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C2008-31

Dear Christopher Cat

One of our four cats urinates outside the litter box. We set up a Web cam but have been unable to catch the culprit. How do we determine which cat is causing the problem? Then what do we do?

Christopher Responds

The Web cam is the best method to identify a felonious feline.

Another option is the one Mom used to catch me years ago when I had a short spree of urinating outside the litter box.

She collected urine from each cat in the family and did a urinalysis on each sample.

My urine contained red blood cells, while the other samples were normal.

So Mom treated me, and the inappropriate urination ceased.

If you look on the Internet, you may find a technique I don’t advocate. Years ago, some veterinarians recommended adding fluorescein to the food of one cat each week.

Fluorescein is excreted in the urine, where it glows like fluorescent paint.

That technique has since lost favor, because fluorescein permanently stains carpets. Moreover, fluorescein’s glow varies, depending on the acidity of the urine.

So stick with your Web cam. Once it identifies the offending cat, have your veterinarian test the cat’s urine to determine whether the inappropriate urination is caused by a medical or behavioral problem.

The test results will dictate the next step.

Until the problem is resolved, eliminate all traces of urine odor by cleaning with an enzymatic product.

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