You are here

Local Tales: Helping Chloe

"I'll give you $100. Just take the cat to the Vet and have her euthanized."

This is what one woman recently said to her pet sitter. She was talking about her 13 year old cat, Chloe. Chloe, a beautiful Maine Coon mix with shocking green eyes and a plush coat, who had only known this woman's home her whole life, was now being treated like a worthless, meaningless, nothing.

Chloe's owner was tired of a very common behavior problem in cats-inappropriate urination. Not only had Chloe climbed under the sheets, then peed ON her owner, she defecated on the bed, too. We know it's been going on for years. Chloe pees on anything soft. Chloe lived with two other cats. Was she troubled by them? What about her health? Would her owner even get her to the Vet for a checkup? Certainly, NOT. That would require making an effort.

Fortunately for Chloe, her pet sitter was not about to do hew owner's bidding. Instead, he took Chloe home. Since he wasn't sure he could safely keep her in his home, he chose to place Chloe in a small storage space over his garage. It's dark with just one window and a single overhead lightbulb. It's cold and damp and a bit mildewy-a far cry from the comforts Chloe once knew, but she was safe and in loving hands. That's what really mattered most.

Pouffy Baby.jpg
This big, pouffy baby just fits in her prized cat bed. With a new diet, she may slim down a bit and overall feel much better.

He got her a big dog crate and put her inside it with a litter pan. She used the pan properly, but when she was allowed out of the crate, she would pee on any bedding in the room-possibly because it smelled like other cats. Everything was removed, save for one new cat bed. I went to visit her to help set up a better space. We moved the litter pan out of the crate and into a corner. Sure enough she started to use the pan perfectly for a few days in a row.

She was seen by a Vet who said she might have some sediment in her urine that might cause her to feel uncomfortable. Chloe is quite overweight. Her diet needs to be addressed. I also thought she might be backed up with impacted feces. Many years on dry food...there is no telling what sort of shape this cat is really in. We put her on grain free food. She was slow to adapt to it, but this morning I found one (I call it Kitty Crack) that she liked. With a diet change may give her additional comfort and she's on antibiotics for awhile, too.

This morning she peed on a comforter. First I thought it was because it must have still smelled of other cats even though it was washed. I realized it might be WHERE it was placed (inside her crate). She may have thought "inside the crate means go to the bathroom" the comforter will be washed again, but this time placed OVER the crate to give her a place to snuggle at night. I brought her a new cat bed, too. Hopefully, she will use that for SLEEPING only.

Chloe copy.jpg

Chloe looks stern, but it's just the tabby markings on her forehead that give her that expression. She's really a sweet cat.

The pet sitter feels a strong connection to this cat. It made me sad because she may need to be placed in an only cat home and not be able to stay with the pet sitter. At her age and with this behavioral issue, she may have a long road ahead of her in a cold room with little companionship. Is it enough for her, for now? She'll live to see old age, but at what cost? How many others, like Chloe are subjected to ostracization (or worse) by their families for doing the same thing?

Working with inappropriate urination problems is very tough. I've suffered with cats ruining my home for three years! I can really feel for anyone with this problem, but to kill the animal is not the answer. It will take work to get Chloe turned around and find the right home for her, but in the end it will always be worth it to me.


How awful! I'm grateful that Chloe's petsitter took her in. Is she declawed? Might the type of litter bother her paw pads? I can't help but wonder if her always going on something soft is a clue.

My Wallingford started peeing on rugs. Besides taking him to the vet for screening (he had crystals) I gave him a new cat box with a soft piece of fabric in with the cat litter. (Didn't hurt that the first piece was part of my ex's boxer shorts!) He had the best of both worlds - a soft place to pee and a litter box. It didn't take too long for him to almost always pee in the box and I made the fabric piece in the litter box smaller and smaller until it is now just litter. I don't know if putting the fabric in the litter box helped - but it didn't give him the idea of peeing on every piece of fabric, either. I think it told him that I understood his communication and was willing to work with him.

Memory, you did perfect. I was told do use the same substrate (cloth or rug or whatever) in the litter pan to encourage the cat to go to the pan. Yes, to keeping the cat litter unscented and soft as possible. We are going to put some fabric in Chloe's litter pan next. It's hard to work here and there with the cat instead of all the time. I'm determined to get her the help she needs. Your advice is excellent.

AnnaB! No, she's not declawed...wait...I need to verify that one. She was using the pan perfectly until we introduced ONE fabric item that had been around other cats. It was freshly washed but smell or not...the cat peed on it shortly after seeing it. It was put in her dog crate (previous location of litter pan) and she may have been confused...also..we know that old habits die hard in cats. Time will tell. Thank you for the suggestions!

Just some random thoughts...

Was a cystocentesis and a C&S (culture and sensitivity) test done on the urine? A cystocentesis is done using a needle through the abdominal wall. It may tell us more as to why this kitty is peeing on soft surfaces.

I'd also be very concerned about diabetes. With that weight and the urine problems, FD could be a very real possibility.

Was a full CBC was run?

If medical issues were ruled out, Buspar has been used in some cats to help with improper elimination issues.

Good luck Chloe. People are so lame sometimes. I'm glad Chloe has some human friends who are giving her a real chance.

Robin, have you heard of Best Friends?
url is

Can they help you with Chloe and other cats?

God bless you for loving cats so much!

Add new comment