Skip to main content
Stressed orange tabby cat on floor

Minimize stress urination in cats

Q: Our son and his family are moving across the country and can’t take their 10-year-old cat, Macey. We have one cat, Mellie, and we’re thinking of adopting Macey.

We’re worried, though, because whenever there has been a major change in Macey’s life, she’s urinated on the floor. What are the chances her inappropriate urination will start again when she moves in with us?

A: Stress is a factor in many cases of inappropriate urination. Moving to another home and acquiring a new human and feline family will be stressful for Macey, so it’s possible she may start urinating on the floor again. Fortunately, you can do several things to minimize her stress and decrease the risk of inappropriate urination.

First, she should see her regular veterinarian for vaccinations, blood work and a urinalysis. Any unaddressed medical problems will add to her stress. Ask her veterinarian about medication to decrease her anxiety. Your son can start the medication before the move, and you can continue it until she seems relaxed in her new home. Your son should spray Feliway, the feline facial pheromone that calms cats, on the towel in her carrier before he drives her to your home.

Once she moves in, confine her to one room, such as a large bathroom, and plug in a Feliway diffuser. She’ll become accustomed to the sounds of your home, and she’ll meet Mellie under the door. When she wants to explore beyond her room, open the door and let her find her own way. If your home’s layout permits you to limit her to a few rooms initially, her transition will be more gradual and less stressful. Equip those rooms with Feliway diffusers, too.

Provide hiding places, such as a cubby-hole box introduced while she still lives with your son. Maintain Macey’s standard daily routine, and use her regular bed, food, dishes, litter and litter boxes.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

dog out for walk in nature

After a long winter indoors, most of us...

dog outside chasing ball

Depending on where you live, it may not...

cute dog and cat

Folliculitis is a common infection that...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

small dog playing with toy

Your dog won’t come up to you and say, “I’m...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Woman with two dogs checking her phone

Technology has changed almost every aspect...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...