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My kitten keeps urinating on my bedding; please help!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Tmpl Knght, Sep 4, 2013.


  1. Tmpl Knght

    Tmpl Knght PetForums Newbie

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    I have a 3 months old male Savannah kitten and he keeps peeing on my bedding. He is currently living in my bedroom, which is where all his things are (his climbing frame, his beds, his food, and two litter trays - one enclosed and one open). I'm still at the stage before introducing him slowly to the rest of the house and to the two Newfoundlands. He knows where his trays are and he uses them, but he also uses my bedding. I currently have waterproof sheet down on the mattress and he doesn't wee on that, but as soon as I put down something like a throw, or a sleeping bag for me to sleep, then he does his best to urinate on it. Each time I see he is about to, I whisk him off and place him on his tray. Sometimes that works, but other times he will just jump out and start playing before making his way back to the bedding. There's only so long I can watch him before I start to fall asleep, which is when he succeeds.

    I have tried putting him in the tray after every meal (he just jumps out), I've tried putting him in the tray when he looks like he's going to go in the wrong place, I keep his tray clean, he's using the litter he was brought up on, he's healthy and active, confident and affectionate. He did have some did have some runny guts but I cleared that up with probiotics.

    How do I stop him urinating on my bedding? I only got him on the 28th August but I can't give him free reign until he stops this.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi and welcome to the forum.:) Sorry to hear of your problem. Unfortunately he is not going to stop this behaviour of his own accord, in fact what is likely to happen is that it will become a habit, unless you can resolve it soon.

    Firstly you need to make sure he does not have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or cystitis. It is common for cats/kittens with bladder problems to choose a soft surface to wee on.

    It is important you don't feed him any dry food at all, as dry food is known to be the cause of bladder and kidney problems. Cats/kittens who eat dry food are never properly hydrated as they are not instinctively equipped to drink enough water, having evolved to get their fluids within their food. When their urine is too concentrated from eating dry food it can cause discomfort or burning when they pee. So they choose a soft surface.....
    So without question it is vital to feed him a high protein meat diet, a good quality canned food, or better still a balanced raw diet.

    Then, all your bedding above the waterproof cover needs to be laundered to get rid of the smell of urine. And the waterproof cover needs wiping down with an enzymatic solution such as Urine Off to get rid of any smell. Even the slightest trace of urine smell to your cat will cause him to go back to your bed and pee there again and again.

    Then, review the type of litter you are using. Is it soft on little paws and easy to dig into? The cereal based ones are best. 2 trays are essential, but maybe put down an extra one, perhaps a large open one. How often do you empty the trays? he may be a very fastidious kitty who only likes a completely clean tray for his toilet. In the wild a cat would instinctively never toilet in the same place twice -- too much of an advertisement to its predators as well as being a hygiene issue. Domestic cats who go outdoors do not use the same spot over and over either, tho they may use the same area.

    Does your cat have enough privacy when he toilets? Are the trays placed well away from his food or water bowl? They need to be on the opposite side of the room.

    For now, until the problem is resolved I would put a waterproof cover on the top of the bed too. If it looks unsightly then put an old sheet on top of it. At least that way if he pees on the bed there is only a sheet to wash.
     
