Has your cat started to urinate outside of its litter box? If your cat has only just started to pee outside of its litter box, there are a few things that could be wrong.
Your cat may be sick
Urinary Tract Infections and bladder crystals can cause inappropriate toileting. If your cat is normally great with its litter box – a change in behavior such as urinating outside of it may mean that they are unwell. Book your cat into your Vet for a good checkup to make sure they are healthy.
If your cat is trying to pee on different surfaces in quick succession and not producing much urine – this is a medical emergency, Take them to a vet!
Is your cat missing the litter box when it tries to use it?
Your cat may have gained weight, or may have stiff joints. Your cat may not be squatting properly or may just have terrible aim. What can you do?
- First you’ll want to put something waterproof under your cats litter box. A plastic mat, a tarpaulin or even a large plastic dish to sit the litter tray in, work well. This will make any accidents easier to clean up.
- Try a larger litter tray. There are so many types available on the market, it can be hard to work out what type your cat needs. Make sure the litter tray is large enough for your cat to comfortably stand in, without looking to tight. For truly massive cats like Maine Coons or giant moggies – you can even create a huge litter tray out of a plastic “fish bin”, or storage container. Just cut a hole in the side for easy access, fill with your cats favorite litter and away you go.
- If your cat is urinating over the side of the litter box, try a covered litter box. Cats love privacy when they pee – much like us! This hooded type of litter box will catch any drips or splashes, and they often come with various built in carbon filters to neutralize smell.
If your cat refuses to use its litter box
There are a couple of things you can do to try to reinforce that the litter box is your cats toilet. .
- You can sprinkle dirt in the box – this helps your cat recognize that this box is a place they can pee. They smell the dirt like they would in a garden which reinforces the urge to use that box.
- Is your cat shy? If its litter box is in a high traffic area of the house, it may choose a quieter more inappropriate place to toilet. Putting a litter box in a laundry, or quiet room where there isn’t much foot traffic is a good idea.
- Are you using “Crystal” litter? This appears to be the litter that cats have the most issues with. It can be sharp, smells artificial and from experience I have found that if your cat has never seen or used crystal litter, then you may have a problem. Natural smelling products like clay litter, recycled cardboard litter or pine “Fire pellets” usually have no issues.
- There is a product called “House Proud” which is really useful. You sprinkle a few drops into your cats litter box, and something about it (the smell?) makes cats want to pee there.
My cat uses its litter box, but still urinates on towels etc
If you leave a damp towel on the bathroom floor – and your cat pees on it, well.. its kind of a sign to not leave damp towels laying around!! Cats will pee on things that smell strongly – another animals bedding, a tree, baby toys, damp towels etc. This is a really natural thing for cats to do – they don’t realize that its highly inconvenient for humans. The best thing you can do is remove temptation and hang up those towels. If there is a smell in the house that is stressing your cat – do your best to remove it. I have heard of cats peeing on children’s toys when their tiny human comes back from staying at its fathers house. The father had a cat, so those toys came back into the main household smelling like an intruding cat.
There are so many elements to litter box problems. I’ll be writing more on this subject but that’s all for now. Stay safe Kitty Friends