And yet, in that amazing ability all felines share to display positively unrestrained disdain, she still punishes us by going to the bathroom on anything soft we leave out for her.
She's even the reason we can no longer leave a bathmat out because - and trust me on this - there's nothing worse than stepping out of a shower onto a mat that steams and goes mush.
Peeing outside of the box is one of the major reasons people list as returning otherwise perfectly adoptable cats to shelters, too often leading to would-be companion animals eventually being lost to kill shelters. Granted, it takes a special person to handle delving into a cat's twisted psyche to diagnose the root of the problem, but since we're already used to her particular brand of adorable evil we decided to follow a few steps to suss out the problem.
- First and foremost, make sure the box is clean. Cats are fastidious little devils and they like their throne to reflect the grandeur they feel they deserve. Some cats are less forgiving than others and may need a box cleaned thoroughly every day, not just scooped.
- If your box is clean and your cat is peeing somewhere it's not supposed to, take it to the vet as soon as possible. Urinary Tract Infections are extremely common and are frequent causes of potty issues in pets. Ear infections, pests, worms, and other ailments that cause your cat discomfort and may not be easy to see can also be the culprit.
- If your cat has a clean bill of health, make sure the litter box is in a "safe" location. Even if it's perfectly clean, your cat may not feel comfortable if the box is near a source of loud or sudden noises, or in a high-traffic area. It may even be in view of a window where other animals pass by, making your cat feel threatened during its daily constitutional. Try moving the box to quieter locations or even adding a second box somewhere else in the house.
One cushion is never enough for Princess Lily Leaf Butt
- Is your cat peeing on YOUR clothing/bedding? People tend to believe that all cat urination outside the box is territorial (esp when it belongs to them), but more often than not it's because they associate that smell with you and it makes them feel safe. This goes back to #3. If they're seeking a safe place to go to the bathroom, then you might need to move their box.
- If your cat pees on your jerk boyfriends shoes - you know, the one who doesn't like cats - well, then, your choices are clear. Dump the guy. Cats are smart.
- Wherever your cat has peed (or if another pet has ever peed in a location), be sure to thoroughly clean the area. If it's on carpet, use white vinegar and let it soak all the way through to the pad, then blot the area after at least 10 minutes. I usually repeat this at least twice to make sure the smell is totally gone. If a cat smells pee anywhere in the house, it will seek it out as a place in the future. That's why we have one room in the house where the cat can only hang out under supervision. And why I moved a heavy tool box into a weird spot in the floor...
Finally - remember that cats don't understand discipline or shaming the way a dog does. If you yell at a cat or try to punish it, you'll only scare the animal and probably drive it to more inappropriate peeing out of fear. #3 has ended up being the brunt of the problem in our house. She went from having a back yard full of prime poop spots to having only a single box. Hence the little "gifts" she started leaving throughout the house.
If your cat has you at your wits end on pee patrol, try going through these steps before doing anything drastic and you might end up with the relationship that every Fancy Feast commercial promises us cat ladies.
Anyone else have any tips to share?