Cats peeing outside their litter box can be very frustrating to the owner. There are several reasons why a cat will refuse to use the litter box. The main reason being the box might not meet the cat's needs or preferences regarding the size, type, location or cleanliness.
Other times the issue could be more serious pointing to a medical complication, so before you begin to correct a litter box problem, understand why your cat is peeing inappropriately.
If you suspect a medical problem, the first step is to visit your pet’s vet, they will do a physical exam and maybe check a urine sample for infections.
Some of the common medical issues in cats include urinary tract infections, kidney diseases, diabetes and thyroid issues that can cause increased urination. If you find yourself needing to clean after the cat more often than before, it could be the above cases.
Dirty litter box
If you take your cat to the vet and no medical condition is found, inappropriate urination could be a behavioural issue.
Cats are particular about where they go to pee or poop, so if the litter box is too dirty, the cat might avoid using it. The box could also be clean but uncomfortable for the cat to use as it could be too small for them to sit on it comfortably. It could be in a location the cat does not like or the litter could have a strong scent. Make sure you have the largest litter box possible and keep it uncovered. Place it in a quiet but accessible area in your house and far away from where it eats or drinks.
Old urine odour
A cat that has had an accident in a certain area might keep going to pee in the same place even after you have cleaned it up. This is because a cat’s sense of smell is strong and if an old urine odour remains on a spot, the cat goes back to the same place because of the smell. Use strong detergents to clean any place a cat has had an accident to prevent it from returning there.
If the cat is old, have the litter box that they can easily get into, make it really shallow for easier use. If you have more than one cat, get each a litter box to prevent competition as cats are quite territorial.
Generally, to keep your cats from peeing outside the litter box, be an attentive cat owner.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]