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Ask the Veterinarian/Cat peeing on furniture...


QUESTION: I've already contacted a vet and will be returning as soon as I can this week.  I guess I just need advice as I don't know what else to do.  We have 2 cats.  We keep 4 litter boxes around the house.  We have 2 cat trees plus those window beds.  Our cats are on the Science Diet Urinary food as prescribed from our vet.  Recently we started using those calming collars on the one cat that has the issue with peeing, also a suggestions from the vet.  I will be insisting that they do blood work and an xray to see if they can find bladder stones or anything but my vet does not think that is the issue based on what they see when they do urine tests.

Our cat gets a bladder infection at least every other month.  And when she does she pees on beds, laundry, and the couch.  We've been dealing with this issue for a few years now. It wasn't as often before maybe every few months she's get an infection, pee on the couch, we'd put her on antibiotics, and get another few months pee free.  But now its often.  Our beds all have the plastic covers on them we have water proof throws on the couches.  I'm just getting tired of this.  I'm tired of cleaning up pee.  I'm tired of spending $$$ at the vet.  But she is still so sweet and I'm not the type of person to just throw an animal out just because.  

We live out away from town and coyotes come up to our property line often.  Outside cats don't last long around here.

If there is nothing they can do for her and she will just keep getting repeating infections.  What else can we do?

ANSWER: Hi Christina,
I think you are on the right track about the blood work and xrays. Those should have been done after two infections in a row. Since I am not a vet, I can only give you some suggestions about what to ask and look for.

Is this cat overweight at all? Sometimes this will lead to chronic infections due to fat folds around the vulva holding bacteria and causing a retrograde infection into the bladder.

Using the collars in the absence of a physical problem would be the next step. Sometimes the drug amitriptyline is helpful. My mom had 4 cats peeing all over once because a tom cat got into the house and sprayed while they were away and it really stopped the problem after about two months.

But anytime a cat has repeated bladder/kidney infections there needs to be a complete blood workup done and xrays, or an ultrasound as well.  

Believe it or not, sometimes the kind of litter you use can contribute to these infections.
And depending on what they find with blood work and the radiology, this food might work for one cat but not the other. She might have some small stones and they might be the kind that this food doesn't address.

Hills makes other urinary diets (actually ALL of their diets for cats are geared toward bladder and urinary tract health.)so it wouldn't be hard to move her to a new one.

After your vet checks her completely and does the necessary blood work etc., you can then go forward with a plan. If she checks out perfectly healthy then you will know that this is a behavioral issue.

I rather doubt it considering her infections. And urine tests are not infallible nor are they that reliable or in-depth. She needs to have a sedimentary spin-down of her urine, have it stained and have it checked for crystals, bacteria, etc.

I hope you get some answers soon. I know how miserable living with plastic is.
Let me know what you find out if you would.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: After her last appointment the vet did xray and blood work and came back that she is just sensitive to inflammation of the bladder.  :0/  So they did a laser therapy on her that is supposed to help relieve that for 8 months or so but then she may need another treatment at that time.  She also said if this doesn't work it is behavioral and stress related and they would recommend Xanax for the cat.   At this time we are giving this a shot.  Do you have any suggestions if its behavior?  She is not overweight at all.

Well of course she is sensitive to inflammation of the bladder! Who wouldn't be. The question is this: what's causing the inflammation?

I think laser therapy is a good start but the question still needs to answered- what's causing this.

I am not an expert by any means but I have never heard of a cat getting bladder infections from a behavioral issue. I know that they will do all kinds of "inappropriate elimination" things like she has been doing from behavioral problems, but NOT bladder infections!

So the question is this-has she been treated for actual infections with antibiotics etc?
If so, then it's hard to see how this is caused by her "mind."

Xanax might just get her over the hump of the problem if it turns out to be a behavioral issue, but I would truly ask your vet HOW behavioral problems can result in actual bladder infections.

As far as recommendations go, there are slews of sites online that can help you better than I can for reprogramming your cat's behavior.

I think I would wait and see how the laser therapy works. If it does, then that proves she has a medical issue. Did he check her for interstitial cystitis?

Like women with overactive bladders, IC can cause exactly what you cat is doing AND result in frequent infections.

I would ask him/her about it.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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