new post for cat peeing and being put down

coolmamaDecember 29, 2006

I just wanted to shed some new light on an older thread about having to put down a cat that pees everywhere.

I was in a vet office and happend to pick up a magazine that had a very intresting article regarding this situation. Now,it was a few years ago,so forgive me if details rob my brain.

The article stated how common it was for cats (and some dogs) to be spayed or neutered incorrectly. That when this happens,the cat still exhibits behavioral problems such as they would if they were never fixed at all. And one of those behavioral problems would be the peeing for seemingly no reason at all.

A good example would be my sister's cat. Beautiful blacked haired kitty with green eyes and very soft fur.Never had any problems from her.Sister got her spayed and vaccinated like any good responsible pet owner.

Well,the kitty started peeing on her couch.She'd clean the couch to no avail and yes,her house started to smell bad.

Then it even became a pooping problem too.One day the cat actually I guess wiped her butt along my sister's walls all along one entire room.

My sister had enough,and took her to the pound~where as you know after about 7 days they put them to sleep.My sister felt so bad,she went back on the 6th day and got her back (after paying 80$)

The kitty stopped peeing everywhere for a while after this.Guess she knew she was about to die.

However,the cat starts it again after she moves to a new apartment.She gets her Third new couch and the kitty pees on it.

Meanwhile, the cat had been put on anti-depressants and it didnt help.Was treated for a UTI even though the vet said she didnt think she had one.Nothing helped.

I tell her about this strange article I read and she takes the kitty in to be checked out.Turns out,whomever spayed her cat did not do it correctly! Kitty was still semi-expriencing going in heat and would pee and poop as a way of showing her frustrations.The vet goes in and re-spays the cat~and the pee problem is solved.

Just thought I'd share this incase some of you didnt know this could happen.

I also wouldnt judge someone who had to put their cat down due to this problem if they tried everything they could.Yes,it is terrible to have to do,and I for one would try every alternative possible first~like making it an outside cat. No one really wants to put down a beloved.But i guess there is only so much you can take and try before giving up.

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coolmama - I wonder if you can remember clearly enough if the article stated this would cause inappropriate peeing, or spraying. Seems that some cats that are spayed/neutered later in life have more of a problem with spraying, but my mom's cat does pee other places than her box and she was spayed late. Just curious if you can remember for sure.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Yes,I'am definitely sure that it did say peeing as well.After all,female cats dont spray.They pee because they express unhappiness or discomfort from going into a "heat cycle" that you dont know she is in. It is a behavioral problem as well because the cat is kinda pmsing,LOL. You know they want to go outside and mate when in heat,and when they cant,well,they pee instead.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 6:38AM
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I have seen this post in the past and just wanted to add my few cents.

First of all I have three dogs. If one of them has even a minor health issue, I investigate it thoroughly and get an opinion from my vet about how to fix it.

I would consider this a "serious" issue. The cat is peeing all over the place. Not a pleasant thing. Also, not something that I can tolerate.

IF some sort of REASONABLE solution could not be found to correct this issue, I would consult with other specialists, do more research, and then decide on a course of action. Within a very short period of time.

The action might not be something that I am happy about, but the peeing has to stop. Dog and cat pee stains. It also stinks to high heaven. Especially in the hot humid months.

This is in the same category as incontinence. Not something I will tolerate. If it cannot be easily fixed, a hard decision must be made.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 4:19PM
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coolmama - actually, female cats DO spray, and it's not always because they are in heat or feeling in heat, but can be a social or territorial thing as well.

My mom's cat started her inappropriate peeing at some point after my dad died. I'm not sure there is anything significant in that since she wasn't exactly his pet or spent much time with him. He was very ill when she came to my mom. Probably just a coincidence.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 9:57PM
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Yes, female cats do spray. I had a calico female (spayed) who sprayed as a stress/territorial thing. She'd back up to a wall or furniture, raise her tail, and spray.

And female dogs mark territory (there's a myth that this is a male-dog thing). My female (spayed) lab-cross did this, and the two (spayed) dogs I got later did the same thing, which they evidently learned from her.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 9:17AM
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As someone who had to put her beloved cat down two days before Christmas because she went into acute kidney failure, didn't respond to treatment and it was diagnosed that it was because of cancer, and who is devastated, I think putting an animal down because it is inconvenient is disgusting.

Any vet that would do it is disgusting too.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 11:56PM
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Byorsell, I am so sorry about your cat. What a terrible sad thing.

Most cats that urinate inappropriately have health issues that have not been thoroughly explored. I'm talking about people who have a cat, the cat pees outside the litterbox, the people get mad and never take the cat to the vet or consider bladder or kidney problems. So the cats are not only neglected and in pain, they are destroyed for being sick.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 10:15AM
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buyorsell: Sorry to hear about your cat. I have had to do the same thing 3 times for renal failure in my first dog and two of our cats. When this started with our first dog, we spent huge amounts of money trying to keep the dog alive, all for naught.

