Cat urination problem, definitely behavioral issue but not sure what else to try.

Vexas009

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The problem child, Ako, 5 years female is fixed. We only have one other cat who is also fixed. We have 3 litter boxes (used to have 4), and have tried many things. I'll list those below, this has been going on for about 2 or 3 years now.

Switching diet to wet food, water fountain, medication (fleuoxitine), catifying the house more. Making certain there are no strays. Many vet visits. Feliaway, and a calming collar (the collar is the only thing that has done a huge improvement but that's just in attitude and not in fixing the peeing problem).

We have moved boxes (by first adding a box) to the locations that she pees in. She'll just shift to another spot. She always pees next to the box unless I have a shirt or something on the floor. She used to pee on our bed (or even her cat bed) before we moved, but now that we are in a new place it's 99 times out of a 100 always by the litter box.

I've tried the kitty attract. Doesn't do anything. I tried switching to a grass seed from a clay litter. Doesn't change anything. When I switched to the larger boxes, for a little while she was peeing in the boxes but that stopped. I recently washed the boxes with dawn dish soap and i feel like it made the problem worse. The boxes aren't that old either. Maybe 3 months tops.

I want to put puppy pads down, but im worried that it'll just encourage her to move out from the boxes further (and some of the spots are in front of the door way so that's out of the question anyways. I'm going to be doing a full shampoo with nature's miracle this week, but honestly not sure how much it's going to help since it's happened in the last 3 places we've been at, all of which didn't have cat pee.

The vet wants to try this one food that's supposed to help with cat stress urination issues. She doesn't have any other ideas, and this stuff is going to be 50$ every order. I imagine it's going to be like 100$ a month if we end up using it. Tbh I'm not sure what brand it is, but I have my doubts it'll work, or anything will work. We've seen so many vets and have tried so many things....
 

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Something to try would be putting tarp (tarp has no odor where new shower curtain liners often smell initially) on the floor of a small room, putting in several litter boxes, including a covered one and one with literally just puppy pee pads in it, and her with the door closed (unless she yells too much), until it appears she has determined which box setup she wants and uses consistently.
 
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FeebysOwner

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Just curious - any correlation between when this started and when your other cat joined the home - assuming Ako was part of the family first?

If this has been going on for 2-3 years now, it probably has become a habit. The best solution is some rendition of what Furballsmom Furballsmom said. She is going to have to be restricted to a confined space/room and given varying options for litter boxes. It doesn't mean that she has to be confined there to eat, but probably should spend a great deal of time in that confined area. Also, since you are home, you probably have a good idea about her peeing patterns/routines that will help you to know when she has to be placed in that room/space.

Putting down pee pads is not encouraging her to go outside the litter box - it is experimenting - along with various other options to see if there is something that works for her. She had an issue that became a habit, if you find something that works, you may be able to stop the issue that caused the habit in the first place.

Look around for other products besides Nature's Miracle in case you find one more suitable. If you have been using Nature's Miracle in the past, maybe it is just 'not doing the job'.

If all else fails, it might be worth it to find an internal medicine specialist and have an ultrasound or MRI done to see if this is something that is structural in nature. Perhaps, she avoids the boxes most of the time because something bothers her when she pees - most cats 'blame' the box and not their own body for any issues they have while trying to pee. Would also explain why she is not opposed to pooping in the litter boxes.
 
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Vexas009

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Just curious - any correlation between when this started and when your other cat joined the home - assuming Ako was part of the family first?

If this has been going on for 2-3 years now, it probably has become a habit. The best solution is some rendition of what Furballsmom Furballsmom said. She is going to have to be restricted to a confined space/room and given varying options for litter boxes. It doesn't mean that she has to be confined there to eat, but probably should spend a great deal of time in that confined area. Also, since you are home, you probably have a good idea about her peeing patterns/routines that will help you to know when she has to be placed in that room/space.

