My cat continues to urinate outside the litter box. Any suggestions?

You say your cat “continues” to urinate outside the litter box, so I’m not exactly sure what you may have tried before to fix the problem. Inappropriate elimination can be caused by medical conditions such as urinary infections or by behavioral problems. Sometimes, it can even be associated with a more serious medical problem such as a urinary obstruction, which is an emergency situation that requires immediate attention.

But cats also may go outside the box when they dislike their litter or if the box is dirty. They can even develop this problem due to stress from changes in their household, such as a new pet, or moving to a new home.

Obviously, if your kitty is urinating outside the box for a medical reason, he or she can (and should) be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The “outside the box” behavior should soon cease.

However, if your cat has changed his or her behavior due to changes or stressful situations, he or she will likely need behavior modification, which is a time-consuming and often frustrating process. It will require lots of love on your part, patience and determination. Your vet can guide you through the process and suggest helpful outside resources. Sometimes, behavior modification coupled with appropriate drug therapy, under supervision of your vet, can be successful.


Written by:
Kristen Levine, pet lifestyle expert

August 12, 2009

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