Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Cat Pee Solution

A while ago, we were having a the sort of problem I am reluctant to share with you. This is because even though it's the sort of thing many Ottawa bloggers love to report, it could be embarrassing to one or two feline members of my household. However, I am going to blog about it because:

  • The potentially embarrassing activity has stopped;
  • I may be anthropomorphising, for all I know the cats were actually proud of their behaviour; and
  • The solution I found may benefit you.

Before Christmas, at least one of the cats started peeing on the carpet in the hallway outside our bedroom door. Drexl was caught doing it twice, but that doesn't mean Magi was innocent.

In addition to aggressive cleaning of the wet carpet, we tried a series of measures to get the cats to restrict themselves to the litter box. The most fun of these methods was placing the Hallowe'en mat over the spot. The Hallowe'en mat is a little plastic mat that is wired to a box with batteries and a speaker. When a person or cat steps on the mat, horrifying screams come out of the box. For a couple of days we'd hear screams and then see a cat run for the staircase. But then the wet spot moved to a nearby location.

This is the same thing that happened when we covered the spot with a garbage bag or applied cat repellent spray. The spot just moved somewhere else.

Late in January, I brought some photocopy paper boxes home from work. Within minutes of putting them down on the floor, Drexl had hopped into one and reminded me that she loves being in boxes. This gave me an idea.

I took one of the boxes upstairs. I put the bottom of the box on the primary pee-spot and the lid on the secondary pee-spot.

There has not been an incident anywhere in the house since and it has been at least six weeks (even though the box and the lid have been replaced with what I am told are more aesthetically pleasing alternatives).

My theory is it's about feeling safe and not messing up the place where you sleep.

Two notes:

  • A friend told her cat's veterinarian about our situation and the vet suggested that Drexl go on drugs. This has made me skeptical of veterinarians.
  • If you need to borrow a small steam cleaner for carpets, we have one that we haven't used since January.


Chelle said...

I was kind of expecting this to involve binder rings somehow. ;)

Tom said...

That sucks. It's hard when a loved family member, well, starts peeing on the carpet. Glad you found a partial solution.

zoom said...

That's such a low-tech solution, and it makes perfect sense. (Although I'm not entirely sure why the pee spot just doesn't move again...)

Duncan hasn't peed on anybody or anything for about a year now. Our solution was to give him everything he wanted - treats, tuna, love, affection, catnip, money, the car keys, everything - and beg him not to do it anymore.

David Scrimshaw said...

Chelle, Ouch!

Tom, as far as we're concerned we have a full solution.

Zoom, I'm afraid to say that the cats around here also get everything they want.

liz said...

cats should never have to be embarassed.