Urinating outside the little box is one of the most common issues cats have. While it is infuriating and it can lead some owners to consider finding a new place for the kitty. It may seem that your cat is peeing outside the litterbox in all the wrong places to test you or even annoy you, but the real reason can be a little trickier.
A Cat will pee outside the litter box for one of two reasons: they have a medical problem they can’t control, or they’re having behavioral issues. Whichever one it might be, know that you can fix this problem as long as you’re persistent and willing to get to the bottom of the issue.
So, in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about why your cat is peeing outside the litter box and offer a few different solutions you can try!
Medical Reasons Why Your Cat is Peeing Outside the Litter Box
Some breeds are more predisposed to develop urinary-tract related conditions than others, but it’s important to not forget that all cats can fall ill to these conditions. As soon as you notice your cat is not using the litter box to pee to you should bring them to your vet for an examination. Medical conditions aren’t always easy to spot by untrained eyes, so it’s important that you make sure you’re not letting any problems go by untreated.
Cat Urinary Tract Infection
One of the most common causes for inappropriate urination in your cat is a urinary tract infection, also known as a UTI. This is caused by bacteria that enters the body and hangs around the bladder. Once the body senses these bacteria it tries to fight it, so an inflammatory response is set off.
When your cat is peeing it can be very painful, which is why you’ll find your cat peeing on the couch which is a softer surface. If your vet discovers your cat has a urinary tract infection they will prescribe your suffering kitty some cat UTI antibiotics helping your cat to heal with time.
When cats develop bladder stones your cat is very likely to start peeing on the bed, carpet or any soft surfaces in order to ease the pain — which can be intense! The bladder becomes irritated and in more serious cases even blocked. Smaller bladder stones can pass on their own with the help of specialized urinary tract cat food, but larger bladder stones may need surgical intervention.
Sometimes crystals form in a cat’s urine because of an improper pH balance. This in turn causes irritation of the urinary tract which can be resolved by changing up your cat’s diet to one designed specifically for urinary tract problems. Your vet will recommend the best brands and doses, as well as antibiotics if need be.
Behavioral Reasons Why Cats Pee Outside the Litter Box
Another explanation to why your cat is peeing in the house is that they may have behavioral problems that must be dealt with. These are some of the most common cat urinary problems that owners face.
The Litter Box
It’s no secret that cats are very picky, and litter boxes aren’t something they’re willing to accept lightly. If the size of the box is wrong — whether because it’s too big or too small — or it’s difficult to access then they’re more likely than not to avoid it and start peeing outside the litter box. Although annoying, the only solution is to get a litter box that might suit your cat’s picky tastes.
If the litter box is dirty or you’re not using a type of litter your cat likes, then you’re also bound to run into problems with your cat relieving themselves in undesirable places and not peeing in the litter box. Try using another brand of Cat Litter and cleaning the litter box two times a day. This may help to get your cat to like using the litter box again.
Stress and Anxiety
Cats are much more likely to pee outside of the litter box if they’re anxious and or stressed. In the wild, cats and kittens alike are comforted by the smell of their own urine and their stress levels go down when they’re around it. It’s no wonder that cats try to replicate this in your house, no matter how much you hate it.
To solve this try making your house more cat friendly and less of a hostile environment to your stressed furry friend. Provide vertical spaces such as cat poles and perches that they can claim as their own. Play with them and give them toys to be entertained with. This will help them to focus less on the things that may be upsetting them or remove them altogether.
Another Animal in the Household
If you have another animal in your home, the reason why kitty is peeing so often outside of their litter box might be related to living with another pet. They might feel intimidated by another animal’s presence and feel too vulnerable when using their litter box.
The litter box could also be currently placed in the other pet’s “claimed territory,” which might make kitty afraid to venture there.
A solution that most vets recommend is to provide one litter box for each cat plus one extra one. Instead of placing them in the same location, it might be beneficial to place each litter box in a different area of the house.
This way each cat can claim their very own litter box. Using this technique will help to take of or even eliminate any social problems where one of your cats may be bothering or even bullying the other.
Solving your Cat Litter Box Problems
Chances are most cat owners have dealt with this type of problem before with their furry friends! Cat’s urinating outside the litter box can be caused by many reasons, but often this can be broken down to either a medical or behavioral cause.
We hope this article has helped you to start thinking about solutions to any cat peeing problems you may be dealing with. Remember, the key to solving your cat litter box problem is to figure out the cause first. Once you have a possible cause, try out some different methods, including the ones we mention here, to help get your cat to start using their litter box again.
Do you have a question about cat litter box problems? Let us know in the comments below!