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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10067
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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At 3 years of age my female cat has started spraying. How

Customer Question

At 3 years of age my female cat has started spraying. How can I stop this? She sprays right in front of me. I need answers or the alternative is to have her put down. My heart is broken
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 3 months ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. If you get a request for a phone call, it is from the website and not myself. In order to give an informative and concise answer, it may take a few minutes before I respond back to you, so don't be alarmed if you don't hear back immediately if you have responded back to me within 10 minutes of my response. I do have a couple more questions, though, to see if I can better assess your situation.

How long has this been going on for?

How often does she do this?

Is she urinating in large or small amounts?

Is she urinating on the wall, floor, furniture, laundry, bed, etc?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
About 1month. In the 3 rooms that have litter boxes and in my closet behind the hanging cloths. Only on the walls.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 3 months ago.

Thanks for the information. The first thing that needs to be done in instances of inappropriate urination is to have your vet rule out any potential medical issues if it hasn't already done. Routine blood work and a urinalysis is usually necessary to rule out potential issues such as a urinary tract infection (not common in young cats), feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), bladder stones, kidney problems, liver problems and diabetes. Sometimes when a cat is sick, inappropriate urination is the only way that they tell you they are sick. From there, if everything is normal, then we tend to deal more with behavioral issues. Anxiety is a common cause. If there are any other cats in the household, stray cats outside or new people in the house, that can sometimes cause this. Anything that will change her routine and environment. Stress is usually the cause of FLUTD. If she isn't spayed, I would definitely get that done in case she is marking. I know that this will sound incredibly stupid, but I have seen some instances where an owner has had a cat for months or years and didn't realize that what they thought was a female was actually a male cat. I know, it sounds stupid but just throwing that out there just in case. New clients of mine had a cat for 12 years they thought was a female and ended up being an un-neutered male. Make sure there wasn't any change in the type or brand of litter or any alteration of the litter box before this started. The rule of thumb is to have 1 litter box per cat, plus one. If she is your only cat, you need two litter boxes. If the boxes are covered, I would consider uncovering them. Make sure the boxes are in an area that is not in a major traffic area but where they can still view their surroundings. Make sure they are not next to loud appliances as well. If there are multiple cats in the house, it may help to keep her in her own room with a litter box to make sure another cat isn't blocking her from it. Scoop each litter box at least daily and clean once weekly with soap and hot water. Many cats can be very picky about the cleanliness. It can come out of nowhere as well. No harsh chemicals to clean either. Try putting the litter boxes where she has been urinating at. When you clean the areas, make sure you use a product that specifically says it neutralizes or eliminates pet odors. If it doesn't say that, they can still smell it and will go right back to it. If it is a carpeted area, it can sometimes get into the carpet pad, and that may need to be replaces. Lastly, consider getting a Feliway diffuser and putting it in the rooms she is urinating in. It is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve anxiety. Some cats may even need to be placed on anti-anxiety medication for inappropriate urination. This is one of the most frustrating things we deal with in cats and may require trying multiple things until you can figure out what works. That is why it is so important to rule out any potential medical issue first. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

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