Rage Against Suburban Zombie-ism
Saturday, January 12, 2013

I hate Feline Pine, Feline Fresh,
Swheat Scoop, World's Best Worst 
Cat Litter...

N.B.:  This post is intended for cat owners who have problems with inappropriate urination, and therefore, may be a bit too intense for the casual reader.

The Problem
Almost 2 years ago, I started finding cat pee in places like beds, hallway carpets, and almost everywhere except for the litter box.  At the time, I didn't know who the culprit was, but after some investigation, I discovered that it was my Torti Persian, Stella.  :( I never suspected her 'cause at that point, I had had her for 2 years without incident.

Shortly after I discovered that it was Stella, I brought her to the vet, quite a few times within a 6-8 month period, spending quite a bit of money.  Included in the vet visits was costly urinalysis, anti-depression/anxiety meds, overnight stays, etc.

The multiple urinalysis tests yielded normal results, the anti-depressants just knocked Stella out, (so I guess that kinda addressed the sitch...temporarily), and the overnight stays just added to my already mounting vet bills.

Stuff I Tried
On top of the vet visits, I tried stuff like Comfort Zone (by Feliway, a $50 plug-in that releases an "ordourless" pheromone which is supposed to put cats at ease), numerous stain removers for my carpet, switching the type of cat litter, and I even went as far as to purchase a ShopVac to try and "catch up" with the stains that I was finding.

Aside from the cost and time spent, I tried various methods of reward/punishment and anguished over trying to get into my cat's brain!  What's wrong with you?  Why can't you just pee in the FRESH litter box??  Why are you doing this now when you were fine for 2 years?  And, are you stupid??!! were just a few questions that cycled through my mind...  

The Reason
One day, while cleaning out the litter box, the reason behind Stella peeing everywhere suddenly occurred to me:  It WAS the litter after all.

When I initially started going to the vet for this problem, the very first question that he asked me was, "Have you changed her litter recently?" in which my answer was, "No".  (I was using a pine-based litter, either Feline Fresh or Feline Pine at the time.)  HOWEVER, upon my recent clean-ups, I had noticed more and more dust not only on my hands, but also on the sides of the litter box, Stella's face (especially her nose), and general vicinity of where the box was located.  In addition, I had noticed that Stella would sneeze more.

So although I didn't change the litter, the formulation must've changed to trigger this problem.

The Remedy
To put an end to this stressful situation, I turned to the internet for answers, and I came across Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Clumping Litter.  I had read promising reviews for this magic litter with secret "herbs" that would make my cat to fall in love with her litter again!  It wasn't long before I was able to track down my last hope at PetSmart:  A 20lb bag is approx. $16 with a 40lb bag costing just over $30!

(On the back of the bag of Cat Attract, results claim to be Money-Back Guaranteed and that was good enough for me!  At this point, I was willing to try just about anything 'cept for going back to the vet which was not only the most expensive of the options, but utterly useless imho.  :( )

Instantly, the Cat Attract worked its magic, BUT...it started working a bit too well to the point where I was burning through a 40lb bag, and $30+, every month/other month for 2 cats.  To give you an idea, I was cleaning 2 litter boxes, twice a day, and there'd be 3-4 clumps of pee, and a pile of pooh per box each time!

Since my cats never went this frequently, I really think that Cat Attract MADE them go more.

The New Problem
I had to think of a way to wean my cats off this expensive toilet paper without Stella startin' up with her inappropriate urination again!

A few days ago, I decided to buy Dr. Elsey's Litter Attractant, basically the $16 bottle of "magical herbs" and mix it with my remaining bag of Swheat Scoop (wheat-based).  Stella did try it, poohing as usual, but rushing in/out for a pee or 2, but I could tell she wasn't falling for my thrifty solution!  :(

(On the back of the bottle of Litter Attractant, it does state to use only with Dr. Elsey's brand, Precious Cat litter, but I dismissed this as marketing for suckers.)

After a day or two with an untouched litter comprised of my mix of Litter Attractant + Swheat Scoop, Stella finally caved and pissed on the carpet.

The New Solution
I guess I'm a sucker 'cause I ended up buying Precious Cat.  The 40lb bag was approx. $17, but you know what?  After mixing in the Litter Attractant, it WORKED.  :)  So I'll find a more permanent solution after both litter + herbs are done!

Take Away
-  the first question you should ask yourself, after discovering an inappropriate urination problem is not only, did this start as a result of changing the litter recently?, but when did this problem start, has the litter itself changed, become dustier? etc.
-  due to their pushed in noses, Persian cats may be more sensitive to dusty litters
-  vets may be experts ON PAPER, but when it comes to your pet, YOU are the expert!  Follow your instincts
-  if your cat doesn't like the litter, you'll know (more or less) immediately
-  inappropriate urination is not only your cat's last resort, but it's their way of telling you something whether it's they're sick, mad at you, or you've taken away their toilet paper &/or they don't like it!!!
-  inappropriate urination is the #1 reason why cats are abandoned/given away/brought to the shelter  :(


posted by Stephania at 8:37 pm
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