  3. Tmpl Knght

    Tmpl Knght PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, thanks for your reply. I will keep his main tray in its current location as he does use that during the day. I'll try moving the other one and his water. I've decided to stick with the current litter in his main tray and try another on in the secondary tray. I will double check my cleaning solution, although he is going on previously unsoiled bedding. The problem with putting another waterproof layer on it is that if I put that over me then I will cook to death in my sleep, and the fact that he is essentially peeing on me some of the time doesn't deter him. I took him to the vet because of his runny guts and told the vet about the peeing and the vet didn't indicate there might be a UTI but he has to go back for a check and a jab next Monday so I will ask about that specifically then. It is quite difficult to use treats to reinforce going in the right place because he won't touch anything dry/non-perishable. He is currently on a bland diet of boiled chicken mixed with Royal Canin Sensitivity (wet chicken and rice) until his stools become solid. Then he will transition to Natures Menu Kitten pouches and to Natural Instinct raw. He was apparently on Royal Canin Kitten dry but since I got him, he's refused point blank to eat that, but wolfs down real meat and wet food (slightly warmed in the microwave). I am also - as of today - not going to feed him after 6:30pm until breakfast, in the hope he gets most of it out of his system during the evening (again, until the bedding is down, he does go where he should). I also remove his waste from his trays pretty much within 5 mins of him depositing it. What is the best/most acceptable way of letting him know, at the time, that peeing where he is, is not acceptable?
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Sorry, I didn't realise he was peeing on the bed when you're in it! :( I certainly wouldn't advise you lying under a waterproof cover, as you say you will "cook" in this current heat!

    When he has peed on your bed, never tell him off or show any sign of annoyance as it will only make him anxious, and the problem will get worse.
    You can blot up the urine with paper kitchen towel, and then gently allow the kitten to sniff the wet towel, then calmly carry kitten and kitchen towel to the litter tray, put the paper in the litter tray and then go through burying movements with your cat watching.

    However the fact that he often uses the litter tray suggests to me that he knows how to use it, but is choosing not to for some reason when there is a softer alternative available, i.e. your bedding. This would very much suggest that he has bladder discomfort of some kind.

    You mention he has had diarrhoea recently, which can sometimes cause a UTI or cystitis, because of the localised inflammation in the area. Also, if the cat is licking his bottom a lot because of the diarrhoea, an infection could be passed to his waterworks. The whole area of his bottom could be inflamed or sore, causing him discomfort every time he pees or poos.

    Has the vet established the cause of the diarrhoea? Is it considered to be diet related? Has the diarrhoea stopped now he is on boiled chicken ? If it has not, then it would suggest there is something else going on (in the gut) e.g. an infection. Has the vet tested stool samples for infection?

    One way to prevent him peeing on your bed at night would be to put him in a large dog crate at night (i.e. a 42 inch size), with his litter tray, bedding and water. You can buy ones that fold flat, so you could fold it up every morning.
    If you have the room in your bedroom to put one of these, it will certainly solve the night problem whilst you sort out your cat's health issues. He would be OK in a crate for 7 or 8 hours with you nearby, but not longer than that.

    Have a look at Amazon -- there are lots of large dog crates for sale, not too expensive, and some with free delivery.
     
  5. Tmpl Knght

    Tmpl Knght PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    Django, my kitten, does know how to use his toilet and he uses it perfectly well throughout the day. I remove his eliminations almost right away. I tried moving his water even further away and not feeding him after 6:30pm, and we made it through about 4 nights without incident. He did however try several times to pee on the bedding but I interrupted him each time and eventually he stopped trying and went to his tray instead. Unfortunately he urinated on the bedding (with me in it) at about 9am this morning. I am wondering if it is an attention seeking action and I am trying to analyse my response to it to see if there is anything in it that he is trying to illicit.

    As for a pathological cause, I will ask the vet on Tuesday when we go. His upset stomach cleared up on a combination of plain foods and probiotics. I've moved him gradually onto a new food so I am monitoring it to see if it causes him more digestive issues.

    I tried the cage idea but he just seems to go mental in cage. Even with his tray, water, bedding, and toys in with him. He's not even particularly fond of me leaving the room.

    When he does wet the bedding, my being in it seems to be of little significance. I think he's doing it despite me being there, rather than because of it. Although, having said that, perhaps I should try putting some down and leaving the room to see if he will urinate on it without me in the room. If he doesn't then perhaps it is more likely that it is to communicate something with me or garner attention (not that he doesn't get a lot as it is). If this morning he just wanted to get me up to feed him, I wish he'd just headbutt me or something!
     
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