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Cats Peeing/Pooping in the House

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Advice about Pets > Cats Peeing/Pooping in the House


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Sick cat is pooping everywhere

Oct 2005

Help! I checked the ''cat peeing everywhere'' posts, but didn't see anything that applied to our situation, which is: We had two 14-year-old cats, Daisy and Mowgli. They fought frequently. Daisy was more dominant and used Mowgli as a scratching post and punching bag for the last 14 years, but they somehow managed to coexist. Daisy also frequently peed outside her litter box for her entire life. Yet, we loved her and put up with her irritating stinky ways. In January, Daisy suddenly became very ill and was diagnosed with an inoperable lung tumor, so we euthanized her. It was very hard for us. Our now 26- month-old daughter talked about the cat EVERY DAY until July. (''Where is Daisy? Why Daisy die? Daisy was sick? Mommy, are you sick? Daisy died because she was sick? Did Daisy love me? I loved Daisy so much'' etc. and so on.) Within 2 weeks, of Daisy's death, Mowgli became ill (diarrhea and weight loss) and started pooping next to our bed and in one of our closets. She's been to the vet many times and they don't know what's wrong. We changed to a special food from the vet and she immediately got sicker. They are recommending steroids (which can cause diabetes in 10% of cats, apparently) and/or intestinal biopsy (lots of $$). We went back to her old food, and she is still sickly and thin, but just seems old and tired and her condition isn't really changing now. We keep two litterboxes for Mowgli, which we change every day. And yet . . . about once each week, she poops next to the bed or in the closet. And the smell! Oh my God. Has anyone had this problem? My question is: Has anyone had this old-cat-wasting-away-and-pooping- outside-the-litterbox problem? How do you know when to give up and put the poor thing to sleep? I am not willing to spend more than a few hundred dollars on this cat at her age, but I'm so desperate about the pooping that I'm ready to call the pet psychic! Please, no lectures about how I should go to any lengths to save my pet. I spent $1,500 dollars that we couldn't afford on the last cat, only to learn that she had to be euthanized. Any advice would be appreciated. Needs the Kitty Psychic


I think your cat, who just lost her dear companion of 14 years, is depressed! Has your vet considered this? Animals do indeed become depressed, and can show improvement with antidepressant drugs. -just something to consider
If your cat's suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, than using Prednisolone (a steroid), is an appropriate treatment (and can be very effective). If you're concerned about the possibility of diabetes, bring this up with your vet. Also clarify with your vet what the probable diagnosis is. Once you've got a name, you can google it and learn more about what works and what doesn't. If you don't feel you're getting enough information from your vet, change vets, or at least get a second opinion. anon
I feel your pain. I have a 19 year old kitty, Mom to two former love bugs who died last year at the age of 15. I am so afraid she is going to die on us soon, because I know my 4 year old son is going to really take this one hard.

So, a couple of things-I can't help but wonder if your cat is grieving. This seems like behavior that would be completely in sync with this (I have to say that my Mom-kitty was very lonely after both of her boys died, even though she had never been too enamoured of either one!) Failing that, I would definitely have a blood panel done--is there a kidney problem (elevated kidney enzymes)going on? A blood panel should cost around $100 and can tell a vet/you so much.

When my last cat died, I still owed almost $4000, and I vowed I wouldn't do that again. I have an entire family to consider, and some practicality must be factored in. On the other hand, I hear you about your carpet, but this is just a cost of having a pet, in my opinion.

If the blood panel and a thorough exam show no problem, I personally would assume grief, and give her extra special love to hopefully get beyond it. In the event your vet believes this is something else, I am completely sure reading your post that you will make a good and wise decision on this beloved family member.

There are some books targetted for little ones too when a beloved pet dies. Perhaps this could be helpful? Best of luck, Another lover of an old gal