Putting down pee pads is not encouraging her to go outside the litter box - it is experimenting - along with various other options to see if there is something that works for her. She had an issue that became a habit, if you find something that works, you may be able to stop the issue that caused the habit in the first place.

Look around for other products besides Nature's Miracle in case you find one more suitable. If you have been using Nature's Miracle in the past, maybe it is just 'not doing the job'.

If all else fails, it might be worth it to find an internal medicine specialist and have an ultrasound or MRI done to see if this is something that is structural in nature. Perhaps, she avoids the boxes most of the time because something bothers her when she pees - most cats 'blame' the box and not their own body for any issues they have while trying to pee. Would also explain why she is not opposed to pooping in the litter boxes.
She wasn't the first cat. She was our second. I believe for the first 6 or 7 months she was fine actually. I mean, it's possible she was peeing on the welcome Matt and we just didn't notice it, but don't know. The very first time she peed it was on my bookbag, then a week later on some clothes, and then she started doing it on our bed pretty regularly. Our old place didn't really have doors. Think of it like a mini studio almost.

I actually do want to try the isolation thing. I didn't think about tarp. Could be possible in the office where I work from home. Every room in the apartment is carpet other than the bathroom, which is too small for that suggestion. It could work in the office. I'd have to cut up sheets to make it work, but might be worth seeing if I can make it go.

I know an ultrasound has been done, no MRI. In the various tests nothing has been consistently found. The most recent test they found trace amounts of blood, which is why the vet is recommending the food.
 
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Vexas009

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You can try putting a puppy pad, no litter, in a litter box to see if she will use that.
I will try this with an empty litter box we have. Do you think I should put some pads on the floor as well?
 

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I'm thinking maybe not, it might confuse the issue for her...
 

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I actually do want to try the isolation thing. I didn't think about tarp. Could be possible in the office where I work from home.
Some people use tarps to keep cats off of areas as most are plastic, so if that deters her from wanting to be in that room, there are absorbent canvas drop cloths that are washable. Just something else to consider. Just one of many options -
Amazon.com: Simpli-Magic 79052 Heavy Duty Multi Purpose Canvas Drop Cloth, 6X9-Foot, Natural : Arts, Crafts & Sewing
 

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I know an ultrasound has been done, no MRI. In the various tests nothing has been consistently found. The most recent test they found trace amounts of blood, which is why the vet is recommending the food.
Hmmm. The blood - that is not normal, no matter how you look at it. What do you mean by "nothing has been consistently found"? So, tests found things and then later didn't?

Ever consider a vet who specializes in urology as a consult to review all of her records?
 
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Vexas009

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Hmmm. The blood - that is not normal, no matter how you look at it. What do you mean by "nothing has been consistently found"? So, tests found things and then later didn't?

Ever consider a vet who specializes in urology as a consult to review all of her records?
Kinda yea

The first couple of tests said her bladder was inflamed, but couldn't figure out why, and that her urine concentration was high. They put her on antibiotics.

The second time they found nothing.

The third They couldn't get a good sample.

The fourth They found trace amounts of blood, nothing alarming they said, and zero inflammation seen. Which is why they were unsure if it's what's causing the issue. This test was sent to a full lab where they ran detail on everything and found out she has FeLV.

In total I've done the tests at 3 different vets so far.
 

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They found trace amounts of blood, nothing alarming they said, and zero inflammation seen.
As far as I know, inflammation cannot be seen with a urinalysis, only a possible infection (via WBC in the urine). Inflammation and infection are not one in the same.

It would be so helpful to know exactly what tests were run, and when, and the results of each. Otherwise, we are all just shooting in the dark in terms of trying to offer any constructive advice. It seems like there could be some suggestions beyond what you have already gotten - given additional information. Maybe not, but sure worth a try.

Go down the path of behavioral, but if that doesn't work, you have to go another direction.
 
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Vexas009

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As far as I know, inflammation cannot be seen with a urinalysis, only a possible infection (via WBC in the urine). Inflammation and infection are not one in the same.

