Need to contain cat peeing oustide box....suggestions?

Helen SwartwoutHelen Swartwout CincinnatiMember Posts: 21
edited 7 May, 2015 in Cats and a Clean Home
Hi all! For all of Dinah's life (she's 17) she has been finicky about using the litter box. She did a number on the house I used to live in (which I own) and it was terrible to deal with when I moved out. Now we are in a rental house and she has destroyed the carpet in the dining room (of all places). I thought she was doing better in the new place without old odors to make her think it was OK to pee on the floor, so I didn't know she was doing it until it started to smell - the carpet is beige and she was going along the edge. She is not sick, so it's not that. I have placed a box in the dining room behind a fake tree which she uses sometimes but not always. We tried making the basement the 'cat apartment' when we first moved in to prevent this issue and allow them a nice spacious place where it was easy to clean. Dinah and Cala would not have it and eventually we allowed them back upstairs. I have been fighting this battle for so long...I've tried all sorts of products to no avail, I have placed throw rugs along the edge of the carpet so I can wash those but she has now gone pretty much everywhere on the carpet in the dining room. The house stinks even though I clean it with a small steamer weekly. I am very frustrated. I have tried containing them with an exer-pen (but it doesn't have a top so they climb over. We can't barricade the basement steps because they always make their way around it somehow and then tear at the basement door. I tried a cat condo but it isn't big enough and neither is a dog crate. We have to figure something out - it is out of control. We are happy to have them upstairs with us when we are home and able to keep tabs on where Dinah is, but we NEED to contain at least Dinah when we are not home and at night.... PLEASE HELP! Anyone else have this problem and able to solve? THANKS! Helen


  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 5 May, 2015
    When did she last see the vet? At her age, I would be concerned about CKD. You definitely want to rule out a health problem that may be contributing to her litter box avoidance before you treat it as strictly behavioral. The ASPCA has some pretty good tips on litter box re-training: Remedial Litter Box Training=;
  • Sharon DaltonSharon Dalton Member Posts: 3,728
    edited 5 May, 2015
    Mordred's mom here. Arthur made an excellent point: at 17, she may well have renal insufficiency - CKD (chronic kidney disease). Another consideration is arthritis; it may be painful for her to climb into a litter box. I myself had to have my bathtub replaced with a walk-in shower because my arthritic knees made it painful for me to step over the side of the tub. Talk to her doctor about both possibilities.
  • Helen SwartwoutHelen Swartwout CincinnatiMember Posts: 21
    edited 5 May, 2015
    She is at the vet routinely. She does have CKD, she has for a few years and I keep tabs on any changes. When she has needed ATBs she has gotten them. She is fully able to jump ontp beds, chairs and countertops. She does not have trouble climbing into a litterbox. This is not an illness issue. It is behavioral. It has been going on for almost all of her 17 years...Yes, I clean the boxes, yes I have used products to draw her to her box, yes, I have a box for each cat in the basement and one in the dining room. Re-training would involve containment...So.... PLEASE, can anyone offer containment suggestions? Please?
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 May, 2015
    That's a good question. The ASPCA site suggests a bathroom or large dog crate. Do you have any small rooms or large closets in your place that don't have carpet? Towards the end of Arthur's life, he developed chronic diarrhea and started avoiding the box. Once we got his symptoms under control with medication, I managed to get him using the box again with lots of positive reinforcement. He had always had good litter box habits before, though, so I don't know if that would be helpful for Dinah. Sending purrs! |:|
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