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Why is my cat urinating

Why is my cat urinating outside of the litter box


If your cat is urinating in the house and out of his/her litter box, they should first be checked for a medical condition and the place to start is with an exam and urine check by your vet.

If no medical problem is found, we are most likely dealing with a behavior problem.  

Cats urinating in the house is one of the most common behavior complaints of cat owners. When cats urinate on horizontal surfaces, it is inappropriate elimination and that is what we will be discussing.  When cats urinate on vertical surfaces, it is known as spraying and it is a marking behavior.  


Possible causes of inappropriate elimination may involve the litter, the size of the litter box, and the location of the box (is there easy access). Frustration or stress may also be a factor. 

On occasion, medical therapy can be used.

There are actions you can take to try to eliminate this behavior. I have listed some tips below:

  • Scoop your cat’s litter twice a day.  

  • Use clumping and odor-less litter. Cats prefer the sand-like material of clay based litter

  • Provide a litter box for each of your cats, plus one extra. If you have 1 cat use  2 boxes in different locations, if 2 cats than 3 boxes, and so on. If you live in a multi-story residence, place a box on each level.

  • Use larger litter boxes.

  • Don’t use litter box lids. Cats may feel trapped with a lid in place. 

  • The boxes should be in easily accessible locations where there is no stress to reach the box and they are able to  escape from the area.  

  • The litter box should be out of sight of their food and water dishes.

  • If the bottom of the box gets dirty, thoroughly rinse out the box every month, or more often if needed

  • If your cat is older or arthritic, use a litter box with low sides so they can climb in easily.

  • Avoid strong detergents or cleaners when cleaning the box

  • Clean or eliminate the soiled areas, bare in mind that some cats my just pick another spot

On occasion, confinement to one room with bedding, food and water, and a litter box may be needed (away from the areas that have been soiled). This will often re-establish litter box use.

We hope this information has been helpful and your cat stops urinating out of his box

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