Sunday, March 8, 2009

feline trouble

So I used to have a cat on prozac. I eventually weaned her off of it because while at first the prozac was a miracle cure, after a few months she started to pick up her old habits again and the cost plus the annoyance of the administering it was no longer worth it. I've had her off prozac for about six months but for the last two of those, Crazy Molly has come back with a vengeance. She causes me to come very close to a breakdown on a daily basis and I am really running out of ideas for how to handle this.

It started when we had the stairs leading down to the garage and the litter box closet redone. For about a week the cats couldn't walk on the stairs and we had to move the litter boxes to the guest room. This change was apparently too much for her to handle because she started peeing on anything located near the litter box. This included, but is possibly not limited to: bathmats, dirty clothes, carpet, and any other fucking thing in sight. Seriously, on Friday I found a couple of sweaters that were waiting to go to the cleaners that she doused in pee. While I was picking those up I walked in on her peeing on a bathmat and, I swear, when she was done peeing she laughed at me. LAUGHED.

Besides peeing on things that fit in the washing machine, Molly has ruined the carpet in the guest bedroom. We're about to start converting that to the nursery and, after painting the room, we're going to have to have the carpet ripped out and replaced. But once I have the carpet replaced, how do I prevent it from getting ruined again? How do I get Molly to start acting like a normal cat again? And what if I can't get her back there?

The vet determined there is nothing physically wrong with her and that it's all mental. I could give prozac another try but I doubt the benefits will last more than a few months. Once the carpet is replaced in the nursery, she can not pee in there but it's not as simple as keeping the door closed. I'm thinking that locking the baby into the room might count as abuse or something. I've had Molly for 10 years now and sometimes find myself thinking "How many more years can she possibly have in her?" but honestly that cat is as healthy as could be and shows no signs of her age. Jparks and I often joke that she'll out live us, and at this point I'm not so certain that won't happen.

Short of kicking her to the curb, what can I do?


  1. I would give the Prozac another try. Maybe her dose needed to be a little higher after a while. I've heard that a lot of people have to have their Prozac doses upped because they become desensitized to it. Also, given that the stairs freaked her out, the baby is bound to really freak her out. (And be sure to get the pads and floor under the carpet really really really clean and aired out so the cat pee smell doesn't linger even after you replace the carpet. Or put wood floors in the baby room and just get an area carpet that you can send out for cleaning every once in a while.)

  2. I used to have a similar problem with my cats. The big issue is that her scent is on the carpet. This can be removed with a very wonderful product that I've found called Petzyme. It's an enzyme based spray that removes the scent. It's also carpet safe. once you remove the carpet it shouldn't be a problem.

  3. Cats, like old Canadian spinsters, don't like change. So I think your best chance is to go back to how it was: put the litterbox back in the basement and figure out some way they can get down to it (a carpet runner would be a small price to pay) and put her back on the Prozac. Get it done now before the baby comes and she has another reason to go insane. Also, make sure you don't leave any fabric laying around for her to pee on for a while (yeah, even pick up the bathmats) and definitely not in the period when the carpet is being replaced. I think basically you need to give her her old security pee spot back plus make the new fun places less appealing.

    Good luck! Unauthorized peeing is my worst nightmare.

  4. Unfortunately (or fortunately) our cat ran away after hurricane katrina and cali was born 3 1/2 months later, so... I haven't had to deal with the crazy cat and child combo. But, I can tell ya that I bought a tent to go on Cali's baby bed when she started climbing out of it and I wasn't ready for the bigbed thing and I LOVED it! It would be great to not have to worry about the cat jumping in the baby bed especially when the baby is in the bed! I ordered it online somewhere, but it was super easy to install and take down. I just took it down when I cleaned the baby bed really good to get ready for baby #2 - Who will be here in the next week or so! AAHH!! Crazy, Good luck w/ your cat troubles!

  5. i might be silently laughing at your distress... Molly is Bonsai and Chachi in one animal. We made the mistake of using cloth wee wee pads for Chachi and it took me forever to train him to not pee on random cloth things on the floor and bathmats. And you know how crazy Bonsai is.
    Lets have a kitty play date, Bonsai and Molly will have a great time, heck throw Tangi into the mix just for fun!

    Ok so hardwood would be so nice upstairs, it might be super expensive though, and it could make the room a little chilly.

    Also Bonsai did really well with Trixie, maybe Molly will suprise you!

  6. I hope someone has an answer, because I, too, could use a solution.

    After living in this place for 1.5 years one of our cats (both of them?) starting peeing on our bathmats. Bathmats that got regular washing. No changes in litterbox locations or contents. Just all of a sudden starting peeing on them.

    We got rid of all of the bathroom rugs/mats and hang the one that we use to step out on. If JB forgets and leaves the rug down, it gets peed on.

  7. OK, my cat did that. She was peeing in her cat bed. I caught her in the act and thought maybe she had a UTI or something. I took her to the vet and she was fine. He turned me on to this pheremone (sp?) thing that you plug in near the litter box. It gives off some sort of scent and makes them more likely to use the box. I used it for a few months and she was fine.

    You might want to give it a shot. They sell it at PetCo.