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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!  I know a lot of us here have cats, and I'm hoping you can help me.  My fiance (S), and I have a cat who keeps relieving herself on the landing in our house, and we've already replaced the carpet on the landing once.  We put a strip of carpet over the carpet on the landing, hoping it would deter her from going on the landing, but she's started relieving herself on that strip of carpet instead of the actual carpet, and it's gone through to the actual carpet.

We're planning to replace the carpet and carpet pad (hopefully not the wood underneath) on the landing soon but want to make sure she doesn't continue to relieve herself on the landing.  We're actually dog people who inherited the cat from S's brother (he was S's roommate for a year or so and wanted to leave the cat with him when he moved out), and don't know how to remedy this problem.  We're trying to sell the house, which is gorgeous and in perfect condition except for this issue with the cat on the landing.

I love the cat and don't want to get rid of her, but I know this is keeping us from selling the house.  Any suggestions on how to stop her from relieving herself on the landing would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
Megan
 

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First, have her checked for any health problems. If everything checks out at the vet, then I would try this particcular cat litter.
It's more expensive than most but works really well for cats who go outside the litter box.

I started using it when my cat would crawl UNDER the covers of my bed and pee.
Cat attract- found here http://www.preciouscat.com/
 

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It sounds like the smell is in the wood and the cat is just doing what cats must do.  We had this problem with our dog when we moved into a new place.  He had never behaved this way before.  We figured the previous owner's dog had left puddles that had soaked into the wood.  We humans could not smell them but our dog HAD to mark his territory.

We solved the problem by confining him to the kitchen where there were tile floors.  He did not misbehave in the Kitchen.

It is difficult to confine a cat but if you figure out how to do this it should do the trick.  Maybe someone can cat sit until the sale is complete?
 

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You need to remove all traces of odor from the spot to prevent the cat from reusing. If you have already replaced the carpet, the wood beneath it probably has traces of odor. You need to try to get all the odor out using a product like Natures Miracle and then use a repellent in the place where the cat went to prevent reuse. I would also cover it with something like aluminum foil to prevent the cat from using it. Cats do not like foil. Try using double-sided tape to hold it in place.

Does the cat use the litter box at all?

The suggestion about the vet is also good since cats will pee inappropriately when they have an infection.

Good luck,
EllenR
 

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First, a vet check. Many times inappropriate elimination in cats is due to a physical problem.

Then there are a number of things you can try. First is to make sure the area is thoroughly clean. If you don't entirely pull up the carpet again and check the flooring underneath, at least use an enzymatic pet stain/odor remover on the area. I would saturate it multiple times, allowing it to completely air dry in between applications.

Then you can try feeding kitty there, if possible. Cats normally don't like to eliminate near their eating area.

The Cat Attract litter is a good idea, as is buying new litterbox(es) and adding one or two more. The general rule is one box per cat plus one more, but more is always better IMO.

You can try Feliway, a pheromone spray that helps many cats with anxiety/stress-related marking.

And confinement for several weeks in a small room can help a cat relearn good litterbox habits.

Good luck, and thank you for trying to work through this. It's something that makes too many cat owners give up on a cat right away.

I'd personally try everything else possible before covering the area with anything to try to prevent the cat from going in that spot. Covering the area with something aversive could work, but it could also make kitty decide to go in another area (or multiple other areas).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone.  I can't imagine getting rid of the cat -- I must have a little of my aunt's Dr. Dolittle streak in me.  Belle is really sweet and this is the only issue we have with her.

We'll take her to the vet and see if she's alright.  I'm sure it's time for a checkup, anyway.  I also want to get her a new litterbox and different litter.  She's due for a new litterbox, and my fiance recently bought different litter for her, and I think it's too rough for her declawed paws (she was declawed years ago, and the litter she had before wasn't as rough).

It would be tough for us to confine her to a small room, as we're trying to sell his house, and people drop by all the time for showings.  The second they opened the door, she'd be out of the room.

We'll also see what we can do to get rid of the odor in the wood, and I'd love to try aluminum foil in that area.  I think she would hate it.

Thanks again everyone.  Like I said, we're dog people (but don't have a dog right now), so these crazy cat issues are totally new to us!
 

