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Why Is My Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box?

If you have ever experienced a cat peeing everywhere but inside their litter box, you know how concerning it can be. Especially when you don’t understand why it is happening.

There are various reasons why your cat may be peeing outside their litter box and in this post, we’ll look at some possible explanations. Here’s what you should know.

Medical problems

Cats aren’t the best when it comes to showing symptoms of illness, but peeing outside the litter box can be a sign that something is not right health-wise. 

The most common medical conditions that cause this behaviour are the following:

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Urinary obstructions

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic kidney failure (which affects geriatric cats, in particular)

  • Arthritis

If peering outside the litter box is out of character for your cat and nothing else around them has changed, it's a good idea to visit your vet for a quick check up to rule out any medical conditions. In general, taking your cat to the vet for check-ups twice a year can be a good way of preventing these diseases and the complications that might arise from them. 

Stress 

It’s not uncommon for cats that have gone through potentially traumatic experiences to pee outside the litter box. 

If you’ve recently moved homes or you’ve done some re-modelling, your cat may be feeling unsettled and might look for a different place to do their 'business'. 

If this is the case, be patient and allow your cat some time to adjust. Make sure you have shown them where the litter box is and that they can access it easily. Once everything is settled, there is a high chance that everything will go back to normal and your cat will start using their litter box again.

However, if this doesn’t happen and your cat is displaying behavioural concerns, such as anxiety or hiding during the day, you might have to seek professional help. 

Litter box issues

Poor litter box hygiene can be one of the reasons your pet chooses to pee elsewhere. Some cats will do it right next to the litter box in an attempt to get your attention. 

The location of the litter box also has an impact when it comes to your cat’s peeing and pooping habits. If it’s next to something that makes a lot of noise or if you’ve placed it right next to the cat’s food and water bowls, you might inadvertently convince your cat to go in another place. 

The best location for a cat’s litter box is one that is peaceful and quiet, while also close enough to a trash can (or the toilet) so that you can get rid of the waste quickly. 

The litter type

When it comes to the type of litter you use, cats can have preferences just like humans do. Some don’t like how the litter feels on their paws, others will resent it for its smell, but the bottom line is that you might have to test out a number of types before you find the right one. 

In most cases, a litter that provides excellent odour control, is absorbent, but also vegan and biodegradable makes the best choice. 

A good example would be the Wee Kitty Eco Plant Clumping Litter as it’s made from sustainable materials and you can even flush it in the toilet. Moreover, the pellets are large enough not to get stuck in-between your cat’s paws.

Wee Kitty Eco Plant Clumping Litter

Marking their territory

Cats can spray because of their heat cycle, but also when they feel potentially threatened by other pets in their living environment. This problem is more common in households with multiple cats or other pets. 

This doesn’t mean that your cat is necessarily using another spot to relieve itself because they hate their litter box, but rather because they are trying to establish territorial boundaries. 

Other possible reasons include: stress, being challenged by another pet, or because they are ready to mate.

Getting your cat neutered or spayed can eliminate the issue, but making some living adjustments can also prove to be useful.

  • Provide multiple litter boxes around the house so that the cats can avoid using the same litter box.

  • Try to treat all your pets as equally as possible. 

  • Ensure that the litter box is in a safe and quite place where other pets don't have access.

How to stop a cat from peeing outside the litter box

Here are some simple tips on how to keep your cat from peeing outside the litter box:

  • Make it easier for senior cats to step into the litter box by getting lower ones.

  • Clean the soiled area with Wee Away to prevent re-soiling in the same spot.

  • Test several litter types and stick to a non-scented, safe one that your feline friend likes.

  • Make sure that you have at least one litter box per cat.

  • Place the litter box in a clean and peaceful place (away from the food and water bowls).

  • Change the litter as often as possible.

  • Take your cat to the vet regularly to make sure they are healthy.

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