Ragdoll Cat Behaviour Issues: Peeing Outside of the Litterbox

| February 6, 2013 | 7 Comments

Lulu and LotusMy Ragdoll Lulu was Ragdoll of the Month last January.

We have a slight behavioral problem happening in our house with Lulu at the moment. I was wondering if you could help me out by possibly posting this as a reader help question via the facebook page or giving me your own expertise on the matter. Any help at all would be appreciated.

I have given you as much information as possible and I do apologize in advance for this lengthy email. Up until 6 months ago I was living at home with my parents. I had a small unit/apartment out in the backyard while my parents lived in the main residence.

Lulu and Lotus

I brought Lulu home when she was around 3 months. Lulu, from the beginning, has always been a very gregarious, friendly and easy going cat. She has never bitten or scratched me even whilst I was bathing her, she always love to be around us, she is even taken to sleeping with the dog in his bed when he comes in of a evening for a few hours. She is active, eats well and is often purring and shows all of us in the house constant signs of affection. She has always been a clingy cat, if I left the room for a few minutes, she would cry out until I came back in.

Lulu and LotusShe, like all of cats we have owned, is an indoor cat. She adapted pretty quickly to life in my unit – which comprised of a large living area with bed and a separate bathroom with her food and water and large covered litter tray. She would spend most nights in with me and if I was working from home in the day, she would usually be in the room with me. When she wasn’t in with me, she would be in the house with my parents and their elderly cat Shany, our beloved cat who is sadly no longer with us. Shany was primarily my mother’s cat and didn’t take too well to an addition of a kitten into the household, but mainly kept to herself and there wasn’t too much of an issue there. When I was out of the house, Lulu would always be put in the main house with Shany and my father who is retired, so she was always around another animal or person. I would also take her into the main residence with me if I was spending time in there, I would never leave her alone in the unit as I didn’t want her to feel isolated in the small space. She had access to clean litter and food and water in the main residence (shared with Shany) and spent a lot of time in there and was very comfortable and enjoyed being in the house.

Lulu and LotusLulu was also quite familiar with the backyard and would know her way from the unit to the main entrance and I allowed her to often walk independently from one dwelling to another, although she was always supervised.

As mentioned previously, last June, I moved from Australia to the UK. Knowing the Lulu was in good hands (she is very fond of both my parents) I was confident she would be okay and would receive more than enough love and care. Of course, it broke my heart to leave her behind, and she is in my thoughts every day, but my mum keeps me updated with photos and videos every day which makes separation much easier.

Lulu and Lotus4About a week and a half after I arrived in the UK, Shany passed away. Of course my mum was very upset but Lulu helped her get through this difficult time. Within a week or two, my mother talked about getting another cat. Even though she felt it was quite soon after Shany leaving us, she thought it would be a good idea to get Lulu a friend. Lulu and Shany hadn’t been friends, due to the age difference, although that didn’t stop Lulu from trying! My mum soon came across a 3 year old Tonkinese female who needed to be re-homed due to a family moving. My mum felt like this cat would be a perfect addition to the family and soon Lotus was adopted by my parents. Lulu and Lotus where born only a year apart and soon became fast friends – everything seemed to be perfect. My mum would send me pictures and videos of the two of them playing together and one was not seen without the other.

Lulu A few weeks ago, my mum discovered a strange odor emitting from underneath the bed in her room. My mum always keeps he house very clean, so this was a surprise. She soon discovered a large spot of urine under the bed on the carpet. Since then, she has spotted Lulu several times, urinating in the same spot, even after she called a carpet cleaner in. Lulu seems to be urinating quite often in the bedroom, even in front of my mum. My mum has taken her to the vet and will be returning tomorrow to take a urine sample. My mum thinks she may be trying to mark her territory and according the carpet cleaner, the stain that Lulu has left has been there for quite awhile. My mum has now blocked off access to under the bed. Lulu never urinated in the house when I was living there and we may think it’s a combination of me moving away, an addition of a new pet into the household and the death of a former pet. Her behaviour is quite contradictory as she seems very happy and is very active.

LuluRe housing Lulu is definitely not an option as this is her forever home. My mum is strongly considering ripping up the carpet and putting in floorboards. She is currently trialling closing the cats into the laundry of a nighttime where they have access to their beds and litter trays and food. My mum did not want to isolate Lulu in the laundry so felt it would be best to put both cats in together. Before this, they slept on the bed of a nighttime with my parents. She is also closing off the bedrooms during the day – the rest of the house bar the three bedrooms have floorboards or tiles, so if Lulu urinates in any of these rooms, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Lulu and LotusWe don’t know when or if this problem is going to end, but we would like to find a solution or a way to work around it.

