Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cats 1, Ssscat 0

Before we had a baby, I would spend a lot of time working in my home office and Bogey, our male cat, would sit on my lap or on the floor near my feet. After Miya was born he would sit outside our bedroom door and glower at me, apparently jealous. It was months before he’d sit on my lap again.

We didn’t notice at first, but soon it became apparent that his protests weren’t limited to evil looks – he was also peeing in the basement, usually on places where the concrete has been exposed during our renovations.

We’d clean it up, only find more pee a few days later. Horrible smell.

I asked advice from our always helpful local pet food store and they suggested putting his food dish near where he was peeing, since most cats won’t pee near where they eat.

Well, no such luck with this guy. He has no qualms about urinating inches away from his food dish. We tried ‘urine-off’ to remove the smell, but still more pee.

So last time I was the pet food store, I asked for any other suggestions for stopping a cat from peeing outside the litter box. The girl suggested ‘Ssscat’ – a device that uses a motion sensor to trigger a strong puff of air. Cats hate the sound and the air in their faces, so this little canister can effectively keep cats away from plants, rooms, pee-spots etc.

I brought it home and set it up near Bogey’s favourite pee-spot, curious to see what would happen.

It was other cat, the wily female Bacall, who first triggered it. She leapt back and warily watched it from a distance, obviously displeased. I never actually saw Bogey trigger it, but it’s obvious that he is afraid of it since we now have to coax him downstairs to where his food dish is.

So far, there has been no pee from Bogey in the protected zone. Unfortunately, Bacall seems to be stressed by this device and has now started protest peeing upstairs – on M’s laundry bag, on my book bag!

So tonight the device is off. We are not faring well in this pee battle.

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