Reasons Why Your Cat Is Urinating Outside of the Litter Box
26 February, 2013

If your cat is missing the litter box, there are many reasons why this could be occurring.  This is a common occurrence in older cats and is usually linked to illness.  There are also behavioral reasons why this could be occurring.

Medical Problems

When cats urinate in odd places (outside the litter box), strain to urinate, urinate frequently, it is very important to rule out a medical problem first.  The most common medical issues that relate to changes in urinary behaviors are a urinary tract infection or inflammation, blockage, kidney problems, or in the case of excessive thirst and urination, metabolic diseases such as diabetes. It is very important for cat owners to be mindful of the possible signs of a urinary tract infection.

Take your cat to your Veterinarian

The first thing you should do when you see your cat urinating outside the box (more than one time) is take your cat to the vet.  Your veterinarian will examine your cat, discuss your kitty’s behavior at home, and do the appropriate tests, including an analysis of the urine. The urinalysis will check the concentration of the urine (make sure the kidneys are functioning), and look for red blood cells, inflammatory white blood cells, and crystals.

If your veterinarian feels that an infection or blockage is present, prompt medical treatment is necessary. In the event of a blockage or partial urinary blockage, time is of the essence.   Urinary blockage can be extremely serious.

Behavioral Issues

If your veterinarian can’t find anything medically wrong with your cat, then the issue is most likely behavioral.  Cats will sometimes pee outside the litter box when they are feeling stressed or unsettled.  Did you just move?  Did you change the litter box with another type of litter?  Is a neighbor remodeling their home causing a banging noise?

Cats are very sensitive to any kind of stress and therefore might be upset with you and urinate anywhere other than the litter box.  If this is the case, try to find the source of the change/stress and remove it or watch your cat to see how he or she adjusts to it.

Make sure the litter box is clean and appealing

Unfortunately, cats that have had a urinary medical problem might continue to avoid their litter box even after the medical problem is resolved because they associate pain or discomfort with that litter box. Or they might think the litter box is too dirty if they have used it often. Try cleaning your litter box thoroughly or buy a new one that you think is easier access or more appealing.

As mentioned above, if you see your cat urinating outside of the litter box, urinating more frequently, or straining to urinate, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.  By merely paying attention to cat’s litter box habits and acting quickly, you can potentially save your cat’s life.

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