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Old July 3rd, 2012, 08:53 PM
robinskitties robinskitties is offline
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Litter box problem

I know there are about a million threads on this subject but I think I've tried everything.

I'm at a loss and I don't know what to do. I have four cats of my own and about a year ago my best friend moved in with her three cats and dog (she lost her job and house). Up until this point, my cats were fine but we expected there would be some... fluctuation in behavior what with the new family additions. Certainly, there were. My tinyest sweetest little girl turned into a bully of my friend's cats (one of them still has her claws so I feel like she can defend herself but her other two boys are declawed and I worry about them). We deal with that though. The cats have found their happy places and they only overlap when we're around so it's not much of a problem (and there haven't been any horrible things, just minor scuffles here and there).

The bigger problem is two of my older cats (by older, I mean 11 years). These two cats were, I believe, weened too early and litter-training them when I got them as kittens was painful. Frankly, I'd never had to litter train a cat before - I thought they just did it! Well, I learned different and eventually got them MOSTLY litter trained. I say mostly because the boy really hates the stuff. He'll jump in pee where he lands and jump straight out! He often poos right next to the box. I tried about a million different brands (including those paper pellet things - !) and finally got them into something we could all live with (some litter boxes have Swheat Scoop and some have whassisname's Cat Attract).

The problem is that the new animals have wreaked havoc on these two. Over the past year, I've tried everything but they are destroying the house. One of them has started peeing down the vents! I'm at the end of my rope.

I've tried everything I know to try - admittedly, we don't have eight litter boxes (I have four cats, she has three) but we do have dedicated ones - litter boxes which are in locations where some cats are allowed and others aren't. I've tried various different types of litters and I've got Feliway plugged in to every outlet in the house. I've also taken both of the "sinners" to the vet and they can't find anything physical to explain it. It's got to be behavioral.

I just don't know what to do! We have four HUGE litter boxes (we actually bought big plastic storage boxes from Walmart - each one holds four boxes of litter). I can't realistically add more boxes - there's just no room. My house is beginning to smell because anything left in a pile gets peed on, plastic bags get peed on, papers get peed on, corners of carpets get peed on, and, now, vents are getting peed in. I've actually taped plastic over the vents in my room because that's where she's at her worst - my room is reserved for my cats; my friend's cats are not allowed in there.

I've even tried quarantining the two problem children but that hasn't helped at all either. I feel like I've tried everything realistic so I don't know if you guys have any ideas and I've read through every thread I can find but I can use some "out of the box" ideas here please! In fact, I don't know if there's anything I can do about the peeing but I could even use suggestions on the best ways to clean it up and FIND it! OMG, last weekend I found a piece of the carpet in an out of the way corner that may be ruined - I didn't even know they were going there!
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:03 PM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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I'm sure someone with more experience with litter box issues will be along with some questions/suggestions as I've been lucky that way.

I will ask with what are you cleaning the peed upon areas?
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 11:15 PM
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How much vertical territory do the cats have? Any tall cat condos, window hammocks or shelves just for them?
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Old July 4th, 2012, 06:32 PM
robinskitties robinskitties is offline
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@Growler, up until these two, I'd always been lucky too - like I said, I just thought they were born that way!

When I find the spots or areas, I'm cleaning them with this stuff called Scat cleaner - I'm thinking I could do better though. It doesn't seem to do a very good job. And the vents are a problem! How the heck do I clean inside the vent?

@SCM, there is at least one cat condo in each large room - so one in the living room, one in the great room, one in my bedroom, and one in my friend's bedroom (we are suckers for kitty condos - we love watching them play on them). A couple of them are only three stories high but the other two are very high with a lot of different shelves (our tallest has six different levels). They all also have little built in "houses" where the kitties who like enclosed spaces can go.

Funnily enough, now that you mention it, the kitty condos attract four of the cats heavily. The others rarely or not at all. The two problem children, for instance, don't seem interested. I very occasionally see Honey on it but not much.

The thing is that there's NO question that Honey would like to be an only cat. We always got along ok before my friend moved in but she's always been a bit titchy with the other cats. Nothing extreme but she would be very happy if she and I were the only living creatures in the house - she won't even let the other humans who live here pet her very often. Pumpkin doesn't mind other animals at all (even the dog doesn't bother him) but he's afraid of the other people aside from me.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 11:37 PM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robinskitties View Post
When I find the spots or areas, I'm cleaning them with this stuff called Scat cleaner - I'm thinking I could do better though. It doesn't seem to do a very good job. And the vents are a problem! How the heck do I clean inside the vent?
I've never heard of Scat & unfortunately their website provides no info on what the ingredients are. What does it smell like? Does it have an Ammonia smell like Windex? Or really flowery etc?

Anything that has a bleach or ammonia smell to it will smell very similar to the base property smell of cat pee (we can't necessarily smell it unless extremely strong, but they can) and they will continue to "cover" the other smell with their own.

Using an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature's Miracle or it's homemade counterpart (recipe & directions below) will help to eliminate the odour we can't smell but they can. Not a guaranteed solution to all inappropriate elimination issues but will help clean the areas & may stop them from re-marking the same spots, and it's non-toxic.

1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol

Mix all 3 together in clean/new spray bottle spray affected area & blot with paper towel or clean rag. Re-spray area & let dry. Can be used on all surfaces but as with any cleaner it's always good to spot test a hidden area of carpet first.

This recipe can be used as an all purpose household cleaner and in the laundry as well. White vinegar alone can also be used as all purpose cleaner & added to laundry. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol can be used as a bleach alternative as an all purpose cleaner & in laundry.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 04:08 PM
robinskitties robinskitties is offline
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It's not ammonia because I knew that would be the wrong stuff to use but I didn't know about bleach and I don't know if that's in it. I hope not because isn't there ammonia in cat urine and aren't you not supposed to mix that with bleach? Maybe I'm thinking of something else...

Regardless, back to the task at hand, I'll try Nature's Miracle or the home remedy below. I think I'll at least try your natural mix with my steam cleaner - the pre-made steam cleansers cost a fortune and my steam cleaner just seems to pour them out (and it doesn't seem to diddly squat for the stains unless I get 'em while they're still wet which I rarely do).

I just think of how happily I and my cats lived for so long and now I come home to a house that stinks. Oh, right, I forgot, part of the problem is that one of her cats had an injured leg and can no longer squat. He always uses the litter box but it hits the wall and ends up on the floor. I ended up jury-rigging a box sitting in a large lid lined with poise pads with another lid propped against the wall. It sounds nuts but it works!

It's just a good thing I love my cats so very much...
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