Inappropriate urination is the most common behavioral problem reported by cat owners. It is a leading cause of cats being abandoned outdoors, left at shelters, and euthanized. Most cases of inappropriate elimination can be resolved, but it may take some detective work and adjustments to your household to achieve it.
There are 5 factors that you may not be aware of that are causing your cat to "think outside the box":
1. Urinary tract infections, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, and other medical problems are all common reasons for cats to urinate outside of their litter box. Please book an appointment for him or her to get a urinalysis and possibly blood work done immediately!
2. Your cat has been harassed in some way while using the litter box.
Children sometimes like to stalk cats and can often only catch them while they are in the litter box.
A dominant cat may ambush a meeker cat while he is in the vulnerable position of using the box.
Cats that have been caught in the act of urinating somewhere inappropriate, punished, and then shoved into their litter box will most likely experience a reinforced aversion to it.
Dogs may like to stalk cats when they are in the litter box because it may be the only time they can catch them and then be rewarded with a cat feces snack!
3. Cats do not want to use a dirty litter box.
Cats don't like to walk into a litter box and get urine or feces on their paws. This is an even more unpleasant experience for them than it is for us when we walk into a smelly, dirty port-a-potty. Cats will often seek another, cleaner spot to eliminate if the box is consistently too dirty.
Cats are very sensitive to the smells of other cats and will sometimes avoid the waste of an ill housemate. If one cat is sick or on medications that change the odor of their excrement, the other cats may avoid the litter box.
4. Cats will often associate any pain or discomfort that they are having with the environment at that moment, and this can create a litter box aversion.
Cats that have suffered from urinary tract infections, cystitis, and/or gastrointestinal problems accompanied by painful defecation or a blocked urethra when they try to urinate.
Some owners have noticed a litter box aversion after they have added baking soda to the box in order to reduce odors. When urine hits the baking soda, it fizzes, and that may scare your cat.
Cats may develop a litter box aversion after a declaw surgery or other paw or nail injury. The litter may irritate painful paws wounds even more, or the act of digging in the box could cause extra soreness.
5. Location of the litter box is a BIG DEAL to your cat!Cats prefer privacy so putting a litter box in a heavily trafficked area is a recipe for disaster!
The box should not be placed near loud or startling objects such as washing machines, dryers, televisions, stereos, or anything with a timer that may go off when the cat is using the box.
Cats intuitively know that it's not good to eliminate near their food and water source.
A litter box that is placed in an area where your cat may be cornered by another cat, a dog, a child, or a human will likely be one that he hates to use.
If the above information does not work for your cat or if you'd like to do more research please read this helpful article from cathealth.com!