View Full Version : What's a good cat repellant?...and how do you stop a cat's peeing?

Deacons Trucked
06-28-2001, 10:27 PM
There is a place on my carpet at the cellar door which my cat wont stop scratching at. I have been using a commercial pet repellant, but it doesnt seem to work, plus you have to use it daily. I have tried a mix of cayenne pepper and tobasco in water, but it doesnt seem to work well, plus it is messing up the carpet. Any ideas on something which cats REALLY hate the smell of which wont mess up my carpet? Or is there something I could hang behind the door whose smell will make my cat lose interest in scratching at the door?

And while we're at it....how do I get the cat to stop peeing on the rug? She is over 2 years old, she was spayed at the right time, she instinctively used the box when we brought her home as a kitten. But now she is peeing everywhere. What the hell can I do?? The rug is a mess! I thought female cats werent supposed to mark their territory.....

06-28-2001, 10:36 PM
The best cat repellent, I've found is a 12 gauge.

06-28-2001, 11:59 PM
A large anvil will also work.

Sultan Kinkari
06-29-2001, 12:41 AM
My cat did the same thing. She would sometimes pee in the stand up shower which made me happy. She peed all the way until she died at age 17(our years). Sorry I don't have better news for you. I don't think there's anything you can do except for not feed her water.

Deacons Trucked
06-29-2001, 09:59 AM
Great. Thanx loads, you guys. *sigh*

06-29-2001, 10:13 AM
If you find a good cat repellent, let ME know. We're constantly cleaning up cat pee near the front door (two of our three cats are female, and we know for a fact one of them is doing some peeing, and we suspect the other. Don't tell ME female cats don't mark.)

06-29-2001, 10:21 AM
Add me to the list. I caught my cat (spayed female) trying to pee on the bathroom rug and in the hallway just this morning.

Many Crows
06-29-2001, 01:11 PM
Citrus peel is a deterrent to cats. I have a cat that pees on the floor if she considers the litter to be soiled (used), so we have to be sure and scoop regularly. Your cat now has the idea that *that* particular corner is a second box and will probably continue to go there if you don't get rid of the smell. Try vinegar and baking soda, more that one application will likely be needed. I used to have a cat that would go in my houseplants. I kept jars in the plants so she couldn't get into them. Unsightly but it worked. You might consider putting jars in that corner for a while.

06-29-2001, 01:27 PM
I had a problem with neighborhood cats, um, enhancing my front year flower bads. Someone told me that the application of coyote pee would mark the territory very well, and that you can get it at some garden supplies (never tried it, though).

Deacons Trucked
06-29-2001, 02:02 PM
Thanx, y'all....

But the rug-scratching and rug-peeing ore in two different places. She pees in several places on the rug, but only scratches in the one place by the cellar door. Do I have to wash the entire rug with vinegar/baking soda? And is that a mixture of the two? And what about the citrus-peel thing?

06-29-2001, 05:10 PM
I use Simple Solution ($10/gallon) to get rid of the smell in carpets and laundry if my guys are bad. It can take up to a week to work, but after that it just smells kind of sweet, not unpleasant at all.

If you have a specific spot that you are trying to get them to stop peeing on, place a small bowl of food on it, once you have gotten rid of the smell. A cat will not pee where it eats.

I've tried some of the cat deterrent sprays and found them to be effective if you use them like they say to, i.e. once a day. I had a problem with my cats pulling up the carpet in the doorways to both of the bedrooms in my apartment. I started spraying the carpet every morning with that stuff (sorry, I don't remember the brand) for a couple of months, and it hasn't been a problem for almost a year.

06-29-2001, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by slackergirl
A cat will not pee where it eats.My cat Angel seems to have taken it upon himself to single-handedly disprove this fact. I know, I know other cats never do this. But Angel pees awfully near his dish if he feels so inclined. He has yet to pee in his dish, it's true.

06-29-2001, 05:52 PM
OK, a sane cat won't pee where it eats.


Golden Child
06-29-2001, 06:05 PM
I've found that my cats can't stand the smell of bananas so try something along those lines. If that doesn't work I like using a blow dart instead.

