Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

My cat will not use her liter box to urinate! She is

Customer Question
Hello, my cat will...

Hello, my cat will not use her liter box to urinate! She is currently on behavior medication which I thought helped, because she has been using the liter box again and then this morning she decided to pee on the couch again, her stomach is bloated and hard as rock! I have had her to the vet and they have done X-rays, they say everything looks fine! I have feliway diffusers all through out the house, I have drenched my couch in urine gone, and other urine eliminating products so she couldn't smell herself but I don't know what else to do!

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the cat's name and age?

She is 1 years old and her name is*****: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Kali?

She is healthy as a horse, that is why im not understanding this behavior???

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 4 hours by:
9/15/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 11 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,509
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Verified

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 11 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I have advanced training in feline behavior and am pleased to discuss Kali's behavior with you. I must admit that retraining her is going to be a challenge but perhaps after reviewing my notes that I use when lecturing about her behavior you'll have a better idea of how to address it.

Kali is clearly exhibiting marking behavior. She is not likely to be eliminating inappropriately due to litterbox aversion or a medical disorder. Marking on a horizontal surface (the couch) is marking behavior (a communicative function) caused by the same stimuli that causes spraying. We’re not sure what cats are trying to communicate to us but we do know that wild cats will mark to announce their presence. It’s reasonable to assume then, that Kali is doing so as well. She’s essentially “taking ownership” over marked areas which then assuages her anxiety. The most common cause is increased cat density - in the home or nearby. Emotional problems, such as a stressful relationship with a family member, separation anxiety, anxiety over her status in the existing hierarchy, fear, owner absence, moving, new furniture, inappropriate punishment, teasing, household changes and remodeling in the home are examples of stimuli that can induce anxiety in our cats. The etiology can be difficult to diagnose, especially if the behavior is only manifested intermittently and because the stimuli for her inappropriate eliminative behavior may be imperceptible to you but readily so to her - another cat roaming outside, e.g. If emotional factors are influencing the housesoiling, you might notice other changes such as avoidance, aggression or an alteration in her general temperament.

Treatment involves two major considerations: 1) Remove the cause - easier said than done. You might have to be quite the detective to discern the stimuli for her inappropriate eliminative behavior 2) Prevent Kali from returning to previously soiled areas by confining her to a very small area with the box and only allowed out when she can be supervised 100% of the time. When confined to a relatively small area, most cats seem to prefer to eliminate in the box rather than soiling the floor. It’s then a matter of confining her long enough for a consistent habit to become established. As a rule of thumb, one week of confinement is usually recommended for every month of soiling. She should be removed from the confinement area as much as possible for socialization and play, but never allowed out of sight. Food rewards may help when given after she uses her box. If she refuses to use the litterbox when confined to a small area, the confinement area should be changed to a large cage. The floor should be covered with litter, forcing her to use it for elimination. The litter is gradually removed and replaced with a litterbox. Once she has used the litterbox in a confined area for an appropriate amount of time, she can be allowed to have more freedom in the home. Previously soiled areas can be safeguarded by changing the behavioral function of the area by placing food bowls, cat bedding or toys in the area. The area can also be made unacceptable for her by placing a motion-activated alarm or lemon-scented room deodorant in the area. Plastic carpet runners can be placed upside down with the "feet" facing up. Plastic, foil, or double-stick carpet tape can be used to protect specific areas. Removing urine and stool odor is important. Products such as Nature's Miracle which are specifically formulated to work on these types of odors are recommended.

Some cats are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment. They may mark in response to the most minor of alterations. You must strive to keep the home environment as constant as possible. When situations exist that are likely to upset Kali, you might want to consider confinement, closer supervision and the use of anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication such as paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac). In fact, most behaviorists feel that without the use of psychotherapeutic drugs our chance of correcting inappropriate marking behavior is near nil. (Personal note: My two cats began marking as kittens. After 6 months of fruitless treatment they became outdoor cats - for 12 years.)

Nobody wants to confine their pet as I've described but her behavior requires desperate measures. My male urinated on my pillow while I slept - an obvious behavior designed to make sure that his sister and I knew who's bed it really was. He apparently was anxious about his status in the hierarchy of my home.

Success in management with psychotherapeutic drugs is measured by a 70% reduction in adverse events. In other words, if my cat urinated on my pillow 10 times monthly prior to drug administration but only 3 times monthly after drug administration, success in treatment is acknowledged. Needless to say, that didn't please me and I certainly hope that you have better "success" than I. Perhaps you will not having another cat in the house.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a cat veterinarianLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,509
35,509 Satisfied Customers
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.

