How do I stop my cat from urinating outside the litter box?

 |  Apr 13th 2006  |   10 Contributions


Hi there! Layla is my kitty. She enjoys an occasional urination
outside of her box. She has been tested for a urinary tract infection and
treated. Is this something that is more common for certain breeds than
others? She has three boxes to choose from. Do you have any other
suggestions?

Nicole
Royal Oak, MI

Urinating inappropriately is certainly one of the most frustrating problems that anyone with a cat or a dog can face. Housesoiling has two basic causes: medical problems and behavioral problems.

Urinary tract infections and inflammation (irritation) of the bladder are the most common medical causes of housesoiling. Pets feel pain and burning, which may cause them to urinate in strange places. If Layla has been treated for a urinary tract (aka bladder) infection, and re-tested to ensure that no infection remains, then this probably is not contributing to the problem at this time.

However, there are a number of other medical conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, which may lead to urination outside of the box. I noticed while looking at Layla's profile that she is eight. Cats over seven years of age are more susceptible to these types of problems, so if she has not undergone blood and urine testing recently, I would recommend it.

Behavioral housesoiling can be difficult to address. Stress and anxiety are the most frequent culprits. Some cats will urinate outside of the box to mark their territory if a new cat is brought into the house, or if they even see a new cat in the yard through a window. Tactics to avoid behavioral housesoiling include adding litter boxes (which you already have done), using enzymatic cleaners to remove the urine odor from soiled areas, and reducing stress (which often means giving each cat in the house her own area to serve as a home territory).

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