My Cat Has Started Urinating Outside The Litter Box In The Same Location Every Time

I have a 6 month old female I have raised since she was 2 weeks old. Her mother deserted her.


I nursed her on a bottle until she was old enough to eat on her own. She has grown up using litter.

Our first problem happened when we left her in the care of my son, who was staying temporarily at our home, while we were on vacation.

She started using the carpet and would do this openly in front of him.

This problem stopped upon our return home. That was in November.

In recent weeks, she has started urinating on my living room carpet, all in the same area. I have moved her litter box to that area. She will defecate in the litter box, but urinates on the floor.

Nothing seems to help. My husband is as patient with her behavior as I am, as I love her. But I am deeply concerned about what to do, as eventually he will make me get rid of her if the behavior does not stop.

She seems healthy, although has a nervous deposition. She receives plenty of attention and love - I have no idea why this behavior has started. Any ideas?






My Thoughts:

My first thought is always medical, since no amount of behavior mod will help if there's a physical problem. If the vet can't find anything wrong, then you have to assume it's a behavior problem.

Keep in mind that it might have been a temporary physical problem even if the vet signs off on her, so she may just need retraining.

If you've changed litters or there have been big changes or any traumatic experiences lately, then look to that as a possible cause. Sometimes there are events that our cats are aware of, but we are not.

That having been said, preference for texture and location can change at any time, and maybe your cat just changed her mind about things.

Once it changes, the smell will reinforce the use of the "bad" area. At this point, the box is unattractive (for purposes of urination) and the bad area is attractive.

So you have to do the usual thing you do with cats. Make the box(es) more attractive, and the other area less attractive while praising good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.

Clean the soiled area thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner or Atmosklear and then prevent your cat from going in that exact spot by using aluminum foil, double sided tape, or an upside down rug.

If she finds a different area to go in, then she's still not happy with the box for some reason. Sometimes putting the box near that area is helpful, other times not.

If it gets to the point where you may need to give her up, then she's an extreme case. Either way, you may want to just cut to the chase.

The fastest and most controlled way to do litter box training is to confine the cat to one room, far away from the soiled area. Once retraining is complete, you then reintroduce your cat to the rest of the house and slowly put things back the way they were.

Please read Nancy Wigal's article on how to do cat litter box retraining.

I hope things work out well for you and your kitty cat.
-Kurt

Comments for My Cat Has Started Urinating Outside The Litter Box In The Same Location Every Time

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Aug 16, 2008
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urinating outside the cat box
by: Anonymous

My cat is a very well behaved cat but recently she has started to urinate right behind the box on the floor. I have cleaned the spot and applied vinegar which is suppose to get rid of the smell of urine, but everytime I turn around she has done it again in the same spot. I don't know why she is doing this but it has only been recently. I'm wondering if it is because I have started to use less cat litter in the litter box. I thought if I used just enough litter to last for a day (about 3 cups full) and then remove the litter and liner daily that it would save some money and keep the cat box oder less stinky.She still uses it to poop in but has started to urinate outside the box. I wonder if it is because she feels that it is not enough litter to urinate in. Anyone have any ideas about this? Marcy

May 08, 2008
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Cat is always urinating on my kitchen counters and litter is clean
by: Anonymous

It has been a few times but now has happened two days in a row, my cat will pee on my kitchen counters.

When I get home, he greets us like he normally would every day but the minute he see that I have noticed what he has done, then he will watch me from the chair he is sitting at.

My only fear is it because he is getting older and is having problems. I check his behind and he is not red as he was the last time he had an infection.

I am a little worried. His behaviour has not changed but finding that surprise on my kitchen counter does not make me happy as I need to disinfect my kitchen everytime I find that surprise.

HELP!!!

My Thoughts:

That doesn't sound too pleasant. The counter top is an interesting choice of locations and I don't think I've heard of that one before.

I would start with a call to the vet as it could be a medical problem. As I've said before, no amount of litter box retraining will do any good if the problem is medical.

If it's not medical, then you can try aluminum foil on the counter top to see if that keeps him off. If he picks another spot, then you have to work at that as well.

If he's not using the box, then he has some issue with it for some reason. You have to figure out what that issue is. Is it location? Is it surface texture? Is it box freshness (his viewpoint not yours)? Did he experience some unpleasantness while urinating in the box that you don't know about perhaps? Is it marking behavior (feeling threatened by another cat in the yard, for example), or is it actually an elimination problem? etc.

Some cats won't go twice in a row in the same box within a certain time frame. Some cats like to use one box for number one and another for number two. Cats are like that.

If it's not medical, and he doesn't respond to any of the usual methods I've mentioned throughout the site, then perhaps isolation is required for retraining.

I hope that helps.

-Kurt

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