Kitty Likes To Stink...They Think
October 12, 2006 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Why does my cube-mate's cat have hygiene issues?

My cube-mate asked me about this, as I am the long-time human slave of four cats, and he and his wife have recently adopted a kitty. They have no other pets, and spend a lot of quality time with her. I had no answer for him, so I call on you, hive mind!

Lately, they’ve noticed that she smells like cat pee. A lot. Obviously, this makes it hard to cuddle and play with her.

They clean the litter box once a day, and she’s not dropping waste near the opening, or marking anywhere else in the house (female cats can sometimes mark, right?), and there are no other obvious reasons for her to smell this bad.

Is she possibly just hitting herself with her own pee? Or even marking herself for some reason? Has anyone ever heard of a similar situation? Any help at all would be appreciated.
posted by weirdoactor to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
 
She may be stepping in it. If they use clumping litter, this will lead to telltale globs of dried litter between her pads.

Otherwise, she may have a UTI, crystals, or other ailment that's causing her to dribble or that makes her urine smell stronger than usual, in which case a vet should examine her.
posted by magicbus at 3:58 PM on October 12, 2006


The only time my cat started smelling like pee was when she had crystals in her urine. I didn't figure it out until I saw blood in the litterbox and took her to the vet. I wish I had realized sooner. She's ok, but on prescription low PH food now. They may want to get the cat checked out, to be safe.
posted by jdl at 4:42 PM on October 12, 2006


Cats are normally pretty fastidious about cleaning. Could be an infection (where she can't go properly, or looses some bladder control) , or some sort of problem that means the cat isn't groooming properly. I'd suggest that your cubemate take the cat to the vet to get checked out.
posted by baggers at 5:01 PM on October 12, 2006


This is a long shot since the cat is so young, but they might want to have her checked for diabetes or a mouth or digestive issue. Or her ears. The smell might not be coming from the hind quarters, in any case.

I'd think they'd notice if her legs or belly were wet, so she's likely not peeing on herself. If they haven't changed litter brands, it can't hurt to try, maybe get some multi-cat formula that ought to absorb faster/harder, and maybe get a little mat of astroturf or something that will knock any stuck litter off her feet when she gets out.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:09 PM on October 12, 2006


It is very likely that this is a medical issue of some kind or another (as Lyn Never implies, don't stop at the bladder). At very least, a medical cause should be ruled out before any other steps are taken, there is no point in trying to treat this as anything other than a medical issue until it is proven not to be a medical issue. (could I say "medical issue" any more?)
posted by biscotti at 8:36 PM on October 12, 2006


The only time my cat started smelling like pee was when she had crystals in her urine. I didn't figure it out until I saw blood in the litterbox and took her to the vet. I wish I had realized sooner.

Yup one of my cats had crystals in her urine too, definitely one of those things to get diagnosed either way asap.
posted by chrissyboy at 8:46 PM on October 12, 2006


For any change in urinating behaviour, go to the vet first. Consider the other suggestions from Ask Metafilter only after the vet can't find anything wrong.
posted by winston at 9:08 PM on October 12, 2006


He took the cat to the vet at lunch; I'll report back on what happens. Thanks, all!
posted by weirdoactor at 11:29 AM on October 13, 2006


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