Our 8 year old cat started to get very thin, and started jumping up on the kitchen counters to look for food. And, he started having diarrhea, and often missing the litter box. Turns out he has a thryoid problem, which are often associated with kidney problems which are responsible for the messy poop. The options were either surgery ($$$, and for some reason the procedure had to be done in Sacramento) or give a pill every day. We decided on the pill for now, and also turned him into an outside cat. He weight has stablized, and his diarrhea has cleared. Life is so much easier with him as an outside cat, but we have to figure out what to do about winter. Cat liker, not lover
We had this problem, but with a younger cat so it wasn't due to a medical condition as yours might be. At the time, I was single and living with two roommates and we were never ever home and the cat wasn't allowed to go outside and this cat used to be able to do this. Turns out he was very lonely and stressed out by himself so we got a kitten and the problem was solved. Your cat could be missing his companion, even if he was a bully. Perhaps give him lots of love and attention, and maybe get another cat? (The cat may be too old for this, however.) Good luck! Anon
My cat, now 18 years old, also started loosing weight about two years ago and pooping (primarily diarhea- UGH!) outside of her litter box. After numerous expensive tests over 6 months it was finally determined that she has inflamatory bowel disease and needs to be on steroids (prednisone) and a ''low allergen'' food diet (Hill's Prescription Diet Z/D). This has helped although she still poops outside of the box (solid, but still poop) and seems to be wasting away regardless of the medication/special diet. She has always been a huge 16 pound cat and last visit to the vet is down to 8 pounds! It is very upsetting and I am also considering euthenizing her rather than have her continue to waste away slowly. Ask your vet about inflamatory bowel disease because it is fairly common in older cats. Oh, and yes, they periodically check her for diabetes because the steroid can sometimes bring on diabetes, although she's on a pretty low dose. Oy, my poor cat! I also have a 3 year old daughter and am working through how to explain all of this to her if we determine to put the cat to sleep. Good luck to you. no easy answers
I spoke with Lee Richter at Montclair Vet. She said they can help with behavior issues and would check to see if there were medical issues as well. Her husband, Gary Richter is the chief vet there and writes a column in the Montclairon. Feel free to ask for her and mention my name.
1961 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA 94611-2812
(510) 339-8600
Stu
If your cat has irritable bowel, then you should put him on a raw meat diet. Cat food has a lot of vegetables and grains that cats can't digest. It mostly just comes out, and they get what little nutrition they can from the meat in the food. Some cats can't tolerate this, and get very sick. The best thing to do for your cat is to give it raw meat with some supplements. (It sounds expensive and time consuming, but I think it ends up being cheaper, because you use so little, and you can freeze the food once it's mixed)

Here's a website: http://www.catnutrition.org/

I am allergic to cats, so don't know much about this, but my friend was telling me about it just a few days ago, it saved her kitty after many rounds of medicine. muriel


I just lost my cat at nearly 19 early this year. And NO, I'm not going to tell you to spend a dime more at the vet's. The cat is old, after all. What I will tell you, for your sanity, is to spend the least you can for two more cat litter pans, and put them in the 2 places he's been pooping (by the bed and in the closet, I think you said?). At least it'll go into cat litter. And you'll resent his infirmity less. A change like this worked for me, and my cat died with minimal cost and intervention (just some sub-q fluids) in a sweet, gentle death in my arms. Jennie

Cat pee in heating vents

March 2005

After peeing on our couch one too many times, we have banned the cats from the house. They have an enclosed porch where they sleep and eat, and they seem to be doing okay. Recently, our whole house has been smelling like cat pee. We discovered yesterday that it's coming in the house with the heat. Tonight, we discovered that the smell comes through the vents even if the heat is not on. The cats are obviously peeing somewhere in the crawlspace, where the furnace and pipes are, but we have no clue what to do about the smell. This is a very weird situation, and I don't know where to turn for help. I believe that I am responsible for these cats for as long as they live, so ''getting rid'' of them is not an option. Can we all live in harmony...but without the cat pee smell?


Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a pioneer behavioral veterinarian at Tufts University, wrote among other things ''The Cat Who Cried for Help''--you should be able to find it at most bookstores (or for sure online). It's a series of anecdotes about cats he's treated in his practice, which you might want to read if you want some ideas to try on your own (inappropriate urination is featured prominently). He also does remote consulting via his PetFax line for more serious pet behavior problems. Here is his Tufts bio with info on the PetFax line:
http://www.tufts.edu/vet/facpages/dodman_n.html
--Friend to Berkeley cats and dogs

Cat peeing inside a lot more since baby came

Dec 2004

Does anyone out there have any ideas about how to stop a cat from peeing around the house? We have a cat who on occasion has peed on the carpet, but lately he's kicked it up a notch in terms of frequency (about every other day) and location (the bathtub, various area rugs, the baby's quilt). The other day he got a cotton rug that we've had for about a year without any issues before now.

He's a fixed male cat about 8 years old. He's always had healthy check-ups at the vet. He is an indoor cat, although we let him out in the yard on nice days a few times a year. Our second cat exhibits no such behavior.

Our daughter is 6 months old. The cat hasn't shown any aggression towards her or jumped in her crib. In fact, he's a little skittish around her and has just recently begun to stay in the same room when she's there.

We recently moved his food dishes and gave him a new litter box. Also, our new neighbors of 4 or 5 months have two big dogs.

We're at a bit of a loss. We of course plan to keep him regardless, but we don't want to have our household items continuously destroyed or our house smell like cat urine. And using ''Nature's Miracle'' to get rid of the smell is not always effective. Is he stressed? Is he angry? Does he want more attention? Any ideas or solutions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


A freind had a similar problem and, I kid you not, the solution was a form of kitty prozac. It worked for them. Ask your vet. I believe it was a mist that they sprayed in the cat's face vice a pill. Good luck.

