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She won't stop peeing outside the box

Ronin
January 4th, 2010, 06:00 PM
Hi,

I have 2 cats, PK and Marta. Marta was a rescue cat who was adopted 5 years ago. When I got her from the person who adopted her, she was very over weight and eating the cheapest dry food possible. I was not given much history on her. She was headed for the SPCA when I got her and I am sure it was because of her health and problems peeing in the litter box. I don't know how she was treated but she craves attention and acts like she was locked in a room and fed every few days.

Both cats get along very well, usually sleeping or playing together.

Several weeks after getting her she starting peeing outside of the litter box.
She has now been to the vet 3x for this same problem. I have 3 litter boxes (with different types of boxes and litter so there is lots of choice). I first was given an antibiotic for an infection which did not change her behavior but did make her feel a little better. Next I was told to set her up in the bathroom with a litter box, food/water and a comfortable place to sleep. After a week in "jail" she was consistently going in the box. When I let her out it lasted for a few weeks then back to peeing on the floor. She has been in "jail" twice more since (she gets lots of time out to play and interact). Each time when I let her out she is good for a week or two.

She has been on Amitriptyline for about a month now, the only thing that does is make her sleep 22 hours a day. I tried cutting her dosage down but it does not make any difference.

I went to the vet for the 4th time today only to be told "there is nothing more we can do" This is exactly why a lot of cats get euthanized, because someone gives up on them. I am not going to give her up but I have no idea what is going on.

A few things about Marta (told the vet this also)
- She drinks a lot, she is always at the water fountain set up for them
- She loves food and gobbles down everything she is fed in minutes
- She is very "jumpy". When I got her she acted like she was always doing something wrong. Its a little better now but I wonder how she was treated in the past
- She is very overweight (almost bloated). The vet said she just needed to lose weight
- PK does not bother her in the litter box or while feeding.
- When Marta does pee on the floor she acts very guilty and usually hides under the bed right after.
- I attribute it to eating to fast but on occasion (every couple of weeks) she will vomit up all her food. Other times she will gag and start to vomit which can happen anytime, not just after feeding.
- They both eat Wellness wet and Orijin dry food.

I am convinced that it is not just behavior and there is something else going on with her but I can't get the vet to think in that direction. I understand that another cat in the house can cause stress but I don't think that's it either. I think this is why she was given up before, I am now looking for another vet (especially after what I was told today about "nothing else to be done") any suggestions in the Hamilton, Ont area?

I care a lot for both of them, I just want Marta as healthy as she can be.

- Mike

sugarcatmom
January 4th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Hi Ronin,

I'm so glad to hear that you aren't going to give up on Marta. Sometimes these issues can be difficult to sort out, but with perseverance they can usually be resolved. Some questions:


Where are the litter boxes located?

When Marta pees outside the box, where does she do it? (ie near the box? on the carpet somewhere else? under anything like a table, etc?)

What lab tests did the vet do, and can you get a copy of them?

Do you know how old Marta is?

As for Marta's weight problem, my suggestion is to eliminate all dry food from the house and stick to just the Wellness (or similarily good quality) canned. Dry food is what makes cats fat, especially if they have constant access to it. There is some really good info here on feline nutrition that you might be interested in reading: www.catinfo.org

Ronin
January 4th, 2010, 06:52 PM
Hi, thanks for the response

The litter boxes are setup in a spare bedroom. It's quiet and very clean. The boxes get cleaned out at least once a day. Marta pees just outside the box but not always in the same place or outside the same box. I clean it with an enzyme cleaner and wash the floor down. It's always in plain view. I tried rearranging the boxes to where she pees but she just pees in another spot beside them.

She had stool and urine tests. The stool was ok but the urine came back with an infection. I was given an antibiotic (she took them all) and she began to feel better about a week later. The vet said they would fax the results and her records if another vet wanted to look at her so I could probably get copies.

