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Urinating outside of box.

Species: Cat
Breed: mixed
Age: 11-15 years
Hi Marie,

We spoke briefly this morning about my cat. As I said this morning, she is 15 years (turning 16 in March). Over the last year she has lost weight, but seems eating and drinking fine. However over the last month she has started urinating in other places then her litter box. I was just wondering what your thoughts are.

Thank you

Cheryl


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Cheryl! Thanks for using my website!

There are a few things that can cause these symptoms but it will be hard to tell without having some tests done on Yu.

My first concern is that she may have a problem with her kidneys. It is relatively common for older cats to have kidney problems. While this doesn't directly cause a cat to urinate in unusual places, sometimes a cat with kidney disease is more prone to getting a urinary tract infection.

Some cats can urinate in strange places because of a condition called interstitial cystitis which can cause irritation in the bladder. However, it would be a little bit unusual for a cat of this age to just start developing this problem now in her life.

Have there been any major changes around the house? Some cats can urinate inappropriately because of stress or change in routine. One of our own cats has started to urinate in the house because we brought another cat home and she is not pleased about it.

I am a little bit concerned about the weight loss. Sometimes this can just be normal as a cat ages. However, it is possible that it is a sign of either kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.

Ultimately it would be best to have your vet see your girl and do some urine and blood tests. You are certainly welcome to come and see me - my practice is in Vanier so it is a little bit of a drive for you. A visit generally costs about $60. To do bloodwork and urine tests is around $160.

If you want to try a few things first before you come in here are some things that may help:

Get rid of your litter box that you have now and replace it with 2 new ones. Sometimes boxes can retain odours when we have had them for a long time.

Be really vigilant in cleaning the box regularly.

You can also try something called a feliway plugin which is a product that releases pheromones that help make a cat feel less stressed.

It is definitely a good idea to have Yu looked at. If there is a medical problem often there are things we can do to help!

Thanks again for using my website! You can always send me a message via facebook too if you want to.

Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

HI Marie,

Thanks, in you responce you mentioned a feliway plugin, what is it, and where would we get one? We will change her box and see how she is. How long do you think we should wait to see if these steps help out?

Thanks again,

Cheryl


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome. The feliway plugin is like a Glade scented plugin but instead it releases an odour-free phermomone that helps make cats feel good. You can buy them at the pet stores and they are around $40 or so.

I think if the problem is getting worse or not resolved in a couple of weeks then she should have a check up.

Have a great day!
Marie



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.