Friday, March 21, 2008

What Do We Do Now??

Image from Helena Garcia- she has the cutest designs and paintings!

Ok, so this is hard to think about let alone blog about - but it is driving me crazy. We have a cat who chooses to use two specific corners of our living room as a litter box - just to urinate. We have tried everything to fix the problem. We increased the litter boxes from one to three, we stick to the litter she likes, we put the litter boxes in a nice quite location away from her food and keep them clean - we even visited the vet to rule out medical problems. We put large plants in each corner to block her visits - but she just squeezes behind them and goes anyway. We even tried to put her food in that location so she wouldn't use that spot - she still would!

The areas have been treated with all sorts of cleaners ranging from carpet cleaners, pet stain removers, enzyme cleaners and organic cleaners. We even tried putting orange peels in the area to distract her - all these things work for a short while but she always goes back eventually.

We have tried to solve and prevent this behavior for 5 years now, actually I had no idea it was a problem until last year when we moved from our apartment into a house. During our move-out inspection the maintenance man pulled up the carpet in a few corners as a routine check and found the tell-tale stains. Moving into a new home I was hoping the problem would stop - with an apartment I have no idea what smells were in the carpet before, but there was only one previous owner of this home.

When we visited the vet, he ruled out any medical issues and said it was probably stress from the move. We will have lived in this house for a full year in April and the problem is still persisting.

I do not know what else to do. She has also taken up scratching the carpet to shreds on our stairs - even with 4 scratching posts of different types placed throughout the house.

She never goes outside, we are home a lot and gets enough attention, there haven't been any changes in her diet or the litter brand. We haven't moved anything in the house or had guests over to upset her or anything.

We are at wits-end - we cannot allow this behavior to continue as it is destroying our home (or at least our carpet and our sanity).

Any advice? Anyone want to adopt an obviously neurotic cat? Should we take her to a shelter? Should we put her down? What do we do?


SuzyQ said...

As an update...we have another appt scheduled at the vet who saw her the first time - this time they are going to take urine samples. Before they just examined her for cysts and lumps .

Sherry at the Zoo said...

She might have a Urinary Tract Infection. So, a urine sample should be a must. Maybe she really at heart wants to be outdoors? Can you let her be outdoor/indoor kitty? She is obviously trying to tell you something...the trick is finding out what it is.

Also, there are several VERY good animal behavioral specialist in the Indy area. The best being up on the north side I believe, but they do telephone consults (not cheap) so that might be an option. Otherwise, don't put her down, just let her move to your garage or the great outdoors...I just can't bear putting animals down...makes me sad.

SuzyQ said...

She is definitely not an outdoor cat - we accidentally left her outdoors overnight and found her the next morning crying, muddy and wet under the neighbors lawn furniture and she had scratched up our screen door trying to get back in. We are pretty sure it is not a UTI either - she has already been to the vet once and we tried that UTI litter detector and it found nothing - but we are going again just to be sure it is nothing medical. We are really running out of options - we have tried so many things in the last few years and just cannot figure it out and I am getting to point where I think there is nothing to figure out - there just comes a time when enough is enough I think and we are pretty much there. I really cannot try to give her to someone else knowing that she has these problems already. We adopted her originally from an animal shelter so I think she comes with some unexplained baggage - mentally and emotionally that we may not be able to solve. She seems like such a happy and loving cat to have such problems. We closed the blinds so she cannot see any outside cats, we clean the litter out incessantly, have multiple litter boxes, the list goes on of the things we have tried and all failed. She used the litter boxes - she just also uses those two corners of the house. We don't know what more we can do.