When the cats were diagnosed, the vet at the time told me that I could get a couple of more months, but the cat's quality of life wouldn't be so great. I decided to do what was best for my pet.

I have to disagree with the use of the word disgusting. I had a cat that had "issues" that were nothing to do with medical (not mental) conditions, box was immaculate, etc. I put the cat down because it was unsanitary not because it was inconvenient.

I don't think I am disgusting. What would be disgusting would be to continue to allow a healthy cat pee all over the house because it has some issue that could take several months or never be resolved. I also wouldn't say my vet is disgusting. No one who loves animals wants to put one down, but sometimes there isn't a workable alternative.

Do you still think it is disgusting once all medical issues have been ruled out? Would you allow a cat to inappropriately pee all over your carpet and furniture?

I think until you live in someone else's life, it isn't really fair to pass judgment. Again, sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Byorsell, my post was no in anyway directed towards you. I was addressing the general thread.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 8:51PM
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Im going to paint it inconvenient if someone views several months to possibly resolve a non medical issue as disgusting. Is it as simple as no medical diagnosis for the peeing  no soup for you? No behavioral alternative which canÂt be explored or should be given a few months to work (and really more like 6 months to work). Would you not given havenÂt given a physical or "medical" reason protocol at least that time to work?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 10:10PM
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cjhwillis-Could you run that by me again? I don't understand what you are saying.
buyorsell-I too am sorry about your is hard to lose a pet for whatever reason.
I agree again with labmomma.
My cat is still peeing/spraying inappropriately.Not as much as before but still doing it.No medical reason,
nothing different in my household,no new animals.How much longer will I be able to put up with this? I don't know.It is because I care about her and love her that I have tolerated it this long,but chosing between her and a clean home that doesn't smell of cat urine is not that hard a choice for me. If one of you people who think I am disgusting,cruel,heartless and irresponsible and think more of my family and my home than I do of the cat would like to give her a home,you are more than welcome to take her! Just start lining up!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 10:55PM
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elly nj~this thread is certainly not my idea.It was an old thread that I was just trying to shed some light in other possible reasons cats do this sort of thing. So that the poor cat doesnt have to be put down.
I personally dont think I could do it either...not after having my gerbil die in my hands 3 days before christmas.
Many people dont know this problem exsists though.they have the cat tested for UTI,or maybe even kidney problems when the real problem could be that they were never fixed right in the first place.And...people who complain of this who havent had their cats fixed,I dont even want to hear from.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 2:01AM
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coolmama, thanks for the info. One of our cats had his baseline completed and there was blood in his urine. We are going to retest this week. No other issues that I can think of, but it brought back memories of my childhood cat that was put to sleep because he peed outside the litter box. This was way back in the 70's so quite a while ago. The cat had been operated on as his urinary track was plugged - with crystals I'm assuming (I was about 13). But the cat continued to pee outside the litter box. My mom felt her only out was to put the cat to sleep. We live in a city - oustide cats are against the law. I can't judge my mom harshly for what she did - she felt it was her only option and had pursued medical options. What you mention about incorrect spaying, I wonder if it goes for neutering too. Our cat was supposedly neutered but he reminded me of a unneutered Tom. He would ball up blankets and go at it as if they were a female cat. He also had a more aggressive personality.

My SL has a cat now that also developed crystals and has started to pee outside the litter box. This was treated but in the process the cat developed some behavorial issues too. During the warm months she put him on a leash in the back yard when she could keep an eye on him. But my guess is that probably doesn't help the behavorial issues. If she finally decides to put the cat to sleep, I don't think it is for me to judge her one way or another.

I know if my cat develops problems it would be a very difficult decision to make. But peeing is unsanitary, not just inconvenient. I wouldn't want someone to judge me if that was my final action. My cats are my babies. I would cry my head off. And why should there be any time limit? Who says 3 months or 6 months is the right amount of time.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 2:21PM
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chjwillis - yes it is as simple as that for me. It is simple, the behavioral problem is the cat not having a medical issue and is peeing out of the box.

I will take a clean house over one that stinks like cat urine any day of the week. No soup for the cat that pees inappropriately out of the box without a medical condition. I am never going to give a cat Prozac or any other type of SSRI, ever. You can paint it whatever you choose in YOUR house.

By the way, I see that Lillie above has a cat that has been peeing inappropriately despite all kinds of veterinary tests and such. Maybe if you are serious about how disgusting it is to put a cat down for that reason, you could take hers if it wouldn't bother or be inconvenient for you.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 2:24PM
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I am never going to give a cat Prozac or any other type of SSRI, ever.

