Alternative title: Because coming home to a house that smells like cat-piss is enough to make anyone lie face down on the floor in protest … Though be sure to dab the area with paper towel first as a face full of piss just makes the whole thing so much worse.
As I type this Millie-Mischief is undergoing re-litter training and yes, this is as fun as it sounds. You can’t turn your back for a second because as soon as you do your lovely cream carpet becomes a funny shade of yellow and you end up with 30 minutes of scrubbing the floor with disinfectant in your (not too distant) future. All the while said cat watches from a worktop with a look on her face that just screams “oh yeah bitch, I’m totally not using that plastic piece of crap full of sand!”
Oh aye … I love paying a mortgage for a cat to have an expensive toilet.
For those of you who haven’t met Millie; she’s a beautiful, talkative, lovable, playful little Snow Bengal who I love to bits (even if she does drive me round the twist at times) … She is also prone to bouts of inappropriate urination. Pissing on carpets, on worktops, on me! We’re not talking marking, we’re talking full on emptying of the bladder.
Now, before anyone shrieks “oh hey Ruebi, you moved house a few months ago, that’s totally the cause of it all” … I assure you it isn’t. Her toileting habits have been hit and miss (literally) since she was a kitten, it’s only become my problem recently what with moving in with M (her kitty step-dad).
Which leads me to think that she hasn’t been properly litter trained and after a bout of Cystitis as a kitten she came to view the world as her toilet in much the same way humans view it as their oyster … I suspect she was also taken away from her mother a bit too soon and so didn’t have the necessary interaction to know that the litter tray is actually her friend. That said … She does leave us little parcels of litter encrusted turds in the tray so she must have some vague recollection of a time when she used it.
But in the interests of informed decisions Millie has been taken to the Vets for a check up to rule out any medical reasons (such as FIC) for the behaviour, which (as I mentioned on Twitter) was very much like opening and shaking our wallets over a repeatedly flushing toilet. After spending much of the consultation talking to the back of the Vet’s head as she tapped at her computer we were ushered out of the door with a bag of non-absorbant litter with which to get a sample (after we demanded a urine test be conducted) and an “I’m telling you it’s all behavioural”.
Yep, a bag of litter to get a urine sample (both of which I’m sure are as elusive and expensive as rocking horse shit). For a cat that refuses to use the litter tray.
Needless to say that went down well. For all concerned.
Which leads me to this post … And the knowledge that I’m going to be re-litter training a very stubborn cat.
So yeah, if any of you lovely readers have experience with litter training kittens (or adult cats!) I would love it if you could leave me some advice.
PS – So far we are trying a synthetic feline pheromone in the form of a Feliway diffuser, adding small amounts of meat juices to her water (which being meat-free is proving interesting) in an attempt to get her to drink more water, a combination of dry food (over night) and wet food (at a specific time in the evening), unscented clumping litter (after trying 3 others that she wouldn’t even stand on), two litter trays in different rooms (both in locations she has pee’d before) and plenty of positive reinforcement.