Discuss incontinent pets.

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Does your dog wee on the carpet? Does your cat poo on the bed? How did you "fix" it, or did you just learn to live with it?

-- Atara (atara@raex.com), September 04, 2000


I have this problem with one of my cats. When it was just my roommate, her dog, Psycho and I, she used her box without fail. However, once I got married and she and I moved in with my new husband and his cat, her training went right out the window.

We've tried everything from putting her box in different places (more privacy/less privacy, away from food/near food, bathroom/laundry room) with no change. We got each cat her own box - no help. We got one of those self-cleaning models (love it! $85 from Wal-Mart) but still no joy. We've tried spraying some of that expensive stuff you get from pet supply stores to discourage elimination in a particular area, no help. She never does it within our sight, so it's not like we can squirt-gun her.

Our current solution to this problem is to simply put her in the backyard whenever we're gone. She screams that she's being killed every time, but we don't want our carpets ruined.

If anyone has better ideas, please share.

-- taerin (taerin@geocities.com), September 05, 2000.

My wife and I were lead to believe that spayed/neutered felines were non-urine baptizers. Within the last month or so though at least two of the males and one of the females have turned into the feline equivalent of graffitti artists. THE HOUSE REEKS!!!

Anybody got any suggestions????

One very put-upon male in our downstairs indoor/outdoor colony has an affection for christening my darkroom equipment and it's driving me BONKERS! Bleach won't stop him! Lysol won't stop him! I heard a rumor that cat's don't like the smell of citrus oils. True?

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), September 10, 2000.

I've heard that vinegar discourages a cat from peeing someplace. Ammonia attracts them, though.

-- Atara (atara1@yahoo.com), September 11, 2000.

I ended up adopting, by default, two foster cats with serious mental issues (they were terrified of everything). One of the manifestations of all the stress and anxiety was that one of them would lick himself bald in places, and he peed and sprayed *everywhere*. I could have no pillows on sofas. I was allowed only one pillow on the bed. I'm not kidding. He'd pee on any more. He would pee on the bed in the middle of the night. I tried everything. Don't believe anything those products tell you. There is nothing out there that will take the smell away. Sigh.

I put up with him for as long as I could. Sadly, when his anxiety got so bad that even medications wouldn't help him anymore, I had to help him across the bridge (and despite all the problems, I still miss him, because on his good days he was such a love).

The basic thing is to figure out what the stresser is. For my two cats, it was mental, but in most cases, it's something external that can be modified.

if it happens on a regular basis, you may want to invest in a vinyl mattress cover if she's peeing on your bed, at least until you get it cleared up. Bedding can be washed. Mattresses can't.

-- Jenipurr (acatbyanyothername@pacbell.net), October 15, 2000.

(1) Use a good quality fine grain clumping litter and a big, open box in a place or places convenient to the cat (I use concrete mixing pans: $5 each at home supply stores)...and keep the box clean!!! I keep a plastic bag and a scooper (not the plastic kind, but a nice metal one found in a kitchen gadget shop) right beside the box, and scoop it every time I pass if it contains anything. Praise the cat every time it uses the box...NEVER PUNISH the cat for urinating outside the box. (2)If the cat is incontinent because he/she is elderly and inactive, simple baby waterproof sheeting, or even lap pads, may be enough. (3)Try stud pants, Piddle Pants, or something similar.

-- Kitty Singletary (ksingletary@houstongrandopera.org), March 18, 2002.

So I guess no one has an answer....One or both of my cats just started peeing in 1-anything on the floor 2-the bed (no longer allowed in bedroom) 3- the sofa (we now need new cushions, waiting for them) 4-any pillow (every day) 4- the dogs bedding 5- at least one deficates right next to the litterbox.

I can't tell which one is doing it....and i can't figure out why...nothing has changed in the house, and they don't act odd in any other way.

anyone? I can't take it anymore....if it is a war, Im afraid they will lose in the end....I have never ever considered getting rid of any animal, and dispised anyone who would consider it, but I am at the end of the gaoolws rope.


-- tony dennison (dennison@littlevoice.com), August 28, 2002.

A friend of mine (who has a new kitten) found this forum and thought I could help, since I've owned my cat for 19 years. Here are some common reasons for kitty incontinence.

1. New baby, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, pet--anyone new who takes attention away from your cat. This is usually accompanied by other over-aggressive behavior problems. Besides spending quality time with your cat, I'd recommend seeing a vet or animal behaviorist to help your cat adjust to the new person in your life.

2. Two male cats in the same house (usually 1 or both unneutered, although neutered males sometimes spray as well). It's a territory & "alpha male" power struggle thing. 2 unspayed female cats in the same house may exhibit the same behavior.

3. Serious illness. Incontinence can be a sign of kidney disease: your cat's kidneys are failing. Most cats don't have this problem til they reach "senior kitty" status (which starts around age 7); it's very common in older cats, not so common in younger cats. Take your cat to a vet and have her tested.

4. You don't clean the litterbox often enough, or you use a covered litterbox. Most cats don't like covered boxes: the hood traps smells. If the litterbox stinks or isn't cleaned out often enough, the cat probably won't use it. In fact, the cat will probably go right beside the box. Someone else already posted about using a big open box and keeping it clean. To that, I'd add this: - Never use ammonia-based cleansers to scrub down the litterbox. Ammonia smells like cat urine. Again, a stinky box is bad.

- Beware keeping the litterbox in a very small, enclosed area (e.g., a small cubby, a tiny closet, under a sink, etc.). Small areas trap smells. If you do this, you'd better scoop stuff out the box as often as possible.

- Some cats are very persnickety about types of litter (clay, clumping, dusty, scented, etc.) and plastic box liners. Sometimes super-clumping litter will clump itself to your cat's paws, and that's no fun. (Well hey, YOU try licking a clump of cement off your back foot!)

5. You've adopted a former member of an indoor/outdoor colony, or a feral stray. Cats are not born knowing how to use a litterbox, nor will neutering a feral cat suddenly make him know how to use a litterbox. You'll have to train litterbox behavior.

I once litter trained a rabbit--which I guarantee is harder to do than training any cat. Wherever the rabbit's favorite potty spots were, I set out a litterbox. Gradually the rabbit narrowed her choice of litterbox locations down to 2, and that's where her boxes stayed. I tried this training with a former feral cat and it worked very well; the cat has 2 litterboxes (in 2 different locations), but she does use them instead of peeing everywhere else.

To Tony, the person whose cat(s) suddenly started having incontinence problems although nothing's changed in the house: Take them both to the vet, if you haven't already. Get them checked over. One of them may be in kidney failure, and that's serious business.

-- Robin (robin2@ameritech.net), September 29, 2002.

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