I just don't understand why, though.

Is it the expense? My cat's pills cost $30 for a six-month supply. I find it hard to believe that this would be a cost that is beyond most people's means.

Is it the effort? Effort varies with the cat -- some cats you can hide the pill in a treat, some you can just grab and shove the pill down the throat.

Is it because you have something against SSRIs in general? This is for a cat. Not for a depressed person. Whatever issues you might have with those with mental health issues, this is something completely different.

I just can't understand WHY in the world if there is a solution that works for many, many cats who pee inappropriately, that you wouldn't jump at the opportunity to fix the problem, rather than take the life of an animal that has been a part of your family. Please explain this to me.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 4:22PM
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I choose not to do it. That's just my choice. If someone wants to do that medication route, that's up to them. They have to live in those conditions. I just don't care for the smell of cat urine and would prefer a sanitary house.

If I were to visit someone's home that reaked of urine when I first walked in the door, I definitely would be thinking, why are you not changing your cat box?

I don't believe in using SSRI to "heal" a mental cat. It doesn't fix the problem, it masks the problem. Animals like humans become resistent to medications. What may work for awhile, may not work in the long term and there you are back to square one.

No it isn't the cost. I spend large amounts of money when necessary to care for my pets medical necessities.

It isn't the fact that I am against medicine, what I don't want to do is start pilling a cat daily because it pees out of its box. Using medications for health problems not mental ones makes sense to me.

I guess I am just set in my ways. I wouldn't take an animal to an accupuncturist or shrink either.

No I would not go six months of a cat peeing out of the box, trying different medications on the off chance that the medication may work. The medication may not work and you need to start a different medication and the SSRI medications take a minimum of 3 weeks to be fully effective.

I just draw the line at medical conditions. I am not going to start dealing with emotional issues of cats. Just not. If the cat is peeing out of the box because it has mental issues, it is my feeling that the cat is better off euthanized. End of story.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 7:05PM
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Yes,it does happen with males as well.In fact...sometimes vets can get it completely wrong.
These college girls in my building took their cat to the vet that had been treated by a different vet as a unspayed female.Ask me how in the world when they took it somewhere else the vet said it was in fact a neutered male???
They were the day of the surgery and the vet looked at the cat,and was like,"wait a minute,this isnt a female"
So malpractice happens all the time with people and animals alike.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 8:27PM
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No I would not go six months of a cat peeing out of the box, trying different medications on the off chance that the medication may work The medication may not work and you need to start a different medication and the SSRI medications take a minimum of 3 weeks to be fully effective.

But the medication MAY work, and in many cases DOES. And it certainly didn't take 3 weeks to work for my cat -- we put him on the meds, and he immediately stopped peeing within a day or two (and if we forget his meds, he immediately starts peeing). I just find it so hard to believe that you wouldn't even be willing to try it once. I can understand not wanting to futz around with several different medications over 6 months, but to not be willing to try ONE medication once over a week or two is cold-hearted AND disgusting, in my opinion -- especially in light of the fact that this course of action HAS proven to work in so many cases. This is not voodoo or made up medicine -- it's real medicine that actually works.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 9:00PM
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I'm interested in finding out more about these SSRI meds.

My mom took her cat to the vet for the peeing problem. I wasn't there so only know that there was no UTI problem. Am assuming the vet knew what he was looking for. Soooo... those type meds are for stress related issues? Mom's cat doesn't seem stressed in any way shape or form. Very easy going and happy. Nice sweet kitty.

What's the next step?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:22PM
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Okay, a little bit more info...

Last summer we noticed the cat kept peeing, or attempting to pee when we were out in the yard. Like every 5 minutes or so. Sometimes she went a little spot, other times not. We thought maybe it was just because she was playing in the dirt and grass, something she doesn't always get to do... or the fact she smelled my cat in the area. So, at next vet visit mom brought that up. Vet found nothing. Again, I wasn't there so that's all I know.

Then, mom took her in again for that very problem. Nothing the vet could find.

So, next step?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:26PM
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Peeing like that could be a territorial thing -- it's one of the common reasons cats are put on medication like Prozac.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 11:48PM
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I'm just glad I'm not a cat living with labmomma!!..I'll bet if it were one of her labs, she'd go all out with trying different meds to remedy the problem.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:02AM
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Posted by rivkadr (My Page) on Tue, Jan 2, 07 at 23:48

I can understand not wanting to futz around with several different medications over 6 months, but to not be willing to try ONE medication once over a week or two is cold-hearted AND disgusting, in my opinion -- especially in light of the fact that this course of action HAS proven to work in so many cases. This is not voodoo or made up medicine -- it's real medicine that actually works.


I am sorry you are boggled, that's just my decision. I am still allowed to make my own decisions?

