Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box?

Urinary issues are very common in cats, and inappropriate urination can be so frustrating to cat owners that it leads some to consider rehoming their cats. Before you go down this road, you should know that there’s hope for your kitty. Not only can you learn how to best deal with urinary problems in your cat, but you can find out how to prevent some urinary issues in the first place.

A cat urinates outside its litter box for one of two general reasons: a medical problem or a behavioral issue. If your vet determines that your cat‘s urine contains blood, but there are no crystals, bacteria or stones present, the likely diagnosis will be idiopathic cystitis.

Idiopathic cystitis is usually treated with a combination of diet change and environmental enrichment. If your cat has been drinking more, or you have been finding yourself needing to clean the litter box more often, your veterinarian may want to run some blood work to check for these issues. It’s a good idea to have your vet order comprehensive lab work to look for a health issue if none is found during the initial exam or urinalysis.

Lab work can reveal serious health problems like diabetes or kidney disease, allowing your vet to begin treatment immediately. If old urine odors remain in your home, there’s a very good chance your cat is returning to the area because of the smell. If your cat is peeing everywhere and you’ve ruled out medical issues, then it’s time to reassess your litter boxes.

Add plenty of vertical space and feline enrichment to make your cat‘s environment optimal.

Why is my cat suddenly peeing outside the litter box?

Cats may urinate outside of their litter box if they are experiencing: Trouble urinating/urinary obstruction (common in male cats) Kidney disease. Bladder stones.

Why is my cat peeing on the floor all of a sudden?

If your well-trained cat suddenly starts peeing in random places, a visit to the vet is the first thing to do. Your cat could have a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is very common. An infection will cause him pain, and he’ll refuse to use his litter box. … Kidney infections or stones are also common.

How do you discipline a cat for peeing outside the litter box?

Rub your cat’s nose in the urine or feces. This increases stress in cats..Yell at your kitty, or carrying/dragging it to the litterbox. Again, this is simply going to make things worse..Confine it and the litterbox to a small room..Use ammonia-based cleaners.

Do cats pee outside their litter box out of spite?

Cats begin urinating outside the box as a response to something that is wrong, either with them or their environment. It is not just them “behaving badly” and cats don’t urinate inappropriately out of “spite”. … Some cats can also have microscopic crystals in their bladders that can cause irritation.

House soiling, or urinating outside the litter box, is very common. Non-medical causes, often inaccurately labeled behavioral problems, usually are perfectly normal feline responses to an environmental stimulus and can be subdivided into urine-marking and normal voiding outside the litter box. The latter, which is the most common cause of feline house soiling, includes cases where cats may stop using the litter box because they dont like the type of litter or the location of the box. These aversions may arise over pain from a medical problem, fear after being startled or attacked by another cat while in the box, or odor due to infrequent cleaning. A behavioral specialist can help sort out why a cat has stopped using his litter box and suggest ways to get him back to it.

Cats normally void by squatting and releasing a medium to large puddle on a horizontal surface. When spraying, a cat stands with tail straight up and twitching and squirts a small volume of urine, usually onto a vertical surface.

Because my second patient was leaving urine drops on a vertical surface the living room drapes it seemed likely that this was a case of marking. Private space can be created even within a small apartment by adding accessible shelves high up on the walls or providing cat condos with sheltered caves near the top. It is essential to eliminate all traces of urine odor so as not to re-attract the offender or potentially attract other cats who might begin marking, too.

If the marking behavior continues after social and environmental issues were addressed, drugs might become an important part of therapy. [Editors Note: According to our Animal Sciences department, a new product called Feliway , a synthetic feline facial pheromone that is sprayed in the cats environment, can reduce urine marking and stress.] Weve gone the antibiotic route several times and all the cats are on urinary tract formula of Hills Prescription Diet.