06-29-2001, 11:45 PM
A friend of mine had success with a product called "No".

06-30-2001, 03:56 AM
There are tons of different cat/dog repellants on the market - check any of the usual online pet supply places, like Petsmart, or http://www.revivalanimal.com . Some of them smell worse than cat urine, though! You might have to try several different products to find what works, as some cats hate, for example, citrus, and some don't mind it at all.

If you can afford it, a ScatMat (for indoors) is great. This is a pad that gives a tiny electric shock when touched (nothing drastic or harmful) and they are sold in many different sizes. Usually you can use one for a while to re-train, then put it on a shelf until needed again. I think they originated as Christmas tree protection.

You might try Oxyclean to remove odors from your carpet or upholstery - I've started using it recently and it seems to work well. Just make sure you test an area first, and don't just dump a bunch in some water on the theory that more is better - it ate holes in some blue jeans I was trying to un-stain!

Deacons, could your cat be trying to dig under the cellar door because she is hearing/smelling a mouse (or some other interesting creature)? I wouldn't let her through the door to find out, as she may think she has learned how to ask you to open doors!:) I'm not sure what you can do about this (other than pest control), or aversion training - spray gun, loud noise, ScatMat, etc. But you might try tacking a piece of that vinyl carpet protector down over the carpet by the door, allowing it to extend under the door a little ways so she can't catch the edge and pull it loose.

Cats will urinate outside of the litter box for a number of reasons, and it may require some detective work to find out why. And once the behavior starts, for whatever reason, it can become a habit if it goes on for some time.

First thing, always, is a vet check, especially if a cat has previously been very reliable. A bladder or kidney infection can cause painful urination, which the cat might associate with the litter box and thus seek relief in other places. An infection might also make it difficult for the cat to hold its urine long enough to reach the litter box.

Second is to evaluate how clean you are keeping the litter box - some cats are really picky about using what they consider to be a dirty litter box. Maybe you used to be at home a lot and scooped twice a day, but now you are working so only have time for once? Nothing wrong with that, but your cat may be used to a cleaner box and is unhappy with the 'new schedule'.

Next, location - have you moved the litter box from a previous location, even if only a foot or two? Some cats are very particular about that. Have the food and water dishes been moved closer to the litter box? That, also, will put some cats off. Has something else in the vicinity of the litter box changed - moved furniture, for example?

Fourth on the list - type or lack of litter and/or box. Have you changed the brand or scent of litter you use? Gone from clay to clumping or something else? Or has the litter you've been using 'improved', and maybe your cat doesn't like it? Some cats will use anything they can scratch in, while others can be incredibly picky, and even a new scent added to the old litter can put them off. And some cats prefer no litter at all - they like to pee on solid, slick surfaces (hence their tendency to use bathtubs/showers). Changing litter boxes can also put a cat off - some cats will not use a covered litter box, some will not get within 10 feet of a LitterMaid, etc. If you've changed the litter box in any way, try going back to the old style and see if the situation improves. Oh, and number of litter boxes per cat - some cats don't like to share, the ideal number is one box per cat, plus one extra, all at different locations.

Then we have behavioral issues of several varieties. Most common is territorial marking, often brought on by some change in the household that makes the cat feel insecure. A new pet, a baby, a visiting relative, a stray cat that is prowling around you house, new carpet or furniture, new, loud neighbors - any change can cause a naturally nervous cat (often inherited, so don't feel guilty) to feel insecure. BTW, cats that are allowed to go outside are worse about territorial marking than inside-only cats. In-and-out cats that are forced to become inside-only often exhibit worse marking behavior for a couple of weeks, then taper off until it is no longer a problem.

Could the cat have been frightened by something while in the litter box, and is now reluctant to use it? Especially a covered litterbox, where a cat may feel trapped. Young children or another pet may be bothering the cat while it is in the box. A sudden loud noise or something dropped on/in the box at the wrong time, etc. - anything that could have caused pain or fear while the cat was in the box might make it reluctant to risk that again.