Posted by emma12 (My Page) on Wed, Jan 3, 07 at 2:02

I'm just glad I'm not a cat living with labmomma!!..I'll bet if it were one of her labs, she'd go all out with trying different meds to remedy the problem.

emma 12 - Yes, please don't come live with me unless you have a labrador pedigree. Yes, that's it. You don't even know me, so please don't make assumptions and statements about things you know nothing about. Its rude and childish to make such a statement. I have three male cats, one of whom has had blockages twice now for which I have put out approximately $2,000. I did so gladly because my pet had a medical problem. I don't judge my pets according to their canine/feline association. To suggest same is just ridiculous.

This forum is called Animal Debates - not JUDGMENT. I don't need your (plural) seal of approval or judgment. I came here to participate in the forum to be a part of the conversation. Unfortunately you seem to forget that yours is not the only solution in every case.

The judgmental attitude is starting to wear a little thin on me. Do I judge those of you who want your house smelling like cat urine? I say go for it if you want to try your meds to figure out why your cat for no known medical reason is peeing inappropriately. That's your prerogative.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 5:57AM
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I'm with labmomma on this. It's the choice I'd make as well (and have made). Everyone can be judged... (you spent money on SSRIs for a cat? those $ could have saved a child overseas! boggled!) but this is a debate forum, where you express your opinion & provide facts, and others get to see different perspectives.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 7:51AM
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No one should judge another's actions unless they have been in the same position. None of us know what we would do should a situation arise. We may think we do but until we are faced with the problem, we don't really know what we would do. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years on my animals. I have never regretted one penny that I spent. Nor have I ever second guessed any decision I made regarding their well being. I have had horses, cats and dogs all my life and only in one instance had a cat that occasionally peed outside his litterbox. He had a reoccuring bladder/urinary trac infection. The cat had 3 surgeries on his bladder. He needed a 4th and the surgery was not possible because of scar tissue on the bladder. We had no choice but to put him down. He would only pee outside the box when the infection occured....that is how we knew the infection was back. As it has been explained to me by vets, cat breeders and an animal behaviorist, the reason a cat pees outside the litter box (WHEN THERE IS A MEDICAL PROBLEM) is because the cat associates the litter box with pain and, being a cat, thinks urinating elsewhere will not cause pain. All that said, I could/would not live with a cat that continually urinates outside it's litterbox if it does not have a medical problem causing it to do so.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 9:43AM
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Sorry, I have no problem judging other people when their actions affect those of another living being.

If you want to make harmful decisions that affect only yourself, go right ahead. I don't care, and won't judge you.

But once you make a decision that I deem to be poor and actively harmful to another living being (be it an adult, a child, or an animal) I AM going to think poorly of you, whether or not you like it. So are a lot of other people. That's reality. If you can't accept that reality, then you shouldn't post your stance on such issues in this forum. Should we all be able to post our opinions and hold hands and sing Kumbayah in here? In an ideal world, sure. But the reality is, if you post something horrific, expect people to be horrified.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 11:27AM
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judgemental adj. A pejorative. Said of a person who habitually forms or voices unkind, esp. moralistic opinions of others.
I wouldn't be proud of being judgemental.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:07PM
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*shrug* I am unkind. Never said I wasn't. Especially when it comes in regards to animals, and people who don't treat them properly.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:22PM
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JanCarkner, I find your statement "I'm with labmomma on this. It's the choice I'd make as well (and have made). Everyone can be judged... (you spent money on SSRIs for a cat? those $ could have saved a child overseas! boggled!) but this is a debate forum, where you express your opinion & provide facts, and others get to see different perspectives."
to be very judgmental. What on earth does saving children overseas have to do with a pet forum, or with giving meds to a cat (or other animal)?? I suppose you feel all of us who spend money to treat an animal should be sending that money overseas to "save children"? How about people who buy cigarettes, or alcohol, or waste money on other non-essentials?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:23PM
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Oops, after re-reading your post, I think your overseas comment was tongue-in-cheek. Pls disregard above comments. ;o)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:51PM
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You're right, petra, I was being ironic!

I think that all of us who post in this forum are passionate about how we feel, and this spills over into something unpleasant occasionally. Still, I love to hear what others think and feel!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 1:00PM
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rivkadr - I wasn't put on this earth to please everyone.

I expect that not everyone would make decisions I have made. Those are mine and if I am comfortable with them, then that is the end of the story.

I am not suggesting that we hold hands and sing Kumbayah, but we could be a bit more understanding of each other's ideas and opinions, be respectful in our comments, rather than using adjectives like disgusting, horrific, etc. I didn't post anything horrific. Horrific would be if I just dumped a pet by the side of the road because it peed inappropriately. Harmful is another word you use. That's your opinion, not fact.

