By Doghaus University, Jul 15 2017 05:57PM
Pet Sitting Tips: Peeing Outside The Litter Box Can Be A Sign of Bigger Problems
Cats are mysterious animals. If someone has a cat, though, and that cat suddenly stops using the litter box, that's a sign there may be serious problems beneath the surface. Maybe the cat is still peeing in the general vicinity, but sometimes it's nowhere near the box. Once or twice might have been an accident, but after that you have a definite pattern. Instead of being upset that the cat has decided to forego using the proper bathroom, take a moment to ask, "what are they trying to tell me?"
The cat can't speak English, but if you read between the lines you might be able to figure out the message they're trying to send you.
Peeing Outside The Litter Box: Is It A Sign of a Problem?
Before you read too deeply into your cat peeing outside the litter box, the first thing you should do is take a look at the box itself. If the box isn't clean, it can be a lot like going to a porta potty that's overflowing. Sometimes all it takes to get your cat to start using the box again is to scoop it out, and clean it up. Emptying the box entirely, rinsing it clean with a hose, and putting in fresh litter is also a good way to make it feel hospitable for your cat.
If you're regularly scooping the box, though, and it's as clean as such things get, then peeing outside the box could mean something else according to Pet MD. Watch your cat, and observe their behavior. If they're peeing near the box, for example, ask why they aren't getting inside. Older cats, particularly those suffering from arthritis, my find that getting into the box is hard work. If that's the case with your pet, try taking off the swinging door, or the lid, and seeing if that makes them more likely to pee in the box. You may even need to change the kind of litter you're using, especially if your cat finds the kind you have uncomfortable on their paws.
If the box is clean and your cat has no physical problems getting into the box, that's when you need to consider other options. For instance, has there been a lot of stress in your cat's life recently? Did you move, rearrange your house, or adopt new pets? Do you have a new significant other, or a new addition to your family? Cats can adjust to changes, but stress and anxiety may make them pee outside the box. They could be marking territory, but they could just as easily be acting out. So take some time, and try to calm your cat's anxiety. Play with them, give them some catnip, or just take a few hours to spend with them.
Unfortunately, peeing outside the little box can also be a sign that your cat is ill. Something like a urinary tract infection, more commonly referred to as a UTI, can make a cat less likely to use the box. Kidney problems, diabetes, and any other condition that makes your cat feel off their game might result in them peeing somewhere other than the box. If you've tried everything else you can think of, but they still aren't using the box, it might be time for a visit to the vet to make sure there isn't something going on with your feline friend's health.
Even if we've a cat for years, that doesn't mean we always understand why they do the things they do. If you need advice in discerning your cat's behavior, simply contact us today!