Another cat pee problem...

(9 Posts)
Toomuchtea Tue 16-Apr-13 13:40:27

Some backstory - our cat is around 14 – possibly older, as she’s a rescue cat. She doesn’t like other cats, doesn’t like women particularly. DH is her preferred person by far.

We’ve recently moved, and had to go into rented after the house we were buying fell through right at the last moment. I had to argue hard to get them to accept cats, and cat is now, having I thought settled, being a bit of a problem. She has her own area, which she can get into but the dog can’t, where her food, water and litter tray are. She also has free access to the dog’s water. Dog doesn’t like this, but there is nothing she can do about it as the cat is boss. Dog and cat get on reasonably well, in that the cat thinks the dog is a ridiculous waste of space, but just about tolerates her existence. Cat has plenty of places she can sleep which are out of the way of the dog, and everyone else. She’s regularly wormed, and deflead, and the vet’s checked her over and she’s fine.

We have two problems with her: one is scratching carpets. She has a willow box, a special carpet hanger and a scratching post, all of which she uses occasionally, but she far prefers carpet. I have bits of foil all over the place, but it doesn’t stop her. Before we moved, she had a cat flap, but we can’t put one in the rented house. She seemed perfectly happy to be inside full time, but we started letting her out a couple of weeks ago as she showed signs of interest in the outside world. She only ever goes out if we’re there, and the door is left open for her so she doesn’t get stuck outside. She asks to go out occasionally, but certainly doesn’t seem to want to go out all the time.

The major problem is that she’s started peeing and pooing in the house. I am at my wits’ end what to do. She has a litter tray, regularly cleaned, which she still uses virtually all of the time. The only thing I can think of that’s changed is that she’s now going outside occasionally. I don’t know if the peeing is because she’s protesting because she can’t get outside whenever she wants, which we can’t do anything about because the house is rented, or whether she’s stressed because she doesn’t actually enjoy going out.

What to do? I can’t think of anything else to try. The rehoming spectre is raising its head, because we can’t afford to pay thousands to recarpet this place. I’m loathe to try to rehome her because she is old, and she’s not the easiest cat in the world. She isn’t cute and cuddly. She’s a spiky old boot, actually, but she’s a spiky old boot who should have a few years left in her.

YoniConnect Tue 16-Apr-13 13:53:28

Oh, I feel your pain - I had this problem with my grouchy old cat when we moved house. Might she be traumatised when she does go outside by loud noises or dogs barking? I think this was the problem we had. I would suggest you try a feliway diffuser then if possible restricting her to the part of the house where her litter tray is to al least contain the problem (hopefully this area doesn't have carpet). Good luck; it can be quite tricky to break the soiling habit.

Toomuchtea Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:45

She's just been out, and she seems quite happy. Just wanders about sniffing the air, and then disappears for a ferret about under the bushes, and then comes back in.

I think feliway is the one thing I haven't tried, so I'll get one of those. Am I right in thinking they take a few days to work? Do they work with protest peeing? Because she doesn't appear stressed in the least.

Unfortunately the house is a temple to carpet, apart from the kitchen and utility room which are absolutely freezing. The dog won't stay in there overnight, and I'd feel bad about shutting cat in there!

cozietoesie Tue 16-Apr-13 14:28:53

Find a local carpet shop and get some carpet samples - good quality wool carpet goes down best. (Any carpet shop will likely have books of the things in the back and you should be able to get some free.)

Then anchor one to the floor somewhere, perhaps putting a full edge under a heavy enough piece of furniture (you can tack them if the situation is desperate) and encourage use of that. (Praise for using the sample and telling off firmly for using 'real' carpet.)

The cat should switch to sole use of that pretty quickly.

Toomuchtea Tue 16-Apr-13 22:29:16

Thanks. I have to say she's not a cat who can be encouraged into doing anything but I will give it a go. In the last house, which we owned so it didn't matter, we had a sacrificial landing carpet. She beat all hell out of that and left the rest of the house pretty much alone. Fingers crossed the carpet square works.

cozietoesie Tue 16-Apr-13 22:38:44

Yep - essentially what you'd be doing is giving her another sacrificial piece. Once she gets the message that she'll be told off for scratching one place and praised for another she will hopefully cooperate - but it's important to get decent carpet for the purposes. A nice Wilton or something!

Toomuchtea Wed 17-Apr-13 15:27:59

With this cat, she's more likely to scratch it if she thinks she's winding you up.... I will have to make sure she knows it is a Piece of Great Value. That way I stand a chance.

deliasmithy Thu 18-Apr-13 20:04:26

I I bought a door mat which I really liked. One of my two felines loves ripping it to shreds and the other prefers using my palest walls as scratching posts. I also leave boxes lying around for them to rip apart. Cats are so different its hard to know what things will work.

I agree about putting her in one room for a little while. Shes either feeling stressed, lost where the tray is or has an underlying medical condition. Or maybe you're right, she's grumpy and does it because she can!

CatWithARabbit Sat 20-Apr-13 00:13:46

I would try Feliway as soon as you can. It's expensive, but it worked for our cat. She was 14 and was being terrorised by a stray who came in through cat flap and sprayed in the house. She was so scared she stopped going out, and took to doing her business in the bath. (DH was not happy with this ...). After a week I heard of Feliway and it worked immediatel, she went outside two hours after plugging it in . Good luck!

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