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Why Does My Cat Urinate (or defecate) Outside of the Litter Box?

Inappropriate urination is the most common behavioral problem reported by cat owners. Both male and female cats seem to exhibit this problem leading us away from the myth that only male intact cats will inappropriately urinate.

The majority of cats that are euthanized for behavioral problems are due 
to inappropriate urination.

The best way to solve the problem is to understand the underlying cause for this behavior. This article will explain the different types of urination problems, what is the trigger for inappropriate urination and how to stop the problem.

The first step in any elimination problem is to rule out an underlying medical condition. Some examples would be bladder or kidney problems, diabetes, arthritis and more. Consult with your veterinarian immediately before assuming it is a true behavioral problem. At minimum a physical exam and urinalysis should be performed.

Learn more about why cats eliminate outside of their litterbox.

NB:  This common (but not normal) problem can often be solved with lifestyle changes. It is often seen in multi-cat households. While working to modify the cat’s environment, provide at least one extra box for your cats (so if you have 2 cats, it is best to have 3 boxes). Don’t give up, even if you think that you have covered every angle. Homeopathic treatment can often help. Of course the best time to start homeopathic treatment is when your cat is young. This will often prevent the problem.–Dr. Jeff


Please note: The information provided here is intended to supplement the recommendations of your veterinarian. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment based on information on this site. Nothing can replace a complete history and physical examination performed by your veterinarian. -Dr. Jeff