I bet I caught your attention with that headline, didn't I! I've been swimming in urine the last few days, both human and animal. My cat and my kid have been peeing on the floor; my husband has been known to miss the mark, so to speak, from time to time. I'm seriously considering abandoning the toilet in favour of peeing on the floor. If you can't beat them, join them.
So what am I talking about? Well, Vampira, Mistress of the Dark started a playgroup this week, and she needed to be toilet trained. Last September, we were within days of having her fully trained, and then she broke her leg in two places, and by the time the cast came off and she was mobile again, she'd lost the urge. (Pardon the pun) and we've been struggling ever since. She knows what to do; it's more fun to push mommy's buttons and do her bodily functions in her pants instead.
We've tried stickers, treats, rewards. I practically stand on my head and dance the merengue (which I actually know how to do and dance rather well, being a former ballroom dancer) when she actually manages to complete the deed in the toilet. I've been keeping her in training pants or "big girl underwear" in the house and not switching back and forth (that is, until I'm too tired and have run OUT of training pants and big girl underwear and the laundry isn't finished yet). I've been effusive in praise and neutral about accidents. I've read just about every article and talked to reams of people.
I should mention that Vampira has more than her normal dose of stubborn. She is managing quite well at playgroup to stay dry. As soon as she gets home, it's peefest on the floor again (or worse, bowel movement in the pants-yuck.) I have given up this weekend and I'm leaving her in a diaper. I made her clean up her own pants in the toilet the other day after the bowel movement...I know we'll get there. Eventually.
And then there's Max. Max is a black panther who has had anxiety issues since we adopted him from the animal shelter 6 years ago. At first, we thought he was morally opposed to plastic-an eco-warrior cat who peed on plastic bags to tell us to get rid of them. The solution was not to leave plastic bags on the floor. Then he started peeing on shoes, papers, briefcases, gym bags...We've tried Feliway, Bach Rescue Remedy, Herbal infusions...and still he pees. We were really worried when our daughter arrived because we weren't sure how he would react. Turns out, he loves her. When she was a baby in the crib, he would hop up in the rocking chair in her room and hang out with her while she napped. He's been remarkably tolerant of her pulling and prodding him (and we taught her from day 1 to be gentle with him) and still likes to hang out with her.
So is Max sympathy peeing on the floor? Dunno. Is Max reacting to my stress about VAMPIRA peeing on the floor? Dunno. Max peed on Vampira's bed last night. Not good. I know from talking with animal behaviorists that Max is likely to pee for comfort on things that he is bonded to, so he usually pees on my stuff or Vampira's stuff. Shoes are one thing; beds are another. I went out this morning and spent a ridiculous amount of money I didn't really have on special litter, a special litter box and 2 cat pheremone diffusers that are supposed to make Max feel better. I also at some point in the next couple of days have to trap Max in a room with a litter box to get a urine sample to take the the vet. They have to rule out some medical stuff.
Husband was out of patience with Max a year ago. I called in an animal communicator and things got better for awhile. Things have been a bit wild the last little while here with health stuff, so no doubt he's picking up on all of the stress in the house. He's the uber-sensitive cat and he's really intuitively tied to me.
The next step is Prozac...for the cat not the kid. Might slip some to the husband to see if it helps too. (only kidding...I only slip him Rescue Remedy) Me-white wine and dark chocolate should do it. Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi (or St Francis...whoever is available) you're my only hope...