Advice for a cat That Needs a New Home Because He is Urinating in the House

Cats

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra - A friend of mine has decided she can't keep her 2-year-old cat due to urinating-outside-the-box problems. I've given her all the encouragement and guidance I can, including guidance from your newsletters, but her new babies and husband just can't deal anymore. It breaks my heart, but I want to help by finding some group that will help find her cat a new home. Can you tell me what to search for? Are there groups that will take and place cats? Can I rely on web pages? Thanks,

Lara in Washington, DC

Answer

Dear Lara – I had a wonderful cat lover email a respond to your question that I thought I'd share.

Dr Debra – can you send this on to Lara? We are assuming she has ruled out a medical issue, right?

It is nearly impossible to find a home for a cat with urinating problems – who would want to take her? I know – given that I have two peepee girls. If she has not tried it already, I would try confinement therapy, in which you put the cat in a small confined space for a minimum of 2 weeks (w/frequent visits from the owner) where she is forced to use the litter pan. In the alternative, if there is only one or two places she is urinating on, she can put food on those spots. Putting her cat in the box and praising her can also be practiced in addition to other methods. I would not give up on her! If nothing else works, she can do what I do – basically confine her in her own room or large playpen/cage (if no extra room is available) and let her out to socialize for a few hours at a time, putting her back in before they decide it is time to peepee.

I wonder if there is some jealousy with the new babies? If she suspects this, she can reward kitty when she is near the babies and try to show her that "good things happen around the babies"...then put her in the box and praise her again.

That being said, it sounds as if the person has already made up her mind. She can call no-kill shelters in her area for suggestions and work the phones, trying to find a group that will help. Web pages are helpful to source these groups, but cannot replace personal contact. She will be competing w/ kitten season right now....her best bet is to work her own network of friends and family.

C. H. – a cat lover with two pee-pee girls


Lara – I hope this helps.

Dr. Debra


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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.