Inappropriate Elimination

No matter how often or what the urine looks like, your cat should visit your veterinarian to rule out a medical reason for urinating outside the litter pan.  Bladder infections, diabetes and kidney disease are some of the causes your veterinarian will look for.

Once a medical reason has been ruled out, a behavioral problem is the most likely cause for the inappropriate urination.  Cats can be extremely choosey when it comes to their elimination.  Any change in the environment can cause the cat refuse to use the litter pan it has used in the past.  A few examples are a change in litter or the litter pan itself, a litter pan that isn't cleaned frequently or has been moved, the addition or removal of another cat, dog or person in the household, changes outside the house that the cat can detect such as a new neighbor, construction or a stray cat.

To try to correct behavioral problems, you need to closely examine the cat's environment as many things that seem undetectable or insignificant to you can be very obvious and disturbing to your cat.  One of the most common situations we see is that an owner fails to provide enough litter pans for the number of cats they have in the household.  The recommendation is to have at least one more litter pan than you have cats.  The body language of cats can be extremely subtle and your cats may seem to all get along, but one cat may simply not be allowing another cat to have access to a favorite litter pan or location.

If your cat has been using the same litter pan for years, it might simply be time to get a new one as even with daily washing, plastic can absorb odors the cat can detect and then view that litter pan as being "dirty".  Cats like privacy so having the litter pan in a high traffic area of your house may be upsetting to your cat.  Conversely, making your cat go into the garage through a small cat door and around a large pile of boxes to find a small. covered litter pan may just be too out of the way for your cat, especially an older one that hurts to travel so far.

Your cat may frustrated because it can't confront the new stray cat it sees or hears outside at night, therefore urinating out of the litter pan to mark it's territory in hopes of scaring the stray cat away.

Finding the exact cause of a behavioral problem can be very difficult and in some cases, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help in these situations.

You are here: Home Services FAQ Content Inappropriate Elimination