Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

We have a 2 year old british short hair female cat that has…

Customer Question
Hi, We have a 2 year...
Hi,
We have a 2 year old british short hair female cat that has stopped using her litter tray. The tray is clean but she is weeing everywhere around the house. Bella was spayed at 3 months. Have tried different cat litters and this has not changed her habit. After any advice to try and rectify this problem.
Cheers
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 6 minutes by:
2/11/2016
Cat Veterinarian: Doc Sara, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience: I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
Verified

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian in the US who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that you're having this very frustrating issue with Bella. I've been there - it's not an easy problem to fix. Unfortunately, it's also a very common problem. Because it's so common, though, I have quite a lot of info on the topic :)

Cats are super fastidious, so some are very sensitive to a dirty litter box. Some cats absolutely will not pee or poop in a box that's not immaculate, so watching the boxes for cleanliness is important. Cats also tend not to like hoods on their boxes (especially bigger cats - they get too cramped) so I always recommend removing hoods from boxes. Cats also don't like to eat and potty in the same place, so food and water dishes shouldn't be near the litter box.

The ideal number of cat boxes is the number of cats in the home PLUS ONE. Each box should be in a separate spot - a cat will look at two boxes right next to each other as one box, so spread them out. Make sure there's at least one box on each floor of your home too, in case stairs are an issue, perhaps for an older arthritic cat. Boxes should be far from very noisy or unpredictable areas. A washer or dryer or furnace kicking on at just the wrong time can startle a cat and turn them off from the box entirely.

Confinement to one room or a smaller portion of the house away from the problem areas can also help "retrain" the cat to using the litter box. The fewer options they have, the more likely they are to choose the litter box. The longer the house soiling has been going on, the longer the confinement will need to be to establish that good habit. It's also a good idea to gradually allow access to areas of the home once they're using their box in their confinement rather than just turn them loose. Cats do respond favorably to positive reinforcement such as praise and extra special treats when they use the litter box, so if you find her in the box, patiently wait until she is done and then praise her with a very special treat.

It's also a good idea to try a new type of litter. I usually recommend ADDING a new box rather than changing any of the existing boxes. If you're using clumpable litter, I'd rotate through trying pine litter (Feline Pine), recycled newspaper litter (Yesterday's News), crystal type litters, or corn cob litter. Each type of litter has a different scent and different feel on their feet which some cats may like more or less. Sometimes you'll find that he will like one of these new litters better.

In a case where a cat is eliminating in just one specific place, there are a couple of different ways we can react. One would be to recognize that that the kitty is showing you their preference in location, so give them an acceptable option for pottying in that location by placing a cat litter box there or as close as possible to the offending spot. Obviously this is going to be more reasonable in some places than others in your house. The other way you could handle that would be to do something to make that particular place undesirable to the cat by placing something like packing tape, double sided sticky tape, plastic wrap, tin foil, or strong odored diffusers or sprays in the area. Sometimes this fixes the issue, but other times, unfortunately, this can backfire and cause the cat to just go find a new spot to use.

If these things aren't working and the situation is really desperate, I'll consider allowing them to become an indoor/outdoor cat with time outside. If they want to go outside and like to be out there, it often alleviates or eliminates completely the urinating in the home. Obviously, this approach comes with its own set of risks, but IF the choice is to rehome or euthanize them or to allow them to have some outdoor time, I'd choose the latter. I've actually done this with my own cat and it's solved our issue.

I've had some success with pheromone products like Feliway or Comfort Zone. They are geared more toward behavioral marking but sometimes can have an overall anti-anxiety effect and help with litterbox issues.

Lastly, I would consider a course of anti-anxiety medication like fluoxetine. In many of my patients this alleviates or eliminates the problem. Social stresses in a multicat household or other anxiety disorders in cats will commonly manifest as house soiling.

As I said, I absolutely appreciate how difficult this problem is - I've been there myself and it breaks my heart. I miss having my cat in bed with me every night, but I also cannot have him peeing in my house. My dad is retired but he practiced as a vet for 50+ years. As you can imagine, his view on "house soiling" cats was pretty black and white - he used to say "they live in my house, not the other way around". But times have changed - they are such a part of our family that they are not disposable and we aren't going to just give up on them. I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this. Please let me know if I can elaborate on any of those individual things that I mentioned - as I'd be happy to do so :)

~Dr. Sara

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Doc Sara Your Own Question
Doc Sara
Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
952 Satisfied Customers
Experience: I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.

