Female cat marking room

pip123

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We have two cats. Maize is ~3 year old mamma of Pippin, ~2 years old. They are both neutered.

The problem we've been having for months now is that Maize seems to be marking one of the rooms in our basement. Twice this past week, for example, I've walked downstairs, she's run down after me, and immediately peed by the entrance of the room. She also does it when we're not present. Earlier this week, I put a litter box in the exact spot she had been peeing. When she peed down there today, she looked at the box and then peed a few feet away from it. We do not have problems anywhere else in the house.

I'm not sure what I can do to address this.

It is perhaps also worth noting that Pippin and Maize do not always get along the best, and Maize is frequently overly aggressive towards him.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
Do you have windows in the basement? I'm wondering if Maize is detecting cats outside. If there are cats, can you use motion activated sprinklers to deter them, or spread pieces of cloth sprayed with lemon scented furniture polish around outside (these will need to be freshened)? In the basement, try using a calming spray (sometimes feliway can make things worse, but they have a new variety that might help as well). She's been seen by a vet lately?

Additionally, try some Cat Music for both Pippin and Maize.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Not knowing what might have started it, it now may be because Maize can smell the urine in that location, so it is like an 'invitation' to go there. Something probably happened that caused her to do it the first time, and now she just goes back there because she can smell the urine.

What kind of flooring do you have in the basement? Whatever it is may need to be treated with enzyme cleaners and if it is concrete underneath that, you might have to treat it too to ensure the odor is eradicated. Any chance of blocking off access to the basement - to help with a serious cleaning, as well as attempting to break the habit?

Is there anywhere in that area that you might be harboring mice that she can detect, or a window nearby that an outside cat has sprayed? Or, as mentioned above, her being able to sense animals roaming about outside that happens to be near the place she pees?

It doesn't seem likely that this connects with Maize's and Pippin's relationship, or I would expect her to be marking other places in your home, particularly after one of their 'spats'. Unless Pippin spends a lot of time in that specific area of the basement.
 
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pip123

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Thanks for the ideas!

There is a small ceiling level window in this particular room, but I don't think it's coming into play here. It's not near by and she's shown no interest in it.

Neither cat spends much time in this room. Maize seems to think it's her safe zone. She goes there during thunderstorms or to get away from Pippin if they are chasing each other and she's done playing.

The flooring is cheap carpet with an under pad on top of concrete.

We have a black light and have tried getting it all up with an enzyme cleaner, but it's hard to get everything. I'll go over it again, and try temporarily blocking access to the room.
 

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Just in case there's something you haven't had a chance to try yet;

This retailer might have something for you for chews - I've used some of their other products and like them (not affiliated with them).
Stress & Anxiety Support for Cats

Also, there is Cat Music which can be surprisingly effecting in helping a cat to become more relaxed, and here below is a list of calming products from wipes to drops.

My Poppycat didn't respond to pheromone type products at all positively--with Feliway he just sort of hunched into himself 'til I removed him from the area where it was being used (a vet clinic), and he'd leave the room where I tried Comfort Zone at the house.

Only Natural Pet has a calming product called Just Relax Calming spray with essential oil (catnip oil)--see their link I gave you above.

There's this one, be sure and scroll all the way down the page;
www.bachflower.com

Also, there is ThunderWunders calming chews, Richard's Organic Pet Calm drops, Naturevet Hemp, HomeoPet Anxiety Relief, Head to Tail Calming, Relaxivet Quiet Moments Cat treats, GNC Calming formula, and there is Calm-o-mile, Natures Miracle calming spray, Vetri-Science's Composure is another item to look at, Pet Remedy - UK and US (it has valerian) is yet another, as is Essential Pet Pet-eze, Pet Organics No Stress, Pet Naturals also has one I believe, and there are others.

Lambert Vet Supply is a website to look at, and of course chewy, also there's Petwishpros, animaleo, 1-800-petmeds, Petco and PetSmart, and other pet stores.

Lickimats can be relaxing for cats too.

This post talks about some other products;
Calming Treats For A Very Picky Cat
 

FeebysOwner

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Neither cat spends much time in this room. Maize seems to think it's her safe zone. She goes there during thunderstorms or to get away from Pippin if they are chasing each other and she's done playing.
Maybe being scared is what set her off to pee down there in the first place? See if you can introduce her to a 'back up' safe space in another room somewhere, if/when the basement is blocked off. You know her likes and dislikes, so maybe you can devise a place (or two) and show her where they are.
 

sunny578

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If blocking access to the room doesn't work, let us know! I'd be interested in hearing about where your regular litter boxes are in the rest of the house, and how long you tried having a litter box in her illegal urinating spot. In addition to blocking off the room, I might try putting a litter box right outside of it too. Please keep us posted!
 
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pip123

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The room is blocked off now. This afternoon, I went downstairs to get a couple of onions. She ran down after me, noted she couldn't get into the room, and proceeded to trot over to the drier and peed on it instead. As far as I know, she's never peed there before. Immediately after peeing, she tore upstairs and started playing with her toys.

We have a litter box in the basement immediately at the end of the stairs, directly across from the room she was originally peeing in. And, an additional one on the main floor and in the second floor bathroom.

> how long you tried having a litter box in her illegal urinating spot

Only for a day or two.
 

FeebysOwner

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I would say you simply cannot let her into the basement, period end of report. Something going on down there - at least in her mind - so, stop her from going down there. Perhaps, add a couple more litterboxes on the other floors - maybe even one close to the basement door.
 

sunny578

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Hmmm, ok. What are these other litter boxes like? Uncovered? Easy to get to? Do they have multiple points of exit and entry? The one in the basement and in the bathroom could be a bit tricky for a stressed out cat to get to since it would be possible for other pets in the house to interfere with their reentry to the main living space.

Generally, your ideal litter box will be uncovered, and in a place where a cat has good visibility while using it. So, you wouldn't want it behind a couch, or in a closet. And, you'd want it to be in an area where a cat who is using the box has multiple points of exit so that they could use the box knowing that if someone decided to sneak up on them at their most vulnerable moment, they can still escape.

Not sure if it's been covered, but if this is totally new behavior, it's always good to rule out any medical stuff. Stressed out cats are more susceptible to UTI's, cystitis, etc.

If you block off access to the basement completely and the illegal urinating stops, that's great! Before letting your cats back downstairs, you might want to make an effort to redefine that space so that the offender doesn't see it as her place for toileting. You could bring some of their toys down there and play a bit with them now and then, feed them some treats or an occasional meal in Maize's preferred illegal spots, maybe add a scratching thing or two down there, spread some cat nip, brush Maize--anything you can think of to help create a new association with that space.

Please keep us posted!
 
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pip123

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I just went down there again to get something, this time armed with a toy. She followed me and peed on the drier again, paying no head to the toy I was waving around for her. So, I closed off the basement and moved their box upstairs by the basement door. I also gave her a zylkene just to see if it helped any. She's been peeing down there for a while now, but it does seem to have gotten worse recently with seemingly every trip I make down there a trigger.

Our boxes are not enclosed, but they are high walled because Pippin doesn't always keep his butt down when peeing... I think our box placement is decent, though there's likely room for improvement.

Hopefully she doesn't start peeing upstairs now...
 
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