Why Is Your Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box?
18 September, 2017
Most cats readily use their litter box because their instinct is to be alone and hide or bury their discards. Therefore, if your cat starts to pee somewhere inappropriate like your floor, carpet, or even your bed, there is something behavioral or medical that is causing the behavior. Address the issue quickly with these simple ways to help stop your cat from peeing outside of the litter box.
First take your cat to the vet to see if your cat has a medical condition.
If inappropriate urination has become an issue with your cat, the most important thing you can do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your vet will perform a physical exam and urinalysis to determine if the problem is medical. Urinary tract infections and kidney failure are just some of the common health issues that either cause a cat to produce more urine or to pee in inappropriate places.
If your cat is given a clean bill of health, you can then move on to addressing the environmental or behavioral issues.
Stress can cause litter box issues
Stress can cause litter-box problems. Cats can be stressed by events we wouldn’t think as traumatic. Changes in things that even indirectly affect the cat, like moving, adding new pets or family members to your household—even changing your daily routine—can make your cat feel anxious. Look around your home to think of anything that has changed that might be the source. Even construction or a new kitty in another home can cause stress.
Negative litter box association
A cat might start to pee outside the litter box because something happened to upset her while she was using the litter box. If this is the case with your cat, you might notice that she seems hesitant to return to the box. She may enter the box, but then leave very quickly—sometimes before even using the box.
One of your cats might want his or her own litterbox
Sometimes one or more cats in a household will control access to litter boxes and prevent the other cats from using them. Even if one of the cats isn’t actually confronting the other cats in the litter box, any conflict between cats in a household can create enough stress to cause litter-box problems.
One litter box is often just not enough.
The general rule of thumb is one box per cat, plus an extra one. Cats like their privacy so a minimum of one litter box per cat is essential. If you have more than one, it is less likely that your cat will miss one litter box when having to pee.
Location of the litter boxes
If you have multiple stories, put one litter box on each floor. If your litter box is too tucked away, somewhere inconspicuous, your cat may not bother to go find it. If your cat keeps peeing in the same spot despite your best efforts, try moving the litter box over that spot and then slowly moving it back to where you want it.
Clean your litter box thoroughly
A dirty litter box is one of the first things that will send a cat peeing elsewhere. Cats are very clean creatures by nature. Be consistent about cleaning out the box and changing the litter to keep it clean and appealing for your cat.
Clean up the mess as soon as it occurs
Be sure to thoroughly clean all areas where your cat has peed outside the box. You really want to be sure you’ve eliminated the odor, not just for your own sake, but so the smell doesn’t draw your cat back to that same spot.
If your cat starts to poop outside the litter box, read how you can stop this: why cats poop outside litter box.