My rescue pees all ...
 

My rescue pees all over the house but poops in the litter just fine!  

Dolly
Dolly
Originally Answered: My rescue pees all over the house but poops in the litter just fine!

Cat: 2-years-old, neutered male

 

He was feral outside at 8-weeks-old (starved, riddled with parasites, gash in neck and respiratory infection). Since I brought him in, he will poop in the litter just fine but always pees away from the litter boxes. I have 3 litter boxes. This was even before he was introduced to my two senior cats, so it was never him being stressed by their presence.

 

I've brought the issue up with my vet but was only ever met with "that's just his personality." I've mainly heard from other cat owners that it could be stress and/or UTI. So I currently have him eating wet food (I add extra water into the mix to have him drink more) as well as a dry food that promotes urinary tract health AND some UTI drops.

 

I'm open to what anyone thinks!


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Melina Grin
Originally Answered: My rescue pees all over the house but poops in the litter just fine!

Hi Dolly,

Thank you for your question.

House soiling is very frustrating. Would you mind answering few questions to obtain further information and confirm if he had a thorough medical check-up?

Did he ever urinate in any of the litter trays since being adopted?

Have you made any changes to the litter type, litter tray or latrine location since adoption?

When or at what age did he start house soiling and do you recall roughly the trigger for the behavior? (i.e. did you move house, carried renovations, went on holidays, got a new pet, think back on any major event)

When he urinates does he squat to urinate or spray (vacates small volumes of urine onto vertical surfaces), please capture on a video if unsure.

Where exactly is he peeing, is it on any particular substrate or item (i.e. tiles, carpet, bed, shirt, furniture), is it always the same substrate or different surfaces?

Do you scoop ALL the litter trays twice daily and clean them regularly?

 

When it comes to elimination outside the litter, initially it’s imperative to undergo a medical checkup, a behavioral and environmental evaluation to identify potential emotional motivations (fear/anxiety/panic) for the behavior.

There could be number of motivations your cat is peeing everywhere such as a medical problem, aversion to litter type, litter-box including location, marking behaviors, poor house-training, preference for a specific site and substrate, social and environmental stressors.

Cat owners are unaware that it’s instinctive for cats to urinate separately from where they defecate, hence why he doesn’t urinate where he poops. It’s worth conducting a Litter type and/or Litter Tray preference test by offering 3 different options of litter and latrines. Please do not move existing tray in which he defecates since it may confuse him.

Be mindful that peeing outside the tray can become a habit hence early intervention is crucial. Most cases can be treated successfully with supplementation, environmental as well as a behavioral modification plan together with medication for severe cases.

My recommendation would be to consult a Veterinary Behaviorist or request a vet referral to a Feline Behaviorist.

Meanwhile, feel free to read our article about 6 Common Reasons Why Cats Pee Outside The Litter.

Lastly, please do not feel obliged to answer the questions in this public forum, however keep them in mind when you seek professional help.

 

Hope this gives you a little bit of guidance.

 

All the best,

Melina


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Dolly
Dolly
Originally Answered: My rescue pees all over the house but poops in the litter just fine!

Hello! Thanks for reaching out. Some of your questions were answered in my original posts but I'll organize them down here as well.

 

Thorough check-up: Took him to the vet about the peeing. But the vet just said it was his personality to want to pee outside of the litter.

 

He has multiple litter boxes and sometimes will use them for peeing.

 

I've tried several different litter types for him, no success.

 

I brought him in (feral) when he was 8-weeks and immediately had litter troubles with peeing. He knows to go near it but will pee outside of it. The litter box size isn't an issue, he can walk in, turn around in it and all of that just fine as well.

 

No noticeable triggers. All I can say is bringing him inside at 8 weeks, he's two now and still doing it.

 

He squats when peeing.

 

He somewhat mostly pees by or on walls. Most likely because it's more tucked away like a little box would be vs in the middle of a room. It's all different surfaces.

 

Clean litter, yes. Multiple litter boxes just for him. (My two senior cats never only ever shared a single box), now I have 4 for him the past two years.


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Melina Grin
Originally Answered: My rescue pees all over the house but poops in the litter just fine!

Hi Dolly,

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, my apology if I missed some answers.

Vet check-up: sounds as though it was a quick check-up without proper diagnostic tests. Perhaps on your next scheduled visit you can ask the vet to run few diagnostic tests like an urinalysis, it’s also a good idea to have blood work so you have a comparative analysis of blood parameters when your cat becomes mature or ill (fingers crossed that won’t happen). Politely let your vet know, that you would like to investigate it further despite his ‘personality’.   

Once medical causes have been ruled out, some of the patterns you mentioned can be investigated further. Initially perhaps the elimination outside the tray started due to pre-existing health issues (infection, parasites) and/or stress from relocation outdoors to indoors (change of territory) while also learning to co-exist with humans.

There are other methods you can consider combating the elimination behavior such as adding a litter attractant, changing the importance of the soiled area, litter retraining and even behavior modification.

I would encourage you to engage a veterinary behaviorist who can carry out the diagnostic tests including conduct a home visit to assess him, his diet, your environment and optimize the litter facilities to his preference.

Despite its complexity, please don’t give up!

 

All the best,

Melina


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Dolly
Dolly
Originally Answered: My rescue pees all over the house but poops in the litter just fine!

No worries and thanks for the help.

 

Yeah, despite bringing in my boy to examine, it seems as though my vet didn’t care to be thorough at all. I did buy a urine kit and his pH seems to be mid-high levels so I have him on some medicated UTI drops to see if that helps and I’ll re-test his levels in 1-2 weeks. I’ll see about giving a urine sample to my vet within then and see if they find anything and can give any medication, too.

 

I’ve blocked off some places he’s peed in with big empty boxes just to help keep him away from re-soiling areas, but I definitely want him to learn that the litter boxes are just fine to use since my house is just turning into a huge box fort that he can’t even go into.

 

It’s been a wild ride. I’ve never had such a stubborn cat before and I don’t want to have to re-home him but I feel like I’m not good enough to take care of whatever needs he’s not getting filled. People didn’t want him even when he was a kitten (I brought him in to nurse him back to health out-of-pocket but ended up keeping him), so I’ll feel like a failure if I have to give him away and him not understanding why he was abandoned. Breaks my heart to think about so I’ve been really pushing to figure this out.

 

Also apologies if I write too much!


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