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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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How can I stop my cat from messing and peeing on the carpet

Customer Question

How can I stop my cat from messing and peeing on the carpet when he has 2 liter boxes to go in. He is 13 yrs old and I never had a problem with him until we moved into this house.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 6 years ago.

I am sorry you are having trouble.

How long is he doing this?
Is it only in one spot or all over the carpet?
Did any animals live there before you moved in?
is his stool normal,hard or loose?

Thank you,
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He has been doing this from the first day we moved in (January 2010). There were two cats in the house from the previous owners. He picks it along the wall. He sometimes uses the liter box. He does this at night after I go to bed. His stool is normal.
He was a yr old when I got him and I have lived in 3 houses since then. I don't know if it was due to the fact that I moved from Mo. to Fl. and he didn't like the move
Expert:  Terri replied 6 years ago.

Dear friend,


I am so sorry you are having trouble with your boy.

All cats HATE to move. It is very stressful for them and stress can lead to illness.There are a couple of possibilities for his behavior.

1. if a cat experiences a burning sensation when he potties, he will try to eliminate on a soft surface, like carpet.

2. He can smell if other cats have gone there (even if you cannot) and he will want to mark over their urine scent.

3. he could be sick


Cats can have a UTI with no bacteria called Interstitial Cystitis:


Whenever a formerly clean kitty begins to soil out of box, he is usually trying to communicate some sort of pain or distress to his human "mom" or "Dad"

Cats may not seem unwell because it is their nature to hide an illness as long as possible but if the urine or stool is abnormal in any way - that will be your first clue. If his appetite is different that is an indication as well.

Your cat may have a urinary tract infection.That can become serious in males.

UTI's must be treated with an effective broad spectrum antibiotic like Clavamox or clidimycin and for a long enough duration so all bacteria is eradicated. If not, they will refluorish, stronger and more resistant and reinfect him. In addition, the bacteria can become tolerant of the same anibiotic so the medication should be varied for best results.

Anything new is very stressful to a cat because kitty's HATE change and stress can lead to illness so you want to watch for any developing symptoms.

Give him a teaspoon of plain yogurt every day. That will keep "good" bacteria in his colon.

He can also have one drop of unsweetened cranberry juice every day to lower the PH of his stool and urine.

If this continues or gets worse he should be checked.He is not just doing this to annoy you or because he got mad as cats do not think like that - he may not feel well and is trying to let you know about it.Or he is confused..

Sometimes cats become "picky" about the condition of their box and do not want to share or use the same one for both things..Try adding an additional one and see if that helps.

Also try cat attract litter sold in pet supply stores. Clean any soiled areas with an enzyme product so he can no longer smell it.Bleach will not fool a cats nose one bit.

He may be marking in a desperate attempt to reattain his head cat status or he may just be intimidated or sick.

Spray with feliway to fool him into thinking items are already marked. Try rescue remedy sold in pet supplies and is rubbed on the gums.


Clean with an enzyme product like zero odor or odor mute because regular detergents will not fool him either.With carpet, you must lift it and treat the paddding


Here are some additional links that may help (elimination and behavior related):













More info from a feline vet:





Cat's who urinate inappropriately can be very frustrating. With a little understanding of the reasons why our beloved cats begin doing this behavior, we can take positive steps toward finding a resolution.


Inappropriate urination can occur for two different reasons. It can indicate a medical problem or it can be a behavioral problem. Cats begin urinating outside the box as a response to something that is wrong, either with them or their environment. It is not just them "behaving badly" and cats don't urinate inappropriately out of "spite". It is unfair and ineffective to spend weeks or months blaming a cat for urinating inappropriately when it may not be his/h er fault. As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to try to figure out what they are trying to tell us.


