Cats prefer to use a litter box when they are inside; even very young kittens will acclimate to your litter setup quickly. If your cat is suddenly snubbing the litter box or having problems urinating, you need to investigate the cause. The issue could be as simple as a box that is overdue for cleaning, but there are some health issues that cause urination problems as well. If your cat is unwell or uncomfortable, he could be trying to tell you so by urinating outside of his box. Here’s how to tell what’s going on with your cat when a litter problem arises.
Urinating Outside the Box: What your Cat is Trying to Tell You
My Box is Dirty
If the litter box is not up to your cat’s standards, he could choose an alternative. From your laundry basket to your potted plants, urinating outside of the litter box could be a sign that your box needs to be cleaned and refreshed. If you are seeing signs that your cat is snubbing the box, look at the condition of the litterbox and litter to be sure they are clean and ready to use. If the box is in good shape, something else could be to blame.
I have a UTI
Just like people, cats can get urinary tract infections. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder, or FLUD, is a collection of symptoms that is very similar to the UTI discomfort experienced by people. If your cat is straining to urinate, cries out in pain or you see blood in his urine, it is time to call the vet for treatment; FLUD won’t resolve on its own.
I have Cystitis
It may look like a urinary tract infection, but Cystitis is a buildup of crystals in the bladder and is a medical emergency for cats. If your cat is avoiding the box, cystitis could be to blame; once cats begin to associate the litter box with pain, they’ll attempt to use other things, from laundry to houseplants as an alternative site.
Since Cystitis is an emergency and FLUD needs to be treated right away, you should never ignore litter box mistakes. Once the box is clean, if your cat is still urinating in the wrong place or seems to be having trouble, you should contact us right away. Call us if you are concerned about your cat’s habits; we are available on an emergency basis and can help get to the root of the problem right away.