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I took in a stray cat who became ill last fall(UTI) and

Customer Question
I took in a...

I took in a stray cat who became ill last fall(UTI) and started using the kitchen floor as a bathroom. Prior to that he cried at the door to go out. Now he won't go out and won't use a litter box. Any suggestion would help. My vet has no solution

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the cat's name and age?

Pepper, 9 yrs

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Pepper?

No, he's been treated for the UTI and is well again

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/6/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,283
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Pepper is having urinary issues and urinating on the floor. Urinary tract infections are rare in male cats, but there are other conditions such as crystals in the urine or something called feline cystitis that can occur in any gender. It is not an infection though. Are you sure the veterinarian diagnosed a UTI?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He administered an antibiotic via injection and gave me prescription food for urinary tract. He talked about ash in dry food. There was blood in the urine when I took him in. Maybe it wasn't UTI but the urine had an awful medicinal smell.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Pepper is well now but continues to use the kitchen floor. Prior to him being sick, I was lucky if I could keep him in.
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Blood in the urine can be caused by any sort of trauma in the urinary tract, so bacteria, crystals, or the feline cystitis condition I mentioned can all cause that. A urinalysis and possibly a culture is recommended to rule out an infection, so if that was not performed then an infection would be less likely. Crystals in the urine can be treated with a prescription diet, which is maybe what you received. Feline cystitis is probably the most common condition and is often caused by an underlying stress or anxiety, which may be not being able to get outside. Increasing the water content in the food and decreasing the anxiety response is the treatment for the cystitis issue. Increasing the water is most easily done by feeding a canned food diet.

Decreasing the anxiety response in cats can be more difficult. There are over-the-counter products called Feliway, which are designed to decrease anxiety in cats. Making sure to have multiple litter boxes available, and things for him to interact with inside the house will help decrease anxiety. For example, having interactive toys that run so he can chase are good tools. Perches that are at various heights, scratch posts, etc. are all important because they mimic an outdoor environment.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Does that help to answer your question?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have provided clean litter since I took him in and he refuses to use the box. Until he became sick he did his business outside. I don't know why that changed. There is another cat that is also a stray that I took in ; in fact the other cat brought Pepper home with him one day. They get along great, play, groom each other, keep each other company, eat together, often sleep together. There are plenty of toys, many are interactive. Today when I saw him squatting in the kitchen I carried him out and set him down where he used to go in the yard. He would not stay. I'm at a loss
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

He very likely could have inflammation in his urine that is causing all of this, so a complete urinalysis and possibly a urine culture should be performed. That might give you the answer. The cause to this is either going to be behavioral or medical, so if nothing happened behaviorally that would make him stop using the litter box then the issue has to be a medical one. My advice would be to take him to the veterinarian and ask for those tests.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He never used the litter box, always refused; he always cried at the door. The other cat I took in does the same, but he doesn't use my floor. He waits until I get there. They were both part of a feral colony in the neighborhood but have been with me 1/12 and 2 years
Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

A hard floor is not usually a substrate that cats prefer. For instance, cats will not typically urinate on concrete when they are outside, so they will use grass or dirt instead. Cat litter is attempting to mimic the surface that they naturally desire, so if he is choosing a hard floor then that would be suspicious of urinary pain. The only way to know is to perform a urine test, which sounds like that has not been performed before. If that turns out to be normal then it is more likely that he prefers these more unusual locations to urinate. The only way to stop that is to prevent access and encourage the use of other substrates such as using dirt or other litter types in more boxes.

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Just checking in. Do you have other questions?

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Cat Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Just checking in. How is Pepper doing?

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