If One Of My Cats Is Urinating Out Side The LitterBox – Will My Other Cats?

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If One of My Cats Is Urinating Outside The Box, Will My Other Cats Urinate Outside the Box Too?

There are many reasons why some cats won't use the litter box. Owners are often worried whether other cats will urinate outside the litter box once one starts.

The cause of inappropriate urination can either be behavioral or medical. Urinary infections, inflammatory diseases or even bladder stones can cause cats to avoid the litter box. Other cats will avoid the litter box for reasons like the litter box is too dirty, they don't like the litter, the location is noisy or another cat is preventing them access to that box.

Owners with more than one cat often want to know: if one cat urinates outside the litter box, will others start to do it too?

The answer is no--mostly. Urinary problems are not contagious from cat to cat, so your cat won't get kidney stones from using the same litter box as a sick cat or begin peeing outside the box after watching them. However, some inappropriate urination is due to territorial urine marking and this can influence another cat's behavior. If a cat smells where another cat has urinated outside of the box and feels like their territory is threatened, they can be tempted to mark over it. That is why it is SO important that you properly clean up all urine accidents.

For more information on how to really clean up urine accidents, please read:

Cat Urine Odor Removal - Vet's Advice On Cat Urine Odor Removal
Why Cat Urine Odor Comes Back & How to Stop It

I hope this gives you more information on whether inappropriate urination is contagious between cats.

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.