I have four cats. They are the sweetest, most lovable, and most beautiful little things on the planet. But I’ve got one, and I could never figure out which one it was, but I have one that likes to pee on every stinking new area rug I bring into this house. It drives me nuts, to the point of sleeping with one eye open, just to catch that little stinker in the process. Why? For my peace of mind, of course. I figure, if I can catch him in the act, I can at least try to reason with him. You know, just to ask him things like, why are you peeing on mommy’s new rug? Do you not like your litter? Are the other cats teasing you? But most importantly, why do you hate me? They do say there’s a thin line between love and hate, ugh.
Whichever one it is, he is a sly little bandit, because in five years I could never catch him in the act. So I clean up the pee and I wait, then I clean up the pee, again and I wait. All the while, sleeping with one eye open, dreaming of the sound of cats peeing. That was the cycle, until recently. Upon meeting Martin, a cat pee expert, my eyes were suddenly opened. You see, I was discussing my cat peeing bandit with Martin and he gave me a little insight.
The first question Martin asked was, “How many litter boxes do you have?” “Three,” I said. I thought l would be congratulated for providing more than two places for my four cats to do their business. He said, “Uh, therein lies your problem.” Martin broke it down for me like this. He said cats have a very strong sense of smell, so strong in fact that when they smell something, they can taste it.
He said when cats share litter boxes they smell each other’s urine and excrement. If one of the other cats has eaten a gecko, for instance, their urine is going to smell quite different from the rest of the cats. So different that it may just deter one of those other cats from using the litter box. He said, “You must provide one litter box per cat!” If you have 16 cats then you must have 16 litter boxes, it’s that simple. I said in a very polite way, “Okay Martin, I’ll try it.” Meanwhile, I’m walking out the door shaking my head, grumbling under my breath, “yeah right, this has been going on for five years, like one more stupid litter box is going to make any difference.”
I went directly to the pet store and bought another litter box. I was at my wits end and thinking, “This HAS to work!” I went home and set everything up. I also covered all my bases by having a little chat with each of my cats to let them know this was their new normal.
It’s been two months since I got that advice, one more litter box, and not once have any of my cats decided to use my area rug for their latrine. Needless to say, I sleep better with both eyes shut, and my dreams are reserved for much more pleasant sounds. I don’t know if this maneuver will hold out forever, but you can bet that if I end up with a peeing cat bandit again, I’ll add another litter box, and then another!
By Shelly Allen