Inappropriate house-soiling (or peeing or pooping in the wrong place) is the number one cause of re-homing and euthanasia in cats. Yes, we know, it is incredibly frustrating. However, it is important to remember that your feline friend is not exhibiting this behaviour intentionally. Rather it is their cry for help and thus it is so important to understand the underlying causes in order to help rebuild the special bond between you and your beloved cat.
When a cat is peeing in the wrong place (on the carpet, the sofa or the bed! for example), there are, broadly, three potential causes:
If one of our vets has ruled out health problems by examining your cat and also analysing her blood and urine and imaging, the conclusion is likely to be that the cause is behavioural. There are a number of ways to help reduce your kitty’s anxiety, remembering that it is natural for cats to mark their territory anywhere and everywhere!
Cats by nature are territorial and predatory creatures. They need mental and physical stimulation! Access to the outdoors allows them to exercise this instinct for both mental and physical stimulation. If confined indoors they may become bored, which can lead to stress. This stress can precipitate urinary health and behavioural problems. So, particularly if they are indoors, they need a variety of interactive and solo toys.
There are five pillars of a healthy feline environment:
Nutrition is an important adjunct to the management of urinary problems in cats. Complete and balanced Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Stress & Royal Canin Urinary, available by recommendation from your vet, are specially formulated to support your cat’s urinary health, while the Hill's product also manages stress. Royal Canin also has Calm food, which can also be helpful in maintaining emotional balance. In addition to choosing the right nutrition, many cats with urinary issues can also benefit from eating canned or pouch foods as part of their daily diet as they contain more water and help to keep the urine more dilute.
So don’t despair. There is hope for cats that pee where you don’t want them to. It is a complex process focused on both ruling out or treating underlying medical causes by your veterinarian, and modifying the home environment to re-establish regular litter box usage. But remember — it all starts with a visit to the vet!