Pepe is urinating in all the wrong places what can I do?
Let me give you a little background into Pepe. He is the second cat in an apartment with one female owner. His owner felt sorry for her other cat and decided to get her a partner and there was Pepe staring back at her with those beautiful black eyes from the window of an adoption centre.
It did not take long for Pepe to start using the whole apartment like a urinal. Finally Pepe was presented to me with the complaint
‘What’s wrong with my cat?’
A thorough physical examination and urinalysis is mandatory to rule out a disease causing inappropriate urination. In Pepe’s case as in most of these cases everything was normal and so a diagnosis of a behavioural problem was made.
There are only two things that need to be done to achieve appropriate elimination. Both are often easier said than done. The first is to remove the smell from the area. I recommend Bio Zet Washing powder. Scrub the affected area with a dilution of powder and warm water. Please test that the product does not affect the material such as staining the carpet first before using in an obvious place. I then use an odour neutraliser. Febreeze is commercially available and there is a product called ‘Urine off’ that is available through vets and pet shops.
The second is to work out why your cat is urinating in the incorrect spot. Here are some litter box rules that you need to satisfy:
- Keep the litter box clean. Cats are fastidious in cleanliness and a dirty tray will be offensive to them.
- Use a litter box that is at least the length of the cat from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Some research suggests even longer may be better.
- Avoid covered litter boxes, as this may trap smells. In a multi-cat household there may be a problem if there is a bully that attacks cats entering or leaving the litter tray
- Avoid having the litter box in a noisy, excessive draft, high traffic or otherwise undesirable location. Cats like to be calm when they go to the toilet.
- Provide at least dim light at night time. Cats have better vision than us in dim light but can not see if there is no light at all.
- Ensure cats can get into the tray if old, young or otherwise debilitated
- Make sure that it is not the litter that the cat finds offensive. Try several types of litter in different trays to see which one the cat prefers.
- If you have multiple cats in one household have a litter tray for each cat plus one extra tray.
- Place litter boxes in multiple places.
- Trim hair of long hair cats between their pads and around their perineum. Again cats hate to be dirty and will avoid going into a litter tray if they get litter stuck to there feet or tail.
Finally, sometimes there are serious behavioural issues that simple environmental changes cannot solve. At this point please come in for another consultation as there are many drug therapies that can be used for anxiety associated issues.