Kitty behavior modification, with bonus rug-cleaning question

In the past couple of weeks, my normally affectionate, well-behaved 12-year old indoor cat has started using my living room rug as his personal litterbox. This is disturbing because a) he’s never behaved this way before, and b) the rug reeks.

So my question is twofold:

– What would make my cat suddenly behave this way? He is otherwise affectionate and behaving normally; he doesn’t seem to be in pain or upset, though he is drinking more water than usual (which I can possibly attribute to the fact that since my landlord turned the heat on, it’s like a tropical rainforest in here).

– What can I do to get the stains/smell out of the rug? I’ve tried Febreeze (woefully inadequate) and Resolve for Pet Stains (slightly less woefully inadequate).

At this point, I am inclined to throw away the rug (it is a large wool one, maybe 8’ by 10’, but I’m not necessarily opposed to getting rid of it, because it has a couple of non-pet-related stains that won’t cme out, and because it was a hand-me-down from my Evil Ex-Boyfriend with No Morals and No Remorse. But I’m concerned that there may be something physically wrong with my cat, and I wouldn’t want him to be sick, or to replace the rug and have him do the same thing.

(P.S. Can any ChiDopers recommend a vet with evening and/or weekend hours?)

Vet time. ANY change like that in a cat’s bathroom habits usually signals that something’s up, or so I’ve been told.

I’m not a vet, but it sounds like he could have a UTI. Take him to a vet ASAP.

Also, try Nature’s Miracle for the rug. It’s usually found in pet supply stores.

Uptown Animal Hospital is open saturday 8 - 2 and til 6 most weekdays. Saturday appointments get booked up a month or two in advance, though. If it’s an emergency there’s a ER open at 3123 N. Clybourn 7 pm to 8 am and weekends.

If it’s just pee, sounds like a urinary infection or marking behavior. If it’s both pee and poop and there’s no other stressors it could be some other sort of illness. Get him checked by the vet, and if there’s nothing medically wrong I hear those cat pheromone things help with inappropriate urination.

Thanks for the recommendations, and sadly it’s both. (Though I’d heard from others that they weren’t crazy about Uptown, which is why I hadn’t taken him there - that, and well, I can’t make it home before 6 pm during the week.) I may have to drag him in to Clybourn.

I don’t know what area of Chicago you’re in, but many PetSmart stores have attached Banfield clinics with evening and weekend hours.

Get Nature’s Miracle, and get the big gallon jug. You need to **thoroughly **saturate the mark all the way through the carpet and the little spray bottle just won’t cut it.

Really? I like Uptown and have taken both my cats there for years. The vets are kind and affectionate to my kits, and praise their soft, shiny coats and good teeth. I liked their care when both my cats got a bacterial infection from the shelter and stopped eating for several days. They do a good job at explaining the various treatments they suggest and what the possible illnesses could be. (My kitten has peed on my bed a few times, incidentally, but the vet said that since it was only twice in a couple months and it was specifically on my bed and the two cats don’t get along, it was almost certainly marking behavior or a complaint about the litter box, not any sort of illness)

I’m on the North Side - I’ll check that out. I have to go get my carrier back from my sister, though.

We use the PetSmart/Banfield in Evanston, at Oakton and McCormick. Good folks, easy parking and there’s a doggy day care that WhyBaby loves to watch!

I use the one on 75th in Darien and I don’t recommend it. It’s obvious they’ve accepted far more patients than they can handle. As such, I’m transferring to the Butterfield Downers Grove location.

Ooh, ooh, I know this one! Well, I know the part about cleaning, since I never resolved the behavior part.

Baking soda, with the usual caveat about testing it in a hidden area. Put baking soda directly on a stain that’s still damp; if the spot has dried, dampen it with warm water and sprinkle some baking soda on. Leave it for a few minutes and then scrape up as much as you can (before it hardens into a little baking soda brick attached to your rug) and vaucum when dry.

This should remove the worst of the stain and remove the smell, as far as you are concerned. Your cat, however, can detect the residual odor and may still think this is the spot for her business. To discourage this, follow up with white vinegar, which of course you WILL be able to smell. It is up to you to decide whther you prefer the smell of vinegar or the alternative.

Simple Solution is a much cheaper than Nature’s Miracle and just as effective in my experience.

:: bump ::

The Banfield would have been a great solution, except that apparently they don’t take walk-ins (much to my cat’s chagrin after being crammed into th carrier - I’ve never had a vet that didn’t take walk-ins). And though their posted hours are until 8 pm, their last appointment is at 6:45 (apparently the vet uses the last hour of the day for paperwork, which somewhat defeats the purpose of having evening hours, but what can I do?). And they don’t have another evening appointment available until Friday of next week, and are closed Wednesday afternoon until Monday morning. The vet tech said it sounded like either a UTI or a thyroid issue, but that they would need to run tests to find out.

So I think I will need to call around a bit more tomorrow and see if anyone can get him in earlier than that, maybe Friday during the day if anyone is open, or my old vet in Skokie has Saturday walk-in hours if they aren’t closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. My kitty doesn’t seem to be in any distress - if he were, I’d take him to the ER.

Off to try the Nature’s Miracle…it’s going to be a fun evening!

I take Rassy to the Cat Hospital of Chicago. They seem really competent and it looks like they have some evening hours. See Here for their hours and number.

Well, I’ve used up half the gallon jug of Nature’s Miracle and have made some headway, but I think a fire hose may be in order to rinse the gunk out of the worst of the stains. Not a minute today to call vets, either - hopefully things will be quieter tomorrow.