Y’all, I’m triggered. I got this comment this week as I was planning what to write about and I’m so angered by it that I haven’t even responded. I thought that by sleeping on it I’d have a clearer mind, but I just read it again and I’m even angrier than the first time.
This is a comment on a video about how to effectively clean cat pee from carpeting, which is incredibly difficult and repeated urination, well, I haven’t found anything that can help enough. That’s just how it is.
But here’s the deal. We invite cat’s into our home. We promise to care for them and love them. The fact that her cat is peeing in the new nursery tells me a couple of things.
1. More than likely, she did not try to prepare her cat for all the changes about to take place while she was pregnant.
2. Her cat is stressed. They are doing what is natural to them to destress.
3. Her wording implies that her cat is somehow to blame and should be punished by being abandoned.
Let me be blunt. F*CK THAT NOISE!
She is to blame here and giving up on her cat, without any regard as to WHY her cat would be doing this has me all kinds of mad. Not just at her, but at literally everyone who treats cats like they are disposable.
So, let’s talk about why this could be happening and what SHOULD be done in this scenario. And maybe when I’m done I’ll have vented enough to reply to her.
Why would a cat be urinating outside of the litterbox?
There are literally so many reasons and if I had video footage of what is going on inside the home it would help to narrow things down, but I don’t, so here’s about as comprehensive a list as I can put together (in no particular order).
1. There could be an underlying medical reason such as a urinary infection, having trouble urinating, a urinary obstruction, kidney disease, bladder stones, diabetes, arthritis or other pain, cancer, or loss of bladder control.
2. New stress in the home such as:
– Getting new furniture or rearranging furniture
– New or different noises in or around the home
– A new pet in the home
– A new person (or baby) in the home
– Someone moving out of the home
– Leaving your cat while going on vacation
– Changing their diet
– Moving to a new home
3. Problems with the litter or the litter box
– Moving the litterbox
– Changing the type of litter
– Not having enough litter boxes
– Not cleaning the litter box well enough or often enough
– Changing the litter box
– Placement of the litter box
4. Unneutered males are known for spraying or marking their territories, though both male and female cats can spray.
Also, it is worth mentioning that as cats age, their tolerance for unpleasantries decreases. This means that a litter box or type of litter that you have used for a long time may suddenly no longer be tolerable for your cat.
When is it appropriate to see the vet right away, or go to the emergency vet?
– If your cat is straining (inside or outside of the box)
– Signs of pain or discomfort such as yowling, hissing, screaming
– Urinating only a few drops at a time
– Blood in the urine
– Hiding, decreased or loss of appetite
– I’m just going to throw this out there – if your gut is telling you to go, then go
What to do about inappropriate urination
Always, 100% of the time, any changes in mood or behavior should be checked out by your veterinarian.
Once medical conditions are ruled out – and only once they have been ruled out – you can begin to address behavioral issues.
I’d start with the litter box itself. Is it being kept clean? Is it well ventilated? Is it in a high-traffic area? Do you have enough litter boxes (1 for each cat plus 1, at least)?
From here, you can try out different types of boxes and litters. See what your cat prefers. You can also try moving the box to the location where they are urinating to see if they prefer that spot.
For behavioral issues, first and foremost empathy is necessary. Your cat is dealing with something traumatic to them. Help them through the trauma by providing them:
– safe spaces (including verticle space and scratching surfaces)
– plenty of playtimes
– consistency in their routine (including grooming)
– confidence building sessions
– scent transfer to new items
There are also some other ways to help our cats when they are stressed that may not be as obvious but can have a huge impact.
– help your cat process stress better by providing them with fresh foods (kick the kibble!)
– stop free-feeding your cat, which can also lead to boredom, which leads to stress
– utilize hunting feeders and other enrichment for feedings
– while not all cats like it, cat-safe CBD can help some cats
– veterinary-grade essential oils (animalEO) can also be beneficial. I recommend always starting with Kitty Boost and adding in as necessary for your cat.
– flower essences have also been helpful with cats who are stressed, such as Rescue Remedy by Bach
Additional information on happy, healthy cats
September 2021 was all about cats for me! Make sure to check out each post (or video) to get all the info!
Week 1 we talked about vet visits, food, water, and a little something called “hunt, stalk, kill, eat, clean sleep.”
Week 2 we talked about playtime, supervised outdoor time, how having 2 cats are better than 1, and the importance of understanding that a cat is not human.
Week 3 we talked about over-vaccination, vaccinosis, and flea & tick medications.
Week 4 we talked about verticle space and scratching posts, litter boxes, and talking with your cat.
If your cat is struggling to urinate, a trip to the emergency vet is necessary. Blockages are life-threatening. Do not wait.