Understanding the Incontinent Tabby

Understanding the Incontinent Tabby

After a number of years on undistinguished toileting a four-year old male mouser my family owned, went “litter box rogue”! That is to say he completely gave up the use of a litter box when he needed to urinate. Was he incontinent? This was not the case of a little indiscreet spraying due to hormonal urges. He had long ago been relieved of that burden. This was without a doubt a full bladder elimination event involving healthy amounts of liquid.

Various locations in my home became his target including furniture, clothing, and certain areas of carpet.

We were mystified as to what might have precipitated this unfortunate alteration in behavior. We suspected it might have something to do with a recent change in furniture involving the replacement of a few chairs and a couch. We also considered that there might be some sort of issue with other cats of the house, although they had lived together for over a year, with no issues prior to these recent events.

No matter the cause, the result was a home that smelled distinctly of “Cat”! While I was blissfully unable to smell the scent (due to a medical issue) my wife was acutely aware of the fragrance and she attacked it with vigor. After visiting an ASPCA website that offered cleaning ideas and suggestions my wife and I headed to our local “PetSmart” to purchase supplies.

We compared various stain cleaners and deodorizers containing chamomile fragrances and sustained release pheromones. We investigated collars and diffusers that were guaranteed to work (after continuous application of the product over a number of months). We bought additional baskets along with new litter galore. Hundreds of dollars later we came home and waited.

At first it seemed to work. However late that night, my wife said. “I smell cat pee!” and the scent hit the fan. We re-read manuals and internet articles searching for a clue. Finally in a “Hail Mary” effort we called our vet to have our cat checked for the possibility of an infection.

After a complete health examination, our cat was declared fit and sound. Unfortunately that did not solve our problem. Our vet talked with us discussing possible strategies, up to and including removal of the cat. Obviously we cared for the cat, but this behavior could not continue.

As a last ditch suggestion our vet asked us what type of litter boxes we had. After telling him about the covered cat kitty litter boxes we owned, he suggested that our cat may be balking at using a covered box. He told us that some cats need extra room while doing their duty.

We went home and removed the caps and within moments our cat jumped into the box and used the litter. It was as if trumpets blared and the river parted signaling a new day in our home. Weeks later we remain urine and odor free.

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A college graduate with a firm grip on what he didn’t want to do; Clarence has managed electronic stores, restaurants, and security departments. In 1989, he joined his brother and established one of the first groups of independent insurance agent clusters. From that point on, Clarence has not done anything he considers work.

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