I don't appreciate being labled a mistreater of animals. That's a pretty bold statement to make about someone you do not know. The statement is so far from the truth it isn't ludicrous.

Not caring what others think of my decisions are one thing, but to be deliberately insulted is quite another.

The spoken word can be as hurtful as an unkind deed, so rivkadr, maybe you should practice what you preach...

I don't think I would ever be proud of being unkind. It is very evident that you and I are never going to be on the same page. I really dislike judgmental people who make pompous statements. It comes off as ignorant coming out of the mouth of an adult. Is there only one solution to every problem? No.

Should only those of us who agree with your ideas and opinions feel free to participate? I don't think that is the way it works in the debate arena.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:45PM
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Horrific would be if I just dumped a pet by the side of the road because it peed inappropriately.

Sorry, but I just don't see how killing the animal is that much different.

So you have a cat for 10 years. One day, it suddenly starts peeing inappropriately. Let's say it pees in 3 spots in your house. You take it to the vet, and your vet determines that there are no medical reasons for the inappropriate peeing. If you're telling me that you would just euthanize the cat at that point, then personally, I DO find that horrific.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 3:23PM
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6 years ago, we rescued a feral and her two kittens with the intention of rehoming them once they were spayed and vaccinated. We were unable to find homes for them, so we kept them. Our other cats are very good about using the litterboxes, the three former ferals have frequent lapses. We replaced carpets with tile flooring (were planning to do that anyway because of allergies), which we sealed so nothing absorbs, and the tiles are mopped when needed.

Before, it was a huge stressor to have to constantly clean carpets, and yes, it did stink. Getting rid of the carpets was the right solution for us, giving up the cats just wasn't an option. However, it depends on circumstances. When we lived in Colorado, having all tile floors would have been very uncomfortable in winter. Money is also a consideration, replacing carpet with tile is not exactly cheap. And stinky carpet is terrible to live with, we never wanted to invite anyone over. Some friends of ours who do active cat rescue have a dedicated "naughty kitty room", tiled and easy to clean. The kitties who have lax litterbox habits have to live in there.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 4:38PM
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Last summer we noticed the cat kept peeing, or attempting to pee when we were out in the yard. Like every 5 minutes or so.

If the cat was squatting, then it wasn't marking/spraying/territorial behavior. Any cat squatting to pee over and over has a medical problem. It may not bacterial, it may be something else but straining to go or having to go over and over in a short time is NOT normal.

Cats mark/spray standing up, females too. They back up to what they are going to spray and their tails twitch back and forth really fast as they do it.

Yes, I do think it is disgusting to euthanize a cat for peeing outside the box. I did not say that earlier towards any one person in particular, it was in reaction to having to euthanize my baby and not being able to keep quiet. I thought it was disgusting when I read it on the first thread.

To me, mental health is the same as physical health. The cat may have been perfectly fine in another home.

I do think the vet should have refused to do it too. I think the vet should have offered shelters/rescues etc as an alternative.

Again, the cat may have been perfectly willing to use the litter box at someone else's house. I don't mean this personally, I mean maybe it needed to be an only pet or a pet with no children or a pet whose litter box isn't near the washing machine etc. I'm speaking generally, not saying the cat hated the owner or the owner was a bad owner. Animals don't do things to anger us, they don't think that way. There had to be a reason why the cat stopped using the box.

There is nothing wrong with euthanizing an animal that is suffering/incurable (except for the heartache) but when it is a healthy or seemingly healthy animal it is wrong.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:05PM
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If anyone cares to continue along the discussion of my mom's cat........

as far as territorial behavior, is there anything specific that marks a cat as territorial besides possibly peeing inappropriately? I once had a cat that set on the roof and ran off any other animals, dogs or cats and I consider that territorial. But, this cat seems to not have a care in the world.

"Last summer we noticed the cat kept peeing, or attempting to pee when we were out in the yard. Like every 5 minutes or so." ---- I have not seen the cat do this since but thought it was curious, considering the peeing problem. Just in case there is a health problem that the vet hasn't addressed, what can we ask him to do or check for. My mom can't remember what was done, only that she didn't have a UTI. What specifically can we ask to be checked?

Lastly... I have to say that I'm glad this is my mom's problem and not mine because I couldn't stand it. I know I could not have the cat put down, but it might be headed for the shelter. Meaning, it would probably end up being put down anyways. So nah.. wishywashy... I couldn't send it to the shelter either. Don't know what I would do. Glad it's not my problem.

I like the designated naughty kitty room idea.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:28PM
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Is the cat only doing it out in the yard, but otherwise has normal urinary behavior? Based on your post, that's what it sounded like, which is why I suggested that it was territorial behavior. If it is doing it ALL the time, then yes, that sounds like a medical problem. If it's only doing it out in the yard, then why is it a problem?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 9:42PM
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I'm sorry... I really didn't explain well, did I?

