Cat peeing on hard surfaces
In the last 3-4 years (he's six) my male cat has starting peeing on hard surfaces, no carpets, and sometimes pooping on them.
He prefers if there is a rug, which he will scrunch up and then pee near it, allowing the rug to soak it up, which in turn makes me have to replace rugs daily.
Even if I don't put a rug back down, he will still pee in the middle of the kitchen floor, bathroom floor and/or hall floor.
He does use the litter box, but not regularly. He is indoor/outdoor and sometimes he will come in just to use the litter box?!
I have taken him to the vet and once he did have a UTI, but the last 3 times he has been he has been clear of UTI and worms.
My boyfriend is a cat liker, not lover, and I am even starting to feel weary about him... hopefully someone can help me or give me some insight 'cause I'm getting close to my wits end...
I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with your cat, Kate. It does sound like he's developed a surface texture preference.
Unfortunately, you've got two added problems. One is that this has gone on a long time, and another is that it's intermittent.
I'm assuming, of course, that he's not having intermittent urinary tract infections or some other problems we don't know about.
Think back to when the problem first started. Was there a change in his life at that time? Was the box, or litter brand or type changed?
Was the box moved? This may have triggered the problem initially.
It's possible that both urinating and defecating outside the box are related to texture preference, or it may be that whatever conditions
have to exist for him to snub the box happen to exist at that time.
Is there anything that you can think of that is common to all of the instances where he has not used the box?
Perhaps the box is not clean enough for him, and it's only these times that he doesn't use it. Some cats will not a use box twice in a row if the box is not cleaned in between uses.
For these cats, an automatic litter box can help if you can't be there to clean it.
Perhaps he needs more boxes. For one cat, you should have at least 2 boxes in the house, easily accessible.
Some cats develop a preference for peeing in one box and pooping in another. If he poops in the box and then later pees on the floor, or vice versa, this may be his thing.
Try this: set a box down right on the spot where he often pees on the floor. This is a common tactic in these cases, but let's put a twist in it...
...to satisfy his hard surface preference, leave most of the bottom of the box exposed and place just a small amount of litter at one side of the box.
You'll have to clean this box a lot, but you may be able to slowly add more and more litter until he's using that box regularly. Then, you can begin to move that box, inch by inch every day, to a better location.
You could also try doing this with his original litter box as well. You can also try using Cat Attract to see if that encourages him to use the box instead of the floor.
I hope that helps. Please update us on his progress.