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15 Year Old Female Cat Now Peeing on Carpet

January 17th, 2006, 11:39 AM
Help! I have a 15 year old female cat who has ruined the carpet in my dining room. She was my husband's cat when we married (2 years ago) and although we've had accidents from time to time nothing major until now. We have 3 cats and 1 dog all of whom come and go at will (pet door) and have automatic water/feeders. A few weeks ago we went out of town on Friday afternoon (feeding Samantha her "treat" of canned food before leaving on Friday and again as soon as we returned mid day on Sunday). While we were gone Samantha decided that the corner of the dining room was her litter box and had saturated the carpet about 2 feet out from the corner in both directions (we know it was her - we caught her in the act). We pulled the carpet back, saturated it with Natures Miracle and since then with white vinegar but she continues to go back and pee on the baseboard and carpet in that corner. I'm at my wits end!!! She is so sweet and so loving - what can we do to help her?

January 17th, 2006, 12:31 PM
Hi ZooKeeper,

there are many reasons why a cat would pee out of her litter box, but mainly, for this 15 year old, either a behavioral problem which can be related to something that changed in her environment and is bothering her, or to her age and would resemble Alzheimer's in humans, or else a physical problem like a urinary tract infection or some other renal disease that is causing her some distress and makes her change her litter habits. Usually, you would first want to rule out the disease and so you should take her to the vet to make sure she does not have an infection or is not going into renal failure. Otherwise, you want to ask yourself if anything has changed that would upset her. Would it be possible, for a short while, to put a small litter box in the spot she has unfortunately chosen to relieve herself ? In the event that the problem is disease-related, you can move the litter box later on and save your floor. Behavioral problems can be corrected too, although they can be a little tricky with cats.

January 17th, 2006, 02:44 PM
Thanks for your insight. We did go to the vet and ruled out urinary tract infection, etc. We "think" she was just upset at being left and not getting her "treat" when she wanted it. She really is sweet and loving but since this little weekend trip she has clung to me like glue. I work from home - she sits right next to my chair, when I'm watching TV, she sits in my lap, at night she sleeps next to me. Could this be separation anxiety?

January 17th, 2006, 02:54 PM
At 15, your little sweetheart may have a touch of dementia. Do the other cats pick on her when you're away?
Maybe she just flat-out missed you and wanted to remind you, fragrantly.

January 17th, 2006, 05:11 PM
Once all medical reasons are ruled out..this behaviour can be tricky to address..especially with senior cats, who sometimes appear to "forget" where to go.
I've heard that placing tin foil down in the area can work as a detterrent with some cats.. the feel and the sound bothers them. Though I dont know of they would simply find another spot to use outside the box..:confused: .

Good luck to you with this. She sounds a very sweet and wonderful girl, I hope you'll soon have her back on track again.

January 20th, 2006, 06:35 PM
We had a calico about the same age as yours with the same problem. We ended up setting up a "granny" suite in our recroom. She had a small area in front of the woodstove which lead into the laundry room. There were old carpets on most of the floor so if she messed it wasn't a big deal. We also put 2 litter boxes down for her, one for pee and the other for poop. She was really fussy that way. From my experience of cat's peeing on carpets, forget about getting the odor out. I've tried everything. I would just make her comfortable as I think her age is playing a huge part in her behaviour.