It is no surprise that cats are the most popular companion animal in America. There are approximately 30 million felines living as family members. Dismally, around 3.2 million cats enter the shelter system each year. More alarming, approximately 860,000 of them are dying in the shelters, as reported by the ASPCA. Litter box issues are often cited among the reasons for owner relinquishment of cats to shelters. Let’s explore how to deal with a cat peeing outside the litter box — it’s an issue that can often be easily remedied and keep families together!
For a few years, I worked in the Animal Help department for the largest no-kill companion animal sanctuary in America. Working in Animal Help meant fielding all the public calls from desperate people who wanted to surrender animals to the facility. Most of the calls included behavior issues. The top cat behavior problem I encountered from frustrated feline guardians was a cat peeing outside the litter box.
Because we received thousands of calls monthly, sharing resources and providing coaching was required before making an admission appeal to the cat department. So, I worked closely with individuals who were ready to throw in the towel on their tabbies. I quickly learned that if people took the proper steps, permanently fixing the issue was quite doable. Another big revelation was that being proactive about determining the reasons behind a cat peeing outside the litter box issue was the key to solving the issue!
Since a cat peeing outside the litter box can’t tell you why he’s doing it, it’s your job to get to the bottom of the stinky situation. Discovering the reasons behind a cat peeing outside the litter box requires a multi-pronged approach.
While a cat peeing outside the litter box could signal a single problem, it could also indicate a combination of issues. Being patient, observant and diligent is paramount in stopping a cat from peeing outside the litter box! Of course, for new cats, prevention is best, so introduce litter box training the right way from the start.
Thumbnail: Photography ©ysbrandcosijn | Getty Images.
Denise LeBeau is a writer, editor and photographer with almost 20 years of experience of creating content for animal-related issues, endeavors and events. She worked at Best Friends Animal Society for 12 years where she had two columns in the Best Friends Magazine, and held multiple content creation roles including web managing editor and outreach campaign editor. Denise has been an ongoing contributor to Catster since 2014, writing for the magazine and website. The self-professed poet laureate of the pet set is currently the manager of development for an animal welfare agency, where she works with a team to create content across media platforms. She lives in Hampton Bays with her two rescue Siamese mixes – Flipper and Slayer, and her LBD (little brown dog), Zephyrella.