Suggestions: A vet check, in case this is a health-related problem. Even if it is a health problem, inappropriate elimination may have become a habit (reinforced by lingering odors) and will require some retraining. I suggest confining the cat to a single room with several litter boxes, maybe with different types of litter and/or boxes,if you suspect that might be the problem. Be observant - does the cat seem to prefer one litter box, or one litter? Does the cat use each box once (indicating a preference for an extremely clean litter box)? Does the cat continue to urinate outside of the litter box, or will it use a litter box reliably while confined? All of this will provide clues for your next best option.

If/when the cat is using the litter box well, expand the area of confinement gradually, if possible, before allowing free run of your household. If the cat reverts to the old behavior, step back to the previous confinement level until he/she is reliable once again. If your cat has a preference for one single spot, place a litter box on top of that spot, if possible.

Occasionally we breeders have a kitten that just doesn't seem willing to accept a litter box, and we've successfully trained them by placing them in a large cage and covering the entire floor with litter. They have no choice but to use the litter, it becomes a habit in a very short time, and afterwards they will seek out a litter box with no problem.

Your vet might also prescribe antidepressant or tranquilizing medication during the retraining period, which often helps with stubborn cases. (Remember that you have to give the cat a pill every day before asking for this!)

BTW, I highly recommend the new 'crystal' litters, if your cat doesn't mind using it (switch over gradually!). It absorbs urine (and its odor) immediately and completely, reduces the odor and mess from feces, and lasts much longer than any other type.

DVous Means
06-30-2001, 09:19 AM
Have you tried ammonia?

Deacons Trucked
06-30-2001, 11:27 AM
Basically nothing has changed since we got the cat 2+ years ago. She has always been an indoor cat, no bladder/kidney infection, box gets cleaned once a day (we dont know if she prefers it clean or dirty), box hasn't been moved, nor have food/water, no change in litter or box.

All this time we have been thinking the cat is peeing where she smelled our old cat, who was male and sprayed everywhere. But...now that I think about it, the neighbors recently decided to feed every stray cat withing a 30-mile radius, so there are lots or cats prowling around. And the places where our cat pees seem to be the places where she can most easily see or smell the strays, NOT necessarily where our old cat peed.
So what can be done about this??? As long as there are strays lingering around, wont she mark territory regardless of the rug smells or litter box?

Coosa, I like the idea of the vinyl carpet protector where the cat scratches the rug....what do you think about a jar of vinegar right behind the cellar door as well?

Thanx loads for the help you guys.

06-30-2001, 11:53 AM
My sister had this problem with her cat as well.

Her cat, kept inside when everyone was at work, would see other cats all over his property and couldn't do anything about it. So, he'd mark his territory inside the house instead.

Her vet put the cat on anti-depressants, which worked.

I use cayanne pepper in the garbage and marigolds in the garden to keep cats at bay, and I've used sheets of tin foil on the countertops to keep my cat on the floor. She hates walking on it.

06-30-2001, 11:54 AM
A cat naturally prefers a substance like dirt or sand as a toilet. If she is not using the owner-provided one or cannot find such a place outside, it may be for any one of these reasons:

1. She has a urinary infection. Typically infected cats use the bathtub or something very non-loose-dirt. She is trying to tell you something! No amount of repellant or discipline will fix the problem -- take her to a vet, who will likely prescribe an oral antibiotic, followed by a low-ash diet to help prevent future infections.

2. She finds the crapet, excuse me, the carpet more attractive than the box. A dirty cat box will not be tolerated -- clean it more frequently and replace the litter sometimes, not just scoop up the shit. Also clean the carpet the best you can -- once the urine smell is there, it invites revisits. A week vinegar solution often works.

Hope this helps!

07-15-2001, 02:52 PM
Deacons, sorry to not answer earlier, but I've had computer problems compounded by the previous slowness of the boards.

It certainly sounds like your cat is responding to the stray cats she can see outside. Some cats are more just more territorial than others. I'm not sure that there is a lot you can do with YOUR cat in this situation, as she is responding to instinct and doesn't have much (if any) conscious control over that she is doing.

