Neutered male cats seem to have the most trouble with "inappropriate urination." Questions to consider:
- Is he spraying urine onto an object? (This is a territorial behavior- although it may be medical, it is usually behavioral related.)
- Is he squatting in the litter box (or around the house) and little to no urine is coming out? Straining to urinate? (This is a medical problem! He needs to be seen by a veterinarian ASAP!)
Here are some things that may cause a cat to start spraying:
- New cat/dog/baby/person in the house
- Animals outside the house that can be seen by your cat
- Changing litter
- Changing food
- New noises outside
- Recently moved into house with old pet stains
- Any other source of stress
- Urethral spasms- (can be a result of holding urine too long or urine chemistry abnormalities)
- Urethral blockage by stones
- Urethral blockage by a mucus plug
- Urinary tract infection (more of a problem in females)
- Kidney disease
- Can be stress linked as well
If your cat is indoor only, I recommend going around the outside of the house (preferably in the dark) with a black light to look for urine marking from other cats in the neighborhood on your house. Your cat can smell that from inside! Clean it with a peroxide based urine odor remover. Also do the same inside. Your cat will continue to spray urine in the same places over and over if the scent is not completely removed.
If there is a possibility your cat is stressed by new people or pets in the house, sometimes an herbal "calming collar" or pheromone diffuser may calm them.
Environmental enrichment can work wonders with cats that are stressed or bored. Increasing play each day, giving them mentally stimulating activities, and providing them with good nutrition can help tremendously when battling with inappropriate urinating caused by stress. (Cats may not express anxiety in ways that humans do so it is important to note subtle behavioral changes).
Give them a place high off the floor so they can assess their surroundings or have a place to escape dogs if you have them!
So, what if your cat DOES have a medical urinary condition? Your veterinarian may recommend:
- A special diet to adjust the pH of the urine
- Pain medication to alleviate a spasming urethra
- Antibiotics if an infection is detected
- Passing a urinary catheter to dislodge a possible obstruction
- Potentially surgery if urinary tract stones are present
If they are actively having urinary difficulty give 3-5ml orally every 15-30 minutes until urine passes normally. Long-term 1ml one to three times daily can help prevent future problems.