Find solutions for inappropriate elimination.

My cat is urinating inappropriately outside the litter box. What causes this?

In cats, the first step to help solve this issue is differentiating inappropriate urination from spraying. Inappropriate urination is typically noted by finding puddles of urine on horizontal surfaces, such as floors, bathtubs or sinks. Spraying is noted by if small volumes of urine are deposited on vertical surfaces such as walls, drapes or other objects in the house. Less frequently spraying may occur on horizontal objects such clothing, bedding or new objects to mark territory.

If your cat is spraying, behavior causes need to be investigated more thoroughly. Spraying tends to be behavior in origin for most cases, although some medical conditions may also cause this behavior. Changes to the cat’s environment frequently cause this behavior to occur. Moving to a new house, the addition of another pet or changes in lifestyle/work schedules may initiate this behavior. This is most likely stress-induced and may not change until the source of the stress is alleviated. Many other simple causes such a dirty litter box or not enough litter boxes available (in multi-cat households) may also be the cause.

If your cat is urinating outside the litter box or makes more frequent trips to the litter box other underlying problems may be present. This is important to recognize as a symptom of an underlying disease process. Important medical conditions such as urinary tract infections, including bladder, kidney and urethral infections commonly occur. Other metabolic disorders including kidney dysfunction, diabetes and hyperthyroidism may also cause this symptom. or metabolic disorders frequently play a role in causing inappropriate urination.