The best solution is to prevent the stray cats from wandering around on your property. I don't know how practical that would be for you as I don't know anything about your housing situation. Other possibilities include blocking her access to the windows, covering the windows so that she can't see out, etc., but those are also hard to manage, plus deprive your cat of her pleasure in viewing the outside world.

However, since you now have a pretty good idea why and where she is doing this, you might consider trying a product called Feliway. Feliway comes in a small spray bottle and contains feline facial pheromones, which are another marker used by cats - they deposit these pheromones whenever they rub their cheeks against objects. Research indicates that cats will not urinate wherever they have placed facial pheromone markers. For some reason these pheromones also seem to reduce anxiety - since facial marking seems to be a 'friendly' gesture among cats, I suppose the pheromones trigger warm, fuzzy feelings rather than aggressive ones.

Feliway is, in my experience, at least somewhat effective in preventing urinary marking. It is just not practical in many cases, as it needs to be re-applied daily (not something you want to do to an entire room or house!); however, in your situation applying it in the areas she is targeting may solve the problem. I don't know if continuous use will eventually 're-train' her instinctive response, but its possible that the artificial 'friendly pheromone' stimulation she receives at these locations will permanently modify her attitude towards seeing strange cats in her territory. I would love to know if this does happen, as it would be nice to know if instinctive behavior can be permanently (or even semi-permanently) modified in this manner.

You might also try the Feliway at your basement door - the pheromones may confuse her enough that she will quit trying to tear up your carpet. The vinegar might also work if she is reacting to the smell of mice or something - I don't know if it will help if she is reacting to the sound of something small skittering around. It's worth a try!

Feliway can probably be found at most of the large pet-supply sites and/or stores. Revival Animal Health has it in their catalog, so I assume you can order it from their website at http://www.revivalanimal.com . The price has certainly come down from when I tried it! I paid $40.00 for a bottle several years ago, and the price was one reason I didn't continue using it. Revival has it for $19.95, and the price should be similar elsewhere.

Anyway, this is what Revival says about Feliway:

"Feliway has some of the properties of feline facial pheromones. Pheromones are chemical substances secreted by animals to confirm their territory, to communicate with others & familiarize themselves with their environment. Facial pheromones will inhibit urinary markings when applied to an area. Feliway may be used to stop or prevent urinary marking by cats. Also useful in comforting a cat in an unknown or stressful environment (cage, car, boarding, new house). Will not stain or mark."

FWIW, Feliway did stop one of my stud cats from spraying his inside enclosure, but I had to apply it to the lower 2 feet of all of the walls (of a 10'x12' room), his door, the walls near his shelf perches, his climbing post . . . at $40 a bottle, it just wasn't worth it. I decided it was easier and cheaper to build outside habitats where the boys can spray to their hearts' content. It DID seem to work for the short time I used it.

Hope this helps!

07-16-2001, 01:11 AM
If you can afford it, a ScatMat (for indoors) is great. This is a pad that gives a tiny electric shock when touched (nothing drastic or harmful) and they are sold in many different sizes. Usually you can use one for a while to re-train, then put it on a shelf until needed again. I think they originated as Christmas tree protection.

Our vet recommended the Scat Mat to us because one of our two cats peed on our couch. Sporadically. For years. For no particular reason. We provided more boxes, cleaned them every day, tried feeding her on the couch, and went through three different couches. Nothing worked.

For a long time, we bought plastic couch covers from U-Haul and put tin foil on them. That cut down the frequency, but she'd still pee. With the covers, we coul at least wipe up the pee without much trouble.

The vet checked her out three different times, but never found any urinary problems. A different vet at the same clinic finally recommended the Scat Mat. We were a bit hesitant -- because of the price -- but it's been great. Since we put that on the couch, we haven't had any pee incidents. The best part is that she didn't start peeing somewhere else, which was a mild concern.

So a Scat Mat, if all else fails, might take care of the single area where your cat is scratching.

07-16-2001, 09:58 AM
Is it possible to catch your cats in the act? If it is - try filling an ordinary spray bottle (like Windex) with plain water and set it on "stream." Get a couple of shots at her while she's going, and although she'll be pissed as hell at you (um, perhaps I should rephrase) it'll be a pretty concrete reminder that she shouldn't be doing that. Worked pretty well with our Dinah.

