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Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2680
Experience:  DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
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Our cat that we have had 1 year has started urinating

Customer Question

Our cat that we have had for over 1 year has started urinating not spraying outside of his litter boxes in one particular room in the house. We ripped out the wood floor in that room and replaced it and deodorized the entire room. We just caught him urinating in another area in that room. Other than that he is a great cat and gets along with our other cat. Seems happy and no stress.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Hello! I'mCustomer thanks for your question!I have a few questions for you first:1. How many litter boxes do you have in total?2. What type of litter do you use?3. How often are the boxes cleaned?4. What type of cleaning solution have you used to clean the soiled areas?5. Where are the boxes located specifically? For example, in a walk-in closet, in a bathroom, behind a door in a bedroom, laundry room, etc?6. Please describe what the litter boxes look like?Thanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have 4 litter boxes cleaned weekly. We have always used Tidy Cat non clumping. Two litter boxes have covers ,two have open tops. Two boxes are located in basement , two are located in screened in garage attached to house that has been turned into a cat sanctuary.
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Got it, thanks!Most situations involving young, otherwise healthy cats, urinating and/or defecating outside of their boxes involve either:1. Substrate aversion (not liking the type of litter, cleanliness of litter, etc)2. Substrate preference (preferring a different surface, e.g. cloth, plastic, carpet, etc)3. Location aversion (not liking the location of the litter box or type of litter box)4. Location preference (preferring an alternative place to eliminate)5. Idiopathic cystitis (usually stress- related inflammation of the bladder leading to frequent and sometimes painful urination that is often outside the box) - cats, previously fine with their arrangements, change preferences and what used to be okay is no longer, resulting in inappropriate elimination, seemingly out of the blue.Considering the information you've provided, I would suspect that some combination of aversion is at play here, for the following reasons:1. Your boxes are located in relatively inaccessible areas (versus out in the open, which some cats might prefer).2. Most cats prefer open boxes (without tops) and those cats in multi-cat households may not use the closed boxes for the fear of being "stalked", even if the cats seemingly get along.3. Most cats are very clean/fastidious and may not use the box if there is feces/urine in it; at a once weekly cleaning, the level of odor and urine/fecal content in the litter may have become too much for him.Before proceeding with investigation on possible medical causes, I would do the following:1. Move at least 2 (preferably 3) boxes to the inside of the main level of the home (make these the open boxes), in a relatively easily accessible location, for at least 2 weeks as a trial (see this:; make sure the boxes are not within viewing distance of each other.2. Clean all four boxes once a daily - scoop out all urine / feces.3. Use an enzymatic urine odor eliminator to clean all soiled areas and keep both cats away until everything has been cleaned: would give this about 2 weeks and see if there is a difference; if the problem has to do with aversion/preference (most common), you should see significant improvement... If you don't, I would see your vet and have them examine Popcorn and run through some basic diagnostic testing...Please let me know if you have any additional questions!
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, I am not able to provide the Phone Call service at this time... I am happy to continue our chat in this manner if you have additional questions or concerns!
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Hi there! I am following up to see how things are going and whether any additional questions have come up...
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Hi there, unfortunately, I am unable to provide the Live phone call service at this time. I am happy to continue our conversation as a chat. Please let me know what other questions I can answer, if you would like to continue!

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