At wits end... Cat coming out of litterbox with a wet bum

Sonnys_sonnet

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Around August of last year, my 6-year-old cat started coming out of his litterbox with pee on his butt, sometimes even with litter stuck to him. It seemed like he was almost sitting while peeing. Nothing had changed during this time except a switch in his food. We took him to the vet, but everything checked out fine; the vet suggested it might be a behavioral issue. He mentioned arthritis, but since my cat had no trouble getting on high surfaces, we both doubted it. The vet suggested changing his litter or litterbox to see if it would alter his behavior. Despite trying both, nothing has worked. The issue isn't constant, which makes it even more puzzling. I've noticed that if I don't scoop the litterbox regularly and some clumps form, he doesn't come out wet. It mostly happens with fresh, flat litter. However, I can't neglect scooping for hygiene reasons.

The vet also recommended trying an anti-anxiety medication, as something might be spooking him while he goes. This is possible as my cat is highly anxious. I haven't tried it yet because the liquid version, which my cat needs, is expensive. I'm at a loss for what to do, and this issue is stressing me out. Fortunately, I work from home and can clean him up after he pees, but he doesn't like it and sometimes tries to attack me. I've been giving him treats during this to make it more bearable. If I don't clean him, the pee spots around the house become a problem, especially since I'm borderline OCD about smells. The smell is what's been stressing me out the most.

I'm considering mixing crystal litter with his clay litter to absorb the pee faster, but I'm unsure how they'll interact clumping-wise. Using only crystal litter isn't feasible because he needs an extra large litter box, and crystal litter is expensive. I'm also hesitant about medication, preferring it as a last resort. However, since it's been months, I'm leaning towards it now. I also shave his bum to prevent fur from getting wet, but the pee still manages to get on him.

Has anyone experienced something similar? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. :(
 

VAMama

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My girl doesn't like fresh clean litter because her scent is removed. She'll lay inside the box until she's sure it smells like her.
 

FeebysOwner

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Have you watched him to see (or used a video to record) what position he holds? What about how he poops? Videos might also give you clues about what is going on at the time this happens, since you say this goes on randomly. Watching him will also tell you if he holds different positions when he gets his bum wet and when he doesn't.

If you suspect it has to do with pee clumps being removed from the litter, have you logged it to see if coincides with when he has pee on his bum? Although, I suspect that he is trying to avoid the clumps and is holding a different position to pee in order to do so, and therefore doesn't sit in the box.

While I think your cat seems a bit young for arthritis, it is still possible. It is even possible that the location of his arthritis affects how he positions himself in the box vs. when he jumps.
 

Hellenww

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Nothing had changed during this time except a switch in his food.
It's possible the new food changed the texrure of his poop so he needs to position himself differently. It might not be enough of a change for you to distinguish. If it still happens when he just pees he might have some in his intestines to still cause that positioning.

Sometimes the company slightly changes the litter and not tell customers. So now it stick when it hasn't before.

6 is usually young for arthritis but not too young to start giving a supplement. Glucosamine and chondroitin helps maintain the cartilage in joints so starting before a cat shows signs can be more helpful than waiting since they hide their pain so well.
 

Alldara

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Arthritis doesn't just effect one area but can effect any joint.

I will say though that Nobel never stopped jumping on high surfaces. He had pretty severe arthritis when he was old but would still jump on and off the high bed etc.

Sometimes it is smaller motions or motions that need to be held like a squat which is harder first.

If we think 90% of cats over age 10 have some level of arthritis as the average (Arthritis in Cats | VCA Animal Hospitals), that's a lot of cats younger than 10 who already have some level of arthritis.
 
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