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Sudden Urinary Marking

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
About six months ago, Quincey my almost 15 year old neutered male cat started marking various places around the house. My vet has done blood work to rule out diabetes, thyroid, kidney and liver malfunction. Quincey's spraying episodes are always preceded by an almost lost circling of the house. I have tried putting him in the room with the litter boxes when I see him start this aimless wandering, but that doesn't seem to help. He is currently taking prednisone for arthritis in his back legs, which has lessened the frequency of his inappropriate urinating but hasn't eliminated it completely. He always uses the litter box to defecate, so I am at a loss as to why he sometimes chooses other places to urinate. I have a number of younger cats and although they generally leave him alone, I was wondering if this could be some kind of symptom age induced anxiety. I read some of the threads about buspirone, but it sounds like it may be too potent for an older cat. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.....
post #2 of 9
This is just a wild stab....but did the vet check his hearing and eyesight? I'm thinking an age-related onset of marking might be related to him needing to rely on scent to guide him around his territory. Poor kitty!!
post #3 of 9
You mentioned bloodwork, but did the vet check his urine for signs of an infection or crystals? This would certainly cause him to do this.
post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by Sandie
did the vet check his urine for signs of an infection or crystals? This would certainly cause him to do this.
Yes, crystals would cause inapropriate urination. But the OP mentioned marking, spraying and urination. catg -- is your cat doing BOTH: urinating AND spraying? Urinating = squatting to void on a horizontal surface; spraying = standing to back up to a vertical surface, hunched, with tail erect, to void a small amount of urine on to the vertical surface. Urinating is an elimination behavior; spraying is a territorial marking behavior. I don't think inapropriate spraying is linked to FLUTD. Just inapropriate urination. It's unlikely a cat could survive six months with FLUTD and no treatment.

Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medication. Anti-depressants are also sometimes used for feline anxiety. Perhaps they would be more tolerable for an older cat. I don't know, but it's worth discussing with your vet.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
The vet did check for a bladder infection and crystal when he first started to display this behavior, but he tested clear for both. Quincey stands in the spraying position (body upright), but completely empties his bladder, not just a small amount. The vet did look in his ears and eyes (which were both clear). I know that his hearing is good because he comes to me when I call him and his eyesight seems to be fine too (he can see brown treats on a brown floor). I wonder if the prednisone just isn't strong enough on some days to make it comfortable for him to squat with his arthritis. Unfortunately, he's on the highest safe dosage for his size. Arthritis doesn't explain the circling behavior though, which is why I was wondering about an age related emotional or mental problem. I've had cats that lived to be older than he is before, but none of them ever displayed this type of Alzheimerish behavior.
post #6 of 9
You may be on to something about the arthritis and the squatting. The circling behavior is puzzling. You've got me scratching my head!!

Is there another anti-inflammatory that could be used for the arthritis? There are lots of different ones for use in humans, but I don't know what's usually given to cats.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
My vet didn't mention any other options as far as medication goes, but I can ask him. I do know that he is concerned about organ damage from the prednisone and that he wants to do blood work every few months to monitor Quincey's kidneys and liver. Thanks for all of your suggestions. If nothing else, you've made me feel that my vet has run all of the appropriate tests and that maybe we just need to find a medication that is more effective against his arthritis. The wandering may just be anxiety because he has to urinate and he can't get in and out of the litter box comfortably, so he circles the house looking for a place to go until he just can't hold it in anymore and urinates against whatever he can find.
post #8 of 9
Prednisone is a steroid. The hazards of steroids are well-known. There are two main types of arthritis: degenerative and inflammatory. Steroids are usually reserved for the more active of the inflammatory types. NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are often helpful against the others. The side-effects are less severe. In a cat of that age, I would think the most likely kind of arthritis would be degenerative, and that an NSAID would be effective. I hope such is the case for your cat. I think your analysis of the situation is very insightful, and I can't find any reason to argue against it. Best wishes to you and your kitty!!
post #9 of 9
It's possible that if it's the joint pain causing trouble, the circling could just be his way of dealing with it. The only medication I know of that helps with arthritis safe for cats is cosequin. Which is actually a glucosamine suppliment. I know a few people who have used it with good results.
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