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Catowners, help

I have a major issue right now that could cost my cat her home.

A week ago, something happened, and I don't know if she couldn't get to her litterbox (which is behind where our bathroom door swings open; she's smart enough to move the door, but maybe it was stuck on something?), or just had an emergency, but she went on the floor in front of the litterbox, in the doorway to the bathroom.

We wrote that off as a once-off; we cleaned up the urine, and I figured that while I was concerned - cats that start going somewhere else like the floor, when they're typically rigidly disciplined in most other aspects aren't healthy - I'd let it go. A couple days ago, she did it again, and my concern grew.

Third time was this afternoon, maybe twenty minutes ago. This time, I had to react; after chasing the cat around the house, I grabbed her, and pushed her face down into it while yelling at her. She's hiding under my bed now, and we've put down some enzyme to get rid of the smell (since we feel that now that she's went there once that's "her" spot, due to the smell, and that's just where she goes now), and I'm going out in a bit (despite being sick) to get her some of the regular litter that she's used to using (we switched to regular Tidy Cat litter, which we feel could have been a contributing factor; we skimped on it because money was a bit tight), but that's besides the point: I don't know what to do at this point.

I can't keep a cat that's pissing on our floor. She's otherwise a well-behaved cat for the most part, and I don't think this is rebellion or anything along those lines, but we need to nip this problem in the bud, because if it becomes habitual, we can't keep her. That leaves me with options, none of which are appealing:

- Give her back to her old owner. He hasn't written us back yet, though at this point, we've only asked for advice.

- Give her to Ed and Liz. While they typically take good care of cats (much better than dogs; Ed has a habit of hitting the bigger dogs, who can take the shots, but he's gotten better about that over the years), I'm afraid of giving a cat with declawed fronts to someone who has a fighter like they do (they have a black cat, Oreo, who's vicious).

- Put an ad in the Bargain News. This is NOT an option I want to explore, but it infinitely preferable to...

- Putting her to sleep. This is the last resort of last resorts.

I don't want to lose my cat at all. This breaks my heart to see this happening, and I KNOW it's going to break Aileen's if we have to lose the cat, as if either of us need one more thing to go wrong at this point. So anyone that has a cat, like Sam, nailbat, anyone... any ideas? I need some help here, because while getting rid of the cat is not something I want to do, I can't be stepping in piss every day.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
diehardgamefan
Feb. 17th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Have you talked to your vet? It could be a urinary tract infection or a sign of something else.
superbus
Feb. 17th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Her urine is clear. I don't think it's an infection because her urine is showing she's healthy in that regard. But even notwithstanding that, she does #2 in the litter box; she's pissing right in front of the box. So I don't think it's an infection, where she can't get to the box. She won't.

But I'll definitely be taking her into the vet if this continues, to get her checked out. Your mind races when shit like this starts to happen.
dmajohnson
Feb. 17th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
How her urine looks is really irrelevant. You can't tell if she has an infection like that or not. If it's painful to pee, she could be associating pain with peeing the litterbox and so she pees elsewhere, which could also be why she poops in it just fine.

That said, it's good to be consistent with litter. Cats don't think the same way people do, and rely heavily on their sense of smell. It doesn't matter if the litter box is in the same place, if it doesn't smell the same, she might not "recognize it", and so she just picks what to her seems like the next best thing--in this case, the floor.

I'd advise you to change the litter back to what you had, and if it doesn't clear itself up in a day or two, take her to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible. (Or better yet, skip step one and just take her to the vet as soon as possible.)
sarajayechan
Feb. 17th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Take her to the vet.
shotglass
Feb. 17th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
Do you know if maybe she's actually in the litter box but "missing"? As in, her rear is outside of it? We had a cat that did that. A cover on the box fixed that problem.

But seconding the vet idea.
superbus
Feb. 17th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
No, because when this happened today (the only time I've been home for it, because I'm sick), the urine was on the other side of the door. She can get to the litter - there's a shampoo bottle wedging it at the hinge to ensure that it doesn't go full-open - but isn't doing it.
shotglass
Feb. 17th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
Ahh... It could be the litter, like you said, but that aside, I'm coming up blank. I (really, really!) hope it sorts itself out, because I agree -- a cat that pisses on the floor isn't one that really can be kept. The smell will stick after a while.
butter_building
Feb. 17th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
I've had cats that do shit like this. In some cases, just moving the box or changing the litter is enough to solve the problem. I'd try moving the box to another location and cutting off all access to the bathroom, or wherever it used to be.

If she's an old cat though, there's not much that can be done for that. Old cats just... piss everywhere.
nailbat
Feb. 18th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
I second the urinary tract infection possibility. Also, cats do get pretty picky about their litter, which also would cause a cat to pee outside their box. Switch the litter back, and see if that helps, then take the cat to the vet if she keeps doing it. If she's never had a problem with the box before, then it's probably one of those two things.

Failing either, how's her stress level?
nailbat
Feb. 18th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
Also, rubbing her nose in it won't solve the problem. She probably doesn't realise why you're doing that to her, and it's only further ingraining the place and scent into her mind. Just remember to use a small amount of bleach in your cleaning solution to mask the urine smell. Bleach +water works really well after you've mopped up the actual urine.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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