Help! My Cat is Peeing Outside his Litter Box!

CatLitterBoxCats are by nature very clean animals, so they prefer very clean, well-kept dwellings – especially their cat boxes. Many cats develop elimination problems during their lives. Before you get frustrated, please understand that most elimination problems are situational, behavioral and medically rooted, and in most instances, can usually be corrected.

Situational Elimination Problems
Approximately 10% of all adult cats develop elimination problems in their lifetimes. Situational elimination problems are usually created by household changes to a cat’s space. Cats like familiarity and even the smallest change can disrupt their routines. For example, cleaning and moving furniture, or changing the location of the litter box can create elimination problems for cats.

Behavioral Elimination Problems
If you’ve not made any major changes to your cat’s living area, your cat may have a behavioral elimination problem. Have you recently added a new pet to the family? Your cat may be exercising his dominance over “his territory” or may be feeling threatened that he can’t make it to the litter box safely. Exerting dominance by elimination outside the litter box is a common problem in multi-cat households. If your cats are unaltered, you may want to consider having them spayed or neutered to reduce territorial marking and spraying.

Medical Elimination Problems
Lastly, cats eliminate outside the litter box if they have an underlying medical condition, including Urinary Tract Infections, (UTIs) kidney stones or blockages, or Feline Intertitial Cystitis – a neurological disease that affects the bladder and is life-threatening if left untreated. If you suspect your cat has a medical condition, please contact your veterinarian right away!

Litter Box Tips
Please do your best to maintain fresh, clean boxes for your cats to “do their business.” We recommended you have one litter box per cat, plus one extra. Make sure they’re all easily accessible and comfortable. Unscented, clumping, shallow (1-2 inches) litter works best, and should be cleaned at least once per day.

Have a follow up question or concern? Let us know in the comments below!

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