Last summer was when I noticed the cat acting like she was peeing over and over again.. out in the yard. My mom thought it was because she didn't get outside much and was just testing the soil, or something. But, pair that with the inappropriate peeing, and then what I've read here on these forums, and it definitely sounds like much more. Personally, I'm leaning towards something health related, but because I wasn't present when the cat was taken to the vet, I'm not sure what sort of tests might have been run, or actually, what -should- be done.

Still, I don't want to assume this is a medical related problem and am still interested in discussion on a territorial level.

The inappropriate peeing outside the box is almost a daily occurance, and mostly happens on mom's closed in porch, where the litter box is also located. It has happened in the house, but mom keeps a better eye on her while she's inside. The cat sleeps out on the porch at night. Also, a couple years ago, there was an unneutered cat that "terrorized" our neighborhood, spraying on everything in sight, including around the door of mom's porch... where the cats litter box is. Could this have caused the problem, and continued all this time?

I would really like to get clear advice about what to ask the vet to do before I tell mom just how bad her porch is smelling.

One last thing... if this was a UTI or something along those lines, wouldn't there be some pain or discomfort?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 10:20PM
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One last thing... if this was a UTI or something along those lines, wouldn't there be some pain or discomfort?

Not necessarily to the point that you would be able to tell. It's not like a cat can tell you "I'm in pain!" -- some of them will tell you by yowling as they pee, but when my cat has a UTI, the only way to tell is by the frequency, the inappropriate peeing, and the blood in her urine.

Some cats can get crystals in their urine that can cause frequent urination problems -- sometimes the crystals don't even show up in the urine screen. My vet suspected that problem with our cat last year -- there was no UTI that she could see, and no actual crystals, but there were other very slight indicators apparantly. She changed her food to a special cat food for a while, and it resolved the problem. Something worth looking into, at any rate.

It's also important to make certain that your mom is cleaning the kitty box frequently (i.e. daily). A lot of cats are very persnickity about that, and if the box is not clean, they will eliminate outside the box. Now, unfortunately, because she has already peed outside the box, the smell is lingering, and she's probably going to continue to go in those same spots outside the box -- you guys really need to attack those spots with enzymatic cleaners, and then find a way to cover them up with unneccessary furniture, or plastic, to prevent her from continuing to pee there.

And then yes, there is territoriality -- my male cat will get in a spraying mood (if he's not on his meds) if he sees another cat outside our house, or if he's feeling especially aggressive towards our other cat. This could have contributed to the initial inappropriate elimination problems on your mom's porch.

Is she still doing the frequent peeing thing in the yard? Or was that just last year?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 11:40PM
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rivkadr - the frequent peeing thing in the yard was last summer, on her first day outside after the winter. And possibly the following day as well. I can't fully remember.

Her box is very clean so that's not the problem.

I think we need another screening and perhaps change the food. She switches between science diet and Iams, canned and dry. What do you feed your cat? Is it a urinary tract type food?

As far as the smell lingering and the cat repeatedly going in the same place... she does do that. On tiled floor. You'd think lysol would remove any odor but perhaps not. I just think the cat would appreciate it if we got to the bottom of the problem.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 12:04AM
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If the frequent peeing thing in the yard only happened the one time, over a year ago, I'm not sure that I'd be overly concerned about it myself. It sounds like you had it checked out by the vet, and he couldn't find anything wrong.

The crystal problem with my cat was a temporary problem -- the food that the vet put her on was prescription only. I'm pretty sure it was Science Diet X/D. There may be some regular non-prescription cat foods that help with crystals, if that's what your cat has -- but you definitely should talk to your vet about it.

Lysol may remove the smell for humans, but not for cats! Cats can continue to smell urine long after it stops smelling for us. That's why you have to use enzymatic cleaners to fully break down the urine. Something like Nature's Miracle from PetSmart is what you want.

Personally, the plan of action I would take is the following:

- have the cat checked out again by the vet, just to eliminate any possibility of medical reasons for the improper elimination on the porch
- use an enzymatic cleaner anywhere she has peed on the porch, and then cover those areas with plastic, or aluminum foil, to discourage her from going there, for now
- put out a couple more litter boxes, with different brands/types of litter in them. Make sure it's nice and deep (at least 2-3 inches). If her current box is hooded, try one that is not.

See if she favors one box over the other -- it's not uncommon for some cats to just not like their cat litter, and to respond by going outside the box. Also, make sure your mom is not using bleach or other strong cleansers to clean the kitty box; some cats object to that.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 1:03AM
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Cats don't normally urinate or try to urinate over and over in a short time period.

Any cat straining to go or trying to go or going over the over in a short time period has some sort of medical problem.

Cats don't squat to mark territory. They don't dig holes to go in to mark territory. They don't mark territory on flat surfaces such as lawns or flower beds.

