So you love your cat and want them to have the best possible. You get a brand-new litter box, but your cat won’t go in it. They just run around peeing everywhere else in the house. Without addressing this, it can become a HUGE problem very quickly. Between the strong smell and the frustration of having to clean up behind the cat, you ask yourself, ‘Why is the cat doing this?’ here are some common issues related to why this could be happening.
- Perhaps it’s a medical issue. Most times your cat is peeing outside their litter box, its due to some sort of internal medical issue. This could be the result of a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or kidney disease. Painful health problems can make your cat feel off and could cause this as well, such as severe arthritis. Maybe this is causing the cat pain to get into the box, especially ones with a high cover.
- Pretty much, anything that can change how a cat is feeling can create this issue in behavior. With this in mind, first thing to do is contact your local veterinarian. Set up an appointment and have some simple blood and urine work done. This is a good way to see exactly what is happening inside your cat, and can potentially find the root of the issue.
- Another common and sometimes overlooked issue, is an unclean litter box. Its a simple thing really. Much as a human wouldn’t want to use a toilet that still has something in it from before, the same applies here. The cat can smell and see it as well. Generally, before you do. Remember, a cat’s sense of smell is far stronger than that of a human. So, thinking its ‘clean enough’ may not be the same for the cat, and they will DEFINITELY let you know. If you are lax in maintaining the cleanliness of the litter box, the cat will more than likely find and alternative place to relieve themselves. It’s important to scoop out the litter every single day. Sometimes even multiple times. Especially if you have multiple cats. Refresh and do a deep cleaning of the litter box every few weeks.
- Having a litter box that is hard to reach is another issue that can happen. If the cat feels that its more difficult to use the litter box than somewhere else, best believe they will go somewhere else. Older cats probably won’t respond well to a box in a basement, or somewhere where it’s a struggle to get to. This can result in stray pee as well. The box should be close to an active part of the house. The cat will be more inclined to use it if its somewhere accessible and they know they are not being trapped. If it looks like its somewhere with loud machines or dark places, they are less likely to stick to their area.
- Another thing to look into is the type of litter you are using. Not every type of litter is good for every type of cat. Some litters can cause cats irritation, some don’t feel good on the feet, or has a smell that makes the cat uneasy. Kittens learn what type they prefer from their mothers early on, so trying to use a different litter for the new kitten could be a dramatic switch for them and they will not want to use it, as it will seem unfamiliar. In this situation, switching the litter back to the recognizable litter could solve your problems.
- Homes with multiple types of pets can also cause an issue. Having multiple cats, especially ones that are bullies that prevent others from using the box can be a huge issue for a multitude of reasons. If your cat is more timid, try and devote a box specifically to that cat, away from the others, that they can’t access easily. This also leads to another point, Stress and Anxiety. This can be a major point of behavioral change in a cat’s ability to keep to the routine of their litter box.
- An anxious cat may go somewhere else and pee just as a way to relieve their anxiety, because the smell of their own sent puts them at ease. If you have cats that linger in your yard, this may cause your cat to pee near your front door as a way to mark their territory and prevent those cats from entering the home. This is another form of stress for your cat.
Sadly, there is no real quick-fix to solving this issue. Each issue is a case by case basis, and resolution is purely based on the progression of the cat. But if you follow these guidelines and check in with a vet to make sure your cat is happy and healthy, odds are you can avoid this problem and keep the pee in the litter box.
Cited from: PetMd