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Cats/Cat Peeing in same spot everyday

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Question
Dear Ali,

I have 4 cats in a 4 BR house.  We have 4 litter stations.  2 of the stations have the Fresh Step gravely type litter, the other 2 are corn based.  The cat with the peeing problem goes #2 in the corn litter boxes but he ONLY pees in the same spot, which is by the front door, on tiles, 2-4 times per day, everyday.  

Is there anything I can do to change this pattern?  

Thanks and happy holidays!

~James

Answer
James,

Whenever a cat is soiling outside of the box there are a few important things to do as soon as possible:

- First and foremost your kitty should see a veterinarian to have a urine sample taken and tested for infection, crystal formation, etc... Before assuming that an issue like peeing outside of the litterbox is behavioural you must first rule out medical causes.

- It's important to use the appropriate type of cleaner to clean up litterbox misses - if you've been using regular household cleaners you've been masking the smell of the urine, but not completely removing it. In order to completely remove urine you need to use an enzyme based cleaner - there are several on the market. Petsmart carries Petzyme which works well (I'd suggest buying it in the dog section because you can get a bigger jug and if potty problems are going to be an issue for a bit of time you'll use the cleaner a fair bit). Bissell also makes one called Ewwww which works fairly well.

- Although you are close to the ideal number of boxes for the number of cats that you have you can never have too many... It wouldn't hurt to consider placing a litterbox filled with this kitty's favorite type of litter right where he normally pees on the tiles. Typically in a household where a kitty has a house soiling issue I strongly suggest having several extra boxes and stepping up your cleaning of those boxes to a bare minimum of twice daily. If the litter smells foul to you it's absolutely nauseating to your cat because their sense of smell is so much more sensitive than ours... Think disgusting public restroom gross - that's how your cat feels about a filthy box that stinks.

- If the kitty in question has a urinary tract infection you won't be able to stop the soiling outside of the box until it's treated and cleared up completely, in fact it's a good idea to have the urine re-tested for infection after the antibiotics are finished. There are treatments for kitties with crystal formation in their urine - those crystals are sharp, they cut the lining of the urinary tract and make going for a pee very painful... You may not necessarily see blood in the urine with the naked eye but a urinalysis will show it along with the crystals. Again pain control and treating the problem are key in terms of stopping this kitty from peeing outside the box if this is the issue.

- In a multiple cat household sometimes cats are feeling threatened by other cats... Having your boxes in several different locations means that bullying kitties can't prevent a more submissive kitty from using the box. A pheremone based calming collar might also help to keep the kitty who is peeing outside of the box calm... These collars are available at pet supply stores and typically need to be replaced once a month or so. There are also pharmaceutical approaches for kitties who are anxious but I don't typically suggest them until gentler approaches have been tried because there are side effects and risks associated with any drug. If your kitty is a more submissive type kitty providing him with escape routes in the form of cat trees, kitty shelves, etc might just help him to be less anxious and feel more confident.

House soiling is a topic that books can (and have) been written about so there is definitely more information I can provide, more solutions to suggest, etc. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I am more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,

Ali

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Ali

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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out catinfo.org which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.

Experience

I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

Education/Credentials
I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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