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Dr. John
Dr. John, Small animal veterinarian, ER vet
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1205
Experience:  significant surgical and medicine background, currently working as emergency clinic veterinarian
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Help!!! I have a cat (I think I know which of the 4) who is

Customer Question

Help!!! I have a cat (I think I know which of the 4) who is peeing inappropriately around the house. What should I do? Does Feliway work? Spray or plug in?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.

Dr. John :

Thank you for your question concerning Misha. When did this start? Do you have other cats in the house?

Customer:

I have 4 cats, and Misha is the youngest, He was trapped on our street and I adopeted him when he was about 8 weeks old, and he's now about 3-4 (can't remember exactly).


I first saw this happen when he peed in my open suitcase a few months ago. But now it has gotten a lot worse. Is he stressed out or something?


 

Customer:

sorry for the delay.. uust figuring this interface out.


 

Customer:

By the way he is very feral-ish. I cannot catch him and I even had the at home vet come over and he could not catch Misha either. Very frustrating.


 

Customer:

Are you there?


 

Customer:

hello? I just paid $18 so I hope i get an answer. lol


 

Dr. John :

I'm sorry had a phone call

Dr. John :

I'm here with you now :-)

Customer:

oh okay


 

Dr. John :

Let me read through what you have written so far...

Dr. John :

So this is a new problem though correct? Meaning the first few years you have had him there have been no issues such as this and you already had the other 3 cats when you brought him in?

Customer:

yes


 

Dr. John :

Okay. So inappropriate urination is a medical problem until proven otherwise (it certainly can be behavioral too!) so I will go through all of the possible causes/necessary steps/etc with you...

Customer:

at first i thought it was because i had not changed the litter box frequently enough for his satisfaction, but I just changed all the boxes last night and he peed today.


okay on the medical thing.

Dr. John :

Is he indoor exclusively? If so, does he wish he could get outside, or does he have no interest whatsoever?

Dr. John :

Also how many litterboxes do you have in the house?

Customer:

All my cats are exclusively indoors.


He has never shown any interest in running out the door.

Dr. John :

Okay good.

Customer:

I have one litter box upstairs and 3 downstairs.

Dr. John :

Okay great... So let me go through our possible causes now...

Dr. John :

First and foremost, the most likely medical cause for a cat to do this, especially being younger and male, is a disorder called FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease)

Customer:

:( oh dear :()


 

Dr. John :

This disease results in a sterile inflammation of the bladder and lower urinary tract. Similar to a urinary tract infection, however there is rarely (less than 5%) a bacterial infection component.

Dr. John :

This is a manageable problem. The absolute best thing you can do is have a urinalysis done on him to look for crystals and inflammation in the urine. This will pretty much definitively diagnose the problem.

Dr. John :

It isn't curable but there are a lot of fairly simple measures that can help a lot.

Dr. John :

Feeding an all canned diet (to increase total daily water intake and help dilute the urine and thereby the inflammation), sometimes feeding a prescription diet (such as feline canned c/d), encouraging more water drinking (getting a water fountain type water bowl, spiking water with tuna juice, chicken broth, etc) and anti-inflammatory neutrocuticals such as Dasuquin for cats all can help reduce issues.

Customer:

you there?

Dr. John :

Yes did you just get my response?

Dr. John :

Are you there?

Customer:

oh sorry... yes i saw it finally... just getting used to this interface.

Dr. John :

Okay, no worries, may be delayed as well...

Dr. John :

If the inflammation gets worse - you could see straining to urinate and worst case scenario obstruction (inability to relieve bladder of any urine, a medical emergency situation)

Customer:

so i can't get a urine sample becuz i can't catch him to take him to the vet


and i can't really feed him separately frojm the other cats


my oldest cat (Artemis) has kidney problems as she is 15.5 years old.


 

Customer:

so I do have water in severa places in the house


 

Dr. John :

Another common possible cause we can see for this is diabetes however we don't usually see it in a cat this age.

Customer:

yea he is pretty young


and it could also behavioral


 

Customer:

he is a very big and strong cat!


 

Dr. John :

In multi-cat household situations we usually change the diet for everyone to accommodate the problematic cat, because if this is truly FLUTD, he is at risk for obstruction and this is very serious

Dr. John :

Yes behavioral is also possible however doesn't fit very well given your description

Customer:

yes.. poor guy, if that is the case.


 

Customer:

my house is becoming unbearable due to the pee smell. I really cannot stand it :(

Dr. John :

For behavioral related issues I have owners try Feliway, have a lot of litterboxes (number of cats in house PLUS 1), and allow the cat to go outside if he/she is always trying to get out

Dr. John :

And there is no way you can get him into a carrier for a vet visit for a urine sample?

