Cat pee!!!!!

grrr4200(z3 MI)November 2, 2012

So i caught my cat peeing in my ficus tree today. I keep a pretty neat house and i did not smell any funk until i saw her do it and i took a big wiff.... Yuck.

This happened before (about 3 years ago) when i had bare dirt in my large floor plants. I (at that time) took the plants outside. Hosed off all the dirt and roots and re potted them with fresh soil and then added pebbles and rocks to detour the cat, thinking 'if she can't move the stones she wont pee'. Up until now that has worked. I found 3 total plants that the cat has peed into.

It is WAY to cold now to do what i did 3 years ago. So i did my best. i threw the rocks and pebbles away and dug out as much dirt as i could. (could no longer smell the cat pee) and then replaced the dirt with fresh, and heavier rocks and pebbles.

What else can i do to stop this?

It makes me feel dirty that this cat has decided to use my tree's as its litter box especially since the litter box is cleaned every day. I did bring the cat to the plants and say 'no' however, the cat is not a dog.

I also know that there is a possibility that she is 'marking her territory' in case of kitty apocalypse and our home gets overran with zombie terrors but I've had enough!

Also vet checked last week and no sickness like a UTI etc...

My question is... Have any of you had this happen with your cats? What did you do to stop them from doing it? I've heard of pine cones, putting spiney cactus in the pots as well, i've even heard of double sticky tape... Just trying to get some new ideas that aren't going to detract from my home... just keep the cat in her box!

Thanks for suggestions!

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Hi grrr,

Have there been any changes of any kind in the house? It could be as minor as rearranging a piece of furniture to something major like a new baby or pet. Have you recently changed the type of litter you use? Some cats are extremely sensitive to the slightest change in their "territory" and will show their displeasure by peeing where they aren't supposed to.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 2:25AM
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thank goodness none of my cats have done this yet...

I read on another forum recently, someone suggested sprinking cayenne pepper on the dirt of your houseplants that are attracting this behavior. Since pets normally sniff before they squat, this would be a good way to prevent them from going there.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Get a box of plastic forks and stick them in handle-first, with the tines sticking up just a bit. Put in enough so it's not easy for kitty to step in there without being poked by them. If kitty can't step in, there should be no going to the bathroom in the pot. The clearish ones would probably be less visible, you can break off most of the handles first if you don't want to poke the plant roots so much.

Also works to keep squirrels out of outside pots.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Cats don't like some material rubbing against their fur.
You might try a simple way of doing that. Scrunch up some aluminum foil and place it strategically in the pot so that kitty has to make contact in order to try her brand of watering.
If she's annoyed, she wont go back to it.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Hi Grrr...Does your Ficus have one trunk or multi?

Did you move the liter box to a different location or change liter brands?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 12:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I agree with the suggestion of putting something in the pot to deter the cat. I've heard about people using prickly pine cones or better yet.....Sweetgum pods. Do you know what they are? Ouchie!
I'm not sure that foil balls would work for my cat....there's about hundred or so all over the house now, under the sofa, all of the chairs, the fridge, etc. :-)

I've also heard of the plastic fork trick. That sounds pretty good. There are spray repellents designed to prevent this kind of behavior. Since your cat seems to attempting to stage a take-over of your potting soil, I'd be tempted to use pine cones (or whatever) AND the repellent.

Personally, I'd never let my cat come into contact with cayenne pepper. What if it gets the pepper on its paws?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Oh yeah, I forgot to add my own doubt to the cayenne idea. How would you feel if you got a snoot full of hot pepper? I wouldn't do this to a cat and I don't even like them.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:40AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

My kitty like aluminum foil balls lol. I have heard of cayenne pepper but im afraid of what it would do if she got it in her eye. Same litter box space, same litter. Really haven't changed anything (thats what i added the kitty apocalypse bit) because there could be another cat thats hanging around outside and she is marking her territory... I think im going with the clear plastic fork idea... that'll give her a scream when she squats!

Al, This was 2 single trunked ficus and 1 single trunk hibiscus.

I should also add This cat is an indoor cat, NEVER has she been outside in her entire life.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:14PM
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You mean, It was Toni that asked you about the trunk.:-)

I used stones on mine. They looked good and my cat didn't even want to bother moving those.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 6:51PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I've been told aluminum foil works, try covering the soil with a sheet of aluminum rather than balls, apparently they don't like the feel of it on their feet.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 7:29PM
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When a cat starts going out of her normal box it could be a sign of illness, usually a bladder infection or bladder stones/crystals.

That is what happened to my cat. The first time she started going in potted plants, I thought she was just being naughty. Somehow things resolved, but 2 years later it happened again and didn't stop. Took her to the vet, she had bladder stones and crystals. Her condition became chronic and turned into cystitis. She was on and off antibiotics (even though in her case it wasn't an infection) it was the only thing that gave her relief.

Anyway, lots of research and many months later, she is doing fine, but has lots of scar tissue in her urethra from the crystals.

The final thing that worked for her was a total change of diet. Raw food was the thing that really healed her. She now eats Weruva and Wellness brand wet catfood and Professional (brand name) dry (only as a snack), and of course raw ground rabbit, which we are lucky enough to get locally.

Good luck with your cat.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:23AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Bitter apple is a spray sold expressly to deter pets from certain places. It's pet safe & I believe sold in pet shops. I haven't tried it myself but hear it works OK.

Pls, don't do the cayenne pepper, forget about it on the cat's paws, what about when they get it in their eyes, they'll scratch like mad & likely need a trip to the vet at least, so bad idea!

If it were me, I'd try the tin foil sheets (supposedly, cats don't like the feel of it), the double stick tape (the cat just needs to be stuck once, they won't try it again) or the forked sticking up (good one)!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:24PM
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