I am feeling very guilty as, I feel like I have partially created this situation for her. We are all very worried about Lulu. Any help at all would be fantastic. I appreciate this is a lengthy email and it wasn’t my intention to take up too much of your time, it’s just I know that if anybody will understand it would be you, as your share the same level of love an adoration for your beautiful cats as we do!

Thank you so much in advance.

Warm Regards,

Rebecca

Lulu and Lotus7

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I have suggested that Rebecca check out the following posts on Floppycats:

Cat Peeing Outside of the Litter Box

Cats Peeing Everywhere – The Redecorating Efforts of Caymus and Murphy Dean

But I also wanted to see if anyone had additional feedback for Rebecca and her mom!

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Category: Health Care, Ragdoll Cat Behavior

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

Comments (7)

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  1. Jobi Harris says:

    That’s a tough problem and I wish I had an answer – but I don’t. Hope you get some good advice to add to your already helpful blog.

  2. Geo says:

    Hmmm…such a tough problem! There are perhaps no easy answers here, but here are some thoughts: I wonder if Lulu was upset by the recurring changes in her living conditions…Is this a medical issue or a territorial one?..Vet should reveal that. If not medical, has your Mum tried Feliway or any Spirit/Flower Essences? In addition to cleaning or pulling up the soiled carpet under the bed, she can try putting aluminum foil OR a dish of food under there since cats don’t pee where they eat. I have heard that sometimes cats are made even more upset when they are shut out of rooms they used to enjoy inhabiting– sort of a catch 22. Other thing to try would be to have a consult with a reputable animal communicator to try to find the root cause of the issue. If you are so inclined, it could help for you to ‘talk’ to Lulu telepathically. Doesn’t matter how far away you are! Think of her in detail. Share your feelings with her and reassure her. Make sure your Mum is not constantly thinking about the problem– Lulu can pick up on that and follow suit. She should picture her using the litter box and feel as if she was in L’s cat body feeling the wonderful feeling of digging in the litter and relieving herself in the box. Sounds weird perhaps, but they are very sensitive to our thoughts. So sorry to hear of the problem. Hope things take a turn for the better and all will live happily and stress-free again soon!

  3. Con Cahill says:

    My mother and I have a Soral Abby called Rosie who has been with us for 8 years or so. During most of this time there have been urine marking issues, partly due to the presence of our Siamese, (who passed with kidney failure at christmas), and other stress. We tried leaving litter trays in the areas that she was spraying in, which had some success (at present 4 trays for 1 cat!). Most effective was putting the cats in different rooms at night so that they both had there own individual ‘territories’ as well as shared areas in the house. However the most useful tip I can give came from a vet: SURGICAL SPIRIT (diluted with water) will kill the active ingredient in the urine that makes the smell. Once a cat has ‘scented’ a place it will repeatedly go back to it to reenforce the message to other cats. With regard to the carpet it is probably best to ditch the really smelly bits and spray surgical spirit on to the floor under it. Once dry (or in a day or so), let the cat smell it. If ‘flemming’ takes place (where the cat ‘bares’ his/her teeth and gums in order to ‘taste’ the smell) then some scent is still there for the cat, and another go with spirit is needed. If no flemming occurs, (just sniffing) try a spray down with cat nip to change the association with the area. Feeding treats there can help as cats do not usually spray where they eat. Another thing to try is FELIWAY. Either in spray or diffuser form (www.feliway.com) will help reduce stress. Both of these are effective, but you will still need to find the root cause of the problem, and as you are not a cat, that is easier said than done! (I speak from lots of experience!). It should be noted that any aversion sprays only mask the urine smell. Unless you use surgical spirit first, the cat’s sensitive nose can still pick up the ‘message’ saying “this is my territory, keep off!” I am now being told by my owner (Rosie) that 0600hrs is time for food, so I wish you lots of luck.
    Con Cahill (Mr).

  4. Rachel Bache says:

    Hi
    I have the same problem with my sons ragdoll Jerry! He has moved out and we decided the best thing was for Jerry to stay with me as he loves the garden and adores my other cat. But unfortunatly when my son left home Jerry decided to pee by the front door, so i added more cat litter trays although he sometimes uses them he still pees by the front door. I must admit i am at the end of my teather with him and not sure what else to do.

  5. GeoValRo says:

    Rachel, Clean the area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner just for pet odors. The ones designed for cat pee are even better. You must remove the scent entirely. Then try placing a dish of food where he pees. They don’t usually pee by where they eat. Also, Have you put a litter box there? Something to try, at least for a while. Once he uses it for a while you can slowly move it away from the door. I know it’s hard to deal with but at least he’s not peeing on your furniture or bed, god forbid!

  6. teddy bear says:

    my ragdoll Teddy is peeing on my bed he doesn’t pee anywhere else I have bought new linen gone through bottles of natures miracle I am at a loss what to do he sleeps with me every night as I got him as a therapy cat

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