Cat suddenly peeing outside the box!

by Jessica
(Berlin, NJ)

Hi,

I have a 15 year old Persian. I adopted him when he was 11 years old.

He has never had litter box issues for as long as I've had him until recently. He started to pee outside the litter box.

Sometimes he goes in and points his rear end out and pees on the floor anyway. He still poops in the litter box.

Every now and then he even manages to pee inside the litter box! But for the last month or so, he is pretty consistently peeing outside of it, about a foot away.

I took him to the vet and his blood and urine came back okay. He does have the beginnings of kidney failure, but the vet said his creatinine levels look better than last years. Any ideas?

The litter box is only used by him, and is a covered corner box he has been using for 3 years.

Thanks!

Jess






My Thoughts:

It sounds like you've got a few things going on here, Jessica. You've got an aging male Persian cat in the early stages of chronic renal insufficiency.

He's been intermittently urinating outside the litter box, and sometimes streams over the side of the box and pees on the floor. Lately, he's more consistently not making it to the box.

I'm assuming he's not spraying. Spraying involves a relatively small amount of urine compared to when a cat needs to urinate because of a full bladder.

The typical spraying posture is with the back end up against a vertical surface to be sprayed, tail up and quivering, sometimes moving the back feet.

I'm also assuming your vet was hunting for a cause when the testing was done and completely ruled out any possible medical problems, including whether or not an intermittent problem (say, a recurring bladder infection or crystals) might be at work here.

I think it's possible that as he gets older, he's having a bit of trouble squatting without discomfort. This would explain why he sometimes gets in the box, and pees over the side through the opening (so as not to hit the walls of the cover).

The solution for this is to either make entry and exit more accessible, using perhaps a ramp system, or getting a lower, wider box.

It's also possible that he's having age-related bladder control issues, much like humans. Maybe sometimes he just can't make it to the box in time.

The solution for that is more boxes in other areas of the house so he doesn't have as far to travel.

I hope that helps a bit and please let us know how he fairs with this problem.
-Kurt

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