It would be so helpful to know exactly what tests were run, and when, and the results of each. Otherwise, we are all just shooting in the dark in terms of trying to offer any constructive advice. It seems like there could be some suggestions beyond what you have already gotten - given additional information. Maybe not, but sure worth a try.

Go down the path of behavioral, but if that doesn't work, you have to go another direction.
I've attached the imgur link with information on which of these was from when. There's doctors notes that I didn't upload but those didn't involve any tests just examining Ako

 

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I've attached the imgur link with information on which of these was from when. There's doctors notes that I didn't upload but those didn't involve any tests just examining Ako
That was a 'tough' read as I am not familiar with Imgur, or the format of the lab results. Nothing extraordinary, per se. The urine values/readings seem quite good, with the exception of this last time when they found blood in her urine, which tends to lead one to think of FIC as a probable cause. The only thing that stuck out was the notation in the report at the end which requests a fecal sample - perhaps it is because of the high eosinophil count - which can indicate internal parasites, just as one case. But, it can also tie to so many other things besides that.

I am not a vet, nor even remotely close, but I think that this might be treated as FIC - which is not really behavioral, but often times requires similar treatments.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) | International Cat Care (icatcare.org)
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) in Cats | PetMD
 

sunny578

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Hello! Not sure if you are still around, but I my cat had this issue, so if you need some additional ideas, let me know and I will write back!

I'd be interested in hearing where the litter boxes are located now. It sounds like when Ako goes outside of her box, it is always right beside it. Never anywhere else? What are your litter boxes like? Are they hooded? Have you ever tried putting two boxes side by side?

It sounds like she has chronic cystitis (like my cat!) However (like my cat) once the cystitis is well managed, the illegal urinating might still continue. What kind of food is Ako eating?

How often does she go outside her box? Does she ever use it for urine?

Do you have lots of high up spaces for the cats to jump to and claim?

Scratching options?

Did anything happen at the time that the accidents started, or have they always been happening?

Any kids or dogs?
 
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Vexas009

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Hello! Not sure if you are still around, but I my cat had this issue, so if you need some additional ideas, let me know and I will write back!

I'd be interested in hearing where the litter boxes are located now. It sounds like when Ako goes outside of her box, it is always right beside it. Never anywhere else? What are your litter boxes like? Are they hooded? Have you ever tried putting two boxes side by side?

It sounds like she has chronic cystitis (like my cat!) However (like my cat) once the cystitis is well managed, the illegal urinating might still continue. What kind of food is Ako eating?

How often does she go outside her box? Does she ever use it for urine?

Do you have lots of high up spaces for the cats to jump to and claim?

Scratching options?

Did anything happen at the time that the accidents started, or have they always been happening?

Any kids or dogs?
No kids or dogs. Used to have hooded litter boxes but switched to u hooded when this started happening.

We have some high spaces. Our windowsill is decently high up where they can lay on. Multiple couches in different spots for them to rest on as well. But limited on space in our apartment.

As far as I'm aware, there wasn't anything that triggered these accidents the first time they started. When we were moving out of the old place we found pee in wierd spots, so I partially think she'd been doing it the entire time, but she didn't start peeing on our bed at the old place till uh.

Well for a few weeks we needed her to stay at my mom's place for a few weeks. Long story why, but nothing changed at our place. We got her back, and then a month later is when the peeing started. My mom's place had no other animals there, and she never peed at my moms while there. But yea, once we had her back at our place, she didnt start peeing till a month later.

She does pee in the litterbox sometimes. It's not consistent. I just washed all of the boxes and replaced one of them. It didn't change anything. I've seen her get in the box, snif around only to leave and go right by the box. But like the boxes can be completely fresh with nothing in there and she will still go outside the box.

There's a box by the door to leave the apartment. That one is there because she was peeing by the door all the time. There's a box in the corner of the living room. Was just trying to find a good place for it.