Dr. John :

How about a house call veterinarian?

Dr. John :

A urine sample is really essential here to know how to proceed properly

Customer:

yes i was thinking of making him an outdoor cat, but i'd need a house outside for him. Cold here in the winter.

Customer:

I tried the at home vet.


The vet could not catch Misha.


so he did not get examined.

Dr. John :

Cats do pretty darn well in the cold until they become geriatric, they are well adapted for it..

Customer:

when i first got Misha, I got him into the cat carrier by putting a can of cat food in the carrier, and he went right in after it. But I think he's too old and smart for that now.


 

Dr. John :

As long as there is somewhere to get away from the snow, like under a porch or shed, etc if need be.

Dr. John :

Are you able to pick him up and hold him?

Customer:

There is a space under the porch. But honestly i'm not even sure how i'd get him to go outside (and not the other cats)


No I cannot catch him or pick him up.

Customer:

when cornered he is a total wild man.


 

Dr. John :

It might be easier to get him in a dog crate or larger cage. I've had a lot of owners bring cats in a larger cage (because they go in for food) because they cannot coax them into the smaller cages

Dr. John :

You could always try to crush up some sedative and put it in his food. Your local vet would be able to provide this. Acepromazine would be a good choice.

Customer:

not sure how i would give it to him and not the other cats.

Customer:

oy vey


 

Dr. John :

However if you are completely unable to catch him for a urine sample, the best advice I can give you is to add a litterbox, use Feliway, switch to all canned food diet, spike water dishes with something cats like (tuna juice, etc) and if the problems continue despite all this, make him an outdoor kitty :-(

Dr. John :

Because you can't have him urinating all over your house indefinitely...

Dr. John :

But shy of doing some medical testing, we are a bit in the dark here.

Customer:

understood.


well those are all good suggestions. I think I will try the feliway and see if that helps.


maybe he is stressed out for some reason.

Dr. John :

Stress can certainly be one of the causes. Is he interested in playing at all? Enrichment/play time can help stressed pets as well

Customer:

honestly i'm not even sure how i would get him to go outside! what a weird situation.


I'm a bad cat mommy in that I don't really play with them much, though I did when he was really little.


I am more of a scritching and loving on them cat mommy, rather than playing.

Customer:

I switched to BLue Buffalo food and they all seem to like it and Misha really does like the dry stuff, but I give them canned food, too.

Customer:

and i usually add some water to the canned food, because Artemis needs the extra water for her kidneys too.

Dr. John :

Well that is good too! But play and exercise is really important, so try to take some time to play with him and keep him active and engaged.

Customer:

okay.


 

Dr. John :

Okay good, yes as much water as possible ingested is ideal

Customer:

any chance of getting a log of this conversation?


 

Customer:

you gave me some good info.


 

Dr. John :

Here is a link concerning the FLUTD disease I discussed as a possibility. You can read through this to further educate yourself if you desire...

Dr. John :

Yes this whole chat log will be saved to your just answer account that you can access at any time!

Dr. John :

So it won't disappear or anything once our chat session is over :-)

Customer:

cool. thanks so much. I have some ideas now. I'm going to buy the feliway.. Do you recommend the plug in or spray or both?

Dr. John :

The plug ins I think produce the most consistency so I recommend those and make sure you have enough through the house to cover all of the square footage

Dr. John :

I believe per plug in it is like 400-600 SQ FT

Dr. John :

But the package will tell you :-)

Customer:

okay will do that. You were great, thank you.


okee dokee


poor kitties :(


i hope i can help him.


 

Customer:

and me too.. or else i'm gonna have to move out of the smelly house.

Dr. John, Small animal veterinarian, ER vet
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1205
Experience: significant surgical and medicine background, currently working as emergency clinic veterinarian
Dr. John and 2 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.
Hi Candy Feldt,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Misha. How is everything going?

Dr. John
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr. John: No changes yet. I ordered the Feliway comfort zone product (too expensive at my vet's office so I ordered from Amazon). Now waiting for it to arrive. If it does not help the situation, then I'm pretty determined to make Misha an outside cat. Have to figure out how to get him out of the house but not the other cats. I will find him an outside cat house and figure out a place to put food and water for him. My house feels nearly unlivable at this point, from the pee smell. Yuck, gross!!

Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.
Yes cat urine is EXTREMELY potent. I'm sorry he is still going in the house. If you do make him an outdoor cat, see if any local vets can be creative as far as getting him for at least some vaccines so he is protected outdoors (and if they are lucky get a urine sample to see if anything needs to be done from a medical standpoint with his issue). Keep trying and sorry again about the wear and tear on your home :-\

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