They back up to shrubs, posts, corners of buildings, trees, other vertical objects and spray urine.

If the cat feels pain when they go, they learn to associate the box with pain.

Urinary problems are not confined to UTIs. UTIs aren't all that common in cats.

crystals in urine are problematic.

Dry food diets are problematic. Cats are carnivores, they don't eat grains and they don't drink much water. In the wild they get water from their prey. Domestic cats feed dry food are often chronically dehydrated. Over time this takes a toll on their kidneys and other organs.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 2:36PM
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We're throwing a lot of information at you, moonie -- basically, it comes down to this:

1) Your cat might have a UTI. I agree that it's unlikely, but it still should be checked.
2) Your cat might have crystals.
3) Your cat might have other medical issues.
4) Your cat might have territorial issues.
5) Your cat might have had any of the above at some point and started peeing outside the box, and now it's habit for her because she stills smell the urine outside her box.
6) She may have other litter box issues.
7) She may have other behavioral issues.

Taking her to the vet will help you to check on possibilities 1 through 3. Possibility #4 is more problematic and is best discussed after you've ruled out all other possibilities.

My suggestions in my prior post should help you with numbers 5 and 6.

#7 can include things like being stressed, general anxiety, etc. which is where prescription meds can help.

I still think the straining/marking situation in the yard is a non-starter. It happened over a year ago, and from what she says, hasn't occurred again. The vet already looked at it, and found nothing wrong with the cat. The real issue here is the inappropriate elimination on the porch.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 3:01PM
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I appreciate you guys taking the time to respond, especially you rivkadr, outlining everything so well.

Lost my last response post so I'll make this short and sweet. :)

Cat has an appt for the 30th, which seems like a long time off. Mom feels like this will continue to be a problem because of possible odors left in the house. We can clean floors and such, but every inch of the house? *sheesh*

I've also been doing alot of thinking and do believe the peeing began when we had that male stray around here.. even spraying on the porch door, as I had mentioned before. The more I think about it, it very well could be territorial, considering the vet came up with nothing on vet visit back in July.

Anyway, we'll see what happens and I'll do an update for those that have the same problem. Thanks!

PS - the peeing in the yard thing... I should have said "this past summer", not over a year ago. :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 8:53PM
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I have a 4month old kitten. I had gotten him and his brother from the MHS They are both fixed. Well recently Buttons the Siamese cross started urinating when my boyfriend picked him up. He hides under the cat litter box usually when he is over. I pulled him out from under there and he started urinating so I put him in the box. Today my BF was holding him and carried him to the bathroom with him and Buttons started urinating on him. Now I'm not sure if it is because he does not like the BF or what. But when my BF and I first got together both kittens loved him. Im not sure what to think. How much does a urine analysis cost and all that? Im a college student living on my own but I would still pay for kitten to be saved.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 8:08PM
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Hmmm,You said (buttonsandbaxter) that the kittens USED to like him.

Is there anyway at all Boyfriend did something to them to make them afraid of him? This really sounds to me that the cats are scared of your boyfriend if they are hiding and uriniating.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 8:58PM
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That was my first thought too - could boyfriend have done something to scare the cat? Does the cat react to anyone else that way?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 7:23PM
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Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)

Any cat who is peeing is trying to tell you something, or it's a hormonal/medical behavior. Whenever I've had a cat who starts urinating inappropriately or spraying, I go through a list something like this...

*Is the cat neutered/spayed?

*Is the cat unhappy because it's confined, the litter box isn't clean, the water or food is not fresh?

*Is the cat having a urinary infection? (it will pee frequently in small amounts, in weird places, sometimes with blood in the urine.) [And if so, remove fish, Magnesium from diet, treat with acidic diet, cranberry pills, antibiotics, steroids]

*Is the cat having territorial/sexual issues? (In heat, near a cat in heat, in a multi cat household, introduced to a new cat.)

*Is the cat under stress (recent move, new family member or pet, some other kind of mayhem, or... see numbers 2-4 above.)

* Is the can neutered properly?

* I read also, that a cat may be neutered properly but still spray, and that there are genital surgical procedures BEYOND neutering that can fix the problem.

I thought these links were interesting/enlightening:

My cat, who has never been a behavioral pee-er, recently started peeing everywhere -- on my mattress, my couch, he even jumped on my desk and sprayed on ME! A few hours later the pee started looking bloody. It turned out he had no infection, no stones, but did have alkaline urine which leads to crystals -- which ripped him up inside and are quite painful. The best treatment, I'm told, is through an acidic low magnesium diet and steroids -- but it takes a couple months. After a couple months, he's a bit better, butt still spraying. He seems to know to avoid the high value targets (mattress, couch, me) now that he is feeling better.

