4 Reasons Why Cats Pee Outside the Litter Box
The smell of cat urine is awful for anyone to experience. If your cat has a perfectly good litter box he ignores, and he instead urinates on the carpet, furniture, or bedding, it adds insult to injury. Between the constant cleaning and the strong smell that will permeate your entire home, a cat that is not using the litter box properly can be a source of frustration. But why do cats pee outside of their litter boxes and what can you do about it? Here are some common causes of litter box problems for many cats:
Is it Urine?
The first step is identifying if this is a cat urination problem or if your cat is spraying to mark his territory. Territorial marking can occur in altered cats. If you identify that your cat is territorial marking, you can learn how to stop this behavior by visiting our “Why Do Pets Spray” blog.
Underlying medical issues can be a cause of your cat urinating outside the litter box. A likely culprit is a urinary tract infection, but it can also be kidney disease, diabetes, or anything that causes your cat to feel uncomfortable, such as arthritis. A change in how your cat feels can drastically alter his behavior, and where he urinates is no exception to this. The best way to assess if medical issues are present is to take your cat to your full service veterinarian to run a few blood and urine tests.
Litter Box Maintenance
The state or quality of the litter in the box is often the cause of out-of-box urination. A litter box that is not cleaned regularly, especially in a multi cat household, can turn a cat off from visiting his litter box. He may instead choose a more pleasant place to go, such as on the living room carpet. We recommend cleaning the litter box every day, especially if you have multiple cats.
The litter box could also just be difficult or inconvenient for your cat to reach. Keeping the litter box too far away from social rooms or in deeply secluded rooms can make the box hard to find or unappealing to your cat. You also want to avoid keeping your cat’s litter box near any loud machines that are often active, such as a washing machine. Try instead placing the box in a nearby hallway, bathroom, or office with easy access to a garbage can. The proper litter box set up will offer your cat privacy and peace, but it must still be easy for your cat to find.
Cats living in multi-cat households are more likely to urinate outside the litter box. This often occurs when one cat bullies another cat and prevents him from getting to the litter box. The easiest way to address this is to simply have multiple litter boxes in your home and place them in separate rooms.
We hope you find this information useful in both identifying the cause of out-of-box urination, but also putting a stop to it. With a little bit of time and energy, you’ll restore harmony to your home and stop your cat from peeing outside of the box.