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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of companion animal experience
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my cat is peeing and pooping everywhere except her litter box.

Customer Question

my cat is peeing and pooping everywhere except her litter box. she has not done this before what to do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Steve :

HI, I'm Dr Steve. How long has thisbeen going on?

Customer :

for about 4 months

Dr. Steve :

Are there any other pets in the house?

Customer :

yes 3 cats

Customer :

but have been together forever like 5 years

Dr. Steve :

Has anything changed around the time that she started this, like losing a cat r getting a new one.

Customer :

nope

Dr. Steve :

Has this problem gotten worse or stayed the same

Customer :

seems to be getting worse she is now peeing on clothes and she peed on the table for no reason we started putting pee pads down so she would use those

Dr. Steve :

Have you had her checked for a Urinary Tract Infection UTI

Customer :

yes but im not so sure that the vet really cared and i wonder if there is a way that we can check cause the vet we saw was not helpful and just charged us a lot of money and told us that she was ok.. but she clearly isnt

Dr. Steve :

Some possible causes for her actions couldbe litter box aversion , This is when something negative could have occurred that she is associating with the litterbox. If she has or had a UTI and was urinating in the litter box and experienced pain from the UTI she may think the litterbox has caused the pain and is afraid to use it for fear f pain again.

Customer :

well as far as we know she has never had any infections

Dr. Steve :

Another possibility is that she truly does have amild or underlying UTI that is causing pain or a burning sensation and bladder spasms. These can cause a cat to suddenly have to urinate andthey often will go wherever they are.

Dr. Steve :

If she has a urinary issue she may also stop using the litter for bowel movements as well.

Customer :

ok so what are we suppose to do as the vet is not helpful and basically just charged us $200 for nothing and now we have no way to get her to feel better and i really dont want to take her back there again. she hates leaving the house and its very stressful for her. is there any other way to treat a uti

Dr. Steve :

There is a condition called idiopathic cystitis in which tehre is inflammation in the bladder without an infection and this inflammation ca cause pain and spasms and make a cat uncmfortable. This may require a urine sample sent to a lab or at least examined under a microscope fo rhte presence of inflammatory cells with or without infection.

Dr. Steve :

IS there any other vets available that may give you better service?

Customer :

not without driving a ways and she hates cars and leaving the house she gets extreamly agitated and pees everywhere and is abnormal for a long time afterwards

Customer :

i dont like putting her through the stress as she is getting older and it takes her a longer time to get back to the way she was

Customer :

what about ideas if it could be possibly a behaviour thing?

Dr. Steve :

Unfortunately there is no effective way to treat either a UTI or Idiopathic Cystitis without medicine from a vet. You could try to get a urine sample if she would hapen to urinate on a hard surface to take to your vet and have him send it in or do a more thorough urine analysis than the dipstick that is often used.

Customer :

so if we had some of her urine they could test it again without her having to be there

Dr. Steve :

You can addres this as a behavioral issue, but if there is a medical problem behavioral modifications will not be helpful. However with the problem of getting her to a vet, I will give you a few tips to try

Customer :

when we took her to the vet last week they said that she was healthy so were now thinking that its a behaviour thing

Dr. Steve :

Yes the urine is the important thing to be looked at to help determine if there is a medical problem so I think you should ask your vet about it and at least it will determine if it is not medical then all that is left is behavioral.

Dr. Steve :

Sometimeswith a urine problem they have to look a littel deeper like under a microscope to check for crystals and inflammatory cells.

Dr. Steve :

For now lets talk about behavior.

Customer :

her behaviour hasnt changed other then the peeing and pooping she is still as affectionate as she was and other then that nothing

Dr. Steve :

If itis behavior, then ther issomethingthat is upsetting her and causing her to behave in this way. Often it is impossible to determine what has set a cat off, but the management is similar. One thing to try is to use a product called Feliway that is a pheromone that is sprayed in the rooom that the cat spends a lot of timein. This helps calm them and allows them to feel safe and reduces the need to urinate inappropriately.

Dr. Steve :

I also have clients keep the problem cat in a room by herself with one or two litter boxes to make it more readily available (the litter) . You may want to get new boxes that are a different color than theld ones so that if she has an aversion she may not associate anything negative with the new coolor boxes.

Customer :

that is a idea

Dr. Steve :

Spray the Feliway in that room and keep food andwater in the room. If she uses the litterboxes in that room , then open the dooor but keep using the feliway in the room so that she can come back into this place thathopefully she will consider a safe environment.

Dr. Steve :

These are steps to start with and hopefully it wil b enough for her to re establish proper habits.

Customer :

thank you for your help.

Dr. Steve :

The idea is to make it almost feel god to use the litter boxes so she will look forward to using them. Ihope thishas helped. If it has would you please click the accept button so i may receive credit for my answer. Thank you and good luck. Ifyou havemore questojns, please continue

Dr. Steve :

you are welcome. Have anice night

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Dr. Steve
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20 years of companion animal experience