Tuesday, May 15, 2012

3 cheers for SSScat!

I may have mentioned that an issue we've had around here for the last year is that the baby of the family, Sienna, has been going to the bathroom on the carpet since Labor Day. She was about 4.5 months old when we got her last August. We had her for two weeks and everything was fine. Believe it or not, we only had 1 litter box with 3 kitties, which got scooped pretty much immediately after it was used.
 Then we went on vacation for 4 days and a friend of mine housesat for us. We walked into the house and found that Sienna had been urinating on the rug in the bathroom for what looked like several days. Gross. So so so gross. I cleaned the rug and she stopped peeing on it. But she started pooping right in front of the litter box, or next to it, every day after. We took her to a vet, got her tested. No issues. I gave her a second dose of dewormer just in case. I tried changing her to a kitten chow diet. I tried soft food. I tried a mix. I tried several different litters. I tried negative reinforcement. I tried positive reinforcement. We bought a second litter box. Then a third, then a fourth. I tried changing location. I tried floor mats. I tried different carpet cleaners. I tried closing her off for days at a time. I tried everything. She would stop for 4-5 days periodically. But it was inconsistent. I'd still been cycling through different ideas, because this is not just something you accept.
Jon and I were just thankful that she wasn't urinating on the floor. It was still gross and a major problem, but at least it wasn't seeping into the floors and making the place smell, and it wasn't staining anything. Then one night we had a stray kitten literally walk in our front door. I penned the kitten in the bathroom overnight and then took her to the human society the next morning.
Our problem went from bad to worse. Sienna started urinating in front of the litterboxes in addition to defecating there. I doused the bathroom in bleach products, every last nook and cranny. I washed or threw out the things the kitten slept in. It's been six weeks and no change. 
I finally found cat food that seems to be relieving some of her issues (there was a small amount of blood in her stool about 50% of the time). Kit and Kaboodle. It's cheaper, still by Purina, and it seems to be more filling because the cats are eating less of it. She started going to the bathroom in her litter box of her own accord. One success in my belt, I tried google again, despite the fact that it had been nothing but a disappointment thus far.
It was here that I found something called SSSCat. Kind of a dumb name, but a Godsend all the same. I read the reviews on amazon- 4-5 stars over hundreds of reviews. And thought I would give it a try. It arrived yesterday and is already having a major impact.
 Innotek SSSCAT Cat Training Aid 
It has a motion detector, which sends a loud SHHHH-ing sound as it sprays the offender with a harmless spray. The other three kitties, all innocent, got sprayed first. But our bad one has gotten sprayed twice and now avoids the area at all costs. It was so satisfying to hear it go off when I had my back turned, because that would have been another mess I'd have to clean up and another day of misery.
I deep-cleaned the carpets and have the doors shut/SSSCat standing guard until they dry. I may have to buy another can or two, because she has a few areas she frequents and so the problem is only about 30% fixed. I don't mind though because it's working, which makes this the best $23 I've ever spent.
And, Bonus: When I'm convinced she has stopped going to the bathroom on the carpet, I'm going to use it to stop the kitties from getting up on the dinner table/countertops (and in Sienna's case, frequently catching herself on fire), eating my indoor plants/herbs, and scratching the couch instead of the post. Yay! It feels so good to have finally found something that works. 

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog and getting snippets of you and your thoughts while I'm away.