Marta was young and pregnant when she was rescued 5 years ago. I would estimate her age to be around 6 or 7 now

A few other thing I should have mentioned. When I first got her I noticed pee in the bathtub. I could tell she was still using the litter box to pee too because both cats pee in different places in the boxes. Her stool was also very wet and on occasion runny. The antibiotics fixed that. I know it was Marta that was going in the tub because the same thing happened when I put her in the "bathroom jail" until I rigged a barrier so she could not jump in. The other cat PK has never had litter box problems.

I feed Marta mostly wet and give her a small scoop of dry every few days. When I do that I cut down on the wet food. I'll stop with the dry food and see what happens. Marta also gets 1 treat a day - the bag says they are 1 calorie each.

- Mike

Winston
January 4th, 2010, 07:30 PM
Hi Mike!

Glad to see you joined! lets hope we can get a solution for Marta! I know how frustrated you are!

SCMM is a wealth of knowledge !

Cindy

sugarcatmom
January 4th, 2010, 08:29 PM
The litter boxes are setup in a spare bedroom. It's quiet and very clean. The boxes get cleaned out at least once a day.

Excellent. I ask because sometimes if the boxes are in the basement or laundry room, a cat may get startled by the washing machine or furnace turning on and then forever associate what they were doing there at the time (such as urinating) with being scared. So this makes that possibility less likely.

Marta pees just outside the box but not always in the same place or outside the same box.

This is actually a big clue. It tells me that she doesn't have a problem with the location of the boxes, but there might be something about the boxes and/or litter itself that she doesn't like. What type of litters do you use (brands? scented or unscented?)? Is there a covered and an uncovered box to chose from, and how big are they? Since she's overweight, one possibility is that she finds it difficult to maneuver around in a smaller box. One solution would be to try a large under-the-bed storage box instead of the 3 smaller boxes.

She had stool and urine tests. The stool was ok but the urine came back with an infection.

Were any blood tests done? Do you know if the urine was sent out for a Culture & Sensitivity (this is different from a urinalysis, which can be done in-house)? A C&S is the only way to definitively diagnose a urinary tract infection, which is actually quite rare in a cat under 10 yrs. More common is sterile urinary tract inflammation. If there was a true infection, I would want to know what caused it (diabetes can be one source). Which is where further blood tests can come in handy. If Marta hasn't had any blood work done recently, it might be a good idea to request it on her next visit with a new vet.

I was given an antibiotic (she took them all) and she began to feel better about a week later.

There's a saying that cats with a UTI will get better in a week with antibiotics and in 7 days without. It may just be a coincidence that the antibiotics appeared to help. And if they were responsible for her getting better, it's time to find out why her urine is such a hospitable place for bacteria to grow.

The vet said they would fax the results and her records if another vet wanted to look at her so I could probably get copies.

I think that would be a good idea. Plus when you go to the new vet, make sure you get a copy of whatever new tests they run.

In the meantime, I have some reading for you on litter box issues. Perhaps there will be a clue or tip you haven't thought of that might be helpful to your situation:
http://www.catinfo.org/litterbox.htm
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/inappro-elim.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/inappro-elim2.html

Hope that helps! Let me know what else you find out from the vet.

Ronin
January 6th, 2010, 05:23 PM
Hi Supercatmom

Last night I got a huge container that holds a full 40lb bag of Dr Elsey's litter to about 3" deep. They both love it! PK peed in it seconds after setting it up. Marta has used it 3 or 4 times so far with no pee on the floor. I should have set it up like this before.

The urine test was done at the vet so when I bring her in to the new vet I'll get the culture and sensitivity and blood tests then.

Thanks for all your help, I'll post back when she gets the tests done

- Mike

sugarcatmom
January 6th, 2010, 06:22 PM
Oh my gosh, look at that face!! Such cuteness (with just a hint of sass:lovestruck:). I really hope the big box and the Dr. Elsey's does the trick:fingerscr. Do let me know what the lab results are.

Winston
January 6th, 2010, 08:35 PM
Yeahhhhhh !!! thata girl!!! :thumbs up

She is such a lovebug!!

Eh! at least you dont have to hide your shoes! :)

rjesak
January 7th, 2010, 05:39 AM
Oh the cuteness!! :lovestruck: :flirt:

I'm so glad she likes the new setup - maybe I'll try that!