Cats can experience 4 different medical causes of inappropriate urination. It is a common misunderstanding that the only medical reason is a bladder infection. An infection, especially in cats with good kidney function, is rare. Cats commonly get a condition called cystitis (sterile inflammation). This is thought be caused by eating primarily dry foods. Some cats can also have microscopic crystals in their bladders that can cause irritation. These crystals are thought to be linked to a diet of primarily dry food, although the carbohydrate content (grains) in the diet can play a role by changing the pH of the urine from what it should be. Cats can have small stones in their bladder or kidneys that cause chronic irritation.


Some of the above listed medical conditions can cause intermittent inappropriate urination. Most people think if a cat only exhibits signs occasionally, it is behavioral. This is not true. The only way to tell the difference between medical and behavioral causes is to have the urine checked by a veterinarian. Another common misconception is that only male cats spray, or spraying a vertical surface always indicates a behavioral issue. This is also not true. Female cats can spray just like males, and ANY urination outside the box should be checked with a urinalysis.


The most common symptoms of a medical problem are frequent attempts to urinate, more frequent visits to the cat box, producing smaller amounts of urine, taking longer to pass the urine (straining), crying during urination, licking the genital region a lot, or urinating outside the box. Every cat experiences a different level of discomfort and not all signs may be present. It is important to take any changes very seriously.


Male cats are especially susceptible to forming a urinary obstruction. If this happens it is a life-threatening emergency. If you are ever unsure if your cat is passing urine, and he is male, seek veterinary attention immediately.


True behavioral problems can often be solved by following these general rules:


1. You should always provide at least one box per cat.

2. These boxes should be in separate rooms in the house, not next to each other.

3. The boxes, or at least one box, should be uncovered.

4. The boxes should be the largest you can find. We prefer the plastic storage containers you can find in variety or home improvement stores.

5. We always prefer scoopable, unscented litter. The natural, scoopable litters are thought to be healthier than clay litter (i.e.: corn, wheat). Silica crystals are also acceptable and great for odor control.

6. The boxes should be scooped of all urine and feces at least daily (no exceptions).

7. The entire litter amount should be completely changed at least every 2 weeks because the clean looking litter will eventually absorb odor.

8. The boxes should be kept away from noisy appliances or ‘busy' areas of the house.

9. Use appropriate odor control/cleaning methods in soiled areas (see below).

10. If you have more than one box, try different types of litter in each.


We can't read our cat's minds so we are much more successful at solving the problem by offering our cats choices. Addressing all 10 points above will make your chance at success greater.


The reason we always recommend at least one box per cat is to reduce perceived competition among cats. Even if your cats get along, if one is using the box or they have just had a sibling "spat", there will always be an available box for the other one to choose from. This is the reason you should never keep all cat boxes right next to each other. Cats sometimes want p rivacy and their own space.


Covers were designed for human convenience. While some cats don't mind them, most prefer to have a good view of their surroundings while eliminating. Covers can make them feel cornered. They also trap odors inside which can be distasteful to your cat.


Even jumbo cat boxes are too small for many cats. They need room to be able to move, dig an appropriate hole, squat, eliminate, and then cover. If they feel cramped or if they are older and arthritic, they may chose an easier location.


Cat's toe pads are extremely sensitive, like our fingertips. Cats can be very opinionated about what texture of litter they prefer. Choosing something soft is usually best. Offering a choice of litter types will also help make sure they stay satisfied. We always recommend scoopable litters (except in the case of crystals) as these produce a cleaner cat box. The dust from clay litter can be unhealthy for the lungs. Scoopable litters such as Swheat Scoop (wheat) or World's Best (corn) are a natural alternative to clumping unscented litters if your cat likes them.


The location of the box is also extremely important. The laundry room is the most common location. However, it can be extremely noisy and sometimes scary due to the washer, dryer, etc. Consider adding a box in a different location.


Normal cat urine will glow under a black light in a darkened room. This is an easy way to locate areas of inappropriate urination. The strongest, most effective odor removal product currently on the market is called Urine Off. It is not recommended to clean the area prior to using this product. It is available at many veterinary clinics, pet stores, and online.



Please let me know how he is doing. if you still have questions, I will always be here for you.

I hope he stops real soon and he feels better!

Very sincerely,