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Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20962
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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Cat will stop using litter box and wet on rugs. Have been to

Customer Question

Cat will stop using litter box and wet on rugs. Have been to Vet and told to change boxes,move box's have done all of this and she will be ok for awhile and start again. Box is clean and kept clean,this has been going on for 4 years. getting more frequent
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
Hello, and welcome!
My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to help you and Jazz today.
I'm sorry you're experiencing these problems with her; I know it's very frustrating.
My apologies that you did not receive an earlier answer; different experts are online at various times and I recently signed on and read your question. Your patience is greatly appreciated!
You mentioned you brought her to the vet, but was a urinalysis and urine culture done? If not, this would be a good next step. Very often, a problem with inappropriate elimination can start with an underlying medical cause, making her feel discomfort or pain upon urination and then she will seek to avoid the litterbox. While she may not have a urinary tract infection, as evidenced by a urinalysis, there is a condition called idiopathic interstitial cystitis, which causes the same symptoms as a UTI, but no infection is present. It's more of an inflammation, which causes discomfort. Here is more information about urinary concerns in cats:
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/UrinaryConcerns.cfm
Sometimes, a cat will eliminate in places other than the litterbox due to stress, because there has been a change in their environment or in their lives or the lives/routines of their humans. Even if you're not aware of any changes, using Feliway plug in diffusers or spray, may be beneficial. This product emits cat-calming pheromones that are unnoticed by humans; only cats can detect them. Here is more information:
http://www.feliway.com/us
If you only have 1 litterbox now, add 1 or 2 more and if they are covered, uncover them. Don't use a scented litter and you can use 'Cat Attract' litter added to the regular one, which contains herbal attractants to encourage use of the litterbox. You can find this in your pet supply stores. If you have a multi-story house, put one box on each floor; if not, put each box in a different, low traffic, quiet location throughout your house; just make sure they are not near any noisy appliances or her food/water dishes. Cats will not eliminate where they eat and vice-versa.
If you have throw rugs, pick them up from the floor and if you have bathmats, etc., also keep those up when not in use and try to keep locations where she's been wetting (if possible) inaccessible to her.
Make sure to clean any places she has soiled, with an enzyme based cleaner like Nature's Miracle, Zero Odor, Odor Mute or Urine Off, to completely remove the stain/odor. These and many other similar products are available in your pet supply stores, home improvement stores, Target, Walmart, etc. Just make sure it says 'enzyme-based.' If you don't use the proper cleaning product, she will still smell where she has urinated before, and return to the same spot(s), thinking they are now appropriate toileting places. After cleaning the soiled areas, allow to dry completely, and then lightly spray some Feliway spray over the spots and allow THAT to dry completely (about 30 minutes) before allowing her access to the areas. The Feliway will make her think she has already 'marked' these areas.
If there is no underlying medical cause for this behavior, it's possible that there are strays or neighborhood cats or other 'critters' coming around your house and she smells them outside, then feels the need to mark, territorially. Spray the door frames of doors leading to the outside, and window frames, with Feliway (again, allow to dry completely before allowing access) and this should help if outdoor animals are causing her to feel territorial.
I hope this helped and all will be well with your Jazz!
If you have any additional questions, please click Reply and I will be glad to continue. If not, and you found my answer helpful, please be so kind as to Rate with positive feedback so I am recognized by the site for my assistance. Thank you very much!
Warmest wishes,
Cher
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sandra,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Cher
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I'm just checking in with you to see how everything is going with Jazz.

Were you able to have her seen by the vet for a urinalysis and culture, if this has not yet been done? Please let me know. Thanks!

I apologize for my previous answer being all 'smooshed' together, if that's how you're viewing it (that's how it looks to me), and if you found it difficult to read; I tried to fix it, but couldn't; there was a glitch in the system.

I know it will take a while to get all my suggestions in place and for them to be effective, but if you found my answer helpful, please let me know, here. Thank you very much!

If you need any additional information, please click "Reply" and I will always be here for you and Jazz.

Warmest regards,

Cher