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Dear Christopher Cat

My 15-year-old neutered male cat urinates on my carpets. I’ve tried everything I can think of, even frequent carpet shampooing, but it doesn’t help.

What should I do? I don’t want to get rid of my cat, but I can’t live like this.

Christopher Responds

Start with a trip to your veterinarian, who will examine your cat and test his urine and blood to find out why he’s urinating on your carpets. Once the cause is found, appropriate treatment can begin.

Your cat may urinate outside his litter box because he has a urinary tract infection, bladder stones or crystals that cause pain during urination. When that happened to me, I associated the pain with the litter box, so I stayed away. After Mom treated the underlying problem, I used my box again.

On the other hand, your cat may have arthritis that makes it difficult for him to climb into the litter box. If his box is in the basement, he may forego the flight of stairs if they add to his pain. In that case, arthritis medication and low-sided litter boxes located on each floor of your home should solve the problem.

Alternatively, your cat may be urinating so much that his litter boxes are too soiled for his liking. Such excessive drinking and urination can result from diabetes. If your veterinarian makes this diagnosis, diabetes treatment should resolve the inappropriate urination.

So you see, we cats urinate outside the litter box for many reasons. Only your veterinarian can diagnose the cause of your cat’s inappropriate urination and recommend effective treatment.


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