If you're able to... the best person to talk to is a veterinary behaviorist, esp as your vet has checked for UTI/other health problems. I would NOT give the cat access to the room. Put a sign on the door to help remind everyone to keep the door closed. That's the primary way to keep you from having to do the laundry.
Other things to consider:
- This is almost (if not always) a stress behavior.
- You may want to try FAP (Feline Appeasing Pherome) spray/diffuser. In some households this fixes the problems right away. Sometimes it makes things worse....
- Do you know for 100% sure who it is? Have you tried isolating the cats in separate rooms (or only one in the main part of the house but NOT the bed room) to see if you can figure out who may or may not be involved?
- Do you know what kinds of things distress your cats? Are there potentially outside cats causing stress? Relationships between the cats? Other pets in the house hold?
- Long term solutions involve management (restricting access, managing cats, being sure everyone has enough space). But also may need to involve anti-anxiety meds so that the anxiety is relieved and the cat can learn how to properly fit into the house hold and the pattern of inappropriate eliination can be broken.
- Some cats develop a substrate preference, supposedly this is more likely to happen if a cat has a UTI/is in pain and associates the litter box with pain, after a declaw when digging in litter could be painful, and in situations where a cat was scared/startled by someone while using a litter box.
- If you haven't already, try using a few different types of litters, and seeing if the cats prefer specific litters over others (this can be esp helpful in situations where inappropriate elimination is due to substrate preferences!).
- If you haven't already, get big flat rubbermaid type containers instead of store "litter boxes". A 2x3 or 2x4' box is MUCH prefered by most cats.
And like with dogs, sometimes increasing enrichment (new scents, training, food dispensing toys, etc) and exercise (training, toys, play, food bowls waaaay spread out in the house) are an important part of this sort of plan.
Like i say in some of the dog threads.... It's best if you can consult a vet behaviorist or a VERY cat/behavior savy vet....a nd make a LOT of changes at once. If you make only one or two changes at a time, you're less likely to see progress and have the potential to make the behavior stronger.
This is all very good advise, I do try and keep the door closed at all times but my worse half isn't so on top of it, I remind him pretty much daily. I'm 90% certain that it is ellie doing it in the bedroom, and about 50% sure it's her doing it on Rowan's beds. Zedd used to constantly pee in his own bed when he was a kitten to the point where I just ended up not having a bed for the cats as it was always soiled. I have tried probably 10 different brands of litter, it doesn't seem to change the behavior. I know Zedd is a very clean cat and likes his litter to be very clean so we make sure that both boxes are cleaned every other day and the full litter is changed once a week, there was a marked improvement for a while but it seems to have gone down hill again. We have one Large litter box which they only seem to use for bowel movements, and a second smaller one which they all seem to use to pee, I check the smaller one daily and usually clean it fully more often. I keep telling my boyfriend that we should have 3 boxes (3 cats and all) and he refuses to accept that is the problem and made me get rid of one box in the past.
I'm fairly certain that all of the recent surprises haven't been Zedd even though he has had many issues in the past. Since he has been unwell for several weeks he mostly keeps to himself in our computer room sleeping, I have food and a litter box there for him for now and one of Rowans beds are in that room and he hasn't used it to eliminate. One of the pee's on Rowans bed happened while Zedd was isolated to a room overnight....
Mog hasn't been himself lately, he's been very standoffish and unwilling to come to us for cuddles and love. I think between getting Rowan not long ago and Zedd almost dying he might be feeling a little neglected. Me and Steve have both been off for several weeks and have made a really big effort to give both Mog and Ellie tons of love and attention and Mog just doesn't seem to care either way. He's usually a friendly happy guy so it's been disheartening and I wonder if it might be him...
It's been a tough couple of months with the animals and I'm tired of feeling like there's always something wrong with them and that they're mad at us...