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Help! What do I do if my cat is peeing in the house?

2 gorgeous cats! Bacci and Kitty J.

Please don't panic and keep calm if your cat stops using the litter pan. There are many things we can do to help remedy this problem! Your cat doesn't hate you and is not doing this out of spite.

1. Rule out medical problems:

The first thing to do is rule out medical problems. A trip to the Vet is a MUST in this situation. Don't just assume the problem is behavioral, a medical issue may be the cause. Medical issues like bladder infections, bladder stones, kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer or feline lower urinary tract disease may be the cause. Older cats with arthritis may have difficulty getting in and out of the litter pan, or have a hard time getting down the stairs to the basement to use the pan.

2. Be sure your cat is spayed or neutered

Surgical sterilization helps decrease territorial urinary marking

3. Litter pan issues:

Have 1 litter pan per cat plus 1 extra pan

Keep the pan clean. Clean it at least once daily

Remove cover from pan

Remove plastic liner from pan

Avoid automatic cleaning pans - they can malfunction and scare kitty if they turn on while kitty is using it

Use clumping NONSCENTED litter. Avoid scented litter

Do not put a plug-in air freshener near the pan

Do not put litter pan near loud appliances that might scare them (like furnace, hot water heater or washer/dryer)

Be sure the litter pan area is always accessible

Have a pan on each level of the house, not just in the basement. This is especially important for elderly cats with mobility issues like arthritis.

Use shallow-sided pans (like kitten pans or ferret pans) for older cats with arthritis

Be sure the pan is large enough for your cat. If you notice pee right next to the box the cat may be "overshooting" the pan and urinating right next to it. If this is the problem, put puppy pads around the pan and get a bigger pan

4. Clean the area of urinary accidents well:

Clean with a product designed to remove urine odors. Do not use ammonia,

Put shower curtain liner or carpet runner (prong side up) in area of urination.

5. Watch for stray or neighborhood cats hanging out around your home:

Surveillance may be needed for this (trail camera).

Other cats invading your kitties territory may trigger urinary marking.

Motion activated sprinklers can help

6. Help your cat "chill out":

Feliway spray or diffusers

Essential oils

Zylkene supplement added to canned food

Increase play time



7. "Catify" your home:

Cat shelves

Cat trees near windows

Bird feeders = cat TV

Check out Jackson Galaxy's books "Catification " or "Total Cat Mojo" for some excellent tips

8. Medications

If all the above doesn't help sometimes kiity needs some meds from the Vet (Fluoxetine. etc..)

Questions? Feel free to contact us at or call (630) 859-0471

Fox Ridge Veterinary Clinic

Judy L. McBeth DVM, CVA

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