Doc Sara is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Cat Veterinarian

3,951 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,790 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

4,604 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

3,998 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Cat Veterinarian

3,791 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Cat Veterinarian

3,076 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Deb

Dr. Deb

Cat Veterinarian

2,941 satisfied customers

I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Veterinary Questions
My cat wont move. Hes just laying on his side. He threw
My cat won't move. He's just laying on his side. He threw up the night before, but now he's just not moving much at all. He won't eat or drink, or even meow. Just looks at me. What's wrong with him?… read more
Dr. Marie
Dr. Marie
Small Animal Veterinarian
DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine)
1,135 satisfied customers
Our cat ate half a cymbalta capsule(anti-depressant) of 30
Our cat ate half a cymbalta capsule(anti-depressant) of 30 mg. He weighs 10 pounds. We called ASPCA poison center. They said it would not posion him, just act as a sedative. This happened about 10PM l… read more
Dr. BJ Hughes
Dr. BJ Hughes
Veterinarian
Post-Doctoral Degree
4,674 satisfied customers
our kitten is breathing, but not moving...she is limp but occasionally
our kitten is breathing, but not moving...she is limp but occasionally moves her head, what can I do?… read more
Dr. Lajos
Dr. Lajos
Veterinary Pathologist
Doctoral Degree
857 satisfied customers
I recently changed my cats' food to Purina ProPlan Focus
I recently changed my cats' food to Purina ProPlan Focus because one of my cats had a urinary issue. She has been fine, possibly due to the extra hydration, rather than the food itself since I have be… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
10,469 satisfied customers
3year oldfemale cat has vomited day food that is not
3year oldfemale cat has vomited day food that is not digested. Food is kept outa … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
712 satisfied customers
Looking for possible human food products for senior felines
Looking for possible human food products for senior felines have 3 seniors 18 years plus one with lung tumors and over active Thyroid presently … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
10,469 satisfied customers
Vomited a hair ball, this mornings food and it had a small
Vomited a hair ball, this mornings food and it had a small piece of onion in it. He is very uncomfortable and lethargic. … read more
Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt
Associate Veterinarian
DVM
939 satisfied customers
My cat keeps throwing up food and water. We did a food
Sammy, 3 years old not sure if its a hairball issue or food issue … read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,791 satisfied customers
What is the min of food toprevet liver probs in a cat that
What is the min amt of food toprevet liver probs in a cat that has stopped eating? My kitty ate 10-15 pcs kibble today and a few bites of tuna.… read more
Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy
Medical Director
Doctoral Degree
4,790 satisfied customers
My do is in Royal Caniin gastrointestinal food due to
My do is in Royal Caniin gastrointestinal food due to sensitive stomach. Would it be okay to give her freeze dried beef chews for a treat? It's Stella and Chewys brand and I wanted to try a treat that… read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
2,509 satisfied customers
She is not wanting food or treats and a little lethargic.
she is not wanting food or treats and a little lethargic. the only thing I had done differently was plug in an air freshener a couple of days ago. I have since taken it out of the house and opened som… read more
Dr Z
Dr Z
Small Animal Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,715 satisfied customers
Food recommendation for a 7yr old 4lb Maltese with a
Food recommendation for a 7yr old 4lb Maltese with a sensitive stomach. She is currently on Royal Caniin gastrointestinal formula. The issue with this food is that she is quite the picky eater and if … read more
divealot1
divealot1
DVM
8 satisfied customers
Need advice as to best dry food and wet food for 3 year old
Need advice as to best dry food and wet food for 3 year old healthy female cat I just adopted. A petite 6.5 lbs. … read more
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc
veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
536 satisfied customers
can one give a sick cat Ensure If so what flavor and how
can one give a sick cat Ensure? If so what flavor and how much?… read more
Dr. Dave
Dr. Dave
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
3,213 satisfied customers
my cat hasnt pooped in a week. i have no money to take him
my cat hasn't pooped in a week. i have no money to take him to the vet. i want to know what things i can try at home to get him to poop. can he have human laxatives or a fleet enema? what a bout a sup… read more
CriticalCareVet
CriticalCareVet
Veterinary Specialist
Doctoral Degree
57,087 satisfied customers
How long does anesthesia last in cats?
JACustomer: I have a male cat of 3.5 years old. How long can the effects of anesthesia take to wear off?… read more
Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
3,587 satisfied customers
My cat hasnt ate or drank anything all day. She is just laying
My cat hasn't ate or drank anything all day. She is just laying around and actually lets us pet her. She usually will get up and leave when we try to pet her. Her nose is dry and we can't get her to d… read more
Dr. Elaine
Dr. Elaine
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
1,186 satisfied customers
my cat seems to be dragging his back leg on the ground and
my cat seems to be dragging his back leg on the ground and cannot run or jump properly dragging paw so the fur part dragging on ground do i need to see a vet thought he might have been hit but no sign… read more
Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Veterinary Degree (BVMS)
3,475 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x