By: Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc., DVM | Nov 4, 2016
Dr. Greenway explains how to stop cats from urinating outside the litter box and reasons why this this behavior may occur. Other topics in this video include cleaning the litter box, providing alternate boxes, a larger box, overweight cats, the use of treats, anxiety, toys, environmental enrichment, medications and naturopathic options, and the need to address this problem right away.
I’m just going to give you some advice on on what to do if your cat is urinating outside of the box and it’s an actual behavioral problem, not a medical one.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure that you’re cleaning that litter box on a daily basis. The other thing is if you’re finding your cat is urinating somewhere else in the house, you may want to temporarily provide them with a litter box in that location as well. Trying to figure out why they’re not using the litter box may be worth it because if you have a litter box that’s got sides that are very, very high and your cat is overweight or starting to become arthritic, it may not want to step into that litter box. Also some cats are quite large and some litter boxes are quite small. You can even make your own litter box by buying a large plastic bin, cutting it to have very low sides and putting litter in that so that they can really just step into it.
The other thing you can do is you can start putting treats around the litter box. I really like to do this without letting the cat know that you’ve put the treats there. If you do that your cat will just happen to find treats by the litter box. It’ll start coming around the litter box more often to find those treats and it just may happen to have to use it at that time.
The other things you can do as well is you can try to engage your cat if this is happening because of stress, you could try to destress your cat by enriching its environment. You can give it toys to play with, you can use a laser pointer and run that along the walls and get a lot of exercise into your cat.
If some of these simple things are not working, you might want to work with your veterinarian on products that you could use that are anti-anxiety. There are medications that you can go to but there are also naturopathic supplements that may decrease anxiety in your cat and help it start using the litter box again.
You have to take this behavior seriously. The longer it lasts, the more it’s ingrained and it’s harder to get rid of, so get on top of it right away. If simple things you’re doing at home don’t work, you’re going to want to call your veterinarian and get onto those other more serious options to intervene and fix the problem.
With our pets, behavioral problems can be worse than medical conditions. It’s hard to live with a pet that’s disrupting your home environment that much. You’ll find more options and information about this on healthcareforpets.com.
Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.