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MeganW said:
Like I said, we're dog people (but don't have a dog right now), so these crazy cat issues are totally new to us!
Crazy cat is redundant, but still would not get rid of our three. ;)
 

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When my cat peed in my car and soaked through the entire seat, we tried this stuff called "Kids & Pets" (about $5 a bottle at Walmart) and poured the entire bottle on the seat...worked like a charm. When we moved into a rental house a year later and the owners' pets had peed in one of the bedrooms (apparently frequently) we tried the same thing, and it worked well enough to remove the smell and keep our cats from peeing in there (though we used two bottles on that one, just to be sure it soaked through to the wood.)
 

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whatever cleaner you use doesn't matter, as long as it is one of those enzyme types.  Otherwise the smell will never come out.  We adopted a stray who we found out doesn't like enclosed litterboxes, when he pee'd on the couch.  Luckily, we have one of those Bissell home carpet cleaners with an upholstery attachment (which are AWESOME btw).  After a thorough cleaning with an enzyme cleaner there was zero smell and zero relapses. 

Good luck!
 

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I've done the aluminum foil route......the cat moved to another spot. ::)

When you go to replace the carpet, you not only want to clean the area thoroughly, you'll need to let it dry and then seal it. I use Kilz Oil based primer--NOT the latex kind. Believe it or not, the smell can seep through latex over time! This stuff is truly vile, and you'll need lots of ventilation, but if you've done your cleaning right & allowed it to dry completely, when the Kilz dries you'll have absolutely no odor left.

However......depending on the cat, the exact spot she's using & how long she's been doing this, there may be urine in your drywall as well! Remove the baseboards; often there's little to no paint under there and you may be able to spot old stains. If that's the case, your best bet is to remove and patch the drywall. You can try the clean & seal routine, but soaking drywall thoroughly with chemicals can damage the drywall even further.

Can you tell I've been dealing with this literally for years? :p

I actually disagree with the "all the enzymatic stuff will work" philosophy--I've found a number of the most popular ones have little to no effect when you're dealing with a large scale behavioral issue that's developed over time. My favorite products....and I've tried all of them, believe me.....are Zero Odor & Pure Ayre. Both are most readily available online. We're about to do the full routine with Pure Ayre as my feline kidney patient & my eldest have passed on--the current nuisance has no health issues, it's just a bad habit with her leftover from two years of dealing with her sick older brothers. Pure Ayre is astonishing stuff, not cheap, but it works surprisingly well. Just bought the fogger/gallon combo to try for the drywall issue after reading this article: http://www.pureayre.com/pet-amazing.htm Other really icky usage stories can be found here: http://www.pureayre.com/resources.htm (only for the strong of stomach!)

And no, I don't work for them & don't know them personally; I stumbled across their product after yet another exhaustive search on the issue. Some Petco's keep it in stock; mine stopped recently & I went to ordering online--but if you can find a local supplier, it's significantly less expensive.

A brand spanking new uncovered litterbox and fresh new litter are always the first line of attack after you clean up the previously used area. Amazon sells a spray that's another huge blessing: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000PKPFGE/ref=pd_luc_mri?_encoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance. It's a non stick, completely non toxic spray that you use on the sides & floor of the box prior to filling with new litter. This makes the box a thousand times easier to clean if you have cats who like to use the edges. Some people use regular nonstick cooking sprays--just be warned that these can go rancid pretty easily and cats can smell that before we do, causing them to again avoid the box. I've also switched over to Nature's Miracle Litter, which is pine & corn based, as I recall--very soft on the paws, doesn't track quite as much as clay clumping litters, and doesn't produce the same level of dust. One thing to note though is that some cats will fixate on one type of litter & don't tolerate even gradual changes well.

There's a massive amount of behavioral info online on this subject, and your vet should also have recommendations.

GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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I have multiple cats and here's my 2 cents.....

Have you tried temporarily putting a cat box IN that particular area.  It may be in the way, or ugly to look at, but it would be using the box instead of the carpet.....and then when he/she gets used to using it again, you can move the box back to it's original spot.  Cats really do prefer to dig in the gravel...
 

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Have used the KILZ oil and it works great.  You'll never know there was a problem.  How to fix the cat?  Vet is first choice, they should have some ideas as long as your cat is healthy.

Good luck!
 
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