My apartment is not your toilet.
August 1, 2012 8:00 AM Subscribe
I'm out of ideas - help me convince my cat that the litterbox is a good place to be. Long explanation with as many details as I can think of inside.
I've had my cat for about two and a half years now. She's been litterbox trained ever since I got her - mostly. Every now and then she decides that she's found a new and fun place to pee (she defecates exclusively in the box; it's only urine that finds its way elsewhere). For a while it was the gas stovetop until I covered it with a panel of plexiglass. Then it was a space by the trash can in the laundry room until I stopped leaving the door open. Then it was my shower, which I actually am pretty okay with since she does it right in the drain and I can just wash the smell away with a quick spray, so I never bothered to stop her from doing that.
It's been that way for months now, and she seemed to have settled into a pattern of urinating where she's supposed to. Then, about three weeks ago, she randomly stopped using either the litterbox or the shower. Now she pees in one of four places: the floor right next to my toilet, the sink counter opposite the soapdish, the corner of the kitchen (right next to where I feed her), and the corner of the living room right smack dab in front of her litterbox. This last place (the only one where her urine can damage the floor, naturally) is her favorite. It's also the hardest to see, the hardest to clean up, and the smelliest. Of course.
I took her to the vet when I found blood in her urine one day, and she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (very mild; the vet said I caught it way earlier than most owners do). She was given a round of antibiotics, and that was that. I figured okay, she'll take these and be back to normal.
No such luck. I've wiped every square nanometer of the places she urinates with vinegar multiple times - she goes right back again later. I added a second litterbox thinking that maybe she now had some kind of fear of her old one since she hurt while using it before - but she's been completely ignoring the new litterbox, and has been using the old one to defecate the entire time without fail. She's even urinated in the old one twice - but only twice in the last 2-3 weeks.
I can't watch her all the time; if I see her starting to pace around where she usually urinates and put her in front of the litter box (either one), she gives me the evil eye and leaves to take a nap, then pees on the floor later when I'm not around or actively watching her. Her issue isn't the litter - I've been using this litter (Feline Pine pellets) for a year and she still defecates in it with no issue. There has been no new stress whatsoever - no diet change, no notable increase or decrease in the amount of time I'm home. No new pets in the house, new furniture, new anything, and nothing removed either.
I have no idea what to do at this point. This issue needs to be fixed, and soon. It's disgusting, it's damaging my apartment, and since she sometimes steps in it as she's leaving the scene it gets tracked everywhere, which is not remotely healthy. Please, tell me what else I can do.