Why Cats Urinate Outside The Litterbox


Many cats, especially in multi-cat households will urinate in places they shouldn’t. There are many reasons for this including medical, behavioral and social issues. I will outline several common causes and give you some tips for trying to resolve the inappropriate urination.

– Make sure there’s not a medical problem: If you know which cat is urinating outside the box, they should see the vet for diagnostics such as a physical exam and a urine test. This is really important as the first step. Cats can have urinary tract infections or inflammatory disease that cause inappropriate urination. If they are diagnosed with one of these illnesses and treated appropriately, it should resolve the problem. If they are negative for medical issues, then the cause is likely behavioral or social.

-It’s a texture thing: Some cats seem to just like the texture of certain materials and will urinate on things with that texture. For example, I have seen multiple cats that prefer to go on their people’s laundry rather than in the litterbox. You can experiment with different forms of kitty litter to see if you cat prefers one over the others. If that doesn’t work, try setting up an extra litterbox but instead of putting litter in it, cut a piece of carpet (or cloth) to fit in the bottom. Laying out an absorbent pee pad underneath the carpet or cloth with will absorb any urine.

-Litterbox Etiquette: If you have multiple cats, there could be some social interaction and is causing inappropriate urination. A rule of thumb you should follow:# of litterboxes needed= # of cats in the house +1. So if you have 2 cats, you need 3 litterboxes. The boxes should be in different locations throughout the house. Have lids on some of the boxes and others without lids. Some cats prefer one or the

-Eliminate the bullying: Try to notice if the cat who urinates outside the box is being bullied or ambushed by another cat. I’ve seen cases where this is happening but the owners had no idea for a long time. This is why the litterboxes should be spread out, so the cats have an option and are not going into another cat’s territory.

-Serenity now: Feliway pheromone can be helpful whether you have a single cat or multiple cats. The pheromone has a calming effect and can help resolve stress and inter-cat aggression. Eliminating these things can help with litterbox issues. Feliway can be purchased in spray, plug-in or collar forms.