Dr. Michael Salkin 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

3,959 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,835 satisfied customers

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

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

4,656 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

3,944 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

2,960 satisfied customers

I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Veterinary Questions
I have two cats that over 10 years old , they have always went
I have two cats that over 10 years old , they have always went in the litter box fine , one cat has had urinary issues but i give her special food for that , one started using the restroom outside of … read more
Dr. Karing
Dr. Karing
Veterinarian
DVM, Magna Cum Laude
426 satisfied customers
my male neutered cat has begun spraying. vet said he was medically
my male neutered cat has begun spraying. vet said he was medically fine. just feels threatened by other cats in household. wants me to put cat on prozac. im not comfortable with medicating my cat is t… read more
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
674 satisfied customers
recently out of the blue my five year old cat started peeing
recently out of the blue my five year old cat started peeing on my couch could it be from her being on prednislone she goes in the litter box for everything except when she pees what is causing this b… read more
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,408 satisfied customers
I have a 14 year old cat who has started peeing on my couch
I have a 14 year old cat who has started peeing on my couch whenever I leave the house for more than a few hours. What can I do to stop this behavior?… read more
Pet Doc
Pet Doc
Senior Small Animal Veterinarian
BVSc
2,782 satisfied customers
cats: year old male..time they were a few days old
I have a trio of 2 year old male cats that I hand raised from the time they were a few days old. They are strictly indoor cats. When they were tiny kittens I kept them in a box in my living room. When… read more
Dr. K
Dr. K
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
2,462 satisfied customers
We have a teacup Persian, 1 1/2 yr nuetered. I do pet sitting
We have a teacup Persian, 1 1/2 yr nuetered. I do pet sitting as my business in my home and in the last 6months, our cat has been peeing on the couch cushions in our family room, where he has domain. … read more
Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,998 satisfied customers
My kitten poops in her litter box but she pees on our beds
My kitten poops in her litter box but she pees on our beds and blankets. Why isn't she peeing in her litter box? She knows where it is.… read more
Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,998 satisfied customers
My 4 year old cat has stopped using the litter box. She both
My 4 year old cat has stopped using the litter box. She both pees and poops outside the box. She squats and it does not seem painful. She mainly uses our two couches which I have tried my best to cove… read more
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Chief Staff Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
772 satisfied customers
My female indoor cat has been urinating outside the litter
My female indoor cat has been urinating outside the litter box lately. Last night she peed on my clothes that were left on the floor by my bed. We have 2 cats (one male) and 3 litter boxes that are cl… read more
Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta
Large and small animal Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
22,387 satisfied customers
We have a 12 year old cat and a 3 year old cat. The younger
We have a 12 year old cat and a 3 year old cat. The younger is extremely clean and won't use the litter unless it's absolutely clean. The older will go most anywhere but isn't careful and tends to sta… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
35,509 satisfied customers
cat: dome-covered box) if he orients his back end toward the opening
My male cat uses the liter box but when he pees in the box the spray goes all over the box including on the outside of the box (it is a dome-covered box) if he orients his back end toward the opening … read more
Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta
Large and small animal Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
22,387 satisfied customers
I have a ten year old tiger tabby cat - neutered male. He has
I have a ten year old tiger tabby cat - neutered male. He has been well adjusted for his whole life, and is very settled in his home environment. Suddenly, in the last couple of weeks, he has begun to… read more
andrea roberts
andrea roberts
veterinary surgeon
Bachelor's Degree
1,292 satisfied customers
My cat snowball is 16 years old she has cateracts now and I
My cat snowball is 16 years old she has cateracts now and I have a problem with her. About 2 years ago. I found urin on the living room carpet which had me very much upset, her litterbox is getting cl… read more
Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob
Practice owner
Doctoral Degree
6,702 satisfied customers
My cat is about 19 years old and recently has stopped using
My cat is about 19 years old and recently has stopped using her litte box, she has started using the tub. She started using the bathtub for bowel movement about a year ago, but she has recently starte… read more
Dr. Andi
Dr. Andi
Small animal veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
583 satisfied customers
My cat has recently started peeing on the dogs beds. Ive
My cat has recently started peeing on the dog's beds. I've had her to the vet...nothing medical. Nothing has changed at our house. She likes the dogs and they like her. I just finished washing the dog… read more
Dr. Lee
Dr. Lee
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
4,959 satisfied customers
My cat is 16 years old and started urinating on living room
My cat is 16 years old and started urinating on living room rug - I tried to compensate, by putting a litter box in the place she was going, but she likes the rug better! There have been a LOT of chan… read more
Dr. Jamie
Dr. Jamie
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
721 satisfied customers
cat: my 7 year..uti..sudden she was urinating/defecating on the floor
Qustion- my 7 year old indoor cat has been terrible for the past year. I have taken her several times to the vet, and she is cleared medically. Last summer she did have a UTI which explained why all o… read more
Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,998 satisfied customers
I have a large Male Tabby cat whom I addpoted from the Humane
I have a large Male Tabby cat whom I addpoted from the Humane society when he was 2-3 yrs old the problem he loves to urinate on anything leather and now has also taken to doing #2 on my leather couch… read more
Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta
Large and small animal Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
22,387 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