February 21st, 2003, 07:18 PM
My wife and I have 2 adult Himalayan cats and each urinates in different places in our apartment, usually on cloths lying on the floor/baskets/draws, bathroom mat, in corners, in boxes of papers, on cloth covered furniture, on the bed, in the bath and in planter boxes on the balcony. We have no children.
We provide 2 covered kitty litter trays with the very best clumping clay-based litter and clean them out twice daily. They are situated at opposite ends of our outdoor balcony.
We replaced the carpet with timber laminate flooring recently because the cats had ruined it and have for some years been spraying so called cat repellent (citric essence I think - they don't disclose what it is on the spray bottle) in places they urinate, but to not much effect.
Since the hard flooring was installed 3 months ago the female has ceased urinating anywhere but in the trays (we think), but our male has been urinating far more frequently (daily) on our furniture, the bathroom mat, cushions and the bed.
I have tried the approach of rubbing his nose in the spot I discover the urine, shouting angrily and slapping him forcefully, all at the same time. He races off to the end of the balcony and gives me mean looks for the rest of the day. It does not appear to have done anything but increase his urinating, so I'm obviously not getting through to him. Except for once, I have never caught him in the act, so am unsure if he knows what I'm doing or not, and suspect he is just fearful of me now.
I'm at the point of seriously considering giving him away or having him put down, as he's ruined all our furniture and will do the same to any new furniture we get. We've very houseproud people and I dread having anyone over now because of the whiff of cat urine in the air.
February 22nd, 2003, 12:35 AM
First of all you must NEVER forcefully hit or scold loudly at an animal!!! This is not only cruel and not humane because animals are not humans and don't understand the same way we do but it makes them become fearful of you.
You said you have the litterboxes outside on the balcony? Why aren't they inside the apartment for their convience and easy access? This may be a major factor.
Unfortunately once a cat urinates in one spot, their senses tell them to keep going in the same place. Make sure you throughly get rid of any traces of urine throughout the apartment.
How do you know it is the male that is urinating? If the female also smells urine she too will assume it's a spot allowed for that purpose. Don't blame the male if you did not witness it for yourself.
You can not put an animal down because they are going to the bathroom in an inappropriate place. They do not know better and need to be trained. If you can not train them, I suggest you give them up for adoption and get rid of anything that had been soiled to prevent other pets that come into your household from doing the same thing. Some cats urinate in spots they know are forbitten because they are trying to tell you something. Make sure their surroundings meet their standards. Keep bowls and litterboxes clean at all times, provide attention to both cats to avoid jealously, observe both cat's relationship to each other to make sure they get along and provide adequate sleeping quarters so they are comfortable.
Try moving the litterboxes indoors. If your male cat is not Neutered, get him neutered because that may calm him down. Get rid of traces of urine smells throughly and try to have patience! Do not hit your cats!! This will make them rebel even more. Try setting them in the litterboxes once in awhile even if they may not have to go, keep showing them the right spot and they should evenually learn.
February 22nd, 2003, 09:13 AM
Is your male cat neutered? If not, he's spraying and he'll do that until you neuter him.
NEVER HIT ANIMALS.
And to put them down because they are peeing is horrible. Find a good rescue society to place them into and adopt them out.
I personally do not think you are a good pet owner, and you shouldn't have pets in your apartment.
February 22nd, 2003, 06:40 PM
Thank you very much for your advice Jocelyn. It accords with some material I located on the net and I now have a clear picture of what it is we need to do.
Talk about involved! I guess the main thing to come out of this challenge is that we have to realise that cats need more than just excellent food, copious amounts of toys, regular veterinary care and the odd affectionate pat - they need lots of love and understanding.
My wife and I are childless by choice and donít fancy showering attention on others unless it suits us, and wrongly thought cats were independent creatures who preferred their own company and allowed us the odd grudging pat every so often: how wrong we were! But given that we love them both, my wife especially, weíd never give them away or have them put down, and Iím sorry about my comment regarding this as it was flippant and insensitive.
Just on one of your comments. Our apartment is very small, we are both very clean people, and as you may know the litter boxes can smell a bit at the best of times. This is why the boxes are on the balcony. Maybe you think the balcony is an unpleasant place? I can assure you that it is very pleasant, undercover, spacious, has lots of pot plants, cat stands and a beautiful high up view over our leafy suburb. I spend a lot of time out there myself it's so nice. Does my description alter your view on the balcony, or is there some other reason you recommend the boxes being taken inside?
February 22nd, 2003, 08:27 PM
Greg, you never answered the question if your male cat is neutered. His urinating is his spraying, and it won't stop until you get him neutered.
Balconys are unsafe places for animals. I cannot tell you how many times a year cats and dogs die from falling off balconys.
In my professional opinion, I do not believe cats are the type of animal for you (or dogs for that matter). I'd reccomend perhaps looking into raising fish or other forms of creatures who do not require as much "taking care of". Stressing over urine in an apartment to the point of saying you are going to have them put down is preposterous.
Let me remind you one more time, that getting a pet is a lifetime commitment. If you choose to shorten that animal's lifetime because it peed on your carpet, then I pity you for being so cruel.
February 22nd, 2003, 10:15 PM
As I stated before in my last post, the litterboxes should be inside the apartment for easy access and convience TO THE CATS. How do you know when they have to go to the bathroom? Cats are not like dogs where they scratch at the door to go outside. This is why they go to the bathroom on your furniture, you are not providing them with a box to go in whenever they have to absoultely go. What do they do when you are not there? Of course they are going to go to the bathroom if nobody is there to let them out.
