Nugget is my 3-year-old Shaded Golden Persian. Nugget had a rough kittenhood. I originally purchased her to be my first breeding female, however at the age of 6 months, she was diagnosed with the congenital condition known as Persistent Pupillary Membranes in both eyes. One eye subsequently developed a blister on the cornea and became uncontrollably infected, which required its removal. As a result, Nugget is a spayed lady of leisure in our household.
Inappropriate urination is rare in my small cattery with my Persians, so you can imagine my panic when I discovered that someone was peeing in the two bathroom sinks. Out came the black light to investigate the rest of the house and everyone was put under my watch while I attempted to figure out who the culprit might be. I only have 3 breeding cats and 2 spays. My first thought was that it might be one of the breeding cats. Then, one day, I heard the sound of a cat jumping down from the bathroom counter while all the “innocent” cats happened to be napping on the bed.
Imagine my surprise to discover that the culprit was Nugget. No red tinge to the urine, no straining in litter boxes, no obvious medical issues, but off we went to the vet to make sure she had no health problem that might be the root to her inappropriate urinating. She was examined and a sample of her urine was analyzed. She received a clean bill of health.
I was flummoxed. At this point, I was ready to settle for the sinks. After all, there could be worse places a cat could pee, but it was certainly not ideal. But I was still nagged by wondering why Nugget had rather suddenly lost her good litter box habits after all this time. Then, while watching the cats, I noticed that my male tended to subtly intimidate Nugget when she was around the litter boxes. Hmmm… Could this be at least part of the problem? Was she feeling insecure? Was the male’s presence making her feel insecure when she wanted to potty? Maybe the situation was exacerbated by the fact that she had sight in only one eye?
Just as I was trying to figure out what to do with this new found insight, I discovered Nugget up on a shelf, just looking around. Bingo! I had an idea! Perhaps it wasn’t the texture of the sinks that was attracting her but the height of them. On the sink, she can see who’s coming — and feel more safe. So I put out two elevated litter boxes up on tables/shelves in two different locations. Nugget immediately investigated… and she chose one on a narrow shelf in the laundry.
Now that Nugget had a new area in which to go to the bathroom, I wanted to discourage her from continuing to use the sinks. Because the sinks don’t hold water with plugs, I placed a large cup of water in each one. The water will remain until I’m sure that Nugget’s new behavior is well ingrained and her inappropriate urination a thing of the past. So far, it has been a grand success. There have been no mistakes and Nugget seems happy using her penthouse kitty loo.