• Why Do Cats Urinate Outside The Litter Box?

  • Why Do Cats Urinate Outside The Litter Box?
  • By: Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc., DVM | Nov 4, 2016

  • Dr. Greenway discusses medical and behavioral reasons why cats urinate outside the litter box. Other topics covered in this video include urine collection, urinalysis, urinary tract infection, blood work, diabetes, kidney disease, different causes of stress and the treatment.


    One question we get a lot of and a problem that we see with our cats is that they’ll urinate outside the litter box and it’s a very annoying habit.

    The first thing I want to mention is when you see this happen, if this is happening to you, you want to get on top of it right away. The longer you leave it, the more they’re going to learn that it’s okay to do that, it’s going to be harder to change that behavior.

    The first thing we do is we try to figure out whether this is a medical or behavioral problem. In order to do that we have to look for the medical reasons why they would urinate outside the box and that is if your cat has a urinary tract infection or if there’s some other disease that’s going on inside of them that makes them drink and pee more. In order to do that we collect urine and perform a urinalysis and a urine culture to see if there’s any sort of infection in there.

    By doing blood work, we can see if there are other conditions that cause them to drink or pee more such as diabetes or kidney disease. By finding that out first and making sure that that pet is healthy, we now know that it’s a behavioral problem and what we want to do then is look for the source of the behavioral issue.

    There’s a lot of cats that are very sensitive and they’re very sensitive to changes in their environment. Renovating, having guests over in the home, noises from outside, other pets coming by the window, these are things that can upset cats. Even being overweight is something that we know makes cats anxious. All of these things can lead to them urinating outside the box so if you’re seeing that what you’re going to want to try to do is identify the behavior and correct it but sometimes it’s hard to find.

    Cats will even get upset if you’ve just left that red sweater over in the corner. So what you’re going to want to do is go down and first take a look around the litterbox. Make sure that nothing has changed in their environment. So if you can find the source of the stress and remove it, that may correct the problem. You can click on our other video that talks about how to treat a cat that’s urinating outside of the box here at healthcareforpets.com.

    Why Do Cats Urinate Outside The Litter Box?
    Why Do Cats Urinate Outside The Litter Box?

    Dr. Clayton Greenway discusses medical and behavioral reasons why cats may urinate outside of the litter box.

    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.

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