Dealing with Cat Pee

Kitten and DixieThe truth is, there IS no dealing with cat pee. This is why I haven’t blogged in so long. I’ve been physically and emotionally drained by my attempts to deal with it.

The story:  I rescued Mia, otherwise known as Kitten (spoken in a very specific manner, as will be described a bit later), and brought her into our humble home after my dearest kitty, Nini, had to drift over the rainbow bridge last year. I happened to be in one of the stores that carries Opie & Dixie products -- Wags & Whiskers, a fabulous boutique in Walnut Creek that carries one of the most extensive variety of foods I’ve yet to find (the other being Sunset Pet Supply, another one of my stores, here in San Francisco).

What I didn’t know was that Wags ‘n Whiskers has daily kitty adoptions. There were little pipsqueaks in cages, and then... one, ADORABLE one with the raccoon eyes of a Snowshoe, Siamese-type coloring and the swagger of a lioness rather than a cat. She was strolling around the store like she owned the place, pushing right through people and dogs of all shapes, colors and sizes.  I thought she was the store mascot. Nope -- she was up for adoption, and had been there for over a month -- the longest one there -- because everyone wants itty bitty kittens, and this girl was about a year old. I swept her up right then and there, threw her in a carrying case, and home she came. I think she’s either all Snowshoe or part Snowshoe/part Siamese.

When we got home, she hopped out of the case and pushed her way right through Opal and Dixie who eagerly rushed towards her. Opal, Dixie and Kitten instantly became the most loving of siblings. Watching them play is more of a hoot than any comedy I’ve ever watched, and watching them sleep together makes for hours of staring (mine).

Kitten had SUCH issues in the beginning. Despite how much I know about cat behavior – and I do know quite a bit -- I was unable to resolve her behavioral problems and had to call in a bonafide feline behaviorist. Yes, it's true! An actual kitty shrink! The behaviorist analyzed her and submitted to me a 6-page report with instructions and suggestions. I did as told, and lo-and-behold, Miss Kitten adjusted to her new home and molded herself into a very well-behaved little girl.

Kitten Tree Cave

But I digress. Kitten has suddenly decided to turn my home-office and inventory storage room into one, big toilet bowl. I think I made the mistake one day of not being able to find Cat Attract, her favorite cat litter, and substituting it with World’s Best, which was Nini’s favorite. Bad move, I think. I believe that the switch was simply unacceptable to her, as this is when the nightmare began. By the time I figured it out and replaced the box with Cat Attract, it was too late. The habit had become ingrained.

I’ve tried everything under the sun to remove that nasty stink. I’ve done the vinegar/water/baking soda/blah-blah-blah routine. I’ve tried Nature’s Miracle (it’s never worked for me, so I don’t know what I was thinking). I’ve scrubbed and scrubbed with Mr. Whatever’s Anti-Ickipoo. I’ve tried Zero Odor. Trust me, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. Meanwhile, to make things worse, I’ve had to cover the whole carpet with Depends (cheaper than puppy pads) rather than allow it to air dry because the one time it wasn’t covered, I caught her peeing on the carpet again, right behind my back. So there it is. Cat pee, covered with puppy pads. Lovely. I tried placing a new litterbox on the puppy pads, and on occasion she’ll pee in the box, on other occasions, she’ll pee on the puppy pads. I’m probably reinforcing the behavior, but trust me – I really don’t have a choice.

She’s in perfect health, by the way. My first line of action was to bring her to the vet as soon she began peeing outside of the box, but I quickly learned that it’s a behavioral issue. I now have to have that entire room re-floored. Carpet out, floor in.

Kitten is adorable, although I don’t think I’ve ever, ever called her Kitten. I call her KEEEETTEN or KeeTEEEENG! And it needs to be SCREECHED at the top of one's lungs, never spoken or whispered. She loves it. She comes running and starts purring, and all is forgiven.