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urinating in the house

Species: Cat
Breed: Am. Shorthaired Tabb
Age: 11-15 years
Dr. Marie,
Isabella is a healthy 13 yr old female cat. For a short period we rescued another female 8 mo. old kitten. They did not get along, fighting and urinating. The kitten has been gone for 3 years now, but the urinating from my cat is ongoing. After so much time, I really don't think the other kitten is the problem. The urinating is usually in the same room. How can I break her of this habit? We've tried it all, spent it all, and sprayed everything suggested to us. HELP!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that you are dealing with this frustrating problem!

There are a number of things that can cause a cat to urinate in inappropriate areas.

The first thing I would highly recommend is to have your vet examine her and her urine to be sure there is not a medical problem. Quite often I have owners come in who assume their cat is behaving badly because of a behavioral issue but really they have a medical problem such as interstitial cystitis, an infection, a kidney problem or urinary crystals.

I am wondering about the possibility of interstitial cystitis for Isabella. This is a condition where animals have inflammation in the bladder in response to stress. This may be why things seemed to start off when the kitten came in the house.

If your vet clears her of medical problems then here are a few things you can do:

-Add 2 or 3 new litter boxes
-experiment with different types of litter
-experiment with different sizes of litter boxes
-restrict her access to the area where she likes to pee - You can do this by closing the door or if that is not possible then cover the area with double sided tape so she will not want to walk on it.
-do all you can to enrich her life - new toys, a kitty condo, etc.

You can also talk to your vet about feliway which is a pheromone which helps reduce stress, or even anti anxiety medication.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.

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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.