What would make our 4 year old male cat suddenly start urinating and defacating on our floors?

Our cat is part of a litter from our daughter’s cat, so we got him at a few weeks old and had him spayed at 2-3 months old. He came to us litter-box trained and we’ve only had sporadic accidents up until the last month or so. The only thing that is different is that my husband and I moved an old refrigerator out of our kitchen and moved a new one in, taking quite a bit of effort and time. Furniture in the kitchen was out of place for a couple of days and our cat acted a little spooked by all the goings-on. The change in his behavior was not long after that, maybe a couple of days.

Cats can definitely exhibit poor litter box habits in the presence of stressful situations. They are very sensitive to changes in their environments. Cats need clean litter boxes (preferably 2 boxes per cat). They like a litter box that is easy to find, but that offers privacy and is not placed in a high traffic area. It also needs to offer escape potential–meaning that they can jump out and run if they feel threatened. So, don’t put it inside a closet or something like that. Find out what kind of litter your cat likes. Some like clumping, others crystal or wood. Many do not like scented litter…others don’t care. Don’t place food or water dishes near a litter box, cats hate to eat near their bathroom area. If your cat continuously goes in the same spot, clean it good with an enzymatic cleaner. Not ammonia, which smells like urine to the cat. If this is a new problem, it is always best to have the vet checked out by your vet. Many cats will stop using the litter box when they have a urinary tract infection, because it hurts to go and they associate the box with pain. If he checks out fine, then you can pursue other behavior solutions.

I am unclear if this cat is male or female?? I will assume male (you neuter males you spay females)

anyhow firstly 2-3 months was REALLY young to have him &quot:neutered&quot: usually its 8-10 months for males, doing it sooner can cause problems
getting him at a few weeks old is also a possible problem, usually 8 weeks is the best

usually kittens ARE litter trained BEFORE leaving mom (their mom teaches them) so it sounds like several contributing factors behind him already…

where is the litter box in reference to the fridge?? I cant imagine them being close.. but if they are it could be the new fridge makes weird sounds that frighten him when using the litter

if he was declawed at any point that is VERY likely part of the problem as 1) declawed cats frequently stop using the litter because of the pain in their paws, and 2) declawed cats are more sensitive and more paranoid….

use non-scented clumping litter only as this is the kind most cats prefer

NO milk or fish – both are high in calcuim and contribute to urinary tract problems

get him checked by a vet to rule out medical such as urinary tract infection….

keep him in the room with his litter box for a few days to reinforce good habits and keep the box clean

There’s a couple of possibilities.

Something has changed that has him upset. The fridge swap could do it. Did anything else change? Are there other cats in the house now, or do you see or handle another cat during the day, that he smells on your clothes?

Is the litter box clean? Clean it out – I mean, scrub it with soap and water. Find a stiff bristle brush like you’d use to clean the wheels on your car, scrub the litter box, let it dry, and put it back.

Did you clean up after the first incident very well? You may not smell urine, but I’ll bet he does. Go to a pet supply house and ask for something to clean cat urine. If he smells the urine there, he may decide that it’s OK to pee there from now on. I hope that this was on a vinyl floor. It’s really, really hard to get the smell out of carpet! If he did pee on carpet, clean, peel it back, clean or replace the pad, clean the floor underneath the pad, clean the carpet again, and spray it with cat repellent. Maybe he’ll at least avoid that spot for awhile.

Cats are creatures of habit, they don’t like change. I’d bet it was the incident with the out of place furniture. He’s telling you he didn’t like it either.
At anytime was his litter box obstructed by the furniture?
You’ll have to clean and deodorize the soiled areas or he will visit them again.
Nature’s Miracle can help with that problem, follow the directions. You may have to re-introduce him to the litter box. Start with a clean box and fresh litter and even provide him with two boxes in different areas. Keep the boxes super clean and if he still insists on soiling the floor, clean the areas again and put his food bowl on the spot. Cats will not soil in the area they eat.
And if all that doesn’t work, there is a pheramone spray called Feliway that can be found at Petsmart or on-line.

If he is a male he was nutered not spayed, that dose make a differance in the way they act. Some cats do get upset on even the littlest changes and will do stuff like that for awhile. But then the others might follow. If the litter is by the fridge try moving it. Have you changed litters? Give it about a week and if he dosn’t change have him checked for infection or stones in bladder.

Well, moving the furniture around would do it. Cats are creatures that depend on recognizing the sameness in their territory as a means of survival. In other words, if they are making a round of their territory and see something different then they know to be on the lookout for possible danger.
You made a change in his territory now he is marking it like crazy to let possible competitors know that the territory is already occupied. He’ll settle down and become normal again. Just give him some time and make sure you keep his litter box clean.

Take your cat to the vet, he may have an infection going on. It would be better to have the vet tell you that he is healthy than to ignore the signs and hope that it will go away.

He could be affected by the difference in the new layout of the house, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Take him to the vet, he could have a bladder infection, or a kidney infection, (kidney stones) any number of health issues will make a cat change his litter box behavior.

You may want to have a vet check his urine for crystals or bladder infection. The only way he has to tell you that something is wrong with him is by acting up. My cat did the same thing and I didn’t realize that he was sick until he was really bad and he almost died.
If he is healthy, maybe he isn’t happy with the amount of time you have been spending with him.

Besides the kitchen thing, which could be the culprit, have you and your hubby been arguing more than usual lately? Or maybe the cat just isn’t getting the attention he thinks he deserves. Something has changed to cause him to do that, more than the furniture. It wouldn’t hurt to ask your vet, too.

The answer may lie in the fact that you got it spayed on such a young age, one of my kids cats had the same problem cos of that and it end up in cancer and died. Lets hope I’m completely wrong but it cant hurt to let him checked out by a vet.

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