Also I've heard of putting aluminum foil on items that you don't want the cat to pee one as they don't like to walk on it, but then you have a bunch a aluminum foil on your furniture, but at least it can work at night. hope it gets better


One of my cats has been peeing outside of the box on and off for 10 years now. Antidepressants (for him) have helped a lot. For the past three years, he's been taking half an amytriptelene tablet a day. Unless the litter box gets too dirty, he gets sick, or something changes around the house that upsets him, the pills work well. They mellow him out, but don't knock him out. It's a bit embarrassing to have a cat on drugs, but not as embarrassing as having a house that smells of cat urine. (The pills are bitter, so I put each one in a capsule and let him lick it off my finger with a dollop of cream cheese. It solves the problem of having to tackle him every night and thus making him more anxious.) If your vet does prescribe them for you, do watch to make sure the cat doesn't act sick once he's on them. After my husband and I combined our household cats, his started peeing outside the box too so we put her on the same drug. She developed severe constipation from it and got very sick because it took us awhile to figure out what the problem was. If the drug seems to give him a stomach ache, take him back to the vet. Pam
This is pretty common. We had the same problem. It's 'cause your kid is getting mobile and it's freaking out the cat. After several hundred bucks at the vet, making sure Kitty had no medical problems, here's what we had to do:

Kitty went in the bathroom, with the litter box and food bowl, and stayed there. For two weeks. Screaming, most of the time. This was about as much fun as it sounds. But it was that or having her euthanized, which I really didn't want to do (we could not live with the amount of peeing she was doing -- it was completely unsanitary, especially with a small child in the house, and the stench was giving us all headaches.) After two weeks, Kitty got to come out. She could only be in the living room -- bedrooms were off limits and stayed that way. Kitty was back in the habit of peeing in the litter box and we had no more problems.

Of course, about two months after finishing this process we discovered that our daughter was very, very allergic to Kitty (thus the horrible eczema). So now Kitty lives outdoors at my parents', and everyone is much happier. Sara


I have encountered many problems with cats and one thing is for sure they don't like change. More than likely the moving of the food and the new litter tray interupted your cats routine. When cats are stressed in this way they act up, hence the peeing. Does your cat shy away from the baby and seem not to know what it is ? Spending time with both together can introduce your feline to your newish arrival. There is also a great product on the market called Feliway, it is a spray with artifical pheromones to help stop/reduce cats marking their territory. If all else fails, kitty may have to have more outside visits and develop your backyard as his territory and do his peeing out there. Helen
Blech! Cat pee smell is just awful!!

My solution, and it really works, is: since you say he's an indoor cat mostly, try putting him out mostly. If he pees, he's out. A gentle punishment as well a nudge towards being outdoors more often (it's healthier for you and cheaper, too.) Put a box outside on the porch for him to start with. Leave a pissed on item inside or near the box so he understands. Eventually he'll get the message. Don't let him inside till you see that he has pee'd in the box. Eventually replace the litter with dirt and gradually move the box a foot or so every few days till it's in the yard. Then after a few weeks make it disappear.

Soon you will have a cat that pees outside only. This might require that you install a cat door. You can do this in a window without cutting holes anywhere and use a stick to keep the window 'locked'. (Write me and i'll explain how to do this. It's very easy!)

Don't worry about him being outside, the chances of something 'bad' happening to him outside are very slim. And since he has a fondness for being inside, he'll most likely hang out very close to the house. Is you other cat new? Or unfixed? He/she might also start soon if you don't resolve your problem now. Sometimes it just takes time.

Also, FYI, cat pee is very unhealthy to breath in excess and the stench eventually saturates your clothes, bedding, curtains, etc. But, as you get used to it, you don't smell it anymore. (But, everyone else will! Yuck! And no one will want to come over!) Hope this helps! tinygirl


Your cat could have a bladder infection or other problem. I would get him checked out. Other resources (on-line) are a cat rescue organizaiton - their website is ICRA-EastBay --- not sure about the dash - but they have lots of info & links & you could email someone who has tons of experience dealing with these issues. good luck
It's always good to rule out the possibility of a physical problem causing the peeing, but it sounds like you already did that.

There is a product called Feliway, that is suposed to be great for calming cats that are spraying in the house for territorial reasons. The plugin called 'Comfort Zone' is suposed to be more effective than the spray version. Google Feliway and you will find a lot of info on it. I haven't used the product but I do volenteer work with a lot of people that fix and give medical treatment to the urban feral cat population, which often means they have many cats in one house convelsing or being socialized and fostered while awaiting adoption - thats where I heard about it. You can buy it at Pet Club, or other pet stores.

