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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17601
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My female cat is a little over a year old, she's been

Customer Question

My female cat is a little over a year old, she's been walking around the house for a few days crying/purring (very loud meows). She doesn't seem to be in pain, playing normally. But she is peeing in every corner of the house and on walls... backing up to them in front of me, not sitting. I have 4 litter boxes, they are scooped every day, and cleaned out entirely once a week. She even has her own bedroom. No blood in urine...the only other time she's peed not in a litter box was when we first found her and she was a few weeks old and very sick.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Has Dahlia been spayed?

When she urinates on the walls, is she passing large or small volumes? Strong or dilute urine?

Any changes in her thirst?

Any changes at home (ie new pets, new neighbour cats outside, altercations between existing cats, changes in schedules, people, babies, renovations, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No she has not yet been spayed
Sometimes it's just a little bit, sometimes a lot, usually dripping down the wall
no change to thirst
The only thing that has changed was we are getting new couches so we got rid of the old ones a few days ago. But she started this probably a day or 2 before.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the scent is VERY strong
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Would you say its stronger then usual for her?

Since her signs started before the new couches arrived, can you tell me if there was any furniture moving, cleaning, etc. on those days before (since any change can cause sensitive /vulnerable cats to react in this manner)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
stronger than usual
no, no moving of furniture or cleaning that would be out of the ordinary prior to all of this
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, we do see inappropriate urination for a range of reasons. That said, we can divide this into 2 categories: health issues (ie bladder infections, urine crystals, bladder stones, metabolic or organ disease) and stress/anxiety ones.

Now based on what you have told me, this doesn’t sound convincing for bladder infection. In those cases, we often see frequent straining and consistent small volumes of urine passed. That said, I must note that we can see odd urine based inappropriate behavior in some cats that are in season (a concern if she isn’t spayed and perhaps she is being stimulated by the odor of a nearby tomcat) and those with urine crystal issues. Therefore, in regards ***** ***** latter, it’d be ideal to have a urine sample tested to rule out crystals. Just to note, we often we can obtain a ‘donation’ if they are left overnight in a non-carpeted room with an empty litter box.

That aside, we need to consider the second category for Dahlia's signs as well. As I am sure you can appreciate, often the basis of inappropriate urination in our cats is their anxiety to some issue that is bothering them. Urinating out of the appropriate spot in an adult cat is like a message (since cat’s don’t do email). I like to think of cats as little hermits, animals who like their routines, and their environment as stable and unchanging as possible. This desired lifestyle becomes a problem when the humans they live with make changes that they can’t readily accept. This can include any external change at home and sometimes can be hard for us as humans to pick up on.

With this in mind, we tend to find the use de-stressing treatments of benefit as we work out what is unsettling them. Often we will use Feliway, (also known as Comfort Zone in the pet stores) which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser. There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well, there are nutritional supplements like Kalmaid or Zylkene that can soothe anxious cats and reduce their need to carry out this behavior.

Finally, we need to discourage her associating the walls/non litterbox places with being somewhere she can go. Therefore, you will need to make sure the areas are cleaned afterwards. And I would advise making sure you are using an enzymatic odor neutralizing cleaner (ie Fizzion, Nature’s Miracle) wherever she has urinated because while normal cleaners will eliminate the smell to us, she may still be able to smell her own scent and thus choose to go there again. Her scent will be the red flag that its 'ok to pee here'. Just to note, if you have any doubts of where she has gone, you can use a black light to help find any other sites (since cat urine glows under black like). Also, you can try her with an OTC litter attractant additive to 'remind' her where she should be.

Overall, it sounds like your lass has had fairly good litter box manners up until now. Therefore, this tells us that something is amiss and bothering her. Since the urine is darker and she is going inappropriately, I would strongly advise having a urine sample tested at this point. If you find something amiss, then addressing it should halt the behavior. Otherwise, we’d want to address the stress/anxiety side of her signs. And of course, in both cases we need to make sure we are removing her scent to discourage her continuing to go inappropriately. Finally, if you try the above and she is still struggling, then we may need to consider speaking to her vet about medication dampen her urine-marking drive. These can be short term and long term treatments depending on the cat. Often it doesn’t have to get to that point using the above can usually help them settle.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
urine is clear
do you think this could have anything to do with her not being spayed?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Urine being clear unfortunately doesn't rule anything out. Many times the changes are only appreciated on the microscopic level. The fact that she is passing darker urine but not in a manner characteristic of cystitis, just raises concerns of a more subtle issue like crystals. Otherwise, yes, as I noted above her not being spayed could certainly be a factor here (especially as urine marking is an instinct to let other cats know when you are somewhere, so it would be a way of letting a mate know she was available). Especially since she is otherwise well and there are no easy to identify stressors/changes for her behavior.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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