When kitty goes outside the litterbox—what can you do?

First, rule out medical issues with a Urinalysis and bladder radiographs (x-rays). According to Dr. Elise Hattingh, the most common medical cause is “idiopathic stress-induced cystitis,” which accounts for approximately 75% of cases. This means that there is inflammation (and therefore pain and sense of urgency) within the bladder, but there is no identifiable cause. Bladder stones may also be present. But stress is something to always consider.

What may be stressing the cat around the litter box? Several issues might do this.

1. Do you have enough litter boxes?

The general rule is to have one more litter box than the number of cats in the household. Place them in quiet, accessible locations. You wouldn’t want your toilet in the middle of the living room, right? Particularly if there are any hostilities among your babies, give them some privacy.

2. Litter box maintenance?

Keep the box scooped, at least once a day, and completely change the litter regularly. Also, some cats may prefer certain kinds of
litter—i.e., clay, paper or other—and some may not like scented brands. Experiment until you and your cat are happy.

3. Reduce Stress:

Cats may urinate outside the litter box due to stress or anxiety. Identify and address any stressors in your cat’s environment, such as changes in routine, new pets, or household disruptions. Providing other stimulation such as toys and interactive play will help reduce stress as well. Be sure to clean accidents thoroughly. When a cat has marked an area, it is essential to do a deep cleaning of that spot as soon as possible, as cat urine can soak through to the padding of the carpet, making it almost impossible to fully eliminate, and will continue to attract them to use this location. Using enzymatic cleaners such as “Nature’s Miracle” helps to naturally break down the components of urine to eliminate the smell. You should always avoid harsh chemicals or those with intense scents, as this may cause your kitty to want to mark over it. If the issue persists despite your efforts, consider consulting with a veterinary behaviorist or a certified cat behavior consultant. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your cat’s specific needs.

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