The other suggestion I have may seem a little strange, but I had a vet recommend a pet psychic for that problem. I had a cat that would pee on my clothes if I left them on the floor at night. I have to admit, I ended up buying a clothes hamper to throw my clothes in, thus modifying my behavior instead of the cat's, but I have used Jeri Ryan of the Assisi International Animal Institute on several occasions for behavioral problems with my cats and have had spookily good results. So if the feliway doesn't work and your open to it call Jeri, her number is 510- 569-6123 Crazy Cat Lady


One more reply to this issue, if you can stand it: we were having similar problems and someone recommended changing the cat's food to something that would adjust his pH levels. We tried ''Max Cat'' and, miraculously, have had no more problems. We were inches away from getting rid of him, so this is a huge relief. Good luck -- I hope you have the same success. Lauren

Cats peeing on carpet since babies came

Sept 2002

Does anyone know how we can get our cats to stop peeing on our carpets' Our cats are 5 and 12 years old. They were visibly displeased when we brought home our twin babies 9 months ago. They clearly dislike the noise the babies make, and the fact that we don't pay as much attention to them any more. Since the babies have joined our household, the cats have taken to urinating on carpets in our living room and in our family room. Luckily the carpets are machine washeable. We have cleaned them many times with special anti-cat-urine cleanser, but the cats keep on peeing. In fact, one of them urinated on a pile of newspapers in a basket during a dinner party in front of all the guests. (We got rid of the basket.)

For some reason the cats only seem to urinate in these places. I am trying to give them more attention (hard with twin babies) and my husband says he cleans the cat boxes out daily. Our cats are mainly indoor cats, though I let them out in the yard, especially when I know the house will be extra noisy. I really don't want to get rid of the cats, but it's disgusting to have the house constantly smelling of cat urine. Any ideas' AL


I can totally empathize with your cats urinating after bringing your babies home. We had the exact problem with our male cat (but not the femaile one). He started freaking out about 2 weeks before our daughter was born when we were moving furniture around. Once our baby was home, he began to urinate in 5 or 6 favorite spots which included on the curtains, in the plants, in hard to reach places like behind the couch and TV, etc. Our cat's behavior went on for 6 months. At first we were patient, later we disciplined with a firm ''no!'' and water squirting, and finally we gave up and took him to the SPCA where we had originally adopted him. He proved to be the kind of cat that didn't adjust well to change or competition from babies. I heard from the agency that he was placed in a good home after a few months. I think he must be much happier. We are much happier too now that we don't have a cat with baby/urinating issues. Good luck. AM
I have a 7 month old and 2 cats, and one of the cats has also taken to peeing in various places around the house, particularly the rugs. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be that much we can do about it. A couple of things might help minimize it, though. First of all, clean the litter box EVERY DAY, even if there's only one little clump in it. I've found that if we let the box go for more than a day, we are ''retaliated'' against, if you know what I mean. Second, if you have cat pee in something made of fabric, the smell will ALWAYS remain, no matter what you use to clean it or how well you think you've cleaned it. And then, once there's pee in something, the cats will keep coming back and peeing on it again and again. If you have throw rugs on top of flooring, which we do, get rid of the rugs completely. Invest in some cheap, disposable rugs you buy at Ikea if you really want to have a rug there. Third, give your cats as much attention as you possibly can. I totally understand how this is hard, and I only have one baby! but every time my husband or I walks by one of the cats, we make a point to stop what we're doing, even for a second, and give them some love. This makes them feel less left out and (hopefully) less jealous, which is the reason they're acting up in the first place. If you get very desperate, take them to your vet and see what they can do for you. Although some may be horrified at the idea, there are medications you can give your cats to help them relax, which will help them stop peeing everywhere. Hope this helps! Jill
First the cats should have a trip to the vets to check their urine and overall health. There are medications that can help the cats deal with the anxiety of having new babies in the household. Cats also can benefit from a facial pheromone spray called feliway that helps calm them. Other things that can be helpful are to place additional litter boxes in the sites they are using and then slowly move those boxes back toward the area the cats have always used. Other times, it helps to make the sites they have choosen adversive- ie put aluminum foil that makes noise as they pee on it, etc. It is always important to first rule out medical causes of their urination, and then figure out with these individual kitties what would be the best approach to modifying their behavior. a local vet

More suggestions

Jan 2006

I am a housekeeper for someone who works for someone who ownes 10 wonderful cats, three of which have a problem when it comes to the box. I have found that two of them HATE fabric softner. One of them cannot have a dirty box! ( she's just picky that way!) If there is laundry out after being in the dryer and they find it- my day becomes that much longer- So--- a few softner sheets in the bottom of the box has gotten them peeing there instead! Hope This Helps. JON

P.S. They will dig it up a couple of times, but they eventualy get used to peeing there and leave the launndry alone!

Pee Free in Chicago After SEVERAL attempts ( sprays - powders - drops )


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