Why is my Cat Peeing Everywhere?

Inappropriate feline urination can be a frustrating problem for cat owners. Instead of using their litter box, your cat does goes just about everywhere else: outside the litter box, the carpet, the backyard.

After the annoyance of cleaning and urine smells one might wonder what can be done to prevent this from happening. Here are the most common causes of cat urinary problems.

Medical Issues

Health problems may cause your cat to urinate outside the litter box. Diabetes, kidney disease, or a urinary tract infection could be the culprit. Bladder stones, bacterial infections, or other inflammatory diseases could cause pain and increased urgency to urinate.

Be sure to contact your veterinarian if your cat has other symptoms of these health issues. Simple blood and urine tests can help exclude these issues.

Something that could cause a cat to associate a litter box with pain could lead them to go elsewhere. As cats age their mobility and sensory function begin to decline. Nerve, muscle and joint pain could lead to discomfort preventing your cat from getting to the litter box very easily.

For example if your cat has trouble moving around the house and their litter box is up a flight of stairs, they may just choose to go behind the couch. A litter box with sides that are too high may also cause a cat with arthritis pain. 

Behavioral Causes

Frustration, stress, or anxiety could cause a change in urination habits. This could be due to a change in routine such as a leaving family member or movement of homes. It could also be in retaliation to a smaller issue such as dislike towards the favor of their food.

Marking- When invoked, cats(especially male) sometime mark spots in the house with urine in order to establish their territory. While this is a normal behavior it might occur due to the presence of another feline or pet. 

Marking allows a cat to be surrounded by its own comforting odor. Usually, cats will back into a corner or vertical surface, raise their tail, and urinate backwards. 

If another cat has placed its own odor onto items or areas that conflict with a different cat, cleaning where the touched and ventured may help ease your cat.

Stress/Anxiety- Similar to marking, a stressed cat may pee elsewhere in order to relieve their anxiety from a safe odor smell. The more stressed a cat is the more it will urinate outside the litter box.

A multi cat owner should especially be aware of their cats relationships with each other. Certain cats(usually female) who dominate over the other may prevent a cat from getting to the box. A scary dog could also make a feline afraid to leave the room. If this is the case be sure to have multiple litter boxes throughout the house.

If your cat is extra shy, be sure to give them a room to themselves to urinate in private. Also, try to avoid covered litter boxes as your cat may feel uneasy that they can't see if a threat is approaching.

Unclean litter box- Be sure to scoop your litter box at least once a day or even more often if you have multiple cats. Also change out the entire litter each month and be sure there is no stuck feces on the walls. Remember that a cats sense of smell is much more acute than us human's. 

Certain cat litters can emit an odor that is too strong. If your cat is sensitive to smells be sure to buy an unscented, dust-free litter. Cheaper litters can also cause irritating allergic reactions each time your cat visits.

Even certain litter types may be unfit for your cat. Some litters made from wood pellets or recycled newspapers may feel unpleasing on the foot.

If you can, use the same litter your cat had as a kitty. If this is not possible you should experiment with different litters to find the most preferred. We recommend clumping cat litter.

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