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My kitty is 12 years old. He's indoor/outdoor. We moved a couple months ago and now either the door is left open so he can come and go freely, or he's trapped inside. He hasn't tried to get me to open a door at this place, he either goes out if it's open or seems content to stay in...except this. He has never had issues using the litter box. Even if I forget to clean it for a few days, he's never urinated outside of it.

I bought a new shag like carpet for the living room. It's beautiful. It adds color, my toddler loves it, it's soft...and my cat wants to pee on it. Not a specific corner, he's tried all over it (it's 5' x 7'). He looks right at me and squats down. I've only not stopped him once. I haven't seen him use the litter box since I first caught him, but there aren't other random places being used and it's not somewhere I would know for sure (I have two cats so it's been used but could just be my other kitty who I have seen). He hasn't tried to urinate on the carpet when the door is open to the outside, only when he's trapped in, but it's getting colder and I can't leave it open forever soon.

I took him to the vet - no medical issues they could find.

I don't want to get rid of this carpet. I love my cat more obviously but I also can't have him urinating in the middle of the living room where my two year old plays.

Is it the texture? We've never had a shaggy carpet before. Is there a way to get him to stop? Do I just need to give up my beautiful rug?

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It may be that your cat is getting confused by the shag carpet, thinking it's like the grass outside or something like that. One of my cats had an accident just once inside a toy box, and it was pretty obvious that the cat confused the toy box for a litterbox, as it was box shaped and had things in it the cat could bury with.

With the toy box situation, we could just make sure that the box was no longer left open and obvious, but unfortunately, that is not so with the carpet. I think before getting rid of the carpet altogether, I would try making sure the carpet is as clean as possible, and then getting an additional litterbox right by the carpet. Try to keep your cat away from the room whenever you can't supervise it, and then whenever it is in that room, and you notice signs of it going, stop your cat and place it in the nearby box.

Hopefully your cat will get the hint. If not, then indeed, the carpet may have to go, as it seems to be confusing your cat. But I suggest storing the carpet away rather than getting rid of it altogether.

The other suggestion I have is to see about getting a cat door if that is possible for your living situation. Once the cat has figured it out, it will always have free access to outside, and maybe that will also get rid of the problem. If you're worried about other animals getting in, there are catdoors now that are unlocked by a key that attaches to your pets' collar. The rest of the time, when your cat isn't nearby, the door is locked.

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Firstly you should get a black light and check all around your house. You may think he only peed on the carpet, but that could very well be false.

  • You recently moved, cats don't usually deal well with change. You also have a small child. Pretty sure the cat is stressed. Even if it isn't, it could be marking since the house is new, maybe even bigger than before. To feel at home, he needs scent soakers. I think this is the most likely. You probably need more cat equipment, more high-quality trees (not those cheap ones that only fit baby kittens and wobble around), more cardboard/wood scratchers, horizontal and vertical (they need to be long and unbudging, so preferable heavy), cat shelves to give the cat vertical space. You definitely need to give the cat vertical space because of your child. It will stress the cat out to be jailed on the floor together with a little loud energy monster. Temporarily you could Feliway to reduce stress. If you don't want the cat to mark/pee on the carpet, you need to give him a better alternative. He's not peeing there to spite anyone, cats don't have such human-like feelings.
  • There might not be enough litter boxes, or not spread enough. He wants to have his scent evenly throughout the house. Did you try putting a litter box right on top of the carpet? If you "hide" the litter boxes, then they're usually not in good positions and not attractive to cats.
  • He's old, he may have arthritis or similar, which could make getting into the litter box painful. You could try out buying a litter box with stairs, or a shallow one. You could also try different types of litter. If your cat is declawed, it may be in pain touching the litter. The carpet is nice and soft. You could also try products that you put into the litter box to attract cats to pee in it.
  • Something might have scared him while he was peeing in the litter box and now he's afraid to use it. You could try elevating one box, which would be safer.
  • You could get a cat door and see if that solves your problem, but I doubt it. But it is one of the easiest solutions you could try.
  • If there's more markings, find the pattern. Like close to doors and windows. Which could mean marking the home because of stray cats outside. Or places where the child is usually in, which could be an expression of his stress concerning the toddler. Or places he usually stays when he's home alone, which could mean he's anxious when left alone or has incontinence/a UTI (unlikely in your case, as you went to the vet).
  • You should clean everything that has been marked with an enxyme-cleaner. Even if it smells fine for you, it may still smell like his litter box to the cat.
  • This may not help your particular problem, but if your cat is stressed, it's always a good idea to get it into a rhythm. Feeding and playing at the same time every day.

As I said, I think it's the first point. It's usually just because there's not enough cat equipment, the cat needs to mark and may be stressed.

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