Our cat is constantly urinating out of the litter box. We are at our wits’ end here – please help.

Question: 

Our female cat keeps urinating in one spot on the carpet and we don’t know why. We had our vet check her for a urinary tract infection, but that wasn’t it. We tried putting a light by her litterbox, which is always clean. We also tried a pheromone plug in and collar. We don’t want to get rid of her, but we also can’t afford to replace the carpet. What else can we do?

Answer: 

Inappropriate urination may be due to either a medical issue or a behavioral issue. Typically, the medical causes are investigated first. If no underlying cause is found, behavioral causes are then considered. It sounds like your cat had a sample of her urine cultured for bacteria that was negative. If she has not had a complete blood cell count and chemistry panel, this is advised. If this is normal, an abdominal ultrasound or, if not available, radiographs (X-rays) can also be done. Medical issues other than a urinary tract issue may include calculi (stones), bladder polyps (benign inflammatory growths) or tumors.

There are also hormonal problems or disorders of the kidneys or other organs that can cause diluted urine. When the urine is diluted, there is more of it and this can cause cats to urinate inappropriately. If no medical causes are discovered, there are behavioral modification medications that may be considered to help reduce the tendency to urinate outside of the litterbox. Your veterinarian can help you with these options. You may try a simple change of litter type or a different litterbox, making sure there is a nice private, quiet area in which for her to use it.