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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22461
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat who is female and 16 years old has started peeing on

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My cat who is female and 16 years old has started peeing on the hall carpet. Every morning my husband and I come downstairs to find that she has peed somewhere in the hall. After soaking the urine up with kitchen roll I then scrub the carpet with Dettol and water. After a while I soak up the excess and then spray it with Simple Solution Stain and Odour remover but the next morning she is still peeing, sometimes in the same place other times somewhere else. She has also been very unsettled wandering around a lot and miaowing a lot first thing in the morning. Any advice on what to do would be helpful. We have had quite an upheaval recently. My daughter and family (three children) have been living with us for 13 weeks until they found another house. My husband and I have been on holiday for 3 weeks in Australia visiting our son. So there has been quite a lot going on. Maybe its just that she's getting old or whether there is an ongoing problem I don't know. She has no Pet Insurance so haven't taken her to the vet yet. Is there any advice you could give me?

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she been doing this? Before or after your daughter's family arrived?

Is she passing large dilute volumes of urine? Or small volumes of strong/odorous urine?

You noted the hall carpet is a common target, is it near the door? Any new cats outside?

Any weight loss, appetite changes, or has she been drinking more?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think she started this when my husband and I were in Australia in April, so about 2 months. This was when my daughter and family were living with us. I think she is passing moderate volumes and they are quite strong and odorous. No new cats outside and she is passing urine at the other end from the door. I might add she is a house cat and gets out on a lead. My daughter originally had her but when her third child came along asked us to look after Winnie. That was about 5 years ago. She has a very good appetite but I have noticed that she drinks quite a lot, especially during the night. In the morning her bowl can be empty at times.

Thank you,

Now often inappropriate urination in our cats is their way to conveying a message to us. (since cat’s don’t do email). Cats naturally want to bury the urine (since they are naturally prey and this is a means of hiding their whereabouts), so the litterbox should be the natural choice for her. So, her behavior is significant and requires us to look further into what she is trying to tell us.

With this in mind, to start, if she is using the box for feces then we'd be less worried that she is having an issue with the litter box itself. That said, considering Winnie's age, her thirst, her vocalizing, and the character the urine; I'd be most concerned that we have a medical reason for what we are seeing as opposed to a behavioral one. Specifically, I am concerned that we have an underlying systemic issue (ie diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, etc). All of these can cause her thirst, urinary changes, and could alter her blood pressure (which can make them cry more without obvious reason). As well, since the urine is quite strong, we cannot rule out a urinary tract infections as well (which is very common secondarily to these systemic issues at her age). Therefore, it would be ideal to consider a check up +/- having a urine sample or bloods tested. To collect a urine sample, we can often obtain a ‘donation’ if we leave our kitty overnight in a non-carpeted room with an empty litterbox. And once we have that sample, her vet will be able to analyze it to determine if there is anything abnormal (and also check for possible urinary crystals or tumor cells at the same time, just in case). Depending on their findings, they can start treatment as needed for her.

Finally, while looking into that, we do need discourage her from associating this area with being somewhere she can go now. You do need to keep cleaning the area but do try to make sure to use enzymatic odor neutralizing cleaner (ie Fizzion, Nature's Miracle) wherever she has urinated. These tend to work better since normal cleaners will eliminate the smell to us, she may still be able to smell her own scent and thus choose to go there again. A black light can also be used to help find any other sites she has urinated on.

Overall, Winnie's signs together raise concerns of inappropriate urination from health based issues. So, we'd want to look into that for her and address any of these issues found present to help get her back into the box when passing urine.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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