I would guess that lots of inappropriate elimination problems in cats are caused by urinary tract infections, which can be very dangerous (deadly) if not treated quickly. It sounds like your cat may have developed a substrate preference for fabric surfaces (towel/throw rug) over litter products, which, by the way, is fairly common. Can you pick up all throw rugs and towels for some period of time and move the cat tree, just so your kitty doesnt continue to rehearse the unwanted behavior?

Most middle-aged cats do not have a true urinary tract infection and, thus, antibiotics can fail to treat the problem. We dont want the urine to sit in the bladder for long periods of time as it allows crystals to form and is a very irritating substance anyway. A portion of this involves play therapy. In addition, you can add puzzle toys for her dry food.

Feline friends can bring a lot of joy to their owners lives. Theres a reason so many people spend their free time watching cute cat videos on the internet. Studies have even shown that a cats purr can have healing properties for humans. But like any other pet, sometimes if cats are stressed or experiencing some kind of physical discomfort, it can create messy and undesirable issues for their owners.

Its important to identify any issues as early as possible so you can work with your veterinarian to find a solution and fix the problem. A veterinarian can conduct a urinalysis to help understand what medical issue could cause your cat to pee outside of the litter box.

A urinalysis is an affordable and easy way to potentially diagnose what could be causing your cats issues. Depending on what is found in your cats urinalysis, your veterinarian may suggest further bloodwork to rule out or confirm other medical issues. Once youve identified the issue thats causing your cat to pee outside of the litter box, there are many solutions that could help stop this behavior.

They work by sending specific signals to the olfactory receptors your pet has, and have been formulated to give off a calming effect . If your cat is peeing outside of the litter box due to stress or feeling territorial, this can be an easy and affordable way to communicate to your pet that everything is okay. Cats need time to be playful and active, giving them a chance to use their skills and natural instincts as predators .

This can be done easily by providing toys and activities for your cat that make them use their natural instincts and skills.

If your cat is peeing everywhere, its time for a visit to the vet. This behavior isnt normal, and kitty is signaling that something is wrong. Cats are great at disguising tremendous pain from humans, but peeing outside the box is definitely something you will notice and take action on.

Did something obstruct it, or is your cat no longer able to easily jump through the opening due to age or weight gain? If kitty isnt feeling well or has gotten older, a long trek to the box may discourage them from making the trip.

Repeated loud noises and erratic behavior can create underlying kitty stress that leads to peeing outside the box. Cats get nervous about changes to their home structure and may respond by inappropriate urination until they feel safe again. If you can identify the likely cause and its something that wont continue (such as a home renovation or houseguests), you can re-establish routine and see if the behavior clears up on its own once things are back to normal.

Between your care as a cat parent and the help of your veterinarian, youll have your kitty on the mend and back in the litter box soon . And one more thing: make sure you clean up any urine outside of the litter box completely, so that your cat doesnt return to that area to pee again.

Behavioral Reasons

If your cat is peeing inappropriately, the first step is to visit your veterinarian. The vet will do a physical exam of your cat and check a urine sample. Based on the results, your vet will recommend treatment. There a number of common urinary medical issues in cats:When one or more urinary issues are chronic, the condition is typically calledUrinary problems can lead to a serious, urinary obstruction, especially in male cats. If your cat is experiencing urinary issues, don’t delay the trip to the vet. If your cat is posturing to urinate and little or no urine is coming out, your cat might have a blockage or partial obstruction. In this case, get your cat to a vet immediately as this condition can quickly become life-threatening.In some cases, inappropriate urination occurs when a cat has a nonurinary health problem. Your cat may be peeing outside the box because of pain or discomfort elsewhere in the body. It’s a good idea to have your vet order comprehensive lab work to look for a health issue if none is found during the initial exam or urinalysis. Lab work can reveal serious health problems like diabetes or kidney disease, allowing your vet to begin treatment immediately.

