Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
There are several possible causes for the behavior. I always recommend give a cat the benefit of the doubt that this is an indication of a true medical problem, as it is in most cases. The top few issues that could cause this inappropriate urination would be a urinary tract infection, crystals in the urine, bladder/kidney stones or idiopathic cystitis (this is a sterile inflammation of the bladder related to stress which causes a cat to feel as if he has a urinary tract infection). In a male cat it is crucial he be seen ASAP because if he is actually straining to use the bathroom or going more frequently then he may be at risk for developing swelling of his urethra and then a urinary blockage. Unfortunatley, our male cats are at high risk for this. IT is important to get treatment started to reduce pain and inflammation as fast a possible. There are no over-the-counter products I can recommend for this (you canNOT use any pain medications from a people pharmacy over-the-counter and no antistraining medications made for people with urinary tract pain/infection as these are toxic to cats).
If your veterinarian does an examination and a urine check +/- imaging to rule out stones, and nothing is found, then we consider this a behavioral problem and there are different strategies to try to combat this which may involve medication and enhancing the litter box experience.
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