You have to undertand that owning an indoor cat requires responsibility. You MUST clean the litterboxes daily, having two cats it's probably best to clean them twice daily. This will elimiate the smell and keep the cats happy to be able to go in a clean litterbox. That is also why some rebel and urinate where they aren't suppose to, if their box is not clean.
This has nothing to do with the fact that the balcony is not a plesant place for your cats to be, it has to do with having access whenever they want to the litterboxes.
Have you ever had to go to the bathroom really bad and had to hold it for a long period of time? Imgine how your cats feel when you are sleeping at night or are not in the aparment to let them out. Personally my bladder probably would explode too!
Please reconsider putting the litterboxes inside, it is pointless to have them outside if you have INDOOR cats! To eliminate smells of a litterbox there are products out there that you can spray or sprinkle into the box for a fresh smell or scented litter, check your local pet store. Cleaning the litterbox is a small job and done daily will keep the smell away.
I have 4 cats in a small one-bedroom apartment. My place is always clean too and I have 4 litterboxes! I clean them daily so the smell is barely noticable. If I can do it with 4 cats, you can do it with 2. I hope you understand the importance of keeping the litterboxes inside, you just may find this solution solves your problem.
February 23rd, 2003, 03:07 AM
Hi again Jocelyn.
I'm sorry but I should have clarified something: my balcony is always open to the house so they are free to come and go 24/7. They can't fall off the balcony as I have fenced it in such a way as to make this impossible. Still any objections?
February 23rd, 2003, 07:54 AM
You know what I give up. You obviously know more about the animal kingdom then I do. Hopefully if you havent' gotten your guy neutered, you'll do that. Thats the "urinating" he's doing around the apartment.
February 23rd, 2003, 12:51 PM
How is your door always open to balcony? It's winter where you are, isn't it? Unless you have a cat door installed on the door that goes outside I don't see how that would work leaving your door open all the time. Bugs in the spring/summer. I don't get it.
The cats may just want to stay inside, you never know.
You asked for help and I'm helping you but if you choose to ignore my advice, it's pointless to continue this conversation.
I have also suggested OTHER possibilities in my answer and you choose not to consider or even read those.
You also never answered mine or BrunosMom's question if whether or not the male was neutered. Is there a problem with answering that? Apparently we both have experience in animal behavior and how to solve the problem but you don't want to hear it.
So, Good luck with continuing whatever you are doing because it obviously is not working. If you are not willing to change something different to see if the problem will resolve itself then you are ignorant and self-absorbed to think it will get better on it's own.
Please give your cats up for adoption, they might be better off with someone who will train and treat them properly.
Last post, don't ask for help if you don't want it.
February 23rd, 2003, 04:09 PM
I'm sorry you feel I'm being difficult, but all I'm doing is being rational, working through each issue in a logical manner and providing you with all the facts. Oops... fact - both our male and female cat are neutered... sorry I overlooked that one.
I do want advice, believe me, and have been very grateful for your constructive comments. I am not arguing with you guys. You all know much more than me about animals, but if you say balcony out, and I fully describe the balcony and our conditions, you may not think the balcony is the bad place you initially imagined it to be because you were basing your initial thoughts on some incorrect assumptions.
For instance, you assumed I closed my balcony door and denied the catís access to the house - I do not. You assumed my balcony is not securely fenced and thus dangerous - it is. You are now assuming I live in a place that gets cold and that it's winter over here. It's actually summer here, being in the southern hemisphere. Itís always the opposite season to that in the northern hemisphere. I'm sorry but it just didn't occur to me to point out that our winter is probably as cold as your warmest summer day. I may, for example, have to wear a jumper (that's a woollen garment worn on cold days in case this term in not used in your country) for maybe one or two days a year in June (our winter). The rest of the time we can get away with short-sleeved shirts! You no doubt know that our cats, being Himalayans, have a very thick coat. The Vets in our area recommend we actually we clip our cats in summer, as they can get a bit hot with all that fur. We have done this for the first time this summer and the cats appear to love it and are more active as a result. We never close our balcony door because we'd get too hot! I'm not kidding!
Another assumption about bugs - the bugs don't occur. Being up on the eleventh floor we hardly ever see an ant, spider, cockroach, mosquito, fly or anything else. Correction: we do get the odd crow and parrot... the cats get a real thrill about that. When a bug does wander in, the cats love to chase them down and have a great time in the process.
Did I also mention that the cats choose to spend as much time in the house as they do out on the balcony? This is entirely their choice; there are no restricted areas, ever.
Anyway, given all these facts about my balcony, is there still anything about it that would be a cause of concern?
Thanks for your comments on litter trays. I also read that keeping their litter trays and material surgically clean every minute of the day, and fussing over them lovingly every time you catch them using their litter trays is also a good strategy. What do you think of all this?
Also, my local Vet also recommended cleaning all the areas in the house where the cats have urinated with an enzyme-based cleaner to remove the odour. She said that unless you do this even the most well adjusted, happiest cat in the world will return to these spots.
What do you think of pheromone sprays? She recommended spraying this stuff in the places they urinated, after initial enzyme cleaning treatment of course, as another strategy.
I was thinking also of being more loving to my male cat and spending more time playing fetch etc. with him. He has strong emotions and is always communicating with us. Our female is a bit standoffish, preferring to show affection to her mate, but occasionally rewarding us with a little bit of affection. She seems fine in this regard.
Itís over to you.