Here's the $$$$$ question: I wonder if once cured he'll ever go back to not spraying entirely. I have reason to be curious. 1) There is a cat in heat nearby -- and he can't get outside enough. 2) For several years he has displayed the mastebatory "kneading" & ejaculating behavior. (Often he tries it on or near me.) This is the part that makes me wonder if he is not neutered correctly. Thoughts? Anyone?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 4:19AM
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I know this is an old thread but I just went through reading everyone's comments...thank you, I needed to see I am not alone! An hour ago I put down my cat because of incurable inappropriate elimination. When we bought our house 5 years ago and the previous owners left him here..package deal, I guess.. but they always kept him locked up by himself in the sun room and we figured out why pretty quickly. My best guess is that he was captured from the enormous pack of feral cats down the alley by the kids who lived here. They did not neuter him so we did that immediately. He had litter box aversion from the very start so we took the recommended steps... veterinarian visits which turned up urine crystals so we put him on prescription food and took care of that issue, but it made no difference. We ensured his box was clean, we tried different types of litters, litter boxes and locations before we landed on the Catgenie (worth EVERY penny, btw). We even attempted to toilet train him but never got past the pie pan in the rim. We gated him in the bathroom with his box, food water and a bed. We attempted to retrain him in a huge crate that fit his litter box, food and a bed- all to no avail. We supervised him, blocked access to rooms and rewarded him on the rare occasion he'd do the right thing. We decided to let him out with the dog and encourage him to eliminate outdoors, but even after being outside for hours, he'd come in and I would catch him using the den carpet as his litter box. We've used every cleaner under the sun (microban disinfectant from jon don is spectacular) and we replaced the carpet after thoroughly disinfecting and sealing the affected areas. We just went through the drug therapy but it did not work either. I tried to surrender him to no kill shelters but they're overwhelmed with animals due to the economy. We tried making him an outside cat, but he ALWAYS sneaked in and would complain about the cold/heat and would claw the house to come in. I talked to him a lot about his habits because I believe that our pets do understand us. I feel just awful but I exhausted my options ....this is 5 years of trying to solve the problem! Euthanasia with a veterinarian IS a humane choice, but most importantly it was our last option. This isn't a matter of inconvenience or cold heartedness, we've tried every and any thing we've heard or read about...some things we tried more than once! We LOVE this kitty and inconvenienced the bejesus out of ourselves to accommodate, retrain and reasonably coexist. For us, it is a matter of financial strain, health, sanitation and insanity from zero results after years of failed attempts. Cat urine soaked couches, carpets and walls do not even come close to the mild smell of a dirty litter box. No, I will not live in a home that reeks of cat urine. It is unsanitary. Everyday was incredibly stressful walking in the house and being hit with a wall of intolerable odor. I guess in some way I am trying to support myself and come to peace with this by telling you that we tried. Hard. For years. If you're faced with this problem, try like hell to fix it but if you and your vet(s) cannot cure inappropriate elimination, be gentle with yourself through the process. Today is a sad day because my precious boy is gone and I failed him in curing his elimination problem. I'm trying to rationalize an agonizing decision.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 5:42PM
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I know these posts are old, but I have to say I know exactly how you feel, kayakchik. We just put our cat down today because of constant urinary problems (behavioral). It broke my heart to have to do it, but we tried EVERYTHING. Our cat has had problems peeing off and on for about 5-6 years, and we finally couldn't take it anymore. I agonized with the decision, and in the end decided this was our last resort. I did not want to take her back to the humane society where she would have to sit in that little cage, wondering why we left her there, until she is most likely put to sleep there anyway. She would not have been adoptable to anyone else with this problem. Taking a cat to a vet to be euthanized is humane. The cat is not put through any kind of pain or is simply put to sleep. My comfort is hoping that our cat is now up in heaven, happy and at peace. To others on here: Please do not judge others unless you are in their situation. In the end, my family living in a sanitary house (especially w/a new baby) was more important.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 9:33PM
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My cat is now 22 years old. He still looks pretty good but I notice his back legs sway and don't hold him up well. We've been to the vet who could find nothing wrong with him (UTI).

He no longer gets in the litter box and we had to tear out carpet and pad in the guest bath since he had been peeing in there A reeked. I'm guessing with his leg problems he misses the litter box and is not willing to walk over to it so pees in the guest bathroom.

In the next few weeks I will be moving to a small apartment and besides not wanting to ruin the place which is wall to wall carpet, there just is no space to put a litter box that has pee accidents by it. I don't want to ruin the apartment or continue to ruin my current place where he has a large bathroom to himself so my guests cannot use it.

I keep thinking I may have to put him down, that he has lived a long and happy life, but am struggling with the decision. I believe his problems are from old age and it is all downhill from here.

What would you do?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:07AM
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