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Why Is My Cat Urinating Outside of the Litter Box?

March 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Cat Care Tips | 3 comments

Picture of cat urinating outside of litter boxHas your cat been spraying in the wrong places?  Is your cat urinating outside of the litter box?

This could be a sign of a medical condition.  Bernhard Pukay discussed this issue on March 21, 2011 in the Ottawa Citizen:

“In order to determine the reason why your cat urinates outside the litter box, it will be necessary to do some tests, although whether or not they will be expensive will be determined by how difficult it is to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.”


Various medical condition could cause your cat to miss the litter box, including (but not limited to):

  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Colitis

Stress can also cause spraying along with various other issues, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Have there been any significant changes in your cat’s life?  Has the family or living situation changed?  If so, try to think of some ways you can reduce your kitty’s stress.

Some cats may merely dislike the litter box, or the litter, or the smell.  Others may dislike the litter box’s location.  Observe your cat and try to find ways to make your feline friend more comfortable.

7 Tips To Stop Spraying

Here are some things you can try if you notice your cat urinating outside of the litter box:

  1. Have a veterinarian check your cat for possible medical issues
  2. Reward your cat when he or she uses the litter box
  3. Keep the litter box clean and sanitary
  4. Fill your cat’s litter box with different material (sand, different types of litter, newspaper, etc.)
  5. Try putting more (or less) litter in the litter box
  6. Feed the cat where he or she is spraying
  7. Avoid punishing the cat

Update: Although the evidence is not conclusive, some experts believe that cat declawing can result in litter box accidents. Click here to learn more about the costs and benefits of declawing cats.

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3 responses to “Why Is My Cat Urinating Outside of the Litter Box?”

  1. Anne says:

    Some cats may urinate outside the box right after declaw surgery due to the pain when moving the paws through the litter. Amputation hurts 🙁 This is easily prevented. Do not have your cat declawed.

  2. Question…do female cats also “spray” their territory? Or is this something only male cats do? thanks.

  3. Hi, thank you for sharing your research. Cat urinating outside of litter box- you don’t know, it really makes me angry. I will try to follow your helpful tips. Greetings!

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