Cat peeing on blankets (and only on blankets...)

Mo&Lan

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I know this is an age old problem but I haven't seen any posts with these specific circumstances so I thought I might give it a go.
My husband and I adopted two kittens from a farm about two months ago (they were about 12 weeks old then). When we first brought them home, we kept them confined to our bedroom/bathroom area to minimize troublemaking while we made sure the rest of the apartment was ready. There was only one litter box during this two ish week time and it was right beside our carpet- like bathmat.
We noticed our girl, Mo, peeing on the bathmat one day and it smelled like she had done it a time or two before. We removed the mat, she seemed to be peeing in the box, problem solved. Then we noticed a T shirt we had lost behind a dresser that she had been peeing on. We removed that, and then she started peeing on our blankets on the bed. If there was no blanket (just a fitted sheet), she would sniff around the bed, then look where the T shirt used to be, then go to the litter box and pee.
By this time they had multiple boxes and the full run of the house. So we moved all the boxes outside our bedroom and shut them both out, then removed all bunched-up fabric from the rest of the house. No blankets on the couch, no accessible laundry baskets, etc. If there is no fabric available, she always pees in the litter box. She isn't marking either, she just squats and empties her entire bladder. She doesn't pee on furniture, or her bed, or even the carpeted stairs. Only blankets and blanket like fabric.
It seems to be entirely a preference thing, and it's driving me insane. If I miss a reusable grocery bag near the door, pee. If a jacket gets knocked off of the coat rack, pee. If I fall asleep on the couch under a blanket, pee. It's about to be real cold in this northeastern state, am I just not going to be allowed to watch a movie under a blanket? She is honestly perfect aside from this, but I am at my wit's end. How can I teach her that peeing on blankets etc is unacceptable?
I have definitely left out some details in the interest of keeping this shorter, so I am happy to answer questions.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. My first - and, about only - guess would be that she doesn't like the litter but will use it when she can't find her preferable material available. She may also be a 'pee sitter' and doesn't like the litter touching her bottom. Does she exclusively use the litter box for pooping? Does she bury her poop?

There are also cats who don't want to use the same box to pee and poop in, and/or share a box with other cats, but if she will use litter boxes willingly for pooping and there are already 'deposits' in them from your other cat, that would less likely be the issue. You can't rule it out entirely without some experimenting though.

How many different litters have you tried? If you haven't done that already, I would start there. Until you can figure out a permanent resolution, you could have a litter box lined with puppy pee pads instead of litter. If she would use it, she might leave other soft materials alone.
 
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Mo&Lan

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She has never pooped outside of a litter box for as long as we have had her. She seems to generally bury her poop, but now that I think about it she might sometimes just drop a log and walk away. Is that another indication that she doesn't like the litter?

I don't think it's an issue where she won't use the same box as her brother/the same box for both pooping and peeing, since I've observed them use the same box one right after the other for both purposes. My husband and I are generally very prompt at cleaning as well, so I'm fairly confident it isn't a cleanliness thing.

We've tried three; one pretty basic sand-looking litter (I think it was standard tidy cats) that they would occasionally use at the farm to start with, then we transitioned to the "breeze litter system," then we swapped out the "breeze" pellets for pine pellets (cheaper, easier to use, and softer. The breeze ones are basically rocks). I guess it's possible that she just doesn't like the large cylindrical pellets on her paws, but in that case I'm not sure why she would still poop there, even when she had ample opportunity to poop on a blanket. Honestly, I'm baffled (in case you couldn't tell). If you've got any recommendations for litter for picky cats, I'm all ears!

I think I might give the box full of puppy pads a go. That seems like a really good place to start, at least. I wonder if I could maybe do that and slowly add the litter? Do you think she would just stop using it if there got to be too much of the litter she doesn't like?

Thank you so much for your help!
 

Furballsmom

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Hi! Have you had them and especially her, in to be checked by a vet?
 
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Mo&Lan

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Yes, she has a clean bill of health.
 

FeebysOwner

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Some cats don't bury their poop, but it could also be an indicator of not liking to paw at the litter. Forgot to ask if she covers her pee when she does use the litter box. There might just be a thing about the breeze system she doesn't like either. Maybe she can smell too much pee in the pad beneath? Just a wild (and, unlikely) guess. I still wonder since she uses a box to poop in if there isn't something about the way she squats/sits when she pees that is why she prefers a soft surface. Maybe you can take a few sneak peeks of her doing both just to see if positioning is different?

You could start out with just the pee pads and see how that goes. If you find her using it regularly, then you could try adding a just bit of litter on top, and repeat until it is all litter or until she quits using the box (hopefully not).

I use Fresh Step Unscented clumping litter - have for many, many years, so I can't offer any other litters for you to try. Hopefully, some other members will come along and have some recommendations for you.
 
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Mo&Lan

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Thank you for all of your suggestions! I'll see if I can sneak a peek, and I think we'll see about maybe setting up those puppy pads.
 

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Cat Attract is generally very well liked. You could also try a lightweight litter.

I'm in the same boat as you. We've added 3 litter boxes and ripped up the carpet in one room. Someone peed on the floor underneath the day the carpet came out. We're doing Feliway, which noticeably helps one cat but not the other known pee-er. I'm going to try the box with the pee pad in it. I'll try anything.
 
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Mo&Lan

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I empathize!

We actually installed the box with the pee pad, and it seemed to be working great! Until we found another puddle. I guess it's possible that the puddle was from before we set up the box (we didn't actually get around to it until last week, and it was pretty out of the way), but I dunno. We'll maintain the one change for a little longer and see how it goes before we try another new thing. On the bright side, we definitely observed her peeing in the box more than once, so it's at least something she's willing to use.

Our intended next step (if it really does seem like the pad box isn't working) will be to find a litter that seems to be generally good for picky cats. I'm really hoping to stick with the pine pellets, but if it's the difference between pee on whatever fabric she can get to and a suboptimal litter situation, I'll take the suboptimal litter situation.
 

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i’m am dealing with this now started as blankets and he just peed all over couch. taking to vet to see if there is something we can do
 

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a litter that seems to be generally good for picky cats
You could try dr elsey's Cat Attract litter as mentioned above. I don't know if this idea would work for your situation but you might be able to sprinkle a little on the pellets.

I read through your thread again and may have missed this, but did you put down a second box?

taking to vet to see if there is something we can do
Sending lots of hugs!!
 
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