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Rosie_MRCVS, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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We have 4 cats in our home. 2 are brothers and are

Customer Question

We have 4 cats in our home. 2 are brothers and are about 8 years old. The third is 6 and a rescue kitty, ant the baby is a 3 year old calico and a rescue kitty. The problem is with one of the older cats. For some reason he will urinate on the rug in the dinning room. I have 6 litter pans in the basement and are cleaned bailey.
The cat that at times is Twerpy, one of the 8 years old. We have 4 litter pans in the basement that are cleaned daily. We are at our wits end of why he does this. He has always been a VERY clean cat and is the smartest cat I have ever had.
My wife and I are both retired so being left alone could not be the problem.
Thanks so much,
Bill Snyder Sr, Lancaster, AC
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
HI I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you. This can be quite a difficult problem to get on top of, but it is always possible but can be a bit of a process. I suspect that he is urinating there because he is slightly stressed - either by some change in the household recently or by the other cats. I agree with you that for a four cat household you need a minimum of five trays. This is because some cats just will not share a tray, and some won't urinate and defaecate in the same tray, despite regular cleaning. However, I would change the placement of the trays - I know that people generally don't want litter trays all over the house but because they are all in the basement this could be making things worse. I would spread them out a bit more, so that if he wants to he can access a tray without going near one of the other cats - so you need at least five locations. Some cats just don't like going near other cats, and if one of the other cats is camped out near the litter trays this could be putting him off. To reduce stress in the household I would also spread food and water access out so, again, he can get to them without going near another cat if he wants to. To make things tricky, ideally the food/water sources shouldn't be near the trays. Cats also see the owners - you - as a resource, so make sure that you spend equal amounts of time with each cat so that they don't feel like they are in competition. It would also be worthwhile checking what you are cleaning the rug with. Anything containing bleach or ammonia makes things worse - this is because, to a cat, this smells like another cat has urinated there and exacerbates things. I would clean the area with a biological cleaner as the enzymes in this break down the smells telling him to urinate there again. When I was doing this I found a solution of biological washing powder the easiest thing to use.Finally it would be worthwhile getting some feliway. This is basically happy cat pheromones in a bottle and can really reduce stress. You can get it in a spray or a diffuser (like a plug-in air freshener) and personally I would get the diffuser. Once you have it in and on you shouldn't turn it off, and leave it working for half an hour before introducing cats to the area. They don't like the initial smells released. It would probably be worthwhile getting more than one so they aren't competing for it. One diffuser lasts about four weeks, and you can get them online, pet stores or over the counter at your vets. I hope I've helped - if you have any questions from this then just get back to me. Otherwise, if you have found this useful, please leave a positive rating so that I may be compensated for my time. Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.