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Cat is urinating on my bed.

Species: Cat
Breed: Domestic
Age: 6-12 months
Hi Dr Marie,

You may not remember me - I'm from Australia, my partner and I email you around 6 months ago to get some advice on integrating my new kitten (Boji - male) into the family. At the time, our slightly older kitten (Cookie - female) did not like the new addition - but I am pleased to say that your advice was fantastic and they are now the best of friends!

I now have another problem. Our older kitten, who is almost 1 year old, has always been a difficult cat. She has always had a little trouble with urinating where she isn't supposed to, and has quite an attitude and can be feisty. We love her all the same - but her urinating where she shouldn't is causing some problems.

On the whole, she's pretty good - using the litter tray and burying it as she goes. We moved house around 4 months ago (which doesn't seem to have bothered the cats) and decided that we would allow the cats to roam the house during the day and night - including the bedrooms. She was fine for the first few weeks, however we came home from work one day and she had urinated on the bed. We cleaned it up and assumed an accident, and allowed them into the bedroom again the next night. She slept on the end of the bed the whole night, and did not urinate on the covers until my partner and I were awake and talking.

After this occurred, I began to think that it was behavioural - given that she waited until we were awake the second time and urinated on the spot were Boji sleeps on the bed the first time. I am not sure. Otherwise, she has urinated on three separate bags laying around the house (two shopping bags and one laptop bag). We keep the litter clean, they have 3 trays between them - I'm not sure what is causing the problems.

Due to Cookie's urinating on the beds, we are now unable to allow the cats to go into the bedrooms without supervision. This is causing some distress to Boji, as he is an incredibly affectionate cat and relies on my company. During the night we are struggling to get sleep as he continuously cries and scratches at the door - to the point where the door bangs. We would love to have them in the bedroom during the night, but can hardly let Boji in without Cookie; it isn't fair.

I really hope that you have some suggestions for us - we are struggling to figure it out.

Thanks and speak with you soon,

Lauren :)



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Lauren. I'm glad to hear that Cookie and Boji are getting along well! But, sorry to hear that you are having the frustrating problem of having a cat pee in the house. This is not a fun issue to deal with.

I get asked about this a lot as it is actually a very common problem and I've written an article about it which may be helpful: Stop your cat from urinating in the house.

The first thing I would suggest for Cookie is to have her urine checked by your vet. I can't tell you how many times I have had people think that their cats had a behavioral problem when really it was a medical issue. She may have a condition called interstitial cystitis which causes inflammation in the bladder.

If the vet finds that the urine is normal then there are a few things that I would suggest in your case. You're already doing a good job of keeping the litter box clean. Sometimes I suggest getting brand new boxes. Even if you keep a box clean they can still collect odors in the plastic.

I'd also suggest buying a Feliway plugin to put in your bedroom. Here is more information on Feliway. These have been proven to help reduce behavioral spraying in cats.

Another suggestion, although not the easiest to implement, would be to put a litter box right in, or outside your room. If she decides to use it, then you can very gradually move it out of the room (wait a few weeks before starting to do this) and into a more appropriate place.

I have a number of cats with behavioral spraying that do really well with medication. I've been impressed with a new medicine on the market called Reconcile which is actually kitty prozac. Cats and dogs actually do really well on medicines like this. The goal is to use it for a few months and if the behavior stops (which it usually does) then often we can wean the cat off.

I hope things improve soon!

Dr. 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 again Dr. Marie,

Thank you so much for your assistance, and sorry for my late response - haven't been around a computer all weekend!

I had thought earlier on to have her checked by the vet, and the only reason I had not done so was because of how infrequently she was urinating where she wasn't supposed to. I suppose I felt that if she wasn't constantly doing it, and it was only every couple of months, it couldn't possibly be medical. Even if she is urinating where she isn't supposed to so sporatically, could it still be a medical problem?

We already have a Feliway diffuser in the house, not in our bedroom but in the family room where they spend the majority of their time. This helps out with her aggressiveness (when she is aggressive - which really isn't that often!) and it calms her when we're not home.

We will try putting the litter box in the bedroom and hope that she doesn't go! Only the other day did we leave our bedroom door open by accident whilst we weren't home and they roamed in and out of there all day; no accidents at all! Strange!

Thanks again and speak to you soon,

Lauren


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Lauren. This still could definitely be a medical problem. Something like interstitial cystitis can come and go so it would make sense.

Hope things continue to look up!

Dr. 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.