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New Cat Sometimes Urinating Little Bit at a Time. UTI or Behavorial?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
We recently adopted a 1 1/2 year old male kitty from the local SPCA and have a question about behavior.

Quick background..we adopted him pretty much as he came into the shelter so he went through alot of changes right off the bat..he was given the full exam, shots, FIV/LUK combo test, etc before coming home..perfect bill of health. vet said to bring him back in a year. He had been turned in because his owner is active duty military and was being deployed. Mr. Kitty came home with us that day. He seemed to adjust very quickly to the household (we have two smaller children and one female cat) although our female cat was doing some hisses and swatting. he, however, seemed to be uneffected. he has an amazing temperment.

now, the behavior. we have two litter pans set up. in two different areas. we keep them both incredibly clean. we are VERY particular about that. well, this little guy has a tendency to sometimes only a pee a little bit and leave it uncovered. we have also found large clumps of pee covered as well (meaning he can hold and then pee larger amounts and cover them). he is now visiting both his pan AND our female cat's pan and throughout the day, will urinate just a small bit. my first concern was an UTI..we called the shelter and they will run a test at their vet clinic as soon as we are able to get a sample (good luck to us, right?! But he's been eating and drinking fine..playing a ton..doesn;t seem to be in any pain whatsoever. he doesn't cry when urinating..does NOT urinate outside of the litter pan at all and I have found no trace of blood thus far.

We also noticed that as soon as we clean the pan (which is as soon as we know there is any kind of waste in it), he is RIGHT there to get in there and urinate a bit again..and leaves it uncovered. it really seems to be a behavioral thing..almost like marking territory or leaving messages for our female cat.

Any ideas? feedback? we want to get the urine test done as soon as we can get a sample (any ideas how to get one of those, btw?!)..to be on the safe side, we'd like the test done..but until then, I wanted to see if anyone else had experience with this. we cleaned all the pans before going out today to run errands..came home and they were still totally clean but about 2 minutes later, he was in one of the pans leaving a little ball. I have decided to leave the balls for now..and have noticed that he hasnt' done it as much..it's like he believes he HAS to have a ball of uncovered urine in there at all times!

thanks in advance, everyone!

stace (2kittys4us)
post #2 of 4
Ah, the dreaded urine sample. We've never successfully collected one at our house, but at one point the vet did give us some special pellets to put into the litter box instead of litter, so the urine wouldn't clump and could just be drained out (we ended up not having to do it). Maybe you can get something like that from your clinic?

As far as whether it's a UTI or behavioral, Nathan had a recurring UTI over the summer, and I know that he would leave one large clump in the litterbox and then tons of little bitty ones (I guess the large one was whatever collected while he was asleep...) I would do like you've done, that is, hold off on cleaning out the box every time he goes, so you can see if he keeps leaving droplets in it, or if it is really that he's "marking" right after the box is cleaned. Other than that, keep a close eye on him to make sure he's always producing SOMETHING when he goes into the box--if he goes in and comes out and there's nothing there, you need to get him to the vet but quick, because he could be blocking.
post #3 of 4
Hi Stace, welcome to TCS.

There are a couple of things in your post that give a clue as to what may be going on. The first thing is to rule out a UTI, as you are doing. The easiest way to obtain a urine sample is to confine him to one room with his food, litter pan, toys etc but clean the pan really well and then fill it with something clean and non-absorbant. My vet likes to use packing pellets (I think you'd call the packing peanuts?). You can also use smooth little stones or pebbles, as long as they are clean. That way, there is still something for him to dig in and urinate on in the pan but you can then pour the urine into a specimen jar for testing.

If he gets the all-clear, it may be behavioural as you said. You said that you keep both litter pans incredibly clean. This super level of cleanliness may be causing him to mark the pan excessively, as every time he leaves his mark, you rush in and remove every trace. Your idea of leaving a little in there is a good one. That way, the pan still smells like it's his but it's not completely full or smelly. If the smell is very strong to you even after he has just urinated a little, you might want to try using a different brand of litter. I'm assuming he's been neutered?

I'd say he's using the female's pan as well to let her know that he's the boss.

I have a calico female who likes to leave a little message straight after I've cleaned the litter pan. It's like her way of reassuring herself that it's her litter pan and all is well with the world.
post #4 of 4
You can also used dried beans from the grocery store for litter to obtain a urine sample. Tania as usual gives very good advice about this situation.
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