflammatories to help. Inflammation can cause serious irritation and provoke inappropriate peeing. It doesn't necessarily have to impact other aspects of his life, so he can appear OK in terms of eating/drinking/etc. Inflammation can lead to a UTI, but not always.
 
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GregA

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Hmm has he been checked for FIC? Do you feed him only wet food and 3 to 4 times a day?
I'm not sure if he was checked for FIC. I have not heard of this before. The vet did blood and urine and said everything looked normal. Is this a separate test? We feed him both wet and dry food. He gets wet food in the morning and evening and during the day dry food in a puzzle feeder.
 
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GregA

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Hi. Have you thoroughly cleaned the specific areas that he is peeing in the basement? If the pee penetrated the concrete (assuming your base floor is concrete) it will take some serious ionic or enzymatic cleaners to remove the smell. Concrete is very porous. He can smell much better than you can, and being able to smell his own scent is just an invitation to go in those same spots over and over again.

All is fine at the vets - but what tests were run? I am gathering a urinalysis (in addition to full scale blood work)? Perhaps, an ultrasound (or, maybe an x-ray) to see if his bladder is inflamed? I tend to think FIC also. If the bladder is inflamed, he will likely need to be put on anti-inflammatories to help. Inflammation can cause serious irritation and provoke inappropriate peeing. It doesn't necessarily have to impact other aspects of his life, so he can appear OK in terms of eating/drinking/etc. Inflammation can lead to a UTI, but not always.
Thanks for your reply. Vet did blood and urine, no ultrasound. We clean the floor every day with a urine destroyer cleaner/spray. About once a week we also take everything out of the area and mop the entire floor with a similar cleaner. We have also blocked areas where he peeped (corners, etc.) and he finds other places. I will look into FIC and inflammation. Thank you.
 

di and bob

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My Burt did this for over a year when we moved. It sounds like stress is doing it to your boy too, most likely you leaving for a month and/or that cat he sees outside. ANY change in routine contributes to some cat's stress. My other cats were fine, just him. Many times confining them to a small room, a bedroom, bathroom, or utility room until they consistently use the box works, if not I kept cleaning and got some clear plastic carpet runner/protector with those little nubs on the back, cut it to fit and put it where he constantly went, nub side up. It hurts their feet to walk on it. He did change spots and I put it there too. It is easily hidden when the company comes and being clear isn't so noticible. With him being so long at it, the small room approach might be the best to get him on the right track again. I would still offer different litters too, maybe go back to a regular clay-based one, litter is still the number one reason cats hate their litter box!
 
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GregA

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My Burt did this for over a year when we moved. It sounds like stress is doing it to your boy too, most likely you leaving for a month and/or that cat he sees outside. ANY change in routine contributes to some cat's stress. My other cats were fine, just him. Many times confining them to a small room, a bedroom, bathroom, or utility room until they consistently use the box works, if not I kept cleaning and got some clear plastic carpet runner/protector with those little nubs on the back, cut it to fit and put it where he constantly went, nub side up. It hurts their feet to walk on it. He did change spots and I put it there too. It is easily hidden when the company comes and being clear isn't so noticible. With him being so long at it, the small room approach might be the best to get him on the right track again. I would still offer different litters too, maybe go back to a regular clay-based one, litter is still the number one reason cats hate their litter box!
Thank you I appreciate your feedback!
 

Claire07x

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Hey, I've actually made a video on this and tips on how to fix it, if you'd like to check it out?
Hopefully it'll give you some good info and suggestions!

 
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GregA

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Hey, I've actually made a video on this and tips on how to fix it, if you'd like to check it out?
Hopefully it'll give you some good info and suggestions!

Thank you!
 
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