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The Phantom Pisser

We have three cats. While I agree, that makes for a phenomenal amount of cat piss, if you keep things clean and use appropriate litter, your house should not smell of cat piss. It just shouldn't. If it does, then either you're not cleaning/changing your litter often enough, or you've got yourself a phantom pisser.

Cats piss outside the litter box for a variety of reasons. It's their way of telling you that there's a problem. It could be health, it could be that you haven't cleaned the litter to their liking, it could be that they've seen another cat and are marking their territory, or it could just be that they're stressed in some way i.e. you changed the cat food/litter, brought home a new baby, did renovations in the basement, etc.

Ah yes. You've noticed from my examples that I may have a shitload of reasons to have a stressed cat.

So we begin the journey to discover the mystery of the phantom pisser, because you guessed it, I've got one.

Problem - which cat is it?
Clue 1: It has to be a downstairs cat, because the piss is in the basement. That rules out Kitty.
Clue 2: Jason's mom caught Tigger in the act. That includes Tigger but doesn't rule out Ziggy. But let's just assume that Tigger is the only culprit.

Why is Tigger pissing in the basement on my new carpet?
Potential Problems
1) We moved the litter box.
2) We got new litter.
3) We got her new food.
4) We did noisy renovations in the basement, including putting in carpet over the concrete.
5) The neighbourhood cat keeps stopping outside the window to sass her.
6) Alex chases her.
7) Stephen tries to grab her tail.
8) Kitty hates her.
9) She's pissing on a spot that already smells like cat piss because she thinks it's a litter box due to the strong odour.
10) She's sick.

Easiest one to rule out is illness. Off she goes to the vet. $380, several blood tests and urinalysis later, Tigger is sent home with her anal glands expressed (they were full) but an otherwise clean bill of health.

Could it be the anal glands? Maybe.

Next up - sopping up the piss on my new carpet, which has apparently been daily pissed on (unbeknownst to us) since it was put in back in July. That's a lot of fucking piss.

After three days, three different cleaning products, black light, my hand steamer, 6 gallons of water, wet/dry shop vac, and finally an industrial super steamer vac, Jason got the brilliant idea to pull the carpet up and see what he could see from the bottom. Because liquid absorbs/soaks in downwards in a pyramid shaped form, the area on the bottom is much much wider than the affected area on top. Now that we can see the extent of the damage, perhaps we can treat the entire affected area and maybe get rid of the smell.

It's been three days since Tigger's had her anal glands expressed, and we haven't found any new piss spots. We also started cleaning up the affected area three days ago, so she might just be waiting for activity there to calm down and for her favourite pissing corner to dry up before she resumes her regularly scheduled pissing. I guess all we can do is wait and see.

I just want my house to stop smelling of amonia, and I'd like to not have to deal with any extra messes. I'd also like to stop spending what little money I have on vet bills.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
Been there, done that. Quite possibly the most frustrating thing I've gone through (but then, I don't have kids).

Our solution: permanently remove as much carpeting from the house as possible. Downstairs is now tile, upstairs is now hardwood. Only the bedrooms have carpet. The problem cat (Jasmine) doesn't seem to like to pee on hard surfaces, so that seems to be taken care of.

Now, she's decided to poop only in the bedrooms or bathrooms. Sigh. Less of a problem to clean up, but still nasty. We're trying a change of diet to see if it's constipation. So far, little change. So most of the rooms remain closed up for now.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), she's 17, so there's little we can really hope to do on changing behavior. I'm convinced she's going to live another 10 years just to spite me.

Of course, the addition of kitty #3 isn't helping anything either (you did know a stray kitty adopted us, yes? I really must post pictures - Phaedra gonna kill me if I don't.)
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't kill you, I'd just whine and bitch and if that didn't work I'd have to hunt you and kitty down and take my own damn peectures. :F
Oct. 7th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
I can so relate to this problem.
Tig hasn't pissed on anything in ages except for stuff that falls behind my bed then both him and Nancy's kitty Baily piss soak it before I've noticed whateveritis has fallen back there.

This is a huge problem at work as well because a lot of the kitties there are there because they are pisspots (which we don't adopt out btw).
At home I try to pacify the Tig by spoiling him rotten, at work if I find myself cleaning the same spots over and over I usually give up and just put a litter box in the new spot they have chosen.

I am truly pussy whipped.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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