Dirty Litter Box

Cats are particular about their toilets. The litter box may simply be too dirty for your cat. Or it may be perfectly clean but otherwise uncomfortable to use. For example, the box may be too small for your cat to use comfortably. Or it may be in a location that your cat doesn’t like. If it’s covered, this may bother your cat. Perhaps the litter has a strong scent or an annoying feel on your cat‘s paws. Cat‘s like choice so too few litter boxes can also be an issue.

Stress

Your cat may be trying to tell you it’s stressed out at home. It may be unhappy with another animal in the household and is marking its territory to send a message to the other animal. Or your cat may sense that it’s too dangerous to access the litter box if the other animal is out and about. Your cat may also “act out” if there is a new human in the home.Cats are sensitive to the smallest of changes in their environments. No matter what the source of the stress is, make sure your cat has a quiet place where it can getaway. The new animal or human should not have access to this place of refuge.

Old Urine Smells

If your cat has peed in an area, the smell might remain even after you clean up the accident. A cat‘s sense of smell is much better than yours. If old urine odors remain in your home, there’s a very good chance your cat is returning to the area because of the smell.

Remedies to try

Blocking access to windows through which outdoor cats might be visible could help, as could adding additional litter boxes to the home and separating cats so each had his own space. Private space can be created even within a small apartment by adding accessible shelves high up on the walls or providing cat condos with sheltered ‘caves’ near the top.It is essential to eliminate all traces of urine odor so as not to re-attract the offender or potentially attract other cats who might begin marking, too. I strongly recommend urine odor eliminators for this job.

The role of drugs

If the marking behavior continues after social and environmental issues were addressed, drugs might become an important part of therapy. This is true especially in long-standing situations or those with frequent occurrences. Marking behavior should be interrupted as soon as possible, as repetitive behavior can become reinforced in the mind of the cat. Drugs usually are not necessary in cases of non-marking house soiling.Drugs prescribed to treat marking include human sedatives, anti-anxiety agents, and antidepressants. None are approved for use in cats, so their use may involve some degree of risk. Unfortunately, many cats respond only partially to medication, and almost all cats relapse once the medication is stopped. [Editor’s Note: According to our Animal Sciences department, a new product called Feliway ©, a synthetic feline facial pheromone that is sprayed in the cat’s environment, can reduce urine marking and stress.]

Behavioral Peeing

I have a cat who pees inappropriately on a towel at the back door of our house. We have tried to pick up the towel, but then she pees on the area rug that is right next to the litter box. She has also peed on a cat tree that a coworker gave me. I think it’s behavioral.We’ve gone the antibiotic route several times and all the cats are on urinary tract formula of Hills Prescription Diet. I give them only distilled water. I tried to get them to eat canned food and she peed more frequently. Also, all my cats hated it.I have tried every cat litter under the sun and almost every type of litter box you can imagine. The most recent one has been the most successful. We made it out of a Rubbermaid container that we cut a hole in the top of.In the last two weeks, she’s only peed outside the litter box twice. (Usually, it’s daily, and sometimes twice a day.) The ONLY change in the last two weeks is we bought a new litter with crystals. I can’t think of any other change that has occurred.She’s not going anywhere. I am committed to her. HELP!

Answer 2

Depending on the length of time she has been doing this, she may have learned this as behavior and you will have to retrain her. Look at your cat as an individual and see how the environment in your home may be affecting her.Here are some things to consider:

Inappropriate Cat Peeing and Separation Anxiety

If your cat is peeing on your bed, pillows, or clothes, especially while you are gone, it might be a symptom of separation anxiety. Talk with your veterinarian or a cat behavioral specialist about ways you can help your kitty feel more secure. Medication, changes in playtime with your cat, getting her a companion, or other tactics may help.Also, make sure whoever is taking care of your cat while you are gone keeps up certain routines and maintains a clean litter box. As above, these changes in schedule and environment may exacerbate stress and peeing outside the litter box.Most cats resume normal litter box usage once the underlying stressors causing anxiety are under control. If you’re still having trouble, talk with your veterinarian.