When your cat urinates on everything from carpet to furniture, it isn't just gross. It's unsanitary, and it could indicate a problem with either your cat's health or her behavior. Keep an eye on Kitty for clues about her urination, and you can figure out how to solve the problem.
Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection is the most common physical culprit behind urinary issues. If your cat is urinating more than usual, or in inappropriate places, she could have a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. Check her urine for blood or a fouler-than-usual odor, as these are dead giveaways. UTIs are easily treatable. Your vet will put your cat on antibiotics, which can clear things up in a few weeks.
Your cat's disruptive urination habits might only seem uncontrollable, when actually they are strategic. Cats often mark their territory by "spraying" urine on things like windows, furniture, doors and bedspreads. While you can curb this behavior with prescription medication, the most effective method is spaying or neutering. Ninety to 95 percent of fixed cats stop spraying—a success rate that will leave your home a whole lot cleaner.
Incontinence is your cat's inability to control her bladder, which can be caused by a variety of physical problems. It can present in uncontrollable urination or in simply dribbling a little bit here and there. Typically, it's the result of a physical defect that can be remedied with surgery. In other cases, it may require a prescription drug that strengthens your cat's bladder muscles. In any case, if she displays symptoms of incontinence, she needs to see a veterinarian.
Sudden stress can cause uncontrollable or inappropriate urination in cats, so be mindful of her environment. Stress can come from a major environmental change, like moving, or an apparently dangerous situation, like a house fire or earthquake. A timid cat may get stressed when she senses a potential threat, such as when she sees another animal in the yard. If you can identify your cat's source of stress, but are unable to calm her or remove the stressful element, she may need to see a vet about the possibility of prescription behavioral medication that can lower her stress levels.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.