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November 18, 2010

When The Cat Decides To Stop Using The Litter Box

On Thursday, August 19th, Mrs. Big Nate and I adopted a fifth and final member into our family. We already have two dogs and two cats but Mrs. Nate saw this beautiful two year old cat at the Calgary Humane Society that closely resembled our beloved Monster, who passed away from Renal Failure a few months ago. The resemblance was uncanny and melted Mrs. Nate’s heart immediately.

We met her that night and brought her home right away. Her name at the time was Chanel but we changed it to Burberry, Mrs. Nate’s favourite designer bag.

The introduction of Burberry into our family was actually not that bad and it wasn’t long before everyone was fully tolerating each other.

We feed the cats at the same time. They get a meal of raw meat which Burberry seemed to take to a few days after coming home. There is a kitchen mat that the other two cats, Mr. Goo and Chloe eat on. Burberry eats a few feet away, inside our pantry.

Almost three months later, everything seems to be going along smoothly, everyone has settled into their daily routines. One day last week we could smell urine and discovered someone had pee'd on the mat Goo and Chloe eat their meals on. We instantly blamed our most recent rescue dog, Oscar for the mishap as he has a history of intermittently peeing inside the house. Mrs. Nate washed the mat and we put it back down. Two days later, I stepped onto the mat and it was wet. Like before, there was a pee spot on the mat. Again we shook our finger at poor Oscar and washed the mat again. This time we did not put the mat down, we rolled it up and left the floor bare. The two cats ate in their usual spot but without the presence of the mat.

This was fine until the next day we could smell urine again! Mrs. Nate was given a lovely scarf by her mother who traveled abroad. The scarf was sitting on our counter, on top of the breakfast bar. Mrs. Big Nate picked up the scarf to discover it was very wet and determined it was the source of the pee smell. Now we knew it was impossible Oscar could have done this! He can certainly not get up on the counters. In fact, only Burberry seems to spend any time on the counters. Must be a habit she picked up from her previous pet parents.

So we narrowed the entire ordeal down to Burberry as the culprit for all three urination events. We immediately did some research online to find out why a cat would suddenly do this. I also made a post on the Poooh Busters wall to see if any of our knowledgeable followers had any suggestions. Almost immediately we received some replies, all with they same suggestions as we had read previously during our Google searches. Such smart people we have available to us!

In the end we took Burberry and Chloe (just in case it was her) to the vet to check first for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). We wanted to rule out any physical reasons and narrow it down to behavioral. Turns out Burberry did have a slight infection which we are treating with antibiotics.

We also ran out and picked up three brand new litter boxes to eliminate any past smells that may have turned Burberry off. In addition to that, we thought we’d try out a different type of litter. We have incorporated that by mixing it in slowly with the original stuff for a gradual transition to the new type of litter. Mrs. Big Nate also separated the litter boxes a little further apart in case that might be adding to the problem. Three cats, three litter boxes.

If anything, we are moving to a new house at the end of this month. I’m hoping the change to a new lace will make their new home a neutral environment that they’ve all come to know together as one family rather than someone being brought in and there being territorial issues.

Not sure what else to do but hope we did something right to prevent future occurrences. We’ll cross our fingers and hope it all works out!

1 comment:

  1. Years ago someone told me to rub a bit of margarine on the pads of the paws and then let them walk around the "old" this just before they are to go to the new house...the pads will pick up the old smells and when they are at the new house they will lick paws and the scent will be familiar...worth a try in my opinion...Good luck....