Welcome to JustAnswer! I am a licensed veterinarian and would be glad to help!
Whenever I have a case such as this, the question is - why are they not using the litterbox, or urinating and defecating outside the litterbox.
..is there an underlying cause or is this just bad behavior???
Unfortunately, there is no "bad behavior" test. This is a diagnosis of exclusion - meaning that you need to make sure there is not an underlying cause:
Especially when an older cat is having this behavior - I would recommend looking into an underlying cause before calling this just behavioral. Older cats tend to have a higher likelihood of an underlying cause for this signs.
Diseases which we should look for:
- Kidney issues
- Crystals / StonesTests to consider to rule-out causes include:
- Bloodwork - to look at the cell counts, organ values, thyroid, and blood sugar
- Evaluation of the urine for a UTI
- X-rays or Ultrasound looking for stones or other kidney abnormalities
Until we can get the tests done, and in case this is believed to be more behavioral, here are some options that you can try at home.Clean all inappropriate sites with an enzymatic cleaner. Use a citrus deodorant spray or double-sided tape to discourage the cat from visiting problem areas.
You can also add different types of litter in the house (clumping vs non clumping, scented vs unscented)
You can also place a carpet runner you use for desk chairs upside down so the little plastic spikes are facing up - in the area that she urinates abnormally - cats do not like to walk on this and will then avoid this area - hoping to use the litterbox.
Aluminum foil is another product they do not like to walk on an can be placed in areas of elimination.There is also a product, Feliway - which emits a hormone/phermone to reduce stress to help in behavioral situations just like this!
Here are some additional links that may help (elimination and behavior related):
I hope this information helps :) _____________________________________________________________________
Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian