OK, after over a year of being “terrorized” by our little 1 of 2 cats, peeing nearly every carpet (in one place or another) she could find, as well as (especially!) bath mats, door mats, etc. here’s the winning steps that seem to have made nearly four months of no pee!
- Removal of the mats and carpets. We found huge amounts of areas on the bottom -side of wall to wall that we had *no idea* were being hit repeatedly! and *man* did they reek once peeled up! (sad/sucks because I love wall to wall). only room left w/ carpet now is “cats only w/ human chaperone” in Hunter’s office
- Kitty prozac (half dose/prescription). Yes, I’m very sorry to say that sometimes psychiatry may be the answer. Of the 2 sister cats, the “little one” was bullied by the “big one”. And little one periodically would rear-leg-scratch her chin (where she has a little mole/bump) and make it bleed. We feed a full dose mixed in to their mixed/shared wet food dinner bowl (mouth injection was just torture for little sensitive one! she also was too clever to notice “chicken wrapped pill pockets”). chinese herbal pulverized powder helped a bit, but not like the prozac. So now they both get ~ 1/2 dose, and the stress/bullying has dropped markedly.
- Nature’s Miracle remover/cleaner. It eats away at the smell/molecules *as well as* making a citrus smell cats dont like. They maybe won’t “run away” from a treated pee carpet spot, per se, but it’s certainly no longer a place they can hardly avoid when nearby.
- More catboxes, each changed 1x/2x day! We’re up to three, none covered, all “in the open” (so no chance for big cat to ambush little cat on coming out of the potty box (yes, that happened!))
- Reward catbox peeing with treats she loves. A coworker who grew up with cats named Sam mentioned how negative feedback (yelling and shoving her face in pee just made her confused and look stupidly “did I do something wrong? why are you mad?”) doesn’t work with cats, but positive does. So if you stop feeding a peeing/misbehaving cat, they get the message “real quick”, goes the theory. That seemed a bit extreme, so went with “follow kitty after getting up in the morning” (when I’m around), gentle verbal coaxing (sometimes pre-catnip) to go to catbox and then *lots* of praise and a treat she *loves* after she’s peed. She’s smart and sometimes doesn’t want to pee (very smell sensitive I think) and pops in/out, hoping for treats on occasion. But now, she gets no treats unless she pees, so she’ll go back in (immediately or in a little bit) and catbox pee and get her treats!
- Years of loving little one to get her 100% trust. This was ongoing. She was always skittish, jumpy, and independent. It took me years to get her to entirely stop hissing at me at times, getting pissy, etc. The key seemed to never lose my patience with her and suffocate her with waves of love, love, love until she knew I was her #1 ally in the house
So thanks internets, Sam, and all the places and things we tried (many many up until now). This is the list that has worked for us, and prior to this “little one” could pee our house up good, sometimes as many as five times a week. It got to the point where I lost my sh*t and started utility-knife cutting up rectangles of the wall to wall and throwing it out — she just would not stop.
My hope is this post may help other owners who adore their cats but are suffering, too!
And as a postscript, “little one” is now The Most affectionate cat ever. She likes to hop under the covers at about 5am for a few hours and spoon with me, purring happily in our mutual love fest. I can hardly convey how happy we are to have her happy and “back”, and have teased out this little lovey wonderful thing that was hidden insider her before.