Then we have a box in the small mini hallway that is by the door to my work office and the bedroom. The bedroom has to remain closed. I dont want to risk her peeing on the bed (the old place had no doors). She was also peeing all the time in that hallway, so we put a box there following the advice of Jackson galaxy.

She was only peeing by the boxes. So here's a mini update.

I placed a puppy pad inside an empty box next to a normal litter box. She ignored it at first, but once I put a puppy pad in the spots next to the other litter box where she was peeing at, and she started using the pads next to the litter box. If I was gone for the day she will also use the pad inside the box as well.

I'm replacing the pads daily. Basically whenever she uses them. Even with fresh pads, I have found some pee spots by the hallway box. There isn't a good way for me to get a pad where she's peeing there, but it doesn't seem to be as often.

I did find her peeing In a new spot though. There's a spot in a new freed up corner of the living room. we had some boxes there from the move, still working on unpacking, and we just got done putting those away. Free new open space and now there's pee there. I'll put another box and try a pee pad there and see if it helps. I just shampoord the carpet last week, when my leg is better I'll be doing that again.
 

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Ok, so it sounds like she is mostly going on the puppy pads, but not 100% consistently, and still occasionally finds a new spot.

It sounds to me like she is mildly stressed out and is spreading her scent. And, it sounds like the hallway is a big illegal urinating spot for her, and then there's this new spot in the living room that she urinated in after you moved some boxes.

Not sure if you mentioned this, but is this a relatively new home for you?

So, if she is trying to spread her scent, one way to do this is by urinating. Another way for her to achieve this goal is by scratching, so giving her lots of scratching options--particularly in places where she is urinating illegally--could help.

A cat tree was a key piece of solving my cat's behavioral urination puzzle. She was a big bed urinator, so we have a cat tree next to the bed. Its gunked up with her fur so it smells like her, and it's a space she can scratch and hang out and feel really secure.

Another thing that could help is for you to spend some time catifying the hallways (great that you did this to the rest of the house!) You could put some of those cardboard scratchers there, and maybe even throw a cat bed on the floor and some of her toys. You could spend some time hanging out with her in the hallway--brushing her, playing with her, treating her. This could help redefine this area of your home, and make her less likely to see it as a place for urinating.

And, I would continue following her around with the pee pads, like you've been doing. It sounds like it would be possible to get Ako to a place where she is only urinating on the pee pads, and then slowly get her to a place where she is only urinating on the pee pads inside a litter box, and eventually adding a tiny bit of litter to the pee pad boxes until one day you can get maybe rid of the pee pads all together.

What I had to do to get my cat using a litter box was to confine her temporarily, but she was at a point where she wasn't urinating in a box at all. Confinement is stressful, and it doesn't sound like Ako is there yet, so I'd try some of these other things first.

Let me know what you think!
 
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Vexas009

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So I wanted to post a small update. The issue isn't solved but I feel like we are getting closer.


For the most part, she's sticking to using the pads, but I dont think it's because they are the pads. More so they are where she likes to pee so she's doing that. Sometimes she will still go by the door (which is by one of our boxes), we put the box there cause she was peeing by that door so we were trying to give her another spot to pee) even if the pad is unused. There's a pad and a litter box with a pad in a trouble spot thst was new, that she doesn't use very often. Only when we've been gone all day for a day or two usually.

We had to leave the apartment for 3 days. We put lads everywhere, even in places that she never pees in.

She never touched the pads by the couches or in the middle of the living room. Only the pads by the litter boxes.

So...it seems like we've narrowed down the location? The bad spot in the small hallway she's seemingly stopped peeing in. Not 100 percent certain but it's looking that way. Not sure why either.


We did try switching to a UTI type good from Purina. She refused to touch it. Does anyone have any experience with those expensive prescription foods? Do those usually work?

With how she's refused to touch this uti food I feel like she wouldn't touch the more expensive kind either.
 

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