After 6 months, Hazel had spontaneously started ‘excreting’ on both the door and litter mats.
After a bit of research we tried to eliminate the most obvious causes.
This meant sticking to litter she was familiar with, keeping her trays as clean as possible and removing the lids just in case space had become a problem.
Unfortunately, none of these changes worked.
Further Research- Scent Removal
Reading about the subject of cats suddenly toileting outside of the litter box threw up some other interesting bits of information- some of what I found can be read in the article ‘7 BIG Reasons Why Your Bengal Cat Is Spraying [and how to stop it]‘.
We had been using diluted bleach to mop surrounding floors and clean mats.
Although this may suitably disinfect, crucially, it doesn’t remove scent.
Apparently, bleach actually mimics cat pheromones and therefore has the potential to induce further marking.
With cats being very scent orientated, this meant Hazel could well still pick up her smell (or think another cat entered the premises) and now view these areas as prime urinating real estate.
Part of the battle then, was getting rid of any urine/faecal scent remnant.
We bought a cat scent removal spray and doused the mats and floor with it- but this didn’t solve the problem.
So we searched for an alternative.
Apparently, cat scent could be removed using biological washing powder (in water) then surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol).
The enzymes in the washing powder would break down the urine, and the rubbing alcohol should remove the scent.
Cleaning would (hopefully) remove scent and (hopefully) go some way to prevent any further ‘accidents.’
But we wanted to try other measures.
One particular spot in the corner next to the front door had become a favourite for urination.
So here, we placed a basic open litter tray hoping Hazel would use it instead.
As it was placed near the front door, we taped some string to it and threaded this under the door so that we could pull it into position when leaving the house.
How This Was Affecting Us
There was always a sense of dread when going downstairs in the morning or returning home, over the possibility of finding a fresh puddle or worse.
We obviously couldn’t watch her all the time, but there were a number of occasions where we caught her squatting and stopped her- although sometimes it was hard to tell if she was actually about to do anything, so I’m sure we sometimes disturbed her for nothing.
Better to be safe than sorry though as ‘sorry’ meant more work in terms of cleaning, as clearly, any messes had to be dealt with upon discovery.
We removed the mats (as scent removal spray had failed) but decided to bathe them in washing powder, and spray them with rubbing alcohol before storing them in the shed.
Unfortunately, these new tactics were not entirely successful.
Hazel could go days at a time using her litter trays as normal, then about once a week, a puddle would appear.
At one point, we were confident enough to bring one of the mats back.
There was faeces on it a day later.
Things were better than before though, when something was occurring/appearing every other day.
Although less often, her urination corner was still being used as she’d just go behind the new litter tray, which seemed harder to do than using the tray itself.
The problem though was eventually resolved, through it seems, a combination of factors…
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