I'm assuming, of course, that your cats are normal and hate water.

This can also work for scratching.

10-20-2001, 10:11 PM
I'm bumping this thread to get some help for a similar problem.
The cat in question has been forced to accept three new kittens in the house. (She was the youngest of 5.) She is now peeing on the beds and couch. No vet problems, no new litter, boxes cleaned several times a day. When confined to the bathroom, she uses the box. She goes for no more than a week without wetting on something. Is this temporary or the start of a lifelong problem? Scatmats won't cover all of all the beds, and we are resistant to spray anything directly on the bedding....ideas???

10-21-2001, 12:18 AM
We had a cat who did something similar to this... and nothing worked, and we never did figure out why he was doing it. Eventually, someone living in this house did the very thing she didn't want me to do, namely, flinging his ass outside. She expected to let him back in, eventually, but this was not possible because he never came back. Very sad. He was just a kitten, too, poor thing.

But we live in a pleasant suburban neighborhood with little traffic and lots of kids and he was cute and well-fed and had no collar. He probably found a nice new family with new floors to pee on. I hope so; I was really kinda sad when he left. But the other cats were thrilled, even his mother, the heartless wretch. I kept my eyes open and saw no kittycat corpses on any nearby streets for a good while thereafter, so chances are good, I hope.

Man. Thanks for bringing back painful memories, Dragonlady!! :)

Only useful info in entire long post: We used a product called "Simple Solution Cat Spray & Urine Stain & Odor Remover" ($9.99 a gallon) on our bedding and other items he peed on. You just add a bit in the washing machine and it works wonderfully. Good luck.

10-21-2001, 12:32 AM
originally posted by deltopia
We used a product called "Simple Solution Cat Spray & Urine Stain & Odor Remover" ($9.99 a gallon) on our bedding and other items he peed on. You just add a bit in the washing machine and it works wonderfully.

As a side note. It takes ALOT of that stuff on a spot or in the wash. I use about a cup of it in the wash. On the carpets I pour it straight on the spot on the floor making sure to cover it completely, let it soak for several minutes and then use the wet vac to vacuum it up.

And for the record the straw that broke the camel's back was when he peed in the baby's carseat. I tossed him out while I tried to salvage it, fully intending to let him back in after I had finished. I didn't want to do physical harm to him and I was afriad that if I saw him wonder around whilst trying to disassemble the carseat I just might. So out he went. Alas, never to return. :(

don't ask
10-21-2001, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by DVous Means
Have you tried ammonia?

Do NOT use ammonia, even for cleaning, the ammonia smell of urine is what encourages the cat to return to the same place.

Much help and advice generally here (http://www.fanciers.com/cat-faqs/indexer.cgi) .

don't ask
10-21-2001, 12:57 AM
Even better. (http://directory.excite.com/lifestyle/pets_and_animals/cats/care_and_health/behavior/)

10-21-2001, 01:15 PM
Thanks, I'm glad I asked!
Gotta wade through these sites and see what I can find!

spheric thor
10-21-2001, 01:31 PM
The 2 things i've tried and worked for a cat i had years ago.Was spraying red wine vinegar in the spot or spreading out some crushed red pepper to keep the cat away.Don't use vinegar in plants though.

10-21-2001, 03:29 PM
Cats hate the smell of mothballs, but unfortunately so do most humans, so using them inside the house is probably out of the question. But they do work great outside to keep cats from the flowerbeds or other gardens. Our tractor barn has a dirt floor and we had terrible problems with cat dookie in there, moreso in the winter months than summer. It was probably the only place for miles around that wasn't snow covered so it drew cats in from far and wide. They would also get under our deck and it would smell so bad in the spring that opening the front windows was out of the question. I bought a couple boxes of mothballs, scattered them in the flowers, under the deck, and in the tractor barn, and our cat dookie problems are over. We haven't had squirrels or nearly as many mice out in the barn since then, either.

There is one caveat to the mothballs though....they are toxic to humans. They won't damage the environment, but if you have small children that might pick one up and put it in their mouth you would have to take that into consideration.

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