Thursday, April 17, 2008
  we give up

okay, so oreo sucks.

she pees EVERY NIGHT on this couch.

we had this problem before... hence the plastic cover. back then, the dogs AND the cats were all taking out their frustrations on this poor couch. and OH MY GOD that was horrible. it was SO MUCH WORK every time one of them peed on it. so we first covered the cushions in garbage bags. trashy yes (ha ha), but it did help quite a bit with the cleanup routine. and then this eBay cover made it 100x better.

we put nice blankets over the cover, and it looked like a nice couch again. the peeing stopped. the cover remained, as insurance.

then the peeing started again. we didn't know who it was until we caught oreo one more, squatting.

it's now been happening for the better part of a month i'd say. i think we went nearly a week without any instances, and i got my hopes up, but they were again dashed. every morning i wake up to cat pee on the couch. it's to the point that, despite the fact i dry it up, then wash it with wet wipes, and often again with wet paper towels, the cover is now even smelling bad. i had to take the whole thing off and wash it in the bathtub. THAT is fun, if you could imagine, and now it's due for that again...

oh, and one night, she peed on it when the blanket was still on the couch, and in the middle of the night, sebastian decided he wanted to sleep on that couch. so not only did i have pee blankets to contend with, but a cat-pee dog, too.

i've tried sprinkling catnip on the couch. no effect. i got the catnip spray (which they LOVE, by the way, it's hilarious) and sprayed it all over the couch... no effect, as far as the peeing goes. i tried to find solutions.. for example, i read that they don't like the feel of tinfoil on their feet. i figured if i put tinfoil on the couch for a while, oreo would learn to avoid it. to test the theory out, i brought her a square of it. she touched the foil, then took two steps onto the square, plopped down, and happily went to sleep on the tinfoil. um.

when my family was here, i decided that i would get a little litterbox and put it on the couch, with a new kind of litter in it. maybe she just wanted to relieve herself there, and maybe she'd go in a box. i told my plan to my sis and said, "and if she doesn't go there, then that's her last chance, then i'll have to---" at which point kelli interrupted me: "get rid of her, yah." i'm like, "um, no. i mean, banish her from that room, somehow, into the bedroom or something." when i recounted the story, incredulous, to chris, he was like, "well, you have to remember, your idea of forgiveness for animals is somewhat different than most people's." the thing is, she's a good cat except for this... um, and the fact that she's an asshole to the other cats. really, all cats suck in their own way. i can't really complain about kitten... but elliott rips holes in all our screens when he decides he wants inside like a little incredible hulk or something (rather than just cry, which is what the other cats do), which is fodder for a whole separate post. i really need to get pictures; it's ridiculous.

i'm so frustrated now, i've given up on the litterbox idea entirely. we can't live with a litterbox on the couch. and i ain't cleaning up cat piss every morning for the rest of my life, or until i kill oreo (as i threaten every morning as i'm cleaning up the piss, which makes me sneeze). and we can't even USE the couch anymore. even the dogs don't sit there. so what's the point of having it here? we are definitely not winning this battle, and it's pissing us both off in the interim, so...

here's my plan.

1. we're having the stanley steamer (steemer?) guys come anyhow to do the carpets. they can clean the couch to get the soaked-in urine smells out of it from when everyone was using the couch as the neighborhood fire hydrant. i know that often makes cats go somewhere... when they smell urine on something, it makes them go there again.

2. [the order of these may change.] we're packing up the couch and putting it in the garage for a month or so. oreo will hopefully, in that time, forget her bad pissing-on-the-couch behaviors. she'll forget the couch altogether. and when it comes back in the house, it won't smell like pee, so she won't pick that behavior up again, either. new vinyl cover, new colored blankets so it will LOOK like a new couch... and i'll just PRAY she won't do it anymore. if she does, we'll have to get rid of the couch, but chris has had it forever.

think this will work? i don't think chris was really happy with the suggestion at first, but it is really the only thing i can think of that has the prospect of working long-term.

i just cleaned up pee again, so i had to write this all out, out of frustration. at least it's all almost over, hopefully.. when chris discovered the pee this morning, he said, "oreo, enjoy it while you can. you can pee two more times!" 'cause we're taking the couch out this weekend. :)

I'm having the same problem with my youngest cat...she picks one item and continues to pee on it no matter what I do. Currently it's a small area rug in the living room, before that it was the futon couch in the basement. It's so frustrating because my other cats have never exhibited this behaviour at all. I'm thinking of trying some of the cat repelling powders or sprays - have you ever tried them?
yes, you're definitely more tolerant than me... I'd be getting rid of the animal. Maybe you're just not getting the pee smell out, so she can smell it and continues to think its ok? so maybe stanlee steamer will work, or some kind of professional cleaning place.
Ok, that does suck.
Good think you and Chris are on the same page and both optimistic that it can be fixed!
As I attempt to comment, my purry kitty is in my lap, trying to steal my attention from the computer.
I'll give her an extra hug because she doesn't pee on things. She only pukes in inappropriate places. :)
snowgirl: ach, frustrating! at least you can move the rug, but something as big as a futon..?! i haven't tried any of the sprays. i know my bf's sis tried the dog versions before and they didn't work, so i never bothered with the cat versions. worth a try, though. you could cover it in double-sided tape, too... she'd walk on it a few times and NOT LIKE THE FEELING and maybe develop an intense dislike for the rug, maybe? just an idea.

erin: that def. may be it, although even after i washed the cover in dr. bronner's soap in the bathtub, she still kept peeing on it. grr. so hopefully this whole erase-the-couch-from-memory tactic will work.

lovey: be grateful. very grateful. :) at least the puke isn't intentional. (at least, we all hope.)

Stacey, try this, put Oreo and a clean cat box in the bathroom at night. Let her out in the morning since she does this at night. The problem with "hiding" the couch is that she may decide on new place. We have used this with great effect, altho I have to admit we have one that will probably spend every night for the rest of her peein' little life in the bathroom.....The advantage of course, is that I'm not cleanin' pee!!!
great idea, phil!
that is my one worry: that she will pick somewhere new to pee, that ISN'T covered in plastic...
but then again, back in the day, she and kitten used to take turns peeing on that thing during the day. we caught them.
maybe i'll add that into my arsenal of breaking this habit. we hide & clean the couch AND she starts going into the bathroom, at least for a while. until she's peeing exclusively in a litterbox at night. that should help. thank you :)
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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